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Treading in the footsteps of ancestral family

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Sharron Report 1 Apr 2010 15:38

At least six generations trampled about in this village before I did and,if you go to the next village,there must have been ten or more.


BrianW Report 2 Apr 2010 22:45

My mother's family were resident in Lympne in Kent, outside Hythe, from around 1775 to the late 1800s.

I found my gggrandfather's grave in Lympne churchyard (died in the 1860s), the footstone confirmed the identity of his fourth wife (my gggrandmother) who died in 1831 at the age of 32, and had a drink in the pub at Stanford where my great grandfather was lodged on the night of the 1881 census.


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 2 Apr 2010 23:28

How appropriate that this has been nudged up.

Earlier this evening OH was informed that I’ve found another couple of graveyards for us to visit in Thame Oxfordshire, and in Princes Risborough. He wasn't particularly overjoyed, but they are both his side I might add!

Like Ann earlier, a major branch of mine came from Eastchurch/Halfway Houses on the Isle of Sheppey. It is some how moving to stand in the Parish Church, the same place where they were baptised and married. The family had originated from Stockbury, also in Kent. The church there is very isolated, surrounded by fields they probably worked on. The views must be very similar to that which they must have seen over 300 years ago.


Luckylainey Report 2 Apr 2010 23:46

Many years ago I used to clean a house in Winchester to earn some extra money for a holiday. Years later when doing my family tree, I discovered that my Great Great Grandmother had lived in the same house in the 1800's with her parents and siblings who were born in the same house.

As a small child my parents went to live in a tiny Hampshire village called Stoke Charity. they lived in a tied cottage which belonged to the Rank Estate(Lord Rank of the movies fame). Later when doing my tree I discovered that my 6xGreat Grandmother was buried in the graveyard of the church where I used to read in the church services. The family had lived and worked in the village and received poor relief when the mother died with her small child. The family needed money to buy the woollen to bury them in and to pay for the bells and clothes for the children, possibly for the funeral.

Maggiewinchester, we are very close, I live near the Golden Lion pub.


Joy Kentish Maid

Joy Kentish Maid Report 17 Apr 2010 22:41

I love reading this, thank you.

Last September I trod in the footsteps of some of my Irish ancestral family, in County Galway. What I didn't know then was that this year I would discover a previously unknown brother of my great-grandmother, from army records in find my past site. I know what he looked like, what his height was, his age when he enlisted, and the places where he served, and I have traced him through his marriage in Suffolk and various census in England.
Best of all, I know that I trod in his footsteps, too, last autumn :-)


MargarettawasMargot Report 18 Apr 2010 05:42

Joy,that's brilliant-it gives you a wonderful feeling,doesn't it?

The closest I can get now to the places that my ancestors lived is to go onto Google Earth, put in the addresses from the different censuses,and
hope that the buildings are still standing,lol!! I'm so glad that I travelled to the UK last year,and not now.

Best wishes,



Mary Report 23 Apr 2010 14:51

Actually, I did tread in my ancestors footsteps. I'd driven past the graveyard where they were baptised and buried, wandered around the village on the island where they'd lived!

I even bought a cottage on the island next to the one they came from because I felt so at home in the area while on holiday.

The sting in the tale?

It wasn't till about two years after I sold the cottage that my research revealed where they had come from!


TonyOz Report 23 Apr 2010 15:43

Great thread Joy....:>)) Nice to read others stories.

One of my most treasured memories of visting the birth villages of my ancestors, was again in 2006 when we visted from Australia, was in a village called Great Tey ( Essex ) My OH and myself were looking through the grave yard, at the headstones at St. Barnabas, and we had spotted a few of my relo's. A great great grand uncle and wife, and a few of my 2xgreat grandfathers and grandmothers buried there.
We were looking at a headstone, and i was videoing the surroundings to take back home to Australia to show family, when a lady aproached us ( she was a caretaker from a house across the road ) and asked us who we were.?... I explained we were holidaying from Australia, my birth place, and i was here to pay respects to my great grandparents and family members. She asked my surname, and then told me that this surname still lived in the village.

Then proceeded to give me the address of a chap that lived just outside the Village on a farm. We drove there on the off chance, and i knocked on the door and a young chap about 16 years of age answered....I explained who we were, and where we were from, and my surname,..ect,ect,.... and i nearly fell over backwards when he said his first name was Benjamin!! 5 out of 8 of my great grandfathers was a Benjamin dating back from 1600s. My current uncle here in Australia first name was Benjamin.

He told me his father was on a tractor in the ran off to tell him we were at the house. We waited only 5 minutes and then the owner came to greet us.

We exchanged stories, and wether it was pure luck or fate, but one of the headstone's at the cemetery in St. Barnabas was one of my great grandfathers brothers ( my great, great grand uncle ) who was this chaps great grandfather.???.... So we discovered we were 3rd cousins......We both went back to the Church and sat in the seats where our great greats had been bapt as long as 400 years ago, and my OH took a Photo.

So yes....not only did i get to walk in the footsteps of my Ancestors and relos...but actually met two..... face to face!!!.....Divine intervention at its


Joy Kentish Maid

Joy Kentish Maid Report 3 Sep 2010 15:17

For any people reading this thread for the first time, and others, too :-)

Have you trod in their footsteps? Whether physically or in a cyber way or by reading books about them?

Lady Cutie

Lady Cutie Report 4 Sep 2010 17:12

Last year me and OH went to Northaw in Hertfordshire
where my GGG/grandfather and going back to my 6th g/grandfather
was born . i walked down the street that they would have walked
i went into the church that they would have used ....saw some of the buildings that they would have seen ... but the weird thing was
i felt that we were being watched, yet there was no one around ..silly i know, but thats what it felt like .

Joy Kentish Maid

Joy Kentish Maid Report 29 Nov 2010 13:59

Please post your experiences :-)

It is not silly, Hazel, I can empathise :-)


ChrisofWessex Report 29 Nov 2010 14:40

Asked gdau who was studying in London area to go to Greenwich and take photos of two houses OH's 2xgfather lived. She finally got around to it some 3 years later! Early this year she changed jobs and now on 5 days a week walks past both these houses to and from work.


tempest Report 29 Nov 2010 19:45

I grew up in Northumberland and was told that my Great Grandfather was born in Aberdeen before moving to the Newcastle area, I've since discovered yes this was true and have the family in Aberdeen going back to 1800.

I lived in Liverpool for 4 years whilst studying my degree and only recently discovered that my Great Grandfather's uncle had moved from Aberdeen with his wife and children to Liverpool, whats more he lived only streets away from where I did whilst there.



Annina Report 30 Nov 2010 14:17

Odd,I thought that I had contributed to this thread,but am not on it.

Only two years ago, I had no notion of tracing my tree,and since I have I have found out that my life has been a catalogue of wierd coincidences.

I believed that my Father was always rooted in Sheffield,but have proved that his gt Grandmothers line goes directly to the brother of the only Eyam plague victim to contract the disease and survive.

When I was small,Dad would take us every weekend camping to Youlgreave near Bakewell,and I now know that the village lads who taught us how to poach the Duke of Devonshires trout,were probably related.

When MY children were small,we would take them camping on a farm in Monyash,also nr Bakewell.and I now know this same farm was once owned by one of my gt+ uncles

One of my gt+ Aunts married a tin miner from Liscard,( sp)Cornwall,in the very same village that we used to spend our long holidays at.

My younger Daughter,born and reared in Sheffield,married a bloke from Norfolk,and my Husbands stepfathers family all hail from there,and yes,husbands half brothers and sister DO have webbed feet and hands.

The house that we bought seven years ago was built in 1935 by two midwives as a nursing home for new mothers. I now have proved that one of them was a second cousin twice removed.

And, to add insult to injury,I have found that my Hubby and I are third cousins,despite the fact that his family mostly originate in N Notts.

How wierd is that?

Yes,I have trodden in the footprints of my ancestors,but unknowingly,and really must find time to retrace them with full knowledge..


maxiMary Report 30 Nov 2010 14:55

In 1994 I took my mother (then age 89) to visit her brother (then 92) who was living alone still in new brighton. I suggested to them that I'd like to take them to visit where their "ancestors had trod". Hired a carand we set off for Dundee area, visited local graveyards, were able to get into the Longforgan stone chapel - actually thought wehad lost my mother in the graveyard and didn't realise she had met the lady who was polishing the brass in the chapel, and gone inside. This dear lady took us to her thatched roof cottage for tea, (quite a trick for my uncle who was still about 6'2"). we toured Dundee and on to Glamis castle where family members had been imprisoned, toured churchyards in the parish of Liff. They were both thrilled.
Then we headed down to Dorset, to Weymouth where Mum was born, stopped outside the house where she was born and again were fortunate that the current owners invited us in!! On to Beer in devon, another family place/name, then stayed in a 200 year old inn and enjoyed their Scrumpy!! Ended up in Plymouth and found ouselves at the address given on their grandparents (both born in 1818) marriage certificate. Romantic to see that their family homes were directly opposite each other, with an iron-fenced park in between, visualizing them looking longingly acros the park at night LOL.
e also visited a few small villages where they had spent a summer holiday and it was hiarious to hear the2 ofthem recounting adventures, including "there's the stream where Allen tried to drown Maurice". Allen was their middle brother and Maurice was 6 years their junior.
I am so grateful to have had that experience, to have been able to give them that experience, and to have shared with them, as they were aging. Possibly the best moment was captured in a photo I took - we were on top of a hill (one they had climbed as children), they were both eating ice cream cornets, standing back to back, still supporting each other from the wind. Mum died at 96 and my uncle at 106, both with good memories.
If you have the chance, take it, the time window may not open again.

Joy Kentish Maid

Joy Kentish Maid Report 1 Dec 2010 15:51

Thank you.

Yes, I think that you had posted before in a similar thread of mine - two, I believe, with this title had gone; when I asked the powers that be about it, I was told it was a good subject and to start another one, so I think this is the third one.


maxiMary Report 4 Dec 2010 17:10

I'm sorry Joy if I was repeating myself, I never tire of thinking about my mother and her brother trampling through churchyards with their walking sticks, both deaf as posts, having such fun communicating about things long forgotten. How I wish I had recorded some of their thoughts. Too late now. if youare fortunate enough to have an aged relative still alive, ask them if you may record their memory ramblings, it's too late for me, but maybe someone else can benefit from the idea.

Joy Kentish Maid

Joy Kentish Maid Report 4 Dec 2010 20:43

Sorry, Mary, I should have added the name of the person - I should have said Annina who had posted "I thought that I had contributed to this thread,but am not on it."

Mary, I am more than happy for you to post again :-)
I love reading people's experiences, thank you.


ChrisofWessex Report 4 Dec 2010 22:31

1640s+ OH direct ancestor was vicar and the church is only 10 miles from us. I was amused when I finally found him and I had shopped in that market town many times, still do. We have visted the church a few times since!

Joy Kentish Maid

Joy Kentish Maid Report 18 May 2011 22:15

Has anyone else had the opportunity to "tread in their ancestors' footsteps"?