Most of the people in Blaxhall will tell you that there are two big families in the village, the Smiths and the Lings. The Smiths are known as good stepdancers and the Lings as good singers. lntermarriage and the relatively stable population of the village, now altered by an influx of newcomers, has made a complex web of relationships which are very difficult to disentangle. It seems, however, that most of the population are related in some degree, and that people define their own relationships with each other broadly on the basis of a “close” relationship or a “back” relationship. Close relatives are mothers, fathers, siblings, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and cousins; all others are “back” relatives. Confusions arise through marriage when names are changed, but awareness of family is strong and identity is kept. Lings can be traced in the genealogies of every other local family. The Lings split into factions whereby some Lings say that they are not related to other Lings because they have different historical or geographic origins. Ruby Ling in Snape, Percy Ling’s wife’s family, who were also Lings, and George and Basil Bennett whose mother was a Ling, all say that they are not related to the Blaxhall Lings. The Lings identify themselves into family groups, and it is in one of these particular groups that several singers are found.

1 Green Bushes Geoff Ling
2 On Board the Leicester Castle George Ling
3 The Lobster Percy Ling
4 Died for Love Geoff Ling
5 Little Ball of Yarn Geoff Ling
6 The Lakes of Coolfin George Ling
7 The Deserter George Ling
8 Little Sweetheart Percy Ling
9 Jolly Jack the Sailor George Ling
10 A Group of Young Squaddies Geoff Ling
11 On the Banks of the Clyde Geoff Ling
12 Underneath Your Apron Percy Ling
13 The Bonny Bunch of Roses George Ling
14 Nancy of Yarmouth George Ling
15 The Man all Tattered and Torn Percy Ling
16 Fagin the Cobbler Percy Ling

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