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My family

52 Ancestors: Week 43 – Shock

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. I should have completed all 52 prompts by now, but I will do so as soon as possible.

The death of George Wadsworth, my third great grandfather must have been a shock to his family and friends.

July was the time for Sunday School outings. Many from Wickersley visited Roche Abbey, just under five miles away. It was an exciting treat for the children who were piled into waggons and set off in a procession. At the Abbey there would have been games, perhaps cricket, tea and hymn singing. Each denominational Sunday School would have gone on a different day, the Primitive Methodists one day, the Wesleyan Sunday School another day.

On Tuesday 1st July 1856 very stout George Wadsworth was talking cheerfully to his neighbour[1] as they waved off the St. Albans’s Sunday School group as they made their merry way to Roche Abbey. The treat had been paid for by rector Rev. John Foster.

Roche Abbey (c) English Heritage

As he was watching the group, which probably included his children, 14 year old Sarah Ann, 11 year old John, 3 year old Frederick George and maybe even 1 year old Mary Jane, George “reeled round and feel down dead.”[2]

An inquest was held at the White Lion Inn the following day and it was ruled that he had died from apoplexy. Now, we would probably call this a stroke.

In Memory of
GEORGE WADSWORTH
who departed this life July 1st 1856
aged 38 years
Be ye ready in such an hour as this
ye think not the son of man cometh
Matt xxIV 44
also Jane (Widow) of the above
who feel asleep April 20th 1891 aged 73 years
also Frederick George youngest son of the above
who died August 30th 1920
aged 67 years
Peace Perfect Peace

George was buried the day after the inquest on 3rd July 1856.[3] Despite having an exact date of death, and knowing that he was in Wickersley at the time I have been unable to find a death certificate for George Wadsworth. There just isn’t anything, that I can find, looking at both the FreeBMD index and the newer General Register Office index just doesn’t show anything with any spelling of George or Wadsworth that I can think of, with the right age, even allowing for the discrepancy between the gravestone and the newspaper reports.

We don’t know if George’s widow Jane was with him when he collapsed, but however she found out it must have been a shock that her husband had died so quickly and so young. My next job is to find if he left a will, pre 1858 so trickier to locate!

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References
  1. Wickersley Web. http://www.wickersleyweb.co.uk/gen/wadsworth.htm : accessed 06 March 2009.
  2. Sheffield Independent. (1856) Sudden Death At Wickersley. Sheffield Independent. 05 July. p. 8d. https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000181/18560705/032/0008 : accessed 01 January 2022.
  3. Burials. England. St. Albans, Wickersley, Rotherham. 03 July 1856. WADSWORTH, George. Box 1 1813 – 1863. Rotherham Archive Centre.

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My family

52 Ancestors: Week 40 – Preservation

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. I should by now be writing week 52, but study, work and life got in the way. I’m aiming to catch up over the 12 days of Christmas.

As a genealogist the obvious place to go with the “Preservation” prompt would be something about storing records, but a brief chat with my family for inspiration has taken me in a completely different direction. I have written before about my maternal grandmother in the kitchen. The huge chest freezer in the pantry was a vital part of the domestic regime. The freezer, one of those big enough to hide a body, filled about half of the pantry. This was a cold store, next to the kitchen accessed from the hallway, down three or four stone steps. The floor was tiled, and there was a huge stone shelf on which salad items, homemade potted meat, butter (in the summer) and all manner of food stuffs were kept cool. There was a small fridge in the kitchen but the pantry was the place for food storage.

Whenever we stayed, until not long before Grandma had to go to live permanently in a care home there were pies and fruit desserts made from the freezer. I remember that frozen rhubarb and strawberries had to be eaten together, if one ran out we couldn’t have the other!

Grandpa was a keen gardener, and as well as strawberries and rhubarb, other fruits were grown and preserved in the freezer for use over the rest of the year. My sister remembers it being full of bags and boxes of homegrown fruit and vegetables. But Grandma didn’t just use the freezer, although it was a gamechanger for her.

Throughout my childhood the debate about Yorkshire puddings wasn’t about which meats they should be served with, but which course. They were mainly served for pudding, drenched in blackberry or raspberry vinegar. This was a very sweet homemade concoction.

Bessie Tomlinson’s recipe for blackberry vinegar. 1.5 pints blackberries, 1 pint vinegar, 1lb sugar. Put blackberries in a bowl and pour on vinegar, stand for 3 days , stir every day for 3 days, then strain through muslin. Boil with sugar for 15 mins. When cold bottle and cork well.

When we eventually cleared out the house there were plenty of Kilner jars. I don’t remember them being used, but Mum told me “Before the freezer she used to bottle things (hence all the Kilner jars). When I was a child she used to buy a whole tray of peaches to bottle. Most fruit and veg were only available in season, so preserving was much more a thing.” and “She also used to salt kidney beans to preserve them.”

Thinking about it, I may take after Grandma in some ways. I have a jar of homegrown redcurrants in honey on the kitchen worktop to spoon onto breakfast. There are homegrown apples, blackcurrants, mint and parsley in the freezer. I am not sure what Grandma would have made of kombucha which I make in Kilner jars.

If you haven’t come across Too Good to Go, do look up the App. It lets you buy and collect food that shops and restaurants would other throw away at the end of the day- at a great price – so it gets eaten instead of wasted. You don’t know exactly what’s in your order until you pick it up. Our local greengrocer wholesaler is particularly good! This box cost be £4.
In a particularly good Too Good To Go Magic bag this summer I received a honeydew melon and some fresh tarragon. I pureed the melon and froze in an ice-cube tray, and made a syrup with the tarragon. One cube of melon, mixed with white rum, tarragon syrup and either prosecco or seltzer makes a lovely cocktail!

Maybe Grandma would turn a blind eye to the alcohol and be proud that my favourite Christmas tipple this year uses preserved redcurrants in the form of vinbärssaft. I made the syrup made from homegrown redcurrants in the summer. I froze it in an ice-cube tray, one cube is the perfect amount for this cocktail.

Hard Ginger Vinbarssaft

inspired by https://schoolnightvegan.com/home/2018-11-26-hard-ginger-vinbrssaft-redcurrant-cordial-cocktail/

  • 1 tbsp Vinbärssaft
  • 50 ml whisky
  • 200 ml ginger ale/beer

Shake whisky & vinbärssaft. Pour over ice and top with ginger

Summer Kiss

inspired by https://food52.com/recipes/37140-summer-s-kiss-mojito

  • 1oz tarragon syrup
  • 4oz white rum
  • 100ml melon juice/puree

Stir/shake, poor over ice. Top up with seltzer or prosecco

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My family Pentrefelin wildlife

12 Days of Christmas #2

Fortunately no turtle doves have yet arrived, I dread to think what our cats Domino, Scrabble and Ludo would make of them.

The Society of Genealogists are sharing their own 12 days of Christmas, with Two Turtle Doves in India, Sarah Dove and Ellen Barons Dove. I had a a look at the ‘Women in India index’ but could not find any record of the Wadsworth family that I know visited India in 1940s.

For the second day of 12 Days Wild and I created a Nature Mandela. Instructions from the Wildlife Trust are here. I also encountered sheep being taken from one farm to another to be scanned.

I have a Beanies Coffee 12 Days of Christmas calendar. Day 2 was Mint Chocolate “All-in-One” which I have put aside with my travel kettle. I’m really hoping for an opportunity to use it in 2022.

As promised I spent some time catching up with my #52 Ancestors blog today.

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Beginnings My family Pentrefelin wildlife

12 Days of Christmas #1

I’m pleased to say I have not received a Partridge in a Pear Tree, though I have received some lovely gifts, including a Harry Potter knitted jumper which I’m delighted with.

Apologies for radio silence in December. It has been an exciting and emotional month. I handed in my notice at Ffestiniog Travel. 17 years is a long time to work anywhere and I was sad to say goodbye but returning to the office after 18 months on furlough convinced me that it is time to move on. I will still be doing some tour leading, hopefully taking a group to Mallorca to explore the narrow gauge railways and trams in 2022. I have always enjoyed the job and the people, but I would always regret it if I didn’t give genealogy a try.

I’ve decided to follow the career advice of Katharine Whitehorn, a British journalist:

‘Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it.’
Observer, 1975

The Society of Genealogists are sharing their own 12 days of Christmas, beginning today with Partridge in a Pear Tree, or their version, a Partridge in PCC Admons. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next.

I am joining in 12 Days Wild and I began by walking off Christmas lunch, just enjoying the peace and quiet outside today. I found some festive Pokemon as well as festive plants. The road was surprisingly busy but the sky looked amazing.

I have a Beanies Coffee 12 Days of Christmas calendar. I do enjoy a flavoured coffee, but don’t like the sweetness of syrups so these are just right. Today I have Nutty Hazelnut and Orange Chocolate flavoured coffees.

As well as my sibling Max having their birthday today we have a surprising number of ancestors with Christmas Day birthdays.

  • 3rd great grandmother Jane Diamond was born today in 1839. She lived in Cumberland, now part of the Lake District. In 1905 she was living at Rainors Farm.
  • Her mother-in-law, my 4th great grandmother Ann Stewardson, was born today in 1810. She also spent her entire life in the Lake District.
  • On the same day my 3rd great granduncle Christopher Thomas Wadworth was born in Wickersley, West Yorkshire.

I plan to spend the rest of the 12 days of Christmas catching up with #52Ancestors and setting up Rhos Helyg Family History Services.

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My family

52 Ancestors: Week 35- School

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. I am way behind with my writing but I am trying to catch up.

The topic this week reminded me of some papers sitting at the bottom of a plastic storage crate. I have three crates of ephemera from my grandmother’s house, as well as photographs from my family and documents sent by other family historians with distant ancestors in common. Going through the crates and storing the documents in a ordered way is one of those tasks languishing on my to-do list. One day….

Anyway, I remembered some certificates from Grandma’s school days.

It looks as though Grandma went for about 2 years without a single day off school. Rather impressive! She must have been very healthy, or had parents who forced her into school no matter what.

That’s Grandma, aged 7 or 8, holding the board announcing that this school photo was Wickersley National School, Class 3, in 1924. I find it interesting that there was no school uniform, but several of the boys are wearing ties.

National schools were established by the Church of England Church, the one in Wickersley opened in 1855. Most are now Church of England (Aided) primary schools.

This photo was a year or two later, and I think the headmaster is the same. This is a single sex class, and the girls are all in uniform. Grandmas is the second girl from the right, standing at the back.

I am not sure at what age Grandma left school, or what, if any qualifications she had. However she was awarded this trophy when she was about 12 years old.

Wickersley
National School Sports
Awarded to
Bessie Wadsworth
for Highest Points Gain in
1928
Events

I wish I had spoken to her more about her schooling, I am sure it was very different to mine, as my education was very different to the current generation.


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[1] Draper, R. J., ed. (1988) Glimpses of Wickersley: A brief introduction to the history of Wickersley. Rotherham: Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham, Libraries, Museum and Arts Department. p. 27

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My family

52 Ancestors: Week 33- Tragedy

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. I am way behind with my writing but I am trying to catch up.

My last post was about my great grandparents, George Harry and Florence Wadsworth, and in it I briefly mentioned their first child George Hubert Wadsworth. He is the subject for today.

On 17 September 1900 George Harry and Florence Wadsworth first child, George Hubert Wadsworth was born at his parents’ home in Bramley Brook[1] less than 2 miles from Wickersley. He was the oldest of nine children,[2] the youngest of whom was my Grandmother, she was born when George Hubert was 16 years old. Two died as young children, but even as the oldest of seven siblings I can only imagine that Hubert took his responsibilities as big brother seriously – I do with only 3 younger siblings!

Hubert, as he was known to the family, went into the stone quarrying business with his father and uncles. In 1928 he married Stella Withers[3] and set up home in Rotherham.[4] Their only child, Joan Marie Wadsworth was born on 24th June 1929.

Hubert and Stella Wadsworth

On 16th August 1940 tragedy struck while Hubert was at work. He was working with Fred Hall moving sand into a conveyor to load a lorry. The sand shifted and Hubert was buried with only his head and shoulders visible. He was lifted out, but walked away and went home. Whether is was Stella who encouraged him to go to hospital, or he decided for himself we do not know. Hubert had fractured two ribs and ruptured his kidney. The doctors tried to operate but he died on 27th September. [5]

Hubert was buried in the churchyard at St Alban’s Wickersley, and his younger brothers were mentioned on the tombstone.

In
Loving Memory of
George Hubert Wadsworth
who died Sept 27 1940
aged 40 years
also John and Fred
brothers of the above
also of George Harry Wadsworth
beloved husband of
Florence
who died on Oct 22 1950
aged 79 years
Worthy of everlasting remembrance
Also of the above
Florence Wadsworth
who died May 20th 1957
aged 82 years
in heavenly love abiding. [7]


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52 Ancestors: Week 32- In The City

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. I am way behind with my writing but I am slowly catching up. I always think of my maternal grandmother’s family, the Wadsworths, as having been in […]

52 Ancestors: Week 29 – Fashion

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. I am way behind with my writing but I am slowly catching up. Todays blog is short to help catch up, especially as I am back in […]

52 Ancestors: Week 25 – Groups

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. I am way behind with my writing but I am working on catching up. The prompt “groups” immediately reminded me of my Grandma being a member of […]

[1] Births. England. Sub district Maltby, (RD) Rotherham. 17 September 1900. WADSWORTH, George Hubert. Vol. 9c. p.673. Entry 803.

[2] Census records. England. Wickersley, Yorkshire. 02 April 1911. WADSWORTH, George Harry. (Head) PN RG78/1603. PN 28065 Sch 132. ww.findmypast.co.uk : accessed 15 January 2009.

[3] Marriages Index. England. Rotherham, [Yorkshire]. wrd Q 1928. WADSWORTH, George H. and WITHERS, Stella. Vol. 9c. p.673. Entry 1544.

[4] 1939 Register, England. Rotherham C.B, Yorkshire. WADSWORTH, George H. 29 September 1939. Schedule 24. Line no. 28. RG101/3005A National Archives (Great Britain), Kew, England. Collection: 1939 England and Wales Register. ww.findmypast.co.uk : accessed 30 October 2021.

[6] Rotherham Advertiser. (1940) Quarry Worker’s Unusual Death. Rotherham Advertiser. 05 October.

[7] Monumental inscriptions. England. St Albans graveyard, Wickersley, Yorkshire. 27 September 1940. WADSWORTH, George Hubert. Transcribed by Ruth Willmore. 01 February 2003.

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My family

52 Ancestors: Week 32- In The City

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. I am way behind with my writing but I am slowly catching up.

I always think of my maternal grandmother’s family, the Wadsworths, as having been in Wickersley near Rotherham, West Yorkshire for ever. Most of them were baptised, married and buried in St Alban’s Church in Wickersley.

My great grandfather, George Harry Wadsworth was born in Wickersley on 06 August 1871[1][2] and was christened at St Alban’s Wickersley in Christmas Eve that year.[3]

Until at least the age of 19 George Harry lived with his parents and siblings in Wickerlsey.[2,4]

George Harry’s parents John Wadsworth and Martha Downes both were baptised[5,6] and buried in Wickersley[7].

Florence Roberts is one of the exceptions. She was born in Old Mexborough, in the Doncaster district of Yorkshire.[8] But by 1891 she was living with her uncle John Downes in Wickersley.[9]

Florence Robert’s parents John Roberts and Fanny Downes were also both baptised[10,11] and buried[12] in Wickersley.

On 17 September 1900 George Harry and Florence Wadsworth first child, George Hubert Wadsworth was born at their home in Bramley Brook[13] less than 2 miles from Wickersley. Their second child, Lois Kathleen Wadsworth was also born in Bramley in 1902[14]. They, and their brother John were baptised at St Albans in Wickersley[15,16,17].

By 1906 the growing family were living in Wickersley itself, and six more children were born there.[14]

George Harry and Florence buried three of their children in the graveyard at Wickersley, the same graveyard where all four of their parents were buried, and that they were later buried in themselves. [18]

[19] Marriage certificate of George Harry Wadsworth and Florence Roberts.

So, why did George Harry Wadsworth and Florence Roberts marry in the city? In Sheffield? They both have addresses close to St Mary’s Church, Bramall Lane at the time of their marriage, but that only needs to have been for a few weeks to allow the banns to be called. George Harry’s older brother and sister-in-law witnessed the marriage so it was not all that clandestine.

The eagle eyed will have spotted that they married on 11 March 1900 and George Hubert Wadsworth was born on 17 September 1900 which may be a clue to the marriage having taking place away from Wickersley. But, Florence could only just have known she was pregnant at the time of the wedding, and almost certainly would not have known for sure at the time the banns were first called three weeks earlier.

When time allows I plan to delve into the electoral registers and city directories to see if there are any clues how long they were both living in the city and why.

Marrying in the city of Sheffield, in drawing the family tree I have noticed that both sets of parents married in Sheffield, though in different churches.


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52 Ancestors: Week 21 – At the Cemetery

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. I am way behind with my writing …. I could blame my University course, but term finished a month ago. I have just been doing other things. […]

52 Ancestors: Week 18 – Crime and Punishment

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. This week the prompt is “Crime and Punishment”. I spent a while trying to decide who to write about this week. To my knowledge none of my […]

52 Ancestors: Week 5 – In The Kitchen

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. This week the prompt is In The Kitchen. As soon as I saw this week’s prompt I knew I had to write about Grandma, my maternal grandmother. […]

[1] 1939 Register, England. Rotherham Rural, Yorkshire. WADSWORTH, George H. 29 September 1939. Schedule 172. Line no. 16. RG101/3802F National Archives (Great Britain), Kew, England. Collection: 1939 England and Wales Register. www.ancestry.co.uk : accessed 11 May 2020.

[2] Census Records. England. Wickersley, Yorkshire. 03 April 1881. WADSWORTH, John. (Head) Family History Library Film 1342130

[3] Baptisms (CR) England. Wickersley, Yorkshire. 24 December 1871. WADSWORTH, George Harry Rotherham Archive Centre, Rotherham.

[4] Census records. England. Wickersley, Yorkshire. 05 Apr 1891. WADSWORTH, John. (Head) PN RG12/3848. FL 15. p. 2. Sch 6. ww.findmypast.co.uk : accessed 29 October 2021

[5] Baptisms (CR) England. Wickersley, Yorkshire. 07 September 1845. WADSWORTH, John Rotherham Archive Centre, Rotherham.

[6] Baptisms (CR) England. Wickersley, Yorkshire. 26 December 1842. DOWNES, Martha. Rotherham Archive Centre, Rotherham.

[7] Monumental inscriptions. England. St Albans graveyard, Wickersley, Yorkshire. 17 November 1901. WADSWORTH, John. Transcribed by Ruth Willmore. 01 February 2003.

[8] Births. England. Sub district Barmborough, (RD) Doncaster. 20 October 1874. ROBERTS, Florence. Vol. 9c. p.673. Entry 311.

[9] Census records. England. Wickersley, Yorkshire. 05 Apr 1891. DOWNES, John. (Head) PN RG12/3848. ED 20 FL 19. p. 10. Sch 60.

[10] Baptisms (CR) England. Wickersley, Yorkshire. 01 June 1850. ROBERTS, John Rotherham Archive Centre, Rotherham.

[11] Baptisms (CR) England. Wickersley, Yorkshire. 08 January 1851. DOWNES, Fanny. Rotherham Archive Centre, Rotherham.

[12] Monumental inscriptions. England. St Albans graveyard, Wickersley, Yorkshire. 31 May 1908. ROBERTS, John. Transcribed by Ruth Willmore. 30 March 2003.

[13] Births. England. Sub district Maltby, (RD) Rotherham. 17 September 1900. WADSWORTH, George Hubert. Vol. 9c. p.673. Entry 803.

[14] Census records. England. Wickersley, Yorkshire. 02 April 1911. WADSWORTH, George Harry. (Head) PN RG78/1603. PN 28065 Sch 132. ww.findmypast.co.uk : accessed 15 January 2009.

[15] Baptisms (CR) England. Wickersley, Yorkshire. 17 April 1901. WADSWORTH, George Hubert Rotherham Archive Centre, Rotherham.

[16] Baptisms (CR) England. Wickersley, Yorkshire. 07 September 1902. WADSWORTH, Lois Kathleen. Rotherham Archive Centre, Rotherham.

[17] Baptisms (CR) England. Wickersley, Yorkshire. 03 July 1904. WADSWORTH, John. Rotherham Archive Centre, Rotherham.

[18] Monumental inscriptions. England. St Albans graveyard, Wickersley, Yorkshire. 27 September 1940. WADSWORTH, George Hubert. Transcribed by Ruth Willmore. 01 February 2003.

[19] Marriages. England. St Mary Sheffield, Yorkshire. 11 March 1900. WADSWORTH, George Harry and ROBERTS, Florence. Vol. 9c. p.673. Entry 609.

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My family

52 Ancestors: Week 29 – Fashion

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. I am way behind with my writing but I am slowly catching up. Todays blog is short to help catch up, especially as I am back in work and university term has started.

I have decided not to focus on one particular ancestor today. I am really not fashionable, and have never been interested in keeping up with the latest trends. Disposable fashion, fast fashion, buying clothes that will not last has never appealed to me.

I don’t know if my ancestors were fashionable, but one can’t help but feel that wedding photographs are very much “of their time”. What may have felt like a classic design at the time can look very dated years later.

Here are a selection of the fashion hits and misses at some of our family weddings. I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions.

14 August 1929
2 November 1935
25 September 1943
23 July 1955
24 August 1968
1974
1983
7 June 2008

My 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks blog posts

52 Ancestors: Week 49 – Handmade

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. I should have completed all 52 prompts by now, but I will do so as soon as possible. There was never any question over who this prompt […]

52 Ancestors: Week 48 – Strength

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. I should have completed all 52 prompts by now, but I will do so as soon as possible. I initially planned to use this prompt to write […]

52 Ancestors: Week 47 – Thankful

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. I should have completed all 52 prompts by now, but I will do so as soon as possible. When I saw this prompt I immediately thought of […]

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My family

52 Ancestors: Week 25 – Groups

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. I am way behind with my writing but I am working on catching up.

The prompt “groups” immediately reminded me of my Grandma being a member of Wickersley Young People’s Dramatic Society. Grandma was one of the last people I would associate with “am dram” but I found this flyer amongst some papers at her home.

Grandma played Mr Lloyd, male actors were clearly thin on the ground! Grandma’s sister Irene Wadsworth took on two roles, Jeanette and Nora Beecham. Grandma’s best friend Marjorie Spencer played the Count de Marto.

Grandma told me that she was in her late teens, and so this must have been 1935. 1 From what she told me this was probably the only play she took part in.

I tried looking up “Custards and Rhewbub I’ Paris” and Google has no results, so I began to think it must have been written specially. However, there are several results from the British Newspaper Archive, mainly in Yorkshire based newspapers in the 1930s. I did not find a mention of the Wickersley young people’s effort but did learn that “Custards and Rhewbub I’ Paris” was a humorous Yorkshire dialect sketch. 2


[1] Webb, Cliff. (2013) Dates and Calendars for the Genealogist. London: Society of Genealogists Enterprises Limited.

[2] Todmorden Advertiser. (1931) Local News: DIALECT SKETCH AT KNOWLWOOD. Todmorden Advertiser . 27 November. p. 4b https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0002124/19311127/096/0004 : accessed 31 August 2021

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#52 Ancestors – Witness to history

Rather late to the party for 2020 I have decided to participate in Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors Challenge and this week’s writing prompt is “Witness to history”. Amy suggests “What would your ancestor have witnessed? I encourage you to think beyond the “big events.” I think about my farming ancestors and the changes they […]

Sarah Ann, what was going on?

Today I tried to find a death record for my great great aunt Sarah Ann Wadsworth. I knew she was baptised in 1842, married James Mitchell in 1861 and had five children. James died in 1891 and in 1901 Sarah is on the census living with her brother and 2 youngest children. She gives her […]

The Ring! The real beginning.

My first serious attempt at family history research came in the mid nineties, round about the time that I was graduating and beginning a career as a teacher. My grandmother inherited “the diamond ring” from her older sister who had recently passed away. 15 years later it is all a bit hazy, but I remember […]

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My family Pentrefelin

52 Ancestors: Week 21 – At the Cemetery

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. I am way behind with my writing …. I could blame my University course, but term finished a month ago. I have just been doing other things.

Most genealogists and family historians will find any excuse for a wander around a cemetery. There is a wealth of information in cemeteries. To give something back to the genealogy community I am transcribing the memorials in two local graveyards Tabor Chapel and Ynyscynhaiarn Church. I will add them to Find-A-Grave when I find time too.

I do like the Welsh tradition of putting address on gravestones, so useful to us when this information has been forgotten. I hadn’t realised it was a particularly Welsh thing to do until I was looking for a geocache in my Mum’s local churchyard in Kent. We spotted one gravestone with an address:

St Mary the Virgin churchyard High Halden, Ashford, Kent
In Loving Memory of
Catherine Poulton
the wife of
William Williams of Gates
High Halden
Born 4th April 1845 Died 5th April 1917
Also of William Williams
Born 31 July 1842 Died 23rd Oct 1931
Thank you to Mum, Vera Hopkinson, for this picture.

William Williams of Gates Farm, High Halden sounds to have Welsh connections, and the Welsh tradition of an address on the memorial inscription has been followed.

Years ago I spent some time exploring the churchyard at St Alban’s Wickersley where many of my Downes and Wadsworth ancestors were buried. My 3rd great grandparents moved to Wickersley around 1835 and had 13 children in total.

Sacred
to the memory of
George
Son of John and
Martha Downs
Who departed this life
October 20th 1839.
Aged 2 years and 6 weeks
Also William their son
who departed this life
June 21st 1841 aged 2 years
Also Henry John Grayson
their son who departed this
life Nov 20th 1846 aged 10 years
and 10 months.
Also Caroline their daughter
who departed this life
April 14th 1848 aged 1 year and
11 months.

I find this gravestone heart-breaking. To lose one child must be horrendous. To lose four children in nine years just does not bear thinking about.

Sacred
to the memory of
Benjamin Roberts
who died March 24th 1826
aged 43 years
also John son of the above
died July 27 1810
aged 1 year and 9 months
also Sarah wife of
Richard Oliver and relict of the above named
she died Nov 9th 1857 aged 72 years.

This gravestone, for my 4th great grandparents Benjamin and Sarah Roberts confused me. Benjamin Roberts was born in about 1782 and was baptised in Bramley near Wickersley, West Riding of Yorkshire. In 1806 he married Sarah Dawson, who was baptised in Tickhill in 1783. They had at least four children between 1808 and 1822, but as seen on the gravestone Benjamin died in 1826 aged 43.

Sarah married Richard Oliver on 24th December 1832 in the Cathedral Church of St Peter & St Paul, Sheffield. He was about 27 years old and she was 49 years old. Sarah died 15 years later and was buried with her first husband.

Richard Oliver went on to marry Benjamin and Sarah’s daughter Ann, his step-daughter. Ann already had an 8 year old illegitimate son, John, my 2nd great-grandfather.

I can’t help wondering what gossip there was around Richard Oliver, Sarah and Ann. Why did they both marry him? And of course, who was John Robert’s father?

You never know what you will find at the cemetery, and it is always worth looking for your ancestors gravestones.