Tag Archives: chichester

A day out in Chichester (when I finally got there)

18 Apr

The day got off to a rather bad start when I got to Horsham railway station to find there were no trains running (engineering work), but that wasn’t too much of a problem (I suppose I should have checked online) and it wasn’t going to change my plans, it just meant I would have less time in Chichester than I had hoped, because I would be travelling halfway by bus instead of by train.

The second hitch occurred when I went to buy my ticket and realised that I had lost my rail card. I knew I had it when I got on the bus to Horsham, but there was no sign of it now. It must have fallen out of my pocket when I took my wallet out to put my bus pass away. I rushed outside and the bus was still there, and so was my rail card, hiding under the seat. Phew!

What I really missed on the journey down was being able to sit back and relax and watch the countryside rush past. Quite often I will have a whole carriage to myself for most of the journey, because it is still quite early in the morning. Whether the time is spent reading, writing or listening to my mp3 player, I find it a perfect way of starting out the day.

My first stop in Chichester was the library, the reference section (in fact the whole library) has had a makeover since my last visit and looks very nice, and crisp and clean, all in all a very pleasant environment to work in (not that there was really anything wrong with it before).

I found the information I was looking for on the microfilm of the local paper for January 1951, and printed off a couple of pages. I was looking for information on the death of my great grandfather George MITCHELL of West Dean, Sussex. Look out for details of what I discovered in a future post, also in the near future I will explain why I had to go to Chichester library to find the information.

Next stop was the West Sussex Record Office, nothing much has changed there since my last visit, except for the coating of pigeon droppings on the pavement outside, which grows thicker with every visit!

The record office seemed busier than usual today (which is pleasing to see) and perhaps this is the reason why I found it harder to concentrate and focus on what I was doing. Maybe it was the lack of a relaxing journey down or perhaps I just wasn’t prepared enough and my goals not specific enough.

Having said that I did achieve most of my goals, or at least check the records I wanted to, even if the results were negative. Tomorrow I will give you some more details on what I found, and what I did during the lunch break (other than eating my lunch!)

Am I ready a whole weekend dedicated to family history?

16 Apr

It is rather self-indulgent to spend all weekend on genealogy, at the expense of everything else, but I think I deserve it (even if no-one else does).

This coming Saturday will see me visiting the West Sussex Record Office (WSRO) and the library at Chichester, West Sussex, then on Sunday I plan to visit Worthing, West Sussex, and the South Coast Family History Fair at the Pavilion Theatre. So this weekend has been officially designated a family history weekend, in our home at least.

Sunday needs no planning as such, other than making sure I have enough money to spend and deciding if there are any books or CDs that I couldn’t possibly live without. There are sure to be some postcard dealers there as well, so I am sure I won’t come away empty handed.

Saturday is a different matter. Chichester library is simple enough (and should be quite quick), check the microfilm of the local papers for January 1951. The WSRO however needs some more thought and planning. I have a to-do list which probably has enough entries for the WSRO for several visits, so I need to decide where my focus should be directed this time.

A large part of my time will probably be spent trying to find out more about the Sussex part of William Henry and Harriet MITCHELL’s travels. I shall be check for school admission records for their children for starters and then likely burial places for William Henry and Harriet themselves.

I need to try and find out more about Thomas GASSON (3x great grandfather) who appears to have ended his days in the Cuckfield Union Workhouse. I want to see if there is any record of him there, and where he was buried.

After that it is probably a case of picking out the quickest and easiest items from my to-do list, and anywhere there are multiple items for the same document. There is probably nothing more I can add to either of my Thomas KINGHORN projects at WSRO, but you never know.

I have been very good this month and so far I have stuck to my promise to only make one archive trip per month, I didn’t even pop into the Brighton History Centre last weekend despite the temptation being very strong.

My long suffering wife does get a look in. She is going to come along with me to Worthing on Sunday and do some shopping in town, a small price to pay for a whole weekend of genealogy!

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