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Wednesday, 13 May 2015



Following on from my last post which mentioned my heirloom Nottingham lace bedspread, I have managed to find out a little more about William Bucknall, the man who designed it.

The son of William Bucknall and Henrietta Litchfield, William Jnr was born in Radford, Nottingham in 1861. Both his father William Snr and his paternal grandfather George were lacemakers from Beeston.

William Jnr's early years were spent in Radford, first on Fairfield Street, then Highhurst Street and then on to Denman Street.





On the 18th September 1884 William Jnr married Ann Elizabeth Gell at the Tennyson Street Methodist Chapel in Nottingham and they began their married life at 24 Radford Boulevard later moving to no. 114. By this time William was employed as a lace draughtsman.



They had two children, Clarence William born 4th June 1885 and Annie Louisa Lillian born 19th July 1887. Both children were baptised at the Deligne (or De Ligne) Street Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, which was quite close to Canning Circus in Nottingham.



Over the following years the family lived at Berridge Road, Lenton Boulevard and Gregory Avenue; all in Nottingham.

According to my Great Aunt Joy, who is Clarence's daughter, William worked at the Flersheim lace factory in the Lace Market from around 1891 until his retirement in 1928. Looking back through the various Nottingham directories, I found William listed as a lace draughtsman between 1891 and 1901.

Between 1910 and 1928 he worked a a lace designer. Joy can recall being told that one of his designs, which may or may not have been the bedspread, was displayed at either a London department store or at a large London exhibition. I haven't yet been able to locate this.




Their last address was 74 Lenton Boulevard, where William's wife, Annie, died on the 14th March 1935 and William himself died on the 14th September 1937.







Flersheim's factory eventually closed on 25th July 1964 and was demolished to make way for a new ring road.







Joy inherited the lace bedspread and took it to Australia with her when she emigrated with her husband, Don Jowett, in the 1960s. A few years ago she very kindly offered it to me and it travelled back to England, where it is now being carefully looked after.




Picture Credit Denman St; Picture The Past
Picture Credit Radford Blvd; Google Street View
Picture Credit Deligne St; Nottstalgia
Picture Credit Lenton Blvd; Google Street View
Wednesday, 22 April 2015







Last week I attended an event at Debbie Bryan's shop in the Lace Market area of Nottingham. Called Communities Interrupted - Preserving Oral Histories of Laceworkers, it was an opportunity to record memories of lace workers & share family stories. 






I took along the beautiful Nottingham lace bedspread, which had been passed on to me by my Great Aunt Joy. The bedspread is around 100 years old now and was made from a design by Joy's grandfather,William Bucknall who worked for Fleirsheim & Co

Everyone received a lovely warm welcome from Debbie and some rather delicious chocolate torte. The stories were fascinating to hear and were recorded by Nottingham Trent University for their archive.

The event was partly filmed by Notts TV for their evening news bulletin:



And it was also streamed live on YouTube; I've started the clip from just before the beginning of the discussion on my bedspread - please excuse the poor sound:






I had confirmation that the bedspread was probably a one-off piece, designed for display, which is what Joy had thought and it may have been made on a raschel frame.

I've added some close-up photos of the bedspread. i think my next move will be to find out some more information on William Bucknall.










Monday, 13 April 2015


I've added another relative to Lives of the First World War.






Horace Thomas Bourne is only very distantly related to me, I included him in my tree when I was looking at the Bourne/Bourn/Burn family and trying to sort out the variants as they change so frequently. According to Ancestry he is the grand nephew of the wife of my 1st cousin 4x removed - I think I'll take their word for that!





He was born in Measham, Derbyshire in 1896, the son of Thomas Bourn and Annie Elizabeth Parritt.

During WW1 he served as a private in the Leicestershire Regiment and had two service numbers; 1689 and 240239. He was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal and attained the rank of Lance Corporal before being demobbed on the 11th February 1919.

He married Annie Broadhurst in 1922, settling near Leeds and died in 1957.

I haven't researched his family, or what exactly he did whilst serving with the Leicestershire Regiment as he isn't a close relative, but I thought he should still be noted on the website here.

Thursday, 26 March 2015


It was interesting this last weekend to see one of my 'ancestral places' on the news. Sutton Cheney in Leicestershire was the stamping ground of my MAY ancestors and was in the news as it was a stopping place for Richard III's cortege.

It has been reported that the King spent his last evening in the village and the church of St. James was where he attended his final mass in 1485. The cortege paused for a short service to take place, which was very well received.




Unfortunately my ancestors wouldn't have been there at the time. The first ancestor I have recorded in Sutton Cheney was Jeffrey MAY born c1720.  His father, William MAY was originally from Stoney Stanton and his mother, Elizabeth TOWNSEND from Burbage, both in Leicestershire.  I have traced them further back to another Jeffrey MAYE born c1549 in Sussex; he married Joanna DENSTON from Stoney Stanton and settled there.

The MAY family stayed in Sutton Cheney until at least 1811, when my branch moved to Hinckley and into the hosiery trade.

On a visit to the church a few years ago I found gravestones marking the burials of my 5xGreat Grandfather Thomas MAY and one of his sons Jeffrey MAY.

Thomas May 1754-1842 
Jeffrey May 1777-1862
























There were other MAY graves in the churchyard and I believe there is also a memorial inside the church, which was unfortunately locked when we visited. Hopefully I will manage a return visit at some point in the future.




Picture Credit: Church ITV News Central

Monday, 9 March 2015


I found this map for a good price at The Works the other day. It will hopefully be useful when trying to track my Percival branch.





My closest branch of The Works is at McArthur Glen at junction 28 of the M1.  It's always worth a browse to see what little gems you can unearth.


Sunday, 22 February 2015



Up until last weekend I  hadn't been able to find my 3x Great-Grandparents and their family in the 1851 census.  I had been looking for George Percival and his wife Sarah and possibly their daughter Alice who was born in 1851 in Manchester.

All that remains of Holbrook Street (2011)




I knew that a whole set of Manchester census records had been damaged in a flood whilst in storage at the Home Office and were considered to be 'unfilmable'. So I am very grateful for the hard work of the Manchester and Lancashire Family History Society who have spent years deciphering and transcribing the entries. More recently, new technology has allowed a further batch of records to be deciphered.





I have now found the family's 1851 census return at Find My Past; they were living at 8 Holbrook Street, which fits nicely with the birth certificate I have for my 2x Great Grandmother Sarah in 1857.



Unfortunately what doesn't fit nicely are the ages of George and Sarah.  In the 1861 census, George is 63 and Sarah 43. In the 1851 George is 35 and Sarah 29. I've enlarged the water damaged image on Ancestry and it does seem to show Sarah as 29, whereas George's age looks more like 45. Their marriage certificate from December 1841 shows them both as 'full age', so that doesn't help much either!


I do have a census return for George in 1841, but I have never been convinced I had found the right one. The new possible year of his birth could help with that - or it could just hinder my search even more, especially as the ages in the 1841 census are rounded to the nearest five.


There are also other Percivals in Manchester at this time, so I look like slowly having to pick them apart till I find the right ones, which is going to take some time!  If anyone has any hints or tips on how to narrow it down so I can pinpoint George's & Sarah's (nee Annett) births I would be very grateful.

Other Manchester Percival posts:
The Manchester Percivals
Wedding Wednesday - George Percival & Sarah Annett
Mappy Monday - The Manchester Percivals. Part II

Tuesday, 17 February 2015


I can remember my Grandmother telling me about her Uncle Frank emigrating to Canada when she was quite young.  He worked on the Canadian Pacific Railway for many years, a fact she was very proud of.



I noticed recently that both Ancestry and Find My Past have very detailed ships' passenger lists available so I thought I'd see if I could find details of his journey. Find My Past only have outgoing passenger details, but Ancestry also have incoming, so I could track any return journeys.

Uncle Frank (my 2x great Uncle) was born Francis Albert Jowett in Nottingham in 1894 and was the youngest of eight siblings. His parents were Edmund Jowett a Nottingham lace maker and Theresa Bates.

His father Edmund died when Frank was just fourteen in 1904 and in the 1911 census he was living with his mother Theresa, his brother Charles (my great grandfather), his married sister Mabel and two of her children, his nieces. Frank was working as a card lacer in a lace factory.





I have no idea what made Frank head off to Canada at the age of thirty-three, but he left from Liverpool on the 17th March 1922 on the Minnedosa. He gave his last residence as England, Haydn Road in Nottingham, and his intended future residence as Canada, so it was obviously his intention to emigrate permanently. He gave his occupation as 'agent'.


Frank next appeared in the records on the 8th March 1924 as he arrived back in Liverpool on the Montclare.  He had travelled from New Brunswick in Canada with his wife, Amelia. Frank gave Haydn Road in Nottingham as his intended address whilst staying in the UK, so it appears he had brought his wife home to introduce her to the family. They left for Canada on the 9th May 1924, again on the Montclare from Liverpool. Frank stated his occupation as a telegraph operator at this time.


Frank and Amelia returned once more to England on the 16th June 1935, this time accompanied by their nine year old daughter Marguerite. They again stayed in Nottingham until their return to Canada on the 10th August 1935, leaving from Southampton on the Empress of Britain.





I'm not sure if they ever came back to England after this visit. I know my Grandmother always regretted not having taken the opportunity to visit this branch of the family in Canada and she was in touch with Marguerite for quite a few years but the correspondence petered out eventually over the years.



So if you know any Canadian Jowetts, or you are a Canadian Jowett with Nottingham roots, drop me a line, I'd love to hear from you!









Picture Credits:
http://www.canadiandesignresource.ca/type-typography/the-canadian-pacific-railway-poster/
http://www.greatships.net/minnedosa.html
http://digitalpostercollection.com/?attachment_id=56706