I was looking at my FAIRS ancestors again last night (and it was well into the night), and have noticed a few strange things that are going to require some further investigation and some death certificates.
Gravestone of John, Eliza, Ann and James FAIRS
It all started with the gravestone (pictured above) of John and Eliza FAIRS (my 4x great grandparents) and two of their children at West Grinstead churchyard, Sussex. It is not easy to read the inscription, but I have the monumental inscription from the volume at the West Sussex Record Office (PAR 95/7/9).
THIS LIFE MARCH 11TH
AGED 41 YEARS
ELIZA WIFE OF
THIS LIFE DEC 3RD
AGED 61 YEARS
|ALSO ANN THEIR DAUGHTER. DIED DEC 7TH
1867. AGED 25 YEARS
ALSO JAMES THEIR SON AGED 10 YEARS
|SO TEACH US TO NUMBER OUR DAYS THAT WE
MAY APPLY OUR HEARTS UNTO WISDOM
Obviously this is quite a useful source of information, four members of the same family on the same gravestone, three of which have ages and dates of death. In connection with the burial records (from the Parish Register Transcription Society) it becomes even more interesting.
John FAIRS buried 11 Mar 1846 (aged 41)
James FAIRS buried 24 May 1848 (aged 10)
Eliza FAIRS buried 9 Dec 1867 (aged 61)
Ann FAIRS buried 9 Dec 1867 (aged 25)
I now have a list of questions that I want to find answers to, and that means I am going to need to order some death certificates.
- What caused John FAIRS to die so young?
- Why was John FAIRS buried on the same day as he died? or is one of the sources incorrect?
- Why did Ann FAIRS die so young?
- Was there any connection between the deaths of Eliza FAIRS and her daughter Ann FAIRS who died four days apart?
- Why did James FAIRS die so young?
Time to go do some shopping I think!
My wife thinks I am obssessed with photos of gravestones, and doesn’t think it appropriate for me to post them on Facebook! Hopefully here I will have a more appreciative audience.
This is a batch of general views of the churchyard at Framfield, Sussex taken last Saturday (9th May 2009). I was surprised at how large the churchyard was for such a small place, there was quite a variety of gravestones, some quite recent but also some quite old in appearance with unreadable inscriptions.
At the very last minute this morning (literally as the bus was coming down the road), I changed my plans for getting to Framfield and Blackboys. Instead of getting the train and replacement bus I realised that I could actually catch a normal bus from Brighton to Uckfield, which would not only be a bit quicker, but also cheaper and there would be more frequent buses.
On top of all that I got a much better view of the Sussex countryside from the top of a double decker bus, plus a trip around Lewes (another ancestral home) and a ride through parts of Brighton I don’t normally get to see. What more could you ask for?
From Uckfield I took another bus to Blackboys, and after getting a few photos and exploring the area I walked from Blackboys to Framfield (only about two miles). I took rather too long in the churchyard at Framfield, so instead of walking back into Uckfield as I had originally planned I took the bus back instead.
Framfield has a lovely church, surprisingly large, and a large churchyard packed with gravestones. I found the gravestones of a few known ancestors, but I also found lots of possible relations as well. They are going to take some sorting out, but I am not in a rush to do that. Now I really need to have a look at the burial register and see who else I missed.
It was great to be able to get a feel for both Framfield and Blackboys, I had never visited before, but now I know where they are and how easy it is to get to them I am sure to be visiting again. Although most of my exploring today was never far from the main roads, there is some lovely countryside surrounding the villages so I would be nice to explore that further. At the moment I know very little about exactly where my ancestors were living, but I am sure in time I will have some houses to go and photograph.
Over the next couple of days I will put up some of the photos so you can see where I went, and what a lovely church Framfield has.
Mabel Annie and Ernest Arthur TROWER were brother and sister, my 2x great aunt and uncle. The gravestone tells a sad story of two young people whose lives were cut short. Ernest’s body was never found and he is remembered here at Sayers Common, Sussex and also in Tyne Cot Cemetery, Belgium.
The gravestone of Mabel Annie TROWER and Ernest Arthur TROWER
The inscription reads:
LOVING MEMORY OF
MABEL ANNIE TROWER
WHO FELL ASLEEP APRIL 11TH 1928
AGED 35 YEARS
ERNEST ARTHUR TROWER
KILLED IN ACTION AT YPRES
SEP 23RD 1917, AGED 22 YEARS
THE RIGHTEOUS LIVETH FOR EVERMORE
This interesting story turned up on the BBC News website today, about a family history researcher who has helped get the grave of a murdered policeman restored, 140 years ago today. The twist to the story is that it was her 3x great uncle William Pullin who was responsible for the murder.
Elaine Rees deserves recognition and congratulations for actually doing some good with her research, in making sure the memory of PC Richard Hill lives on.