Tag Archives: headstone

Tombstone Tuesday: Dorothy May TROWER

9 Mar

This is a Tombstone Tuesday post with a difference. I mentioned on Sunday that I had found the burial place of Dorothy May TROWER (née BATEMAN) my great-grandmother. The reason that I hadn’t found it sooner was because there is no headstone.

I already knew that Dorothy was buried in the churchyard at Sayers Common, Sussex from the memorial card pictured below, but didn’t know exactly where.

In loving memory of Dorothy May TROWER

As you can see Dorothy died in 1916 aged just 27 years old. She left her husband of less than five years with two daughters, Dorothy Annie (not yet four years old) and Eleanor May (under six months old). It is my belief that is was Dorothy’s death that prevented (or saved) her husband Henry John TROWER having to serve in the First World War, but I have no proof of this yet.

Dorothy’s exact burial place was revealed on a plan of Sayers Common Churchyard at West Sussex Record Office (WSRO PAR 478/7/8). The catalogue description for the plan was not very inspiring, something along the lines of “Plan of burial ground of Christchurch, Sayers Common”. I have often looked at the entry and wondered what the plan actually showed.

The plan itself is about one metre square and was marked with the outline of the church (before it’s extension) , the paths and boundaries and most importantly burial plots. The plots were laid out in a grid like pattern, with the rows labelled by letters.

Some of the plots had names written in them, some were readable, some weren’t. There was a variety of handwriting, ink and legibility. I checked the area of the churchyard where the known TROWER headstones are and next to them in rather blurred writing was the name Dorothy May TROWER. It wasn’t clear, but unmistakably the name of my great-grandmother.

I couldn’t believe that I had actually found her resting place, to be honest it wasn’t something I had been looking for, which made the discovery all the more rewarding. There was also the thrill that comes from knowing that I was probably the only family member that knew where she was buried.

I have been there many times, photographing the graves and cleaning them up, but had never known my great-grandmother had been laid to rest so close to the rest of the family.

The exact location is shown in the photo below (taken in last June). Dorothy May TROWER is buried between the grave in the top-left (Ruth TROWER) and the double grave in the top-right (not my family) behind the one in the middle (Mabel Annie TROWER).

Sayers Common Churchyard

Gravestone of Mary Ann and John FAIRS

5 Mar

This should be a Tombstone Tuesday post, but I couldn’t wait that long. Today I finally located the headstone of Mary Ann and John FAIRS, my 3x great-grandparents.

Gravestone of Mary Ann and John FAIRS As you can see it is not in great condition, it is at the eastern end of the churchyard at Henfield, Sussex, and on previous visits I have not been able to find it because that section of the churchyard has been overgrown. The photo below shows what it was like in June last year, the headstone is in the section on the left-hand side.

Henfield Churchyard

I knew if I was patient the grass would die back over winter, rather than me having to trample my way through. The problem was that it has been so wet and cold that I have not been able to get there until now.

I should add that I did have some help finding it. The churchyard had previously been transcribed for the Sussex Family History Group, so I already had a transcription of the headstone, but that wasn’t the same as seeing it for myself.

Tombstone Tuesday: Edith Lucy and Philip John TROWER

16 Feb

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.

Gravestone of Edith Lucy and Philip John TROWER

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:


Tombstone Tuesday: Jane TROWER

12 Jan

I wrote about Jane TROWER yesterday and the fact that I am missing several census entries for her.

At least I know when she died and where she was buried, because here is a photo of her headstone at the cemetery in Henfield, Sussex.

Gravestone of Jane TROWER

This photo was taken nearly two years ago in March 2008, on a bright spring morning, when the weather was obviously much better than it has been here recently.

Jane’s headstone is next to that of her parent’s and somewhere nearby in an unmarked grave is her brother Luther TROWER. In fact within ten metres of this headstone two other members of the same family are buried. Jane’s brother Abraham and his wife, and her sister Anne and her husband.

Tombstone Tuesday: Gertrude Emily and William Arthur PATCHING

15 Dec

This headstone is from Lewes Cemetery, in Lewes, East Sussex. It was taken by me on the 16th October 2009, when I paid the cemetery a visit in search of GEERING gravestones.

The photo is actually a close up of one I posted back in October. It is the headstone of my 2x great-aunt Gertrude Emily PATCHING and her husband William Arthur.

Gravestone of Gertrude Emily and William Arthur PATCHING

This headstone is a really treasure trove of information, prior to this I hadn’t actually got around to finding out about Gertrude Emily GEERING (so many relations, so little time).

So not only do I get Gertrude’s date of death, the name of her husband (and his age and date of death), but also I get her parents names as well, which confirms this is the right person.

Sadly it doesn’t tell me if Gertrude and William had any children, but I suspect they didn’t otherwise it would have mentioned her as a mother as well. That is something I can check up on at a later date.


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