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Visitors’ Book


Valerie Harman - 31st December 2017 - 7:36

In reply to by Kevin Massey

Hello Kevin
My attention has been drawn to your message left yesterday on the Badsey Website.
Richard Mason snr and his son Richard who married Ann Stafford as his first wife are also my 7th and 6th Great Grandparents.
I believe that Robert Mason and his wife Judith, the parents of Richard snr, came to Wickhamford, the adjoining village to Badsey, around 1700 from the village of Alderminster, Warks. Prior to 1700 there are records of them living in Alderminster.
I note that you say you will shortly be visiting Badsey and I wonder if you would be interested in meeting up with me at Badsey and perhaps we could compare notes on our family trees.
I look forward to hearing from you.

Jane Gibbens - 13th December 2017 - 0:38

My grandmother was Maud Pope she used to play at Birtsmorton court when she was little. I believe her cousins lived there. But I don't know much of her past, she married a Draycott and lived in Stratford upon Avon and had 5 children. I'm guessing she was related to the Wallington Popes as she used Sealy Wallington as one of her children's middle names. I wonder if anyone recognizes her name, I believe her middle name was Mary and she was born sometime in the 1870's. Thank you.

Sue E - 27th November 2017 - 20:45

In response to your comment that there is no known memorial in this country to Captain Alfred Hayman, there is a memorial tablet in Great Elm Church, near Frome in Somerset.

Cathy Thompson nee Belcher - 26th November 2017 - 11:03

I am the great great grandaughter of a Childswickham Blacksmith - Joseph Belcher - married to Jane Bennett at Wickhamford in Dec 1846. This website has been the best and most useful I've accessed during my ongoing research into the Belchers of Childswickham, Wickhamford & Church Honeybourne. Thank you to everyone involved. I was born in Lancashire, I have a good friend who was born in Cleeve Prior (Sheaf family) - we think our ancestors would probably have crossed paths around the Badsey area . ....fascinating.

Very pleased to hear that you have found our website so useful. You may be interested in two newspaper articles (5th November 1831 and 13th July 1895) which have just been added in relation to the Belcher family - see the Newspaper Articles section on this website. Hope you continue to find out more about your family from this area.

SUe - 23rd November 2017 - 18:41

I have recently obtained the travel trunk used by Charles and his sister Mag (my great great Aunt and Uncle) on their trips to America. Can any information be found as to when they went and what ships they went on. As I was hoping to attach lists to the inside. Do hope some information can be found. Thank you

Sue Daniels

You don't give any indication of which Charles March you are talking about.  Having looked at our records, I assume you are talking about Charles Wilfred March who was born in 1900.  Your best bet is to look at the shipping records on the Ancestry and Find My Past websites.  If you don't have a subscription, you will normally find that you can access the sites at your local library.  Good luck with your investigations.

Thank you for getting back to me. I am sorry I have got the names wrong. It was Charles Frederick Jones 1860-1942 and his sister Florence Margaret who married Charles March. And I'll get onto those sites when I can.

Henry Knight - 15th November 2017 - 5:30

Hi Maureen,
After a long absence I have started back on our family tree. From your previous site where I obtained a lot of my info, I have compared it with your new site. I have always been puzzled as why there is no mother shown, only Joseph of his first children from 1686 to 1695 and then Eleanor as mother from 1699. I note that in Parish Records 1538-1753 there was a marriage in Wickhamford of a Joseph Night (Knight) marriage to Jane Darke, 15 Nov 1685, Entry Number 98, just before Thomas and William were born 16 Dec 1686, Baptisms Badsey 1538-1784, Entry Number 1247-48. There is a Joan (Jane) Knight Burial in Badsey Parish Records 1538-1784, Entry Number 965, died 14 Nov 1697. Then in Wickhamford Marriages, Entry Number 114, of Joseph and Eleanor Richardson in 14 Aug 1698. The birth of Henry occurred 16 Apr 1699, Entry Number 1371.
I now believe Joseph had 2 wives and I am related to Jane Darke?
An anomaly in the 1841 Badsey Census, Schedule 16, occupants are shown as Night. In 1851, Schedule 49, shows the family as Knight?

Maureen Spinks - 15th November 2017 - 21:40

In reply to by Henry Knight

Thank you for your email; glad to hear that you have made some progress with your Knight ancestry. It certainly looks as though Joseph Knight married Jane/Joan Darke in Wickhamford in 1685 and thus you are descended from this first marriage. When transcribing the records, it was often very difficult to read the writing, so it is difficult to say whether Jane or Joan is correct.

With regard to the difference in spelling of Night and Knight in the 1841 and 1851 census, I’m afraid this was often the case that different spellings occur. If you look at the original images on Ancestry or Find My Past, you will see that the spellings are as we have transcribed, but it is definitely the same family.

Thanks Maureen,
I thought it may be transcription, but if that is in the records, so be it.
I have found that Charles born 7 Aug 1840 traveled on the ship Samarang from Glasgow to Brisbane 24/7 to 15/11/1865 and worked on the railway line Brisbane to Toowoomba possibly as a minor as there were tunnels to be built and he was married to a Emma Turner in Toowoomba, then next known he was working on the ZigZag rail line at Lithgow were my grandfather, another Charles, was born at another tunnel, Clarence Tunnel and both Emma and Charles are buried at Lithgow. From Joseph down there were many twins born and one of my daughters gave birth to twins!! Many thanks for your interest and if you wish, I can supply details of the Knights (our branch) in Australia.

Philip Maybank - 15th October 2017 - 21:36

This year I came back to Badsey again, as a descendent of the Cyril Sladden, to hear the letters from 1917 to the end of the war. As in previous years, I learned a great deal about members of my family, and about the events that they were a part of.

It seems miraculous to me that all of Cyril's generation of Sladdens survived the war - participating in military campaigns in the Western front and Mesopotamia, witnessing the 1918 flu epidemic decimate a military camp, and (possibly?) being at the receiving end of aerial bombardment as civilians in England. It was a bit sad that we did not hear more about the lives of those who stayed at home. But perhaps that is also a reminder of how lucky we are to have so many letters that did survive.

As well as being inspired by the achievements of the Sladdens, I was also struck by their sense of humour and light-heartedness. Cyril and Mela's affection for each other was really quite touching, and I am so glad that they were finally reunited!

Sue Jones - 20th March 2017 - 22:32

I have just picked up a copy of Heads and Tales and found the references to my father Ronald West who was Head from 1945-6. I am fairly sure that I have material which could give you more information about this brief period of his tenure - if anyone is interested. Perhaps Maureen Spinks? I do remember him and my mother talking of the happy time they had there, albeit brief, and of the kindness of those who left asparagus on the doorstep!

Maureen Spinks - 20th March 2017 - 23:10

In reply to by Sue Jones

I'm delighted that you have discovered references to your father in "Heads and Tales". When researching the book, I endeavoured to track down former Head Teachers or their relatives, but was unable to do so for your father. Please email me separately at explaining what material you have got and I can see how best it might be used.

Patsy Miller - 3rd February 2017 - 13:52

This is a fantastic project and you have put so much work into it. I found it fascinating to read the family's thoughts on the world events as they unfolded. They give such an interesting social history of the period.
I wonder how many other families have such a record?
I wish the BBC or another media channel knew about this story as it deserves to be recorded and broadcast to a wider audience. The story should be preserved for posterity and for future generations. Congratulations!

Maureen Spinks - 3rd February 2017 - 15:09

In reply to by Patsy Miller

Many thanks for your kind comments - it's good to know that all our hard work in transcribing the letters is appreciated.

jeanette williams - 12th January 2017 - 20:47

i have just found my ancestor william crawford baptised in badsey in 1577. the crawfords were in bromsgrove industry in the 18th and 19th centuries and i've been trying to find where they originated from.

Maureen Spinks - 13th January 2017 - 16:34

In reply to by jeanette williams

I have checked our records and we have a William STRAWFORD, son of George, baptised at Badsey on 10th May 1577. These early registers are often difficult to read, so it is possible that we may have mis-transcribed his name. Have you seen the original register, and are you able to confirm that it definitely says CRAWFORD and not STRAWFORD? We also have an Elizabeth STRAWFORD, daughter of George, who was baptised in 1780 and buried in 1783 (see the parish registers section of our website,

You say that the Crawfords were in Bromsgrove in the 18th and 19th centuries. This is a gap of nearly 200 years. If the child baptised at Badsey was definitely CRAWFORD rather than STRAWFORD, are you able to provide a definite link between that William Crawford and the Crawfords of Bromsgrove several generations later?

Simon Batten - 7th January 2017 - 19:01

I am researching the story of acting Captain Keith Bidlake of the 9th Worcesters and found a letter in the Leeds University Library file on him from Cyril to the Bidlake parents recounting the circumstances of Keith's death in action, with Cyril by his side, on 25th February 1917. The letter reassures the parents that he died instantly but is quite graphic in its details. It has been fascinating to read other letters from Cyril about the Mesopotamian campaign. I just wanted to say what a wonderful resource this website is, a model of its type. I agree with the comment that it ought to win an award!

Maureen Spinks - 10th January 2017 - 23:09

In reply to by Simon Batten

Many thanks for your kind words about our website; we are glad to hear that you have been fascinated by Cyril’s letters about the Mesopotamian campaign. Work on the website is ongoing. Transcription of the letters from 1917 onwards at The Hive in Worcester has begun, and another visit to the Imperial War Museum is planned to take images of the letters written in 1917 and 1918 by Cyril Sladden and Mela Brown Constable (Cyril’s fiancée). A photo gallery is also planned, which will include photos taken in Mesopotamia, so please check back later in the year to see what new items have been added.

Jacqueline - 24th November 2016 - 21:57

This is my grandad I apreciate we are knights if you trace us backwards I am proud of William MALIN and his antics in world war 1 and I am happy to connect with anyone who is connected to me or my brother

Alison Hunt - 18th September 2016 - 15:38

This is one of the best local history websites I have seen. It is very interesting, relevant, easy to find way around. a huge amount of work has gone into this. Deserves an award..
Well done to all involved.

Philip Maybank - 10th September 2016 - 17:58

I am a 3rd generation descendent of the Badsey Sladdens, and just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who worked so hard to transcribe the letters, and arrange for some of the 1916 letters to be read at the Badsey parish church last night. I was quite close to my Sladden grandfather, Duncan, who would have been 91 this year. Through him I knew a little bit about his father Cyril, and his wider family. But I feel like I know a tremendous amount more through hearing their letters.

I was quite moved by the letters surrounding the death of Eugenie Sladden - particularly sad that it happened at a time when 3 of her sons were not able to come home.

I was also interested in the medical research carried out by Arthur Sladden and others during the First World War. For example in his letter from 24th June 1916, he talks about how medical research changed during the war - becoming more co-ordinated, and that a great many discoveries were made at that time. This is something that interests me personally as a science PhD student. What were the research methods he was referring to in his letter? And were the methods extended and perpetuated as he hoped they would be?

It was a pleasure to meet you on Friday evening and we are delighted that you enjoyed the evening.

With regard to Arthur Sladden’s medical researches, Chris Smith, who played the part of Arthur, has advised me that articles by Arthur Sladden appear in The Lancet and The British Medical Journal on Google books, plus an article about Dr Leishman, for whom Arthur worked, which you may find of interest.

Am sorry. Don't know how to go by this.
Been trying to such for Joseph John Gillio who was in Uganda.
I am a grand child of a daughter of him.
She is 74 now. Been trying to locate atleast his ancestors. Plz reply if you have any knowledge about the matter.
My granny would be delighted to have any info

Thank you for your email. The only information we have on Joseph John Gillio is that which is on our website, the information for which has been extracted from Ancestry and Findmypast. It is the family of his wife, Anna, which is our main interest because it was she who was related to the Sladden family.

You say that your grandmother is 74 which would make her born in 1943 which was the year in which Joe died in Uganda, aged about 70 (a year after his wife, Anna, who lived in England). I’m sorry that we are not able to help you any further with information on the Gillio family.

David Malin - 11th December 2015 - 23:17

I am researching my MALIN family tree. I have now found a connection with Badsey. Looking forward to findingout more.

Peter Stewart - 13th December 2015 - 9:30

In reply to by David Malin

I have much information on the Malin family particularly those originating from Badsey, Offenham, Broadway. Your name does not appear in the trees I currently have. Could it be that you have the name Jelfs also in your tree?

Peter Stewart

Avril - 11th December 2015 - 8:28

I am wondering if anyone knows the history of the Spiers side of this partnership please? There are numerous ways of spelling Spiers and this seems unusual for england. My middle name is Spiers and all my lot are from Scotland. I have traced a batch to Nottingham and there is another Spiers that moved to the midlands. Many thanks, Avril

Spiers and Spires are well established names locally, back to the 1800s. Sometimes both spellings are used within the same families.
Peter Stewart

The company was formed in 1972 by Deryck Angus Hartwell and Charles Spiers but now solely run by the Hartwell family.

Thank you for the replies Peter. I will research the one I have and see if I can find out whether he stayed or was passing through.


Clive Payne - 4th November 2015 - 15:58

I came for one of my frequent Badsey 'fixes' yesterday. While walking around the church and looking at my ancestors' graves, I noticed that a third memorial stone had been added to the memorials for Walter and Frances Stewart.
To put you in the picture, I'm the great grandson of William Henry Stewart and Charlotte Stewart who are both buried at the church, where the headstone has been laid flat as it is broken.
Nearby, Walter Stewart (one of my dad's uncles) and his wife, Frances are interred.
The third stone, which has only been laid in recent weeks is in memory of James William Stewart 1917-1993 so he has clearly been deceased for 22 years.
I would like who he was. Was he a son of theirs and how come the stone has only been laid recently? Someone has clearly had it done so this suggests that there is a relative living somewhere. Does this mean that I have a very distant cousin that I didn't know existed?

To provide some clarity, my dad was Kenneth William Payne, who was one of four children of John Payne (of Birmingham) and Emily Payne (nee Stewart) of Aldington. Emily was therefore my grandmother and pre-deceased me and she was one of seven children of William and Charlotte Stewart of Aldington.
I'd also love to know how she met John Payne as he was from Birmingham. She moved away when she married him. They had four children one of whom was my dad.

Sadly everyone has died now and I don't have anyone to ask so any help with plugging the gap in my knowledge would be appreciated.
Thank you in advance to anyone who can help.

Best wishes.

Clive Payne

James William Stewart was the son of Walter & Frances. His ashes were deposit between his parents stones when he died. This extra stone has only recently been put there obviously by one of his sons, or grandsons. There were three sons, Graham McBride Stewart, Malcolm James Stewart (1940-2008), and John. Between them they had seven children. So there are lots of family members who may have been responsible.
Peter Stewart