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  1. #1
    Have caught a bug! Scrapping! Allyj50's Avatar
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    May 2006
    1 mile from EastLancs A580 Golborne island between Manchester and Liverpool
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    Checking out a rumour ..... and then checking a House

    I havent been on UKS for a long time, life took over elsewhere and I started to look for something else to do that didn't require at the time much effort for me. I have dabbled with family history from time to time but never to the experience I have recently done .. I had exchanged some photos of my great grannie with long distance family and heard a rumour about great grannie's second husband who died before herself and that the house she lived in with her 2nd husband was returned to the family ie his first wife .. everyone accepted that but for me it was a puzzle, why?? His first wife died before him and was childless.

    So, I decided to do some digging to satisfy my curiousity. At the same time, I had an invite to join some friends in Somerset for a weekend and the house booked was about 30 minutes away from where the original house and village was and I decided I would go and do some exploring on my own on the Saturday afternoon.

    Thus, Saturday afternoon was like entering Brigadoon, the whole village of houses were set in a square with the Church and graveyard in the middle of the square. WOW the church didn't look especially big and I wondered if it was ever used. I found the house I needed from the scrapbook picture I had done some years ago of my Great Granny and my Aunt & Uncle sitting in the Orchards. I couldn't see the Orchards now but I noticed that there was another house within the courtyard of the House I was interested in was habitable and knocked at the door. A woman opened the door and I explained I was looking for the Cyder Mill and orchards belonging to Church House. I explained my great grand dad had lived there all his life until his death and that it had been sold. She was joined by her husband who listened with interest. I said I had realised the church would be locked but had managed to catch someone leaving the church who turned out to be a church warden who ran after the vicar who was walking her dog home to get her keys for the church so I could have a look around inside.

    So the woman said that she and her husband had bought the Cyder mill and had been there some time .. told me that the house across the yard was the current owner and she had been there since marriage. Told me to go and knock on the door as her grand son was with her currently. So I stepped across, knocked and was invited in. Lovely gentle lady who was interested in my story of my rellies. She told me a bit of how she and her husband had rented the house before being asked if they wanted to buy it. Told me who had bought the house and I made notes to check them out on ancestry and find my past. Then i was called back to the church as the vicar had arrived. I was interested in whether they had pews in the house made by my Great Grand dad. They werent aware if they had at all. But he was the local undertaker when anyone died! The church was absolutely tiny and few lights inside it but what I did find of interest on one of the walls was the names of all the men that had left the village to go and fight in the war and what dates they returned. I noted there was an ALBAN COLES who was the nephew of EDWARD COLES my Great Grand dad and I know he taught him all he knew - carpenter. (Family knew that Alban had gone to war but we didn't have a date for his return or which theatre of wars he had fought in, so that was something of significant for our family research)

    The warden gave me his name and email and told me that if I needed anything finding out he would be willing to research it for me and I thanked him and put the address in "a safe place" … It was dark by the time I came out of the church. Thanked everyone for their help and decided I needed to get back to my rented house before darkness came down completely. So I didn't have the chance to go back and talk to Helena or Gary her grandson. I found the email address about a year later and realised I needed to go back over my notes last year and see if I could put a story together .. so with his help, he was able to give me bits of knowledge he had gleaned by Helena's daughter in law. Their son had died at an early age from illness I think.

    I made a scrapbook of their story with old photographs I found from other members of the family. I further joined Find My Past which wasn't connected with Ancestry at the time and found out who lived at the house at the time. New owner was called Mr James - this confused completely as I thought the term Mr James was his first name and the lady of the house was deferring to him as being above her station. I researched his family and discovered that he and Mr Stone and one other had married into the Bowditch family and that the mother of Helena's husband had died when he was a baby. The baby went to live with grand parents and they brought him up before they died and then the father's sister was given custody of him when the father went to Germany for the WW11. At some point the father remarried but the baby son didn't live with them in his early years, only when his Aunt married I think, he went to live with his step mother and siblings.

    At this point I found families connected with the siblings on Ancestry and they were extremely cagely in revealing the connections. They were interested in his early life but as I wasn't getting any info or help from them I refused to share info. I got a distinct impression that there was something I didn't know but never found out what. When the grand parents died, the grand son would have gone into a children's home if it hadn't been on his father's army papers that he named one of his sisters his guardian. The son Bazil Bowditch worked as a soldier for many years even after the war was over and he met his wife Helena whilst he was abroad. She was Hungarian born. They married and they came back over to England with 2 children, a boy and a girl and went into army married quarters before going back to live in North Wootton at Church House which they had bought from Mr Stone.

    When I relooked at the dates, I realised that something was amiss but couldn't put my finger on what .. Researching abroad is really difficult but I did have the help of a Rita Pettitt or something on the FB Somerset Ancestry group and she gave me little pointers on where to search. So Helena had left out her true nationality and background. I am not completely sure the dates are correct but I am endeavouring to research it all again to check it out completely.

    But the rumour was that the house stayed within the family - well yes it did - the main characters involved married into a family of TOOGOOD sisters.
    aLLy x
    Glitterbugs Team Member Blue Brads House
    Back after a 2 year break for PL info

  2. #2
    northeast scrapper eilo's Avatar
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    Apr 2003
    in my craft room
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    Intriguing story not sure if the end is missing from the post as at the finish. Of your post all I see are [size] [size] [size]

  3. #3
    Dedicated Scrapper liverbird's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    basildon essex
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    gosh you have been busy

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