Saturday, 5 January 2013

Go to visit the places where your ancestors came from...

A new Year's resolution is to do a bit more actual blogging on this blog!

My aim is to do a blog post at least once every other week with tips on researching ones family watch this space!!!

Today my husband and I went for a day trip out to Newmillerdam and Sandal nr Wakefield in West Yorkshire. There were two reasons for our mini adventure:
  1. A nice day trip out as we had heard it was beautiful place
  2. It is where some of my ancestors came from

Our first stop was Newmillerdam - the villages name is from "the new mill of the dam".

Newmillerdam - The Dam

My great, great, great grandfather, Edward Sutcliffe is listed as born here on the censuses.

Not far from the dam is a street called Hill Top Road...

Hill Top Road

Looking up Hill Top Road

...which one must presume leads to an area known as Hill Top?! Well, wandering up this road we found a small community of old stone built cottages in amongst some very smart looking stone built modern houses.

The road sign at the entrance of this street said "Hill Top"...

Hill Top - is that an old chapel? this part of the original community of Hill Top? 

My great, great, great grandfather was listed as living in the village of Hill Top on the 1851 census, but no street name or house name or number are given.

Walking back down the hill along "Hill Road", these are the fronts of the cottages you saw the backs of on the previous photo "Looking up Hill Top Road", beautiful little quaint cottages...

Looking back down the Hill on a parallel road named "Hill Road"

...did my ancestor live in cottages like this? He worked as an agricultural labourer and later became a carter. Was this walk a daily jaunt of his?

Our next stop was Sandal Castle,  in the township of Sandal Magna only a few miles north-east of Newmillerdam. Sandal Castle has been there for centuries and has a rich history.

The ruins of Sandal Castle nr Wakefield

From the castle, there were 360 degree surrounding views, one being over the township of Sandal Magna and the Parish Church Tower which can be seen rising forth from the new red bricked housing. Newmillerdam is in the Parish of Sandal Magna and one of Edward Sutcliffe's children was buried in the grave yard here...

The Church Tower of Sandal Magna Church can be seen from the castle

...perhaps some of my ancestors were also baptised and married in the church as well?

View of Wakefield from the castle

It is great to get out and visit some of the places your ancestor came from, it fills your imagination with pictures and memories when thinking about where they lived, what they did, where they worked. It has a special meaning even today, knowing that you're walking down streets your ancestors probably walked down.

Copyright © 2013 Ruth Hogan

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