Tag Archives: bolney

It is reassuring to know that I was right

20 May

Without wishing to sound too smug, it is reassuring to know that my theory was correct. The birth certificate for Andrew WELLER arrived in the post today confirming what I thought was the case, but I was just not quite confident enough to accept without seeing further evidence.

Andrew’s mother is listed as “Mary Weller formerly Newnham”, which is just the answer I was looking for. It is a shame that I had to pay £9.25 for the privilege of getting that one piece of information, it is not as if I really wanted or needed the rest of the information on the certificate, but I suppose now I have his birth certificate I really ought to find out what actually became of him (he is my 4x great-uncle after all).

More importantly this mean I can happily say that my 4x great-grandmother was Mary NEWNHAM and she married Thomas WELLER in Bolney, Sussex on the 31st December 1816. The census records that Mary was from West Grinstead, Sussex, so she is almost certainly the daughter of James and Sarah NEWNHAM of West Grinstead and she was baptised there on the 7th August 1796.

Now I can start work on the NEWNHAM family line with the resources I already have access to, so will hopefully be able to add a couple more generations without too much difficulty.

For anyone who might be interested in the full details from the certificate (and because I have finally worked out how to do tables) here they are:

No. 104
When and where born Thirteenth of August 1838 Twineham
Name, if any Andrew
Sex Boy
Name and surname of father Thomas Weller
Name, surname and maiden surname of mother Mary Weller formerly Newnham
Occupation of father Agricultural labourer
Signature, description and residence of informant Thomas Weller Father his X mark Twineham
When registered Sixteenth of August 1848
Signature of registrar Billy Ho[ward] Registrar
Name entered after registration [left blank]
Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.
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Postcard Album: Lych Gate, Bolney, Sussex

1 May

I have previously featured two postcards of the lych gate at Bolney, Sussex (here and here) but I make no apologies for featuring another one.

Being photographic this one has much more detail, despite the postcard being slightly damaged. As I have written before about the lych gate I won’t go into details again, but I will repeat the fact that it is a fabulous piece of workmanship.

The card has no mention of a photographer or publisher, but fortunately it was used so there is a postmark. It was sent from Horsham, Sussex (where I started my walk yesterday) on the 6th April 1914 to a Mr C. Tourtel of St. Martins, Guernsey on the Channel Islands.

Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Wandering: High Weald Landscape Trail – Horsham to Bolney

30 Apr

The High Weald Landscape Trail is a 90 mile route that runs from Horsham in West Sussex to Rye in East Sussex. The High Weald is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and according to the High Weald AONB website its key features are “its rolling hills, scattered farmsteads, small woodlands, irregular-shaped fields, open heaths and ancient routeways”.

The walk begins in the town of Horsham, West Sussex at the railway station in the north of the town. The first half a mile or so of the route is not very inspiring but it soon breaks free of the residential streets of Horsham and heads into woodland. Soon the tarmac gives way to dirt tracks and before long the dog walkers begin to thin out and the town becomes a distant memory.

The dominating feature of the first part of today’s walk was the woodland, ranging from the “small woodland” mentioned above, with narrow paths winding through the bluebells to a larger forest with stacks of recently felled timber alongside the wide tracks.

The dominant industry in this area was iron working, hence the need for timber and also water. There are several ponds/lakes which provided the water, the one below is Carterslodge Pond near Slaugham, West Sussex.

The route had been mainly heading in an easterly direction for about five miles, but it started heading in a more southerly direction as it emerged from the woodland and into a more open landscape and headed towards the village of Slaugham, West Sussex. I have never been to Slaugham before, expect in family history records, and this was one of the highlights of today’s walk.

Despite having several family connections in the village I didn’t really have any specific destination other than the parish church, even then it was just to have a general look around, rather than searching for any specific gravestones.

Both the church and village were beautiful in the sunshine. With the exception of the modern cars and a few other modern trappings it did look like the village could be stuck in a time warp, and I began to wonder whether I had walked onto the set of a period drama.

The route continued southwards another three or four miles through similar landscape, another lake and a few smaller patches of woodland before hitting a quiet country road between Warninglid and Bolney. Not long after a glimpse of a trig point, a separate road branches off to the east and then another footpath heading off south again winds its way onward to the village of Bolney.

The Eight Bells pub (pictured above) provided some welcome refreshment and a chance to take the weight off our feet, whilst we waited for the rather infrequent bus back to Horsham.

Just across the road was Bolney church, which looked glorious in the sunshine and to my surprise and delight it was unlocked. So for the first time I was able to set foot in the church that has been such a prominent feature in the lives of my ancestors and in my own research.

Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.

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Postcard Album: Interior, Bolney Church, Sussex

29 Apr

It may not be Westminster Abbey, but this is more typical of the sort of place where my ancestors were married (sorry I just had to get in a reference to the Royal Wedding).

As the caption says this is the interior of Bolney Church. The church of St. Mary Magdalene in the village of Bolney, West Sussex has more family associations than just the usual baptisms, marriages and burials. Many of the individuals in my family tree passed through the doors to this church, including GASSON, WALDER, HARMES and LEWRY families.

Both of the other family associations relate to the church bells. Several generations of the WALDER family and at least one GASSON have served as bellringers in the church and are remembered on boards in the church tower.

Secondly it seems that one of my probable ancestors, Michael HARMES, paid for four of the eight bells in the church tower. That is one branch of my family tree I would really like to investigate and prove that I am related.

The reason for choosing this postcard today is because hopefully tomorrow I will be walking to Bolney, not strictly speaking for genealogy purposes, but I might “accidentally” end up wandering into the churchyard.

Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Ann HARMES – my next challenge

20 Mar

This should have been an Ancestral Profile post, but it would be the shortest one yet, because I know very little about Ann HARMES. Ann was one of my 4x great-grandparents. She married Samuel WALDER in Bolney, Sussex on the 14th November 1815.

To my knowledge they had six children, all baptised in Bolney between 1817 and 1831, including my 3x great-grandfather Edward WALDER. Then some time between that last baptism in 1831 (or possibly just before) and the 1841 census Ann died.

At least I assume that she died, she is not with her husband Samuel in 1841 and he re-married in February 1842 (in Bolney) claiming he was a widow. The problem is that I can’t find a burial record for Ann WALDER or anything like it (or HARMES) in Bolney.

I have been using indexes and transcriptions for my research, so I need to check the original records to make sure that the record hasn’t been missed. I also need to make sure that I have covered all surrounding parishes just in case.

The problem is that without knowing when she died and how old she was when she died I don’t know when she was born. She may have been about the same age as Samuel and died young, or she could have been considerably older and died at a ripe old age.

She may even have been a widow (that should be easy to check on the original parish register entry) when she married Samuel and in that case HARMES might not be her maiden name.

The good news is that there is an eligible Ann HARMES in Bolney. Michael and Hannah HARMES had at least nine children one of whom was Ann, who was baptised on the 4th March 1798 in Bolney. This would make her about a similar age as Samuel WALDER, but of course I don’t know how old Samuel’s wife was, so I am reluctant to accept this at face value without further evidence.

Further Research…

I need to double-check the Bolney parish registers, for details of Ann’s marriage and to find her burial, I really need to find an age from somewhere. I also need to pay attention to Michael and Hannah HARMES, my best bet would be to find a will that mentions the WALDER family.

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