Again we were fortunate enough to be able to travel to Europe and the UK again. This time without the children, this made researching much easier. We didn’t have the nagging ‘can we go now’, ‘I’m bored’, ’not another cemetery’ and so on.
We arrived at Heathrow Airport on the 16th May, picked the car up and headed to Yorkshire to start our research. First stop was to visit one of my husband’s great Aunts. She was 94 years old and going strong. We spent some time with her and she was telling us a few things about the family. It was funny she kept mistaking my husband for his brother and saying she had met him and his children a few years earlier when the children were very small. It was us she was talking about. (hehehe).
We said our farewells and headed to Bradford, Yorkshire for three days.
The first morning we went to the Underhill cemetery to visit the graves of relatives that we knew were there. Heading back into Bradford we stopped at the Bradford Library and Research Centre. We had two relatives that I could not find, one I know died and was buried in Bradford the other died in Morecombe and was buried in Bradford as well.
The people in the library were so helpful, we told them we had limited time and steered us in the right direction as well as having a look themselves.
The first one was to find where my husband’s great grandfather on his grandmothers side was buried, we know he died in Morecombe and we have been to the cemeteries in Morecombe and he is not buried with his first wife. We were told he was buried in Bradford with his second wife.
Luckily we had his ‘date of death’ so we looked up the newspapers and found him on the first go, thank goodness (this can take hours normally). It turns out he was cremated in Blackpool (is this not the opposite direction to Bradford, hehe) and not in Bradford. We think the second wife may have gone to live with one of her sons in Blackpool and this is how it happened he was cremated there. One mystery solved.
Next: We were looking for my husband’s 2nd great grandfather on this grandmother’s side. Again we knew his date of death and the area he lived in. With the help of the librarian we came across a book on headstone inscriptions for the Zion Congregational Chapel, Wibsey and there was an inscription for Shepherd Brigg who died at the age of 38 years. This was an interesting fact as we didn’t realise the family were non-conformists. (Breakaway from the ‘Church of England’).
So we thought this is great we can go and see the cemetery, the Librarian was checking records and there didn’t appear to be any record of the Chapel. Then we tried Google maps and were the chapel was supposed to be is an empty paddock. After further digging it turned out the chapel was knocked down and all the headstones were sold off and removed from the graveyard but all the bodies are still there. This means that no one can ever build on the graveyard. We were ‘gobsmacked’. How is this possible that they could do this to a graveyard?
We did go and visit the place and this was a very sad moment for us. After finally finding the resting place; for not just one of my husband’s ancestors but several of them.
We were devastated. This put a bit of a dampener on the trip after that.
On the upside we did find out that someone has actually done sketches of all the headstones 20 years earlier. Thank goodness for the foresight of this person. We have not yet seen these sketches as we had to head over to Manchester on the next leg of our trip, but we will be on the next trip to Yorkshire.