Sunday, 19 June 2011

A Devon detour once again as we wander the lanes of the past... literally as well as metaphorically

There is no doubt I am finding it much easier to find out about my English relatives than my Greek, hence this blog/book, while being a search for Charlie Ross and his Greek family has turned out to be more an exploration of the family of Charlie's wife, Mary Atkins Ross. 

However, I choose to see that as a temporary digression. It is a process and I know far more of my ancestry than I did when I began. 

One should be grateful in ancestry research for any progress at all. Another family researcher, albeit distantly related, has gotten in touch with me. Geoff Bremble is also related to the Labett family and he wrote:

I am a member of the Devon Family History Society and saw your entry of interest as being the family Labett. My wife's grandmother was Rosina Agnes Labett born in Portsmouth and married to Albert Stribley whose family was from Padstow in Cornwall ( see attached Family Tree). I have various copies of census returns and a couple of BMD's which I would be happy to share with you.

I live near Oxford but am visiting Devon next week and will hopefully be going to the Family History Centre in Exeter and would be happy to look up "stuff" for you if you are interested. As a consequence of the villages you list in your entry I intend visiting them so if you would like photo's from there let me know.
PS My wife was born in Sydney, but that's a different story!!

And of course there is only one answer to that - yes please. Since then Geoff has been true to his word and has sent me a raft of photographs of our family's haunts and the following:

Dear Ros

Further to my visit to the SW England I attach some photographs as follows:


All Saints Church, Church interior, Kings Arms


St Matthew’s Church, Church interior


All Saints Church, Church interior, Fox and Hounds


St Bartholomew Church, Church interior

Nymett Rowland

Winkleigh is a substantial and picturesque village with a pub. Church pictured above, town immediately above and church interior below.

 And on to Eggesford:

Eggesford – (church interior above and village below)  There is no discernible centre, it is just a few scattered homes and farms set in an open gentle landscape.

Coldridge – This comprises a ribbon of homes set, as the name suggests, on a ridge and is subject to the winds that seem to blow continuously in this part of England. It is set in a rolling landscape and approached by steep narrow lanes.

Nymett Rowland (church interior immediately above and church at top) – This again has no obvious village centre and the church is set against a largish farm.
As regards more information on the Labetts. I am sending you, by snail mail, copies of the indexes of BMD parish records from the Devon FHC. In order to see the transcripts on microfiche one has to visit either the Devon Records office or the West Country Studies Centre both of which are in Exeter. Alternatively the FHC can do a search for you, info on this is on the sheets I am sending you. As you are probably aware not all records have been transcribed or indexed, that’s when life gets difficult !!!

Incidentally when talking to the FHC archivist about how the Labetts might have come to SW England she suggested that they might have been French naval officers captured at the Battle of Trafalgar who were imprisoned on Dartmoor some of whom might have remained and married local women. Apparently these can be viewed at the Devon Prison Museum records in Princetown under post Trafalgar records. However as there seems to be Labbetts that predate the battle they must have arrived a lot earlier. Do you have any ideas?

I can't say I do have any ideas but good all the same to have some thoughts on the Labbetts and the origin of the family and the name.  What is interesting is that there is some suggestion that the Mashfords also originated in France and my maternal grandfather's name, Belchamber, is also said to be of French origin. 

I am hoping I have the right captions with the right photos given the similarity of church interiors. However, these photographs are of churches where Labbet and no doubt Mashford and Cann ancestors would have been christened, married and buried. 

And it seems only right to include a photograph (above) of St. Mark's Church in Penwortham, Clare Valley where Elizabeth Mashford married Edward Atkins. 

And  a photograph (above) of St. Alban's Church, Gladstone, taken in 1908, where Mary Atkins married Charlie Ross in 1888. A fire later destroyed records and much of the church. 

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