The Rattle Families

Thomas Watson Rattle was a Canadian genealogist who researched the Rattle family from around 1945 up until the late 1960s. He spent a considerable amount of time and money travelling to the UK and Europe, where he laboriously trawled through the genealogical records of those pre-computer days. He also received information and some photographs from those in the family who were prepared to speak to him at that time.

From the results of his researches over some twenty years, Thomas ultimately produced and published a book in 1968 called 'The Rattle Families'. It is not known exactly how many of these typewritten books were published, one recent guess was perhaps less than thirty. The book covers the Rattle family in the counties of Suffolk, Yorkshire and Somerset in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Franconia (around the Bavaria region of Germany). At the same time, Thomas also researched and wrote a history about his mother's family called 'The Watson Families'. This was a much lesser work and no surviving copies have been found to date.

This mini-website is provided online by the Reffell Family History website, to bring to present and future descendents the historical background and the content of the book, as a fitting tribute to Thomas and his incredible achievement. Through Thomas's endeavours, a valuable genealogical legacy has been preserved for future generations. Much of this, especially the ancestral photographs, may otherwise have otherwise have been lost forever.