Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Robert Greensides of Kirkleatham

The Greensides family is not to be confused with the Greenshields family. The Greensides are on the White side of the family, and the Greenshields are on the McKinley side of the family. Robert Greensides was christened on 30 October 1669 at Kirkleatham, Yorkshire, England. His parents were John Greensides and his wife, Elizabeth Tapham. There are some nice photos of Kirkleatham, described as "a very small but historical village." It lies on the outskirts of Redcar, a seaside resort on the NE coast of England in the Tees Valley, and on the edge of the North York Moors National Park. It is noted for its 1500 foot cliff faces and rolling countryside. The area is geologically rich and has a long and interesting history.

There was a church in Kirkleatham, dedicated to St. Cuthbert. Before that, there was a Viking burial ground on the site. You can see the church on the "nice photos" link, although it was rebuilt in 1763, after Robert's time. On 21 June 1697 he married Elizabeth Wilson at Kirkleatham. They raised a large family of eleven children; all were christened at Kirkleatham except William. Our ancestor, John, was the oldest in the family.

Perhaps they walked the land when the heather was in bloom, stood on the beach and watched the sea, or felt the moisture on their faces when the mist was on the moors.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Thomas and Anne Cracroft

Burgh-le-Marsh is a small place located near the more well-known coastal town of Skegness, on the Lincolnshire coast, which runs for fifty miles down the North Sea coast of eastern England. The town is built on a large hill surrounded by a former marsh. It is noted for its windmill and its church. An old Roman road passes through the town on its way to Skegness. There is also a large Saxon burial mound near the church.

This is where Thomas Cracroft was christened on 23 October 1569, and it was already an old place. Thomas' parents were Robert Cracroft and his wife, Protasia Quadring. In about 1593, he married Anne Johnson. Fifteen children are attributed to their marriage. Our ancestor was George, their fourth child.

Monday, October 21, 2013

George Francis White

George Francis White was born 21 October 1879 in Farmington, Davis, Utah. His parents were Thomas Henry White and his wife, Emily Oliver. On 1 May 1901 he married Emily Swaby Baggs at Ogden, Weber, Utah. Together they raised eleven children. Our ancestor, Kenneth Leo, was the fourth son in this busy family.

The following is a nice remembrance of a life well-lived.

Last evening we received word of the death of a former Smithfield man; one of the people I remember as far back as I can remember anyone in our community - George White. He has resided in Ogden the past few years, but when they lived here in Smithfield they lived in our neighborhood and we grew up playing with the children; and we were somewhat in awe of their parents.

Mr. White operated the blacksmith shop here in Smithfield. It was located by the bank and I can still see the big tree that stood at the side of that shop, where the door was always open. In school when I first heard Longfellow’s poem, I could just see Mr. White. As it said…

Under a spreading chestnut-tree,
A village smithy stands;
The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands…

He had the appearance of one of the strongest men I have ever seen, and I stood with the White girls in the doorway of the shop many times, and as the poem says…

And children coming home from school
Look in at the open door;
They love to see the flaming forge,
And hear the bellows roar,
And catch the burning sparks
That fly like chaff a threshing floor…

As I said, quite often I stood in awe with this giant of a man. In fact, as a child I was quite frightened of him. Then one day something happened and I saw him quite differently than I ever had before. You could almost set your time when Mr. White went up the street to work and when he returned home to lunch; never varying more than a few minutes. We always thought he never looked to either side, but this day mother had sent me out to call my younger sister from across the street where she had been roller-skating. I called her and she dallied a few minutes and I called her again and told her to hurry up. By this time, with skates in her hand, she came dashing across the street, just as I looked up to see Mr. White’s car coming down the road. I stood frozen. Surely if I called her would stop in front of him, and then I saw her look up and whirl around to go back just as he turned to avoid hitting her.

I’ve never known a moment of more fear than that one. With the screeching of brakes, he turned sharply the other way and missed her by inches. His car stopped and he got slowly out and I guess I expected him to be very angry. He surely had ever right to be. My sister was so frightened she ran into the house. There I stood, just rooted to the ground. With blanched face and his strong arms trembling, he said, “Theoda, tell Ivaloo to look next time. I almost couldn’t stop”.

I realized he was a good, kind man who felt just as deeply as my own dad would have felt. Perhaps for the first time I saw a different picture of Mr. White than I’d seen before. The White family had their joys and sorrows in their lives. They lost their eldest son in a car accident, just a young man with two little children. They had their happy times too, and I shared them with their families, and again as Longfellow’s poem goes…

Toiling, -- rejoicing, -- sorrowing,
Onward through life he goes;
Each morning sees some task,
Each evening sees it close;
Something attempted, something done,
Has earned a night’s repose.
Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend,
For the lesson thou hast taught!
Thus at the flaming forge of life
Our fortunes must be wrought;
Thus on its sounding anvil
Shaped each burning deed and thought.

Mr. White retired as a blacksmith many years ago. But as I think of George White I’ll always think of him as I remember him as a child: strong and quiet man, who loved his family and as I think loved his work and his friends and associates right here in Smithfield were he spent many years of his life. Mrs. White, Emily, as many of us knew her, passed away 16 March 1962. Mr. White remarried some years later. Floyd, their son, died suddenly this past October at his home in California and this was a great shock to them. Mr. White is survived by his second wife and nine of his eleven children; you’ll probably remember them. There’s Elmer, Kenneth, George, and Thomas, Emily, Marie, Gwen, Pearl and Jeanette.

We have many choice memories of this family and we’re sure there are others of this community and the valley who do also. George Jr. is the only one who lives in the valley and his home is in Providence.

An excerpt from “Cache Valley Newsletter” No. 19 May 1970 page 7-8. Newell Hart, Rt. #3 - Box 387-A, Preston, Idaho 83263. A monthly newsletter of Current & Old Time Stuff about and for those who moved away from Cache Valley - also for those who stayed. (Written by Theoda Downs.)

He died on 27 January 1970 in Ogden, Weber, Utah.

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Lot of Bull

It's always interesting to note that one's name is not unique. There are many people with the same name, sometimes in the same family. In the case of Jacob Bull, he can be identified by his place of residence, Broughton Gifford, Wiltshire, England. He was born there on 14 October 1711. His parents were Abraham Bull and his wife, Mary Salter. He was the eighth child in a very large family of ten children, two who did not survive infancy.

On 14 August 1735, he married Miriam and proceded to have his own large family of nine children. They favored Biblical names--Robert, Mary, Martha, Isaac, Jacob, Abraham, Miriam, Abraham (the first did not survive) and James. Our ancestor is the Abraham who did survive. All of the children were christened there, probably at St. Mary the Virgin Church.

He died 3 March 1799, having lived his entire life in Broughton Gifford (B), a medium-sized village on the River Avon in Wiltshire. It is only ten miles from Calne (A) of the previous posting.

Jacob's son, Abraham, was christened on 16 October 1751. He married Mary Hillier on 14 January 1780/1781. Mary was from Bishops Cannings, about twelve and a half miles east of Broughton Gifford and five miles south of Calne. They also raised a large family of Bulls--Charles, Jane, Thomas, Isaac, Isaac, Mary, Jacob, Elizabeth and Simon. In addition to the Bulls, Mary had a daughter named Ann; all were christened at Broughton Gifford. Our ancestor is Elizabeth, and when she married she changed her name, putting an end to all the Bull in favor of Baggs.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Calne, an "Old Little Towne"

Wiltshire is a landlocked county in the SW of England. It is a rural area, lying on a limestone foundation known as chalk, the most famous area being the Salisbury Plain. It is known for its pre-Roman archaeology and is the location of Stonehenge.

About 27 miles north of Stonehenge are two little villages. The smaller of the two is Bremhill, where Henry Sommers, the son of Henry Sommers and his wife, Myllicent Prior, was christened 8 October 1616. It is surrounded by beautiful green fields. In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Bremhill like this, "Bremhill, or Bremble, a village and a parish in Calne district, Wilts. The village stands on the Roman road to Bath."

The other town is Calne, a larger place just two miles SE, where Henry married Mary Whittle on 30 November 1639. Calne was Mary's home town. All of their six children were born at Calne. They were Stephen, Richard, Mary, William, Robert and Edward. Stephen is our ancestor.

The main occupation in the area in its early days was the production of wool. By the 18th century, Calne became famous for its pork, but in Henry's time, the production of wool provided an income for the people who lived there. William Camden, a teacher at Westminster School who documented his travels, passed through Calne and wrote about it. "Six miles from hence Avon taketh unto him from the East a Brooke which runneth thorow Calne, an old little towne situat upon a stony ground, having in it a faire Church to commend it." Camden, who wrote Brittania, first published in Latin in 1586, died in 1623. That means his description, short as it is, was written at approximately the time of our ancestor, Henry. And the "faire Church" was probably the same church where Henry married Mary.