Category Archives: Places

Temuka, South Canterbury, NZ ~ Those Places Thursday

Temuka.

I finally got to visit this very special place last month.

My grandfather’s cousin was celebrating 50 years of life as a nun, having a jubilee Mass and lunch afterwards, with many family members invited.  I was pretty keen to attend, despite having to travel halfway round the world, and when I found out it was to be held in Temuka, I started booking my flights immediately.

Near Temuka, in Arowhenua,  is where my great great grandfather, Michael Gaffaney,  bought his first piece of land in New Zealand, after immigrating from England in 1858.  And it’s where he and his wife, Margaret Brosnahan, brought up their 14 children.  Their original house still stands, though it’s no longer owned by family.  The farm, however, is still in family hands, run with pride and passion by my cousin (second, once removed), who gave us a tour with marvellous commentary.  Who knew farming was so scientific nowadays?  (Not this townie, at any rate.)

Belper Farm, Arowhenua, near Temuka, South Canterbury, NZ

Belper Farm, Arowhenua, near Temuka, South Canterbury, NZ

The celebration was wonderful, and a great chance to meet many relatives for the first time.   Mass was celebrated at St Joseph’s church, which was built in 1879 at the instigation of Father Louis Fauvel, a French priest.  He baptised my great grandfather, Peter Dominic Gaffaney, on 16th August 1879,  before the new building was completed.  My great great grandmother, Margaret, donated  two of the many beautiful stained glass windows in the church. (The cost was apparently equivalent to a year’s wages, so the farm must have been doing pretty good!)

Blessed Virgin Mary & St Gabriel, windows donated by Mrs M Gaffney, St Joseph's church, Temuka, South Canterbury, NZ

Blessed Virgin Mary & St Gabriel, windows donated by Mrs M Gaffney, St Joseph's church, Temuka, South Canterbury, NZ

I can’t wait to visit again!

Those Places Thursday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

St Joseph’s church, Temuka, South Canterbury, NZ ~ Wordless Wednesday

St Joseph's church, Temuka, South Canterbury, NZ ~ January 2012

St Joseph's church, Temuka, South Canterbury, NZ ~ January 2012

Wordless Wednesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

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