Published research

Here is a collection of links to other useful resources, including some of my own research.

First of all, a paper titled “The Somes Family and Fulham Road”, published on This paper relates the development of the Somes family’s pawnbroking and jewellery businesses in London, from the early 19th century onwards. Some of the information is now superseded by fresh research, but the story remains essentially the same:
The Somes Family and Fulham Road

Next is a history of my great-grandfather Theo Osborn Smith, boatbuilder, designer, inventor, and all-round polymath. The tale starts with his grandfather, John Smith, born in the village of Arlingham, on the banks of the Severn, and follows the family’s progress through Oxford, Fawley, and the Isle of Wight:
Dear Papa: a History of Theo Smith



The front page…

Welcome to yet another genealogical blog. Here I plan to share discoveries from my family tree research as I go along, in the faint hope that it might have some relevance to someone other than me.

The main family names which interest me are:

  • Somes (from east London, 1680s onwards, then Kensington & Chelsea, then southern Hampshire),
  • Smith and Osborn-Smith (from Gloucestershire in the early 1800s, via Oxford, to southern Hampshire, and finally the Isle of Wight), and
  • Spedding (from Morpeth, Northumberland, in the late 18th century, to Lepe and Exbury in Hampshire).

Other names connected along the way are Hallier, Jones, Thomas, Saxton, Layard, Pusey, Morley, Piper, Kitcher, Parsons, Charlton, Cohen, Cowan, Colyer-Fergusson, Wyatt, and many others I may get around to mentioning.

Who am I?
I’m Robin Somes, writer, photographer, musician and marine biologist, as well as rank amateur genealogist. I’ve been researching my family for around 20 years now; I expect to get the hang of it any day now.