Let me first acknowledge those people and organisations that have assisted with this project:Firstly, my son Howard and his wife Shelley who, on a trip to England, undertook a very Shelley, laborious task of starting to look for our Family. On their return to New Zealand, they presented me with their findings and after some dallying; I decided to proceed, not knowing what lay ahead. Many thanks to you both.Next, Bonnie Weber from Canada. We talked often over the Internet, trying to work outif we were right or wrong, and by trial and error, I think we have nearly arrived, after all,Bonnie has only been doing this research for the Baker connection, for about 40 years. Maureen Nicholls from the Cambridgeshire Family History Society With her help and Society. knowledge, we were pointed in the right directions and her assistance cannot be over emphasised.Now the Sites: Ancestry.co.uk, FindMyPast and Family Search.org. All had their part to play. Using the three sites together, made it possible to check and verify available information. I would certainly recommend this option if you are planning serious research. And now to you. I hope you enjoy this short journey you are about to undertake, just remember it spans some 500 years and many English Monarchs, if you use yourimagination, you will see the individuals, their homes and families and consider they are part of you. THANKYOU.PS. This story relates to the paternal line of one Baker Family, there are many avenues,both Maternal and Siblings that can be evolved and if you have a lifetime to spare, you might like to venture down these avenues. I do not consider this work complete. I amrelying on someone in the future to go the extra mile or perhaps the extra 500 years!!!!!
The Baker Family How do you start the story of a Family? Do you start at the beginning and work backward or do you go the other way.There are many factors to take into account. What is actually known and can be provedby written documentation, what is pure speculation based on known facts that can only be linked by imagination and realistic guess work, and that which is based on pure chance. All these come into play when deciding how to relate human lives into abelievable story that can be of interest to people who are alive today. So, I think we will begin in the middle, work back and see how we go. My reasons for this are many but one of our ancestors, Abraham Baker born1689 in Weston Colville in the South East corner of Cambridgeshire, plays a vital role. We must go back nearly 500 hundred years, for it is here that written evidence isavailable to give our family a flying start. Although bathed in mystery and disabled by
medieval culture, we find the first good evidence of a Baker Family living in rural Cambridgeshire, Cambridgeshire England. I think a couple of points should be born in mind by the reader. Between 1500 and 1800 there were very few roads, as we know them, no cars, telephones or writtencommunication. Most people couldn’t write, they entrusted scribes to do that for them, if they could afford them. Most people living in a rural community relied on thatcommunity to give them the sustenance to live their daily lives but did move around the countryside as the whim and need took them. Travel in those days was restricted to how far a man could walk; few had the luxury of a horse. The Smith, Baker, Taylor, Constable, Barber plus many others, were known by the trade that they plied. It had only recently been the custom to give people other forenames to identify them individually. So we must conclude that our Baker Family was confined to this area of Cambridgeshire and probably had been for some considerable time before we paid them a visit. Our records of their existence come from Parish records kept by people who themselves had very little education. There were no census, birth, death or marriage records that we have today. Our knowledge of their lives has come to us bychance, snippets of information placed in documents that have survived the ravages of time. Over several months, I have covered many villages in Cambridgeshire andSuffolk trying to establish a direct line from the early 16th centaury. I have still not succeeded to my own satisfaction. Rather than completely rewrite this
story over and over again, I have left in what I started, because you never know, it might prove right.I am going to recall some names that I have come across during my research. Up to about 1693, there is a great deal of surmise on my part and by other people checking the Baker line for their own Family story. So, when you seethis sign (?) behind a name, a date or an incident, it means that you may have to do more research to establish authenticity. I leave that to you. Lets start: James II’s reign has just ended and William III and Mary II of Orange, are proclaimed King and Queen of England and the Great Fire of London had gone out.Abraham Baker born 1689 in Weston Colville, Cambridgeshire is one of nineAbraham Bakers born in Cambridgeshire between 1668 and 1752. I am ableto confirm that with the exception of this Abraham, all the rest either died early or do not fit into the time-frame applicable to Abrahams life. _________________________________________Weston Colville is bounded on the north and south by the parishes of Brinkleyand West Wratting, and on the east by Carlton. It contains 2,943 acres; itspopulation in 1801 was 318; in 1831, 444; and in 1841, 530 souls. Theamount of assessed property is £ 2,442. The soil of the parish is rich, and theprincipal proprietor is John Hall, Esq., the lord of the manor.
Church of St Mary’s, Weston Colviller. The principal manor was for several generations in the family of Colville, towhich it appears to have passed by marriage with an heiress of the Uffords in the reign of Edward I. It was afterwards in the possession of the Fyndernefamily, from which it passed successively to the families of Elliott, Puttenham, Dacre, and Carter, and it is now the property of Mr. Hall. "BALSHAM is a parish and village, 4 miles north-north-east from Linton BALSHAMstation, 4 north from Bartlow station on the Cambridge and Sudbury section ofthe London and North Eastern railway, and 10 south-east from Cambridge, in the hundred of Radfield, union and petty sessional division of Linton, county
court district of Cambridge, rural deanery of Camps and archdeaconry and diocese of Ely.The soil is clay and chalk; subsoil, chalk. The chief crops are wheat, barley and oats. The area is 4,550 acres; the population in 1921 was 695. ____________________________________Abraham’s father, Richard, was born in 1654 in Balsham, an adjacent Parishto Weston Colville and married Ann Rookes(?surname) on 5th January 1680in Weston Colville. They had 5 children. Richard born 1682, Mary born 1684,Thomas born 1686, Abraham born 1689(Our Abraham) and Ann born 1692. All these children, except Abraham, were born in West Wratting, another adjacent Parish to Weston Colville.Ann Rookes was born in Wood Ditton, another nearby Parish, in 1647. She died in Weston Colville in 1771. Richard senior Died in West Wratting in 1746.I should add here that this southeast corner off Cambridgeshire had severalBaker family groups concentrated in a relative small area, so more research maybe needed (?). It is probable that they are all inter-related.It was about this time that William Shakespeare died, the Mayflower had justlanded in America and Charles I was King of England and was to face a Civil War. Richards father, Thomas was born 1619, (the year after Sir Walter Raleigh was executed), in Balsham and married a Margaret Peacock/Peckock/Piggott(?) at AllSaints Church, Cambridge on 11 February 1650. She was born in Cambridge in 1629.
Here is our first problem. There is no record of a marriage between Thomas and Margaret; I am only going on surmise by other people. It would also appear that Richard was their only child which is very unusual unless Margaret died early and perhaps Thomas remarried or moved away.(?) More research is needed here. Balsham Church Thomas’s father was Edmund(us) born 1577 in Balsham and he marriedElizabeth Bales in 1599 at Balsham at her early age of 15 years(?) she being born in 1584. They had 5 children, all born in Balsham. A female born 1602who must have died in infancy, Susanna born 1608, Helena born 1611, Joan1614 and our Thomas in 1619. It is very likely that Edmund(us), like his father,was a member of an unusual religious sect called ‘The Family of Love’ whichflourished between 1550 and 1630 and had a centre in Balsham along with a small group of Quakers. There are references to this group on the Internet. ‘The Family of Love’ had its origins in Holland hence you will find some unusual names for the siblings of Edmund(us). Edmun(us) died in Balsham in 1648 aged 71 years. It is not known when Elizabeth died(?) Edmundus’s father was Johnis who was born in Balsham in 1542,(Mary, Queen of Scots accedes to the Scottish Throne) he married Anna Tassell at Balsham on 20th October 1572. Anna was born to another large Balsham
Family in 1568. Edmundus and Anna had nine children, all born in Balsham. Willmus born 1573, Bartholomeus born 1575, Our Edmundus born 1577 1577,Anna born 1579, Johanna born 1582, Richardus born 1584, Faith born 1587, Annabella born 1591 and Johannes born 1593. It is very likely that Johnis followed in his Father’s footsteps and farmed in the area. There were a fewprominent families in Balsham who belonged to the ‘Family of Love’ sect and it becomes obvious that they liked to inter-marry and associate with other members of the sect, not only from Balsham but also London, Ely andWisbech. Many of their children have similar names to Johnis’s children. It is very likely that due to persecution of the Sect, many members of these families eventually went to Europe via the ports of Wisbech and Kings Lynn and then onto America. It is likely that one or two of the Baker family went with them (?). Johnis died in Balsham in 1606 (Year after the Gunpowder Plot) and Anna died in 1623 also in Balsham.Thomas Baker, my 10th Great Grandfather, and Johnis’s father was probably father, born about 1520 (?), where, I cannot trace as yet. However, he lived in Balsham and married Alicia Mayler on 8 July 1566 at Balsham. We must assume they came from there or nearby. I do not have a date of birth for Alicia (?). They had 4 children, all born in Balsham. Thomas, I have no date of birth or death for him, our Johnis born 1542, Helena born 1567 and Annabella born 1575. Alicia died in 1577 and Thomas married Agenta(?) on 5 October 1579 and Agenta(?) had two children, Alicia born 1581 and Agenta born 1587 in Balsham.I have no details on Agenta or Joane Jiggon (?), whom Thomas married on 27 April 1590 in Balsham.Because of Thomas’s association with the ’Family of Love’ we do know a little about him. Below is an item taken from ‘The Family of Love in English Society, 1550-1630’ a book that is available and I hope to have a copy of 1550- soon. About 1560 Christopher Vitels, a disciple of the Family of Love, established at Balsham a congregation which by 1574 had aroused suspicion. Six members were
questioned but returned orthodox answers. They had at least five other sympathizers; there was another investigation in 1580, and some members were imprisoned. In 1609 Edmund Rule and John Taylor the elder, two of the original group, were again reported to belong to the Family. In 1686 John and Oliver Taylor of Balsham werenamed as recusants, perhaps suggesting a continuing tradition of dissent in the Taylor family. In 1669 there was a small group of Quakers in Balsham. By 1672 they had joined the meeting at Linton, but John Webb, whose name appears from the 1650s, held regular meetings at his house in Balsham. (fn. 191) In 1679 there were four Quakers in Balsham, but by 1682 some had been won back to the church by the rector, Dr. John Templar. (fn. 192)From: Parishes: Balsham, A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 6 (1978), pp. 127-135. URL: http://www.british- history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=66714 Date accessed: 24 April 2011.Around this time, England had seen Henry Viii cowned,, the Scottish hadbeen defeated at Flodden, Henry had sought an annulment of his marriage toCatherine of Aragon and then severed ties with Rome and declared himselfHead of the English Chuirch.
Our Family are farming in and around Balsham, they may have done so formany years prior to our visit or they may have come to Balsham from someother part of the Country, who knows. There is evidence that Thomas mayhave come from Kidderminster, Worcs or Calne in Wiltshire. In time it may be frompossible to ascertain these facts but at present we must satisfy ourselves with know.what we knowWe must now go forward a few hundred years and pick up our story withAbraham born 1689 in Weston Colville. He obviously met a Lydia Neeve,who was born in Coton on 17 Dec 1700. How or why this union was made,we do not know but Abraham married Lydia at Coton on 20th Sept 1723 andset up home there. He may have farmed, like his forefathers, in this area.Abraham and Lydia had 2 children both born in Coton. Richard born 17 June1724 and Sarah born 21 June 1727. Abraham died at 38 years in Coton on21 October 1727. Lydia remarried William Howe in Coton in 1736. Coton Church
Coton, Cambridgeshire Coton is a small village and civil parish about two miles (about 3 km) west ofCambridge in Cambridgeshire, England and about the same distance east of the Prime Meridian. It belongs to the administrative district of South Cambridgeshire. The parish covers an area of 392 hectares (970 acres). In the 2001 census it had a population of 773, with approximately 336 dwellings and 322 households. History Coton is not mentioned in the Domesday Book, as the land forming the village belonged at that time to Grantchester. However, in the Middle Ages, Coton became a separate parish. There are no references to a separate Coton population prior to 1500, but by 1563, 21 families are recorded as living in the village. The population grew slowly over the next two centuries, reaching 126 by 1801 and then more than trebledto 390 during the 19th century. Further population growth came in the 1940s, when an estate of Council houses was built at the west end of the village (Whitwell Way) and in the 1960s, when further houses were built between the High Street and the 1940s estate . Toft ChurchRichard married Mary Steward at Toft on 22 June 1756. They were employed as servants to the Rector of Toft, Thomas Metcalfe(1715-1772) They had 6 children, the first, Mary, born in Toft in 1757, married Samuel Mathews and had one son, Samual born 1796; and then Richard, born 21January 1759 in Comberton From this we can deduce that the family moved Comberton.to Comberton in or around 1758 and that Richard Senior, farmed in that area.
There is evidence to show(Cambridge Newspaper dated 12 June 1778) that Richard leased farmland in that area.Their other children were: William born 16 November 1761, married Elizabeth Mathews on 22 April 1788, they had one son, Thomas, born 1790 in Barton where he farmed 330 acres;Lydia born 14 September 1766, the only record seems to show she had one daughter, Lydia, born 14 December 1791; Elizabeth born 06 November 1768, married William Wootten on 17 October 1786 and had one son, James, born 20 December 1795; Thomas born 31 March 1771 and died 08 December 1846 and Sarah born 24 April 1774 and married John Bonnett on 20 July 1809.
Richard Senior died in Comberton on 07 September 1808: Mary died at Comberton on 21 April 1790. We now follow the eldest son Richard born 1759. He lived in Comberton and became a Farrer. He married Hannah Wootton(?spelling of last name) on 27 April 1788 in Comberton. They may have had 9 children(?). It is possible that this may increase with further research. 1789(we William was born 25 January 1789(we will follow William). Richard born 21 February 1790, who married Elizabeth Martin on 20 May1823. They had 4 children, James, Mary, Richard and James. Richard died 22 February 1827 at Comberton and Elizabeth died 24 June 1839, also at Comberton;Thomas, born 30 January 1791, married Phoebe Rust on 24 November 1812. They had 6 children, Lydia, Mary, Thomas, Phoebe, Susan and Isobel; Mary born 14 July 1793, married William Wootton 27 March 1815; James, born 28June 1795, died 21 March 1797 aged 2 years; Hannah, born 12 Fenruary 1797, married James Wootton 16 June 1818; Sarah born 06 October 1799, married James Warboys 20 February 1821; Lydia born 08 May 1803, married Thomas Wootton 25 August 1828 and James born 18 March 1804 who died 24 January 1847.
William,William, born 1789, married Hannah Rust on 13 December 1809. According to the 1841 Census they lived in Green Street, Comberton and William was employed as a Blacksmith. They had 10 Children: Lydia born 17 November 1811, married Henry Mutton in 1836;Sarah born 25 December 1813; Louisa born 25 December 1815 and died 05 October 1847; Susan born 22 March 1818 and died 01 December 1843; Elizabeth born 02 April 1820 and married Benjamin Garner 1850; William born 24 March 1822 (whom we shall follow); Hannah born 25 December 1824 and died 05 January 1861; Emma born 04 February 1827 and died 25 June 1907; Eliza born 09 June 1830 and Harriett born 04 June 1834 who married William Ingrey in 1856.William died 27 April 1867 and Hannah died 26 March 1863. They are buried in Comberton Church along with their daughters, Louisa and Emma. Tombstone below. Now, as a slight break, some of the history of CombertonCOMBERTON, a parish in the hundred of WETHERLEY, county of CAMBRIDGE, 5¾ miles (W.S.W.) from Cambridge, containing 383 inhabitants. The living is a discharged vicarage, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Ely, rated in the kings
books at £6. 18. 11½., and in the patronage of the Master and Fellows of Jesus College, Cambridge. The church is dedicated to St. Mary. Scenes from Comberton The Three Horseshoes Pub todayWilliam was born 24 March 1822 and married Mary Looker in Comberton on 20 November 1846. Mary had been born in Comberton in 1828.William worked as a blacksmith and brewer. According to the 1851 Census,William and Mary lived with their daughter, Lucy, in Comberton and William was employed as a blacksmith.
In the 1861 Census, William, Mary and the family lived at the Three Horse family,Shoes Pub in Comberton. They were still there during the 1871 Census, just before he died. William and Mary had 11 children, some achievement. Lucy, born 25 December 1849 died 29 March 1863. Martha Harriot, born 07 September 1851 died 27 January 1864. William, born 24 April 1853. Selina Emily, born 22 October 1854 died 30 August 1933. John Edward, born 08 June 1856 died 27 August 1929.We will follow John Minna 1913 John Edward James Thomas, born 07 October 1857. Janet Anne, born 20 March 1859. Louisa Eleanor, born 12 August 1860 died 04 November 1920. Anna Maria, born 27 April 1862 died 18 November 1941.
Charles Henry, born 20 March 1864 and Mary Anne Martha, born 03 December 1871.John Edward married Minna(?) Thorp(?) on 29 January 1880 at Grantchester,Minna’s birthplace. She was born there on 04 July 1858. They had 8 children. More research is needed to establish Date of Birth and Death for many of these. Gertrude,born July 1881; Oliver,born 18 July1883 died 21 March 1915:Frank,(we shall follow Frank) born 13 December 1895 died 07 February 1953;Jessie, born 1886 died July 1960; John, born 1888; Janet, born 1898; Bertie, born 1894 died 1953(?) and Mary-Ann (Polly)(?). In the 1881 Census John and Minna lived at 25 West End, Comberton andJohn was employed as a Blacksmith. In the 1891 census, he had moved hisfamily to West Wratting where he was again employed as a blacksmith. They lived at 13 Fleame Dyke. In 1887 they moved to Grantchester where Johnwas again employed as a Blacksmith, chimney sweep and was elected Parish Constable, firstly in 1897 and again from 1900-1903. John Died 23 August 1929 and Minna Died 13 March 1917, they are buried in Grantchester. Now we come to my father Frank. Dad dressed for war 1914. Mum in her younger years
Family Wedding Newnham 1913-Jessie Baker and Mr Fishenden(?) 1913- Fishenden(?)The families listed include the Bakers, Fishendens, Allgoods, Landers, Priors, Martins and Emmins,I know very little about Frank’s early life. From the 1911 Census, I did find aFrank Baker living at 32 West Street Comberton and another at 24 FerrisRoad in Wandsworth, London and this might tie in with reports that he workedin a Fish Shop in South London. On his later Marriage Certificate to CharlotteAmelia O’Shea, he is shown as a ‘Master Fishmonger-ex Army’. Reportssuggest that when war broke out in 1914, he lied about his age and wasenlisted, probably in a London Regiment (?)..He was apparently gassed inAug 1916 and was discharged as a Corporal. It is very likely that, he metCharlotte during the celebrations for the end of WW1 somewhere in London,probably Wandsworth where Mum lived. They had a rather rushed weddingat Wandsworth Registry Office on 17th January 1921. Their first child, DorothyMinna was born on 01 July 1921 at Wandsworth. Joyce Millicent was bornOctober 1923 at Wandsworth.
Then, under a joint Government scheme, Frank, Charlotte, Dorothy and Joyce immigrated to Australia as part of an effort by the Australian Government to develop the area called Redcliffs just outside Mildura in Victoria. Settlers were housed in small Bach’s on an area that they had to clear the scrub andthen sow wheat. Water was of prime concern but the Government promisedthat water from the River Murray would be diverted and that all they needed to do was build dams to hold that water.The Land today The Dam…Remains of the Baker estate!!! SchoolFrank, Dorothy and Present day MuseumJoyce in the Mallee
By Jan/Feb 1934, with no river water coming their way and after about 5 yearsof drought, our family, which had increased by one more, Margaret Elizabeth Elizabeth,born 2 February 1930 at the Mallee, Victoria, along with many other families,decided they had had enough hardship and got the Government to ship them back to England, so in Jan/Feb 1934, they boarded the SS Barradine for the long ride home. In 1934,the family lived at 34 Fulton Road, Earlsfield and Frank worked withSid Allgood in Garrett Lane Fish and Chip shop ( Sid Allgood is pictured in the Newnham family wedding photo above). Sometime during the 30’s he attended a Health Spa in Bath for treatment of his arthritis. Bath Health Spa. Frank back row far right. At the outbreak of WW2 Margaret(Betty) was evacuated to Goldaming, and Dad went from London to work in the NAAFI at Blackpool. This sketch was done by Pat Rooney, a newspaper artist.1939
In 1940, the Family left London and moved to Cambridge and lived above acorner shop in Hooper Street, off Kingston Street, Mill Road. Aunt Gert lived around the corner at 1 Sturton Street. Frank had returned from Blackpool and worked at Short’s assembly plant in Madingley Road, Cambridge, producing Wellington bombers in two newly erected hangars. He was employed there for the duration of the war.In November 1941 John Edward was born at the Mill Road maternity hospital(Do I hear a fanfare!!!) and Mum and Dad took over a requisitioned house at 49 Argyle Street, Cambridge.Cambridge was not greatly affected by bombing during the war although therewere a few spasmodic raids. On one, aimed at the railway yards very near toour house, apparently a piece of shrapnel came through our roof and landedon our kitchen table (?). The result of this raid was a row of houses adjacent to the Mill Road Bridge, being destroyed and several people killed. After the war, Frank got a job at Magdalene Street Bridge boat yard, ownedby Reynolds of the Garden House Hotel. During the summer he worked longhours and during the winter was kept busy doing maintenance on the boats. About this time, Cecil Goode, a friend from Australia, came back toCambridge. His parents lived in Devonshire Road. He renewed his friendship with the Baker family. Towards the end of the 1940’s, Frank and Charlotte separated. Mumcontinued to see Cecil and Dad met up with Maud Churchman, whom he had met whilst working at Short’s. Dad married Maud in 1950 and moved to Howard Road on the Newmarket Road estate. He continued to work at the Boatyard until his death in 1953. From my memories of my father, I thought of him as a man who loved hisfamily, had a very generous streak, loved the horses and cards and was very much at home mixing with the variety of people that visited and hired boats
from him. He passed away, reading a newspaper in his armchair. I was 12when he died and was then sent to my Mother, who had married Cecil Goode. We lived in Stockwell Street for some years before moving to Keynes Road, on the Newmarket Road Estate. Charlotte Amelia died on 9 June 2003 aged 101 years.My years: Just after the war, I remember getting a train set for Christmas. Not just an ordinary train set but a pucker Canadian Pacific Loco and carriages that Dad had acquired by some means or other. There was also a modelhelicopter, both driven by electricity. Why I wasn’t electrocuted, I do not know, but wonderful toys for a young kid. The gas lighter, Mum cleaning the front doorstep, washing in cold water, outside toilets but lots of fun with the localkids. We were out from dawn to dusk, playing games, kicking a ball, playing ‘knock door bunk’ and going to school. I was at the Sedley Taylor School from 5 then onto the Romsey in Coleridge Road. I passed the dreaded 11 plus and moved to the Central Grammar School. Not a great scholar but always good for a bit of fun. Great memories and relationships were madeduring these years. Many of these relationships still survive, particularly with a young girl I saw peeping from one of the Girls school windows.There are many events that could have changed my life. Passing an exam to join a naval training ship when I was 12. Unfortunately, Mum couldn’t afford the fees. When I think back, how, going on this training ship may have changed the course of my history. I left school and began work as a clerk at Chivers factory at Histon. They made the best jam and we always got a big parcel of their produce atChristmas. I was just turned 17 when I joined the Metropolitan Police Cadets and after training, served at Harrow Road and Hampstead Stations. As a Senior cadet, I worked at the Recruiting Centre in Southwark. I was made a Constable at 19 and posted to Tottenham Court Road. One learns a greatdeal about life, working in the West End of London and when I was posted to the CID at West End Central, I spent most of the time walking the streets of
Soho seeking out the ‘villains’. When I didn’t do some things the way that asenior officer wanted them done, I received a posting to Shepherds Green and it was here that my major decision in life was to occur.That young girl who peeped from her school window, had always had a softspot in my heart, I had ‘been out’ with her on numerous occasions. We had spent long and happy hours together. Particularly at this spot. And so it was that I married Barbara Gillian Dant at Fen Ditton Church in September 1964
We lived in Cottenham, then moved to Roseford Road, Cambridge, and it was here that our two sons, Howard and Stuart were born I left the Police Force after about 10 years service and joined a Pharmaceutical Company, selling drugs to Doctors and Chemists. To cut a long story short, I immigrated to New Zealand and we lived in Wanganui,where we are still. Our children have grown rapidly and have eventually gone out into the world to seek their fortunes. And so, I end my story here. There are many personal episodes that I have missed on purpose; they play no part in this story. I hope you have enjoyed this little trip through time and, as I said earlier, I hope someone will take up the reins and try to fill in some of the gaps. Personally, this has been very rewarding and, to some extent, quite eyeopening. To find that my Great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great,great, great, great Grandfather lived in Balsham, some 20 miles from where I was born, raised and lived, is very satisfying. Will my Great, Great Grand children be able to feel the same?? THE END or is it just the beginning.