TWO HOSPITAL workers have discovered they have more in common than their jobs – they also share a common ancestor.
Neil Adams, West Suffolk Hospital consultant of 25 years, met registrar Natasha Lawrence for the first time when she joined the Bury St Edmunds staff in February.
Then, two weeks ago, the pair got talking about family trees and, recognising the same unusual name, they decided to compare Mr Adams’ research with that carried out by Mrs Lawrence’s father.
This led to the startling discovery that they do in fact share a common ancestor – John Elworthy, born in Witheridge, north Devon, in 1679.
Mr Adams, who is also president of the History of Anaesthesia Society, said: “A lot of us are probably related, it’s only that Elworthy is an unusual name that the penny started to drop.”
“The coincidence is that we both work in the same hospital,” he added.
The 58-year-old started researching his family tree when he was just 15.
His extensive research has produced a tree detailing more than 1,000 relatives, with George Ellworthie born in 1550 – John Elworthy’s great great grandfather – at the top.
The father-of-two said: “Myself and Natasha’s father are eighth cousins and she becomes the eighth cousin once removed. That makes my grandson and her son tenth cousins.”
Mrs Lawrence nee Elworthy said she was excited to learn that someone she shared a common ancestry with also shared the same profession as her.
“It makes you realise what a small world it is,” said the 31-year-old.