Category Archives: Places

Travelling

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!

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   The original 17th century wooden font cover has been replaced by one made of fibre-glass, in a symbolic design design of the Dove and undulating waters of Baptism.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)

Polstead, Suffolk ~ Wordless Wednesday

Polstead, Suffolk - August 2011

Polstead, Suffolk - August 2011

Wordless Wednesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

St Mary’s Church, Polstead, Suffolk ~ Wordless Wednesday

St Mary's Church, Polstead, Suffolk - August 2011

St Mary's Church, Polstead, Suffolk - August 2011

Are you trying to trace members of your family in Polstead?

Are you trying to trace members of your family in Polstead?

Wordless Wednesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

West Yorkshire research trip – Part 4

I posted a photo last week of Rothwell’s market cross – a replica of the medieval one, which originally was close to the current site.  I have several census returns where the address is simply “Near Crop” or “New Cross”, or maybe they are the same?   In the following instances, they look quite distinct:

1861 England census, Rothwell - detail

1861 England census, Rothwell - detail

1871 England census, Rothwell - detail

1871 England census, Rothwell - detail

In fact, the second one may even be “Near Cross”.

Samuel Nunns and his wife Sarah, my Elsie‘s great grandparents, were living at “Near Crop”, Rothwell at the time of the 1861 census.1  Their children were Henry 9, William 8, Thomas 6, Joseph 5, and Sarah 1.  Ten years later, the family are at “New Cross”, Rothwell, and with two more children: John 7 and Charles 6.  Sarah is not listed this time.  The four older boys are now working in the coal mine along with their father.2

By 1881, Sarah is widowed and living at 12 Cross Street with sons William, Joseph, John and Charles.3  Meanwhile, her eldest son Henry has married Tamar Dickinson and is living at 21 Cross Street along with children Sam 7, Elizabeth 5, John 4 and Joseph 1.4

At Rothwell Library, a helpful staff member pointed out the “new cross” on an old map, and mentioned how her family had lived near there.  Perhaps this is the area of “New Cross”?  I was looking for Cross Street which is still there, though most (if not all) of the old houses seem to have gone.  Cross Terrace is also there – did the old houses on Cross Street look similar to these?

Cross Terrace, looking down Cross Street, Rothwell - August 2011

Cross Terrace, looking down Cross Street, Rothwell - August 2011

By 1891, both households had moved from Cross Street, to other streets in Rothwell that I failed to locate during the summer.

This week I discovered a fascinating document – Rothwell Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan – which details the town’s historic areas, one of which is Cross Terrace.  Apparently all round that area is the “historic core” of Rothwell.  There’s a whole heap of information about the history of the town and its architecture.  On the Leeds City Council website, there are similar Conservation Area appraisals for other towns, including Oulton.  The references at the end of each document are definitely worth a look, if you’re interested in the local history.

  1. “1861 England Census, Samuel Nunns (35) household, Rothwell, Yorkshire,” Ancestry.com, http://www.ancestry.co.uk/, accessed 30 Dec 2010, digital image, citing PRO RG9/3359, folio 6, page 5, GSU roll: 543120, Hunslet registration district, Rothwell sub-registration district, household 22, 07 April 1861.
  2. “1871 England Census, Samuel Nunns (44) household, Rothwell, Yorkshire,” Ancestry.com, http://www.ancestry.co.uk/, accessed 30 Dec 2006, digital image, citing PRO RG10/4517, folio 6, page 5, household 26, GSU roll: 848472, Hunslet registration district, Rothwell sub-registration district, 02 Apr 1871.
  3. “1881 England Census, Sarah Nunns (56) household, Rothwell, Yorkshire,” Ancestry.com, http://www.ancestry.co.uk/, accessed 05 Aug 2011, digital image, citing PRO RG11/4494, folio 5, page 3, GSU roll: 1342076, Hunslet registration district, Rothwell sub registration district, ED 1, 03 Apr 1881.
  4. “1881 England Census, Henry Nunns (29) household, Rothwell, Yorkshire,” Ancestry.com, http://www.ancestry.co.uk/, accessed 30 Dec 2006, digital image, citing PRO RG11/4494, folio 5, pp 4-5, GSU roll: 1342076, Hunslet registration district, Rothwell sub-registration district, ED 1, household 21, 03 Apr 1881.

Market Cross, Rothwell, West Yorkshire ~ Wordless Wednesday

Replica of Rothwell's market cross, thought to be close to the site of the original medieval cross, August 2011

Replica of Rothwell's market cross, thought to be close to the site of the original medieval cross, August 2011

Wordless Wednesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

West Yorkshire research trip – Part 3

One of the tasks I wanted to accomplish in West Yorkshire was to visit and photograph houses and areas where my ancestors had lived.  I had a lot of addresses from censuses and certificates, copies of old maps from Rothwell Library, and Google Maps.

Of course, many of the old buildings are gone, and streets renamed, re-routed or just plain disappeared.  And there’s only so much driving around small villages that three young kids will (quietly) put up with.  So it was a case of trying to do as much ground work as possible, before coming up again on my own sometime.

Two things I will have next time:

  1. Contemporary maps for all areas and time periods (where possible)
  2. Much better knowledge of architectural history

My 4 x great grandparents, George and Elizabeth Kemp, were living in Altofts at the time of the 1851 census. Living with them was their four year old son Thomas, and one year old daughter Hannah, as well as a servant, Mary Ramsden (whose occupation is listed as “Nurse”).1  Where I had just a village name for an address, I headed for the local Church of England church and took a snap, which is exactly what I did for Altofts (see yesterday’s post!).

In 1861, their address was “Wellington St, Whitwood” in the parish of Featherstone.2   I found a Wellington St between Castleford and Whitwood Mere, but didn’t think it was the right one, so left it.  (Looking at Google maps now, it is possibly the right place, so I need to check this again on a contemporary map.)  Thomas and Hannah/Anna are still living with their parents, along with siblings Sophia 9, and Sarah Ann (my 3x great grandmother) 5.  Sophia was born in Castleford, and Sarah Ann in Whitwood, so the family had moved around a bit.

By 1871 they had moved to a “Cottage” in Oulton with Woodlesford.3   On the census, they have been enumerated near to Mill House Flat, though I couldn’t locate this either.  Son Tom is the only child left at home, and Elizabeth’s father, James Dickinson, is also living with the family, along with Georgiana Haigh 7 “Adopted child”.

In 1881, George and Elizabeth are still in Oulton, with no specific address, with a nine year old grandson, Thomas J. Kemp, living with them.4  (I haven’t worked out whose child he is yet, nor what happened to him after they both died.)

Their daughter Sarah Ann had married Alfred Cockerham on December 23, 18715 and in 1881 were also living in Oulton, in Chapel Yard.6 With them were their daughters Mary A. 8, Sophia 5, Alice (my 2x great grandmother) 3, and their one year old son George. Boarding with the family was Thomas Rimmington, Alfred’s (first, once removed) cousin, 72.

Chapel Yard, Oulton, Yorkshire - August 2011

Chapel Yard, Oulton, Yorkshire - August 2011

I met some lovely women as I was wandering around, and they told me that there used to be more cottages similar to this one:

House in Chapel Yard, Oulton, Yorkshire - August 2011

House in Chapel Yard, Oulton, Yorkshire - August 2011

It’s really only a short lane, and down the end are some more cottages and other buildings.

End of Chapel Yard, Oulton, Yorkshire - August 2011

End of Chapel Yard, Oulton, Yorkshire - August 2011

Turning around and going back out to the main street, on the left is the chapel the lane was named after, presumably!

The chapel in Chapel Yard, Oulton, Yorkshire - August 2011

The chapel of Chapel Yard, Oulton, Yorkshire - August 2011

  1. “1851 England Census, George Kemp (age 40) household, Altofts, Yorkshire,” Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.co.uk/, accessed 05 Jun 2011), citing PRO HO107/2326, folio 395, p 10, GSU roll: 87562-87564, Wakefield registration district, Bretton sub-registration district, ED 11, household 36, 30 Mar 1851.
  2. “1861 England Census, George Kemp (age 50) household, Whitwood, Yorkshire,” Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.co.uk/, accessed 05 Jun 2011), citing PRO RG9/3439, folio 99, p 24, GSU roll: 543132, Pontefract registration district, Pontefract sub-registration district, ED 19, household 99, 07 Apr 1861.
  3. “1871 England Census, George Kemp (age 61) household, Oulton with Woodlesford, Yorkshire,” Findmypast, (http://www.findmypast.co.uk/, accessed 10 Jun 2011), citing PRO RG10/4516, folio 68, p 5, Hunslet registration district, Whitkirk sub-registration district, ED 5, household 23, 02 Apr 1871.
  4. “1881 England Census, George Kemp (age 71) household, Oulton with Woodlesford, Yorkshire,” Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.co.uk/ : accessed 05 Jun 2011), citing PRO RG11/4493, folio 93, p 7, GSU roll: 1342076, Hunslet registration district, Whitkirk sub-registration district, ED 6, household 36, 03 Apr 1881.
  5. England, marriage certificate of Frederick [Alfred] Cockerham and Sarah Ann Kemp; 23 Dec 1871, Wakefield; 1871 Dec [quarter] 09c [vol] 33 [page], General Register Office, Stockport.
  6. “1881 England Census, Alfred Cockerham (age 30) household, Oulton with Woodlesford, Yorkshire,” Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.co.uk/ : accessed 06 Jun 2011), citing PRO RG11/4493, folio 94, p 10, GSU roll: 1342076, Hunslet registration district, Whitkirk sub-registration district, ED 6, household 57, 03 Apr 1881.

Altofts, West Yorkshire ~ Wordless Wednesday

St Mary Magdalene, parish church of Altofts, in the diocese of Wakefield, Yorkshire - August 2011

St Mary Magdalene, parish church of Altofts, in the diocese of Wakefield, Yorkshire - August 2011

St Mary Magdalene, parish church of Altofts, in the diocese of Wakefield, Yorkshire - August 2011

St Mary Magdalene, parish church of Altofts, in the diocese of Wakefield, Yorkshire - August 2011

Where’s the map? ~ Tombstone Tuesday

In my last post, I shared my daughter’s discovery of the gravestone of my 4 x great grandparents, George and Elizabeth Kemp, while on holiday in West Yorkshire over the summer.  We found it in the churchyard of St John the Evangelist in Oulton.

On returning home, I decided to see if I could find the burial records online – Ancestry now have a huge swathe of West Yorkshire records on their site1.

I found a record for George Kemp in 1882, and noticed some interesting annotations in his entry:

Burial record of George Kemp, 1882 - detail

Burial record of George Kemp, 1882 - detail

I checked pages 130 and 161 of the register and found the following entries:

Burial record of Elizabeth Kemp, 1890 - detail

Burial record of Elizabeth Kemp, 1890 - detail

Burial record of Thomas Kemp, 1895 - detail

Burial record of Thomas Kemp, 1895 - detail

I guessed that the “No.74″ on each record was related to their shared grave site.  Searching back through the register to the first page, I found the following annotations:

Burial Register, St John the Evangelist, Oulton - detail

Burial Register, St John the Evangelist, Oulton - detail

This is what I can make out from the text:

The numbers in red are the numbers of the graves as shown on the Plan of the Graves in the Churchyard

“No. ”  [...] inserted by H[?]

[....] have added all the graves I know, up to [1839? 1939?] without the “No. “

So, there was a Plan! I wonder where it is now?

  • Ancestry.com. West Yorkshire, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1813-1985 [database on-line], accessed 02 Sep 2011. Original data: Yorkshire Parish Records. Leeds, England: West Yorkshire Archive Service.

A hunting we will go ~ Tombstone Tuesday

Whilst on our trip around West Yorkshire over the summer, my kids and I checked out St John the Evangelist church in Oulton, near Rothwell.  It’s a lovely looking church from the outside, and the graveyard is mostly well kept and fun to play hide and seek in.

St John the Evangelist's church, Oulton, West Yorkshire, August 2011

St John the Evangelist church, Oulton, West Yorkshire, August 2011

St John the Evangelist's church, Oulton, West Yorkshire, August 2011

St John the Evangelist church, Oulton, West Yorkshire, August 2011

I gave my seven and four year olds a slip of paper each with three surnames to search for.   This is what my four year old daughter found:

Gravestone of George & Elizabeth Kemp, also Thomas Kemp,  St John the Evangelist churchyard, Oulton, West Yorkshire

Gravestone of George & Elizabeth Kemp, also Thomas Kemp, St John the Evangelist churchyard, Oulton, West Yorkshire

George and Elizabeth Kemp are my great great great great grandparents.  Buried with them is their son, Thomas.

George Kemp was born around 1811 in Whitley, West Yorkshire.  Elizabeth Dickinson was born in Castleford, West Yorkshire, around 1816.1

They were married at St John’s church in the parish of Wakefield on December 3rd, 1843.  George and Elizabeth were of “full age”.Their fathers were Thomas Kemp, Labourer,  and James Dickinson, Farmer.2

From census returns, they appear to have had four children3:

  • Thomas b. 1847
  • Anna/Hannah b. 1849
  • Sophia b. 1852
  • Sarah Ann b. 1855

In the 1871 census, they had seven year old “adopted child” Georgiana Haigh living with them.4

I am descended from their daughter Sarah Ann.

Gravestone of George & Elizabeth Kemp, also Thomas Kemp,  St John the Evangelist churchyard, Oulton, West Yorkshire

Gravestone of George & Elizabeth Kemp, also Thomas Kemp, St John the Evangelist churchyard, Oulton, West Yorkshire

In
Affectionate Remembrance
of

GEORGE KEMP
who departed this life
January 1st 1882
aged 69 years

I look for the resurrection of
the dead and the life of the
world to come

also ELIZABETH, wife of the above
who died March 26th 1890
aged 75 years

also THOMAS, son of the above
who died October 25th 1895
aged 49 years

Be ye also ready

According to St John’s website, the churchyard is one of the biggest in Leeds, if not the county. George and Elizabeth’s gravestone seems to be in a quite prominent spot, facing the church’s front door.

George and Elizabeth Kemp's gravestone, St John the Evangelist church, Oulton, West Yorkshire

George and Elizabeth Kemp's gravestone, St John the Evangelist church, Oulton, West Yorkshire

My son also found some Cockerham graves and there were several other surnames from our family, but it will take a little digging (sorry, couldn’t resist!) to find out if they are part of our tree.

Tombstone Tuesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

  1. “1851 England Census, George Kemp (age 40) household, Altofts, Yorkshire,” Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.co.uk/, accessed 05 Jun 2011), citing PRO HO107/2326, folio 395, p 10, GSU roll: 87562-87564, Wakefield registration district, Bretton sub-registration district, ED 11, household 36, 30 Mar 1851.
  2. West Yorkshire Archive Service, Wakefield, Yorkshire, England; Yorkshire Parish Records; Old Reference Number: D145/4; New Reference Number: WDP145/1/1/4, marriage of George Kemp and Elizabeth Dickinson, digital image; Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.co.uk/, accessed 02 Sep 2011).
  3. “1861 England Census, George Kemp (age 50) household, Whitwood, Yorkshire,” Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.co.uk/, accessed 05 Jun 2011), citing PRO RG9/3439, folio 99, p 24, GSU roll: 543132, Pontefract registration district, Pontefract sub-registration district, ED 19, household 99, 07 Apr 1861.
  4. “1871 England Census, George Kemp (age 61) household, Oulton with Woodlesford, Yorkshire,” Findmypast, (http://www.findmypast.co.uk/, accessed 10 Jun 2011), citing PRO RG10/4516, folio 68, p 5, Hunslet registration district, Whitkirk sub-registration district, ED 5, household 23, 02 Apr 1871.