Saturday, 17 September 2011

Looking back in time.

This collage of the ruins of Cowdray Castle and surrounding buildings at Midhurst was taken some ten months ago when my father was far more steady on his feet. I have often thought about my family history and now that Dad is far less mobile I thought it was time that I delved into his memories and with the benefit of ancestral search facilities maybe I could fill in some gaps but didn't realise just how addictive this research would become!  

The story begins at the Round House within the grounds of Cowdray Castle where my father was born and my paternal Grandfather, who died at the age of 39 from his war wounds when Dad was very young, was employed as a guide to visitors to the famous Cowdray ruins.

Earlier this year we paid a visit to The Royal Oak  in Critchmere, Haslemere, which I rode past every day on my way to school for six years. My father lived here for a while before joining up (WW2) but far more interesting is its past history. Evidence pinned on the wall inside confirms that my Great Grandfather and Great Grandmother were landlord and landlady respectively during the years 1916 to 1953. However before them research indicates that the Licencee was my Great-great Grandfather who in the 1880's made what has been called the 'long trek' with his family from Sawston in Cambridgeshire a distance of 100 miles.

So the research continues and I just hope I don't ruffle too many feathers in the process. I will be back with some more wildlife images very soon but for a while my interests are elsewhere.    FAB.


  1. What a cool place, and to have it woven into your own family history is remarkable. I do hope your father is okay. Aging is so hard - for everyone.

  2. Hi Theresa. I guess the Round House shares some similarity with your abode far far less spacious! Dad is in constant pain but bearing up ... thanks for the concern. FAB.

  3. Tracing ones roots is addictive, to that my wife can attest.

    Love the photos of the old buildings and your family history to compliment them.

  4. You are a wise man to ask your Dad questions now. No question is too small. I started to ask my Dad questions when it was too late. The things I wanted to know were gone from his mind. My Dad died at age 95 and I was 68.

  5. A wonderful family history Frank. I can understand your fascination in unearthing the archives. My mother is 80 and I learn something new every time we chat.. I must write it all down.

    My best wishes to your Dad.
    Take care

  6. A very interesting topic Frank, I have a Cousin doing the same thing and she has traced back into the 1700's already.
    If only they had digital cameras in those days.{:)

  7. A nice post Frank, ending with with Wood Pigeon, beautiful.

  8. Fascinating glimpse into your past Frank.
    Hope you're keeping well.

  9. Oh how beautiful that world you live in Frank. Please do bring more of those images to us. I love them all. My ancestors are my England and perhaps that is why I am so intrigued, but nonetheless, please proceed. Carol

  10. What wonderful family history. It is fascinating. Thank you for sharing it with us. I look forward to reading/seeing more that you may discover.

  11. All fascinating stuff Frank :-) Good luck in you future search of the archives :-)

  12. Thanks Coy. Addictive and very facinating.

    Cheers Red. No sure I always get the right answers as he is easily distracted but I'll keep plugging away.

    Hi Andrew. It certainly pays to keep a record as our memories are not always up to scratch. I'll certainly pass on your good wishes...Cheers.

    Cheers Roy. If only they had added names and detail to those old photos!!

    Thanks Bob.

    Cheers Keith. All ok this end just need to find time to get out and find some wildlife.

    Hi Carol. I'll do my best to bring you some more views of the past in the future.

    Thanks Lois. I just wish I had started 20 years ago when the older folk were still around.

    Cheers Warren. Very easy to get totally immersed in this type of research!

  13. Oh yes, I know all about that addiction! That round house - what a fabulous place to have as an ancestral home. You'll find the next stage will be spending hours in grave yards!

  14. Good luck with your research - how very interesting! I can empathize where your father is concerned. My Dad has a real bad hip right which we're going to have looked at. He's 89 and uses a cane.

  15. Wow you are digging up a lot of info from the past. I remember that this can take ages but that is a very exciting and time consumming task... Good luck with this Frank and thanks for sharing this...

  16. Frank, I've done a lot of family history. One family line even comes from England. My gg grandfather and mother came over to NY in 1881. Several of his wife's brothers and sisters had already come. They came from Twerton on Avon that is now part of Bath.
    I know what you mean about becoming addictive, my kids would agree with you too. It is fascinating to hear stoies and histroy or to walk where ancestors once walked. Great piece.

  17. What a wonderful thing to do Frank, especially while you're still able to spend time with your father.

  18. ...interesting, Frank. Good luck with your research. I've done a little, but would like to do more. (I love the round house and the other buildings...

  19. The life tapestry, always so fascinating and your images are grand Frank. Wildlife shall wait, you just keep sharing your life with ours and we shall take to heart what all you share. I took a similar journey a few years ago and loved every moment~

  20. WONDERFUL, Frank!!!

    What a most interesting start of your family history; sharing it with your Dad.

    I am convinced you'll be very successfull in researching & exploring & discovering....!!!!!

    I wish you only the best!!

    All my very best wishes & AUGURI to your Dad !

    ciao ciao elvira

  21. its nice to see that whatis of particular intrest to you is of a passing intrest to others... some of whom you dont know

    Its a small world

    Graet topic too

  22. Fascinating family history. I look forward to hearing more!

  23. Hi Frank,

    It is so interesting to find out where our roots lie.
    My parents took both their lines back to the early 16th century. It is amazing what you find out....some quite sad.

    It has been a long time since you posted....I just hope that it is your family tree that keeps you away....not you fathers poor health.

  24. Good luck in your family research, Frank!

  25. Missing you. Wondering how your research is progressing.

  26. I wondered where you went to. I hope your search goes well.

  27. Hi Hilke and Kathie,

    The research is going very well. Hope to be reposting very soon.
    Cheers FAB.

  28. Frank, wishing you & your family all the best for 2012!


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