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Visitors’ Book


Julie Fleming - 11th June 2012 - 0:00

What a fabulous site. I have tonight found the site and it's Wickhamford link showing not only text but pictures of my family, mainly that of my GT GT Grandparents Sam and Eliza Stanley. I was so taken aback at seeing these images I cried a bit with joy and on showing my husband, children and grandchildren have now decided to pursue the family tree I started some years ago. Thank you for putting all of this together and making it so interesting to read and please also wish me luck on finding my relatives, it's going to be fun.

Julie Fleming, Bidford on Avon

Jeanne Carmont - 29th May 2012 - 0:00

My name is Jeanne Carmont and I am distantly related to the late Vicar of Badsey, William Carmont Allsebrook. He is my Grandfather's 2nd cousin once removed. I have been researching my family history for some years now and recently came across your wonderful website and am slowly reading through it. I know William was the vicar for a great many years and wondered if there are possibly any photos of him and his family. I love the description Roger Savory wrote about him nearly going up in flames. I know he had two children William and Evelyn, but I don't think they ever married, I know William died young and Evelyn in 2002. I also know he had a brother Harold who died in 1973. I would be most grateful for any help you can provide

Kind Regards
Jeanne Carmont

All four members of the Allsebrook family are interred in Badsey churchyard. Unfortunately, for reasons unknown, the vicar William Allsebrook did not fill in the burials registers from 1936 to 1945. He did not record the christenings over the same period. His son William James Basil Allsebrook died in 1938, aged 24. He is not recorded in the burial registers and there is no known plot number for him in the churchyard. There is also no known plot for the Vicar, William Carmont Allsebrook, who was buried in the churchyard on April 18, 1947, aged 79 and his wife Evelyn Kate who predeceased him and was buried on February 19, 1932, aged 67. His daughter did not marry and lived as a recluse in Bengeworth, Evesham. She died in 2002 and was buried in the churchyard on June 26, 2002. I numbered her plot as Section A, plot 82. Her parents and her brother were said to be buried nearby but nobody knows exactly where. William Carmont Allsebrook married Evelyn Kate Hands, of Badsey, at Solihull Parish Church on Thursday June 24, 1909 and I am attaching a copy of the photographs of the couple that appeared in the Evesham Journal for June 26, 1909. Also see my book on the churchyard where I have included a detailed obituary for William Allsebrook.

You are indeed correct that the Reverend W C Allsebrook had two children, neither of whom married. We are fortunate that The Badsey Society was donated an archive of papers relating to the Allsebrook family following the death of Evelyn Allsebrook in 2002. The papers include papers relating to Allsebrook’s career in the church and documents about the Hands and Payton families (he married Evelyn Hands in 1909, whose mother was a Payton). This information will all be available online by the end of this year, as we are developing a special Badsey Archive and Museum website, so please keep checking our website later in the year for news of the new website. You might also like to look at a copy of “Another Self” by James Lees-Milne, which is his autobiographical memories of growing up in Wickhamford, the neighbouring village to Badsey, where Allsebrook was also Vicar, and is mentioned in the book. I think it is still in print; I’m sure you should be able to get it on Amazon or borrow from your local library.

John Smith - 15th May 2012 - 0:00

I have been using you site for a few months now and it has provided me with a lot of useful information about my family who lived in and around the Badsey area. I read with great interest your article on the mill at Wickhamford as the Anthony Smith who married Catherine Calvert was my 3rd great grand uncle. Their son Samuel married Sarah Gee. No marriage record found so far. The article mentions two sons of Samuel and Sarah, George and John Wingfield. I believe there may have been a third son. Wilson Smith was baptized on 27 April 1837 in Badsey but died aged just 3 weeks. This information was found on your site in the Parish Records section but I have not been able to confirm that he was their son.

Anthony’s father was Benjamin Smith (my 4th great grandfather) he was a miller, and he married Elizabeth Roberts on the 21 February 1758 by license in Badsey. Benjamin died in 1819. In his will Benjamin left “Lower Mill” in Broadway to his other son Samuel Smith. After Samuel's death the mill was taken over by grand nephew Benjamin Burrows. Benjamin had also made provisions for the children of son Anthony who had died 5 years earlier.

As you mention in your article, tracing the Smith family has been quite difficult so I hope if you do more research into the Smith family it is published on you site.

At the moment I am trying to find out if the Benjamin mentioned above is the same Benjamin that is mentioned in the deeds for Badsey mill in 1759. In the deeds it states that Benjamin and his brother Anthony are the sons of Samuel and Ann Smith. I'm not sure but this Samuel may be the one that married Ann New on the 1st January 1716 in Badsey.

Keep up the great work on your site.
John Smith

Lynne Tarbutt - 2nd May 2012 - 0:00

We have recently received the deeds to our house in Horsebridge Avenue, and looking at the old maps, I notice that Horsebridge Avenue is built on land that was once called 'The Hanging Grounds No 2'. Do you happen to know how the land came by this name please? I believe it was once part of Aldington. Also on the map standing in what is now part of our garden was a 'shelter'. Could this have been an air-raid shelter perhaps? On our map, it just says the word 'shelter'. There is no diagram but there are about 3 short paths leading up to it, just off the roadside. I live at Welford House.

Lynne Tarbutt

You may be relieved to know that Hanging Ground does not refer to a place of execution. It just means a sloping field, in this case going down to Badsey Brook. Have a look at the notes that Maureen Spinks has assembled about Horsebridge Avenue and you may also be interested in Will Dallimore's history of local Council Housing in one of the Badsey Society books.

It is unlikely that the 'shelter' in your garden is an air raid shelter because the Horsebridge estate was built just after World War 2. Could it perhaps be a market gardener's hut or hovel? If you are willing to let Badsey Society have a photocopy of the map with your deeds, we might be able to discover more.

Lynne has kindly given us a copy of the map. The shelter remains a bit of a mystery. There was never a bus shelter in that position, nor is it an air raid shelter. Terry Sparrow has suggested that it might possibly have been an open sided sided shelter where market gardeners left produce for collection near the road. I have looked at large scale OS maps for several dates but it is not shown. We also have a 1946 aerial photo which shows Horsebridge Avenue as a building site, with the road partly constructed but no buildings in place. I cannot see the shelter on this either.

Will Dallimore suggests another possibility: We have been calling the document a map, when actually it is a plan. A map displays roads, houses, etc. that are actually in existence, whilst a plan displays the architects ideas of what they would like built. What I am trying to say is that the shelter in question was drawn on the plan, but never ever got built. Between the planning stage and its construction the shelter was 'shelved'. Maybe it was because the two 'private' houses' were being built next to it. Or simply because it was sited in the wrong place. Eventually, a brick and tile bus shelter was built, which was nearer Synehurst Crescent than the present one. When the pelican crossing was installed the present shelter was erected to the Evesham side of the crossing. This forced bus passengers to use the crossing.

Glenn Cox - 16th January 2012 - 0:00

I would like to offer my thanks and congratulations to Tom Locke for compiling the superb article Wickhamford Goes To War. It is attractively presented and, as far as I can see, it has been very carefully researched. I must declare a strong personal connection to the subject matter - the photographs on page 13 show my father (G F Cox) and five of my uncles. Mr Locke has even obtained some inside information concerning Uncle Charlie's stetson!

In general, the Badsey website is a magnificent resource. Heartfelt thanks go to the fine person/people who transcribed the parish records & censuses. If only every village had done this ... !

Best wishes
Glenn Cox

Many thanks for your kind comments. I started the piece by looking into the background of the soldiers who died and were recorded on the Church War Memorial, but like topsy, it grew ! It's a pity that a lot of the Army Records were destroyed, but I pieced together what information had survived and my friend Val Harman helped in chasing up a lot of the photographs. As you may have seen, we have also done a shorter article on the four men who died in WW2. As of yet, no Army records are available, other than bits of information provided by the War Graves people. Regarding your family, if you have any additional information, we would be pleased to see it. I can always update the article with additional material.

Wendy Marshall - 1st June 2011 - 0:00

Thank you for your wonderful site. All I had to go on when I discovered it was a Christian name and an approximate date of birth. Thanks to your meticulous transcriptions, I was able to identify 3 Elizabeths baptised within a period of 2 years and by a process of elimination was able to progress my research and join several loose ends together at the same time!

I believe there may also be a family connection to Daniel Jones who was assistant curate at Badsey from 1788. However, the only reference to him in the 'people' database is as father of various children born in the parish from 1788 onwards so he does not appear to have been a Badsey man. I was wondering if you had any information on where he came from from?

Many thanks for your help - and keep up the good work!
Wendy Marshall

Judy Mellowes - 9th May 2011 - 0:00

Thank you for an excellent site.

I am descended from John Davis born at Badsey in 1722 to Elizabeth Davis. The father is given as Robert Bowker. Robert seems to have appeared in Badsey as there is no prior mention of him. However, he, his wife and his 2 sons by his wife (another Elizabeth) seem to be buried in Badsey. I wondered if the list of Bastardy Orders and/or Settlement Certificates for Badsey is available? There is a Robert Bokwer born in High Ercall, Salop but that seems rather a distance from Badsey.

Thank you,
Judy Mellowes, Sydney, Australia

I transcribed all the parish records for Badsey. Unfortunately I do not know of any surviving bastardy orders/settlement certificates for Badsey. I am interested to know whether your ancestor was known by the name of DAVIS or BOWKER. You will see from my note on the website that I had thought he was baptised JOHN DAVIS, but the IGI has indexed him as JOHN BOWKER. There are a lot of BOWKERs or BOOKERs in the neighbouring parishes of Wickhamford and Bretforton. We may in due course get round to putting the Wickhamford records on to the website, but they are not ready as yet, but I have extracted a list of the BOOKER/BOWKER records (not checked properly). I believe both Wickhamford and Bretforton records have been catalogued on the IGI, but I can’t find a reference to a Robert Bowker marrying an Elizabeth, so probably they were married in a parish which has not been recorded by the IGI; I think the Shropshire record seems unlikely. Did your ancestor remain in Badsey? I see that a John Davis died in 1784, but was he your ancestor?

Clive Needle - 5th February 2011 - 0:00

 I am researching the family of my great-great-great-great grandparents WILLIAM and CATHERINE HARRIS who are recorded with their children living in what is now Badsey High Street in the 1861 Census. I believe William was the son of a Birmingham grocer originally from this area, who was born in Salford and is recorded as being a beer seller and grocer, and Catherine’s maiden name was Womans. Unless I misunderstand, It would seem that the property would now be at or near 18 High Street “The Schumachs” and was refurbished around 1858, subsequently becoming a bakery.

I know what happened to daughter Catherine junior (1854-1925, born in Bretforton) who later became a Needle in Birmingham, but am still trying to follow William and Catherine senior after 1861. So I wonder if they only lived in Badsey briefly and if they were running a shop or inn there at that time, and if there is any evidence why they left?

As you have such a remarkable site I wonder if anyone can point me in the directions of my next enquiries please? Thanks in advance for any advice and for putting together such a terrific and fascinating resource.

Clive Needle, Rowhedge, Essex

18 High Street 'The Schumachs' is an interesting old house but sadly today in a poor state of repair. The photograph on the website is about 10 years old and since then the front has been stripped of most of its rendering. There are details in the house to suggest it may be Tudor, but Pevsner puts it as seventeenth century and he is likely to be right. Our oldest map of Badsey is the 1812 enclosure map where the house stands in a plot owned by Joseph Simpson. On the same plot but missing from the map is the house currently occupied by our Spar shop and post office. This must have been built a few years after the map was made. You can see a historical description of the plot written by Maureen Spinks.

This leaves a lot of your questions unanswered. Where did William Harris sell his beer and run his shop? Was it at this same address, that later became a bakery?

Jackie - 3rd January 2011 - 0:00

 I am looking for descendants, mainly who may have any information or photographs of William and Frances (Jarrett) Knight. Frances was my grandmother's sister. Due to a falling out within the family they seem to have had no contact whatsoever, as my mother and aunt new nothing of the family, apart from the fact that one sister married a Knight from Badsey.

I have spent quite some time trawling through your site over the last few months, it has been very interesting and helpful.

Thank you once again and best wishes

Maureen Spinks - 3rd January 2011 - 0:00

In reply to by Jackie

I have spoken to Terry Sparrow, village historian, to see if he knew William Charles and Marjorie Knight. He certainly knew William, who was a market gardener down Badsey Fields Lane and was at one time Secretary of the Flower Show. He does not know what happened to William and Marjorie's two children, only that they are not living in Badsey.

Tom Locke - 14th December 2010 - 0:00

Whilst transcribing the 1911 Valuation Survey information on Wickhamford, I came across a puzzling term. One of the properties on Pitchers Hill had reference to a 'dumb well'. So far, no explanation of this term has been found. Can anyone throw any light on what exactly this might be ?

Juliette Priddy - 28th November 2010 - 0:00

I have stumbled across your amazing website whilst trying to solve the mystery of my paternal great grandfather Charles Scanes. The information I have gained from my grandmother is that he was abandoned as a baby and brought up by two elderly ladies with the surname Wilkins in Pebworth and then, after their deaths, by the Sheward family also in Pebworth. As such, for his childhood he was known as Charles Wilkins. When he came to marry in 1934 the vicar produced a copy of Charles' birth certificate.

The copy of the birth certificate lists the mother as Emma Scanes with her occupation as a laundress at Badsey, the father is left blank. The address given of his birth is 1 Hampton Road, Hampton near Evesham. His date of birth was 3rd October 1908 and the birth registered 18th November 1908 so it is possible his mother cared for him for a short while. I have searched on for Emma Scanes and cannot find any information on her and have looked at the census in 1901 in the areas mentioned above and cannot find anyone that Emma could be.

I suspect maybe she used the father's surname instead of her own or simply made up a new name completely. Charles Scanes went on to marry Linda Griffiths in 1934 and to have my grandmother Barbara Scanes in 1935 I would love to be able to solve the mystery of my great-grandfather for my grandmother as she has always been curious about the history of her father. If anyone has any information regarding this, any family rumours or the like I would be extremely grateful.

Thank you,
Juliette Priddy

Christopher Harris - 15th November 2010 - 0:00

Hello from the frozen North, well it feels like that at the moment. I have just discovered, to my pure delight, the Badsey site. My family came from Badsey at the beginning of the nineteenth century, and I have already found some of them in the parish records on your site. I would like to order a copy of "A Brief history of Badsey and Aldington" please.

Is it also possible to post an enquiry on your site? I am trying to trace the birth/family of Jonathan Harris would married Sarah Holland 14 June 1810. I am not sure how I can find his parents or if it is possible. My Harris's moved eventually to Hednesford, Staffs, and then Walsall. My grandfather, Frank Herbert Harris, died in 1911 when my father was only a few weeks old and we have had a lot of difficulty finding his roots.

Best wishes,

Christopher Harris
Bergen, Norway

Hello Christopher. Your Jonathan Harris was buried aged 59 at Badsey 9 Jul 1838 which puts his birth about 1779. Looking at the IGI there is a baptism at Church Honeybourne of Jonathan Harris son of James and Mary on 16 April 1775 which looks at reasonable fit. Church Honeybourne is a couple of miles to the east of Badsey. Hopefully this is a start.

Peter Blackaby - 1st November 2010 - 0:00

 May I first of all thank you for the wonderful village site that you and your team have produced. If only all villages could do the same. I first found your site a couple of years ago and it gave me a really good start to my search for the family tree. You have obviously worked very hard since then and I was delighted to be able to now go back (I think), a lot further.

My interest is in the Jones family who lived, in my grandfather's time, in Bretforton. Like most researchers I started with the census in 1901 and found:
In 1901, Walter Jones 31, born Bretforton and his wife Frances and 4 boys, one of whom would become my grandfather.
In 1891, aged 22 with his parents, Thomas 70 b. Badsey, and Elizabeth (neé) Sorrel 65, b. Harvington.
In 1881 he was 12, with Thomas 60, Elizabeth 56. Here you have Thomas as a Badsey Stray.

Could you please point me in the direction of any further information?

Best wishes to you all,
Peter Blackaby

Maureen Spinks - 1st November 2010 - 0:00

In reply to by Peter Blackaby

Your Thomas Jones is descended from William Jones (c1709-1784). Daniel Jones was Assistant Curate at Badsey from 1788-1808 and is not related to your Jones family. As regards the IGI reference to a marriage between John Jones and Mrs Elizabeth Jones at Badsey in 1820, don't believe everything you see on the IGI! The Mormons have done wonderful work in transcribing many parish registers but that record was not placed there as a result of a methodical IGI transcription; it was simply placed there by a member of the Latter-Day Saints who obviously had John and Elizabeth Jones in their ancestry and thought they must have been married at Badsey in about 1820 (the basis being that they first started baptising children at Badsey in 1821). But they already had several children by the time they moved to Badsey. We have methodically transcribed all the registers and the IGI record is most definitely wrong. In order to see what land your ancestor owned in Badsey at the time of Enclosure in 1815, go to, then click on "Digitised Badsey Enclosure Map from the WCC GIS site". In the search box, enter John Jones of Abberley and then click on Find. This will show you where, on the Badsey Enclosure map, was the cottage and orchard which your ancestor owned. Having located its position, you can then go back to the photographic image of the map (section B1 - ie second row down, first one) and print out the map. On the digitised map, if you type in just John Jones or Joseph Jones, you will see that your John's cousins were major landowners in Badsey. You may find A Brief History of Badsey and Aldington useful as background reading (it includes a photo of Harrington House which was owned for a time by your family in the 18th century). And a novel Christmas present might be our Enclosure Map tea towel which features some of your ancestral homes! Details on the website if you wish to purchase any of these. Good luck with your researches.

Peter Stewart - 1st November 2010 - 0:00

In reply to by Peter Blackaby

Had a quick check through my records to see if I can immediately add to what it already known. Your are probably already aware that Walter Jones married Frances Sarah Edkins in 1895 in Solihull. Both are buried in Bretforton churchyard. Frances Sarah died in 1910, aged 41 and buried July 26, 1910. Walter died in 1940 in Evesham Infirmary, aged 72, and buried December 18, 1940. According to the 1901 census they had four boys but was to have another child, Eustace Eugene, in 1903. Walter’s parents Thomas & Elizabeth, are also buried at Bretforton. Thomas died in 1899, aged 79, and buried April 25, 1899. Elizabeth died in 1909 at Warwick, aged 84, and buried March 11, 1909.

Jane Aguilard - 8th October 2010 - 0:00

 I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your website.

I am descended from a market gardener, William Knight (1846-1934), who, according to the 1901 Census for Badsey, lived at Belmont Terrace. Elsie May Jefferies, the daughter of Sarah Ann Knight, was my grandmother. She married my grandfather, Sidney Halford of Broadway in 1922, and in 1924 they emigrated to South Africa with my mother, Joyce, who was one year old at the time. My grandfather managed an export fruit farm near Cape Town, South Africa. My grandparents never returned to England, but my sisters and I grew up hearing them talk with nostalgia about the Vale of Evesham and the Cotswolds in general. I moved to Germany in 1971, where I met my American husband, and moved to the United States in 1976. I now live in Sarasota, Florida. My middle sister, Melanie, still lives in Cape Town, and our youngest sister lives in Essex, England. My cousin, Helen, is also a granddaughter of Elsie May and Sidney, and lives in Cape Town.

In 1973 my mother and I visited England. It was my first visit, and my mother’s first since 1924. We managed to track down my great uncle, Cecil Jeffries, and enjoyed visiting with him and his family, but I have not stayed in touch.

My mother died in Cape Town in June of this year. Since her death, my interest in researching my roots has been renewed. Last August my sisters and I, accompanied by my husband, Jim, and Mel’s son, Simon, visited the Cotswolds. While having dinner at the Round of Gras in Badsey one evening, we couldn’t help looking around at other diners and wondering whether we were related to any of them! We spent some time in area graveyards looking for family names among the tombstones. Thanks to the work of your organization, I was able to identify the graves of my great-grandparents, John and Sarah Ann Jeffries.

In Sarasota, market gardening is enjoying a renaissance. There is a market downtown each Saturday, where local market gardeners sell their produce. The local extension service (which is a collaboration between the state university and the local government) even offers courses in market gardening, with a focus on holistic methods. The organically grown vegetables and herbs are particularly popular with both residents and restaurants. Environmentalists like the fact that the produce is grown without chemical fertilizers or pesticides, probably the only method our forbears knew; people also like the fact that the produce is not trucked thousands of miles to reach market, thereby reducing carbon emissions and gas consumption. The market has a festive atmosphere. In addition to the farm stands offering fresh vegetables, herbs, fruit, and ornamental plants, there are local bakers and various cottage industries selling their wares, and there are food aromas and live music in the air. Also, it is an opportunity for people to take their dogs on a downtown outing, and show them off. After the market closes, customers gravitate to outdoor cafes, where they can enjoy a meal accompanied by their pets, and watch the world go by.

From your historical website I discovered that in 1901 my grandmother’s youngest uncle, Thomas Henry Knight, was still living at home. His obituary gave me an idea of the life that my forbears lived. I remember my grandmother telling me with great pride about her uncle who had played the organ in his church for 70 years. During our graveyard adventure in August, we parked our car beside picturesque Wickhamford Manor, so it was nice to know that the manor had been a part of my family’s history (Thomas married the cook, Nellie, and my his father, my great grandfather, worked in the garden twice a week).

I am also descended from William Crane (1818-1902), who is mentioned in your recent Badsey Society newsletter. What a pity that I missed your Flower Show in July. Perhaps I’ll be luckier in the future.

I am interested in your project, The Last Market Gardener, and look forward to the release of the book.


Jane Aguilard (born Gilmour)
Sarasota, FL 34238, USA

Kathy Phillips - 23rd June 2010 - 0:00

 I have discovered your website today, I was looking for my Grandmother Maggie May Porter, I was thrilled to find her family almost straight away in the 1901 census, I would love to hear from anyone who has more information about them. Maggie was born in Badsey in 1896 to Joe and Martha Porter I understand Joe was a market gardener who came originally from Haybrook in Herefordshire born in about 1855.

Thank you

Kathy Phillips

Peter Stewart - 23rd June 2010 - 0:00

In reply to by Kathy Phillips

My own notes and details from local cemeteries shows that Joseph Porter married Martha Ann Coneybear in Evesham in 1876. They are both buried in Bengeworth Cemetery, Evesham in Section E, Plot 75. The substantive headstone also commemorates the death of daughter Annie who died May 20, 1909 aged 23 years and Albert Charles Joseph Porter who died March 9, 1955, aged 77. Both of these children are actually in Section E, Plot 111. Annie, the daughter, is buried under the name of Payne. She married William Payne in 1908 in Evesham. Albert Charles Joseph Porter was a retired publican. He married Lucy Cullen in Evesham in 1904. She died in 1918, aged 37 and also buried in Bengeworth in Section F, Plot 42. Also in the same plot is a Kathleen May Porter who died in 1928, aged 48. There is no monument on this grave. Also in Bengeworth is another son of Joseph & Martha, Edward John Porter who married Ada Mary Thornton in Evesham in 1908. He died in 1938, aged 56 and Ada Mary died in 1972, aged 85. They are buried in Section K, Plot 17. Also in the plot are the ashes of their son Hubert Henry Porter who died in 2003, aged 79 and the ashes of their daughter Dorothy and son-in-law Albert Merrett. A large headstone and kerb monument is on the plot with all the details. There are 21 Porters buried in Bengeworth cemetery from 1879 to 2003.

Chris Brookes - 8th May 2010 - 0:00

 I am descended from Brookes’s who lived in Warwickshire and Worcestershire in the 1700 and 1800s – they moved along the A46 between Aston Cantlow and nearby villages along towards Evesham and were in and around the Littletons.

I note from your website, which I think is a fantastic site and great resource for genealogists, that the Brookes name is quite prominent in the Badsey area although I’m yet to make a link with the Brookes names you list. I have linked with some other names through marriages.

My great grandfather (George Brookes) was born in Offenham in 1829 before the family moved back to Warwickshire (Great Alne) and then into Birmingham. I have found a record of a Samuel Brookes being married to a Sarah Malin around the late 1700s and wondered if there was any useful info on the Malins that you had or if you could point me in the right direction.

Many thanks,
Chris Brookes

I have researched the Malin families of both Badsey & Offenham, who are related, and another unconnected Malin line in Evesham. Those who settled in Badsey (1860s) & Offenham (1830s) are all descended from Giles Malin who was born at Stanway, Gloucestershire in about 1680. The Evesham line are descended from John Malin (b.1760) who married Martha Weston in 1789 at Weston-on-Avon, Gloucestershire. The Sarah Malin who married Samuel Brookes in the 1700s does not appear to be connected to any of the lines I have researched locally.

However, there is a connection with the Brookes of Badsey and Offenham. Obadiah Brookes was born in Offenham in 1826 and baptised there 17.12.1826. He was the son of Thomas & Elizabeth Brookes (nee Moore) who were married in All Saints Church, Evesham 27.2.1824. Obadiah married Mary Ledbetter in 1847 and settled in Badsey where they had a large family (see under Brooks in our Surname Index). Obadiah died in 1898 and was buried in Badsey churchyard.

I have heard of Obadiah and Noahdiah too, who were from Offenham around the same time as my Great Grandfather, but I’ve not yet been able to link them with my tree but I’m sure there must be a connection somewhere. I’ll try and see if I can trace Thomas back into my line. My Great Grandfather’s Grandfather (also George Brookes 1799- 1852) had a farm in the Littletons called Norval which I’ve visited and there is a family grave in the churchyard in Nth Littleton (St Nicholas, I believe). I live in the east of England so don’t manage to get to Worcester very often.

Dave Knight - 16th March 2010 - 0:00

My name is Dave Knight. I've been trying to trace my family history, I have been estranged from my family for a long time. Prior to this I could not get much information from parents and grandparents. What I do know is they came from Worcestershire. My grandfather named Frank Knight (born around 1909) had at least one brother named Tom, and three sisters, Hilda, Millie, the third one I do not know. There is some connection with the Vale of Evesham as they used to transport fruit and veg to Cradley Heath.

Frank I believe had no or little contact with his father, but his mom was either married or lived with a man he called Pop, who may have been a miner. What had happened is not known by me, because they would never talk about it. My father and mother divorced, and he did not really like kids, so we don't see each other, and haven't spoke for nearly 20 years.

Because I have so few details the usual searches don't really help. Does anyone in your village have any knowledge of parts of the Knight family moving to Cradley Heath or Old Hill in the early 1900s. We also had relatives near Malvern, but again no details I know this is a long shot, but it just might help.

Dave Knight

Andrew Shekell - 14th January 2010 - 0:00

Having stumbled on the entry in your Visitors Book (see April 2009), I thought you might be interested in the family’s anecdote as to how Bonner Shekell came to be buried in the copse.

To be honest, I have never followed this up, but with your local knowledge and access to various local records, I would be interested to know if it is true. Or would I? Sometime the truth can be a disappointment.

The story I was told by my father was that Bonner Shekell didn’t see why he should contribute towards the cost of a vicar in Pebworth when he could do the job just as well. He took holy orders and returned as vicar for a number of years. Again, this is legend, but it is said he was a bit turbulent. Relations with the Bishop and the Church were strained, to the extent that Bonner declared that on his death he would not be buried in consecrated ground. Hence the large stone in a small copse.

The family members have now moved away from Pebworth although we still have links with the village both above and below ground.

Thank you for jogging a family memory,
Andrew Shekell, Cumbria

Thanks for the note on Bonner Shekell from Andrew Shekell. It is a fascination to me too as my mother had always pointed out the grave as we visited my grandmother in Pebworth as a girl. I spoke to my mother hoping she could throw some light on the matter.

Bonner died when she was about 8 or 9 so her memories are limited. She remembers the funeral as everyone in the village was told to close the curtains and stay indoors while the cortege passed. Bonner Shekell had been involved in a shooting accident and was handicapped in some way. That may have explained why he was single and singular! He lived in the Manor House with his housekeeper, Miss Haines living in the bungalow at the bottom of the drive. On his death she inherited the bungalow which was a generous gesture and speaks of his high regard.

I searched the 1911 census and found the Vicar was William Tate-Stoate. My mother remembers the vicar was Rev. W. Boyd in her day. I also found the truth that Bonner was a clerk in Holy Orders but not the vicar all the time. He was a very good landlord to my grandfather who rented Manor Farm from him and was on the various village committees with him. A very approachable man. I believe he was well respected and like.

 Isn’t it strange how a small pebble in a pond can lead to large ripples? Not only has your village website adopted a large rock some miles away, but also it has shown how the villages are linked by personal experience. All from a passing question and a spontaneous web surf. It is amazing how much information is now available. My Uncle began to investigate the family in the 1960s and he took years and many miles of travelling to find information we can now access at the click of a button.

Thank you Jane for your reply, just for information, Bonner was shot accidentally by his brother when they were both young men. It appears they were climbing over a stile and Bonner’s brother had forgotten to break his shotgun. His brother was sent, or volunteered to go to the Far East, in some disgrace and worked in Burma and Thailand before returning to the UK many years later and married. As two old Pebworth families the Shekells and Haines were distantly related.

Attached is a photo I took of the gravestone in 2001 after much crashing through the underbrush that conceals it. Mr. Rainbow, the tenant farmer of the Shekell property at Pebworth, had kindly directed me where to look. Bonner lived between 1864 - 1932.

Richard Shekelle, Friday Harbor, WA, USA

Bonner Shekell's gravestone 2001