Tag Archives: west sussex record office

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

My genealogy to-do list for the week ahead (week 10)

7 Mar

There seems to have been little time for genealogy last week. My job hunting continues with little success, although last week was more positive than previous weeks.

I don’t seem to have got much family history done, I seem to have been on a genealogical wind-down after Who Do You Think You Are? Live last weekend. I have made some significant discoveries this week, in Henfield churchyard and the West Sussex Record Office.

Gloucestershire records have occupied much of my time, and in particular my search for Winchcombe parish registers. Pub history didn’t get a look-in this week, and my take a back seat for a while.

This week I have a lot of information to get sorted out, not only what I gathered at the West Sussex Record Office, but also some family documents and photos uncovered by my father that need scanning.

  • Continue working through my digital files updating Family Historian and sorting out folders and standardising my filenames.
  • Scan the ‘new’ family documents and photos.
  • Sort through the information gathered at West Sussex Record Office and integrate it into my database.
  • Review my GEERING research in light of the latest information from the West Sussex Record Office.
  • I haven’t ordered my monthly ration of birth, marriage and death certificates yet. I need to decide who gets my money this month.
  • I would like to create a catalogue of my old maps collection, I love maps, both old and new, and often find old copies available cheaply, but have trouble remembering which ones I already have, so I need a list.

Success at West Sussex Record Office

7 Mar

Yesterday I went down to the West Sussex Record Office, with a handful of records to look-up. It was a successful visit and things went better than I could have hoped, even with the disruption on the trains (more engineering work).

I made some useful progress on proving that my 6x great-grandmother was “the old druggist” (more about that in a later post).

I found the exact burial place of my great-grandmother Dorothy May TROWER, something which has eluded me for years (more about that in a later post).

I have located the school admission record of Walter Henry BOXALL, part of what seems to be evolving into a project to document his life and death.

I also picked up several baptism records that I needed, not really critical for my research, just distant relations not ancestors.

It is a little worrying that a lot of the records on my to-do list are parish registers, which have still not been deposited by the parish church at the record office. I am starting to build up quite a list of registers that I check every visit to see if they have arrived yet. Soon I will have to start bothering local vicars for access to the registers.

Whilst out in Chichester at lunchtime I picked up a second hand copy of a book called Goodwood Country in Old Photographs, which includes a photo of one of my 3x great-grandmothers as well as at least two other relations, but probably more. I must say thank you to my (distant) cousin Lisa who told me about this book.

My genealogy to-do list for the week ahead (week 4)

24 Jan

Last week was spent engaged in sorting and organising digital files, and I must admit it has been quite rewarding. I did say I wasn’t going to do any new research, but of course that was impossible for me to achieve.

I have found the process of going through my files very helpful, I have so much information that I haven’t added to my database, some recent (like the 1911 census) and some which had been languishing on my hard drive for months.

As I entered the data it was hard not to try and fill in more details, so some more online searching was done (more 1911 census and recent GRO BMD indexes). Anything that couldn’t be answered quickly was put in a text file, which is quickly growing into a basic to-do list.

This week will probably be much the same as last week, no substantial new research, just working with what I already have.

  • Add all the information that I acquired at the West Sussex Record Office on Saturday to my spreadsheet and database.
  • Continue working through my digital files updating Family Historian and sorting out folders and standardising my filenames.
  • Create a research plan for Mercy TROWER. Consisting of a summary of what I already know, decide what I want to find out and what steps I need to take to achieve it.

Searching for Mercy TROWER in Chichester

23 Jan

I didn’t want to get out of bed this morning (which is unusual for me), but I had promised myself a visit to the West Sussex Record Office so I made the effort and dragged myself out of bed and took the bus and train down to Chichester, West Sussex.

There weren’t really any specific goals for this visit, it was more about double-checking the information regarding Mercy TROWER (making sure I hadn’t missed anything in my previous searches) and extracting some burials from the Framfield bishops’ transcripts.

I just can’t get Mercy TROWER off of my mind, so I double-checked the banns of marriage for Henfield, Sussex along with the burials for Henfield, in case there was a record of a STEADMAN being buried.

I also checked the National Probate Calendar for STEADMANs, STEDMANs and STEEDMANs between 1882 and 1892 for any sign of a possible husband, but with no success.

I extended my search to her son Ernest John TROWER trying to find banns for his marriage in 1913. I am hoping his marriage entry will give me the name of his father, but so far I have not been identify where the marriage took place. I will probably have to order a copy of his marriage certificate if I am ever going to find out.

A visit to the seaside on my day off (or rather a visit to a library near the seaside)

29 Sep

One of these days I am going to take a day off work and not get up the same time as I would if I was going to work. Still it gave me the opportunity to confuse the bus driver by going in the opposite direction to the way I would normally be going.

I know I was supposed to be heading to the East Sussex Record Office at Lewes, East Sussex, but I needed to do a couple of look ups in Worthing as well. So instead of jumping on a bus heading east out of Brighton, I jumped on one headed west.

Worthing Pier in the sunshine

Worthing Pier in the sunshine

Worthing Library was featured in the latest series of Who Do You Think You Are? and for good reason. In my opinion it has the best local studies collection of any of the West Sussex libraries and today it was more convenient (cheaper and quicker) for me than visiting the West Sussex Record Office at Chichester.

Not only did I find the two entries in the parish registers I was after, but I also came away with a copy of Wills and Other Probate Records by Karen Grannum and Nigel Taylor. This book published by The National Archives in 2004 had been withdrawn for sale for some reason (perhaps it has been republished since) and cost me just £2, a real bargain and something to read on the bus heading back to Brighton and Lewes.

Weekly Genealogy preview (for week 39)

20 Sep

Most of my plans for last week went out of the window when Ancestry.co.uk updated their London Historical Records collection, and consequently I did get much of my filing done. I also couldn’t resist doing some research last week and added a couple of pair of 4x great grandparents to my family tree. So this week I need to get back to some organising and filing.

  • Continue working through my stuff to sort folder, making sure I have all the data on my PC and then throw away the paper copy. I really want to get the paper folders done so I can turn my attention to the digital files.
  • I want to put together a research plan for the GEERING family from Lewes, Sussex. I want something ready so that if I get the opportunity to head down to the East Sussex Record Office I can just grab it and go. This will mostly be making sure I have all my data on Family Historian and a list of parish records that I need to check.
  • All the information that I gathered down at the West Sussex Record Office on Saturday needs to be entered into Family Historian and onto my other record spreadsheets. Having almost cleared all my paper files I don’t want to start collecting them again.
  • I must update my blogroll this week, most of my blog reading is done via FeedDemon and the list on my blog no way reflects the feeds I have in FeedDemon.
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 119 other followers

%d bloggers like this: