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Hartwell family introduction

The Hartwell family
You have selected the Hartwell family.  You may recognise some of Irene's relations in the slide show above.   Below is an introduction to her family.

  • The Hartwell family as covered here includes Irene's ancestors and the ancestry of her children, most of her grandchildren and some of her cousins.
  • Irene is half English and half Austrian.  Her father Gerald was one of 10 children, born in Bletchley in Buckinghamshire.   His parents were both originally from Banbury in Oxfordshire.  Their ancestry was largely limited to the area around Banbury, covering the near parts of Northamptonshire and Warwickshire.   Some also came from the area around Buckingham.
  • In the second World War, Gerald served as a cook in the 8th army in North Africa.   At the end of the war, he and his comrades were moved up to Villach, a railway town in Karnten in Southern Austria.   Gerald, along with some comrades, was invited to a Christmas party by an Austrian lady who had been an au pair in London in the 1930s.   She had been well treated by the family she stayed with, and wanted in some way to repay the kindness she had received.   It was at this Christmas party that Gerald met Paula Mitterer, who had no love for the English enemy and had to be almost forced to attend.   The ensuing courtship between them must have been strange since neither could speak the other's language.   Nevertheless, Gerald succeeded in persuading Paula to marry him.  They married in Villach in early 1947.
  • Shortly afterwards, they set off for a new life in Bletchley in England.   It must have been very difficult for Paula, for she was regarded as the enemy by most of Gerald's family.   But they persevered and established a successful butchery business in Bletchley.   And every summer they returned with their children Irene and John to their Austrian family for a long holiday.   This is probably why Irene and John feel lucky that they have 2 home countries.
  • Paula's ancestry has mainly been revealed through the efforts of Irene's cousin, Richard Pinteritsch.   It has been limited to Karnten.  However 2 of Paula's brothers emigrated to Canada, which has consequently been the scene of several holidays for Irene and me.
  • Because Irene and her husband Dave Foster have no shared children, their genealogies are kept separate.   However, each of them appears twice on this site, once in their own tree and once as a spouse in the other person's tree.   For this reason, there is a Same Person link near the top of each of our individual record pages.
  • Again, because Irene and her friend of many years Trevor King share a common ancestor, Richard Anstee, dating back to the 1500s, Richard himself and his children each appear twice on this site, once in the Hartwell tree and once in the King/Bates tree.   For this reason, there is a Same Person link near the top of each of the individual record pages.
  • AND ANOTHER THING!  Irene paints.    To see her work, just click here.

♦   The most recent change on this web site has been the greater separation of the Foster and Hartwell trees to enable the introduction of the King/Cox tree.

♦   The recent availability online of Bucks, Oxfordshire and Warwickshire parish records have allowed filling of many gaps in Irene's history..