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Wincanton, England and My Vining Ancestors

Updated on June 2, 2017
Virginia Allain profile image

I'm carrying on my mother's research into our family history. I've self-published some family memoirs & learned a lot about different eras.

Searching for British Ancestors

For many years, my mother followed leads, combed through public records and compiled the family genealogy. Now it's time for the next generation to take up the work. At 85, my mom is busy writing her memoirs, so she's glad to have someone else tackle the research.

With the Internet, it is certainly a lot easier than when she had to visit courthouses, write letters and send for census records on microfilm. Those are still valid sources of information, but now a few clicks in a search engine can turn up a wealth of information about a long-lost ancestor. Here's my experience finding my Vining roots. The photo shows my grandmother, Ruth Vining, in 1918 with her sisters. At that time, she lived in Tyro, Kansas.

My mother's research took the Vining family back to England in the 1600s. I'll post more details about the Vining family as I uncover it.

My Vining Branch

The Vining Home in Gentry, Arkansas


Follow the Vining Family on Google Maps - Click on the red flag to see the name of the town

They traveled west by covered wagon and even bought land after one of the Oklahoma land rushes. Eventually they ended up in Tyro, Kansas and then spread out further in that state.

show route and directions
A marker -
Tyro, Kansas
get directions

B marker -
Gentry, Arkansas
get directions

C marker -
east Windsor, CT
get directions

D marker -
Weymouth, Massachusetts
get directions

E marker -
Woodward, Oklahoma
get directions

Gail Lee Martin's Book Includes Some Vining Genealogy - This is my mother's childhood memories and family history.


Vining Genealogy - Are We Related?

It seems that most Vinings in the United States trace their roots back to the first Vinings who came to Weymouth, Massachussetts from Wincanton, England in the 1600s.

Wincanton, England

The White Horse Inn in Wincanton, England - This Was Owned by John Vining. His Son Moved to the American Colonies


(photo courtesy of my third cousin, Linda Watson)

Links to Vining Genealogy

My ancestors came from Wincanton, England to Massachussetts in the 1600s.

I Want to Visit Wincanton

Twenty years ago I took a trip to England with my sister. Unfortunately we hadn't factored in the time to travel to Somerset to the village of Wincanton. One of my dreams is to return and thoroughly explore the small town that my ancestors left in the 1600s.

I found some holiday cottages that can be booked online. What a marvelous trip it would be to go to this area of England and stay for a week or two in a cottage there.

Fascinating History to Explore in Somerset

Until I can go myself, I'll have to vicariously enjoy the scenery and history of Somerset through this video.

Welcome to Wincanton - Village Sign


What My Cousin Found about the Vinings and Wincanton

A third cousin made the trip recently to explore for Vining ancestors. Here's what she found:

"We drove to Wincanton and found it to be a lovely English village. I have attached pictures including the White Horse Inn. I went to the library and town center to check on Albert or John Vining. The regular librarian and town clerk both were on holiday so I was looking at the brochure on Wincanton and, behold, there was a write up on White Horse Inn's stating first recorded owner was John Vining in 1655. That is probably the earliest records so did not go back to his father. I got a copy of the brochure.

I also bought a book they had published on Wincanton's history but have had no time to read it yet. I will let you know if it adds anything."

This is from a message she sent my mother. They shared an interest in tracing the Vining family roots.

The History of Wincanton, Somerset, From Earliest Times to the Year 1903
The History of Wincanton, Somerset, From Earliest Times to the Year 1903

Lots of history for anyone wanting to know about their ancestral background in Wincanton.


Wonderful Somerset Scenery

© 2010 Virginia Allain

Do Your Ancestors Come from England?

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    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 4 years ago from Central Florida

      @anonymous: Linda, I'll look for you on Facebook so we can keep in touch. My sister is working on our McGhee and Vining lines and may turn up some more information.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have been researching my maternal father's (Dallas Claude Vining) family and traced him back to John Vining. I would love to know more. I always knew I was English on both sides, but have a deep desire to know more about my mother's ancestry. I knew Dallas was born in Binghamton, N.Y. and settled in Nebraska, where my mother was born and so was I. It's exciting to see other family members searching also.

    • cathywoodosborn profile image

      cathywoodosborn 6 years ago

      Thanks for this great lens and for renewing my enthusiasm for Squidoo!

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 6 years ago from Land of Aloha

      The older I get, the more I'm determined to dig more into my own family history. You must be fascinated to find out all this information on your roots. Very inspiring lens to me!

    • cathywoodosborn profile image

      cathywoodosborn 6 years ago

      Great lens! I, too, am a descendant of John Vining. My line went south and eventually ended up in TX!! I would love to compare notes with you.

    • Elle-Dee-Esse profile image

      Lynne Schroeder 6 years ago from Blue Mountains Australia

      Good luck in your search. It can be frustrating when you reach a road block that you just can't seem to get past.

    • Coreena Jolene profile image

      Coreena Jolene 6 years ago

      Sorry to say I do not share a surname, but my mother's family came from Parsons, Kansas, and my father's family came from South Shields, England. How similar our ancestors traveled. I am enjoying my family research too. The photos you have are great. Thanks for sharing.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 6 years ago

      nicely done lens! I also do genealogy research...

    • Gayle Mclaughlin profile image

      Gayle 6 years ago from McLaughlin

      Very Interesting lens! You have given me ideas to research my genealogy!

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 7 years ago from Southampton, UK

      I hope you do get to visit Wincanton. My Dad lived for a few years in Stalbridge, just a handful of miles to the south, until he passed away 4 years ago. I grew up in nearby Poole on the south coast. It's a lovely part of the world.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 7 years ago

      Awesome lens! my "Ive"s side of the family came to America from England to the Colonies (Connecticut) help establish them...just recently someone contacted me at one of my lenses to let me know they were related to my mom's side (a lost family branch) so Thank You Squidoo I now have a second cousin!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 7 years ago from Central Florida

      @teatree: Thank you, Teatree, for your suggestions. I'll have to give that a try. Sure wish I could go there myself to look around.

    • Grasmere Sue profile image

      Sue Dixon 7 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      It's a very pretty place in a very pretty part of England. I hope you get there some day

    • profile image

      teatree 7 years ago

      I live in Hampshire, which is the county just up the road from Somerset, and my husband is a Somerset man!

      You might wish to write to the local churches in Wincanton for details of your ancestors. Church records tend to be very detailed, especially for burials and Vining is quite an unusual surname. Good luck!

    • Charlino99 profile image

      Tonie Cook 7 years ago from USA

      This is beautiful.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 7 years ago

      OMG, it is so heartwarming to hear family history stories and shaking and searching that family tree.

    • LadyFlashman profile image

      LadyFlashman 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      This was interesting reading, how exciting for you! I hope you make a visit to Wincanton one day, Somerset is a lovely County. I am from the UK, so most of my relatives come from here. At the moment though I am trying to find out about a 5x Great Grandpa who owned land in Maryland. He is proving to be hard to track down, any tips on Maryland records welcome!!