Messages from 2004

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.

Elizabeth Hartwell

First of all I would like to thank you very much for the work that you have done on the Badsey website. This is a model example of how parish records, censuses, school records and surname family histories can be presented. What an amazing accomplishment. 

My mother's mother was a Hartwell and I have totally enjoyed tracing her family from Ebrington to Badsey to Pensham to Aston and to Trenton and Niagara Falls, Ontario. You have certainly brought to life the Hartwell family in Badsey and confirmed to me that they previously came from Ebrington. Now I have a question about Thomas William Hartwell. You say in your Surname Notes that "Elizabeth Hartwell (1852-), married John Crane in October 1874. Earlier in the year she had given birth to an illegitimate son, Thomas William Hartwell, who was baptised in Badsey in February 1874." Your transcription of the baptismal records, however, shows Sarah Hartwell as the unwed mother of Thomas William Hartwell on 15 February 1874. The IGI name extraction of the parish records also shows Sarah Hartwell as the mother of Thomas William Hartwell. When the census information is added it is clear that Thomas lived with John and Elizabeth Crane. And when Thomas Hartwell's second son was born and the Vicar wrote "commonly known as Crane", more evidence is added. I think that your conclusion is correct. However, there is still the oddity of the baptism. Did the Vicar just mistakenly record Elizabeth as Sarah? Did Elizabeth have two Christian names?

Denis Freel
Warren, New Jersey, USA
November 2004

Maureen Spinks replies: Many thanks for your kind email; it is always good to receive letters of appreciation. I have gone back to my notes about the Hartwells, because as soon as I saw your heading, I remembered there was an issue with this person. I was aware of the inconsistency but had not had a chance to check the parish registers to see if I had transcribed the name correctly. However, I am grateful to Diana Daffurn who checked the register for me. The name in the "Mother" column is most definitely Sarah BUT, in the margin, someone has written "Elizabeth was the mother". So evidently an error was made which was later noticed and a message added. It was as a result of Diana's investigations that I was able to write with confidence that Thomas was the son of Elizabeth. What I forgot to do, however, was to have the note added to the baptism transcript. I will ask the webmaster to add this in.

The Malin Family

I have found some wonderful information about the Malin family on the Badsey website, and would welcome more news, especially from Malin relatives!

My grandmother Ruby Henrietta Malin was born at Hidcote Bartrim in 1888. Her family moved to Badsey and grandmother attended Badsey School from 1891. Her parents John and Susannah Malin were married in 1876.  The marriage was registered at Shipston on Stour. Grandmothers Grandparents were Louisa and Thomas Malin.  Thomas was born in Broadway in 1815. Grandmothers family moved to Birmingham around 1900 and are mentioned in the 1901 census living at Old Farm, Dad's Lane, in the Parish of Kings Norton. Grandmother died in 1969 in Birmingham.  She married Robert Smith of Yardley Wood in 1908?

Pat Widdows
August 2004

Byrd SpottingA Cautionary Tale

I have been doing my family tree for about 6 months now and a friend of mine showed me the website and to my amazement I have found my relatives. I was so pleased to know where they lived and what they did had me speechless. Thanks to the website and you're hard work and time, I found my 6th generation. Hopefully now I can go on and find out more about my Byrd family and hopefully know more about their lives back then.

Thank you so much I feel I have filled the missing pieces.

Jessica Byrd, Australia
August 2004

Maureen Spinks replies: Jessica's initial joy at tracing her ancestors may have been a little premature, as it was based on a precarious link between Jessica's great-grandfather Sampson Byrd and the Byrds which appear on the Badsey website.  Further research has shown that Sampson was not related to the Badsey Byrds but to a family of Byrds from Staffordshire.

Family History researchers, particularly from overseas, please check your links carefully from the present day back to the data which appears on the Badsey website.  Because of Data Protection issues, the parish registers and census returns have only been transcribed for dates of over 100 years ago. It is up to you to fill in the gaps for the last 100 years.  Even if the name you are researching is fairly uncommon, please be aware that in some families there are often frequent occurrences.  If you are unable to search the paper records, the internet is a useful tool, particularly, and  However, with the first website, not all parishes are covered, so always be aware of what information might be missing as well as what is there.  The census website is a valuable resource, but also be aware that there may be transcription errors.  For example, in the 1881 census, the notable Badsey family of SLADDEN appeared as HADDEN.

Jelfs, Lloyd, Cull and Chamberlain families

My Aunt and I are trying to trace our family tree and were delighted to find the Badsey website. Most helpful is the section on the churchyard - congratulations and thanks to Peter Stewart for his hard work - we have quite a few relatives buried in the churchyard, such as my great grandparents Florence and Walter Jelfs, and he has made the job of finding their graves so much easier. We are particularly interested in information regarding the following names:- Jelfs, Lloyd, Cull, Chamberlain and would appreciate any assistance. My mother was Jo (Josephine) Jelfs who was brought up in Ivy Lane, Bretforton with her 4 sisters and 2 brothers and had various relatives living in Badsey and Childswickham.

Dawn Cole, Bath
June 2004

Badsey School and Mrs Jean James

How delighted I was to find the Badsey website and particularly the section about the school. As the Headmaster between 1981 -1987 I look upon it as the happiest time in my professional career! This was made so by a combination of the staff, children, parents and the whole village. How pleased I was that Jean James should be such a large part of the last 30+ years at the school. What a true professional who I'm sure will be remembered with affection for many years to come. I was particularly interested to hear that she now has connections with Murcia in southern Spain, as I myself now live very close by. Does anyone in the village have a contact address or e-mail for Jean? Perhaps someone could pass my address onto her. I shall continue to browse the website and remember a true piece of England!!

Yours, Trevor Clark
March 2004

Memories of 'Cardiff'

My maternal grandparents (Will and May Bigglestone) moved to Badsey in the early 1950's. They owned a house in Badsey Fields Lane. It was situated past a plot of land on the left hand side going towards the footpath to the recreation field. I believe that this piece of land was subsequently used to build a house. Next door to my grandparent's house lived an old lady who I recall was called Mrs. Dore and on the same side of the road a fisherman called Mr. Bunce who set me on a hobby for life when he taught me to fish - visits to the Avon at Evesham and a stream outside the village where there was an old mill pond if I recall correctly. The stream was full of dace.

As a boy I used to spend holidays in the summer in Badsey and got to know some of the village lads and lasses who spoke in a dialect if they did not want me to know what they were saying. To them I was known as "Cardiff" because I came from there. Still do!! We would meet on the rec. in the old wooden stand and climb the tall trees at the Sands Lane end. One boy lived with his family on the right hand side of the road after turning left out of Sand's Lane - he was called Jim. My grandparents name was Bigglestone and they moved away when my grandfather retired from the railway to live in Gloucester. He worked as an inspector of railways based at Honeybourne, I believe.

I remember going to the Blacksmith's shop just past the church and was thrilled to help him pump the huge hand operated bellows to make the fire glow. I cannot forget the smell of the burning hooves when the red hot shoe was presented to the hoof. Fantastic memories of the place.

In a field near the Wheatsheaf Pub was a donkey called Simon who we would visit with titbits. Is the tall tree in the churchyard still there? I have so many memories of your village but I have not been back for many years. I am 60 years of age now but the memories of Badsey are as fresh as though it was only last year.

Alan Solomon, Cardiff.
March 2004

Alan - if you come back to Badsey you will notice lots of changes. The blacksmith is still here, at least until he retires, but sadly the Wellingtonia tree is gone.

Village signs & the website

Having just visited Church Stretton in Shropshire and noticed their big sign with the website address of the town attached I wondered if this would be possible for Badsey? The Bretforton road only has a very small sign " to village Centre" which has to compete with a tree in the summer and a sign for recycling centre the rest of the year. Perhaps a sign which had our website address would generate interest in the village and could be financed with lottery money for example?

Mrs Sarah Horton, Badsey
March 2004

Richard Phillips replies: We would certainly like to see WWW.BADSEY.NET on the village signs. We looked into this about a year ago and suggested it to the Parish Council. I gather getting permission to do this involves miles of red tape. I know of one village (not Church Stretton) who have just gone ahead and done it without getting proper permission and I would personally not object if signs just appeared!

Claybrook Nursery

My Grandfather Emile Anton Ollsson known as Jack owned Claybrook Nursery in Badsey early last century until 1948. I would be interested to know if the nursery is still going.

Jeremy Cowell, Eastbourne, East Sussex
March 2004

We believe Claybrook Nursery has closed although the farm buildings are still there. Can anyone provide more information?

Norah Edith Mary Smith

Just a quick line to say how touched my brother, Terry, and myself were for the lovely comments that have been made about Aunty Norah on your wonderful website. In fact until Aunty's death I was not aware of there even being such a website in existence.

Both Terry and myself would like to thank the many people of Badsey who were friends of Norah's. Until her illness she really had been a stalwart of village life and I am proud to say that she was one of the few really "good" people I have ever come across. She gave willingly of herself, her time and her finances in many ways to many people.

Once again many thanks - Alison Brain and Terry Smith (niece and nephew)
February 2004

How Maurice Harvey came to Badsey

My uncle Maurice Harvey lived at the Manor when he came with the evacuees to Badsey from Birmingham. Up in the attics there was all sorts of graffiti left by the German Prisoners.

Maurice Harvey was a schoolmaster at Prince Edwards Grammar School, Birmingham before the war living in Quinton. At the outbreak of hostilities the school was compulsorily evacuated to the Evesham area. Maurice, his wife Madge, and two children Pamela and Richard were housed in the Manor House. This sparsely furnished rambling house was a cultural shock after their modern home. Having survived a terrible winter trying to keep warm with open fires they moved to a house on a market garden, from memory along the Littleton Road.

I remember helping to sterilise soil using steam pipes from a large portable steam engine. This started my interest in engines which has been a lifetime hobby. When the war was drawing to a close and the school's return planned, uncle decided to try and stay. He had become a countryman growing asparagus and teaching my father the tricks. He applied for the Badsey School headship and moved into the School House.

While war is a terrible business for Uncle it was a blessing and the family enjoyed their Badsey involvement. He lost his brother Henry in the First World War so was well aware of the tragedies. Incidentally his Great Grandfather was Thomas Winter (alias Spring) of Fownhope, Herefordshire who was Champion of England at bare fist boxing having won his title before 40,000 spectators on Worcesters Pitchcroft racecourse. He is honoured in the American Hall of fame. No doubt Maurice stopped many a playground fight. I hope this will give ex-pupils a little insight into their headmaster.

Max Sinclair, Lower Broadheath Worcester
February 2004

For more on Maurice Harvey's time as Head Teacher at Badsey School see The Harvey years (1945 - 1967). Max is also responding to our article German prisoners of war at the Badsey Manor House in 1918.

George Syril

I am trying to find any info on George Syril. He was in the 3rd Gloucester Regiment. He came to Badsey while he was in the army as a friend of the Bayliss Family. George married Linda Hodgkins on 17th November 1919 at Childswickham. George died in 1944 and is buried in the church grounds at St James Church Badsey. If you have any info it would be helpful.

Betty Syril and I live at Guiseley. Leeds
February 2004

Tony Jerram writes: I passed on Betty's enquiry to Desmond Syril of Green Leys Badsey. He is a son of George Syril and he has offered to give Betty information about his father.

The Dovecote (Stewart Cottage) in Aldington

We've just enjoyed browsing through the website and have found it very interesting. We were hoping to find out a bit about the history of our cottage, The Dovecote (formerly known as Stewart Cottage) in Aldington. We would be very interested to know if you have any details, pictures, etc or if not where we could possibly try to track these things down. We hope that you might be able to help.

Many thanks, Matt & Martine Johnson, Aldington
February 2004

Postcard publishing & the Green family

I was very interested in the information about Thomas Walter Green (father and son) in your recent article on Houses that no longer exist. I am researching T.W.Green junr. because he published postcards (or had them published on his behalf) at his toy and confectioner's shop at 58, High Street, Evesham. I have attached some information about him which I found in the Evesham Journal 1914 (he died on 31 July 1914) plus various directory entries. My main interest is researching Worcestershire postcard publishers, e.g. Crisp's Series of Badsey published in Teesee Series (Thompson of Coventry) and Worcestershire history in general. This is a bit difficult as I live in Greenwich which is why I find your website so useful. Hope the information is of some use.

Ted Heath, Systems Librarian Southwark College, London
February 2004

Knight and Daubney families

First let me congratulate all those responsible for a truly amazing website. My late father in law was one of the many bearing the Knight name to hale from Badsey, and it's been an absolute godsend to me in trying to discover his ancestry. Clearly such a wealth of material is bound to contain some interpretations of old writing which others with the benefit of additional material might conclude are probably not correct. I think I've found one such, and I hope you'll be able to check and correct if necessary.

In the index there are references to my wife's ancestor Edwin Knight born in 1844, who married at Badsey church on 30 Nov 1868. According to your index entry to the marriage registers his bride was Sarah DANBREY. The copy of the marriage certificate which I have from the General Register Office shows her surname to be what I read as DAUBNEY, rather than DANBREY. Edwin and Sarah appear in several census entries, all of which give her place of birth as Longborough. In the 1851 census for Longborough (HO 107 / 1790 pages 331 et seq) on schedule 99 are John DAUBNEY and his family, including a daughter Sarah, aged 3. There are six other schedules featuring people bearing this surname, which I assume must be a common one there. By contrast the FreeBMD site, which contains over 70 million entries from the civil registration indexes, has only one person named Danbrey!

With best wishes, Dick Mathews
February 2004

Many thanks for the correction and good luck with your search for more Knights and Daubneys.

Harris and Hancock surnames

I first want to commend you on such a beautiful website. My name is Kathleen Harris, and for the last few months I have been conducting a genealogical search for my surname. In my search, I came across family records from a departed uncle that had kept some family information showing me that my family originated in Badsey England.

Through your site, I have grown fond of what it must have been like to have grown up and lived in Badsey. I have never found another site like this out there. You should be proud.

Now, the most interesting information that I would love to see if you can assist me in. I was looking through the Badsey School photos, and one in particular caught my attention. Badsey School History: The Earliest Years lists a reference to Elizabeth Harris the grandmother of Geoffrey Hancock, and I believe it was submitted by Geoffs wife Peggy. (I have her surname in our records as Margaret Mary Ingles) This is my family - the Harris/Hancock side. I would love to see if there is a way to get this message to them, and confirm such.

See Elizabeth, was the sister to my Great Great grandfather, who left England for New York, USA. I had been stuck for many years at his line, until I found the records. To know that there are others with relations to me still living, let alone in the Badsey area makes me more than interested to reach out and learn more. Could you offer advice on how I could get the word to them, and others?

If you can, I greatly appreciate it. If not, then I shall continue to search and will remain a faithful visitor to this site. Wishing more towns/villages would take the effort to document their history as you have done.

Much appreciation, Kathleen Harris, Boston, Massachusetts US
January 2004

Maureen Spinks replies: Thank you very much about your kind comments about our website. Peggy Hancock is a keen family historian and a member of The Badsey Society, but is not a computer user. She lives in Evesham, so I will put a copy of your e-mail through her door. In the meantime, could you let me know your postal address, please, so that I can pass this information on to her. I see that Elizabeth Harris had two brothers, Thomas and David. Which one are you descended from? When did he go to the USA? Do you have any information which would be of interest to the website?

Ivory carvers

I came across your website whilst trying to find information on ivory carvers in England and I note that Bertram Jones's great grandfather was also an ivory carver. Does anyone know his name? My ancestor Thomas Moody Jacobs(1805 - 1851) carried on the same craft in Manchester, Liverpool and London and I wondered whether there was any possibility of a connection. Can you help please?

Yours faithfully, Margaret A Roberts (Mrs)
January 2004

Maureen Spinks replies: Thank you for your enquiry. I'm afraid nothing is known about Bertram Jones' ancestors. He and his wife moved from London to Badsey during the Second World War, to escape the bombing.

Parker and Warmington families

First of all congratulations on your excellent website. We have a couple of Campden websites, but yours is one I shall tell them they must emulate - though I doubt if we shall find anyone with the time or energy to do so. The Historical Society archives are mainly held as hard copy, though we have a growing amount of photographic records and oral history on computer.

I am interested in the Warmington, Bennett and Parker families of Badsey - all ancestors of mine. This is not a request for information, but I hope it might be helpful for your archives to fill in a few links.

The Parkers at The Manor House. About 1850 a young farmer, Edward (or William) Parker and his elder sister Prudence, or Prudence Grace, (both unmarried) moved into Manor House (folio 335 on the 1851 Badsey census). They were the son and daughter of William and Mary Parker and I imagine the house and farm had been bought - or leased - for them by the parents. The father, William had been born in Welford, where the Parker line stretches back to to the very early 18th century and probably earlier. William senior later moved from Welford, apparently first to Pillerton Hersey where in 1824 he married a Mary Smith of that village. Although originally a farmer, the couple later moved to Warwick and he may have taken up another occupation or profession.

By 1861, William and Mary, now retired, had moved into the Manor House with their son, (f.73; 1861) who was now married. (Your version of the census says Emilia Parker was William junr's sister; in fact she was his wife). Edward (henceforth always called William) by then had three children. It is interesting that all of the children were named after relatives : William Corbett (Corbett was the maiden name of Emilia) Emiia Grace, and Prudence Mary. Edward's sister Prudence Grace (of whom more later) had by then left the house. The elder Parkers are buried near the church door in Badsey, and Mary's grave states she was 'of the Manor House'.

The Warmingtons. Also by 1861, William Warmington had moved into Badsey and was at the Bell Inn. William was the youngest son of John Warmington of Wilmcote. John had moved to Wilmcote from Bidford (or possibly Marlcliff) as a young man to work in the newly opened quarries there. He had later married the daughter of the landlord of the Swan Inn in Wilmcote (later known as the Swan House Hotel, and now, I believe, Arden House Hotel). He had thus inherited the Swan. Having given up his former occupation, he farmed as well as being a brewer and publican. William followed in his footsteps and at the time of his marriage in 1854 he was farming in Dorsington. William had in fact married Prudence Grace Parker from Badsey Manor House.

Allan Warmington, Chipping Campden
January 2004

Sadly, Allan Warmington died in 2007. For more on the Warmingtons and Parkers, including some photos, see our Research Interests page.

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