Thursday, 8 October 2009

Our Trip to Norfolk

Arrived home safely from our family history trip to Norfolk after travelling on country roads and in one piece to boot. The picture above shows the picturesque Holy Trinity church at Stow Bardolph, a village just north of Downham Market.

Wow, a hectic week firstly visiting the archives at the Norfolk County Council in Norwich then the villages where the ancestors lived in Norfolk from around the 1830s to the 1890 when they all dispersed to the four winds. Despite one day of light rain, Norwich is a lovely place, the atmosphere is friendly and the city itself attractive with fascinating architecture.

The archivists couldn't do enough to help us and we filled in some gaps to the family tree and discovered some things we need to do more research on to firmly link them in to the family. The best thing to report is that we were allowed access to a tithe map of 1840 showing the land that Francis farmed with his sons and brothers in Stow Bardolph Fen. (A tithe map is a huge canvas map (pictured below measuring 8' by 10' all hand drawn of course) which shows the parcels of land they farmed and how much they paid to the Church in tithe and how much they paid to the land owner - the Hare Family, in rent. )
We visited Wimbotsham - pronounced 'Wim - bow - shum' where one of the wealthier ancestors was buried. He owned a pub in the village called the White Heart Inn, no longer there.

We called in and spent some even more time at Stow Bardolph, a beautiful little hamlet where the ancestors were baptised, married and sent off on their way at their funerals.

Our final port of call was across the river from Stow Bardolph to Stow Bardolph Fen where the family lived and farmed reclaimed land. At a farmhouse there which was built in 1870 and replaced my ancestors farmhouse which fell down because it was built on peat, we met the current owners who kindly invited us in eager to hear the history of who had farmed the land before them - they were very helpful, delightful in fact.

A hugely successful and enjoyable break away - the car performed beautifully, the weather behaved, by and large, and we learned much about those long gone, but who contributed a small part of who I am today. My wife deserves thanks for being patient (she enjoyed the experience too!)

You have all been so busy - I have loads of blogs to catch up on while her indoors is catching up on the three hundred and seventeen programmes she recorded on Sky+.

By the way, I am still holding on, waiting for Citibank to answer the phone so I can activate my account... We are sorry to keep you waiting. Our team of personal bankers is eager to take your call and will be with you as soon as possible - arrrrggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chat soon



  1. It sounds like you had a lovely time.
    We are lucky here because they have the 1911 census online and it's free so I was able to find quite a lot of my relatives on there.
    Maybe one day you will get your call answered.

  2. Hi Val - the 1911 free? lucky you - don't have it and you have to pay yet another subscription to another firm to access it which I am not prepared to do just yet, but is it interesting? I understand you can see the original papers that ancestors had to fill in themselves?