My family history

Alice Maud Bussey/Wells 1873-1965 Lydia Matthews/Phillips 1886-1963
My two grandmothers as young women: (above) Alice Maud Bussey/Wells 1873 - 1965 and (below) Lydia Matthews/Phillips 1886 - 1963.

These pages were compiled by my father Richard Phillips who sadly passed away in October 2015. He had been carrying out family history research since the early 90s.

I intend to leave the information here online as a basic outline of his research. I might carry out my own investigations in future. I can be contacted at, however, I regret that I have little free time for answering enquiries to present.

Results of my father's DNA tests will remain available for matching on the 23andme and Family Tree DNA sites.

Will Phillips, May 2016

My ancestors lived in different parts of England and included cork cutters, coppersmiths and a convict. You will also find bakers, bricklayers, coopers, artists, doctors of medicine, a mathematician, a sailor 'prest' into the navy, and the illegitimate offspring of a knight. These webpages show a little of what I have discovered about them.

The main surnames are Bussey (& Bussy), Dance, Denham (& Dinham), Figgins, Fitzgerald, Mason, Matthews (& Mathews), Phillips, Wells, Wheeler, and Whittaker.

Good luck with your own family history!

Richard Phillips

Short index

DNA & family history

DNA testing can help family history research in a number of different ways. I would be particularly interested in contacting anyone who has taken a DNA test and believes they are related to one of the families listed here.

I have results from yDNA tests for my Phillips and Wells families. This tests the Y chromosome which is passed down the male line, and so is usually passed on with the surname. I am grateful to the Wells family DNA project and the Phillips DNA project for co-ordinating these tests.

I have also taken a DNA test through 23andme. This is an 'autosomal' test which has a much wider scope because it samples DNA inherited from all my ancestors. Potentially, it should match anyone who shares one of my ancestors, although the likelihood of a match falls off after about five generations. If you have done a similar test, you can check whether you match my data on the GEDmatch website. My test kit number is M112152. My data is also on FTDNA.

"DNA in family history: a personal view of taking part in an international DNA study" is the title of a talk which I have given more than six times to family history societies and other interested groups in England. It is a based on my Wells family and explains my personal experiences of using DNA for family history, without too much technical detail.