The Risdons of Somerset
Newsletter No. 13
Firstly a welcome to two new family members - Matthew born last October, son of Andrew and Denise Sweet, and then to James John born on 2 January in Western Australia son of Jane and Darren Simmons. Congratulations to the proud parents and also to Rosemary and Doug who are grandparents to both boys.
Next to a happy event for my own family as my sister Celia married Michael Robotham on 1 June. Welcome Mike to your extended new family where you will be number 2643 on the family tree!
Finally Patricia Elizabeth Redman nee Hayman died on 16 February in Berkshire at the age of 81. Our sympathies go to her sons, Tom, Will and Ben.
Since the last newsletter, I have been contacted by our cousin Guy Risdon in Canada. Then in the journal of the Somerset & Dorset Family History Society I saw a request for information on the Hook family who belong on our family tree, so I replied to Rosemary Button - a descendant of Isaac Hook and his wife Mary Bishop - and we have now exchanged alot of information, photos, etc. Welcome to you both from all your cousins worldwide.
Talking of the Bishops, I have been searching for the marriage of James Bishop and Ann Veysey for about ten years, and bingo, I have now found it. I had felt very confident that there had been a marriage ceremony, as James refers to “my wife Ann” in his will, whilst Ann’s brother, John Risdon Veysey says in his will “my sister Ann wife of James Bishop”. A couple of weeks ago I logged on to the website Ancestry.co.uk where they have recently added Pallot’s Marriage Index, so I thought I would have a look, but found nothing under James Bishop. However under Veysey I found the following: “Anna Veysey & Jas Bishop of Spacton Co Soms 1815 St Sepulchre licence” - St Sepulchre, Holborn is/was a church in London but I’m not sure if it still exists. When I went to London on 9 June for a visit to the Family Records Centre, I called in at the Metropolitan Archives, but found the registers for St Sepulche’s are held at the Guildhall Library. I have since written to GL and now have the exact date which is 28 May 1815. However, there’s another slight problem in that the licence is not a Diocese of London licence and so, if still extanct, will be held by the Lambeth Palace Library (Archbishop of Canterbury), who I will contact shortly. I’d love to know why this couple went off to London? Suggestions welcome!
While I was in London, Rosemary Button (see above) and I met up at the FRC and had a really super conversation over coffee and then lunch. Rosemary is a relative new-comer to family history, but is having alot of luck. That luck rubbed off, as after Rosemary left to catch her train, I had about an hour before our FH society coach departed. In that time, I managed to get through about 20 years of death indexes and so complete one small line of our family, namely the Marsingall’s. For those of you who have never visited the FRC, these indexes are huge great volumes which were indexed quarterly, so twenty years equals 80 books, which have to be lifted off the shelves and then replaced. By the end of the day everyone complains of shoulder and backache plus tiredness so our ride home is usually fairly quiet as people sleep, especially after the early morning start (6.30am).
Twenty years ago when I started researching, the Family Records Centre (or St Catherine’s House as it was then) was always heaving with people, but now with so much information available on the internet the FRC is almost deserted, and now they are closing and moving to the National Archives at Kew next year.
I wonder if any of you will be attending the South West Family History Fair at Weston-super-Mare, Somerset on Saturday 14 July from 10am to 4pm. For all of us with our Somerset ancestry, this is by far the best FH fair to attend and where they expect about 2500 people to come through the doors. It is a bi-annual fair and once again, I have been asked to give advice - great fun, as you never know what the questions will be, so alot of “revision homework” is required beforehand. If you do plan to attend, then please let me know so we can meet up.
Now for two changes. Firstly I have made a new heading for the newsletter. Thanks to cousin Tom McFarland putting the newsletters on his website which I have mentioned on previous occasions, I have been getting alot of enquiries. Unfortunately though most of these are for the Devon Risdons, so I am unable to give much help. With the new title the situation will be clearer.
The second change is that I shall now be sending out only two newsletters per annum. I am not receiving any family stories, etc., from any of you to include, and as many recipients are not family history researchers, it is becoming more and more difficult to write these newsletters. Also there is the cost, as I am currently sending out approximately 250 newsletters, of which about 60 have to be sent by the ordinary postal services both in the UK and overseas, the rest being by e-mail.
However, I love receiving your letters/e-mails so do please keep in touch.
Best wishes to you all
Jennifer Topham, 2 Orchard Court, Arches Lane, Malmesbury, Wiltshire SN16 0ED
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