Stamford Tenants publication 23 October

Pre-orders for delivery by 23 October are now closed but it is possible to order for delivery after publication date HERE.

Articles about the book will appear in Active magazine at the end of October and the Stamford Mercury on 23 October.

The book will be available from Walkers bookshop on Stamford High Street from 23 October. John will hold a book signing from a market stall outside of M&CO on Stamford High Street on Saturday 24 October.


         “Meticulously researched and beautifully presented, Stamford Tenants would definitely appeal to those with local history interests or those seeking inspiration for their own house history project. If you have Stamford connections, the pages will reveal a fascinating history on your doorstep that you may have yet to explore; and, if you are tracing a house history, the way that John Daffurn has woven case studies, high quality illustrations and useful timelines, setting out the history in interestingly themed chapters, provides an impressive example of a century of history”

Family Tree  magazine

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On track for launch

If you are interested in more information about Stamford Tenants please register HERE

The book will look like this when it is launched towards the end of October …


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Next steps

If you are interested in additional information about Stamford Tenants please register HERE

The manuscript is being typeset as we speak and estimates are in from the printers.

My mind has turned to marketing the book and myself…the bit I hate. However I have set up a dedicated instagram account @stamfordtenants and this provides images and information about many of the other properties owned by Richard Newcomb or his heirs.

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Final Book Cover

If you are interested in further information please register HERE

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My new book

A few years ago, whilst living in a Grade II listed terrace house in Stamford, I wondered who had lived in the house before me.

The terrace of ten houses was built in 1841 by Richard Newcomb, the proprietor of the Stamford Mercury. However, it is unusual because the whole terrace was owned by only two families for over one hundred years. In order to find who had lived in my house I had to look for tenants and not freeholders.

I successfully completed the searches for my house but realised that many other interesting people lived in the other houses. That was the genesis for my new book:


a history of Rock Terrace and its occupants

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A reawakening

I haven’t posted for some time.

Moving house and shielding from Coronavirus has slowed the pace of life and severely curtailed travel in 2020.

However, one benefit of lock down is the additional time which has allowed me to pick up, and almost complete, a project I have been working on for two years. A local history book about a row of ten terraced houses built in 1841, and all who lived in them during the one hundred years until 1941.

This site has been refreshed and is ready to bring you more news as I move towards the  publication of my second book.

Watch this space.

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Two years ago I visited Argentina to research for my book Seeking John Campbell. Now in less than two weeks time I will return. Not for further research but to visit places in Argentina, Peru and Chile that have always held a fascination for me.

I have up a new travel blog for the trip Grey Trails: Solo travel in retirement

If you want to follow my trip through South America you can access the blog through the link above.

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Latest Reviews of Seeking John Campbell

The following reviews of Seeking John Campbell have been recently published on Goodreads and Amazon.

“…excellent for anyone who likes reading real-life adventures…”

See full review by Rebecca McNutt HERE

four starsGoodreads

“Written with the verve of a detective, the tenacity of an academic, and the creativity of a novelist…”

See full review by David Lankester HERE

four gold starsAmazon

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Article in Stamford Living – March Edition

stamford livingMarch edition of Stamford Living reviews Seeking John Campbell and explores issues around self-publication/

See the full article at Stamford Living


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Latest Review – Family Tree magazine, March 2015 edition

A genealogical quest

Seeking John Campbell: Finding Pioneers & Patriots in the Pampas by John Daffurn

signedThis remarkable real-life story reveals what happened when the author, amateur British genealogist John Daffurn, set himself an heir-hunting exercise that turned into a four-year obsession. The story begins in 2010 when John, on a whim, picked a random name from the Government’s Bona Vacantia list of more than 10,000 people who had died intestate, in a bid to discover why professional heir-hunters had not identified any living descendants to claim the estate. In the process of this ‘intellectual challenge’, which, as John states, is ‘a genealogical jigsaw puzzle that, even if it ended in failure, would enhance my ancestry research skills’, he uncovers the fascinating family histories of three men called John Campbell, all possible candidates for being the father of the deceased 68-year-old widow of interest, (Mary) Isabel Greig, who died on New Year’s Eve 1995. The three John Campbells’ family stories take us on a fascinating journey from Prussia and the Scottish lowlands to Argentina (where Isabel was born illegitimate), then back to Europe and the horrors of World Wars I and II. Covering the history of two families descended from the Symmetry migrants who sailed to Argentina from Leith in 1825, and a third family descended from the town’s Gibson shipbrokers, it details the impact Scottish migrants had on Argentina, and how the later world wars tore families apart. Interestingly, what started as a genealogical experiment turns into a heart-felt quest to record past lives of those lost in the mists of time, or at the very least precariously perched on the peripherals of family memory.

The research undertaken is incredible – the history and biographies are wonderfully detailed, with plenty of photographs too, to picture the individuals and places involved, along with family trees to keep you on track. The delicate process of ancestral discovery – which also contains useful research tips – is woven into a thoughtful first-person narrative that never grows tired or dull. Indeed, the final outcomes of John’s adventures are touching and not entirely expected, and are something from which we can all perhaps learn. So, did he manage to identify Isabel’s family and trace living heirs to her estate? Well now, that would be telling.

 ISBN: 9780993147906. RRP £9.99 paperback, RRP £4.79 Kindle. Eptex. Available from Amazon.

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