Thursday, 20 October 2016

Poldark and my Stickland family

Recently the BBC has televised a new Poldark series based on the books by Winston Graham and set in Cornwall at the end of the 18th Century.
The Poldark books portray what life was like for my Stickland ancestors who also lived in Cornwall and like Ross Poldark invested in tin and copper mines.
 My 5th great grandfather John Stickland was the only child of Robert Stickland and Bridget Pryor, he was christened in Gwinear church on the 4th of September 1734, his father was a Yeoman which means that he was a small land owner below the class of gentry, probably today we would say upper middle class.
In 1749 Robert Stickland made a contract with landowners Frances Gifford of Lanherne and Henry Arundell of Wardor to lease the Tenement of Coswinsawsin, a very small hamlet about 2 miles north east of Gwinear and bordering onto Baripper and Penponds. Lease contracts or Indentures as they were called, were usually very long winded, especially in Cornwall because of all the mineral rights. The contract allows the owners of the land to set up a mine on the land if minerals should be found, and also timber rights to any trees growing on the land.
John probably received a good education and at the young age of 22 he became church warden of Gwinear church, when he was 19 years old his maternal grandfather Christopher Pryor died and left his estate of Trenowith to John and it seems that John also inherited the tenement of Tappard which had been in the possession of the Pryor family and located about 2 miles south west of Gwinear, as he is recorded on a map as being a tenant of this land.
In 1761 when John was 27 his uncle William Stickland died leaving his prosperous merchandising business to his nephew, so John Stickland had become a wealthy merchant with possession of two tenements in Gwinear parish and a Quay by Hayle harbour. Hayle was a busy and thriving port, and having access to a quay and being able to trade with the local mines etc put John Stickland in a very prosperous and esteemed position.
On the 22nd of January 1763 John Stickland married Mary Rogers the youngest daughter of David Rogers, Gentleman, Merchant  and mine adventurer. Adventurers were something like shareholders, they would invest money into a mine and if the workings were good they would receive a share in the profits, but sometimes they would invest or put money into a mine that was failing and would end up being out of pocket.
John was not only busy with his Merchant's business but was also investing in tin and copper mines of which I have several Indentures. In 1772 John decided to broaden his mining ventures and this time in partnership with a John Harvey of St.Columb Major, on the 4th of April 1772 an Indenture was made between William Angove, gentleman of St. Columb Major, John Stickland, merchant of Gwinear and John Harvey, yeoman of St. Columb Major, the mine was one of the Herland mines situated by Gwinear.
 The Indenture states that John Stickland and John Harvey agree to pay William Angove one eighteenth part or share of any tin, copper, lead or other metals or minerals that they should find, and they also agree to appoint Nicholas Harvey, brother of John Harvey and son in law of William Angove as mine captain.
 Old Herland mine is known to have raised over seven thousand pounds worth of ore in 1756 whilst on the 20th February 1760 a sale of 275 tons of ore from Herland and Drannack fetched over two thousand pounds. The working of the Herland group continued until the year 1762, although certain small sales of ore are recorded as late as 1778, it seems that at the time that John Stickland made his contract production was not at it’s best. The reason for this was probably the fact that the market was suddenly swamped by a great flood of cheap copper found in the Parys mine in Anglesey in Wales.
 John and Mary had a total of six children, one of whom died when she was seven years old.
In the beginning of 1773 John Stickland is cited in an advertisement for a Quay in Hayle, the advertisement was placed in the newspaper dated March 8th 1773, the advertisement reads as follows :
“CORNWALL to be set for three, five, or seven years, TREMEARN’S KEYS, IN HAYLE, Together or in parcels, with the cellar, loft, dwelling-house, and two acres of land there to adjoining, the latter having been long a victualling-house, and has now a licence. The keys and cellars are very advantageously situated for business, and have been many years in the coal and corn trade &c.------For which purpose a survey will be held on the said premises on Friday the 26th day of this instant March, at Three in the afternoon. For particulars enquire of Hugh Edwards, at St. Ives, or John Stickland in Gwinear."
Tremearne’s quay was situated next to Stickland’s quay.
Two months after this advertisement was set, John Stickland, aged now 38 and father of five children, and probably at the height of his career, met an untimely and unfortunate death. I have been unable to discover the cause of his death, but the fact that he died intestate or without leaving a will proves that his death occurred unexpectedly and quickly, either as the result of an accident or a very short illness. Mary, the widow of John Stickland seems to have followed her husband John very quickly to the grave, which could indicate a contagious illness. A letter of Admin was made in December 1773 appointing Robert Stickland as executor of his son’s estate and guardian of his grandchildren.
Sometimes I wish that we could have a glimpse into the lives of our ancestors but I guess that I will just have to make do with watching the new Poldark series.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Dalham village - in the footsteps of my ancestors

My third great grandmother Maria Bishop was born in April 1816 in a beautiful little Suffolk village called Dalham which is situated along the ancient Saxon Icknield Way path. Last Saturday we had the chance to visit this lovely  peaceful village and to walk where my ancestors had walked.
Maria's father Frederick was a Journeyman Miller for the villages of Dalham, Gazeley and Barrow during the first half of the 19th century. He died on the 19th February 1870 at the grand old age of 95.

The remains of one Mill is still standing in the village but originally there were three windmills in this village.
We had to ask for the whereabouts of the church as this is situated at quite a distance above the village next to the stately home Dalham Hall, in fact we had to walk a small section of the Icknield path to reach the church. The church dates to the 14th century, but it stands on the site of a much earlier Saxon building mentioned in the Domesday Book. Inside, the church has some beautiful carved wooden pews, each with a different flower and animal carved at the end. 
We searched among the grave stones but unfortunately didn't find any belonging to family that were still standing, though many were covered in lichen and were unreadable.
These two graves bare the name of Fitch which was the maiden name of Frederick Bishop's wife, Ann Fitch.

After walking back to the village we stopped off at the village pub to have a light lunch, like the church this would have been and still is a local meeting place, maybe even more frequently attended by Frederick than the church.
Visiting the areas where our ancestors came from helps us to visualize how they lived and helps us to feel closer to them. 

Sunday, 21 August 2016

A very special person

Ninety years ago on the 22nd of August 1926 a very special person was born, my Mum, Doreen Bertha Orwin.
Doreen was born in Hull, East Yorkshire, the third child of Herbert Cyril Orwin and Violet Popplewell. She grew up in a happy home with her brother Cyril and sister Joan and loving parents.

Doreen’s Dad had a little car with what they called a dickey at the back where the children could sit strapped in, usually on a Saturday or a Sunday they would go for a drive to Hornsea or Withernsea, little seaside resorts. On their way home they would always stop at a wayside pub called ‘The Jack of Hearts’ and the children would sit outside by the tables and get a glass of lemonade and a packet of crisps. Doreen always loved this treat and sometimes if her Dad pretended to drive past the pub without stopping all three children would start yelling from the back of the car. Next to the pub was a farm and the lady who lived there got to know them quite well and would often bring over a glass of goat’s milk for them to drink.
 One of Doreen’s stories from her growing up years is from when she was about 7 or 8 years old. The children living in her street, Spring Gardens in Anlaby near Hull, asked her if she would go to the shops for them on her bicycle, they said that they badly needed some elbow grease.
Doreen recalls: “I agreed to go and get some, about 30 minutes later after having been in just about all the shops, I arrived back in the street to see my friends doubled up with laughter, it was then that I realized what elbow grease was, (elbow grease means hard work). Feeling very embarrassed, I fell off my bicycle and ended up with a very bad knee which took a few weeks to heal up, and I must say ended up with my friends feeling very sorry, but it was a laugh when I think how foolish I was.”
When I was about fourteen I met an elderly man at church who had lived in the same street as my Grandparents and who knew my Mum when she was young, he told me that she was always smiling and happy.

Doreen gave birth to five children and was and still is a loving and caring Mother. My brother John told me that when I was about two years old I ran across the road and that my Mum ran in front of a car to save me. I am so thankful to have been blessed to have had this wonderful woman as my mother. Happy 90th birthday Mum.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Cousins, families and moments in time

Every day we create new moments in time in our family history and yesterday, 6th August 2016 was a very special moment in time in our family history because my sister Kim's daughter Breanna Werner was married for time and all eternity to Kenny Boxberger.

Today the 7th August is also a special date for my own daughter Laura, she was married to her husband Benjamin Kempenaers nine years ago today.

Breanna and Laura, cousins who live an ocean apart but are bonded by blood and the similar genes which they have inherited.
It always fascinates me to see similarities within families, in expressions or smiles or mannerisms and I wonder which ancestor that particular trait came from.
Family is a wonderful tree with different branches that spread outwards even as the roots spread out downwards.

Friday, 29 July 2016

The seventh child

My Dad, George Robert Strickland was the youngest of seven children, he had four elder sisters and two brothers. His eldest sister Annie was 17 when he was born and Alice was 16 so he had enough "mothers" to help look after him. There is a story that when his sister Alice was changing his nappy she accidently stuck the safteypin in his bottom.
My Dad's parents died when he was a teenager so his elder sisters helped a little bit in raising him though I have heard stories that he was quite wild, thankfully he turned out pretty well and is a wonderful father.
Here under is a photo of Alice with her younger brother George, or Bob as he was called, you can almost hear her saying to him, "look at the camera Bob".

Sunday, 17 July 2016

The Dangers of working in a Windmill

I work in a windmill and I often have to climb the ladder stairs to fetch something for a customer, so I know how careful you have to be and I often warn visitors to the mill that they have to climb down the steps the same way as they climbed up, that is with your nose to the stairs. Knowing these dangers I was saddened to find this article in the British newspaper archives about my great great grandfather Robert Orwin who had been a Miller all of his life as was his father and his mother's family as well.
The article is from The Hull Daily Mail, September 1903

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Royal Connections

My cousin Ian Hudson remembered his mother Lily Strickland telling him that the Strickland family were connected to royalty, he had dismissed this information as being wishful thinking or a family fable, but we shouldn’t always ignore the stories that are passed down in families as there is often a grain of truth to them.
My third great grandfather John Stickland and his cousin also a John Stickland married another set of cousins, the granddaughters of Arundell Pryor and Jane Millwood. Arundell Pryor was a Mineral Assayer and an Agent for the Cornish Copper Company, he was also a local preacher at the Copperhouse Methodist Chapel for many years.
Arundell Pryor was the eldest son of Richard Pryor and Margaret Arundell, he was born in the village of Sithney and christened on the 6th of January 1729. His mother Margaret was one of the last Arundells of Truthall which is located close by to the village of Sithney. Legend has it that Margaret Arundell eloped with Richard Pryor by climbing out of a window. Richard Pryor was a farmer or Yeomen and his family had resided in the Sithney - Wendron area for many generations. Margaret and Richard were married on the 6th of November 1722 at Sithney church and they had a total of six children.
Margarett Arundell was the youngest daughter of John Arundell and Elizabeth Newman, she was christened in Helston church on the 2nd of November 1704. Margaret was just eleven years old when her father died and shortly afterwards her mother, apparantly the estate of Truthall was sold off by her brother to pay off his father’s debts. Margaret’s grandparents were Sir John Arundell Esquire and Elizabeth Lanyon, her grandfather died two years after her parents and was buried in Sithney church, so she would have been closely aquainted with him. Inside Gwinear church there is a monument on the wall for her grandmother Elizabeth Arundell-Lanyon, the Lanyon family owned an Estate in the parish of Gwinear and both they and the Arundell family contributed money towards restoration and alterations of Gwinear church. The monument inscription reads as follows :-
“Here lyeth the body of Mrs Elizabeth Arundell late wife of John Arundell of Sithney Esq.and daughter of Tomas Lanyon of Gwinear Gent.
Buried the 23rd of September 1683 in the 36th year of her age.
To whose memory her loving and lamenting husband consecrates this ........... with whom she having been a dear consort and willing partner under all the more mild and severer dispensations of God’s providence for fourteen years and upwards exchanged this troublesome state of life for the joyes of a better by whom likewise in that time blessed with two sons and three daughters one daughter she saw buried the rest surviving here.”
The Arundell family was described as the richest and best beloved of all Cornish families during Tudor times.
The Arundells extended their land-holdings and rose to prominence through a series of good marriages to wealthy heiresses during the Middle Ages. Alliances to the Roches, Lanhernes, Carminows, Luscotts, Lambourns, Chideocks and Dinhams resulted in the Arundells acquiring much land, sometimes unexpectedly and many years later, and outliving many of these older West Country families.
At the same time the Arundells were active locally and nationally. Ralph Arundell was sheriff of Cornwall in 1259-60 and John Arundell became Bishop of Exeter in 1502. Sir John Arundell fought for Henry VI at the Battle of Tewkesbury during the Wars of the Roses and his grandson was one of those appointed to put down the Cornish rebellion of 1497-98. Two Arundells served as stewards of the Duchy of Cornwall in the sixteenth century and Arundells led Royalist troops during the Civil War. Branches of the family were established at Trerice and Tolverne by younger sons in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The Arundell’s influence declined after the Reformation, when their staunch adherence to Catholicism made them ineligible for public office, but they remained prominent in Cornwall as long as they retained their lands there.
Sir John Arundell of Truthall was the only son of another Sir John Arundell and Margaret Cooke, his father was a Colonel of Horse for King Charles I and Deputy-Governor of Pendonnis Castle under Richard Lord Arundell of Trerice. If we trace this Arundel line back for another five generations to a Sir John Arundell of Tolverne who was born in 1428 we discover that he was married in 1461 to Matilda Courtney of Boconnoc. Matilda was the great-great granddaughter of Hugh de Courtney Earl of Devon and Margaret de Bohun. This Margaret was the daughter of Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford and Essex and Elizabeth Plantagenet, and therefore granddaughter of Edward I, King of England and his Queen Eleanor of Castille.
So you see the Arundell’s were descended from Royalty and through Margaret Arundell’s marriage to Richard Pryor so were the descendents of Arundell Pryor. It can be seen that for several generations the name of Arundell was used as a first name by descendents of Richard Pryor and Margaret Arundell, even in my Stickland line I came across the name of Richard Arundell Stickland, proof that they were proud to be associated with this family. Also the family legends about Royal blood were not just passed down in our line but have turned up amongst other Pryor descendents. It is fascinating to realize that family stories can be passed down so many generations and shows you how important it is to listen to the stories of our parents and family.