Tag Archives: twineham

Personal Research Update: Sunday 11th December 2011

11 Dec

My already limited research time has been even further reduced over the last couple of weeks, as a result of which I have again done very little research over the last few weeks.

I did get the opportunity to scan some more of my postcards (and to buy some more) but strictly speaking that is not really family history, although a few were of ancestral locations (mainly churches).

What little family history I did do was centred around maps. I spent some time on the A Vision of Britain through Time website studying the First Series Ordnance Survey map from 1813 for the western part of Sussex. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, but I ended up finding where my 4x great-grandparents Thomas and Mary WELLER lived in Twineham, Sussex.

That discovery was particularly satisfying because I had struggled to find their home for a while, but I will write more about that at a future date.

My other research centred around Henry and Dorothy Isabella BATEMAN (my 2x great-grandparents) and the whereabouts of their home in Hurst Wickham, Hurstpierpoint, Sussex. Encouraged by the comments of a local resident on one of my blog posts I decided to re-visit this particular problem again.

Using the 1911 census I was able to find out the names of adjacent properties to their house (2 Shenley Villas) and by studying the maps on oldmaps.co.uk I was able pin down the probable location of their house.

The key thing here was that the map contemporary with the 1911 census didn’t show house names, but one from fifty years later did have house names on it, and enough of those names hadn’t changed to enable me to find Shenley Villas, now known as The Double House, at least that is my belief.

Now I know where to look I should be able to confirm this with a visit to The National Archives to view the records of the Valuation Office Survey. This will not only confirm that I have the right property but it should also give me a description of the house itself, so well worth doing next time I am up at Kew.

Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.
Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
.

It is reassuring to know that I was right

20 May

Without wishing to sound too smug, it is reassuring to know that my theory was correct. The birth certificate for Andrew WELLER arrived in the post today confirming what I thought was the case, but I was just not quite confident enough to accept without seeing further evidence.

Andrew’s mother is listed as “Mary Weller formerly Newnham”, which is just the answer I was looking for. It is a shame that I had to pay £9.25 for the privilege of getting that one piece of information, it is not as if I really wanted or needed the rest of the information on the certificate, but I suppose now I have his birth certificate I really ought to find out what actually became of him (he is my 4x great-uncle after all).

More importantly this mean I can happily say that my 4x great-grandmother was Mary NEWNHAM and she married Thomas WELLER in Bolney, Sussex on the 31st December 1816. The census records that Mary was from West Grinstead, Sussex, so she is almost certainly the daughter of James and Sarah NEWNHAM of West Grinstead and she was baptised there on the 7th August 1796.

Now I can start work on the NEWNHAM family line with the resources I already have access to, so will hopefully be able to add a couple more generations without too much difficulty.

For anyone who might be interested in the full details from the certificate (and because I have finally worked out how to do tables) here they are:

No. 104
When and where born Thirteenth of August 1838 Twineham
Name, if any Andrew
Sex Boy
Name and surname of father Thomas Weller
Name, surname and maiden surname of mother Mary Weller formerly Newnham
Occupation of father Agricultural labourer
Signature, description and residence of informant Thomas Weller Father his X mark Twineham
When registered Sixteenth of August 1848
Signature of registrar Billy Ho[ward] Registrar
Name entered after registration [left blank]
Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.
Creative Commons Licence This work is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
.

Postcard Album: Twineham Church, Sussex

12 May

The postcard below shows the parish church of St. Peters in Twineham, Sussex, the church of some of my WELLER relatives.

To be honest this is not a particularly good quality image, the postcard has seen better days, but postcards of Twineham seem few and far between so it will have to do until a better quality one turns up.

The postcard was published by A. H. Homewood of Burgess Hill, Sussex a prolific Sussex postcard publisher. The postcard hasn’t been used, but it probably dates from around 1906-08. The photo below was taken by me on the 31st August 2009 from a slightly different angle, as you can see there were more leaves on the trees when I was there.

Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.

Creative Commons Licence

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Finding Mary’s maiden name

10 May

In theory it ought to be quite easy to find the maiden name of my 4x great-grandmother Mary, the wife of Thomas WELLER. I actually have a pretty good idea of what it is (NEWNHAM), but I just want to make sure before I explore the NEWNHAM line too far.

The reason it should be easy is because Thomas and Mary WELLER had three children (out of a total of twelve) who were born after the start of civil registration in 1837, so their birth certificates should give Mary’s maiden name.

The problem comes mainly from my reluctance to part with any money for a certificate unless I am certain it is the right one and making sure I get the best value for money. In this case that would mean getting the certificate for my 3x great-grandmother Mary Ann WELLER, because although I have no particular need to know her exact date of birth, if I am going to pay for a certificate it might as well be for a direct ancestor and not one of their siblings.

I have baptism dates for all three of the children concerned and know from the census where they were living and where they were baptised (Twineham, Sussex) so again in theory it should be a simple matter of checking the GRO Indexes and ordering the certificate.

Of course it is not that simple, no birth registration seems to exist for a Mary Ann WELLER, there is a Mary WELLER but not where I would expect it (Cuckfield Registration District) but in a neighbouring registration district. Close, but not close enough for me to risk my hard-earned £9.25 on.

So my next choice would be George Henry WELLER, the first and second name should be enough to make sure I get the correct certificate, more so than his brother Andrew. FreeBMD was a little uncertain about the page number, so I checked the image, several images in fact (on Ancestry, Findmypast and TheGenealogist) but I can’t make it out either.

Fortunately George’s brother Andrew WELLER turns out to be my saviour, the volume and page number are readable and the date and place match up. If truth be known I am not really interested in Andrew (apologies if he is your ancestor) but his certificate is the only one that I can safely order. The irony is that I already know his date of birth from the baptism register so I don’t even need to know that part of information.

Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.

Creative Commons Licence

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Time to pull myself out of a genealogy slump

9 May

The last couple of weeks have been pretty quiet for my family history research. Apart from doing a little bit of filing, which took far longer than it should have, I haven’t really done my family history work.

I have done quite a bit of reading and an awful lot ofworrying about what I should be doing, but not actually getting down to actually doing any research. It hasn’t helped that there have been plenty of distractions this last couple of months.

I have been working longer hours recently, the weather has been fantastic enabling me to get out and do some walking (with lots of bank holidays providing me the opportunity to get out and about). On top of that we have entered lawn mowing season and several hours a week have been spent cutting my parent’s grass.

So I haven’t been sitting around doing nothing but I am starting to miss the pleasure of family history research. I am missing the excitement of waiting for a certificate to arrive, the sense of discovery in following a previously unexplored line or the challenge of overcoming a brick wall.

I need to try to get back into a routine again, of doing some family history research every evening after work. There are plenty of projects I could be working on at home, without having to get out to an archive. I am still supposed to be trying to find all my 5x great-grandparents and although I am going to be more reliant on visiting archives for this, there is still a lot I can do at home.

This week I am going to try to get a birth certificate ordered for one of the children of Thomas and Mary WELLER of Twineham, Sussex. This should give me Mary’s maiden name and give me the confidence to explore this branch of my family tree with some certainty.

Whilst I am waiting for the certificate to arrive I need to get back into my DRAPPER/NICHOLLS research, if only in preparation for a visit to an archive. I know that visit probably won’t be soon, but at least I can be ready for it when the time does come.

The other thing I want to work on is the Gun Inn/Farm in Blackboys, Sussex. Whilst organising my notes a couple of weeks ago I went through my notes from the license registers and need to tie all these together with newspaper reports and other census and directory information to create a history of the inn (technically it was actually a beerhouse).

I have a couple of other non-genealogy tasks to complete this week, but once I get them out of the way I am going to get stuck back in again!

Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.

Creative Commons Licence

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Ancestral Profile: Thomas WELLER (1796-1869)

19 Apr

Thomas WELLER was one of my 4x great-grandparents and I have precious little information on him or his family. The WELLER branch of my family tree seems rather uninteresting, but in truth it is probably more unexplored than uninteresting.

From the information provided in the 1861 census it appears that Thomas was born in North Bersted, Sussex and all evidence points to the year 1796. It is my understanding that North Bersted was originally part of the parish of South Bersted, but now the whole area seems to have been tangled up amongst the town of Bognor Regis (this will need some investigation at a later date).

It is in South Bersted, Sussex that we find a baptism for a Thomas WELLER on the 18th September 1796, the son of John and Elizabeth WELLER. So far I have found nothing else to prove the connection, but it seems quite likely.

Thomas turns up in Twineham, Sussex in 1841 (about 30 miles north-east from North Bersted) and by this time he is married and he and his wife Mary have had ten children (with another two more to follow).

I believe Thomas’ wife was Mary NEWNHAM of West Grinstead, Sussex and that the couple were married in Bolney, Sussex on the 31st December 1816. This seems the most likely marriage, because their first child was baptised in August 1817, but I still need to find further evidence.

The twelve children were all baptised in Twineham, Sussex:

  • John WELLER (baptised 31st August 1817)
  • Elizabeth WELLER (baptised 26th September 1819)
  • Harriet WELLER (baptised 13th January 1822)
  • George WELLER (baptised 16th May 1824)
  • Rebecca WELLER (baptised 3rd September 1826)
  • Thomas WELLER (baptised 9th November 1828)
  • William WELLER (baptised 27th March 1831)
  • James WELLER (baptised 2nd June 1833)
  • Peter WELLER (baptised 13th December 1835)
  • Andrew WELLER (baptised 16th September 1838)
  • Mary Ann WELLER (baptised 9th May 1841) [my 3x great-grandmother]
  • George Henry WELLER (baptised 28th January 1844)

The census and baptism register entries provide very little detail on Thomas’ occupation. In all sources he recorded as either a labourer or agricultural labourer. The families residence remains constant across the 1841, 1851 and 1861 census, they are to be found living at Riddens, which is probably Riddens Farm near the village of Ansty (although I need check that this was within the parish of Twineham at the time).

Thomas died in 1869 aged 73 years, his death was registered in Q4 1869 in the Cuckfield Registration District, and he was buried at St. Peter’s Church, Twineham on the 19th December 1869. His wife Mary died four years later in 1873.

Further Research…

There are several geographical questions to be answered, surrounding the exact location of Riddens and the details on North and South Bersted, but the main challenge is to prove the marriage of Thomas WELLER and Mary NEWNHAM. This shouldn’t prove too difficult as there are three children who were born after the start of civil registration in 1837 and their birth certificates should include their mother’s maiden name.

A Bank Holiday walk to Bolney

31 Aug

What a way to spend Bank Holiday Monday, contrary to expectations the sun was out (in fact it was a lovely afternoon) and I was out walking making the most of it.

The destination for today’s walk was Bolney, Sussex, home to many GASSON and WALDER ancestors and relations. In particular I wanted to visit the church at Bolney and try and find some gravestones.

The South Downs, from near Twineham

The South Downs, from near Twineham

The walk started in a small place called Wineham (thanks to my wife for dropping me off). From here I followed the wonderfully named Bob Lane to Twineham, which is slightly bigger than Wineham and has it’s own delightful little church.

St Peters Church Twineham, Sussex

St Peters Church Twineham, Sussex

There should be a couple of my WELLER ancestors buried here, although I haven’t confirmed that in the burial register. If they are they either never had a headstone or it has long since vanished, because I couldn’t find one.

From Twineham I followed Bolney Chapel Road up to the main A272 and then a short way along the A272 into Bolney itself. I like following these small country roads because I don’t have to worry too much with a map, I can just get on with enjoying the scenery and not have to worry about which footpath I have to take.

St Mary Magdalene is a beautiful church, set on the top of a small hill. About a dozen stone steps lead up to a fabulous lych gate, quite possibly the largest I have ever seen. From the lych gate a path leads up the hill to the church.

Bolney Church from the lych gate

Bolney Church from the lych gate

The church itself was closed, but there was plenty to see outside, but one day I ought to actually try and get inside. There is a huge variety of gravestones in the churchyard, so many different ages and types. Of course the older ones are not so easy to read, in fact many are now just slabs of stone with no sign of an inscription.

A pair of gravestones in Bolney Churchyard

A pair of gravestones in Bolney Churchyard

Unfortunately I didn’t have the churchyard to myself, there appeared to be some sort of treasure hunt going on as small groups of people with clipboards made their way through the churchyard searching for a particular gravestone before moving on.

My own hunt was quite successful, several modern GASSON gravestones and some older WALDER and LEWRY ones, although how much of the older ones I am going to be able to make out is another question. I need to have a look and see if there are any monumental inscriptions available that I can use to fill in some gaps. Hopefully someone went around a hundred years ago and recorded all the older ones for me before the inscriptions disappeared.

From the church I head further into the village, past the war memorial and then headed west. This long and winding road (and quite hilly) took me through some nice woodland, with a beautiful scent of pine in the air and past an ancestral home Chatesgrove. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like the present owners of Chatesgrove are that keen on letting anyone see their house. Lots of thick hedges and tall fences, meant all I could see were a few glimpses of a timber framed building.

The road eventually took me back to Wineham, where I was due to get picked up again. All in all a nice afternoon spent walking (about 11 miles), lots of photos on my camera, although I don’t think any of the gravestones are direct ancestors. It is surprising how quick the temperature dropped and the light began to disappear, there is no escaping it, autumn is on the way.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 117 other followers

%d bloggers like this: