Off to England

Discussion in 'Hobby/Travel Forum' started by Joseph M. Smith, Mar 17, 2006.

  1. Joseph M. Smith

    Joseph M. Smith
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    I will probably not be posting for about two weeks, unless I end up in an Internet cafe with time on my hands, as my wife and I are off to England tomorrow. She is a native who has to go get her accent refurbished every now and then.

    My father-in-law was a Baptist pastor, serving churches in Bath (where my wife was born), Birmingham, and Huddersfield. He then taught at Rawdon Baptist College in Leeds before the family came to the US in the early 1950's so that he could teach at Southern Seminary in Louisville.

    His brother was also a Baptist pastor, serving in Luton, Stevington, and other locales. His widow lives in Hawkhurst in Kent. We have worshipped at the Hawkhurst Baptist Church in times past. This trip we hope to get to Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church in London on our first Sunday and on the second Sunday, when we will be in Gloucestershire, may go with our hosts to Marston Baptist Church, where they (the hosts) will be singing as part of a choir that does the old shape-note singing selections.

    Because we will also be looking for clues to Margaret's ancestry, we think we will stop in at the Trinity Baptist Church in Bexleyheath, Sittingbourne Baptist Church in Sittingbourne, and Highfield Road Baptist Church in Dartford, all churches with which her family were deeply associated many years ago.

    If any of the Brits on this bulletin board know these locations and would care to tell us what we may find in these churches, I'd be glad to hear .. if you post before Saturday evening, March 18!
     
  2. Gwen

    Gwen
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    I hope you and your wife have a wonderful time! I love England. My son studied at Oxford for a year and we went to visit him there. It was wonderful, and we had the best time.

    I pray travelling mercies for you!
     
  3. PastorSBC1303

    PastorSBC1303
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    Have a good time!
     
  4. PamelaK

    PamelaK
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    Sounds like much fun! Have a great trip!
     
  5. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    Bring your woolies - it is COLD here right now.

    Colder here than in Moscow yesterday.

    [ March 18, 2006, 03:54 AM: Message edited by: C4K ]
     
  6. standingfirminChrist

    standingfirminChrist
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    have a blessed trip.

    and bring back a souvenir.
     
  7. mcdirector

    mcdirector
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    What Fun! Have a wonderful time!
     
  8. Joseph M. Smith

    Joseph M. Smith
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    Thanks for the well-wishing. C4K was absolutely right about the weather .. cold, windy, wet. We accomplished a lot in family history research and have photos of the memorial stones laid at Sittingbourne Baptist Church by my wife's great-grandmother in 1883 and at a subsequent construction project by .. are you ready .. her grandmother (above great-grandmother's child) at the age of 2!! Church members think she must have been chosen as a representative child of the church.

    A visit with my wife's aunt in Hawkhurst leads us to believe, from her report, that there are some very vigorous Baptist congregations in Britain, experiencing renewal. But it would seem that the non-denominational megachurch trend has hit that country, just as here in the US.
     
  9. Gwen

    Gwen
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    Glad you had a good time! It's wonderful that you had a productive time researching your wife's family. I would love to take a trip to England/Scotland to do some research on my family. They were Quakers in England and Presbyterians in Scotland. All became Baptist after coming to this country.

    Welcome home! [​IMG]
     
  10. Joseph M. Smith

    Joseph M. Smith
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    I see that St. Andrew's Cross, Gwen! One of my wife's grandfathers was Scottish, and so we have very little information about his ancestors. You have to use a different set of archives, in most cases. The frustration we had with the Family Records Centre in London is that you cannot see even copies or microfiches of actual birth/marriage/death certificates. You have to order them at a hefty fee. But sometimes that is the only way to know a female ancestor's maiden name and then trace back her family of origin.

    I did not get into my own family history, but I know that one of my ancestors came to North America from the Isle of Wight in the 17th Century, and that others came from Wales -- thus my Welsh middle name (Miles). I intend to try to find not only names and dates but also religious commitments .. I suspect some of them were dissenters/noncomformists way back to the 16th C.
     
  11. Gwen

    Gwen
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    Yes, I discovered that you have to search for Scottish records in Scotland! Edinburgh had a wonderful research facility. Hope to visit it someday. It is very costly to order records by mail.

    One of my problems with research in the UK is that my people came over to America so long ago. The records are so old, and I'm sure some no longer exist, if they ever did to begin with.

    I had some dissenters in my line, too. One of my ancestors, Honora Skipwith, was martyered for her Quaker faith at York Castle.

    Have you tried searching the UK records online? I have tried with no luck.

    God Bless!
     
  12. Joseph M. Smith

    Joseph M. Smith
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    As for old records ... we went to the Center for Kentish Studies in Maidstone, having been told that the archives for Sittingbourne Baptist Church were there (as it happens, only some marriage records were available). But the Center says that it has documents going back to 604 AD!

    It is really a "trip" to stand in some village church and read its information, telling you that the worship of God has been conducted on that space since the 7th Century!
     
  13. EdSutton

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    Didja bring me back a Tee-shirt? :rolleyes: [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    No? Well, glad you had a good trip anyway.
    Ed [​IMG]
     
  14. Kilad

    Kilad
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    I was stationed over there from 91 to 94. Man what a great time. Bath is a neat town and the Roman Baths there are worth the trip alone. Have a wonderful time I know I want to get back if I ever can, still so much more to see.
     

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