Sunday 30th August: 9.30am - What? a Rave?
I woke up this morning to an eerie quiet punctuated by shouts. The only traffic on this usually very busy road was groups of young people wandering about, and cars parked anywhichway along the road. A barricade of police cars at the Codford road junction explained the lack of traffic, but it is way past the solstice so what was going on? According to D at 2am there had been police and cars in the lane alongside our house, and when he asked the police he was told it was a rave. BBC News online provided the answer. 4000 people had been dispersed from a rave on farmland between Chitterne and Knook, and roadblocks had been set up around the area. It's the most excitement around here for many a long day. I haven't even been able to start the Sunday crossword yet!
Saturday 29th August - Mary Ann and the US Wallises
These pictures were a complete surprise when they arrived out of the blue; very kindly sent by ALN from Texas. The one on the left is the gravestone of Mary Ann Wallis of the Chitterne Wallises, who married George Langford in England and subsequently emigrated to North America, settling first in Canada and then Tuscola, Co. Michigan, where she died in 1862 14 days after having given birth to their third daughter. The baby, Lucy, also died, 13 days after her mother. The other gravestone marks her grave, which is almost totally illegible, but I believe it once said that Lucy died on 27 July 1862 aged 27 days. ALN points out that the date of Mary Ann's death again throws up the problem of George Langford's second marriage date. In his second wife's obituary the date of the second marriage is given as 3 July 1861, just over a year BEFORE Mary Ann died. I have always thought the date in the obituary is wrong. ALN suggests 3 July 1864. It wouldn't be the first time that a figure four has been mistaken for a one in historical records so I'm inclined to agree with him. Does anyone out there know when George Langford married Rachel Stewart?
There's a story attached to the fate of Mary Ann's two older daughters, but I'm not repeating that here, look up www.round-house.demon.co.uk/history/alicelangford.html if you're interested. This is all connected with the Cary Coles saga too.
What interests me is how many members of the Chitterne Wallis family are buried in the US? Several of them emigrated in the 19th century. The emigres all headed west, I haven't come across any Wallises who headed for Australia, New Zealand or Africa yet. So, lets hazard a guess, or perhaps it would be better to trawl through my notes. Well, there's Isaac Wallis b. 1803, but he doesn't count because he died in Canada; John Buckeridge Wallis b.1811 is our first, he died in Gilead, Co. Michigan in 1850, hang on though he wasn't born in Chitterne so does he count? Perhaps not, OK then lets just count the Chitterne born Wallises buried in the US, that should narrow it a bit: Mary Ann Wallis is the first, she was born in Chitterne in 1834; not Thomas Wallis her brother, he died in Canada; not Mark Ball Wallis either he died in Canada. Well, that leaves only Mary Ann! I am surprised, I thought there were more than that. But I did find one Wallis who emigrated to New Zealand, Evelyn Anna Wallis b.1890.
Wednesday 26th August - Digging for my Roots
A list of the descendants of John Ingrums, (c.1640-1709), arrived from fifth cousin, DC, who's been researching the family for years. John Ingrums is my 8 x great grandfather, two more Johns came after him, another John Ingrums and a John Ingrum. For a minute there I thought the Ingrams were going to do a "John Flower", (See 5th May blog, "Flowers are Sorted"), but no, after the Johns came a Jerimiah Ingrum, then two Jacobs. Here the name spelling settled as they were both called Ingram. The second Jacob (1791-1877) was the father of Nelson Ingram, who, until now had been my oldest known ancestor. DC tells me he has a small pic of Nelson, and I wait in anticipation to see what he looks like. The earliest photo I have is of Sidney Albert Nelson Ingram, my grandfather (pictured), who died at 34 years of nephritis leaving three young children, the eldest being my father. All this delving into the past led me to wonder what had happened to my aunt MI, Sidney's youngest child, who was born in 1915 or 1916, and as far as I knew the only one left of the three. We had lost touch with her many years ago.
In my childhood we used to visit Bedford quite frequently when MI was a nurse there and lodged with BS, who was an almoner at the same hospital. I didn't find it odd at the time, but we seemed to be more friendly with BS than we were with my aunt. We even stayed with BS after M had moved on to marry a very elderly gent with his own house. I don't remember visiting aunt M at this house, although my father did on his own, returning scandalised that all sorts of farm animals shared the house with my aunt and uncle and by then with my new cousin NB, their adopted son. My aunt and my father stopped communicating when she asked him to go up there and stay while he repaired her car and he refused. Many years later an invitation to NB's wedding arrived, I went but my father didn't.
Aunt M was very proud of NB, he studied at the Royal Ballet School and later was one of the principals of the London Festival Ballet. My cousins and I watched him perform when he appeared in Bristol in the 1980's. He's now running a Ballet School and Theatre in Toledo, Ohio, USA. I discovered this on the internet when I googled his name. I googled my aunt's name and up came a parish magazine showing the date of her funeral last year at Elstow, just outside Bedford. So there it was, the last of that generation gone, and with her the chance to find out more about my unusual relative. She ploughed her own furrow would be a good way to put it. This photo was taken in her teens. M's idiosyncrasies were never openly discussed in the family. It was only in my teen years, when my mother, admonishing me for some misdemeanor, said: "you'll turn out like your aunt M", that I realised there was something more underlying my father's exasperation with his sister. I guess, as the eldest, he felt responsible for her after his father's death, and she only 5 years old. Who can say, and now it's too late to find out.
Thursday 20th August - Coles Corrected
It's always good to get some feedback from this blog and I'm always keen to get the facts right, so I was doubly pleased to hear today from CN who emailed to put me right on the date of death of that man with the long name: James William Cary Newbury Coles, known as Cary Coles. CN is a distant cousin of Cary Coles, who, he says, died in 1915 and NOT in 1894 as I stated in my blog "Reunion Time". See the blog dated 26th May for CN's full comment and his picture of Cary Coles too.
Yesterday I went to Hengistbury Head in Dorset for a day out in the promised sun and was pleasantly surprised to find some history attached to the site. Ancient history. The area had been inhabited intermittently since the stone age, 12500 years ago, when this headland was an inland hill miles from the sea. I imagine the English Channel was merely a river in those days, when Britain was still attached to the continent of Europe. Hunter gatherers camped here; hundreds of flint tools made by people about 9500 years ago have been found; Bronze age people used the site as a cemetery 3500 years ago and one excavated round barrow revealed the cremated remains of a woman and some amber beads. The site became an important trading place, and perhaps Britain's most important port for the export of slaves, hunting dogs and precious metals. These were exchanged for wine, olives and glass. The merchants and goods required protection so Double Dykes was constructed over a long period about 2000 years ago. There is a home in Chitterne called Hengistbury Cottage. I wonder why?
Sunday 9th August - End of JWT?
The engineering company started by John Wallis Titt and named after him has been taken into administration at Frome, Somerset, the last of its branches still operating. John Wallis Titt was born in Chitterne in 1841 and brought up in Elm Farm pictured. He became world-famous for his wind-operated water pumps, which were installed all over the world in the early part of the last century. JWT died in 1910 leaving two of his sons to run the business. At the height of its success 130 were employed and there were branches in Frome, Somerset; Salisbury, Wiltshire and Basingstoke and Andover in Hampshire, as well as the headquarters at Warminster, Wiltshire. The Warminster HQ was closed in 1986, but the company continued at Frome. End of another era.
Thursday 6th August - Family Fest
The family history fest continues unabated with a visit from DM, a very, very enthusiastic family researcher. You meet all sorts in my line of interest. Some just turn up and knock on the door, others have planned the trip months in advance. DM's visit was the first sort and I was sort-of prepared for it, since JR (not the oil magnate!) sent an early warning, but evenso I was left breathless as DM recounted the backgrounds of scores of his Meaden ancestors. It turns out I lived about 100 yards away from some of them in my youth and I am related to them through my Ingram ancestors.
My trusty friend/researcher PR found the death of Nelson Ingram's first wife Mary in the records (see previous blog). Mary died at 23 years in 1844, along with her latest baby, having produced 5 children in as many years. Poor lass.
I received an email from a previous contact re the Flower family, whom I'd not been able to help. So it was extra kind of him to think of sending me an amusing story concerning them that he thought might brighten the Flower's Chitterne People page. It goes like this:
“The Flower name had puzzled me for years; cousins had imagined them to be Wiltshire people. Wrong! I finally located my fourth great-grandfather in Covent Garden, London. John Flower was a timber merchant, born in 1727 and died in 1780. He married Anne Hine at St. Ann’s, Soho in 1768 and the couple produced at least six children and a wicked sense of humour. The five girls were named, Gilly , Anne , Sarah , Wall  and Mary Ann in 1778. They also had a son in 1773 and named the poor lad Colly.”DH adds: The question is did Wall Flower ever marry?
Comment from JR (not the oil one, this is my daughter!) Did you rename the Randy Ancestors one? aww, I liked that title ;) Wall Flower and Colly Flower are great names though!
Sue: Ok I'll come clean. I made a boob and had to ditch the first title. Original blog "Randy Ancestors" said that Nelson and Emma Ingram started having kids when Emma was 12, which I'd always thought was the case, but the 1841 census shows that Nelson was married to Mary before he married Emma. Mind you, both girls were about 16 when they started producing and Nelson was 6 and 14 years older than them, so he was a bit of a randy cradle-snatcher...
Sunday 2nd August - My Ancestors
My first instincts about JR who emailed proved to be correct. We do have things in common; his middle name is Ingram same as mine and his wife RR appears to be related to me very distantly. So emails have been flying back and forth and today I've seen for the first time the original census entries for my great great grandfather: Nelson Ingram, a woollen cloth hand-weaver, who had two wives Mary and Emma. In 1841 Nelson, 26, and Mary, 20, had 3 young children and Emma Bailey, 12, was living with them, presumably helping out. Perhaps Mary was ill or weak as the youngest child was only 2 months old. Mary must have died and Nelson married Emma in 1845. They went on to have 7 or 8 more children; the last one when he was 60, which means Emma was 48. They all lived in the tragically-named Slob Lane at Dilton Marsh. Emma lived until 1905 when she was 78. Nelson lived to 73 in 1888. I think there is very little possibility that I am related to the William Ingram in the listed table-tomb in St Mary's graveyard here in Chitterne. He was in a totally different class.