Workday Wednesday: Cappen Sam, the right man in the right place

Category: Ancestors Corner

In 1893, Harvey's great-great-grandfather, Samuel Wright, was at the forefront of new technology. After three decades working with machines, he was put in charge of a new steam joinery works in Penzance, Cornwall, owned by Messrs Caldwell.

A newspaper article of the time goes into great detail about the new equipment. There was initially some concern that the labour-saving machinery would lead to unemployment in the trade but the reverse turned out to be the case.

It seems Samuel was head-hunted for the job as the newspaper states… The machinist and joiner, who was had down from Exeter to take charge of this branch, was Mr. Samuel Wright, and Messrs. Caldwell consider "Cappen Sam" is "the right man in the right place."

From The Cornishman newspaper article dated 1893
From The Cornishman newspaper article dated 1893

Site Updates - Barnes Family
[Why Workday Wednesday? This phrase has been included in the title in order to take part in Daily Blogging Prompts at Geneabloggers]

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Matrilineal Monday: Tavistock Goose Fair - then and now!

Category: Sharing Memories


Tavistock Goose Fair 2015

Last week, Harvey, my parents and I went to Tavistock Goose Fair, the annual fair which dates back to the 12th century.

This reminded me of the time when we took my gran to the fair a few months after my grandpa died. We had a nice time until poor gran slipped off the curb and fell down. At the age of 78, it's a wonder she didn't break a bone. She was always very supple and could touch her toes, even when she was quite old.


A few seconds of video showing my gran at Goose Fair in 1994 before the fall.


[Why Matrilineal Monday? This phrase has been included in the title in order to take part in Daily Blogging Prompts at Geneabloggers]

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Those Places Thursday: Cleaning family graves in Cornwall

Category: Making Memories

We like to visit Newlyn in Cornwall from time to time, the home of Harvey's forbears as well as the place where he lived as a young child, so last weekend we took a drive down. We brought along a bucket, a scrubbing brush and cleaner together with some shears to the cemetery in Sheffield Road on the outskirts of the nearby village of Paul where a number of Harvey's relatives are buried. The cemetery is always well kept but it's nice to be able to tidy things up just a little bit more.

After we'd tended Harvey's parents grave, we moved over to that of his great-grandparents (Thomas Barnes & Sarah Elizabeth, nee Wright) and his grandad (also Thomas Barnes). The monument had become quite dirty in recent years and a few stumps of grass had decided to poke through the side of the covering stone so it was with great satisfaction that we removed the grass and cleaned up the headstone.

Grave of Thomas Barnes senr., his wife, Sarah nee Wright, and their son, Thomas Barnes jun. before the clean-up
Grave of Thomas Barnes senr., his wife, Sarah nee Wright,
and their son, Thomas Barnes jun. before the clean-up.


Grave of Thomas Barnes senr., his wife, Sarah nee Wright, and their son, Thomas Barnes jun. after the clean-up
Grave of Thomas Barnes senr., his wife, Sarah nee Wright,
and their son, Thomas Barnes jun. after the clean-up.

Amongst the family archive, we have the somewhat dilapidated, stone mason's original invoice which describes the monument in detail. The firm was W. H. Snell who were based in Newlyn. Sarah died in October 1910 but the invoice is dated almost two years later on 27th July 1912. It states…

For making Polished Granite fronted Headstone and Polished fronted Base of fine Grit Cornish Granite with Scotch Granite Green pearl Urn, and Red Suede Pillars all polished, and Lead Inscription Gilded over front of Letters and fine dressed Granite Kerb around Grave Galvanized Iron Tomb Rail 871 Pattern and Slate Covering Stone over Grave Space fixed at the Cemetery Paul as per price agreed. £25 0s 0d. (equivalent to more than £2000 today). Written below this are further costs which have since faded and become illegible.

When Thomas Barnes senr. died in 1939, the cost to remove the monument for burial, to add further lettering and clean and re-erect it with new foundations came to £6 7s. 0d. The invoice was produced by Snell & Son with the slogan… When outstanding Quality is essential discriminating buyers favour "SNELLS". We have no paperwork denoting the costs for when Thomas Barnes jun. was buried in 1975.

Finally, it wasn't until we arrived home and looked at the photographs I'd taken that we realized we'd paid a visit on the anniversary of Harvey's great-grandfather's death - 10th October.

Thomas Barnes senr's. headstone inscription
Thomas Barnes senr's. headstone inscription.


[Why Those Places Thursday? This phrase has been included in the title in order to take part in Daily Blogging Prompts at Geneabloggers]

Thankful Thursday: Remembering Grandpa Hibbitt - What was the name of those biscuits?

Category: Sharing Memories

Today is the 43rd anniversary of my Grandpa Hibbitt's passing so I thought I'd post this slide of my grandparents, taken in the 1930's, together with some memories I have of him.

Charlie & Isey Hibbitt
Charlie & Isey Hibbitt.

Grandpa was called Charles but was known as Charlie and my gran was Ivy but became known as Isey (pronounced Icy) when my dad tried to say her name when he was a young child.

Although I was only nine when Grandpa died, it's surprising what comes to mind like when we used to be parked in the car park at Plymstock Broadway in his Hillman Minx, waiting for mum to do the shopping and listening to the police (tut tut) on his radio - he held a listener's licence, but obviously not for listening to police transmissions.

We had lots of happy times on the boat, a cabin cruiser he used to keep on the Kingsbridge Estuary. I used to like combing Grandpa's hair, what little he had of it by the time he was in his 60's! He called his cardigans 'smoking jackets' and I always remember he loved eating Wagon Wheels and a rather large oatmeal biscuit covered in chocolate, the name of which I forget.

Grandpa was buried at Drake Memorial Park on the outskirts of Plymstock and I still visit his grave from time to time. So here's to Grandpa, thanks for the memories.

Grandpa's grave at Drake Memorial Park - photographed 7th October 2015
Grandpa's grave at Drake Memorial Park - photographed 7th October 2015.
Rather poignantly, I caught the sunrays shining on his memorial plaque.


[Why Thankful Thursday? This phrase has been included in the title in order to take part in Daily Blogging Prompts at Geneabloggers]

The Dark Room Mystery Remains

Category: Ancestors Corner

I was in London on Wednesday and, whilst I was there, I spent a few hours at the National Archives. My main purpose was to see if I could satisfy the family lore which suggests that Harvey's grandad, Cyril Ellen, had set up a dark room on a ship.

Cyril joined the Royal Naval Air Service as a Chief Petty Officer in April 1915 attached to the photographic department and he also undertook observer duties. I know he was on HMS Riviera from July 1915 to November 1916 so I looked up some of the ship's logs but unfortunately I couldn't find anything helpful. I didn't have time to order the logs for every month that he served on the ship so I picked out various individual months but nothing popped up.

The only mention of Cyril which I could find was on the 30th June 1915 at about 5pm and this wasn't a mention by name. This was the day before his service record states he joined HMS Riviera and simply reads...

"One C.P.O. (Air Service) rating joined ship".

Ship's Log for HMS Riviera - 30th June 1915
Ship's Log for HMS Riviera - 30th June 1915
(Click the image to see a larger version.)

Riviera was a seaplane tender which had been converted in 1914 from a cross-channel packet ship. She underwent a second conversion in early 1915 and saw service with the Dover Patrol whilst Cyril was on the ship. I'm aware there was a dark room onboard by 1918 but the exact date it was put there remains elusive. I also know Cyril got into a couple of scrapes in May and June 1916 but the log didn't reveal anything about these incidents.

After he left Riviera, Cyril gained a Commission and was drafted to Stavros in Greece (which was an airfield adjacent to the sea by the time he arrived) where he was engaged in photographic flights at low altitudes for which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross gallantry medal.

So the question as to whether Cyril set up a dark room on a ship is still outstanding. I wonder if we'll ever find documentary evidence in support of this family tale.

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Visiting my gran's birthplace of Saffron Walden in Essex

Category: Making Memories

When we visited the market town of Saffron Walden in Essex in the summer, I just had to take the photograph on the right because it reminded me of a postcard (seen on the left) which most likely belonged to my Granny Hibbitt (Ivy Alice Hibbitt, nee Dando) and which is now in my possession.

St Mary's Church, Saffron Walden, Essex
St Mary's Church, Saffron Walden, Essex
(Click the image above to see a larger version.)

My gran was born in Saffron Walden in 1904 and was baptized in St Mary's Church on 23rd October of that year. By the time of the 1911 census, the family had moved to Plymouth but I can't be certain exactly when they arrived.

Gran had an affinity with Saffron Walden and when she and my Grandpa settled in Tavistock, they called the name of their bungalow in Chollacott Close, Walden, although now it has a number. I know that they visited Saffron Walden at least once (and probably many more times) because I have a cine film of them in the town.

It was nice to finally see the sweet shop where my gran was born. The Golden Butterfly at 2 Market Street was a sweet and tobacconist shop then and still is to this day. I bought a bag of sherbet lemons so I could have a peek inside.

[Note: All content on the Hibbitt & Barnes Family History website and blog is copyrighted. Click here for conditions of use.]

Tombstone Tuesday: 99 years since Henry James Weaver died in the Great War

Category: Ancestors Corner

Memorial Board in St Andrew's Church, Curry Rivel
Memorial Board in St Andrew's Church, Curry Rivel

Today is the 99th anniversary of the death of my great-grandfather, Henry James Weaver, accidentally killed by a bomb prematurely exploding during training at a base in France during WW1.

The photograph shows Henry's name on the War Memorial board near the back of the church in Curry Rivel, Somerset - Henry's home town.

[Why Tombstone Tuesday? This phrase has been included in the title in order to take part in Daily Blogging Prompts at Geneabloggers]

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Cine footage of Anne Hibbitt's Christening Day

Category: Sharing Memories

Annie's Christening DayMy grandparents and parents used to use a cine camera before and after I was born and my Grandpa Geake recorded the films onto video tape in the early 1990's. Since then they've been transferred to DVD and converted to mpeg files.

Last week it would have been my Granny Hibbitt's birthday which reminded me that I was Christened on the day she turned 59 so I decided to upload some footage of the event onto YouTube.

The cine film includes me as a baby, my parents, both sets of grandparents, my aunt and my elder brother. I was baptized at St Eustachius Church in Tavistock and the film was taken outside the front door of my Granny and Grandpa Geake's house in Crelake Park, Tavistock.

Without further ado, HERE'S THE CINE FILM.

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Family Recipe Friday: Huckleberry Pudding

Category: Mrs Beeton's Cookery Books

The following recipe appears in the 'American Cookery' Chapter of my gran's 1894 publication of 'Mrs Beeton's Cookery Book and Household Guide'.


HUCKLEBERRY PUDDING.

INGREDIENTS. — A pint of huckleberries(or whortleberries, as we call them), 2 eggs, a pint of milk, a saltspoonful of salt, 1/4 teaspoonful of soda, 1/2 teaspoonful of cream of tartar, enough flour to make a thick batter.

Mode.-Mix the cream of tartar with the flour, and dissolve the soda in hot water, then make into a thick batter with the other ingredients. Pick and mash the berries, dredge them with flour, and stir into the batter. Pour the mixture into a buttered mould, and boil 1 hour. Serve with some very sweet sauce.

Time, 1 hour. Seasonable from July to September.

See this post for more information about the book.

[Why Family Recipe Friday? This phrase has been included in the title in order to take part in Daily Blogging Prompts at Geneabloggers]

[Note: All content on the Hibbitt Family History website and blog is copyrighted. Click here for conditions of use.]

Friday's Faces From The Past - Phyllis Weaver of Tavistock

Category: Sharing Memories

Phyllis Weaver
My gran, Phyllis Weaver (who later became Phyllis Geake)

Today I thought I'd post a photograph of my maternal grandmother as a young woman. I think she looks quite glamorous here.

[Why Friday's Faces From The Past? This phrase has been included in the title in order to take part in Daily Blogging Prompts at Geneabloggers]
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