So That's Where I Get It From

May 24, 2015

Sentimental Sunday – Completion of Restoration of my ancestors’ Table Top Tombs

Having been away from my blog for such a very long time, which was never meant, looking after my 104 and a half year old Aunt has taken over our lives so I just haven’t been able to post here as I wanted to.

Today I had some wonderful news so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to post on my blog once again.  I can’t stop smiling 🙂

I am placing this under the Blogging Prompt of Sentimental Sunday because to me this is very sentimental.

I am sooooooooooooooooooooo delighted, excited, thrilled, happy and all sorts of things in that mood 🙂  🙂  🙂 Please bear with me while I explain and add lots of photos!! Many of you know I have been researching my family tree (for almost thirty years now) and have my Read family back to the 1500s. Many of my ancestors are buried in what I call the Read Plot at Nether Winchendon, Buckinghamshire and in the plot are three tabletop tombs. One contains my 6 x great grandfather Cozens Read and his wife Elizabeth, another contains his son William Read, William’s Wife Mary, their daughter Mary and Mary’s husband John Moores. The third tabletop tomb contains another of Cozens Read’s sons, Michael Read and his wife Martha.

A few years ago, in 2007, my other half Paul and I visited the Plot and cleared and tidied up and repaired these and other Read gravestones – pictures of this follow. Two or three years or so ago, William Read’s tomb collapsed and I was informed that the church was going to restore it. I tried to get grants for restoring it but that took such a long time, waiting waiting waiting for decisions and in the meantime the church and the villagers managed to organise a Lottery Heritage grant.

Last year I was told they were going ahead with the restoration and asked my thoughts about it. I was very pleased of course. Anyway, today, I found out that yesterday the restoration is complete! They have restored all three table top tombs and here is a link to the BBC news item about it – They even mention me!!!! 🙂…/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-32829542

I am thrilled because they have found that Cozens Read has six children buried with him and his wife, these are those of their 20 children who did not survive to adulthood and I can find no burial record for them apart from that of their first child. I have searched for these children for years thinking they must be buried elsewhere as they are not in the Nether Winchendon parish register.

Now I know exactly where they are! These children were buried long before Cozens Read was buried in 1783 (the news item has the date wrong, they say 1720)!

I am so excited by all this as it means so very much to me 🙂

Here are some of the photos we took in 2007, before and after pics on that day, which can now be compared with the pics in the BBC News item.

This is how the table top tombs looked when we arrived that day in 2007.

The Read Plot - NW - 2007 - Before we cleared up a bit


This is William Read’s table top tomb. This one was the worst one for needing to be repaired and cleared of the plantlife and even small tree that was growing from the inside!  This is the tomb that eventually collapsed a few years later.

William Read and family - before clearing it up - 2007


This is Michael Read’s tomb which contains him and his wife Martha.

Michael Read - before clearing it up - 2007


Here lies Cozens Read with his wife Elizabeth and as I have just discovered, six of his children.

Cozens Read - before clearing it up - 2007


And here is how it all looked that day, after we had been clearing, cleaning and repairing the table top tombs and some of the graves.

The Read Plot - after clearing it up - 2007

I’m so so so so so happy and very very grateful to the villagers who took such an interest in long-deceased members of my family. So thrilled 🙂 🙂 🙂





April 17, 2011

Something of Interest: New Theme – On The Street Where They Lived


As I celebrate my first year with today’s blogiversary, I have decided to use this celebration to announce a new topic theme I am adding here.

I have been thinking about it for a while and so have decided that I will do an On The Street Where They Lived topic.  I have some photos of ancestor’s homes and in many cases some full addresses are given on the Censuses and together with Google’s StreetView I can see and show at least the road where some ancestors lived, even if I don’t know the exact address.  It will be interesting to see how the homes have survived, or been altered, or have just disappeared!

I shall do the first post for this theme after I publish this post.  I hope it will be of interest to those popping in.  🙂

Something of Interest: It’s my first blogiversary!!!

Filed under: General, SOMETHING OF INTEREST — Tags: , , — rootsresearcher @ 1:40 pm


Forgive me for blowing my own trumpet, but I am really rather excited to be celebrating my first blogiversary!!  It’s one year ago today that I started this blog and although there has been a couple of gaps because of the awful internet connection problems I was having (and which is still happening a bit off and on), I am quite amazed at just how much information and photos and such I have on here already!

I still have so very much to add, and still don’t seem to have any order as such with adding things.  I know I have badly neglected my Coming Soon section and my Ancestor Anniversaries, so as this blog goes into it’s second year, I will make an earnest effort to get those sorted and properly do posts for them!

As this is a special day, I am also going to announce a new theme for some of my posts, but will write about that in a separate post today.  😉

I want to thank Thomas at GeneaBloggers for adding this blog to the many already listed there, because it has been a turning point which has helped immensely with the items I have blogged about.  It was through GeneaBloggers that I came across the Daily Blogging Themes, and they are a great help to prompt as to what to write about.

I also want to thank all the new geneablogging friends I have made over this first year.  Many have visited my blog and commented, which is always appreciated.  I have visited their blogs and have found them so very interesting and it really doesn’t matter that their ancestors are not connected to mine!

Thank you also to my cousins who also have been popping in to see the blog and either commenting here or by email.  I’m delighted to have found some new cousins both for me and my other half Paul, through this blog. 

Onwards now, to look forward to my next blogiversary in a years’ time.  I wonder if I will have managed to get all the info I have on the blog by then?  More than likely not, as I have so very much and will probably gain even more copies of documents and Wills and photos as my new blog year progresses.

It’s been a wonderful year blogwise for me, and I hope you will find some items of interest in amongst the lot of chitchat I seem to do.

Yaaaaay!!!  A first for me!!  I’m doing a little genealogists happy dance just because it is my blogiversary, but hey, the first one is special isn’t it?   😉

April 16, 2011

Something of Interest: Gwennap

Filed under: SOMETHING OF INTEREST — Tags: , , , , , , — rootsresearcher @ 5:42 pm

Today has been a gloriously sunny day, so we decided to go and do some research at Gwennap Churchyard, Cornwall and find the resting places of some of my other half Paul’s ancestors.

By the time we got there it had clouded over but it still gave a very peaceful feeling there.  It’s looking pretty with all the Spring flowers dotted about but it was a much larger place than I realised it would be!!

We will have to come back another time to really search for Paul’s ancestors, but while there, and seeing how well preserved many of the tombstones are, I decided that I would add Gwennap Churchyard to my Ancestors at Rest Graveyard Rabbit blog.  I am the Graveyard Rabbit on that blog for Mithian, Cornwall which is where Paul’s dear Mother and Grandparents rest (and which sadly is a closed church with goodness knows what will happen to the churchyard) and the church/churchyard at Lower Winchendon, Buckinghamshire where there are a large number of my ancestors including my 6 x great grandfather Cozens Read.

Gwennap Churchyard

Original photograph taken by me today 16 April 2011 - copyright 2011


The flowering Cherry Blossom tree dominates the churchyard at the moment and I am very pleased we went today and saw it looking like this.

I found many of the tombstones very interesting, even though they weren’t connected to Paul’s family and there was a lot of information on some of them and they seem to have withstood all that time and weather has thrown at them!

April 14, 2011

Something of Interest: Letter from Edward Read – 1806

Filed under: SOMETHING OF INTEREST — Tags: , , , — rootsresearcher @ 3:57 pm

Following on from the post about my surprise present of a handheld portable scanner from my brother Alan that he gave me yesterday, I figured out how it all works this morning so wanted to get on with some scanning, just to see how it worked and if it was all ok.

This is my first scan with it:

Copy of original document (obtained from Buckinghamshire Record Office) in my private collection - copyright 2011


This was a letter that was included with the Marriage Licence for John Lee who was marrying Rebecca Read.  They married 23rd October 1806 at Quainton, Buckinghamshire, UK.

The letter was written by Rebecca’s father Edward Read (1747 – 1808) who is one of the sons of my 6 x great grandfather Cozens Read.

This is the transcript of it.  (I should really include this in the Amanuensis Monday theme, but doing it here instead as it is the first scan with my surprise new present).

“I the undersigned Edward Read of the parish of Quainton in the County of Bucks yeoman the natural and lawful Father of Rebecca Read a Minor of the age of Nineteen years and upwards and under the age of twenty one years Do hereby give my full and free consent that my said Daughter Rebecca Read may lawfully intermarry with John Lee of the said parish Quainton  As Witness my hand this 10th day of October 1806/ – 

                                                                           Edwd. Read


John Kightley

I think it is wonderful having these added items which are included with some of the Marriage Licences I have now received copies of.  In some cases they give exact ages, which is good to compare with the dates of baptisms found in the parish registers.  In some cases there is other useful information, so I am going to have some fun with all this information as well as having a lot of fun with my new handheld scanner!!  🙂

Something of Interest: Copies of Marriage Licences Received

Filed under: SOMETHING OF INTEREST — Tags: , — rootsresearcher @ 3:20 pm

I ordered 24 copies of the Marriage Licences of many of my ancestors from the Buckinghamshire Record Office.  I wanted about 37 but only 24 of the ones I ordered have survived.

I have been waiting since February for these but because of a shortage of staff there was a backlog of about a month before my order was even going to be looked at!!

It arrived like this:  (I’ve hidden my address as I did not want it to show all over the internet). 

Original photograph taken by me - copyright 2011


I was a little dismayed at the sight of this and know it wasn’t the fault of the Record Office.  This is the result of its travel through our postal system.  Had there been anything small in that package, then that would have disappeared!!  It is worse than the photo shows.  There are other holes at the back and it is completely battered and torn.

Here is some of what was inside:

Original photograph taken by me - copyright 2011


Ooooooh, lots of lovely old documents to read and lots of notes to take!!

I included one of these Marriage Licences for the Amanuensis Monday theme this week, that of Michael Read who is one of the sons of my 6 x great grandfather Cozens Read.   I was so pleased to have this document as it cleared up a little niggling doubt I have had for a number of years.  Michael married when he was 49 years old, so I always wondered if he just might have been married before this.  His Marriage document states that he is a bachelor when he marries Martha Smith so now that niggling doubt I have had for so long has finally disappeared.   🙂

February 25, 2011

I’m Delighted! (There must be a much better word than that)!

Filed under: General, SOMETHING OF INTEREST — Tags: , , , , , , — rootsresearcher @ 11:19 pm

I cannot say just how very delighted I am to be in touch with three “new” cousins this week that found me through this blog.  Isn’t that wonderful?  I have now found several “new” cousins since I started this blog here almost a year ago, or rather I should say, they found me.  I’m so chuffed to bits.

I say I’m delighted but there must surely be a much better word that could be used for finding “new” cousins.  We will all have to see if we can initiate one word that will define to all just how delighted we are to find someone like this.

It’s going to be great to exchange info with Diana, whose grandfather Alfred Burrows was the nephew of my Stephen Read; with Rae whose Moyle family are related to my partner Paul (I’m researching his family history for him) and with Judy who is connected to the Rose family who are connected to my Reads.  Just wonderful!  🙂

February 22, 2011

Something of Interest: Update on the Cross Keys, Aylesbury

Filed under: SOMETHING OF INTEREST — Tags: , , , — rootsresearcher @ 11:21 pm

Quite a while ago I did a blogpost about The Cross Keys Inn at Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire which was owned by my ancestor Robert Read (1740 – 1799), one of the sons of my 6 x great grandfather Cozens Read.

Although I had been in Aylesbury in 2000 I did not remember if I had seen the Inn then or not.  I did not know then that it was my ancestor’s home.  I did wonder what happened to it and thought maybe it had been modernised as so many old places are.

Yesterday my cousin Marion (we found each other last year) informed me that she had come across a You Tube film called Aylesbury c1964 in colour and that as she watched it the Cross Keys came into view!

This is the link to the film and the Cross Keys appears around 2minutes 39seconds or so, next to the Coach and Horses. GKk&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Cousin Marion decided to do a bit more research and found, sadly, that the Cross Keys was demolished   😦  in 1962 so the date of the film on You Tube is just a little out.

I feel rather sad knowing that it is demolished, a sort of last link to my ancestors of the 1700s, but I suppose it’s not surprising such an old building would have to make way for new buildings.  I think I discovered several years ago that the building was about 300 years old.

This photograph is part of a postcard dated 1900 in my private collection - copyright 2011

Just a reminder of what the inn looked like in 1900 and on the film on You Tube it looks pretty much the same.   

The You Tube film itself is probably one of the last glimpses we descendants will see of The Cross Keys.  My grateful thanks to cousin Marion for discovering this film and letting me know about it.

January 24, 2011

Something of Interest: Lots of “new” cousins found!!

Filed under: SOMETHING OF INTEREST — Tags: , , , , — rootsresearcher @ 4:03 pm

I’ve just been moderating the comments that were left while I was unable to get into the blog and found several “new” cousins.   I’m so thrilled and delighted and will certainly be emailing them all very soon.  I’m just hoping that the delay in responding to them hasn’t made them give up on me!!

Before I could not get into the blog I had already found several “new” cousins through the blog, so it is certainly a very good way of meeting family we did not know we had.  And now I have found some more cousins, it’s just wonderful.  I’m so excited!!  😉

July 23, 2010

Something of Interest: Michael Read’s Bull

Filed under: SOMETHING OF INTEREST — Tags: , , — rootsresearcher @ 4:44 pm

For my occasional theme Something of Interest, I thought it might be amusing to do this post on Michael Read’s Bull!

Michael Read is one of the sons of my 6 x great grandfather Cozens Read and after Cozens Read died Michael took over the farm. 

In 2000 we were very lucky enough to not only find the family farm but the current owners also kindly invited us in, plied us with endless cups of tea and showed us around.  I can’t tell you how delighted I was to actually walk in the home of Cozens Read where he and his family walked, to actually look out of and touch the windows that he had looked out of and the worn steps going down to the basement was just something so special to see.  We were told that the glass in the windows was the original glass – I remember that it was very thin compared to the glass we use.  As the house was built before 1650 it was actually quite exciting for me (and probably very silly of me) to be thrilled to know it was THE glass that Cozens Read had looked out of too!!!

In the hallway as we walked into the house, there was a huge inglenook fireplace there and hanging above it was a portrait.  Not a portrait like you and I would expect to see but a portrait of  a prize bull!!!

This was a portrait that Michael Read had painted of his prize bull before it went to auction in 1802.  He was so delighted with it he actually employed an artist to paint it’s picture!!  And there it hangs to this day, in that house since 1802.

Michael Read’s Prize Bull

original photograph taken by me in 2000 - copyright 2010

I apologise for the quality of the photo!  The original was taken by a non-digital camera and the quality was not at all good for it to be added to this blog.  While at the farm we were able to use our video camera so this photo is actually taken from our TV while showing that video!!  Oh how I wish we had a digital camera back then and how I wish we took lots more photos!!

Underneath the portrait of the bull hangs another framed item.  This is from a possible advert at the time stating that this bull was to be sold at auction, that it is owned by Mr. Michael Reed (different spelling to how he actually wrote his name).

Again this photo has been taken from our TV, so is really not very clear at all – and we did not take a photo with our non-digital camera either!!  What was I thinking of???

photo taken from video film by me in 2000 - copyright 2010

 Although not clear to read, part of this sign says that this particular Heifer was bred and fed by Mr. Reed  and has never had any but Grain and Hay!

It is also stated that it is  “A very capital” Heifer and is “Remarkably Fat”.

I can’t help thinking that if my ancestors went to the trouble of having a portrait of one of their animals, they must have had portraits done of family members!!  And I just know that somewhere out there, there is a portrait of Cozens Read!!

I’m also wondering if Michael Read had any other prize animals and if so, did he have portraits for them too?  And if so, where are those portraits?

Still, this was certainly an unusual find for me and I love it that this portrait of a bull has been hanging in that house for over two hundred years now!

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