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July 2008

Welcome to the July issue of FTF Magazine, which has been inspired by Family Tree Forum’s Places of Worship (PoW) Project. Our members have been working hard collecting images of churches, chapels, synagogues, citadels etc, from all over the country, some of which are included in this issue. There are presently over 5500 images in the project, which is an excellent achievement – well done to all concerned! However, there’s still plenty of work to do, especially now the project has expanded to include Scotland. If you would like to help, then please take a look at the Regional Co-ordinator boards, as well as the Places of Worship Project pages in The Wiki.

In this issue, Georgette takes a look at church related occupations and members share the stories of clergymen found in their trees. The gathering of photographs for the PoW Project was never going to be an easy task, and some members have had more than their fair share of mishaps trying to obtain the ‘perfect shot’, as Liz from Lancs found out on her recent thread on the subject. She brings us a humorous article based on her findings. Whilst the church provides us with the records of baptisms, marriages and burials, which are particularly useful before Civil Registration, Guinevere and Olde Crone Holden examine the other types of written records which can be helpful in family history research. Continuing the ‘My Kind of Town’ and the ‘Family Treasures’ features, Yummy Mummy of 2 tells us about her home city Peterborough, and Caroline shares the stories behind her family heirlooms.

However, we lead this issue with the story of Katarzyna’s parents-in-law, Stanislaw and Anastazja, who were both captured as prisoners of war in Poland in 1939 and transported to the horrors of the Russian gulags. In 1941, after the Germans invaded the Soviet Union and the Russians became the Poles’ allies, they were both released to trek to Kazakhstan to join the recently formed General Anders’ Polish Army, for which Stanislaw fought in the North African and Italian Campaigns, most notably at Monte Cassino. They married in Egypt in 1945, and unable to return to the free Poland for which they had fought, they came and made their home in Britian. It’s a fascinating and heart-wrenching story and we feel privileged that Katarzyna chose to share their story with FTF Magazine readers.

Church related professions

Most of us when we imagine our 18th and 19th century ancestors see them as God-fearing, law abiding, peaceful people, living in a golden age when life was simpler and easier. Access to newspaper reports, transportation records and census returns with the local prison...

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Father Stanbridge

Francis William Stanbridge was Margaret in Burton's husband's first cousin twice removed. He was born on 26th November 1885 in Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, and was the son of Oxfordshire born Bernard and Matilda Stanbridge. At the time of the 1891 census the family...

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John de Fraine

Some thirty years ago while house-hunting we went to see what the agent said was a small chapel ‘ripe for conversion’ in the village of West Wickham in Cambridgeshire. The chapel was tiny and needed far too much done to it for us to afford to make it habitable but...

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Edward Keeley

Some parts of mine and my husband’s family trees have been researched extensively. However, other branches remain mere frameworks or 'skeletons', with just names, dates and information gleaned from census returns, the birth, marriage and death indexes and the...

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‘Guilford of Tarn Taran’

Edward Guildford was born in 1853 in Portsea, Hampshire, and was the brother of my great x2 grandfather, Charles Guilford. I discovered Edward when I found the family living in Terminus Road, Brighton (just behind the station), on the 1871 census. Their mother Eliza...

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The Reverend John Gould

Putting the flesh on the bones of my husband's great x2 grandfather, the Rev. John Gould, B.D. took several years, some creative research, technological advances in the I.T. world and a trip to the UK. At times, it seemed like a tale lifted straight from Jane Austen,...

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Robert Edmonds

It was fairly easy to trace my father's direct line of Edmonds in Lowestoft back to Gabriel, who was granted a settlement in 1696. On my way backwards I had noted every example of the surname that I could find and, when I saw them all written down, I realised that...

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Archdeacon Matthias

John Alexander Mathias was someone I knew nothing about until his name appeared on the marriage certificate of his son Edward Herbert Mathias. Edward was my great x2 grandfather on my maternal family line. John Mathias was born in 1810 in Dublin, Ireland, the son of...

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Benjamin Williams Mathias

Benjamin Williams Mathias was the father of John Alexander Mathias, the former Archdeacon of Colombo, who was involved in the clerical dispute at St Giles Church in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Once I found out that my great x3 grandfather, John Alexander Mathias, was born in...

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The Gillett Spoons

My parents have a motley collection of cutlery with various monograms, which has been passed down to my mother. This includes two incomplete sets of rather worn silver plated spoons, which are used every day. One set is monogrammed GAG, the other JSG but we weren’t...

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Warsaw Hamlet

RAF Elsham Wolds in North Lincolnshire was the home of 103 and 576 Squadrons during World War Two. From 1948 to 1952 it was a displaced persons’ camp, known locally as ‘Warsaw Hamlet’, and home to my parents-in-law, Stanislaw and Anastazja; my husband Janusz was...

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Ten golden rules

Let me introduce myself to you. I am Genie, a creation inspired by the collective experiences of Family Tree Forum’s members who have been taking photos of religious meeting places for the site's Places of Worship (or POW) Project. When the project was first created I...

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Written Sources

WILLS AND PROBATE Hit a brick wall? Then read on, perhaps other written sources may help. As well as records of Births, Deaths and Marriages and the Census Returns, there is a wealth of other written evidence available to help you in your research. Very useful sources...

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The cathedral city of Peterborough is situated on the River Nene in the heart of Cambridgeshire, 80 miles north of London. Whilst it is self-governing, it forms part of the county of Cambridgeshire for ceremonial purposes. The area is flat and low lying, with the Fens...

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