Tag Archives: framfield

Making the News: The four Hemsley brothers from Framfield, Sussex

15 May

Probably the most unusual article I discovered on my recent trawl of the British Newspaper Archive concerned four probable relatives from Framfield, Sussex.

SHOOTING.

To the Editor of the Sussex Advertiser and Surrey Gazette.

MR EDITOR,- Will you favor me with an odd corner in your paper for the following:-

  Four brothers, named Hemsley, living at Framfield, gave a challenge to shoot with any four brothers in the county, out and home. I accepted the challenge on behalf of four brothers, in Lewes, named Baker, and tossed with the Hemsleys’ backer for the choice of the first match, which I won; and it was arranged between us to come off in Lewes.

  Strange to say, the boasting challengers have shewn a white feather, and decline the trial of skill!

  Now, Sir, will you allow me space to say, that on behalf of the Bakers, I publicly challenge the Hemsleys to shoot a match (out and home) at six birds each man; or to make a match (out and home) with a larger number of men on each side if they prefer it.

  If they decline this, I recommend them to boast less for the future, and not give a challenge they do not intend to fulfil if accepted.

WM. EAGER.

Southover, Lewes,
7th March, 1851.

This letter was published in the Sussex Advertiser on the 11th March 1851. Unfortunately I couldn’t find out whether any match did take place or who the boasting Hemsley brothers actually were. It is quite likely that they were relatives, most of the Hemsleys in Framfield seem to have been related to me in one way or another.

Without any more information I am not going to be able to do much more with this article, but it is a lovely glimpse into life 160 years ago nonetheless, which admittedly doesn’t paint the Hemsleys in a very good light.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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My Family History Week: Sunday 22nd April 2012

22 Apr

It was a good week, although admittedly most of the family history happened towards the end of the week. There wasn’t really anything new this week, no new databases plundered just sorting out what I already have and a little bit of updating from things like the census and BMD indexes.

Challenging times: Processing Framfield burial records

The thirty-eight Framfield burial records that I captured at East Sussex Record Office have been recorded on my spreadsheet and all but ten of these have been included in my family history software. The ten individuals who didn’t get included weren’t in my database yet and I successfully resisted the temptation of going too far down the road of trying to find out who they were.

I am sure that they will eventually fit in somewhere, but I can wait until that time comes rather than go chasing after them.

East Sussex Record Office information

As well as clearing the Framfield burials I have also finished recording all the other records that I captured at the ESRO have also received a similar treatment. Some records fitted neatly into place in my family tree and others didn’t, but like the burials they will eventually find a home somewhere down the road.

It is great to have these papers off my desk and captured digitally, it is not that I don’t have enough papers on there already.

Future Challenges

I am not sure what my challenge will be this week yet but it probably ought to be either sorting out the information I have for Patrick Vaughan or finishing off updating my to-do list.

I now have the urge to get some of my family photos identified, but before I can do that I really need to get them sorted into some sort of order. I need to do some research into what is going to be the best method for organising them.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Challenging times: Processing Framfield burial records

16 Apr

Last week’s challenge was quite helpful in giving my family history a little bit of focus. The danger however is that I am going to get carried away with doing new exciting stuff, and ignore what I am really ought to be doing.

So this week I am going to attempt to process all the Framfield burial records that I gathered at the East Sussex Record Office last month. I have two pages of burials transcribed from the Framfield burial registers, totalling around forty entries in total.

These are from the period 1890 to 1983 and mainly cover the Hemsley family, but there are also a few Drivers, a couple of Trowers, and a handful of others including one Gasson (probably very distantly related).

The “processing” is in parts, firstly copying these entries on to my parish register transcription spreadsheet, so that I can get rid of the paper copy. The second part is taking each entry and entering it in my family tree if possible.

This second part is likely to be the time-consuming part as I know that some of these people won’t be in my family tree and it will be tempting to try to add them in just so that I can “use” the information I have. I am going to try to avoid adding any new people as much as possible, that is a task for another day.

I have already decided that a future job will be to go through my transcription and make sure I can distinguish which entries have been used, then some when down the line I can work on those that haven’t been used.

There is a third part, which is not quite so onerous, that is to make sure I update my to-do list by removing any of the burial records that I have found from the list and noting those that I wasn’t able to find.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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“I didn’t want to be in Essex”

17 Jan

Having learnt the surname and initials of Minnie’s husband it was pretty easy work to find their marriage in the GRO Marriage Index. Minnie G Allison married Arthur E Collins in Alresford Registration District in Q4 1929.

The middle initial for Minnie enabled me to find her in the GRO Death Index as well (her death was registered in July 1995) which gave me her date of birth (30th December 1907) and told me that her middle name was Gladys.

Next stop the GRO Birth Index, and a birth registration for Minnie Gladys Allison in Q1 1908 in Tendring Registration District. Tendring wasn’t a place I was familiar with, but it turned out that this was in Essex. This was the Minnie that I had looked at before, but felt would be an unlikely match.

Until now everything else had been in Hampshire and now I  found myself in Essex. I didn’t want to be in Essex, not that I have anything against Essex, it was just that it was a county of which I knew next to nothing and didn’t seem to fit into the mental picture of Minnie that I had been building.  I had been expecting a connection with East Sussex and the Hemsley or Driver family, but that hadn’t happened.

All the data I had pointed to Essex, so I had no option to follow the trail, first stop the 1911 census. Given that Minnie was born in 1907 I hoped that she would be listed in the census with her parents. I wasn’t disappointed, there she was with her parents Robert and Kate Allison and two older siblings, living in Beaumont in Essex.

Her father was employed as a horseman on a farm, her parents had been married for seven years and both her siblings were going to school. In short nothing that would suggest that Minnie was going to need adopting at some stage in the future. I was expecting some sign of illegitimacy, perhaps with a mother struggling to cope, but this seemed like a perfectly normal family.

There was one fact in this whole situation which told me that I had to be on the right trail. Kate’s place of birth was given as Framfield, Sussex, this was the indication of a connection that I had hoped for. It seemed inconceivable that there wasn’t a connection with my grandmother’s family also from Framfield and surrounding areas, but what was that connection and how had she ended up in raising a family in Essex?

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Postcard Album: The Schools, Framfield, Sussex

28 Oct

Many months ago I showed you a postcard of the school in Framfield, Sussex which was really the school building rather than todays postcard which hardly shows anything of the building, but instead shows the school in terms of the children that made up the school.

This really is a delightful postcard, admittedly the quality is not brilliant but what I really like is that this doesn’t have the formality of normal school photos, with children lined up in rows. Here we find the children all over the place, some in the road, some peering through the hedge and some even climbing in the hedge by the look of it.

The majority are standing, but there are some kneeling, one little boy on his hands and knees and a couple of boys lying in the road. If you look really closely it looks like four of the boys have bottles in their hands, one boy in the middle looks like he might be saluting, but I think he is probably taking a swig from his bottle. And not a teacher to be seen anywhere.

The sad thing of course is that we don’t know who any of these children are, although I feel sure that there must be several HEMSLEY children among this lot and probably a few other relatives. Unfortunately I don’t have any other photos to compare this against, but I would guess this dates from around 1910.

Interestingly when you compare this with the other postcard it also looks like the photograph has been flipped, the school building should be on the left hand side of the postcard. I wonder whether this was an accident or whether the publisher (A.H. Homewood of Burgess Hill, Sussex) thought it looked better this way?

Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.
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