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Here is a real puzzler for everyone

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Whilst researching my family name - Sheel - I kept in mind a family tradition that the name had been changed at some time in the past. I first became interested in doing this in 1978, which was, unfortunately, 10 years after the only relative who \"knew\" the story around this tradition had died.

I was aware from the very beginning that, although you do not dismiss family tradition out of hand, you also take it with a pinch of salt.

Anyway, by the time I got back to my great grandfather, I found the change of name. It was supposedly changed to Anglicise it from the German name Scheele. It actually went like this:
GGFrather - John Sheel
Born 1841 at Fishes Stead, Northumberland. Fishes Stead, by the way, still exists today. It was a farm where fish processing was undertaken. It is situated about 20 miles south of Coldstream.

Now for the name change.

His father\'s name was John Anderson. :blink:

All of John Anderson\'s children carried the name Sheel. But, nowhere in any written record is there any mention of the mother of his children.

The 1841 census does have him listed. It states in the entry \"Of this county - Yes\". However, the secretary for the Registrar (which just happens to be a Solicitor) spent some time searching for any records over a period of three weeks, which she very kindly did for me without charge. The home parish of this person was discovered (supposedly) to be Longhoughton. This kind young lady searched the three parishes covering that area, and then started checking others, radiating out from Longhoughton.

She found no record of a John Anderson in any of them. So, where did he originally come from? North of the Scottish border? Any other district in England? The Andersons were a collateral clan to the Clan MacDonald - is that where my roots lie? Or, because there is the potential for a Nordic link through the surname, could he have been an immigrant, or descended from immigrants? Which lines of enquiry can I safely leave out and, which ones do I follow?

This has been my \"Brick Wall\" for over 15 years now. All attempts by others to help have proved fruitless.

Any ideas anyone?

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