Messages from 2002

For recent messages, see the Visitors' Book on the Badsey Society Archive website.

Messages received in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012 appear on other pages.

Investigating the Cranes

I have been researching my family for a while, with much assistance from your wonderful site.  The whole family seem to have worked on the land, and I cannot find any reference to them on the 1901 census.  Perhaps because George Henry Crane was allegedly illiterate.

I am stuck on several "Cranes" and wonder if anyone else is researching this rather prolific family?

I have attempted to get as much information from existing members of my family as possible, but my grandmother is now 93 and is one of three remaining of the twelve children of Amelia Louisa Perkins and George Henry Crane. (The three remaining of the 12 are Zena, Hilary and Vera)   I am particularly interested in their children Doll (Dorothy?) Crane who married Sidney Porter, William (Bill) Crane who married Edith ?. 

Amelia and George also seem to have had a daughter Margaret Doris Crane in 1903 but as this child has never been mentioned by my grandmother (Irene Vera Crane, known as Vera) I suspect she did not survive infancy.

I am also interested in Amelia's sister Charlotte Perkins who married Amelia's husband's brother, Albert John Crane and had children Henrietta (married a Mr Padfield), Albert Crane, Jessie May Crane (also married a Mr Padfield) and Winifred Crane (married a Philip Smith). If anyone has any information about these Cranes, or any others from Badsey, or the surrounding area I would be delighted. 

Many, many thanks. Hilary Sharp 0118 9678272
December 2002

Simpson family

I was delighted by your web site. I was trying to research my ancestors who came from Wickhamford and found your web site.

This gave me all the information I needed about JUDITH SIMPSON and her ancestors. Judith married in Wickhamford and lived there for the rest of her life. Her youngest son married Louisa Hall, who was also living in Badsey by then.

They moved around a lot after that, Shenstone, Bonehill, both in Staffordshire, Then the hamlet of Wolverton, Hall, both Worcestershire before moving to Foxton, and Great Bowden, in Leicestershire. Your Census and Parish Register Transcriptions were a great help. I just wish other villages would do this.

Also regards to Cottage Garden Plants for their excellent stalls at the Malvern Shows.

Diana Wallis
December 2002

Knights in Australia

Thanks for a wonderful site. I am Henry Knight of Sydney Australia. I have traced my ancestors back to Joseph Knight who died in 1727. The tree goes via baptized  and b dates - Thomas 1686 (a twin), Henry 1712, James 1760, Thomas 1788, Charles 1814, Charles 1840 (emigrated to Brisbane on the Samarang 1865), Charles b1867 (a twin), Herbert b1913 to me b1940. I noticed you mentioned in one of your replies to Lucy Sweeting, Joseph marrying an Eleanor but can find only children from Henry 1699 to James 1715 in the records. His children Thomas 1686 to John 1695 show no mother. There was a death of a Joan Knight 1697 between the two groups of children. Was she connected?

Thanks again for a very helpful site.

Henry Knight, Sydney Australia
December 2002

Valentine Knight

Since our last contact I have been trying to establish a connection  between Captain Valentine Knight who put forward plans for the rebuilding of the City of London after the Great Fire of 1666 and all our Valentine Knights.  Haven't had any success yet but I did receive two small documents from the PRO regarding Capt. Knight's imprisonment by King Charles the Second, they are in Old Legal Latin. Can you suggest anybody that might be able to translate them?  Does anyone know anything about a Sid Knight who went to South Africa and wrote a book of nostalgia called Cotswold Lad, published c 1960.  We think Sid Knight was born in Broadway around the mid 1890s and his father was A.E.Knight, he says in the book his Grandfather was Henry Knight.  

Thanks again for the wonderful website.  Happy Christmas and a successful 2003. 

Tony & Lucy (nee Knight) Sweeting, Wales
December 2002

Hierns family

Hallo from Australia!

As the last of the English born (1932) Hierns, I was thrilled to find your web site. I have been deep into genealogy since 1949 and have now, thanks to you, found yet more spellings of the name!  Don't know how to thank you for such an interesting site.  I wonder why the Badsey Hierns all died out. Perhaps the Plague had something to do with it? The family seems to have petered out completely in England now although there are a good many in Australia and America.

Thanks again and a Happy Christmas to you and all your volunteers.

Olga Hiern-Cookeon, Australia
December 2002

Richard Phillips writes: In our index the name appears under HYERNE. I had a look in our local phone book and could not see an entries for Hierns or its variants. There are plenty of Hines and Hearn, but I guess they are different. The family left Badsey about the time of the Civil War which was a time of great social upheaval. Perhaps someone else knows more.

Albert Knight

Many congratulations on a marvelous web site!

I am David John Knight, now 50 years old and a Royal Naval officer living in East Cornwall. My father, who sadly died at the age of 77 a few years ago, was Albert Knight - born on 21 September 1921 in Badsey. Until joining the Army in WW2 he worked for a farmer called George Witts not far from Evesham, where he met my mother, then Patricia Jarvis, who was a Land Girl. Although Dad took a smallholding in Mum's home county of Essex when they married after the War, he remained a proud Worcestershire man all his life, so much so that I feel a decided pull to the right every time I pass Bredon Hill going north on the M5, and see the Cotswolds on the eastern horizon. He never lost the distinctive accent, and even this Essex-born Cornish "incomer" has been known to say "occud" instead of "awkward" (probably because it was a word Dad often used about me)!

I was delighted to learn that us Knights were so prolific in Badsey, but have no way of knowing whether I have more in common with those that still live there than just the surname. Regrettably, although Dad often told stories of his childhood and youth, I never thought to remember the names of his family and friends. He was an only child, although I believe he may have had a cousin called Dorothy (Dot), and my childhood memory of his mother reveals only a very kind white-haired lady who lived in Bengeworth Avenue in Evesham until she died (in the early 60s, at a guess). She must have remarried, because her surname was then Penson, and I have a very vague recollection of being told that Dad's father, her first husband, had died when he was young.

I'd be delighted to hear from anyone who could shed more light on my murky family history!

David Knight, Cornwall
December 2002

Maureen Spinks writes: I would like to be able to say I could present you with a family history going back several centuries, as has been true for some other Knight enquirers to the website, but unfortunately this does not appear to be the case for you. However, after a little detective work, I can reveal the following: Albert Knight enrolled at Badsey Council School on 12th January 1926, aged 4½. He lived at Brewers Lane, Badsey, and his father’s name was Joseph Knight. He transferred to the "Mixed Department" (as the Junior Department was known) on 1st October 1928, aged 7. His parent then was given as Minnie A Knight. He left Badsey School on 25th October 1929, the reason being "left the district".

The burial registers for the 1920s (not on the website) indicate that a Joseph Knight was buried on 22nd February 1927, aged 42. This Joseph Knight does not appear to have been born in Badsey. He would have been born about 1885 but, having checked the baptismal registers, there is no Joseph Knight baptised in Badsey at the appropriate time (this was at a time when most children were baptised); there is also no record of a Joseph Knight attending Badsey School. Smith’s Household Almanack lists a Joseph Knight for the years 1922-27 (the years (1920 and 1921 are missing), so it seems that the Knights moved to Badsey around the time of Albert’s birth, and then Minnie left the village after the death of her husband.

Having had a look at the 1901 Census website, when putting in an entry for Joseph Knight, who would have been around 16 at the time, it lists 68 Joseph Knights within a 2-year age-range of 16. The most likely person seems to be 15-year-old Joseph Knight, living at Broadway (about 5 miles from Badsey), whose occupation was "help on farm". His place of birth is given as Webheath, Worcestershire, now swallowed up by Redditch. The best thing would be to purchase a copy of the census page, to see if this will assist you in your researches, and whether this appears to be your grandfather.

Corbett families

What a lot of work has been carried out - gathering all these records and then publishing them. I run the Corbett One Name Study Group and found some Corbetts. They are from 2 families but who knows, they might be found to be connected. The witness at one was a Robson Corbett and the only man with this name that I have found lived up in Northumberland at that time so it is quite probably him but I haven't found the connection yet.

Thanks everyone from me who was involved in collecting these records and preparing them and the website for publication on the net.

Best wishes, Jean C Noble, The Corbett Study Group, Whitley Bay, Tyne & Wear, England
November 2002

Richard Phillips writes: Many thanks for your good wishes. William Corbett and his daughter Georgina appear to have lived at Harrington House at the time of the 1881 census. William died in 1886 and his headstone at Badsey also mentions his son 'CAPTAIN WILLIAM SMITH CORBETT ONLY SON OF THE ABOVE, WHO DIED AT SHANGHAI, CHINA AUGUST 22ND 1869, AGED 25 YEARS'. If you have not discovered it already our website also included a photo of this headstone and a short article on Harrington House.


Our December Edition of Family History Monthly gave your site an excellent write-up.  We fully endorse their findings. What a lot of work you must all have put in to achieve such spectacular results.

The best of luck, Sue & Roy Edlin, Tewkwsbury
November 2002

Badsey Poems

A great site, found courtesy of the Admag.

There must be lots of other poems in Badsey to rival "Grandad and Spud", which is excellent.

I'll keep checking back

Peter Lawrance, Ledbury
November 2002

Richard Phillips writes: Yes please! Send us your Badsey poems.

Knights of old

I have found the web site very interesting and have visited it several times. I am researching my family tree and found that my gt. Gt. Gt. Gt. grandfather was married to Harriet Knight who was baptised 6th January 1811 and her parents were Joseph and Elizabeth. I have found a Joseph Knight in the records baptised 2nd Sept 1789 and his parents were John and Elizabeth. Does anyone know anything about them or are you descendants?  I would love to know more. Please email me if you can help.

Teresa Rosina Fleming (known as Rose), Bearwood, Birmingham
November 2002

Maureen Spinks replies: I have transcribed all the parish records for the Badsey website and, because Knight was the commonest name in Badsey, I have produced a huge family tree of the family dating back to the 17th century.  As it's rather confusing, with so many Knights, I have listed what I believe to be your line of descent.

GCSE Project

Hello! I'm a pupil at St Benedict's RC High School, Alcester. I live in Badsey and I'm currently doing a project about Badsey for my GCSE coursework in geography. The website has been of great use, but I was just wondering if anyone else had any information which may help me with my studies. The title of my project is to do a comparative study between the village of Badsey and the village of Betws-y-coed in Wales. I'm looking for any information which could be of use e.g. old street maps? Although much of the information is on the wonderful Badsey website, I was just looking for extra information.

Jessica Goodman
November 2002

Cyril Knight

My maiden name is Knight.  My father Cyril Knight was born in Badsey on November 17th, 1914, to Herbert and Annie Knight. Herbert was a market gardener.  Cyril had an older brother Ronald and a younger sister Dorothy Mary.

The family had to move to Wednesbury when Herbert became ill.  The children were quite young.  Herbert and Annie are both buried in the churchyard in Bretforton.  My father would love to hear from anyone who may have known him.  He is currently living in Staffordshire.

I do have some photos of Herbert and Annie, and of Ronald and Cyril when they were young.

Regards, Jenny Norman (nee Knight)
November 2002

Maureen Spinks replies: I have transcribed various parish records for the Badsey website.  Cyril and his siblings were not baptised at Badsey, but Cyril and Ronald do feature in the School Admissions Register.  Cyril started in the Infants Department on 6th January 1919, but was there for only a month and a half, leaving on 16th February, the reason given "left the village".  

Meanwhile, his elder brother, Ronald (born 7th August 1912) started in the Infants Department on 8th April 1918 and then transferred to the Mixed Department on 29th April 1919.  Ronald left on 6th June 1919, the reason given "left the district".  It seems, therefore, that Ronald remained in Badsey for a few months longer than Cyril, probably remaining there with his mother, Annie, as when he enrolled in the Mixed Department, his parent's name is given as Annie rather than Herbert.  

Lionel Knight, who still lives in Badsey, is descended from the Knights of Bretforton, and appears to have connections with your side of the family.  Lionel was the son of Ernest Knight.  He believes that Herbert Knight may have been the uncle of his father, Ernest.  Certainly, there is some kind of family connection, because when Lionel and his family moved from Bretforton to Badsey, they moved into what is now known as 59 Bretforton Road, which is where Herbert and Annie Knight lived.  Lionel recalls that the family had to move to Wednesbury because of Herbert's illness, and that initially his mother paid rent to Herbert and Annie, before eventually buying the house from them.  

Jenny commented: I have in fact met Lionel, when I went to Bretforton  looking for my father's family.  I subsequently took my father to meet Lionel later in the same year, when my father was 80 years old, and we visited the Inn at Bretforton for his birthday celebration.  I have printed much of the contents of the web site and sent it to my father, who does not have internet access either.  He was very interested.  They did have to leave the village when my father was very young, due to his father being ill.  His mother went to live near her family in Wednesbury.  It was always their ambition to return one day to Bretforton, but sadly they have not managed to do that.

Churchyard photographs and the Bloxham family

[This letter was sent to Peter Stewart about his photographic survey of the churchyard.]

This morning, I printed a number of photos from your survey of the above Church (with great delight), as I will probably never have the opportunity to see this Church in person.  My interest is due to the fact that my direct ancestor (Charles Bloxham) was an Assistant Curate (1820) of this particular church, and together with his wife Mary Hope (Ouchterlony) and their 9 or 10 children (born in Badsey) have history in the area.  Mary is also buried there.  

Mr. Stewart, I wonder do you have a photo of the actual outside of the Church?  I haven't come across one amongst this group.  I would be interested in viewing one if possible.  

I must congratulate you on a tremendous work in displaying all the photographs and information on this wonderful history.  My research into the Bloxham Family has been long and tedious, but very rewarding.  An interesting family!   Many thanks in anticipation of your reply.  

Shirley King, Australia
October 2002

Elsewhere on the website is an article about the Bloxham family and some photographs of the exterior of the church.

Styles family

I have just been looking at the most interesting webpage on Badsey School. In the school photograph "Class photo, Standard VI (1924)" on the back row, second from the left, is my father Frank Styles, well known in Wickhamford, for his piano playing, and sadly now deceased. His brother Jack, who died at Alamein was the friend mentioned by Fred Mason in his memoirs. My father lost his father with flu at the age of five, and from what I can gather Mr. Amos was a father figure to him, helping him with his natural gift of music, and discussing world affairs with him.

I would love to know if Mr. Mason has anything to add.

Congratulations on the web site, and best wishes, from Judy Cameron, nee Styles
October 2002

Badsey at its best

Hello, I am a teenager of Badsey and I think that the website is brilliant. It lets people from all over the world know what our village is like and the beauty of the village. I have lived in Badsey for 17 years and it is all at its best.

Kathy Brooks, Badsey
September 2002

Chapel Street

My name is Barry Davies and as a young child I was from 19 Chapel Street, Badsey. My father Bill met Peggy of 19 Chapel Street during the war - they married during the war time years at the church in Badsey. My grandparents also lived at No 19 and most of my family.

Your Visitors Book is fascinating reading. My brother Brian has already sent a message to it.

I now live in a small village called Eastham on the Wirral.

Regards, Barry Davies, Eastham, England
September 2002

Showell surname

I was thrilled to stumble across this website while. I cannot wait to share this with the rest of my family.

Showell is NOT a common name here in the States so to find a place from whence we had possibly come is very exciting. I was born in the county of Wocester; in the state of Maryland in the United States. In fact I was born directly on the coast as if a Showell from Badsey fell into the ocean off the English coast and washed up on the Maryland coast by accident!

I would very much like to visit. In what month is the weather most conducive to walking the area?

Sincerely, Sarah Elizabeth Showell, United States (born 3/26/55)
September 2002

Richard Phillips writes: Yes, Showell is very unusual as a surname. I know nothing more than what we have in our name index but hopefully your letter will get a response from someone who knows more. Do come and visit Badsey. There are some good walks around here. No one can predict the English weather but I would say the best time for walking is from the beginning of May to the end of August. Mid May to mid June is asparagus time.

Website ideas

Hello, I was searching the web for ideas for my own website when I luckily dropped on your site. It is fascinating, I was hooked! Spent hours looking at the history even though it has no relevance to me.

Thoroughly enjoyed it, have bookmarked it, and will be back....

Brian Elsey
July 2002

Does Badsey need more houses?

We wondered if any of your readers had any thoughts or views, whether positive or negative, on the proposed development of a minimum of 35 dwellings within the village. Is it something that the village needs or indeed wants?

Mike Lymn, Badsey
July 2002

Dore family (2)

I want to tell you what an incredible website this is... I am part of the Dore family and stumbled on it as I was killing time at work and thought I might check out Badsey and see what I could find.

My name is James Aaron Rochat (formerly James Aaron Dore) and I was born in Evesham Feb 15th, 1970. We lived in Willersey until my parents chose to emigrate to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 1979. The name Rochat is through my mother re-marrying about 2 years after coming to Canada.

My Grandparents were Arthur Edwin Evans Dore (Bill) and Eileen Louisa Dore. I was fortunate to see them on my Honeymoon in 1993. Grandad passed January 1995 and Nan in October 1997.

I see a picture under "Memories & Photographs" "Class Photo Standard 1" 1924. Arthur Dore is shown, middle row 2nd from the right. I guess this must be my Grandad as he would have been 8 years old in 1924.

I am truly amazed as I also found the picture of their Headstone.

I wish I was able to provide you with more photos to give you for the site but have lost touch with my Dad Jim Dore. I am going to look for my mothers family also.

Anyway congratulations on an outstanding website. It has put a big smile on my face today.

Regards, James Rochat, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
July 2002

Dore family (1)

Firstly let me say that I think this web site is fabulous!

I have been tracing various Vale of Evesham families for almost 20 years and I wish the other villages in the area had similar web sites!    I am currently researching the Dore family of Badsey as one of the daughters, Beata married a Mr. Gilbert of Bengeworth.  The Gilbert family were nail makers and agricultural implement makers of Castle Street, Bengeworth, but also lived at sometime (1880's) in Badsey.

Well done all concerned!   Sarah Minney, Twickenham.
July 2002

Ivy Cottage, Aldington and the Moore family

Some of my ancestors, the Moore family, used to live at Ivy Cottage in Chapel Lane, Aldington. From your website I discovered they had children at Badsey School in the late 1800s. Do you have any additional information about this cottage? I have never ever seen it. Have you any old photos of Aldington which may show the cottage or is it still there and, do you know if it is still called Ivy Cottage?

I live in Doncaster, South Yorkshire. My parents are from Evesham and my Dad from South Littleton.

Can you tell me anything about Aldington Mill? Do you have a list of workers as one of my ancestors was a miller.

My Moore family ancestors also lived at the Old Turnpike, Aldington in the 1880s -1890s.

Yours faithfully Lee Gibson, Doncaster, South Yorkshire.
June 2002

Richard Phillips replies: A mill at Aldington is mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086 . There is no mill marked on the Aldington Enclosure map of 1807 but there is a mention of a Mill Lane in Aldington on the 1851 census. If you look in our Place Index you will find several other references to it. On the 1901 census I found references to three people working at the Aldington Mill including Jerry Sharp the miller.

Keyte family

Hi, what a great website, long may you prosper and grow! I was googling when I came across your site and I was so impressed.

I am researching the KEYTE family, which is very extensive. They came from Chipping Campden, Blockley, Ebrington,Westington,Willersley & surrounding areas, covering Gloucester,Warwick, & Worcester. The KEYTEs married into the KEEN family (on several occasions), the EMMs, the HOLMES,TAYLORS & IZODS also feature in there at various times.

Good luck to all. Michelle Pekali, New Zealand.
June 2002

Hughes and Tomb families

I just wanted to let you know what a great site it is. I noticed your piece in the Family Tree Magazine of February 2002 and immediately went to the website. Over here in Canada we get our British magazines about 6 to 8 weeks late. My husband and I visited the area in 1994, it seems like yesterday. We were touring the UK and doing genealogy, my HUGHES and TOMB families were from Evesham and Norton. We stayed in Evesham and had a great lady, Peggy Hancock give us the tour of the area. We really enjoyed ourselves and it is great to see some of the places we visited turn up on the website. It brings back great memories. It is going to take me weeks or months to go through all the parish records and census you have on the site. Again, thank you for a great site.

Jane Watt, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
May 2002

Maureen Spinks replies: I'm glad you enjoy looking at the Badsey website.  Funnily enough, I met Peggy Hancock for the first time about a month ago.  She was doing some research at Worcester Record Office and spent ages talking to her friend about various Badsey names.  Eventually, curiosity got the better of me, and I went over to talk to me.  She has provided some photographs which can now be seen on the website.

A tingling feeling

I came across your website, when actually doing a search for an Offenham bed and breakfast.  My husband and I are coming to England in November only for two weeks for a family wedding.   I want to have a nostalgia overnight stay in an old English bed and breakfast close to where I lived in Offenham.   However,  in my search it was so exciting to read of Badsey.  I live in Canberra, Australia now, where I came for a two and a half year posting back in 1969!  I lived in Offenham from 1954 until 1969 and my memories of Evesham and surrounds are so nostalgic.  

It was exciting to just see the words 'Littleton and Badsey Railway Station', where I pedaled my bike before catching the train from the station to Stratford-upon-Avon where I did my one year secretarial course at South Warwickshire College of Further Education.  

We used to go to the South Littleton Church. My sister, Jayne, was married there. In fact the main village of South Littleton was about the same distance as the main village of Offenham. We lived on the outskirts of Offenham, on the Evesham Road, in a semi bungalow, called "Maryland" then. The bungalow was in a group of six I think, directly opposite some market gardens in an area which used to be called Newtown. I used to go to Swan Lane Primary School and then I went to Greenhill School for Girls (not sure whether they exist any more).

In the meantime can anyone recommend an Evesham, Offenham, close-by oldish bed and breakfast with a bit of character, which is not expensive?  The rate of exchange is terrifying and we need somewhere charming and not expensive.  

Elizabeth Fisher (nee Adams), Canberra, Australia
April 2002

I hope you have a really good trip over here. I am afraid Littleton and Badsey station is gone but I am sure there will be a lot you will recognise. On B&B, there are a few possibilities in Badsey - see the details on the website.

In a follow up message in July 2002 Liz Fisher added:

My husband, Vince, and I are coming to England for a family wedding. We are staying at Buttercups House in South Littleton for two nights on 3 and 4 December 2002. My parents left Offenham in about 1967, and I have not been back since then. I left home to work in Oxford when I was 18 (1965 I think!).

Just an offchance, but I thought I might mention, in case anyone remembers us, my name was Elizabeth Adams of "Maryland" on the Evesham Road (near Newtown) in Offenham, and my parents (now both dead) were Cyril and Margaret Adams. I have a sister, Jayne. We lived next door to the Cole family (Ray and ? (Mrs??) Cole and children, Margaret, Janet, Audrey and Alan). Audrey lives(?) in Pershore now. (I hope to contact her.) I was very friendly with Audrey and I know her grandfather when he was alive lived in Badsey (a lovely old fellow, very stooped over and went everywhere on his pushbike). Our local church was South Littleton Church which we went to, vicar, Denis Russell.

Margaret Moisey

Thanks for such an interesting website. I am a granddaughter of George and Julia Moisey who owned the house called 'Bredon View'. My mother, Margaret, now 87, is the youngest of their children and the only one still surviving.  

Last summer, I was in Vancouver and met up with two cousins, Bernard and Gordon Agg and their families. Their mother, Rosa Moisey was my mother's eldest sister and she emigrated to Canada shortly after WW1, having married into the Aggs, another well known Badsey family.  

My mother still has amazingly clear memories of growing up in Badsey, especially of the village school, the blacksmith and many of the other families who lived in Badsey in the 1920s.  My mother and I now live in Walsall, West Midlands, although she has lived in various places over the years since she left Badsey - she volunteered to join the army in 1940, I think. I occasionally take her to Evesham for the day but she scarcely recognises the place now.

We have often wondered about the origins of the name Moisey - one suggestion is that it is derived from a family of French Huguenots, possibly weavers, who came to England to escape persecution. Does anyone know?  

With best wishes Alexandra Withnall, Walsall, West Midlands
April 2002

Bell ringing and Charles Binyon

Hello, My name is Roger Savory and I spent the first 19 years of my life living and growing up in Badsey. I'm now 72 years young, and have been living in the United Sates of America since 1978, when my work took me there - and I never returned. Of course, I have visted friends and relations in Badsey during these last 23 years, but it is my childhood memories, in what seems like a distant era now, that still endears me to the village where I grew up.

The reason I am writing is to ask if you would be interested in including a summary of all the "Full Peals" that have been rung on Badsey bells. You mentioned the peal of 5056 changes in the existing web section on Badsey Church bells, which was conducted by my old friend Gerald Hemming from Hampton.

So I was wondering if you might be interested in some "additions" to this section, such as the Peal List for St.James church bells. There were two or three rung on the old six bells at the back end of the 19th Century, but since their augmentation to eight bells in 1902, I would guess there have been about 100 rung.  As you've probably guessed by now, I'm an avid bell ringer and manage to still do a bit, though the chances this side the pond are few and far between. When I do come back to visit the UK, it's definitely for a "fix" of (proper) beer and bells!

I was introduced to the bells in St.James Church by Mr. Charles A. Binyon, on whom you already have an excellent account, of his life and work in the Vale, and Badsey in particular. Did you know he was a bell ringer too?. I've got lots I could tell you about Mr. Binyon and the long lasting influence he had on me and many other youngsters who were fortunate enough to know him and experience his wisdom and kindness.

Well, a love of bell ringing was one of those wonderful things he gave me. And it is still my number one interest and hobby to this day - and thousands of friends later - and from here to Australia and back. By the way, I can answer the question about Canon Allsebrook's surplice going up in flames in the pulpit that not-to-be forgotten Sunday evening - (first hand!).

Very best wishes, and congratulations on a super website, Roger Savory, Chatham N.J. USA
April 2002

Richard Phillips writes: We have replied to Roger saying we would be very interested in an article about his memories of bell ringing and Charles Binyon. Here is our page about the St James Guild of Bellringers.

Hartwell family

I'm trying to find some information on the Hartwell family:  George and Letititia Hartwell and their children, Lillie, George William, Rose and Violet.  I know the history of Rose and of Violet; Violet was my grandmother whom I knew very well.  My mother was Violet's daughter.  I spent my childhood in Badsey; I was born in Chapel Street.  The records only go up to1909.  Hope you can help me or give me a website.

Brian Davies
March 2002

Maureen Spinks replies: You ask if I can give you a website to help you with your researches into the Hartwell family. Well, you’re on the right track already, as the Badsey website contains most of the information you require to take you back six generations. By looking at the surname index, you will be able to see all the Hartwell listings. This is what seems to be your line of descent:

  1. George Hartwell (1760-1823) and Mary (1757-1847)
  2. William Hartwell (1793-1878) and Mary Gray (1802-?)
  3. William Hartwell (1823-1896) and Charlotte Sharp (c1825-1899)
  4. George Hartwell (1866-?) and Letitia Elizabeth (c1871-?)
  5. Violet Annie Hartwell (1899-?) and your grandfather
  6. Violet (your mother) and Mr Davies Brian Davies

I hope people with information on the more recent Hartwells to get in touch with you. The reason that the transcriptions stop at the beginning of the 20th century is because of the need to be careful of data protection of living persons.

Thanks from Florida

After I had finally discovered that my ancestor was from Badsey, I soon discovered your web site. I am descended from Simpsons & Oldakers. The site is absolutely marvelous, as are the volunteers responsible! Thank you so much!!

Best, Peggy Dolan, Florida, USA
March 2002

Dafforne family

I have traced my family history and have come to a stop with the marriage of John Dafforne and Ann Homan in 1642 at Badsey, that is, on the Dafforne side. I have found Ann's baptism at Badsey and have been able to get back to a a marriage of Robert Hierne and Joan Groves in 1589 there.

I have found your website so very interesting and wonder if you are interested in my family tree. I was born Diana Daffurn in Hailes, Gloucestershire but moved to Elm Farm, Wickhamford (where Head teacher of Badsey School, Mrs Mason once lived). My brother, Derrick Daffurn still lives at the family home at Elm Farm. All four of us, that is Derrick, Ramona, Denise and myself all attended Badsey School under Mr. Amos. My husband, David Southern, has also found your site great interest as one of the 1933 letters was written by his father's sister, Violet Southern. He also attended Badsey School until 1943 and was Head Boy under Mr. Amos.

Hoping to hear from you, Diana M. Southern (nee Daffurn)
March 2002

After exchanging emails with Maureen Spinks, Diana kindly provided these extra notes on the Dafforne family:
Only one of the sons of John Dafforne and Ann Homan survived, William, who was my 6 x great grandfather. He died in 1717 at Badsey. He had married Phillipe Webb at Wickhamford in 1686. They had three sons, John, Thomas and William. John died in 1695 aged about fifteen and both Thomas and William left Badsey and made their way to Aston Somerville where they both married and had families. Thomas, my 5 x great grandfather married Hesther Wooton at Aston Somerville in 1714 and five children were baptised, but their was only one son, Thomas, my 4 x great grandfather, who was born in 1715. Thomas married Margaret Cooke at Buckland church in 1749. and they made their home in Laverton, Thomas dying in 1787, a pauper. There were five children from this marriage including my 3 x great grandfather, Edward Daffan. who was born in 1754. Edward was a yeoman farmer and owned nine horses, who were loaned to the King in times of War. Edward married Ann Bennett of Stanton in 1776, and my 2 x great grandfather, Thomas was born in 1788. He was a stonemason and lived at Laverton Meadow Farm, Laverton (built circa 1520) where today it is a thriving bed and breakfast business. Thomas married Jemima Rooke in 1811 in Childswickham and there were ten children, one being my great grandfather, William, born in 1815. William married Hannah Russell in 1852 at Buckland and made his home at Aston Somerville. My grandfather, William George, a farmer at Kemerton and Murcot, was born in 1868 at Aston Somerville. He married Susannah Harris at Worcester in 1893 and my father, Victor Frank, born in 1897 at Aston Somerville, married my mother, Ruth Brake, who was born in USA, at Kemerton in 1925, returning to Childswickham (Murcot) where he helped his father who farmed at Millbrook Farm. My father then moved to Hailes, Gloucestershire, where he farmed for some years, moving to Elm Farm, Wickhamford in 1938. An interesting fact is that name was first spelt DAFFURN in 1757 in the Buckland registers by the vicar, and since then has remained with this unique spelling with few exceptions.

Market gardening letters

I read with interest the letters you have put on the internet regarding my life as the daughter of a market gardener. My name was Dulcie Jelfs (now Cleaver) and I was so thrilled and excited to read a letter I had written at school when I was nine years old. I also recognised the names on the other letters shown. I left Badsey at 12 years of age and moved with my family to Chelmsford in Essex which is still my home. I did however marry a Cleaver from Bretforton in 1942 and we had 56 years of happy marriage with two daughters.

I would like to know if you have heard from the writers of any other of the letters printed and if they are still living locally or have moved far and wide. I would love to hear from you and will continue to read your web site with much interest.

With kind regards, Dulcie Cleaver, Chelmsford, Essex
March 2002

Here is Dulcie's letter written in 1933.

Stanley family

I saw the web site advertised in Family Tree Magazine. Very good indeed. I have a passing interest in the village as I am doing a study of all the STANLEY families in the area (mainly Broadway, Snowshill & Campden) and some of them strayed across into Badsey in the nineteenth century. If anyone shares my interest in this name please pass contact me or visit my webpages.

Good luck with the web site, and the Badsey Society,
Ian Stanley, Cheshire
March 2002

Knight and Phipps families

For anyone who might be interested in a 'stray' Knight I have the following information.

William Knight, born about 1848 in Aston Subedge, Glos, was one of my great, great grandfathers. His father, Joseph Knight, baptised in Badsey on 19th October 1817, is listed on your website as a census stray in the 1881 census (under Aston Subedge). For your information he is also listed in the 1851 census for Aston Subedge.

A further snippet of information relates to John and Mary Phipps, who were my great, great, great grandparents. Although they lived most of their lives in Bretforton they passed their later years in Badsey, appearing in the 1871 and 1881 censuses. Both are buried in Bretforton.

I live in Birmingham and have done so for over thirty years but my parents still live in the village of Mickleton, not that far as the crow flies from Badsey. My father speaks in a broad local accent, full of 'yuds' and 'yunts'. He was fascinated by the Asum Grammar article from your website.

The Knights by the way are related through my father's paternal grandmother - Harriet Amelia Knight married John Edward Moss. The Phipps family are connected through my maternal grandmother's family - her grandparents were Mary Anne Phipps and William Roper Sheppard. Mary Anne was the daughter of John and Mary Phipps.

Thanks for a brilliant website, Barry Moss, Birmingham
February 2002

Tracing the history of my house

I am a Badsey resident and have been very excited to discover the website! I had been considering finding out more information about our house but didn't really know where to start.

I was wondering if you could offer me any advice please as to how I might go about tracing back the origins of my home and the history behind the surrounding plots. We live at Hollycroft on the Bretforton Road (number 23) and I understand that the owners were market gardeners and descendants built the house next to us (number 21A). They then moved into this new house and sold off ours.

I would be interested to find out the names of the original owners if possible, any subsequent owners and if there were any photographs of the house before the surrounding buildings went up.

Many thanks in advance for any advice you can provide,
Kind Regards, Mrs. Nicky Berry, Badsey
February 2002

Richard Phillips writes: Good luck with your project to find out more about the history of your house. Our 'Index of Places in Badsey and Aldington' is a good place to start. This tells me your house has the date 1922 on the front which makes it too recent to appear on any of the published censuses. But there are several other records that may help.

The electoral register for 1924 shows 'SEARS, Frederick. Land (Abode - "Hollycroft," Aldington). Badsey'. I think this means that Frederick Sears was allowed to vote because he owned land in Badsey and his home address was Hollycroft. I am fairly sure this is your house - the boundaries between Badsey and Aldington keep changing over the years. More interesting, from the place index, you will also find a letter written in 1933 by 11 year old Ronald Sears who was living at Hollycroft. It describes in some detail life in a market gardening family.

I cannot tell you if the Sears family were the first owners of Hollycroft but it seems likely. You can find more about that family by going to our name index. I strongly suggest you get hold of the deeds of your house which should give lots of clues about its history. Sometimes solicitors or building societies hang on to the deeds but they should give you photocopies.

We would like to include more house histories on the Badsey website. When you have finished your searches, do consider writing a short article about it for us.

John Keen

Hello,   I wonder if you could possibly help me at all. I am looking for a web page that gives all the info about my grandfather. His name was John Keen, he had three daughters named Patricia, Elizabeth and Jaqueline and a son named Deryk Hartwell of the company Spiers and Hartwell. I am sorry that this is not much info but have been told about a web page giving the history of his life, but cannot find it anywhere. I would really appreciate any help you can give me .Some of my relatives still live in Badsey.    

Many thanks, Sarah Evans
February 2002

Maureen Spinks writes: Thank you for your e-mail.  You don't give any indication of dates, so it's a little difficult to tell which era you are interested in.  If you have a look at the Badsey website,, and click on the alphabetical index, you will see that there are a very large number of Keens and Hartwells.  However, my transcribing of parish records basically stops 100 years ago because of Data Protection of living persons.  I assume that the people you are talking about were born some time in the 20th century.  If you are able to work backwards from yourself, back to your grandparents/great-grandparents, I may then be able to point you in the direction of discovering your family history going back over several centuries.  

Have you looked at the section on called "Children's letters describing market gardening life in 1933"?  Five children by the name of Keen (there were quite a number of Keens living in the village then) wrote letters, including an 11-year-old John Keen.  Is that by any chance your John Keen?


Many thanks for such a wonderful web site. I am so grateful to you for all your research as I have found many wonderful things which have assisted my own research.

I am researching my family which consists mainly of Jelfs/Cranes/Perkins/Hartwells/Halls. I have gone back to 1600s and if anyone would like to swap records or view my findings, I would be happy to share the records.

Amongst the letters from the children on the site is a letter from my great aunt Hilary who still lives in Norton. What handwriting for a 9 year old! Her husband Sid Jobson sadly died a couple of years ago and was a bell ringer. A lovely, gentle man.

I found the pictures of the Jelfs family on your site today - wonderful to think that they are linked with my family although I have to confirm where they join in to our tree. I am going to show Hilary Cranes letter as a 9 year old to her sister (my grandmother) who is now 93 - she will be amazed.

Regards, Hilary Sharp, Reading, England
January 2002

Maureen Spinks writes: Many thanks for your kind comments about the Badsey website.  I have transcribed all the parish records for Badsey (the 1901 census has just gone up on the web), and I have started compiling a dossier on each family to increase my understanding of how everyone fits in.  I am sending you my jottings on the families which are of interest to you.  I am intrigued to know your line of descent and where you fit into the picture.  I have deliberately stopped transcriptions at the beginning of the 20th century because of being careful about Data Protection of living persons, but it would be good to know how you fit in.

Asum phrases

Reading Will Dallimore's article about Asum grammar, I have been trying to remember the Asum dialect. Here are a few phrases you can check with other natives.

Lat ee bee - Of course he is.
Lat ee yunt - Of course he's not.
How bist? - How are you? (note the German 2nd person sing)
How bist thee then? - How are you? (if you haven't met for some time)
Well, oi gutta ell! - Really! ( well I'll go to hell)
Well, Oi gutta anovur! - I'll go to Hanover (how surprising!) (another German connection?)
Oi Oi then. - Cheerio.
Wur hast thee bin? - Where have you been?
Oi bin t'Asum fust then atur t' Bret. - I went first to Evesham then afterwards to Bretforton.
Hast bin t'Uffenum? - Have you been to Offenham?
I hant bin thur. Thee nows oi hant. - I haven't been there. You know I haven't.
It yun aff cold yunnit? - It's really cold isn't it?
Oi gutta ell if it yunt. - I'll go to hell if it's not.
Oi spec usullbee pullin unyuns this marning. - I expect we'll be pulling onions this morning.

Yours, Brian Jennings, Harare, Zimbabwe
January 2002

Asum accent

What a fantastic website, I do admire the effort that must have gone into producing such a high quality, but also very user friendly site.

I have located many of my relatives who attended Badsey school and also appeared in many of your record connections (census etc.). My great great grandfather and many of his relatives appear in these records and I also pleased to tell you that my niece's grand children are currently at your school.I have notified them and several other relatives still living in Badsey and the surrounding area, of your site and highly recommend them to visit it.

Having left the area many years ago, as I have been living in Plymouth for nearly 30 years, the article on the 'asum' accent was really inspiring. I have nieces and their families still in the area, and they don't think that they have a dialect. It is not as well known as the Brummy or Newcastle accents, but it is just as strong amongst the traditional local people.

Thank you once again for such a great website, I will continue to recommend you, and wish you the best of luck for future projects.

Bye for now, Nigel Bell, Plymouth
January 2002

Here is the article about Asum grammar.

Halford family

I would like to congratulate you on your website, and thank You for transcribing all of those records.  I have been lucky enough to find my gg-grandmother on your site.  Her name was Mary Ann HERBERT and you have her Christening and her parents' marriage:
HALFORD, Hannah (f) married 21 Nov 1833 to James HERBERT.
HERBERT, Mary Ann, baptised 24 Jun 1838, daughter of James and Hannah.

It's a great shame that Hannah HALFORD wasn't baptised at Badsey!

Thank you for your superb site, Michelle, Andover, Hants
January 2002

Maureen Spinks writes: Delighted to hear that you have found our website useful.  I have also transcribed some of the records for the neighbouring parish of Wickhamford, but these do not appear on the Badsey website.  You will be interested in the following information from Wickhamford baptismal records:

17 Jun 1798    George, son of Thomas and Alice Halford
20 Oct 1799    Edward, son of Thomas and Alice Halford
16 Sep 1802    William, son of Thomas and Alice Halford
27 Jan 1805    Thomas, son of Thomas and Alice Halford
31 May 1807    Hannah, daughter of Thomas and Alice Halford

The Halfords may well have moved to Badsey soon after Hannah's birth.  You will see that some of Hannah's Halford relations appear in the census returns, and also in the burial records, that Thomas Halford, your gggg-grandfather, died in 1851, aged 82.  

If anyone shares an ancestor with Michelle, please contact her.

Daffon surname - exiles from the French Revolution?

Hi, I'm not from Badsey,(closer to Bardsey!) nor have I ever heard of it before but I found your lovely site whilst looking for my mothers family name (Daffon) on the net.

Searching the People Index, I noticed that all of the Daffons (and similar names) were listed pre-1784, but read a letter from a visitor reminiscing about a schoolmate Dafforne in the 1950's. Where did they go? When did they return?

My own family history relates that the family line fled from France during the Revolution (1789?) as there was an Ironmaster (i.e.richer than average, hence in danger of a topping) and seemed to settle around Birmingham/ Notts/Coventry area, where some still remain. I would be intrigued to find that there may be a link between these families.

Does anyone have any info relating to these families, specifically the apparent disappearance in the late 18th century? Any help would be appreciated.

Regards, Andy Davis, Aberystwyth, Wales
January 2002

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