Last week I mentioned the discovery of a newspaper report of the funeral of my 3x great-grandfather, Henry HEMSLEY at Framfield, Sussex on the 15th January 1914. The amount of information contained in the report was quite remarkable.
One of the most valuable features was the list of chief mourners at the funeral, which appears to be an almost complete list of Henry’s descendants. Not only does it give the names of the mourners, but it also gives their relationship to Henry.
Mr. H. Hemsley (son)
Mr. and Mrs. Buckley (son-in-law and daughter)
Mr. and Mrs. Jeffery (son-in-law and daughter)
Mr. and Mrs. B. Hemsley (son and daughter-in-law)
Mr. and Mrs. T. Hemsley (son and daughter-in-law)
Mr. and Mrs. J. Hemsley (son and daughter-in-law)
Mr. and Mrs. G. Hemsley (son and daughter-in-law)
Mr. and Mrs. E. Winter (son-in-law and daughter)
Mr. M. Stevens (son-in-law)
Mr. C. Wren (brother-in-law)
Mr. C. Hemsley (grandson) and Mrs. Hemsley
Mr. E. Hemsley (grandson) and Mrs. Hemsley
Mr. Bert Hemsley (grandson) and Mrs. Hemsley
Miss M. Hemsley (granddaughter)
Mrs. Ralph (granddaughter) and Mr. Ralph
Mr. W. W. Buckley (grandson)
Mrs. Westgate (granddaughter) and Mr. Westgate
Mr. J. Buckley (grandson)
Miss C. Buckley (granddaughter)
Mr. H. Jeffery (grandson)
Miss A. Hemsley (granddaughter)
Miss N. Hemsley (granddaughter)
Mr. W. Hemsley (grandson)
Miss G. Winter (granddaughter)
Miss O. Hemsley (granddaughter)
Mr. A. Hemsley (grandson)
Master W. Hemsley (grandson)
Miss Ivy Hemsley (granddaughter)
Miss Lily Stevens (granddaughter)
Mrs. Tapp (niece)
Mr. Tapp (nephew)
Mr. G. Wren (nephew)
Mr. and Mrs. L. Winter (nephew and niece)
I am sure don’t need to point out what a valuable piece of information this is. I now have a list of the children that had married, or those who hadn’t (or whose spouse had died). Going one step further than that I can also see many of Henry’s grandchildren as well.
It is going to take a while to go through this list and confirm the details and enter them into my family tree. Some of the information I already have, some will confirm what I previously suspected and some is completely new to me.
The amount of information contained in this report is really quite staggering and it makes me wonder just how the newspaper reporter went about collecting all this information?
Sometimes it is worth taking a chance and searching for things which you don’t really expect to find. Such was the case last week at the Brighton History Centre, when I had an hour to spare in Brighton and wanted to check a local newspaper for details of the sale of the Gun Inn at Blackboys in Framfield, Sussex.
I had a date for the sale and wanted to find out who had been the auctioneers responsible, so I could see if there might be a sale catalogue for the Gun Inn languishing in an archive somewhere. I found the advert I was expecting (although not as much information as I had hoped) and a brief report the following day confirming that the sale took place.
The sale was as a result of the death of Henry HEMSLEY my 3x great grandfather who was the owner, occupier and licensee of the Gun Inn. I thought that as I had the microfilm loaded into the reader and I knew the date of Henry’s death from his headstone, that I might as well check to see if there was a mention of his death or burial.
To be honest I wasn’t expecting to find anything, perhaps a brief notice about his death or maybe something longer if his cause of death had been unusual. There didn’t really seem much chance of find anything more than a few sentences.
What I found was a report of his funeral that had so much detail in it that it will probably take me several weeks to actually process it all. I don’t think I have ever seen a newspaper report for one of my ancestors that goes into such detail, come to think of it, I don’t think I have ever found the report of a funeral for any of my ancestors.
I don’t think I have the space to bore you with all the details in this post, but if you are interested you can have a look at my transcription as a pdf. Over the next couple of days I will highlight some of the information that makes it so valuable to my research.
The photograph below is from my visit to Framfield, Sussex back in May 2009. It is what I would call an orphan gravestone, in that I wasn’t expecting to find any TROWERs in Framfield, but given that TROWER is not a common name I felt there was a good chance that they were relations.
Last week as I was looking through the HEMSLEY gravestones from Framfield I stumbled across this one again, and decided it was about time that I found a place for it in my family tree.
It is a very nice headstone, in terms of condition and content (notice the helpful inclusion of Edith’s maiden name). It was fairly easy to find Philip John TROWER in the 1911 census, where he was living with his parents Harry and Lois TROWER in Barcombe, Sussex, where Philip had been born.
Now he has a place in my family tree I know that Philip John TROWER was my second cousin three times removed, so not a close relation, but I was right in guessing he was related.
The transcription reads:
EDITH LUCY TROWER
DIED 23RD FEBRUARY 1955
AGED 53 YEARS.
AND OF HER HUSBAND
PHILIP JOHN TROWER
DIED 10TH APRIL 1960.
AGED 57 YEARS.
PATIENT IN TRIBULATION.
I don’t seem to have achieved much this week, job seeking is at the forefront of my mind, but I have continued sorting through my hard drive and getting myself organised.
I have continued looking at the BATEMAN family of Gloucestershire, but I just can’t seem to get excited about them. I am not really sure why it should be, perhaps it is because I don’t have easy access to the right records. I need to find some hook into this family that is going to keep me interested.
A fine example is with the HEMSLEY family, whilst trying to increase the number of HEMSLEYs in my family tree, I noticed a connection between the HEMSLEY and GILES families and Blackboys Inn, in Blackboys near Framfield, Sussex. That definitely makes me want to investigate further.
- Continue working through my digital files updating Family Historian and sorting out folders and standardising my filenames.
- Continue working on the BATEMAN family, updating details for more of the family, but also trying to find something of interest to keep me hooked.
- Find out about Blackboys Inn, and find out about the HEMSLEY and GILES connection, to see what the connection is to my ancestors.
- The three certificates that I ordered last week should arrive this week and open up some new avenues of research and possibly provide some answers if I am lucky.
One of the families that seems to have been well established in Framfield, Sussex was the DRIVER family.
Initial work using the Sussex Family History Group baptism and marriage index has taken my line back to around 1730 without too much trouble, and there are earlier DRIVERs there that are probably related.
One interesting piece of information that I have discovered is the identity of parents of John DRIVER, my 4x great-grandfather.
John was baptised on the 19th August 1788 at Framfield, and his parents were Robert and Mary DRIVER. There are at least three pairs of Robert and Mary DRIVERs in the Framfield parish registers, fortunately they are quite well spread out, so it is easy to tell the different families apart.
When I checked for a marriage for this particular Robert and Mary I was quite surprised to find that the marriage was between Robert DRIVER and Mary DRIVER.
The marriage took place in Framfield on the 9th October 1785 and was by licence. The chances of these two not being related seem incredibly slim, the question is how closely related. The marriage licence may well offer more evidence, and I can certainly see why there would have been a licence needed.