So That's Where I Get It From

March 16, 2011

March 15 – Women’s History Month – Fearless Females

March 15   –   Write a six-word memoir tribute to one of your female ancestors.

I’m a day late with writing this post, but I have been thinking and pondering and musing about which of my female ancestors I should write the six-word memoir about and wondering how I would write it!!  It’s not that easy!

I decided to feature my 6 x great grandmother Elizabeth Read (nee Shirley)(c1713 – 1786) for this tribute.  I have already mentioned her in this series but as she is the only ancestor of mine that had as many children as 20, then I think she was worth another mention.

Elizabeth was the wife of my 6 x great grandfather Cozens Read and married him when she was about 21.  They married in 1734 at Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, UK  and lived for the rest of their lives at Lower Winchendon, Buckinghamshire.

 The six-word memoir requires me to sum up Elizabeth’s life in just six words.  I’ve thought and thought about this and here is my six-word memoir tribute to her:

Husband and eleven daughters, nine sons

From the day she married her life then revolved around her husband, having twenty children, seeing five of them die as babies or toddlers, not to mention the rearing that was required until they reached adulthood and went on to marry and have children themselves.  So I think my six-word memoir covers Elizabeth’s life quite well!!


March 8, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Robert and Mary Read

Yesterday for Amanuensis Monday, I gave details of a Memorandum concerning my ancestor Joseph Read.  Today’s Tombstone Tuesday is about Joseph’s father, Robert Read (1740 – 1799).  Robert is one of the sons of my 6 x great grandfather Cozens Read and is who I am descended from.

Robert Read married Mary Lee (1740 – 1828) in 1767 at Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, UK and they had eight children.   Robert was a Tallow Chandler (I expect he did very well with this occupation as everyone needed candles to see by once it got dark) and he also owned the Cross Keys Tavern in Market Square, Aylesbury.  (You can see a pic of this here on my blog).

Original photograph taken by me at Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire - copyright 2011


As you will see the inscription can barely be seen.  This is another of my Read ancestor’s tombstones on the wall in the Lady Chapel of St. Mary’s, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.  (In other Tombstone Tuesdays I have shown the stone for Robert’s daughter Catherine James and also the stone for her husband, James James).

A few years before I took this photograph another “new” cousin had kindly sent me the inscription and from this you will see just how much has now become lost over time!

To the memory of

Robert Read

Late of this Town

who died the 2nd August 1799


Mary his wife

who died March 20th 1828

Aged 89 years


I think it is very sad that most of this inscription is all but disappeared, but at least I know what was on the stone and those details are noted in various places as well as on this blog now.

March 7, 2011

Amanuensis Monday: Memorandum of an Agreement – Joseph Read and Acton Chaplin – 1815

Filed under: Amanuensis Monday, DAILY BLOGGING THEMES — Tags: , , , — rootsresearcher @ 11:41 pm

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”.

A few years ago I was able to go to the Buckinghamshire (UK) Record Office and take photos of some of the accounts and letters of my ancestor Joseph Read (1779 – 1856) of Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.  Joseph is the grandson of my 6 x great grandfather Cozens Read and the son of Robert and Mary (nee Lee) Read, who I am directly descended from.

Today for Amanuensis Monday I show a Memorandum for an Agreement that Joseph signed with Acton Chaplin regarding the purchase of land.

Photograph of original document taken by me at Buckinghamshire Record Office - copyright 2011


The original Memorandum carried on to the back of the above page:

Photograph taken by me of original document at the Buckinghamshire Record Office - copyright 2011


Transcript of the above document:

Memorandum of an Agreement made this nineteenth day of April one thousand eight hundred and fifteen Between Acton Chaplin of Pitchcott in the County of Bucks Esquire of the one part and Joseph Read of Aylesbury in the same County Yeoman of the other part.

Whereas the said Acton Chaplin hath contracted and agreed with the Trustees and Executors of the last will and testament of Acton Chaplin Esquire his late Father deceased for the purchase of divers freehold and leasehold Messuages Lands and Hereditaments and amongst them of the leasehold close piece or parcel of arable land hereinafter mentioned with the Appurtenances

Now it is hereby agreed between the said Acton Chaplin (party hereto) and Joseph Read as follows

That the same Acton Chaplin and all other necessary parties shall and will on or before the twentieth day of June next convey and assure unto him the said Joseph Read his Executors and Administrators or whom he or they shall direct or appoint All that leasehold close piece or parcel of arable land situate lying and being in the Township of Aylesbury aforesaid called Crown Leys containing by admeasurement Thirteen acres three roods and thirteen perches together with the crop of Beans now growing thereon and all Appurtenances thereto belonging –

That on the execution of such conveyances the said Joseph Read shall pay for the purchase of the same the Sum of seven hundred and eighty pounds with lawful Interest thereon from the said twentieth of June to the completion of the purchase in case the purchase shall by any means be delayed after that day

That the said Joseph Read shall be let into immediate possession of the said premises and pay all Taxes and outgoings therefrom from Lady Day last up to which time all outgoings shall be cleared by the said Acton Chaplin or the said Trustees and Executors

That the Expences of making out the Title shall be paid by the said Acton Chaplin or the said Trustees and Executors and those of the Conveyances by the said Joseph ReadThat in case it shall happen that the contract so entered into by the said Acton Chaplin with the said Trustees and Executors shall not be carried into effect by reason of any defect of Title to any part of the premises so agreed to be purchased by the same Acton Chaplin or otherwise then this present Agreement shall be void as to the said Sale to the said Joseph Read and in that case all just allowances shall be made in respect of the occupation of the said Crown Leys to be settled by Arbitration in the usual way between the parties in case they should differ about the same

As Witness their Hands

Acton Chaplin 

Joseph Read


At the time this Agreement was signed, Joseph was 36 years old (one year older than Acton Chaplin).  Joseph was married and five of his ten children were born by the year he signed this document.

Joseph Read was a farmer or Yeoman as it states here, but he also owned a brickmaking factory in Aylesbury and by the time of the 1851 Census he was employing 90 people (it’s unclear whether this is men, women, or something else) and 6 Labourers.

I researched the other gentleman he signed the Agreement with and was unable to find out very much about him.  Acton Chaplin was born on 7th June 1780 and baptised on 19th June 1780 in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.  His parents were Acton Chaplin and Ann Sherriff and they married at Aylesbury on 25th August 1776.

I am also trying to discover the land or property known as Crown Leys in Aylesbury, but so far haven’t discovered anything yet.  (But then that maybe only because I have very recently started to look)!!  😉

March 1, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Thomas Rose (1777 – 1857

Today’s Tombstone Tuesday is about Thomas Rose (1777 – 1857).  He is the son of William Rose (1746 – 1801) and Mary (nee Read) (1739 – 1785) and grandson of my 6 x great grandfather Cozens Read.

In April 2000 I was lucky enough to visit Eythrope Park Farm in Buckinghamshire, home of the Rose family for many many years.  I have mentioned a couple of times in this blog that I was also lucky enough to be shown the huge Rose Family Tree book and was able to get so much detail from that about many of my ancestors.

For Thomas Rose it was noted that:   “Thomas Rose, unmarried, lodged for many years at the Angel Inn in Kingsbury, Aylesbury, then one of the foremost hotels in the town but it has now been moribund from some years”.  (This note was written in 1905).

Original photograph taken by me in Buckinghamshire in 2000 - copyright 2011


Thomas is buried in the Private Chapel called Waddesdon Hill Chapel.  I am showing some pics of the Chapel here too to share with my “new” cousins and particularly Judy who I found last week!  This sign explains who and why it was built.

Original photograph taken by me in Buckinghamshire in 2000 - copyright 2011


Here are a couple of photographs of the private Chapel built by my ancestor Francis Cox and where Thomas Rose and many others of the family are buried.

Original photograph taken by me in Buckinghamshire in 2000 - copyright 2011


Original photograph taken by me in Buckinghamshire in 2000 - copyright 2011


How I wish now that I had taken photos of all the other graves there, but at the time I did not know that many of my ancestors are at rest in the Chapel grounds!

If you look to the left of the Sign photograph and the left of the first photo of the Chapel you will see the wooden contraptions that were made (and are still there) so that anyone going to the chapel could tie their horses to it.

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.

Tombstone Tuesday: He of the Smallpox

Filed under: DAILY BLOGGING THEMES, Tombstone Tuesday — Tags: , , , — rootsresearcher @ 10:55 pm

This is another one of the wall tombstones that I found inside St. Mary’s Church, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.

As far as I know this is not connected to my ancestors but I thought it interesting enough to take a photo of it!

Original photograph taken by me at Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire - copyright 2011


The Inscription reads as follows: 
Near this  …(?) lye the Body of
Sarah Wife of John West of
Aylesbury  Ironmonger  Eldest
Daughter of Martinas Dynall
Stationer  Dyed October 5th
1729  aged 43.
And Thomas Veere West only
Son of the Said John & Sarah
He of the Small pox
June 28th 1742
aged 29
I thought the writing on the inscription was a bit more flamboyant than usually seen. 
We don’t often see on tombstones the reason for someone’s death so this one is a little more unique in that respect.  I hope the young gentleman had a happy life although a short one!

February 21, 2011

Mystery Monday: So, what fell from the sky in 1658?

Filed under: DAILY BLOGGING THEMES, Mystery Monday — Tags: , , , , — rootsresearcher @ 11:27 pm

In doing my family history research I have searched through hundreds of parish registers.

I always note certain things that I think are interesting, even if they don’t have anything to do with my own ancestors.

Much of my research is in Buckinghamshire, UK and so I noticed this in the Parish Register for St. Mary’s, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.

“Upon the 11th of December in this yeare 1658: beinge Saterday a lecture beinge constantly keept: there hapned to fall in the time of sermon a greate stone which wayed about three or four score pounds: and there was then present in their seats neere an hundred scoolers: which stone did breake to of thier heads and part of the gallery where they sate:  soe through providence of god there was none other hurt done:  I pray god wee may all eye his mercies in this and others of his deliverances.  Thomas Daney and Robert Bryan were the: 2 scoolers which were hurte”.

I find this fascinating.  As the two that were hurt (were they killed, we don’t seem to know) were sitting in the gallery, this is higher up in the church.  So the “greate stone” must have come through the roof of the church.  What was it?  Perhaps a meteor?  In those days would they know of meteors?  If they did not, imagine all the things they must have suggested it might be when they discussed it.  How did they shift it and what did they do with it?  A real mystery!!

February 15, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: James James

As with last week’s Tombstone Tueday, the photograph this week shows another Tombstone on the wall at St. Mary’s, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. 

James James is the husband of Catherine Read (whose tombstone was featured last week).  (Catherine James (nee Read) is the granddaughter of my 6 x great grandfather Cozens Read).

James James was a lawyer and was very well known in and around Aylesbury.  I have heard that he seems to have been a little naughty with client’s money, but don’t know the truth of that rumour and I am still trying to discover more about it!!

Original photograph taken by me a few years ago - copyright 2011


Transcript of Monumental Inscription for James James

Beneath are deposited the Remains of

JAMES JAMES, Gentleman

who died the 7th of December 1808

Aged 39 Years

And of JOHN, one of the Sons

of the said JAMES JAMES

by CATHERINE his first wife;

who died the 8th of August 1800

Aged 3 Years and 7 Months

Also of ELIZABETH his widow who departed this Life

the 12th of May 1830 Aged 63 Years

And of their Son JOHN who departed this Life the 11th of May 1813

Aged 5 Years and 10 Months


I was very pleased to find this tombstone as it gave the information that James James had married again after Catherine died.  I know from Catherine’s Uncle Michael’s Will dated 1820 that she had 3 sons with James James.  I have only found two, John and James.  I don’t know anything about James James’ second wife Elizabeth apart from what is mentioned on this tombstone.  I don’t know if the son John he had with Elizabeth was their only child or if there are more children.

It seems I have a fair bit of investigating to do concerning this family group, as well as looking into the rumours about what James James really did!!

February 8, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Catharine James (nee Read)


For Tombstone Tuesday today I am not actually showing a tombstone in a graveyard. 

This tombstone for Catharine James (nee Read) sits on a wall inside St. Mary’s Church at Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.

Catharine is the granddaughter of my 6 x great grandfather Cozens Read.  Her father is Robert Read and it is through Robert’s line that I am descended.

Tombstone of Catharine James (nee Read)

Original photograph taken by me in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire - copyright 2011


In Memory



wife of

James James

who departed this Life

15th April 1796

in the 27th Year

of her Age


Apart from her baptism, marriage to James James and her death and burial I really don’t know any more about Catharine.  I shall continue to delve into records to see if I can find out more about her.  Just so sad that she died at such a young age.

July 17, 2010

Something of Interest: The Cross Keys Tavern, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire

Filed under: SOMETHING OF INTEREST — Tags: , , — rootsresearcher @ 5:19 pm

I’ve been doing a lot of sorting out of the various bits and pieces I have collected over the years concerning my ancestors and scanning things where I can and so on.

I recently came across a postcard I have showing the Market Square, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.  The picture is interesting in itself as it is a moment frozen in the year 1900.  However for me it has more meaning to it.   On the left of the postcard is a pub, or tavern called The Cross Keys and I obtained this particular postcard because my ancestor Robert Read (1740 – 1799), one of the children of my 6 x great grandfather Cozens Read, actually bought this tavern in 1772.

By the time the picture was taken of the Market Square in 1900, the Tavern had already been standing for a very long time.

I have been to that Square in the year 2000 but at the time did not know that one of my ancestors owned a tavern in the Square.  And I really don’t remember now if I actually saw it in 2000 or not!!  I have no idea if it is still there or whether it has been “modernised” as so many old places are these days.

But I love to see it in this postcard pic, as that must be something of what it looked like in the 1700s and I can think of Robert and his wife Mary and their children pottering about in there, coming and going through the front door and even walking about in the Square.  Oh for a time machine!!

Portion of a postcard picture in my private collection - copyright 2010

I have no idea if I will get the chance to go back to the Market Square at Aylesbury again, but if I ever do I will certainly look out for this building.  (Or at least the space if it has changed completely)!!

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