Thursday, 24 September 2015

Sepia Saturday - Powerful Pillars

Each  week Sepia Saturday encourages bloggers to record their family history through photographs.

For a change  I have gone for the less obvious feature  in the photo prompt, as in the past year I have depicted both  little girls and pet dogs.

So picking up on  that  background image on the right of the picture,   my theme this week is :  Powerful Pillars - think of Pillar of Support, Pillar of the Community, Pillar of Wisdom.  

Pillars on buildings  are  most usually to be seen on state edifices or the imposing entrances to  houses of the landed gentry   - all out to impress, and copied from  classical  Greek architecture. 

The Greeks adopted three types of columns to support their buildings, each with their own distinctive feature.   Doric was the plainest, Ionic identified by its scrolls and Corinthian more elaborate still. 

Back even earlier than the Greeks are the pillars of the pre-historic world at Stonehenge in Wiltshire.

One of the most famous sites in the world Stonehenge is the remains of a ring of standing stones set within earthworks, believed to be built  anywhere from 3000 BC to 2000 BC.

From pillars of stone to pillars of rock at Fingal's Cave on the uninhabited Isle of Staffa just off the islands of Mull and Iona on the west coast of Scotland. A visit by composer Mendelssohn in 1829 inspired him to write his evocative "Hebrides Overture".

Below - Pillars of the ruined Jedburgh Abbey, in the Scottish Borders.  The 12th century Augustinian  Abbey was founded by King  David in 1138.  I worked for five years in Jedburgh Tourist Informality Centre and we could be asked such questions as "Was the abbey bombed during the war?"  Or "When are they going to rebuild it?

The truth was the abbey was repeatedly attacked by English armies throughout the middle ages.  In the 1540's it suffered particularly at the hands of the Earl of Hertford's military campaign known as the "Rough Wooing" when Henry VIIII sought  to enforce a marriage between his son Edward and the young Mary,  Queen of Scots.   Mary was, instead, sent to France into the care of her mother's relations.  Scotland turned to    Presbyterianism with the Reformation, and the abbey, almost intact except for its roof, was used for services until the building of a new parish church in 1875.  
This elegant monument  in the  classical style  is to be found in Warsaw, Poland in the 18th century Saxon Gardens.  But its beauty  masks a more utilitarian purpose -  modelled on the Temple of Vesta,  it is a Water Tower and a relic of Warsaw's first water supply system. 

Equally elegant is this monument to the composer Mozart in the Kur Garten (Spa Park) in the small town of Baden near Vienna. 

From the old world to the New World - where pillars again represent civic pride in the legislature, the nation's history,  the church, and academia.  

The State House in Boston, Massachusetts was completed in 1798.  The dome was first painted gray and then light yellow before being gilded with gold leaf in 1874

The Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library is Harvard University's flagship library. Built in 1915, it was a gift from Eleanor Elkins Widener, as  a memorial to her son, Harry, of the Class of 1907, who perished aboard the Titanic.  

This stately landmark at Edgartown on the island of Martha's Vineyard, Cape Cod, was  built by whaling captains in 1843,  and is considered to be one of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture in New England.

Plymouth Rock is the traditional site of the landing of the Pilgrim Fathers from their ship "the Mayflower" in 1620.  Four hundred years later,  this  portico with Doric pillars was built as a canopy above the iconic symbol of America.  

And I end  on a more mundane note with  a British symbol -  a vintage red  pillar box in  Jedburgh, in the Scottish Borders.

                        Copyright © 2015 · Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved

Click HERE to discover more stories from Sepia Saturday Bloggers. 

Monday, 14 September 2015

Travel Tuesday - Early Days on the Road

What was driving like for our ancestors in the early days of motoring?  Take a look  at these quiet roads in times past for both leisure and business travel.  around the village of Earlston in the Scottish Borders 

For Leisure 

Driving down  the middle of the road,  which is now the busy main central Borders  route  linking Newcastle and Edinburgh .
The Quiet Market Square
Local Historian John Weatherley with his Pride and Joy

Letting the Bus Take the Strain

For Business

Prime Minister Asquith  in 1908 leaving  in the official car from Earlston Station
 to take him to a large political gathering in the village. 

Andrew Taylor & Sons, Ironmonger & Grocer  - listed in a Directory of 1931. 

 The~Co-op Van -  A Travelling Shop that went around 
farms and more isolated communities.

Two Lorries of the  Brownlie family who have been in the Saw Mill business 
since the mid 1850s and purchased the Earlston yard in 1920. 
 in July 1988 it became part of BSW Timber Group 

Two Lorries from  Rodger (Builders) Ltd, established in Earlston in 1847 
and still operating from the village

(No connection!)

And what was likely to be the biggest danger facing motorists?  Children playing on the road. 

High Street 

With thanks for my local heritage group Auld Earlston 
for the use of these images from their photographic collection 

Travel Tuesday is just one of many daily prompts from Geneabloggers to encourage writers to record their family history.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Sepia Saturday - A Convivial Drink

Each week Sepia Saturday encourages bloggers to record their family history through photographs.  

This week's prompt features a wine label, but  I must admit my family are an abstemious lot, and I was only able  to unearth one vintage photographs to match the theme.  

So - Raise your glasses this week for a convivial drink! 

The only photograph I have of my great grandfather James Danson,. sitting merrily in  the stocks at Poulton-le-Fylde. By all accounts of his family, he was a bit of a ne'er do well, but clearly having fun in what could be a staged photograph.
Or this case raise your German  Beer Stein!  This ornate one, with a pewter lid  is decorated in the  Bavarian colours of blue and white.   And yes - it was bought as a holiday souvenir. 

Enjoying the Good Life
In a Munich Biergarten 

On an Austrian Mountainside

I must admit I took this photograph rather surreptitiously in a cafe bar in Munch Square, in Bavaria, Germany.  The two men looked so genial sitting there with their huge beer tankards.  Combined with the sign,  this seemed such a good photograph to take to typify the Bavarian scene.  Meanwhile we were indulging in a drink and "kuche" -(cakes). 

A Bavarian  sign celebrating the grape. 

An old whisky sign taken at Beamish Open Air Museum in north east England 

A sign painted by my father-in-law (left)  who was a painter & sign-writer in Edinburgh . 

The Pot Still at Glenkinchie Distillery

Clydesdale Horses pulling the dray advertising Vaux Brewery Fine Ales.

A typically English pub sign at Greenwich,in London

A Final Toast  - Cheers!

Sign at the Beacon Hill pub in Boston  
that inspired the TV programme  launched in 1982.

To find out how more Sepia Saturdays are enjoying a drink, click HERE

Friday, 4 September 2015

Surname Saturday-Seeking Sarah Haydon Lounds

Annie Danson, c.1908

Early death of a mother, an orphaned child (left) , bankruptcy,  suicide, plus a black sheep of the family,  mark the tale of Sarah Haydon Lounds.

Searching for Sarah was the challenge, when a cousin asked me to help trace information on  his maternal grandmother Sarah Haydon Lounds who married my great uncle John Danson (below) of Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire


I used the standard online resources, to view original records, but found particularly valuable,   in giving a    rounded picture of an ancestor, press reports in The London Gazette and British Newspapers Online. 

  • Sarah's family were known to have links with Lincolnshire  in East Anglia and there was some  kind of scandal with  a "black sheep" of the family who had been a servant in a large house.

  • Sarah and John's  daughter Annie Maria was born 14th January 1905, but  sadly a year later  Sarah died of TB on 12th February 1906, aged just 21, buried in Moorland Road Cemetery, Poulton - so born c.1884.

  • John and Annie  went to live with his  widowed mother Maria Danson, his  many brothers and only sister Jennie who was only eight years older than Annie. 
  • John, a gunner in the Royal Field Artillery  died in army camp at Tidworth, Hampshire  17th May 1917.  

  • Annie went onto marry and have two children, who knew little about their maternal grandmother's background.

  1. What was Sarah's family background?
  2. What was the origin of her unusual middle name "Haydon"?
  3. How had  a young girl from Lincolnshire come to marry a Lancashire man?


A search on  quickly revealed  that the surname Lounds was very popular in Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire. I soon traced an entry for a Sarah Haydon Lounds born Jan-March 1884 at Worksop, Nottinghamshire.   She was baptised at St. John's Church, Worksop, daughter of  George Haydon Lounds and Charlotte Ann Short, who had married in 1873. 

George Haydon Lounds was the eldest son of Haydon Lounds and Jane Beaver, born December 1853 at Bourne, Lincolnshire. He was consistently described in census returns as a coach painter.  He and Charlotte had six children Haydon (1873),  Jane (1875),  Emma (1877),  Willie (1879), Sarah (1884)  and Harold (1889).

On census night 1891,  7 year old  Sarah was at Spitallgate, Lincolnshire  with her grandparents Haydon (a coach builder)  and Jane Lounds.  Also in the household were uncles, aunt and another granddaughter Julia E. aged 3 who was later confirmed as  Sarah's  cousin.

A brick wall arose in trying to find 17 year old Sarah  in the 1901 census on  Ancestry and almost  as a last resort  I tried googling "Haydon Lounds" to find the  reference below  which answered my  key question: 

Lancashire OnLine Parish Clerk Project featured the following entry  for 1898: 
13 Aug 1898 St Paul, Marton, Lancashire, England

Edward Jolly - 23 Joiner Bachelor of Bank Street, Poulton-le-Fylde
Jane Lounds - 22 Spinster of Blenheim Lodge, Whitegate Lane, Blackpool
Groom's Father: John Jolly, Joiner
Bride's Father: George Haydon Lounds, Coach-painter
Witness: John Rivers Jolly; Annie Jolly
Married by Licence by: J. Edwards, Offic. Min.
Register: Marriages 1897 - 1900, Page 17, Entry 33

This was intriguing, for the groom was a joiner from Poulton, as was  my great uncle John Danson and his father James, and there were photographs in the Danson family collection of an Annie Jolly. Moreover  the bride, Jane, was Sarah's sister.  Did Sarah meet her future husband at this wedding?    


I turned to the 1901 census to look for Edward and Jane Jolly  and found them at Queen Square, Poulton  - and there was Sarah, sister-in-law and a domestic servant.  On Ancestry her name had been wrongly transcribed as "Sounds"  not "Lounds" which was why I could not find it in my initial search.  


So I now knew Sarah's parents and grandparents, that her middle name came from her grandfather and how she came to be in Poulton to meet John Danson.   Though the question still remains -  what had prompted  sister Jane to move  160 miles north from her Lincolnshire home to Lancashire? 



i was still keen to find out the background to the  unusual Christian name of Haydon.  My first thought was that it  probably stemmed from a mother's maiden name - but we all know as family historians, not to make assumptions.  


I had Sarah's grandfather's likely birth year as c.1832 so looked up the 1841 census to trace a young Haydon Lounds aged around 9.   He was found with his family at Bourne, Lincolnshire with parents Thomas, a cottager, born, c 1791,  mother Sarah,  and 4 sisters,  Esther, Sarah, Eliza and Julia, and brother Thomas.  Father Thomas obviously prospered over the years, as in 1851 he was a farmer of 29 acres, and ten years later of 40 acres.  


A search for the marriage of Thomas and his wife Sarah was the next stage of research - and there was my answer -  on 24th October 1814 the marriage of Thomas Lounds and Sarah Haydon with the banns read at Corby, Lincolnshire and   Holywell, Lincolnshire.

Around the same time as Thomas and Sarah above married, there was also a marriage in Lincolnshire of a Thomas Lounds and a Mary Lamb and many people cite them as Haydon's parents on the online trees in Ancestry.  However I have discounted this as the correct record,  as none of the  female descendants were called Mary, and the Sarah Haydon link is so powerful, given the way her maiden name and the Christian names of her children were continued down the generations and branches of the family.

Given that coach builder Haydon was a local tradesman, I sought to find more about his own life and work and searched The London Gazette and   British Newspapers Online   to trace a number of entries on Haydon.  It proved to be a tragic tale.  

The London Gazette:  22nd February 1855
"A petition for bankruptcy - hearing date 14th February 1855 has been filed against Haydon Lounds of Bourne in the county of Lincoln, coach builder and wheelwright......"  

Haydon could only have been about 23 years old at the  time of this bankruptcy and had married only two years previously,with  eldest son George Haydon (Sarah's father) born the same year.    However Haydon continued working in his trade, as indicated in the census returns 1861-1891 where he was described as "employed". Three daughters and six sons were born over  the next twenty years. Newspaper reports gave an insight into  Haydon as a respected member of the community, with  frequent reference to Haydon being among a company of bell ringers, who performed in church and at various social occasions, plus an award made to him by a Friendly Society. 

The Stamford Mercury:  12th July 1870"
"The Managers of the Hearts of Oak  Friendly Society, of London, have this week presented a handsome silver medal, bearing a suitable inscription, to Mr. Haydon Lounds, workman in the employ of Mr. Anderson, coach builder, of this town, for valuable assistance he has rendered for some time in inducing persons to become members of that institution".  

The Friendly Society was set up in 1842 with the aim of giving its members protection against distress through sickness.   It grew rapidly and a major collection of its records is now held at the National Archives

 The Stamford Mercury:  9th December 1870
  "A company of hand-bell ringers, under the direction of Mr. Haydon, Lounds, gave a very pleasing diversion"

The Grantham Journal:  27th November 1875
An effusive  report  on a Saturday evening concert at the Temperance Hall noted among the entertainers were 
"Mr. Haydon Lounds and his sons who gave immense satisfaction by their excellent manipulation at the hand bells; the various pieces played by them being received with enthusiastic manifestations of delight". 

However tragedy befell the family as reported below.  

Lincolnshire Chronicle Friday 27 March 1896

GRANTHAM - SUICIDE.  Mr Aubrey H. Malin, coroner, held an inquest into  the death of Haydon Lounds aged 65, a coach-body maker, who died on the previous day.  Arthur..... Lounds, son of the deceased, identified the body. Deceased had been suffering from white-lead colic for six weeks but had not stayed off work until the previous Wednesday.  Deceased of late had appeared in a rather depressed state.  He seemed to trouble about the idea of having to live upon his children.   William Deed, engine driver,  said he had known the deceased for about 20 years.  On Saturday at lunchtime, the witness was called to the deceased house.  In his bedroom, he found the deceased lying on his side, with his throat cut and a razor in his hand.  He had noticed that the deceased had been rather absent minded.  Dr. Paterson, attributed death to shock and exhaustion, due to loss of blood.  Verdict - Suicide whilst in a state of unsound mind."

So work for  40 years as a coach-body builder, resulted in Haydon suffering from lead poisoning and ended the life of this family man and supportive member of his community,  He was buried at Grantham Parish Church, Lincolnshire. 

This is a classic "Downton Abbey" story  with a secret marriage and false census information. For it came to light that butler Haydon Lounds (Sarah's brother)  had secretly married heiress Miss Maud Ward Fox - the daughter of his employer, a wealthy widow.    Read all about it HERE in an earlier post. 


Annie grew up with  her paternal grandmother's family   and on 4 October 1928 married Harry Ditchfield on 4 October 1928.  The local press report provided a colourful description of the wedding fashions of the day - Read   HERE in an earlier post "Gowned in Delphinium Blue" ,

Postscript:  "Searching for Sarah" was a  fascinating piece of research,  all conducted online.   It illustrates why family history is so compulsive a hobby. It  is just one example of  the stories that can be found in every family, both in happy and sad periods of their lives  and can lead us in so many diverse directions.

Adapted from a  post which was first  published in March 2014 
 on the website   Worldwide Genealogy Collaboration 

Surname Saturday is one of many daily prompts from Geneabloggers encouraging   bloggers to write about aspects of their family history.