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Piling up the postcards at Shoreham

22 Jan

It has been a while since I have been to postcard fair (although I have still been buying postcards, mostly on eBay but also elsewhere), so it was nice to get chance to visit the Postcard and Collectors Fair at The Shoreham Centre, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex.

I was quite surprised to find the Shoreham Centre packed with people (both collectors and dealers) when I arrived, on previous visits I have found it a lot quieter, so it was good to see so many people. The Shoreham Centre is not particularly large but it is pretty convenient for me to get to, in fact a couple of years ago I walked there, it took me about four hours but I might try that again later in the year when the weather is better.

Results were mixed, as you can see from the pile of cards above there was quite a mixed bag, nine cards in all, all of which were Sussex. Three nice West Dean ones for my collection, another Beachy Head lighthouse (bought for the publisher rather than the subject) and the rest had family associations and were absolute bargains which I couldn’t resist. Expect to see some of these on this blog in the coming weeks and months.

For those interested in attending future fairs, they are organised by Beacon Fairs, and the dates for the rest of 2011 are:

  • Saturday 16th April 2011
  • Sunday 19th June 2011
  • Saturday 15th October 2011

Satisfying my curiosity – ordering the wills of my ancestors

27 Aug

The recently released National Probate Calendar on Ancestry.co.uk has tempted me into ordering copies of four wills, three of which I wouldn’t have even thought about ordering for a long time, the other one I probably would have ordered in the near future.

I don’t think any of these four wills are actually going to solve any particular research problems, but they should hopefully satisfy my curiosity.

  • John FAIRS (my 3x great-grandfather) of Henfield, Sussex who died in November 1915. John FAIRS was an agricultural labourer and if the cross on his daughter’s wedding certificate is anything to go by he was not well educated. So why was his estate valued at over £982? Where had this wealth come from?
  • William TROWER (my 4x great-grandfather) of Henfield, Sussex who died in January 1875. William TROWER was a farmer, almost the last of several generations to farm and live at Harwoods Farm in Henfield. I will be interested to see if the TROWER family were still owners of the farm.
  • Henry HEMSLEY (my 3x great-grandfather) of Blackboys, Sussex who died in January 1914. Henry HEMSLEY was the licensee and owner of the Gun Inn, and the attached farm. This is the will I would probably have ordered quite soon, in the process of trying to find out everything I can about the inn.
  • Henry WRIGHT (my 3x great-grandfather) of Alton, Hampshire who died in August 1895. Henry WRIGHT was originally known as Henry SHORNDEN and he moved from Kent to Hampshire for some reason, I don’t really expect find answers as to why he changed his named and moved to Kent, but I would like to find out as much as I can about his life.
    If nothing else these wills are going to give me plenty of work to do as I process this lot, but it is also going to force me to get my act together when it comes to recording all the details in my database, in fact it might be worth starting now and deciding how all the information should be recorded.

Whilst I am waiting for them to arrive I should probably also write a post on how to order copies of wills, and how easy it is if you live in the UK and have a cheque book, otherwise things start getting a little more difficult.

Ordering two BATEMAN certificates

9 Aug

Last night I ordered two certificates for my BATEMAN research, this is the first time since the price increase that I have ordered any, not really because of the price increase but because there weren’t any that I needed, now I have settled on two that I feel will help my research.

Birth certificate of William Joseph Henry BATEMAN

Although I have no doubts about who his parents were or where he was born, I would like to find out exactly where William was born. I know it was Brighton, Sussex, but even back in the 1880s that covered a wide area and several parishes.

If I can find the address, which was almost certainly his parent’s home then I should be able to find which parish they were living in, which should lead to a baptism record. If I can find William’s baptism then I will probably be able to find those of his two siblings who died as infants (and possibly their burials), thus saving me the cost of more certificates (or the possibility of ordering the wrong ones).

Marriage certificate of Henry BATEMAN and Dorothy Isabella KINGHORN

I already know roughly when my 2x great-grandparents married, it was Q4 1881, and I know it was in the Brighton Registration District, but once again I would like to find out some exact details. Once I know the parish I can look for baptisms of their children, because it might not be the same as that of William’s baptism.

There shouldn’t be any surprises with this certificate and the only new piece of information should be their address or addresses. I suspect they were probably already living together having both moved from Spratton in Northamptonshire, presumably when Dorothy became pregnant.

Both certificates should give me somewhere else to visit in Brighton and photograph. I already have one address in Preston (on the outskirts of Brighton) for them, 19 Yardley Street, so it will be good to be able expand my knowledge of their time in Brighton a little bit more.

The 2010 South of England Postcard Fair, Woking, Surrey

23 May

It had been quite a while since I had been to a postcard fair at Woking Leisure Centre, in Woking, Surrey, although I did go to the leisure centre in October last year for the family history fair.

The leisure centre is a great venue for a postcard fair (and a family history fair) because it has all the facilities that you could need on site, such as a restaurant and plenty of car parking. There is also plenty of space to move around and most importantly for me it is just a short walk (less than 10 minutes) from Woking railway station.

The fair was held over two days (Friday 21st May and Saturday 22nd May), with a specialist modern postcard fair included on the Saturday as well. There were supposed to be over 75 dealers (spread over more than 110 stalls) over the whole weekend, but I didn’t count them. There were certainly more than enough to keep me busy for almost four hours, before my money ran out and I decided I needed to start heading home.

It wasn’t just postcard dealers, although were in the majority, there were dealers selling accessories (albums and pages), cigarette cards, ephemera and most surprisingly for me someone selling old Ordnance Survey maps, something I had never seen before.

So was it worth me going? I would have to say “yes”. The cost of admission was only £2 (£3 on Friday) and with such a large number of dealers it was inevitable that I would be able to add to my collection. I came away with eight postcards, several of which were incredible bargains, and one Ordnance Survey map (a 6” to the mile, 1912 edition of Henfield, Sussex).

There was however on item which I would have loved to have bought, a professional and probably unique photo of the shop in Hailsham which once belonged to my GEERING ancestors. The photo was a lot later than when my ancestors were there (probably by 60 or 70 years so) and the shop front had changed quite a bit since their time, so I couldn’t really justify the £30 asking price!

The fair was organised by Specialist Postcard & Paper Fairs, their website has details of their upcoming fairs, the next one being at Twickenham on the 16th and 17th July 2010. Time to start saving my pennies!

… and whilst we are on the subject, where do I get my indecisiveness from?

22 May

Why do I find it so hard to make a decision? Is it something I inherited from one of my ancestors? If so, which one?

All of these questions crossed my mind as I tried to decide what I was going to do today. In truth I had known that I had to make a decision for several days, but had been putting it off.

My two options for today were walking another section of the South Downs Way or going to the postcard fair at Woking, Surrey. There were of course other options, such as staying at home and doing nothing, but I had at least narrowed it down to these two possibilities.

I could always toss a coin for it, but the logical side of me thinks that I should be able to make the decision without using luck. The problem is that although I can see all the advantages and disadvantages for each of the options, it still doesn’t help me make up my mind either way.

So it makes me wonder, did my ancestors have the any difficultly making decisions? If I had a time machine would I be able to go back and find my ancestors sitting on the fence?

Their decisions probably wouldn’t have been quite so trivial as mine, but is indecisiveness something that gets passed down through the generations, or something you learn from those around you?

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