General

Posts about genealogy research and my experiences

Yorkshire Dales Grave Search

Last day of my Spring holiday today and we had a trip out to the Yorkshire Dales in search of more graves. I knew where I needed to go. I had already found some ancestors on the National Burial Index. So we were heading for three specific churches.

First stop was St Andrews at Gargrave. No luck here unfortunately. Managed to speak with the vicar who told me that there was a major clear out of the graveyard back in the 1970’s and 1980’s to make space for new burials. There are no remaining records or details of the removed monumental inscriptions.

St Andrew's, Gargrave

St Andrew's, Gargrave

Some of the old headstones had been used to create a memorial footpath. We couldn’t find one for my ancestors. The vicar told me that some of the old headstones were also sold off.  Then again there might not have been a headstone in the first place.

So on to St Michael’s and All Angels at Linton. A lovely building dating back to the 12th century. We had more success here. Managed to locate one of the two graves on our list plus another related name.

St Michael's and All Angels, Linton

St Michael's and All Angels, Linton

I have a postcard of the Linton church so this will appear as a future blog post.

Unfortunately I wasn’t feeling very well by this time – perhaps it was too much excitement or the thought of going back to work tomorrow after nearly four weeks off. Anyway we decided to head home and leave the remaining church in Conistone for another week.

Petrol rationing

It’s my dad’s birthday today – he would have been eighty one. So I was thinking of something to write and looking through a box of stuff I have saved after he passed away three years ago

I came across these petrol ration coupons.

In the wake of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, the Arab oil-producing countries (OPEC) imposed an embargo on supplies to the US on 20 October 1973. For the wider world, oil prices went through the roof, from around $3 a barrel before the war to over $11 by early the following January.

My readers of a certain age may well have a memory of the three-day week – power cuts, flickering candles and the early shutdown of television at 10.30pm every night. I have been employed in an office all my life and I can remember the lights and the heating going off and having to work by candlelight.

Early in December 1973, the chancellor, Anthony Barber, told the cabinet that the country was facing its worst crisis since the second world war, triggered by the decision of Arab oil producing states to quadruple the price of oil, coupled with an overtime ban by the miners and the power industry workers.

On December 4, Peter Walker, the trade and industry secretary, told the cabinet that falling coal stocks at the power stations would make indiscriminate electricity blackouts inevitable by the end of February unless emergency action was taken.

Mr Walker said that the government’s policy of denying the Americans the use of UK airbases during the Yom Kippur war may have put Britain at the top of the list of countries regarded as friendly by the Arab states, but it had not stopped the cabinet having to consider petrol rationing.

More than 18 million petrol ration books were printed, 12 million “supplementary coupons”, 20 million forms and 7 million envelopes, and distributed to post offices and motorists to beat the Christmas rush.

In the event the petrol rationing books / coupons were not used.

Here’s a link to an article in the The Guardian from 2004 about the oil crisis and a veto on the Queen

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History – Pets

This is the 17th 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 17 – Pets.

The very first pet we had was a budgie called Dinky. We got him in about 1954 and for some reason my parents bought him from Clitheroe in Lancashire and had to take him back to Yorkshire where we lived. He was a really good talker but I don’t recall him having a Lancastrian accent – thank goodness.

My dad used to tell the story about eating his breakfast and Dinky walking across his plate and through his fried eggs. Hmm – not sure i’d be too keen myself.

Dinky went to live with my grandparents when my brother was born in 1958.

I mentioned in week 4 of this series that we lived in a pub for about 18 months when I was about 4 years old. It seems that most publicans have to own a dog – often a big one. My dad was no exception.

We had a German Shepherd called Rinty – named after Rin-Tin-Tin from the movies. I have some vague memories of Rinty – or perhaps they are stories told to me by my parents. After all it is fifty four years ago.

I guess that one of the reasons my parents got Rinty was for security and protection against unruly customers. He was also apparently a good guard dog especially when assigned to look after me! We had a large enclosed yard at the back of the pub and that is where I used to play.

I know from stories told to me that Rinty would often be out in the yard with me. One such tale is of me shouting for help and when my parents came out they saw me running on the spot with Rinty just sitting there firmly gripping the seat of my pants in his mouth.

Anyway, when we left the pub we moved to a much smaller house and my parents decided not to keep Rinty. My dad said that he went to train as a police dog but I was never too sure about that!

My sister had a rabbit called Snowy – I think he was white. I don’t recall much about Snowy apart from he came to a very sad end. He was found dead on the back lawn after being attacked by another animal – presumably a dog.

We also had a goldfish called Tinkerbell whose party trick was leaping out of the bowl and flopping around on the floor.

Jayne and I have had three Persian cats over the past seventeen years – Horlicks, Willow and Wellington. They gave us so much pleasure and fun but sadly they are no longer with us.

Wellington and Willow

Horlicks

Horlicks

Wellington passed away on 24 March this year – here’s his obituary on one of my other blogs.

I think we are going to be pet free for a while.

Ribble Valley Borough Council – thumbs up

I’ve got another week of my holiday before I go back to work so I had a research day sat at the computer.  I decided to concentrate on looking for my Musgrove ancestors in the National Buriel Index.

Unfotunately I drew a blank. There doesn’t seem to be much for Lancashire in the NBI – or perhaps it was just not much for the names and area I was searching.

Anyway I tried another route. I made an assumption that the people I wanted to find had been buried in the local cemetery – I know perhaps an obvious assumption, but there are also a number of churches in the area where they could be.

I emailed Ribble Valley Borough Council this morning about 10.00am with a list of names and dates of death. Just over an hour later I had a reply confirming that they had located burials for all the people on my list. By the end of the day I had received a full reply with plot numbers, a cemetery map and directions to each grave, and a list of all the people buried in those graves – including some people I wasn’t expecting and some I have never even heard of.

I wanted to post this for two reasons. First to record my thanks to Judith at Ribble Valley Borough Council for all the information she sent to me. Second to recommend local council cemetery services as a valuable and, in my experience, a very helpful resource for genealogists.

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History – Restaurants

This is the 16th 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 16 – Restaurants.

This is going to be a short post.

I don’t have any recollection of going to restaurants in my childhood. It was just something that we didn’t do in our family.

A regular and favourite meal however was fish and chips from the local chippie – it was called Berts. Take out fish and chips wrapped in newspaper – wonderful.

When I was in my teens and out in Leeds with my mates we would often eat at a Wimpy bar and we thought we were really cool!!

I didn’t start going out to restaurants until I was much more grown up!!

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History – Sports

This is the 15th 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 15 – Sports

I was quite sporty as a child. I played football (soccer) for my school team and during sports lessons I also played cricket and rugby. My other sporting passion at school was athletics. I was pretty quick at the sprint events – 100 and 200 yards (before we became all continental and changed to meters). I also held the school record for my age group at the long jump. I competed in Leeds school events at swimming and athletics – and have some certificates to prove it.

Running Certificate

Outside of school me and my brother played in a rag tag of a local football team made up of friends and other hangers on. We weren’t very good as a team but it was still good fun.

After I left school and got a job I played football for my works team and also for a team called North Park in the Bradford Red Triangle league.

I stopped playing football in my late 20’s – apart from the odd 5-a side game.

Perhaps all this sporting activity is one reason why I now have dodgy knees and according to the GP will need at least one of them replaced before too long.

My local football team is Leeds United. I have supported them since the mid 1960’s when I went to my first game at their Elland Road ground. We had a brilliant team for about ten years up to 1975 winning domestic and European competitions. Since then the fortunes of the club have been really up and down. Right now the club is on the rise again and I think within two or three years we might be back and holding our own in the English Premier League. Here’s a link to The Mighty Mighty Whites website – the definitive history of Leeds United.

My dad was more of a rugby league fan and he supported the Leeds team. This is seen as more of a northern working mans game – unlike that cissy game of football, at least that’s what my dad thought. Every time Leeds United lost he would utter the immortal phrase “bloody mugs” and try to get me and my brother to switch our support to the rugby team. We still often repeat that phrase when Leeds United lose – and I’m sure dad will be smiling each time.

In 1996 the rugby league game in England had a bit of a makeover and the Super League was created. They switched from playing in the winter months to playing in spring and summer. All the teams were required to change their names – so the local team was now Leeds Rhinos. They compete against teams like Bradford Bulls, Castleford Tigers and Huddersfield Giants.

This commercial transformation has certainly helped the sport and I must admit that I quite enjoy watching the games on TV now.

I don’t recall my mother ever having a passion for sport. Although she does quite easily get caught up in the moment especially when the family is together watching a game involving one of the local teams on the telly. She can shout and scream with excitement at the players when they do something daft or at the referee when he makes a “wrong” decision.

My wife is a big tennis fan and we have been to the Wimbledon Championships a few times over the years and to see the Great Britain team in the Davis Cup competition.

These days we are armchair sports fans – although Jayne does run round the block regularly . We will watch most things on TV – football, rugby, cricket, tennis, golf, motor racing, snooker, swimming, athletics, speedway, show jumping, American Football, baseball and even darts if their is nothing else.

I am really looking forward to the Olympics coming to London in 2012. We are hoping to get tickets in the public ballot. I’d like to get to see the athletics in the Olympic Stadium but I guess that is going to be extremely popular and over subscribed. So we will need to have some other options – perhaps gymnastics, swimming, equestrian events or even beach volleyball. Whatever we get to see the experience will be amazing.