My Northern Roots

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: letters from the grey sheep of the family

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

Rich Richard and the Trousered Chicken

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