Month: March 2011

On this day…..29th March

1749     John Skelding and Mary Sadler were married in Old Swinford, Worcestershire.  They are my wife’s 5x great grandparents.

1793     Priscilla Dawson was born in Cowling, West Yorkshire.  She was the daughter of John Dawson and Ann Watson and is my 3rd great grand aunt.

Family & Local History Fair – Pudsey

Only five more sleeps until the Family & Local History Fair at Pudsey Civic Hall on Saturday 2nd April.

I’m really looking forward to what should be a good day.  The website promises a full programme of speakers although I can’t find any information about who they are or what the subjects will be.

There is also a long list of exhibitors.  I am particularly looking forward to meeting and talking to the folks from Keighley & District Family History Society; Lancashire Family History & Heraldry Society; Wharfedale Family History Group; and the Guild of One Name Studies.

I suspect that my wallet might take a bit of a hammering as I go in search of new and even more useful resources.

I am a bit disappointed that the West Yorkshire Archives and North Yorkshire Records Office don’t appear to be attending – but maybe the show is a bit too provincial for them.  Not to worry they will be at the Yorkshire Family History Fair at York Racecourse in June.  This will no doubt be the subject of further posts both before and after the event.

I am dragging my wife along on Saturday, although she won’t be quite as interested as her ancestors are from Lincolnshire and Staffordshire.  However I will need someone to carry my purchases!!

Hawkshead – Postcard #3

This is a postcard of St. Michael and All Angels church at Hawkshead in Lancashire.  The postcard has been used and is postmarked 20 July 1955.  It was sent from Windemere to a Miss I Jones in Ossett, West Yorkshire.

The publisher is Chadwick Studio Productions, 491 Oakwood Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire.

Hawkshead is the birth place of my early maternal Musgrove (Musgreave / Musgrave) ancestors, especially my 6th and 5th great grandfathers – both called Joseph.  And some of my early ancestors were baptised at St. Michael and All Angels church.

The village is located in the ancient county of Lancashire but in the administrative county of Cumbria.  It is just north of Esthwaite Water, in a valley to the west of Windemere and east of Coniston Water – right in the heart of the Lake District National Park.

The township was originally owned by the monks of Furness Abbey.  The nearby village of Colthouse derives its name from the stables owned by the Abbey.  Hawkshead grew to be an important wool market in medieval times and later as a market town after the Dissolution of the Monastries in 1532.  It was granted its first market charter by King James I in 1608.  The poet William Wordsworth was educated at Hawkshead grammar school.

The church was built around 1300 on the site of a Norse Chapel.  The bulk of the building, as it exists today, is 16th and 17th century.  It occupies a lofty position, overlooking the village with a good view of the surrounding fells.

The church website (link above) has an excellent family history resource page with a plan of the graveyard including plot numbers and names and a list of memorial inscriptions.  They have also included a link to the Lancashire OnLine Parish Clerk Project where you can find a full list of all baptism, marriage and death records for the church (including surname index) from 1568 to 1864.


I saw the snow-white church upon her hill

Sit like a throned lady sending out

A gracious look all over her domain


The Prelude (William Wordsworth)




This refers to Wordsworth’s return to Hawkshead in 1788, following his first year in Cambridge.  The church was painted white at the time but the view is still the same.

On this day…..27th March

1934     Doreen Espley was born in Stockport, Cheshire.  She is my wife’s 4th cousin and was the daughter of James Henry Espley and Mary Fox.

1974     Wilfred Ernest Long died in York.  He is my 1st cousin 1x removed and his parents were Wilfred Ernest Long and Gladys Mary Morton.

On this day…..24th March

1861     Ellen Stowell was born in Burnley, Lancashire.  Her parents were John Stowell (1828-1885) and Ann Astin (1831-1902).  She is my great grandmother.

2007     Doris Musgrove ( nee Jackson) died in Burnley, Lancashire.  She was my aunty and married to (Joseph) Harry Musgrove.

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History – Movies

This is the 12th challenge in a weekly series from GeneaBloggers called 52 weeks of personal genealogy and  history, suggested  by Amy Coffin,  that invite genealogists to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants.  Week 12 – Movies

My first memory of going to the cinema is with my dad.  I can clearly recall the first two movies I saw:-

- The Magnificent Seven released in 1960 and starring as the seven Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, James Coburn, Horst Buchholz and……the other one – you know the one you can never remember (answer at the end of this post).

- The Guns of Navarone released in 1961 and starring David Niven, Gregory Peck and Anthony Quinn.

We saw both pictures not long after they were released so I was only perhaps eight or nine.  I don’t imagine that I asked my dad to take me – more like he wanted to go himself and took me along.  Another film I remember seeing around the same time was The Incredible Journey (Walt Disney movie)

The Crown

The local picture house was the Crown which opened in 1919 and closed down in the late 1960’s.  It was converted into a bingo hall for a while but I think it is now vacant.

The Lyric

Another local cinema I used was the Lyric, which opened its doors in 1922 and sadly is also now vacant.  Here I saw my first James Bond film with Sean Connery of course and others like Bullitt (Steve McQueen), Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid (Robert Redford and Paul Newman), Easy Rider (Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper), A Hard Day’s Night (The Beatles), Midnight Cowboy (Dustin Hoffman and John Voight) and Rosemary’s Baby (Mia Farrow).  I’m sure there are many others that I can’t recall anymore.

The Majestic

One of the weekly rituals when I was growing up was Saturday morning at the pictures.  The venue for this adventure was the Majestic in Leeds city centre. Here we would see a mixture of cartoons and other low budget movies like Roy Rogers and Zorro.  Great fun – ice cream, sweets and feeling really grown up having been let out on your own.

Of course in many places the small picture house has been replaced by the large multiplex.  It’s just a shame that the old buildings can’t be put to better use.  I know that around the country some have been converted to music venues and some are bingo halls – that must be better than allowing them to stand empty and derelict.  The architecture of some of the old buildings is truly amazing.  And the memories…oh the memories.  Going to the flicks, the flea pit – sitting in the back row, you know with that girl you’ve been desperate to date for ages.  The intermission and buying an ice cream, sweets or a Kia-Ora drink.  And who can forget Pearl and Dean.

BTW – it was Brad Dexter.  Now be honest you didn’t remember did you!