Messages from 2005

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.


George Harwood

Hi, I have just found your records for my Great Great Grandfather George Harwood who was born about 1836 in Church Lench and the correspondence about the Harwood family. George's grandson Thomas Henry Bennett, son of Emily, settled here in Cheshire during the 1st world war after being sent to the British Red Cross hospital at Wilmslow and marrying a local girl, Leah Birtles. I am their granddaughter.

Your site has been of great interest. I am looking for information on George's parents: a member on Genes reunited has given me his father's name as Benjamin born in Birlingham in 1795.

Regards, Pam Preston, Cheshire pamela.preston@lineone.net
November 2005


Winnett family

My sister and I are researching our family tree and history and we have noticed that some of our family originate in the Arrow and Warwickshire area including places like Evesham and Alcester. It was whilst looking on your site I noticed a few entries for the "Winnett" family and was wondering if you or someone could possibly shed some light on who they were, where about's they lived/came from?

Stuart Doughty and Sally Taylor STaylor@365healthcare.com
November 2005


Magnifique website—music to our ears

My sincere thanks to all those who took the trouble to transcribe the registries of births marriages and burials, as well as the monuments, of St James Badsey. I am a Seward descendant, and the discovery of your website has added immeasurably to my pitiful knowledge of the family, as well as confirmed the marriageof my ancestors Elinor Seward and Richard Hall, together with the date of their union.

The worldwide web is a wonderful research tool, but without the efforts of all of you, I would have struggled for years before finding any of this information, if at all.

Super website, really interesting, I shall visit Badsey (for the first time) when I am next in England.


Helen Wagner née Kingham     helen.wagner@sncf.fr
July 2005

Editor replies:

Although this website is run by a team of voluntary contributors, special thanks must go to the following members of that team:- Maureen Spinks for the collation and transcribing of the births, marriages and deaths, school records and census returns. Peter Stewart for the monumental inscriptions, and Richard Phillips, for the transposition of all of this data onto the webpages.


Two old Badsey families—a new dawning

I grew up in Badsey and still feel that's where my roots are. When I was younger my nights were spent at the Badsey Cricket Club!! My great grandmother was Emma Knight who married John Collett and so linked these two well-known Badsey families together. I have traced my family history back to late 1500's and it's fascinating (it inspired me to write my first book!). I lived with my mum, Doreen Collett, brother Alan and Grandad (Samuel John Collett known as Jack) on the corner of Sands Lane. I still have family living in the village so I do come back to visit and it still feels like home.

Congratulations on your wonderful website.

Dawn Kendrick
   dawn@kend9.fsnet.co.uk
July 2005


The Badsey Family—all routes start here

I am very interested in the surname Badsey that you have been researching. My maiden name is Badsey and our family has lived at Leamington Spa for the past seventy years. I don't have much knowledge of our family history as I have not had time to research it. But since going on the Internet I feel I would like to find out more, and what better way to start than looking up the village Badsey. I have often driven passed the signs and wondered about it. If anyone has any information about the Badsey family I would appreciate hearing from them.

Maureen Spinks replies:

I am sure your forebears almost certainly came from Badsey. However, the Badseys had gone from Badsey by the end of the 17th century (the last recorded mention being 1682). If you can fill in the intervening 300+ years, then I am sure you will find a match with a Badsey of Badsey ancestor! All that is known about the Badsey family when they lived at Badsey is shown on the Badsey website. You will need to start from the present-day and work backwards, but I hope that you will find the research rewarding. As anyone who has delved into family history knows, it can be a very time-consuming hobby, but well worth it in the end.


Audra Taylor
Leamington Spa audra.t@ntlworld.com
July 2005


Son of a Preacher Man

I have recently discovered a couple of photographs of Badsey Vicarage as it was when I was growing up there as a child.  Hope all is well in my favourite village.  

My eldest daughter is getting married at Broadway in November. I am taking a couple of days off before the wedding to take my young children on a short tour of the Evesham area to show them where I grew up, so I will obviously be including Badsey in the list.

 Jonathan Braby
Cambridgeshire  jonathan-braby@supanet.com
July 2005


Idiens Family

The Idiens family suddenly swam into my field of vision when I discovered that Major Albert John Orchard (1881-1963), of the Indian Army took leave in 1914 to marry Miss Edith Mary Idiens (c1886-1981) at Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria, British Columbia, on 4 July 1914. He was stationed at Jubbulpore as a captain in the 8th Rajputs; she was the second daughter of Alice and John Idiens (a merchant) who had migrated from Evesham to 2625 Roseberry Avenue, Victoria, British Columbia, not many years before. In the English census for 1891 (RG 12/2335, p 3) John Idiens is recorded as a merchant, aged 38, and born in Birmingham, Warwickshire; and his wife Alice Idiens as aged 37 and born at Tettenhall, Staffordshire.

On their wedding day, the couple left on the 3 o'clock boat for Vancouver on their way to England, where they were to stay for three weeks and then proceed back to India. Two of her brothers, both born at Evesham, joined the Canadian Army in the Great War (1914-18): Stanley South Idiens, a bank clerk, born on 18 May 1891, joined on 16 October 1916; and the other, evidently a dyslexic chap born on 24 December 1883, was what he called a "solisitor" who had two served two years in the "yemonary." Of course Edith Mary Idiens did not join the army and so I do not have her birth date, only her appearance, aged 4, in the 1891 English census (RG 12/2335, p 3). At some time in 1920, after the Great War, the Orchards settled in Victoria, where they had two sons and a daughter and lived mainly at 3329 Linwood Avenue. It was there that he died, aged 81, on 13 June 1963, leaving his wife and their daughter Alice at home. Mrs. Orchard lived to be 95 and died on 26 December 1981.

The Idiens seem to have migrated in force: several went up Vancouver Island to Comox and lived and died there.

Maureen Spinks replies:

Thank you for your email. The Idiens family had a few connections with Badsey: John Idiens had business connections in the village; he was a School Manager from 1902-1904; and his eldest son, Harold, married a Badsey girl, Elizabeth Helena Crisp, a former pupil and teacher at Badsey School.

I've just had a quick look in the index of the 1901 census and see that the Idiens were living then at Wickhamford (the next village to Badsey).  Five of their children lived there (Harold, Albert, Walter, Doris and Stanley). I couldn't find Edith Mary Idiens anywhere on the 1901 census. The story goes that the Idiens lived very briefly at Wickhamford Manor (a beautiful old building with lovely gardens) but then lost all their money and emigrated to Canada.  Are you descended from John and Alice?  If you are, if you're ever visiting England, it would be worth staying there (they do bed and breakfast accommodation) to see what your inheritance might have been!

In a further email, John Bosher writes:

In the 1901 census I find Edith Mary Idiens (indexed as Idiers), aged 14, living with Mary South at what looks like 11 Clarendon Street, Wolverhampton, Staffordshire [RG 13/2673, p 25]. Also there were her own sister Alice M. Idiens (aged 15) and two of Mary South's daughters: Sarah and Mary South.  There were only these five women plus a "general domestic" servant girl.

"Lost all their money" would explain why the Idiens emigrated. The agricultural depression in England towards the end of the 19th century, and heavier taxing of landowners, as David Cannadine explains in his books, certainly put pressure on the countryside. My Readings grandparents left rural Berkshire in 1905, where they had been brickmakers, and were followed in 1919 for similar reasons by my Bosher grandparents, gardeners on a big estate near Bracknell when it was still a village.  The Idiens were not my forebears! Still, it would be fun to stay at the Wickhamford Manor, but I won't manage it this year.


John Bosher
Canada jfbosher@sympatico.ca
June 2005


Wendy Hobbs—a stitch in time!

I have just discovered your website and was delighted to renew my memories of Badsey and I was particularly interested to see the enquiry about Claybrook Nurseries.

My parents, Claude and Irene Hobbs, and I moved to Badsey in 1953 from the Cheltenham area. My father managed Claybrook Nurseries for Peter Fearis of Barnwood, Gloucester. The Fearis family owned a chain of grocery shops in towns such as Gloucester and Worcester. The nursery supplied tomatoes and other salad crops to the stores, as well as growing carnations and many other flowers and pot plants. The Fearis business was bought by the supermarket chain Fine Fare who later sold it to Jimmy Collett who I believe came from Chipping Campden. My father retired about 1968 and we moved to 54, Bretforton Road. I don't know who owned Claybrook after Mr Collett but the nursery fell into disrepair and when I last visited it in 1994 it was in a derelict, sorry state.

I attended Badsey School and was intrigued to see pictures of the trip to Cheddar and Cardiff. What a mammoth excursion! I must have joined the school after this trip as I am sure I did not participate. We arrived in Badsey just after the Coronation. I can remember being given a Coronation mug by our neighbour, Mr George King. I still have it. I joined the class of a rather kind young male teacher whose name I cannot now remember and I think Mrs Peet was my teacher for the top class; such an elegant lady with her grey hair in a neat bun. I also remember Miss Barnard, Mrs Osborne and Miss Smith. Mrs Peet took the girls for needlework and I have vivid memories of struggling to make a half petticoat in our final year. Other memories are of singing in the school choir and attending a school music festival; held at Blackminster School I think. I remember being mortified on that occasion at finding, during the concert, a pipe cleaner still rolled into my hair. The evidence of mother's efforts to give me curls! 

My mother was a member of the WI so it was great to see a mention of the skiffle group. I remember it well. Mum played the tea chest double bass.

Does anyone else remember the Red Cross cadets? Badsey had no Girl Guides or Brownie groups but Mrs Brazier (whose husband was the local builder) ran the cadets from her home in the High Street. We were taught First Aid and the District Nurse (Miss Davies) prepared us for our Home Nursing certificate. We marched in Remembrance Day parades. In the summer, for some reason, we did needlework! Preparing us to do the odd bit of suturing maybe?

Wendy Ellis (nèe Hobbs)) 
Manningtree, Essex randwellis@tiscali.co.uk
March 2005


Knight family tree—more roots discovered down under!

May I add my congratulations to the many and well-deserved plaudits you have already received for your excellent website? 

I have been researching my family's history seriously for only twelve months, and only recently stumbled across your website. It is a veritable goldmine of information, and it is particularly exciting to make such a find when labouring under the difficulty of trying to compile information from the other side of the world. 

My great-grandmother was Charlotte Knight (b. 1833), a daughter of Valentine Knight (1799-1849) and Sarah Houghton (1800-1866). Charlotte married William Houghton of Harvington in December 1860. She spent the rest of her life in Harvington, where she died in September 1902, attended by one of her daughters, who lived next door to her. Charlotte produced two daughters and a son, William Edwin Houghton (1869 - 1918), who subsequently had twelve children, of whom my father was the youngest. My grandfather was an employee of the Midland Railway, at Upton on Severn, Gloucester, Bristol and finally Bromsgrove, where he was Railway Traffic Inspector at the time of his death. 

I read with interest the entries in your Visitors Book from other Knight family descendants, and would dearly love to examine the 14-foot-long Knight family tree. 

Please keep up the good work; your website is a benchmark for other local history groups to aspire to.

Keith Houghton
Sydney, Australia  houghtons@dodo.net.au
March 2005


Head girl remembers what the tortoise taught us!

I would just like to say how much I have enjoyed your website. I am doing family history research at the moment and found the parish records and church records section the best I have ever come across. 

I went to Badsey School from 1959-1965 so it was lovely seeing the faces I remembered and the names of the teachers. I have a class photo with Mr. Morton in 1963. I was Head Girl in the academic year Sept 1964 to July 1965 with Stephen Tucker as Head Boy. Stephen proposed to me on the school turtle/ tortoise when we were 5 but sadly I went to Evesham High School (Four Pools) and Stephen went to Blackminster so true love never blossomed!!. 

I went on to have a successful academic career at Evesham High and was the first pupil at the school to get a place at an Oxbridge College. The year 1972 and I went up to Girton College, Cambridge It was a good year for Evesham schools, Wendy Thomas from Prince Henry's went to Newnham in the same year and our stories were covered in the Evesham Journal. Wendy and I both read Natural Sciences with both of us graduating in 1975. 

I then went on to the Welsh National School of Medicine in Cardiff to do my Ph.D. followed by post-doctoral research at Birmingham University. I then worked for 21 years service in the Forensic Science Service, retiring early last year when I reached 50, after contributing to the development of the service including the implementation of the National DNA database. 

I would like to pay a tribute to all the staff at Badsey both teaching and non teaching for making my early school life so happy and setting me on a wonderfully fulfilling career path. Thank you all. 


Sara Westwood (nèe Kitcher)  sara.westwood@btinternet.com
February 2005


William Barnard and his Descendants

I have been researching the Barnard family for some years and have accumulated a lot of material on William (parish clerk, schoolmaster, postman and tailor through the 19th century).

I have all of my direct line back to William and their siblings linked up. Also, I know that the wife of a descendant of Joseph (William's son) is researching. Between us we should be able to cover two branches of the family. 

However, there are cross links into other Badsey families (Addis, Walker, more recently Merrett, certainly more) and there might be some value in attempting a more ambitious Village Tree. I am too busy to do this at present (Birmingham Poet Laureate this year - Badsey seems to breed poets) but will be happy to share my tree with any willing volunteer.  "Intermarriage in a 19th century village" - would make a good research project for a student.

I think the Badsey website is splendid, well-built and an enormous benefit to us exiles.  Thanks to all who work on it.

Don Barnard (son of Edwin "Ted", born Brewers Lane, had land at Horsebridge and later Knowle Hill).
Leamington Spa, Warks  don@semicolon.demon.co.uk
January 2005

See also William Barnard 1803 - 1892 an article written by Don Barnard.


Dones and Jelfs Families

Congratulations on an excellent website and thank you to all who have worked to provide such a wealth of valuable and interesting information. 

I am researching the family of my husbands great great great grandfather Samuel DONES, b. cl820 in Badsey, (son of Thomas DONES labourer) who married Emma VALE on 18 Nov 1847 in the Parish Church, Dumbleton, Gloucestershire. 

After checking the information on your site I believe that our Samuel could be the Samuel DONES bpt. 9 Jul 1820 St James Church Badsey, son of Thomas DONES and Hannah JELFS who were married on 26 Dec 1816 in St James Church Badsey. 

As this is still to be confirmed I would appreciate any assistance or advice you can give regarding the DONES and JELFS families.

Joy Earnshaw
NSW Australia  me_kundle@yahoo.com.au
January 2005


Harwood and Harward—Good Relations?

Congratulations! Your website is fascinating, and a benchmark for excellence as a tool to help family research.

Your census strays show that John Harwood was resident in Leamington Priors at the time of the 1851 census. Although he is mentioned as having been born in Badsey in 1802 there seems to be no record of his birth in the parish records either in that year or thereabouts. 

Were the Harward and Harwood families related?

Steven Powers stevenandlizzie@yahoo.co.uk
January 2005

Maureen Spinks replies: The John Harwood you mention is a bit of a mystery.  I am assuming he is the same person as John Harwood who died at Badsey in April 1876, aged 74.  As far as Badsey records are concerned, his burial is very much of a stray, as he occurs nowhere else in the records - no baptism, no marriage, and he does not feature in any census return.

The name HARWARD has featured in Badsey records since records began in the 16th century.  However, this name had died out in Badsey and Aldington by the mid 18th century.  The name reappeared as HARWOOD in the mid 19th century, but I don't know if they were descendants of the HARWARDs or not.  Certainly, there's no record of John or any other HARWOOD or HARWARD being baptised at the beginning of the 19th century in Badsey. There are still HARWOODs in the area today, and they are all descended from George Harwood, who was born at Church Lench about 1836, and who moved to Aldington in the 1860s.  George Harwood is described in an out-of-print book, "Grain and Chaff from an English Manor", by Arthur Savory.  Arthur Savory was a tenant farmer at Aldington Manor and George Harwood, or "Jarge", (the Asum Grammar pronunciation of George) as he referred to him in the book, was his foreman. This is an excerpt from the book: 

"Jarge was one of the most prominent characters among my men. He was not a native of the Vale, coming form the Lynches (sic), a hilly district to the north of Evesham. He was a sturdy and very excellent workman. He did with his might whatsoever his hand found to do, and everything he undertook was a success. The beautifully trimmed hedge in front of his cottage-garden proclaimed his method and love of order at a glance. Jarge was a wag; he was the man who, like Shakespeare’s clowns, stepped on to the stage at the critical moment and saved a serious situation with a quaint or epigrammatic expression. Owing to the somewhat unconvincing fact of his wife’s brother being a gamekeeper on the Marquis’s estate near Jarge’s native village, he had acquired, and retained through all the years of my farming, a sporting reputation; he was always the man selected for trapping any evil beast or bird that might be worrying us; and when the cherries were beginning to show ruddy complexions in the sunshine, and the starlings and blackbirds were becoming troublesome, armed with an old muzzle-loader of mine, he made incessant warfare against them, and his gun could be heard as early as five o'clock in the morning, while the shots would often come pattering down harmlessly on my greenhouse. Jarge was an instance of superior descent; his surname was that of an ancient and prominent county family in former days; he carried himself with dignity and was generally respected; he possessed the power of very minute observation, and was of all others the man to find coins or other small leavings of Roman and former occupiers of my land. His eldest daughter was a charming girl and, when Jarge became a widower, she made a most efficient mistress of his household. She showed, too, quite unmistakably her descent from distinguished ancestry. Tall, clear-complexioned, graceful, dignified and rather serious, but with a sweet smile, she was a daughter of whom any man might have been proud, to my thinking, she was the belle of the village, and she made a very pretty picture in her sun-bonnet, among the green and golden tracery of the hop-bine in the hopping season accompanied by the smaller members of the family. At the "crib" into which the hops are picked, many bushels proved their industry, and there were no leaves or rubbish to call for rebuke at the midday and evening measurings."


Messages received in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004 appear on separate pages.