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Can you help increase our knowledge of the descendants of EDWARD and ELIZABETH FIELD?

If you have further information that will add to the family's collective knowledge of the family in this website, please let Colin Field know. Click here for his contact details


Notes by Colin Field on the origins of this website
(and other matters)

I am convinced that the website From a Distant Field, the Early Generations on the Internet (and before it, the no longer openly accessible website From a Distant Field, the Living Edition on the Internet) is very important, and am both proud of and pleased with it. It continues to keep the family that started with EDWARD and ELIZABETH FIELD as one of the most extensively and meticulously recorded Australian pioneer families. Its origins go back to 1984, when I had just published the genealogy of my children, which of course included the line back to Private Edward Field, the New South Wales Corpsman. This brought me into contact with both Mildred Churchill and Lorraine Jones. I discovered that each of them had lots and lots of data about "the Fields". It was clear that they were only going to let me peep at their holdings of data, and the only way I could see of gaining access to the lot was to have them join me in a simple publishing exercise. It was thus that From a Distant Field was born and the Distant Field family was established.

Between 1984 and the publishing of the third edition of From a Distant Field, I put many thousands of hours into learning more, and driving my co-workers and other researchers tirelessly in the hope of new discoveries and the filling in of another unknown. The third edition was a huge undertaking involving two years of serious preparation. Since its publication, more information came to hand, much of it from those who attended a family picnic that was held at Lithgow in January 1996. The transforming of the family records into a website was a massive and time consuming exercise, but a natural progression of the project. Its maintenance continues to be a heavy load and a time consuming task. Though I am proud of my work with From a Distant Field and recognise what a valuable family resource it is, I often wish I had never taken on such a heavy ongoing workload. My hope has always been that it will stimulate others to contribute to our knowledge of our family and stimulate interest in our vast family. I think it is amazing that we know so much about our family, yet I recognise that there are still so many gaps in our knowledge

Though I have been and continue to be the front man for this family recording project, it has been a real team effort and I cannot give sufficient praise to my named collaborators, as well as to many others who are unnamed. In many ways I am the organiser and technician (though I have certainly still done my share of tough research). To hear Mildred and Lorraine talk of people they knew that are simply names and numbers to me makes me feel like a family outsider. I do not know how Pan finds her way around her copious journals, how Lorna can bring such apparent single mindedness and energy to the pursuit of her own and other people's genealogy - and the mystery of all mysteries is how Michael could sort through so many people all called Morris and make sense of it. I cannot express enough appreciation of their contribution, or say too big a "thank you". I need also acknowledge the assistance, understanding and tolerance of my wife. I think I understand how hard it was for her to share what limited time I had at home over a number of years with genealogy and genealogical correspondence. Thank you, Yvonne, for loving me.