Monday, January 16, 2017

My Cotswolds Connections :The Horse and Groom Inn, Upper Oddington, Gloucestershire

Upper Oddington, Gloucestershire is the type of village that Americans think of  when conjuring up an iconic image of  "British Village Life" . Sunshine glints from the golden hand hewn stone buildings. Tidy flowering gardens with fruit trees adorn the ancient Grade II listed homes which cluster between farmlands where sheep and fat spotted pigs graze. The 500 or so residents  have a Village Hall, a Womens Institute an "Old" and a "New" Church:the old being Norman in origin and built about 1100 and the new having been built in 1852. At the heart of the village is the local Public House "The Horse and Groom" and this is where my story takes me.

The Horse and Groom is a functioning pub with rooms which has been serving the locals in some capacity since the mid 1600's. I am descended from the Bould family who lived here and welcomed weary travelers since at least 1690 until its sale in 1898. It has taken me more than a decade to collect enough documents to put together the story of my familys time in Upper Oddington. This has included the usual birth, marriage and death certificates, land deeds, poll taxes, church visitations. old maps , antiquarian books and early newspapers. My favorite part of the research was visiting the village in person, traipsing around the cemetery at the Church of St. Nicholas , sitting in the family pew and of course stopping in for Steak and Ale Pie at the Horse and Groom.

Simon Jackson and his lovely wife were the owners on the occasions when I visited. They gave me the grand tour and shared anecdotes about the recent history of the place. I was surprised to find that the pub no longer had a cellar. The cellar figured prominently in the documents I had.This was where they brewed their own recipe of ale. The ale was served in the pub and there is a connection to another direct ancestor named Breakspeare associated with the brew house. Purveyors of brew will know the name. The particulars of sale of the property from 1898 describe the location of the cellar. After comparing notes we discovered that a large dip in the land behind the building (which Simon had thought was at one time a pond,) was actually where soil had been removed to fill in the cellar. Below is an 1898 description of the property which included land depicted on the map below.

A document search performed for me by author and genealogist Elizabeth Jacks of the Gloucestershire Archives turned up several maps including this one from more than a century earlier. Comparing it to a modern day Google Earth map is astounding as the village has seen very little significant changes in the landscape.

1787 Map of Upper Oddington

The 2017 Google Earth Map of Upper Oddington
 By 1841 the Bould family were no longer listed as Yeoman in the censuses as they had been since early records and the interest by the current generation in being publicans seemed to wane. Johnathon Bould passed away in 1848 and his wife Lousia ran the pub for another 29 years. Mary Bould Baker was left the properties at Louisas' death in 1877. Mary rented them to various tenants. She neglected to pay the inheritance taxes and there are many years of litigation between her and the tax board. Fortunately, she married an attorney who was able to straighten it out and she held onto the property until 1898 at which time it went up for sale. My gggrandfather Richard Bould took his inheritance and came to the United States in 1850 settling in New London ,Ohio. Once there he bought 80 acres of land to farm, several town plots on which he built houses and a property to run as a pub. His eldest son William served in the American Civil War and later ran the pub alongside him. His youngest son George was my ggrandfather.

 In 2016 the H & G changed hands and I understand the new owners are doing a fabulous job of maintaining the historic atmosphere and adding their own flair to the menu. I can hardly wait for my next visit!

I wonder if they have met the resident ghost? More tales to come!

Auction of the Horse and Groom, Upper Oddington, Glos. 1898
Note: The Bould family spelled their names a number of ways including Bowles, Bowls,and Bolds. For simplicity I have used the spelling most commonly seen at the time.
The Glamorous Genealogist visiting the Ancestral PUB!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Glamorous Genealogist: The National Archives and The 1939 Registers

The Glamorous Genealogist: The National Archives and The 1939 Registers: Before the UK became embroiled in WWII, the British Government made a record of  the civilian population for the purposes of controlling...

The National Archives and The 1939 Registers

Before the UK became embroiled in WWII, the British Government made a record of  the civilian population for the purposes of controlling rationing and issuing identity cards. Beginning 29 September 1939 every individual was asked to register. Name, sex, age, occupation, address, marital status and military service, if any, was recorded.
These registration records fill the gaps for historians and family researches because there was no census taken in the UK in 1941 and the census records from 1931 were destroyed. and The National Archives are working together to digitize and publish these records and expect to have them available in two years. You can sign up Here  to be notified when the records become available.
If you are desperate for information and cannot wait the two years for a record, they are available for purchase individually through the Health and Social Care Information Centre

World War II era Ration Books

World War II era Identity Card

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Bit of the Irish

If you, like myself and many others, suspect that you have a little or a lot of Irish ancestry, than this is the month to research it. is offering free records from Ireland until midnight on March 17th.

There are many other resources available.

The Family History Library Catalog now has many books and genealogy references digitized.
I went to the site and searched for the surname MacDonald, a name in my tree. 795 matching
publications were returned. Some of the publications offered an online viewing saying "To view a digital version of this article click here" and offered page  images such as this 

while others forwarded me to World Cat to search for a library to borrow or view the texts. It is certainly worth while to spend some time at Family Search to see what is available.

Using the same name MacDonald, I went to the Ellis Island Website . My search returned 3834 results!20 million people passed through  Ellis Island  between 1892-1924 The website has ship manifests, ship images and passenger lists. 

The National Library of Ireland is another resource which is not to be overlooked.

Enjoy the journey of searching for your Irish ancestors!
Thank you for stopping by!
The Glamorous Genealogist

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Using "Google Alerts" to Enhance your Research

Using "Google Alerts" As A Genealogical Tool

One of many helpful resources for genealogists is Google Alerts.

Using this address will lead you to a page which looks like this.

In the search query box , enter the word you would like to be notified of, for example a family surname or the name of a town or village where they lived. You can choose to have daily notifications via your inbox or via a feed or you may choose only weekly notifications to your inbox.
You can choose the type of location that you want this information to be culled from such as news, blogs, or everything published on the web. You can create multiple alerts.
Google Alerts works very well if you are researching less common names but does not work as well if you are researching surnames with frequent occurrences like "Smith" or "Miller".
I am fortunate to have some names which are less frequently occurring such as my married name of Meentzen. . Only this week I was notified of an international online auction listing. When I went to check it out, I found that it was something I had been searching for for some years. My father in law, Carl Meentzen, had cigars made with his name and his company name on the labels. I had heard of these but had not found one. This site had photos of 5 different cigar labels with his name on them. It is of course now my goal to try to acquire these mementos.

If you have an ancestor who owned any sort of company, was a merchant or a professional who used advertising tools, you may have success with this as well. I was notified of a worldwide Ebay auction and was able to acquire other advertising pieces from this same line of the family.
Family Advertising, a calendar would have been in the center.

You may get lucky and find another relative researching your same family line and you can share data and swap photos as I did. I found a name frequently popping up in association with one of my alert names. I contacted him and we realized that we were 2nd cousins. We were able not only to share information, but also to meet , visit a family cemetery, share family photos and have lunch; An excellent day for a genealogist!

I have Google Alerts set for some of the more unusually named villages in England where my paternal grandfathers family is from including the village of Oddington. I get the occasional alert from this name search, but from that I have been alerted to an old family home for sale. I  went to the realtor listing website and downloaded the interior and exterior photos for my files. It was not as good as being there but was a tolerable substitute!
A home once owned by my ancestors

Enjoy using Google Alerts and I hope you have success!

Thank you for stopping by.
The Glamorous Genealogist

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Campaign to Open Historic Registers and Eliminate Additional Fees Is Underway

The Campaign to Open Historic Registers and Eliminate Additional Fees Is Underway

Ordering of birth , marriage and death records is currently under the control of the General Register Office in England.  The GRO charges for these records and there is an additional charge if they are sent Priority mail. There are many who believe that these items are their rightful heritage and that they should have  access to them at no expense. They are campaigning to have the records transferred to the National Archives where they can be more freely accessed.
Many of us have used the U.K resources of the National Archives "Access to Archives"
 website for the locating and ordering of wills, deeds, and vital records. I have frequently found the answers to many genealogical questions by ordering documents here and have been pleased with the service and the results.  .
Photo by William Hoiles, Baskin NJ

The Rootsweb list 'Legal England and Wales' reports:

"There is a campaign to get the Historic Birth, Marriage and Death registers
open to the public without having to purchase certificates.
This could be done by either transferring the centralized registers held by
the GRO to the National Archive or by transferring the registers held by
superintendent registrars to the County Record Offices.
In addition a number of commercial companies would be willing to digitise
the registers allowing them to be available online and also available at the
archives free of charge."

The goal is to make these records free and accessible and they urge genealogists to spread the word. If you live in the UK and have an interest, they recommend that you contact your local MP.

More information from the campaigns website can be accessed  HERE

Thank you for stopping by!
The Glamorous Genealogist

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Tin Foil Hat Episode

Have you been researching your family history and experienced Ancestral Deja Vu?
Watch The Tin Foil Hat Episode of The Glamorous Genealogy Vlog.