Thursday, May 30, 2013

Today's Photo - It is Cold and Wet in Cambridge

Cambridge - 30 May

Those Places Thursday - Exploring Cambridge, Longstanton and Oakington

After a couple of long days traveling I have arrived in Cambridge.  Armed with camera and raincoat, as the drizzle had set in, the day was spend exploring the narrow streets, peering into the grounds of all the Colleges, admiring their lush green gardens and manicured lawns and sampling some of the local culinary delights. (lucky there is a lot of walking involved).

It is exam time, so most of the colleges are closed to the public, but you can still peep in through the ancient wooden doors and stone arches and catch glimpses of amazing architecture that has evolved over the last 500 years. 

Before I start delving into my family tree research, there are all the practicalities of Internet access, new phone number, international roaming etc to be set up.  As my family will confirm, I am not much of a techno whizz!! and usually call on their help, however, when travelling by yourself there isn't much choice.  So, this morning was spent purchasing an Internet "dongle", and new phone card with international roaming. With this sorted I can now settle into some serious digging around the family tree. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Tuesday Travel - "My Genjourney Begins"

28 May has finally arrived!

Small back pack loaded with ipad, laptop, camera, voice recorder, external hard drive and note book, and a middling size suitcase  stowed in the car ready for my husband to drop me to the airport tomorrow morning!!.  Oh I do hope I have organised everything.  

Genjourney here I come. Over the last week, I have been scanning and filing all documents that I think I might need to refer to as I do my research.  I had planned to put together a power point with all the old photos I have, but alas that hasn't happened.  

However, I have made up a time line in excel, on the events in Elizabeth Taylor (nee Rushworth)'s life with a corresponding time of  historical events in UK and Lancashire.  I think this will be a valuable tool, enabling me to get a better feel of the times and the events that she would have experienced in her life time.

As I put together all the bits and pieces, scanned all the photos and documents that I want to take to me I came across a couple of lovely old post cards from Lancashire that were sent to Australian when  Tilly Holeman (nee Taylor) was visiting the Taylor/Rushworth Family in Lancashire in the mid 1900’s.

 The note on the back reads  "A very pleasant road heading out of Colne, past Foulridge Reservoir on the way to Skipton.” 

 I will have to see if I can recognise where this picture is taken while I am there and post a present day version. Stay posted for more!!  Next Post will be from the United Kingdom.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Follow Friday - Weekly Research

It is one week until I head off on my genjourney to the UK, so this week I have been concentrating on information and websites that will give me some background to my research in Lancashire.  It is amazing what you can find when you focus on one particular area.

I was searching for books on Amazon about Lancashire and came across Nicholas Hartley’s book Bittersweet: The Story of Hartley’s Jam*. In my readings about Colne and the district I had come across a number of mentions of William Hartley and his connection with Colne, the Hartley’s Grocery Story and the Hartley Jam factory, so thought I would check it out. With the wonders of instant purchasing on my kindle account I had a copy of the book in a couple of minutes and started reading.  I found the book fascinating, engaging and very informative, especially in relation to the living conditions that existed in Lancashire and England through from 1840’s. 

William Pickles Hartley was born in 1846 in Colne, Lancashire and married Martha Horsfield in 1866.  Martha was the daughter of Henry and Ann Horsfield, Grocers of Colne.  The business grew, William and his family moved into the wholesale trade and a chance event in 1871 started the Hartley business rolling.  A supplier failed to deliver an order of jam and William decided to make his own jam. The business flourished and Hartley's jams, in their distinctive eathernware pots flourished.

The story of William's life and generosity to the community is fascinating, however, for me the real value of the book is the descriptions of the life and social conditions of the common people, for example, "Sanitation was poor and mortality rates high.  Industrialisation had brought prosperity to the mill owners, but life for the workers was a constant struggle.  In the mills, children toiled alongside their parents to make ends meet........ people lived in cellars, families were large.  There were too many mouths to feed".

Colne and the surrounding towns were heavily industrialised and this industrialisation was touted by some as progress, and however the effects on the population was devastating.  Another section of Hartley's book describes the social conditions, "The heavily industrialised landscape produced a marked decline in health.  ...... "It is saddening to see the pallid, stunted,ill-set up lads and girls, many of them married, streaming out from the factory gates at closing time and still more saddening to see the puny infants, of perhaps a few months old, with emaciated faces and the weary careworn look of old age, who are brought by their ill-developed mothers to the out patients rooms of our hospitals."

Hartley Homes, Alms House in Colne
The positive side to this story, was that William was not simply a man who sought to make a profit.  Eventhough he had a clear vision of commercial progress, he was also endowed with a strong belief in the essential goodness of human nature.  He build a model village for the workers of his factory and introduced innovative schemes that considered their welfare. Amongst his generous donations was money to establish an almshouses and hospital in Colne.

 I can thoroughly recommend this book, not only as a story of an interesting, resourceful and generous man but also as a wonderful commentary on the social conditions and events in England from the mid 1880's through to the 1930's.
* Hartley, Nicholas, 2011 Bittersweet: The Story of Hartley’s Jam, Amberley Publishing, UK.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Not so "Thrifty Thursday" - William and Elizabeth Taylor's Wedding Certificate

An Nice Big White Envelope arrived in the mail yesterday!!! A couple of weeks ago, I lashed out and ordered a copy of William and Elizabeth Taylor's Wedding Certificate through Vital Records.  Hopefully the certificate would provide a further clues in unravelling their story. Opening the envelope and sliding out the crisp green document, I crossed my fingers, hoping that my investment would be worth it.

Wedding Certificate William Taylor and Elizabeth Rushworth 17 July 1858

There is something special when you look at a certificate that relates to a family event that occurred over 150 years ago. I can't help wondering if Elizabeth was nervous, were there lots of family members there, or was it just a small celebration?

I already knew that William and Elizabeth were married on the 17 July in 1858, in Barnoldswick, however the certificate has provided me with some new information and leads.  William's occupation is shown as a farmer from Stacksteads, and that Elizabeth was living in Whinberry Harbour, Rawtenstall, Rossendale.  Her Aunt and Uncle Joshua and Mary Rushworth are the witnesses to the marriage, and as they came from Whinberry perhaps Elizabeth was living with them.  William and Elizabeth's first child William was born in the December of 1857 prior to their marriage.  Perhaps Elizabeth (whose mother died when she was only 4 years old) went to live with her Aunt and Uncle for support during her confinement. 

So the investment in William and Elizabeth's certificate was a worthwhile, and I now have another couple of leads to follow up.  I must add Whinberry, Stacksteads and the Parish Church at Barnoldswick onto the list of places to visit while I am in Lancashire.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Those Places Thursday - Planning by UK Genjourney

Time is ticking by soooooooo quickly!  In less than three weeks I will be winging off to the UK.  I am feeling a little overwhelmed with all the things I hope to have organised before I left.  I guess they will still be here when I get back.

Elizabeth Taylor
In my last blog I listed a number of action points that would assist me in making the most of my research time. Now I have to make the hard decision on which branches of our family tree to focus on.  In other words Rationalise!!!

If you follow my other blogs,Family Stories, Photographs and Memories and
The Other Half of My Family Tree- stories of my female ancestors you will know that I am fascinated by the story of Elizabeth Rushworth (1843-1927). 

Elizabeth and her husband William Taylor (1833-1928) came from Burnley, Barnoldswick and finally lived in Colne, Lancashire, and it is for this reason that I have decided to base myself in Lancashire for four weeks. I hope to be able to connect with their descendants and check out all the local resources (Libraries, museums, newspapers) to help to put together a more comprehensive picture of their family and way of life.

There are three other branches of our family tree that I would like to follow up on.  The first being the Goldings/Gee families who immigrated from Oakington and Longstanton, Cambridgeshire to Adelaide, South Australia in the mid 1852 on the "Epaminondas". Edward
Golding and Maria Golding (nee Gee) were my great-great-great grandparents. They immigrated with their brothers, sisters and children seeking a new life in the colony of Adelaide, in South Australia.

Also, I plan to visit Daybrook, Arnold in Nottinghamshire.  My great-great-great grandfather  Lynn David Shepherd and his wife Elizabeth (nee Mariner) were born and married in DaybrookLynn was a soldier in the Battalion of 69th Regiment of Foot and fought in the Napoleonic Wars. When he returned from the war he joined the Royal Veteran Corps bound for New South Wales, Australia. Lynn, Elizabeth and their children came to Australia on the "Orpheus" arriving in Sydney cove on the 19th September 1826.

Hannah Nesbitt's Grave
The final branch that I plan to explore is that of my great-great grandmother on my mother's side, Hannah Nesbitt (1827-1913) who lived in Alnwick, Northumberland.  She married Francis Newman (1820-1852) in 1847 and they travelled  from England to South Australia in 1850 on the "Boyne". Unfortunately Francis died while seeking his fortune in the Victorian gold fields, and Hannah remarried my great great grandfather William Herbert  (1818-1881)and they settled in the copper mining town of Burra in South Australia.

There are a number of family stories that say Hannah and her family lived in or near the castle at Alnwick.  I am assuming that her family were on the staff at the castle.  There are also stories that some members of the next generation returned to Alnwick to visit their family.  It would be nice to see how much truth is in these tales.  Of course there is also the bonus side to visiting Alnwick! That is to be able to tell my grandsons that I visited the Castle where Harry Potter was filmed!!!!

Of course I plan to keep an open mind and if the opportunity arises and there is a chance to delve into other branches of our family tree, that will be a bonus.