A Kiwi in search of her Irish, English & Scottish tribes

Month: January 2012


Hmmm… I don’t seem to be doing so well on my blogging resolutions so far this year.  But!  I have an excellent excuse.  I have just spent 13 days in New Zealand – primarily a genealogical excursion – and have been too busy, and too far from a wifi connection, to  post.  I have met some wonderful relatives and visited places with family connections.  And, of course, discovered more treasures stashed away at my parents’ house!

Genealogy Resolutions 2012

It’s that time of year for resolutions, and I’ve been inspired by other Geneabloggers – this is my list for 2012:


  • Complete updating my records in Reunion
  • Plan a scanning schedule for my certificates


  • Post on this blog at least twice a week
  • Begin writing my maternal grandmother’s biography


  • Complete assignments for IHGS Lectures 4 to 12
  • Complete TNA’s online paleaography and Latin courses


  • Find the Burkes’ townland in Co. Mayo
  • Visit Scotland and take a looksee round where the Burkes and Philps lived
  • Continue research on Wright line

The tree that almost damaged my family tree ~ Wordless Wednesday


30 ton horse chestnut tree, blown down in storm, 3rd January 2012

30 ton horse chestnut tree, blown down in storm, 3rd January 2012


Wordless Wednesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

iwiKiwi is one year old today!

To celebrate being in the blogiverse for one whole year, I thought I’d take a little look back at my first post and my 2011 Genealogy Resolutions:

  • Start a blog   Yep, done that!
  • Blog regularly and contribute comments to other blogs  Hmm… did okay in the first half of the year, but posting slowed down a lot as I concentrated more on my IHGS assignments.  My reading of other blogs, and commenting on them, slowed down to the point of nothingness. At the moment I’m only reading other blog posts when prompted by Twitter.
  • Compile a proper research plan (as opposed to “ooooh, think I might look that up next, or maybe that… )  Working on this, and definitely started preparing proper plans for the research trips I undertook this year.  Except maybe the “bringing along some decent maps” bit of the plans.
  • Get to know the Centre for Kentish Studies  I visited once!  And now they’re closed till around April this year, when they re-open in a brand new and expanded facility in Maidstone.  Hopefully they’ll have some ‘Opening Week’ festivities for me to attend.
  • Complete some assignments!!!! (Ideally eight lectures this year)  Ouch.  Only three completed, but working on number 4, and completed the research work for lecture 5 and 6 assignments.
  • Visit the Suffolk record office (and a cemetery or two)  Spent four days altogether at the Bury St Edmunds’ record office, all very productive.  And my children can attest that we have visited several cemeteries this year.
  • Compile a research plan for the New Zealand trip in February  I did, I went, and now I’m off again next week!  So, another research plan is in the works.
  • Begin scanning certificates and documents I have in hard-copy  Have made a start on these, but mostly so I can share copies with relatives.
  • Get those England census records into Reunion  Almost all completed!  But I keep finding more family in more censuses…
  • Get those NZ electoral records into Reunion  Nope, nada.
  • File, organise, cite!  Trying, a little, mostly!

I’ve had a lot of fun writing this blog over the last 12 months – just need more time to write more often.  Especially appreciated are the relatives who have contacted me, the folks who have commented on my posts, and to everyone who’s still reading along.  Thanks!

St Mary’s Church, Polstead, Suffolk ~ revisited

Some weeks back I posted a photo I took of St Mary’s church in Polstead, Suffolk.  It’s a beautiful old village church, and when we visited back in August, we could just walk in and take a look around.

Inside, I picked up a copy of Polstead Church and Parish1 for a small donation, and the following information comes from there.

Interior of St Mary's church, Polstead, Suffok ~ August 2011

Interior of St Mary's church, Polstead, Suffolk ~ August 2011

The  church was built early in the reign of Henry II, probably about 1160 A.D. and was dedicated to Saint Mary.  There have been two major alterations to the orginal twelfth-century Norman church, one towards the end of the fourteenth centur and another about 1510-1520.

The interior of the church is given a unique appearance by the use of brick and tufa blocks (a porous stone used for building at Rome and Naples) in the construction of the nave arches – Norman arches of brick are very rare; there is no other church like this in the whole of Suffolk.

Baptismal font c.13th century, St Mary's church, Polstead, Suffolk ~ August 2011

Baptismal font c.13th century, St Mary's church, Polstead, Suffolk ~ August 2011

The plain baptismal font probably dates from the 13th century, and was completely restored in 1961.  The original base has been enlarged and the lead bowl with drain has replaced the original.   The original 17th century wooden font cover has been replaced by one made of fibre-glass, in a symbolic design design of the Dove and undulating waters of Baptism. (It was designed by a nun of Oxford, who had trained at the Slade School of Art.)

There is much architectural joy to be discovered in this church.  I found it to be a very lovely and simple place of worship, with lots of historical bits and bobs to savour.  It’s where some of my Wright ancestors were baptised and married, and some buried in the graveyard.

St Mary's church graveyard, Polstead, Suffolk ~ August 2011

St Mary's church graveyard, Polstead, Suffolk ~ August 2011

  1. Polstead Parochial Church Council. Polstead Church and Parish, based on an original history by Laurence S. Harley FSA, first published in January 1951, Polstead Parochial Church Council (Suffolk: 2005)

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