Category: What's New at Hibbitt.org.uk

100 years ago it was announced that Harvey's Grandad would be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross

Category: What's New at Hibbitt.org.uk

London Gazette  Issue 31046 Supplement Page 14320
London Gazette Issue 31046 Supplement Page 14320

100 years ago, Harvey's Grandad's award of the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) appeared in the London Gazette as follows..
14320 SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 3 DECEMBER, 1918

Lieut. Cyril Norman Ellen.
(Sea Patrol, MEDITERRANEAN)
A keen and exceptionally able observer who for over a year has performed most valuable service in photographic flights at low altitudes and at times under very difficult conditions.

Cyril Ellen was stationed in Stavros on the border between Greece and Bulgaria from November 1917 to November 1918. His profession in civilian life had been in photography and this is perhaps why he was so good at his job. The 'very difficult conditions' included some hairy moments. His pilot on one occasion, Frank Marlowe, wrote in his diary on 14th July 1918...
A near disaster for me this morning on dawn patrol. Just as I was taking off the engine revs dropped, there was vibration and nasty noises coming from the engine and I immediately throttled down. Then I saw that I was approaching the end of the aerodrome where I would crash into ditches, wooden buildings, etc and my only chance was to try to lift over them and try to land among scrub and bushes on the other side. I gingerly opened up the engine and in spite of the awful clattering noise it kept going enough to get me off the ground and keep me up while I made a wide sweep just above the surface of the sea and back to the aerodrome where I landed with a sigh of relief. Ellen, behind me, had the wind up badly and so did I. Everyone had turned out of their beds awakened by the noise my engine was making and they all thought it would end in a crash. I then took Jakie's DH4 instead which ran perfectly. Slater says he can do nothing with the engine and it will have to be sent to Mudros.

And again, Marlowe's diary entry for 26th May 1918...
While spotting with Ellen yesterday for a monitor shelling enemy gun positions we flew through the smoke of an A/A explosion and while I was doing 'evasive action' Ellen nearly fell out. He had to hold on to his gun mounting to save himself. I suppose you can overdo things.

On another occasion Cyril was in the air with Marlowe when the pilot wrote...
Just as I was leaving to do some spotting over the lines Dunfee, who was to have come with me in his Camel sideslipped into the ground after taking off when his engine failed. He was killed instantly. I carry on and do the spotting for the monitor M22 shelling gun positions. Saw Dunfee's Camel when we got back - a horrible sight with blood and brains spread all over the wreckage.

These young men were literally taking their lives into their hands every time they attempted to fly and that was even before they got down to the task in hand. They were very brave people indeed.

THE DFC

The Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) is the third-level military decoration awarded to officers, and since 1993 to other ranks, of the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force and other services, and formerly to officers of other Commonwealth countries, for "an act or acts of valour, courage or devotion to duty whilst flying in active operations against the enemy".

The award was established on 3 June 1918, shortly after the formation of the Royal Air Force (RAF), with the Royal Warrant published on 5 December 1919. It was originally awarded to RAF commissioned and warrant officers, including officers in Commonwealth and allied forces.

Since the 1993 review of the honours system as part of the drive to remove distinctions of rank in bravery awards, all ranks of all arms of the Armed Forces have been eligible, and the Distinguished Flying Medal, which had until then been awarded to other ranks, was discontinued.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distinguished_Flying_Cross_(United_Kingdom)

There were 1045 DFC's issued for World War 1 compared to more than 20,000 issued for World War 2, a reflection of how the air force had grown in that time.

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New Family Tree Charts

Category: What's New at Hibbitt.org.uk

I've revised my pedigree charts of our direct ancestors which are available at http://www.hibbitt.org.uk/treereports.html

They can still be viewed in PDF format, although the layout is slightly different than before. In addition, the same charts can now be viewed as single web pages.

I've also created a couple of Ancestor Fan Charts which display our direct ancestors in a circular format out to 7 generations.


Pedigree Chart
Pedigree Chart


Ancestor Fan Chart
Ancestor Fan Chart


CLICK TO GO TO MY FAMILY TREE CHARTS

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Finding more Kidderminster ancestors

Category: What's New at Hibbitt.org.uk

Samuel Cotterell's name and occupation as recorded on his son, Edmund's, marriage certificate
Samuel Cotterell's name and occupation as recorded on his son, Edmund's, marriage certificate

I've made a little progress on my Worcestershire based ancestors. I was aware that my 4 x great-grandmother was Elizabeth Lewis who married Samuel Cotterell at Kidderminster, in 1782. I have now found her baptism dated 4th February 1757 showing that she was the daughter of Richard and Mary Lewis. Mary's maiden name was Rook/Rooke/Rooks.

Mary Rooke was born in approximately 1734, the daughter of Thomas Rook and Sarah Payton who married in Kidderminster on 30th May 1726.

The eldest of four, Elizabeth Lewis appears to have been Richard and Mary's only daughter. Two sons, who were probably twins, were baptised on 23rd October 1759 but sadly William died on the 24th and Francis on the 25th. This was also the day both boys were buried. Their youngest son, named Richard after his father, was baptised in October 1760, less than three months after Mary's husband had died so life must have been tough for her.

The Payton surname was prevalent in Kidderminster from as early as the beginning of the 17th century when an Elizabeth Payton was baptised in 1620. The Rooke name appears in the town just a little later.

Kidderminster is known for the manufacture of carpets, which began during the 18th century and developed out of a well established cloth industry. I don't know what my Lewis, Rooke and Payton forebears did for a living but I do know that Samuel Cotterell was a weaver so I think it very likely he was connected to one of these industries.

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Website changes and how to subscribe to my blog

Category: What's New at Hibbitt.org.uk

The Hibbitt and Barnes Family History website home page
The Hibbitt and Barnes Family History website home page

Having neglected my website for a little while I've finally got around to decluttering my home page. Gone are the reams of text which used to occupy the lower part of the page. Now I simply direct people to my Sitemap if they want to find their way around my website.

At the bottom of my homepage is a Facebook icon which links to my Blog on Facebook. Anyone is welcome to follow my family hstory posts. If email is your preference, there's a box where you can subscribe for free updates or if RSS is your bag there's a button for that too.

I've also added a new page under the DNA section called 'Our List of DNA Verified Ancestors'. So far I've managed to confirm nine ancestral couples on my side of the family and five on Harvey's through the use of DNA matching to other descendants. The list is available by clicking here.

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Tuesday's Tip: Always check the original record

Category: What's New at Hibbitt.org.uk

The marriage between Stephen Bonston and Grace Farmer
The marriage between Stephen Bonston and Grace Farmer

I recently revisited the marriage between Harvey's 4 x great-grandparents, Stephen Bunstow/Bonston and his wife, Grace. Stephen married Grace Farmer on 27th October 1818 in St Saviour's Church, Dartmouth in Devon.

When I first looked at this, I didn't have access to the original record but doing so now puts a different complexion on things. Far from Farmer being Grace's maiden name, the record states that Grace was a widow so I set about looking for a marriage between a Grace and an unknown Mr. Farmer.

Next, I discovered a marriage between Charles Farman and Grace Lang on 16th March 1812 at the same church. I now had Grace's correct maiden name. Charles appears as Farman, Farmer and Firman in different records. There's even mention of the name Palmer too. He died in 1815.

I found a baptism in 1795 for Gracey Tucker Lang. She was the youngest of six known children of Samuel Lang and Jenny Tucker so this takes me back another generation.

So what can we learn from this? To always view the original record whenever possible, be it in an archive, a scanned image, facsimile or photocopy. You can often find more information than is available in a transcribed record.

Finally, there's a tiny bit of extra detail in Stephen and Grace's marriage record. Not only was Stephen a mariner when he married, just like Grace's first husband, but we find out that he was 'late of Dover'. However, this is where the trail goes cold.

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

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My Great-Auntie Betty's Scottish lineage

Category: What's New at Hibbitt.org.uk

My Great-Auntie Betty Geake, nee Hutton
My Great-Auntie Betty Geake, nee Hutton

A few months ago my great-aunt Betty (Betty Gordon Hutton) passed away and I have since added her lineage to my website. Auntie Betty was married to Uncle Ron (Ronald Arthur Geake) who was my Grandpa's brother. They were married in St Eustachius Church in Tavistock, Devon, in 1952 but Betty was not a local girl - she came from Leslie in Fife, Scotland.

Betty, who was born in 1927, was the daughter of John Hutton and Lizzie Meikle. She had three older brothers and was a teenager when her mother died in 1943. Her father married again, this time to Betsy (or Bessie) Henderson Speed in 1946.

The Hutton line lived in Methihill and West Wemyss in Fife. Betty's grandfather, David Hutton, married Jane Peebles from Kingsbarns, Fife, and Jane's parents, Robert Peebles and Ann Ramsay, were married in Barry in Angus in 1838. David Hutton was the son of Walter Hutton and Christian Reid who were born in about 1816 and 1817 respectively.

Returning to the Meikle line, Lizzie was the daughter of Thomas Meikle and Betsy Gordon, hence my Auntie Betty's middle name. Betsy Gordon was the youngest of Robert Gordon and Mary McGregor's seven children. Mary's parents, Robert McGregor and Christian Scarlett, were married in Portmoak, Kinross-shire, in 1799. Finally, Robert's parents were my Auntie Betty's 3 x great-grandparents, John McGrigor and Mary Laurie, who also married in Portmoak, the year being 1773.

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My Edwards, Recket, Randall and Pudicome ancestors from West Devon

Category: What's New at Hibbitt.org.uk

Map of Inwardleigh, Hatherleigh and Okehampton
Map of Inwardleigh, Hatherleigh and Okehampton.

This post follows on from my previous one about the family of Nathaniel Edwards and Grace Reckett.

Grace's father was Robert Ridstone Recket who was born in Inwardleigh, Devon, in about 1722 to an unmarried woman called Catherine Recket. There are a number of variants for Robert's surname which appear in the parish registers as Recket, Reckett, Record and possibly Riccard.

It remains a possibility that an alternative spelling of Robert's middle name might have been Risdon as there are people by that name living in Inwardleigh around the time Robert was born. The name might even have been Redstone. His middle name may give us a clue to who Robert's father was but an obvious candidate cannot be easily identified in the parish registers. One possibility is one John Risdon who was buried a few days after Robert's baptism.

Robert's wife was Elizabeth but her maiden name is unknown. She died in 1761 and it's possible that Robert married again. In 1775, a Robert Riccard married a widow called Dorothy Clarke in Inwardleigh. Could this have been my Robert?

Nathaniel Edwards was the fifth of seven children although at least three died in infancy. His parents were John Edwards and Jane Randal/Rendal who were married in 1737 in the ancient market town of Hatherleigh. All of their children were baptized in the Presbyterian Chapel.

John's parents are unknown but Jane was the daughter of Nathaniel Randall and Rebecca Pudicome. It seems Nathaniel Edwards was named after his maternal grandfather.

Nathaniel and Rebecca were married in Hatherleigh in 1706 and probably lived there until their deaths in 1731 and 1736 respectively. Nathaniel left a will which has not survived. He was born in 1672 in Okehampton which is situated at the northern edge of Dartmoor National Park and this is where we will pick up the story next time.

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Poverty and the Edwards' Family of Hatherleigh

Category: What's New at Hibbitt.org.uk

Order of Settlement relating to the Edwards' Family
Order of Settlement relating to the Edwards' Family.

I've recently been delving into the family of my 5 x great-grandparents, Nathaniel Edwards and Grace Reckett/Rickett.

Blacksmith and scythe manufacturer, Nathaniel was born in Hatherleigh in North Devon in about 1750 and baptized there in the Presbyterian Church. Grace was from nearby Inwardleigh where the couple were married in 1775. Their eldest daughter, born in 1776, had the unusal name of Beaten and my 4 x great-grandmother, Maria arrived in 1779.

Times were hard because, in 1780, the Edwards' found themselves the subjects of a Removal Order from Inwardleigh back to Hatherleigh....

"...Nathaniel Edwards, Grace his wife and Beaton aged about four years old and Mariah one years old their daughters lately intruded themselves into your said Parish of Inwardleigh there to inhabit as Parishioners contrary to the Laws relating to the Settlement of the Poor and are likely to become chargeable to your said Parish of Inwardleigh..."

Nathaniel was in need of Poor Relief and therefore he and his family were sent back to the parish which had the legal responsibility to provide it.

Four more children followed; Angel, Elias, Israel and Abet. The family might have moved around during this period as Angel was baptized in Crediton and Elias and Israel were baptized in North Tawton.

In 1804, Beaten had an illegitimate son. She went on to marry Edward Bowden, who was 25 years her senior, in June 1811 but not before giving birth to another son in April of that year. Edward died in 1813 and was buried on the same day as their daughter, Grace, was baptized. Beaton was living with her daughter in Hatherleigh in 1841 and she died in 1850.

Another wedding took place in 1811 when Maria married a labourer from Okehampton called William Ball. The family moved between Hatherleigh and Okehampton and had four children, the eldest being my 3 x great-grandfather, Israel Edward Ball. William died in 1845 and Maria had outlived her son Israel by two years by the time she died in 1849.

Angel enlisted in the Army Reserve during the time of the Napoleonic Wars and fought in the War of 1812 (or the Anglo American War) in the 8th (King's) Regiment of Foot - 1st Battalion. He died of his wounds in 1814 after the Battle of Lundy's Lane (also known as the Battle of Niagara Falls).

Israel Edwards and his family emigrated to Australia in 1847, Elias stayed in Devon, dying in 1871, and Abet's fate is unknown.

Nathaniel Edwards died in 1809 and his widow outlived him by 22 years. Grace was reportedly 85 years old when she died in 1831. Both are buried at Hatherleigh.

Coming soon - the history of Nathaniel and Grace's forbears.

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Tracing my forbears in North Devon

Category: What's New at Hibbitt.org.uk

Barnstaple, North Devon
Barnstaple, North Devon

Our son has recently relocated to Barnstaple in North Devon and so I decided to see how close I could come to finding forbears who lived near there. I knew I had ancestors from North Devon and so I made a start by looking into my 5 x great-grandparents, James Alford (abt. 1772-1847) and his wife, Catherine Bellew (abt 1785-).

When the couple married, James was resident in Bideford and Catherine in nearby Westleigh, the latter being situated some 6.5 miles south-west of Barnstaple town centre.

James initially worked on the land as a husbandman in Great Torrington but by 1841, at the age of almost 70, he was described as a toll collector located at Chapelton Gate, Tawstock, about 6 miles south of Barnstaple.

After James' death in 1847, Catherine continued as a toll collector at the Turnpike Gate at Ashreigney, a few miles south of Chapelton. She was still described as a turnpike gate keeper ten years later in 1861, although she was visiting one of her daughters in Bridgetown, Tawstock, on the day the census was taken. Catherine was approximately 76 years old and still working.

Map of North Devon
Map of North Devon

The Alfords came from High Bickington and before this, in the early 18th century, from Roborough by Torrington. I am familiar with a Roborough in the north of Plymouth and, at the back of my mind I seemed to recall there was another Roborough in Devon. What I didn't know was that there is a third Roborough, an area very near to Barnstaple itself.

My 8 x great-grandparents, Lewis Alford and Mary Beale, married in Roborough by Torrington (14 miles due south of Barnstaple) in 1704 and their son, also called Lewis, married a Mary Alford and so Mary didn't need to change her name after she'd wed. This couple had ten children, one of whom was called George, a yeoman born in 1747, who married Margaret Hern/Hearn. These were my 6 x great-grandparents and they are buried at High Bickington, about 4 miles north-east of Roborough.

Margaret's parents were John Hearn and Frances Newcombe who were both from High Bickington. Four years after John's death, Frances remarried, this time to a John Richards. John Hearn's parents were Robert Hearn and Margaret Edworthy who married in High Bickington in 1714 and Frances was the daughter of William Newcombe and Joan Crocker.

Catherine Bellew's forbears all came from Yarnscombe which lies approximately 8 miles south of Barnstaple. Her parents, William Bellew and Catherine Paddon, were born in about 1750 and 1752 respectively. Catherine Paddon's parents were Peter Paddon and Sara Isaac who married in Yarnscombe in 1748.

Back to my 6 x great-grandfather, William Bellew, his parents were Henry Bellew and Mary Fursman. Henry was born in Yarnscombe in about 1719, the first of seven children belonging to William Bellew and Elizabeth Milton. This William Bellew was born in the 17th century, the son of my 9 x great-grandparents, Laurence Bellew and Mary Mogridg who married in 1682. Laurence was a yeoman when he died in 1713, having left a will, an abstract of which has apparently survived. I have yet to discover the contents of this document.

Finally, I have the name of my 10 x great-grandfather, William Mogridg, but nothing more is known about him.

None of these ancestors made it all the way to Barnstaple but James Alford and Catherine Bellew did in fact come very close.

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Our Family Tree Pedigree Charts are now online

Category: What's New at Hibbitt.org.uk

A section from Annie's Pedigree Chart
A section from Annie's Pedigree Chart

I've added a new feature to my family history website - family tree pedigree charts of Harvey's and my direct ancestors. The charts are in PDF format and can be zoomed in and out in order to view different parts of the family.

These charts are especially useful as a starting point for those matching our DNA but they can also help anyone interested in finding out where individuals might fit into our trees.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ANNIE'S AND HARVEY'S ANCESTORS CHARTS

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