Friday, 6 April 2012

The Rectory Path

The Rectory Path
 In the old Churchyard, there is a rough path leading from the church to the old rectory next door. I use it to deliver eggs  and often read the inscriptions on the graves as I go.
Many of the older gravestones were removed and levelled by the council nearly 40 years ago now.
It was the fashion then for old, previously unkempt graveyards to be streamlined and cleared of "clutter" in order for the bigger sit on lawnmowers to gain access.
It was such a shame, as some wonderfully historic stones were removed or downed, their inscriptions fading away under grass, lichen and rainfall, but at least, thanks to the likes of my animal helper Pat, before the stones were altered, historical information was documented from the stones to be held in the records department at Hawarden
There is one gravestone, by the path that has caught my imagination. It is the grave of three siblings all from a farming family of Morgan who lived in the imposing farmhouse "Ochr-y-Gop" which still can be seen just off High Street.
In 1903 Arthur the 17 year old son of Edward and Mary Morgan died and was buried, followed in 1906 by his 28 year old sister Eleanor and then a year later their 26 year old brother Edward was buried there too

The Morgan "sibling" gravestone
I have no way of knowing just why these three siblings died. I cannot find their parents grave either, but I have sort of promised myself  that I will find a little more about who they all were and how and why they all died in such a short timescale of one another.
My first port of call will be the farmhouse itself, as I know brother and sister, Basil and Mona, who have lived their all of their lives. They may be able to furnish me with my first clue about the Morgans.

36 comments:

  1. So many stories begin and end in graveyards...

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  2. I love mysteries and old graveyards. I can't wait to read your posts about the Morgan family.

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  3. What a tragedy for their family, or what was left of them.
    Have you tried the local history section in the nearest library? Newspaper archives are great (and very, very addictive.)

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  4. The older graveyards are fascinating places. And often both beautiful and peaceful too. I will look forward to whatever you can find out about this family. Too many tragedies, too close.

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  5. I do love a good mystery John...looking forward to your investigations!

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  6. An old churchyard, site of so many grave undertakings.

    Have fun with your detective work. I hope you find us a surprising story.

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  7. History is all around us. I wish you good luck in uncovering this local mystery. TB? Spanish flu? Or maybe different endings. Then perhaps you'll create a short story about it called "Going Gently" and it'll sell like hotcakes and there'll be a TV series and you'll be interviewed on a late night arts programme by Melvyn Bragg...and...

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  8. History is all around us. I wish you good luck in uncovering this local mystery. TB? Spanish flu? Or maybe different endings. Then perhaps you'll create a short story about it called "Going Gently" and it'll sell like hotcakes and there'll be a TV series and you'll be interviewed on a late night arts programme by Melvyn Bragg...and...

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  9. What an exciting quest...can't wait to hear the tale.

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  10. They are all quite recent-ish, so death cert's must be available (somewhere).

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  11. Unusual for siblings of that age to be buried together.

    Good luck with the research.

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  12. I agree with Cro, there must be records of some sort.
    Only thing is they are all going to be in script. It was quite popular to fill out official forms in writing that no one can read. And then there's the question of what language since your village has turned over a few times.
    Good luck. You've picked a good one to investigate.

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  13. Looking forward to the next installment!

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  14. You have a lot of curious readers waiting out here...Great Expectations. Although that didn't start in a graveyard.

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  15. Yes please. I want to know more. So often tiny children back then would die one after another but those in their 20's...makes you wonder. And WHY WHY WHY take down gravestones so some lardbottom doesn't have to walk with a mower. Priorities all messed up.

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  16. Hope this helps. I had a quick look at www.freebmd.org.uk - it's a site I've used many times while tracing my family tree.

    Arthur Morgan- aged 17- death registered in the September quarter of 1903 in the district of Holywell Volume 11b page 134

    Eleanor Morgan - aged 28 - death registered in the March quarter of 1906 in the district of Holywell Volume 11b page 141

    Edward Morgan- aged 26- death registered in the district of Holywell Volume 11b page 131

    If you wanted to know cause of death etc you could order the death certificates though they are costly - £7.50 each last time I ordered any and that's ages ago. You need the name, district number, volume number and page number.

    Can you tell I'm bored because I've been laid low with tonsillitis!

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  17. ** Edward's death is registered in the December quarter - you may need to give that info aswell if you decide you really want to know and order certificates!

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  18. Good to know that some of the gravestone information has been saved.

    What a wonderful mystery. Good luck!

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  19. There may even be some relatives left in the village?

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  20. The deaths may well be from TB John - in the village in Lincolnshire where I grew up, nearly every family lost a child during the late thirties - it was a scourge.

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  21. You will have to keep us posted on this mystery. Could old copies of the local paper shed any light on it?

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  22. SCARLETT
    thank you so much for that, I am new to this searching lark!

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  23. I love a mystery especially involving old graveyards. I am an ardent fan of and have all the BBC's Miss Marple series recorded.

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  24. Interesting. It could be TB, as already mentioned, or smallpox. As for burying all together, maybe they had intentions of having a family burial plot, but the parents, having buried their children moved or or when they died, they were simply buried someplace else.

    In one old graveyard in my home town, there was a small unmarked grave, set apart from the others. My Girl Scout leader (like Girl Guides) explained that it marked the grave of a little girl who died of smallpox. They kept her grave within the confines of the graveyard proper, but away from the others, since she was a smallpox victim. It gave me the chills when she told us that.

    megan

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  25. I am also fascinated by the stories tombstones have to tell... good luck investigating...
    And on a side note while I didnt get the old "bird stink eye" into my most recent post..... maybe soon I will?
    Dare accepted!

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  26. This is how Jerry became obsessed with genealogical research. The stories can be fascinating and the exploration is usually filled with surprises.

    There's an old (for USA standards) cemetery near Yale University. My two favorite epitaphs were: 1) "She did what she could;" and 2) "I told you I was sick."

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  27. You are very welcome John. I've also found what looks like Edward's birth, and a possible marriage for him. If you want me to see if I can find anything for the parents just email me - the address is on my blog.

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  28. Damn. Another good blog title which disappointed me. I thought you were going to talk of your early life for a moment.

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  29. you couldnt stand the excitement if I did tom!

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  30. St Clements Anglican Church - where I am going for the Community Markets this morning, also had the graveyard almost completely cleared of headstones. Some were rescued and stored beside the lovely sandstone church. This one has always intrigued me, being a real fan of Wellington and the Peninsular War:

    http://i866.photobucket.com/albums/ab221/1942Johnny/19092010/St%20Clements%20Church%20Yass/dsc_0025.jpg

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  31. I rather like looking round old graveyards - so many great stories, with just enough facts and clues to set imagination running. Fabulous one in Nevern Pembrokeshire if you are ever down this way.

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  32. Looking around graveyards - one of my favourite pastimes. So much loss in one family - I bet that will turn out to be an interesting story. By the way I've moved blogs - you can find me at http://bornagainboho.blogspot.com

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  33. Certificates were £9 last year

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  34. Such a shame the graveyard was de-cluttered.

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  35. I would enjoy walking your graveyard. Its sad they felt the need to remove the older markings. Truly a shame.

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