A FAMILY history buff has encouraged others to keep track of their relatives, after discovering her great grandparents had a staggering 135 descendants in just five generations.

Charles and Alice Barker, who lived in Great Oakley, had nine children together.

And decades later their descendants, who have spread far and wide across the UK, came together to reunite.

Val Wrycraft, of Little Oakley, a great-granddaughter of the couple, said the reunion included four generations of the family.

Charles was the foreman in charge of the workforce at Great Oakley Hall and died in 1932.

While many of the family still live locally in the Harwich and Manningtree areas, some have moved as far away as Lincolnshire, Birmingham and Wales.

But no matter what the distance, Val said it is important to keep in contact with family.