So That's Where I Get It From

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!!  🙂


Surprises: My Surprise Present!!

Filed under: My Surprise Present, SURPRISES! — Tags: — rootsresearcher @ 3:37 pm

I was completely taken by surprise yesterday, because my brother Alan had bought something for me that he knew I wanted very much (and which was on my Christmas Wish List for later this year).

He is not so very into our family history, but does listen when I talk about it, although sometimes with that glazed look in his eye that non-genealogists get.  😉   So he very kindly treated me to this:

Original photograph taken by me - copyright 2011


A handheld scanner!!   Wow, this is such a wonderful gift for me.  I can take it with me to Record Offices to scan documents and parish registers and all sorts.  I can take it with me to visit my family to scan lots of old photographs and I have so very many copies of documents and Wills that need to be scanned so I am going to have a wonderful time with my new present!!  🙂

Here is a pic of me using it today, having worked out how it works!!

Original photograph taken by me - copyright 2011


I scanned those Marriage Licences that came the other day with my new present today.  (I also posted this photo to my Project 365 Photo Journal blog (where I am taking a photo every day for a year) at  Now I am ready for anything!!  Armed with my portable scanner and digital camera there will be no stopping me now!!  😉

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.   🙂

April 12, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Joseph Read of Lower Winchendon


Today’s tombstone is that of Joseph Read of Lower Winchendon.  He is a grandson of my 6 x great grandfather Cozens Read.

Joseph and his wife Sarah married in 1835 at Ashendon and had five children.  Sadly, after only nine years of marriage, Joseph died.

Original photograph taken by me at Lower Winchendon in 2000 - copyright 2011


The Inscription is as follows:


Memory of

Joseph Read

who departed this life

July 3rd, 1844

aged 39 years

I left this fading world in blooming years.

And all my friends in mournful tears.

My earthly cottage moulders into dust.

Whilst my immortal soul is with the just.

Mourn not for me, prepare to die.

For you must sleep in dust as well as I.


Joseph was a farmer and I know from the Censuses that his wife Sarah continued running the farm until she died in 1884 aged about 76.  So this family group lived there for about fifty years, depending on when Joseph first lived there.  Just out of interest, this particular farm is now owned by the famous horse racing jockey Pat Eddery.  It seems to be a thriving stud farm now.

April 11, 2011

Amanuensis Monday: 1791 – Marriage Allegation – Michael Read

Amanuensis Monday is a blog theme started by John Newmark on his blog Transylvanian Dutch, in which he is transcribing letters, newspaper articles, audio tapes, and a war diary etc., concerning his family.

John explains Amanuensis as “a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another”.

I have been waiting since February to receive from the Buckinghamshire Record Office twenty four Marriage Licences  and finally received them a couple of days ago.

For today’s Amanuensis Monday I am showing part of the Marriage Bond and Allegation for Michael Read (1742 – 1822), one of the sons of my 6 x great grandfather Cozens Read, which was one of the twenty four Licences.

Copy of original document held at Buckinghamshire Record Office - copyright 2011


This is the Transcript for the above document:

28th Sept 1791

On which day appeared personally Michael Read of the Parish of Lower Winchendon in the Archdeaconry of Bucks, & alledged that he is a batchelor aged Twenty one years and upwards and that he intends to marry with Martha Smith of Ashendon in the County of Bucks Spinster aged Twenty one years & upwards & not knowing or believing any Impediment to hinder the said intended Marriage of the …(?) hereof  he made Oath, & prayed Licence for them to be married in the parish Church of Ashendon aforesaid.

Sworn the said Michael Read to the truth of the promises before me

(The word Witness is crossed out here)

                                                                                                 Michael Read

W. Stockins Snr.

I discovered a long time ago that Michael Read was 49 years old when he married his much younger bride, Martha Smith.  She was 33 years old at their marriage so the wording “twenty one years and upwards” doesn’t give any clue that they are a fair bit older than that!!

But, I always had a nagging doubt that maybe this was not the first marriage for Michael, in view of his more mature years.  Whenever I have been researching my ancestors, I have always kept an eye out for a likely earlier marriage for Michael, but never found one.

This document is wonderful for me as it shows that this marriage to Martha Smith was Michael’s only marriage as he is stated to be a bachelor so I no longer have to search for a marriage that might have been, but never was!!

Michael married Martha on 29th September 1791 at Ashendon, Buckinghamshire which was where Martha was from.  They did not have any children.

April 5, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Read of Lower Winchendon

What with one thing and another, I have missed adding Tombstone Tuesday posts here for the last couple of weeks.

Today I will be showing three tombstones concerning the family of Edward Read (1747 – 1808) who is one of the sons of my 6 x great grandfather Cozens Read.   These three tombstones stand immediately next to each other in the Read plot at Lower Winchendon, Buckinghamshire, UK  with barely any space between them.

When we took these photographs in 2000 it was very difficult, almost impossible even, to read the inscriptions on them.

Here is a photograph showing the three together.

Original photograph taken by me at Lower Winchendon in 2000 - copyright 2011


As you will see they are very weathered but it is possible to make out the name Edward Read on two of them and on the other one it is just possible to see that it says Edward & Mary Read, which means one must be for at least one of the twelve children that Edward and Mary had.

Original photograph taken by me at Lower Winchendon in 2000 - copyright 2011


The above tombstone has the name Edward Read on it.  There is space above his name so I think this may be for his wife Mary Read (nee Rose) who died in 1801 and although the family lived at Doddershall, Quainton I know that Mary was buried at Lower Winchendon.  This grave might also contain Edward Read as well.  He died in 1808 at Doddershall but again, like his wife Mary, he too is buried at Lower Winchendon.

Original photograph taken by me at Lower Winchendon in 2000 - copyright 2011


However, this middle tombstone also just has the name of Edward Read on it, so I am wondering if one of these two is for Edward and the other for his wife Mary?  Although not too clear, it is possible to see that the designs that were originally on the tombstones are very similar, a sort of matching pair for a husband and wife?

Original photograph taken by me at Lower Winchendon in 2000 - copyright 2011


As it is possible to read Edward and Mary Read on this tombstone I think it must contain one or more of their children.

Edward and Mary Read had twelve children and through a process of elimination I think this could be for their youngest child, Thomas, who died when he was fourteen years old at Doddershall, Quainton but who is buried at Lower Winchendon.  Ten of Edward and Mary’s children married and lived in either Quainton or Haddenham or Upper Winchendon.  I think the other child, William, who died aged about two years old in 1786 is probably included on one of the two tombstones that have just Edward Read’s name on that is possible to read. 

I’m hoping that at some stage over the years, someone, somewhere maybe took a transcript of the inscriptions on these three tombstones and then one day I might just find out which is the correct grave for each of this little family group!

April 1, 2011

March 31 – Women’s History Month – Fearless Females

Well, here we are at the end of 31 posts about female ancestors for the month of March.  I found it very interesting but I feel that many of the topics I could not answer too well as I had very little information to write about concerning so many of my female ancestors.  It has certainly shown me that I need to get cracking and delve some more into these ladies and learn more about them and their lives.

Here is the last post on this series.

March 31   –   Pick one female ancestor and write a mini-profile (500 words or less).

For this mini-profile I am going to write about my partner Paul’s maternal grandmother Annie Jane Fowler nee Goad.  She was born in 1882 at Redruth, Cornwall.  When she was eighteen, Annie married William Bawden at Redruth and the following year they had a son, Frederick Charles Bawden.

Within two years of their marriage Annie became a widow.  She was only 20 years old.  So she was left all alone with a baby son at such a very young age.

However, Annie met someone else and married him, Alfred James Fowler, in 1904 again at Redruth, Cornwall.  Alfred was the same age as Annie and they went on to have many children and Annie lived to well past her seventies.

My partner Paul remembers her as a very lively, cheerful woman who was always on the go.  Paul tells me that there were always home-made cakes and buns on the kitchen table, which was always scrubbed every day by Annie.  Her other daily chores were black-leading the Cornish Range oven and also shining the brasswork on it.  Life must have been a bit hard for Annie, the toilet was in the garden 100 yards away from the house and she had to get water from the well in the garden.

To go shopping, Annie would sit on the crossbar of her son’s bicycle and did this hundreds of times.  But one day, she fell off the bicycle which caused her to break her hip.  Annie died shortly after this and it was always felt that the shock of the fall and the injury was the cause of her death.

My partner Paul has very happy memories of Annie and I found it very interesting hearing him talking about how her life was when he knew her.

March 30 – Women’s History Month – Fearless Females

March 30   –   Did you receive any advice or words of wisdom from your mother or another female ancestor?

There is nothing that comes to mind of particular words of wisdom or advice from my dear Mum or other female ancestors.  I’m sure over the years she has given advice on various things I have been involved with.  I asked Mum a few days ago if she has any words of wisdom in particular to make me aware of but she could not think of anything herself!  I asked her if she remembers any such words from her own mother but again, there was nothing that sticks in her mind.

I expect after I have done this series of topics, something will come to me that my Mum has particularly advised me about but it certainly seems like there is nothing family-wise that has been passed from one to another.

March 29 – Women’s History Month – Fearless Females

March 29   –   Create a free Footnote Page or a Genealogy Trading Card at Big Huge Labs for a female ancestor. Some of you may have created your own card back in September 2009 following Sheri Fenley’s post over at The Educated Genealogist. This time, the card is for your female ancestor. Tell us about who you’ve selected and why and then post a link to what you’ve created.

I’ve created a Footnote Page for my great aunt Annie Sophia Read nee Ridgway.  There was no particular reason for choosing her to make a Footnote Page other than that I have a little more information about her and some photographs which I don’t have for many of my other female ancestors.

The link to the Page I have created in the name of Annie Sophia Ridgway is as follows:

I have more to add to Annie’s Page but just wanted to get a Page done quickly for this topic.

March 31, 2011

March 28 – Women’s History Month – Fearless Females

March 28   –   Do you remember your mother’s best friend? Your grandmother’s? How and where did they meet? How long were they friends? What activities did they share?

This is very easy to answer.  My dear Mum’s best friend is Marjorie (I won’t add her surname here to protect her privacy).  They have known each other since they were five years old and are now in their eighties.  To my brothers and I Marjorie is an auntie as she is part of the family, having been connected to it for so many years!  Mum and Marjorie met at school when Marjorie sat beside Mum and they have been great pals ever since.

As I have mentioned in other topics for this series, I really do not seem to know too much about my paternal grandmother.  Although I remember her vividly she died when I was about seven years old.  I don’t remember growing up hearing anything about her friends or much else.

My maternal grandmother’s best friend was Gladys.  Gladys is my Mum’s Godmother.   My Gran met Gladys when Gladys and her husband Bert were lodgers at my Grandparents home.  They had a lifelong friendship and sometimes went on holiday together.

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