Jean Mary Olorenshaw 1921-1958 My grandmother This is a hard post for me to write, because unlike the other ancestors I have written about, this isn't just a piece of history that has been forgotten. There are people who knew Jean who are still alive and who remember her final days only too well. This … Continue reading Jean Mary Olorenshaw: A Tribute to My Grandmother
I think of myself as not only almost completely British, but almost completely Southern as well - most of my research is within Kent and Essex. But I am actually one eighth Yorkshirese. My great grandmother, Elizabeth Danby, came from a little town near Harrogate. She met my great grandfather, Frederick Downing, when he was … Continue reading My Northern Roots
John Beale 1811-1873 Farmer of Biddenden and Beckley and my great great grandfather. Rich Richard Beale, 18th century dog doodler and Twitter sensation, had eleven children. The second youngest was my great great grandfather, John. I have been lucky enough to receive some copies of letters once in the possession of my 3rd great … Continue reading John Beale: letters from the grey sheep of the family
My fourth cousin Geoff and I had reached different conclusions as to the identity of our 6th great grandmother, as discussed in this post. A quick summary is that in 1705, there lived three Richard Beales - our ancestor (Tombstone Richard), his cousin (Other Richard) and some random Richard in Wadhurst (Wadhurst Richard). One of … Continue reading Elizabeth Beale: Mystery SOLVED
It appears that my great great great grandfather has gone viral, nearly 200 years after his death. The Museum of English Rural Life, in Reading, has acquired various bits of Beale memorabilia - mainly farming diaries and account books. But one little book caught their eye more than others: the school maths book of 13 … Continue reading Rich Richard and the Trousered Chicken
Last year, I visited Ypres and the surrounding area for the Passchendaele 100th anniversary commemorations. There was more to see and do than I could fit into that weekend, so a year later I returned to tick off the missing items: The 6km "Canadian Road to Passchendaele" signposted walk, Essex Farm cemetery and dressing station, … Continue reading Revisiting The Western Front
Henry Bishop is another example of a very distant non-blood relative who has grabbed my interest. He was my 5th great aunt husband's brother, and lived alongside my Downing Ancestors in Southminster. I find building a picture of 19th century Southminster, the key figures in the village and how they all interacted with each other … Continue reading Henry Bishop: The Alternative Deacon
I had a very frustrating day at the Kent Archives yesterday! I had four Kentish Questions that I needed answering: I wanted to know the name of a father of an illegitimate baby who was born in Buckland in 1865. There is a slim chance this might appear in the baptism or workhouse records. But … Continue reading Difficult Ancestors
George Brent 1831-1898 Miner of St Dominick, Cornwall, and my 2nd great grandfather... or possibly not... The main reason I started tracing my family tree was because I knew next to nothing about my father's family. He died when I was seven, and I had very little contact with the only living relatives on his … Continue reading Am I a True Brent?
Elizabeth, wife of Richard Beale (1663-1757) Clothiers of Biddenden, Kent and my 6th great grandparents There's been quite a few posts on this blog about unidentified fathers, but this is my first unidentified mother! I was very pleased to get an email from my Beale cousin, Geoff West, the other day. Geoff was one of … Continue reading Who Was Elizabeth Beale?