Tag Archives: lewry

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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Personal Genealogy Update: Week 51

19 Dec

Virtually no family history took place last week, I spent quite a bit of time thinking about family history but did really get down to doing much work.

Really the only bit of work I did was on the LEWRY family of Bolney, Sussex investigating the relationship to a probable new distant cousin, who contacted me. The good news is that we are all most certainly related (probably 5th cousins) but I don’t have enough evidence to hand to prove it conclusively. This week I will try to get together the evidence I do have and put together a reasonable argument for the relationship.

I did spend a little time on the housekeeping of my database, looking to fill in some gaps on the first two wives of Thomas KINGHORN, but didn’t really spend much time on them. I found a couple of records on the Ancestry.co.uk London Parish Register Collections, but haven’t saved them yet or entered the details in my database. It must try to do that this week.

As everyone was talking about it I thought I ought to take a look at the new familysearch website, but having previously checked out the pilot/beta versions of the site I didn’t really spend much time there. I will probably write-up my thoughts in a blog post this week. It will probably prove useful in the future, but at the moment it doesn’t seem to have the content I need, nor do I have the time to investigate the site fully at the moment.

I am going to have to blame Christmas and the cold weather for my lack of family history research this week. With most of my Christmas preparations sorted out now I hope that I can get back down to some family history this week. I also want to try put together a couple of new pages on my blog both of which will act as an index, one for my ancestral profile posts and the other for the sections of the two long distance paths I have walked (the South Downs Way and Capital Ring).

Don’t neglect your orphans

18 Jan

I spent three or four hours last week trying to identify some of the orphans in my database. These are the individuals who are relations, but I am not sure exactly how they were related (Ernest John TROWER was one of these).

When I wrote about cleaning up my database I think there were fifteen or sixteen individuals or families that weren’t linked, now I am down to nine of them, unfortunately I don’t thing there is much more I can do with them without spending more money on certificates.

As well as tidying up my database, which is pleasing in itself, I have also discovered one or two interesting stories. These individuals seemed unpromising, mostly grandchildren of my ancestors, but as I discovered it was well worth investigating them. Embarrassingly a couple of the orphans were duplicates. One orphan was already linked elsewhere and there were two orphans who were actually the same person.

Walter Henry BOXALL was the grandson of James and Caroline BOXALL, born in Wales in 1897. I still don’t know who his parents were or why he was born in Wales when the rest of his relatives were seemingly all in Sussex, England. What I did discover was that Walter Henry was killed in World War One. His name appears on the war memorial at West Dean, Sussex (one of six BOXALLs named on the memorial). He is definitely worth ordering a birth certificate for.

James LEWRY was the grandson of Thomas LEWRY, but it wasn’t until I started investigating him that I discovered he was actually the illegitimate son of my 3x great-grandmother Elizabeth LEWRY. She married Edward WALDER in 1846, three years after James had been born.

Alfred MITCHELL married Violet Florence CHAPPELL in 1920 in Hampshire. There doesn’t appear to be a direct connection, but they had three children baptised in West Dean, Sussex. What interests me is the migration from Hampshire to Sussex, which seems to mirror the migration of my direct ancestors. I need to get the marriage certificate for Alfred and Violet find his father’s name so I can link them up. After that I want to find out if any other MITCHELLs migrated from Hampshire to Sussex.

Initially these orphans did not seem important, and whilst they aren’t direct ancestors they had some interesting stories to tell which no doubt did impact my direct ancestors, so don’t neglect your orphans.

Tombstone Tuesday: Thomas and Mary LEWRY

15 Sep

It occurred to me this morning as I mentally went over the previous night’s research that I probably had a photo of the gravestone for Thomas and Mary LEWRY, my 4x great grandparents.

On my Bank Holiday walk to Bolney, Sussex I had photographed as many LEWRY gravestones as I could find, along with the WALDERs and GASSONs. Sure enough there was a picture of the double headstone of Thomas and Mary in my collection.

Headstone of Thomas and Mary LEWRY, Bolney, Sussex

Headstone of Thomas and Mary LEWRY, Bolney, Sussex

The inscription on the left reads:

IN
MEMORY OF
THOMAS LEWRY
WHO DEPARTED
THIS LIFE OCT 24TH
1855.
AGED 68 YEARS.

and on the right:

IN
MEMORY OF
MARY WIFE OF THOMAS LEWRY
WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE
MAY 31ST 1870.
AGED 80 YEARS.

Investigating Elizabeth LEWRY

15 Sep

Last night I spent some time working on Elizabeth LEWRY my 3x great grandmother. My goal was to fill in some details on her life (from the census) and find out who her parents were.

I already knew that she married Edward WALDER in Bolney, Sussex on the 19th December 1846, and together they had my 2x great grandmother Mary Ann WALDER and at least one other child. From the marriage entry I also know her father’s name was Thomas.

Everything went surprisingly smoothly, most of the census returns were easy to locate (except the 1841 I think it was, in which they were recorded as LOWRY on Ancestry.co.uk). I still need to find out more details on the birth and baptism of their children but that wasn’t on the agenda for last night. I was going backwards, not forwards in time.

Elizabeth was the daughter of Thomas LEWRY and Mary MANSBRIDGE who married in Bolney on the 8th August 1809, she was baptised in Bolney on the 10th April 1825, one of possibly seven or eight children. Thomas’ occupation is variously described over the year as either a labourer, higgler, huckster or poulterer. Thomas died in 1855 aged 68 and Mary in 1870 aged 80, both of them were buried at Bolney.

So that means I have added another set of 4x great grandparents to my family tree, and whilst I still need to do more work on this line I achieved what I set out to do and could go to bed happy (if somewhat later than I had planned).

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