A MAN is on a quest to track down descendents of the Chippy family after he stumbled across five children’s books that belonged to the Worthing clan in the late 1800s.
Lyle Milner, of Coombe Rise, was given the antique illustrated story books by a work colleague 20 years ago.
“She told me she had these books because I’m interested in that sort of thing, but I thought nothing else of it at the time,” he said.
In one of the books, ‘The Life and Ballads of Robin Hood’, Lyle discovered the original owner had signed it ‘Ambrose Clipper, January 1884’.
Three more books were also signed by Ambrose between 1884 and 1887.
Lyle took the collection to Toovey’s Auctioneers in Washington to get them valued.
“They said they were not really of value, but I told them that they are of local interest,” said the 78-year-old.
Upon further research, Lyle stumbled across an old newspaper clipping – possibly from the Herald – which told the story of the Chipper family who have links to Tarring.
In the article, Ambrose is mentioned as a local resident, along with his siblings Luke, Obadiah and Louisa, who all worked on the land in High Street Tarring and lived above a few small shops, working as millers and bakers.
Ambrose’s mother was born around 1812 to 1820 and would collect rent from her tenants on a Friday. She was regarded as the guiding force in the family.
Direct descendents of the Chipper family are the Banfills.
Lyle discovered that Vera Banfill was Ambrose’s great great granddaughter and she lived at North Lodge Mansions, Christchurch Road, Worthing.
Vera is the one credited for writing the article on her family’s history.
“But Vera died in 2012. I also found that a Jack Banfill lived there, but died sometime before,” he said.
Now Lyle’s investigation has come to a standstill, he would like to appeal to anyone who may have more information about the Chipper or Banfill families or know of their descendents.
He said: “I should imagine the descendents of the family would be interested to see them, especially with the signatures.”
Anyone with information about the families should contact the Herald.