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My Greenwood Family Tree

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Rose

How far back can I take my Family Tree?

Family Tree

I was asked the other day how far back have I got my family tree.

My answer was a bit evasive,  I couldn’t recall the full answer. I explained that I look for quality over quantity, ie stories about my ancestors rather than lots of just names and dates. But its fair enough question, so here’s a brief run down;

  • GREENWOODs, currently back to my Great x3 Grandfather THOMAS GREENWOOD, b 1752 in Stillington Yorkshire. He was married to Elizabeth Wood, who I can take back a  further generation.
  • All the other branches on the Greenwood side go no further back than the beginning of the 18th century at the earliest.
  • Most progress was made by my Uncle, Basil Rose, who took his and my mothers tree back to the 16th century.
  • ROSE, at the end of the 16th century was John ROOSE (Great x10 grandfather) who died in 1617. It looks like they were in Thirkleby, North Yorkshire.
  • PINKNEY, where Roger PINKNEY was born in 1642/43 in the York area.
  • DAVISON, of Aycliffe, my current line of research, I have back to my Gx5 Grandfather, Thomas DAVISON, b 1743. I have no doubt that this line will go back further.
  • MUMBY line came from Grainsby in Lincolnshire. Robert MUMBY, my Great x6 Grandfather was born in 1717.
  • The oldest record I have is Richard PINDER from Roxby, North Yorkshire. My Great x11 Grandfather, who died in 1547.
  • Nathaniel PIERSEY, born circa 1668 in Freasley, Warwickshire. He was my Gx7 Grandfather. This line became the PIERCYs who married into the itinerant Wesleyan preacher William BROCKLEHURST in 1812. There is lots of potential in this branch, research by American descendants has been published and can be incorporated into my tree.

Brocklehurst Family in Stafforshire Moorland and Derbyshire

Gertrude Mead nee Brocklehurst b1856 Picture taken around 1930.
Gertrude Mead nee Brocklehurst b1856
Picture taken around 1930.

This is Gertrude Mead, my great Grandmother, pictured around 1930.  Her family of Brocklehurst’s is an interesting one; her Grandfather, William Brocklehurst was an itinerant Wesleyan Methodist preacher, born on the Staffordshire Moorlands.  He was part of a Christian movement that started in a village called Flash, of which there are lots of interesting stories which will be related here in due course.

William’s grandfather, Thomas, came from a place known as Needles Eye, although local historians have pinned (:)) that down to a farm called Nield Bank.

It so happens that I was there on Monday, while supervising a group of girls on their DofE expedition. I walked down to the farm and had a long chat with the lady that lived there. She had done some research into the history of the place but hadn’t heard of the Brocklehurst’s, which is a shame.  She did however point me to a book for sale at the local shop, (actually the only store for miles), which had copies of a local history book – Flash Back and its sequel, Flash Back Too.

These booklets contain a lot of stories of the area, and many pictures of Brocklehurst families. One of them actually ran the very same shop around a hundred years ago. So I have another source for some interesting stories of very distant cousins, who may turn out to be bare-fist fighters, illegal hawkers and tinkers or coin forgers.

Neild Bank - Staffordshire, home of Thomas Brocklehurst when he married in 1723.
Nield Bank – Staffordshire, home of Thomas Brocklehurst when he married in 1723.
P1070024
Flash Village – Wesleyan Chapel, built 1784, rebuilt 1821. Where William Brocklehurst became a preacher.

A Photo from the Attic – Sandy Layfield, my Mothers Godfather

Sandy Layfield, in his Royal Artillery uniform.  "The service cap that this soldier is shown wearing came into use in 1915 as an unofficial cap and only lasted two years as it was replaced in 1917 when a newer official soft version of the service dress cap was introduced. Called the "Gorblimey", as this was said to be the effect that it was said to have on Sergeant-major's whenever they saw it, the flaps at the side of the cap were tied over the crown and when untied could be brought down to cover the ears."
Sandy Layfield, in his Royal Artillery uniform.
“The service cap that this soldier is shown wearing came into use in 1915 as an unofficial cap and only lasted two years as it was replaced in 1917 when a newer official soft version of the service dress cap was introduced. Called the “Gorblimey”, as this was said to be the effect that it was said to have on Sergeant-major’s whenever they saw it, the flaps at the side of the cap were tied over the crown and when untied could be brought down to cover the ears.”

When my father died he handed over a pile of photos and papers. I got the photo’s and Kathrine got the papers which she sorted into wonderfully organised packages. After I started building the family tree and story she gave me most of the papers, but hung onto some stuff.

After she died and Bill moved out of the family house the rest of the papers and photos were passed to Chris. Included was this photo of Sandy Layfield, with information written on the back.

The photo was taken November 1915, and has Sandy in his uniform, that of the Royal Garrison Artillery. Written on the back, in my mothers handwriting, it says “Godfather of Edith Margaret Rose” and “Married to Aunty Bee God mother to EMR”. Our mother was born in 1924 so the photo isn’t contemporary with the christening though.

I hadn’t heard of Uncle Sandy, although have a vague recollection of Aunty Bee.

So this is what cousin Alistair and I have found out.

Army pals
Army pals

Sandy was one of Reuben’s best friends, they joined up together and are together in a photo of Army Pals from 1914. Sandy’s full name was Frederick Alexander Layfield and was born in 1888 in Middlesbrough. In 1911 he was a Photo Engraver and lived a 10 minute walk away from Reuben, perhaps they went to the same school. With a middle name of Alexander this would be where his name of Sandy came from.  He was a Gunner in the 1/1st Northumbrian (North Riding) Heavy Battery. He was awarded the 1914-15 Star along with the Victory and British War Medal for his service in France.

His wife was indeed Auntie Bee but she was not a ‘blood relative’ Auntie but very close to the family. She was born Lily Blacklock in 1888 also in Middlesbrough although she called her self Lilian when they married in 1920. I cant find any children. Alistair recalls his father talking about Auntie Bee. She died in 1965, 5 years after Sandy, so I probably did meet them. Maybe there’s a photo of us somewhere in that big pile of photo’s with unrecognised people.

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