|Sue Jerrems, Roving Reporter||
Meandering Through the Countryside
My successful visit to England and back was an adventure like no other, but it was definitely fun. For a tiny country, they have managed to pack so many fascinating and fun things within their borders that itís a wonder where to stop and start. Suffice to say that it was a friend I met over there who summed it up most efficiently. ďIn America they think a hundred years is a long time, in England they think a 100 miles is a long way.Ē
This of course is born ever so truthfully on their roadways. If I decide to go to the town of Mesquite, 90 miles from my hometown, Las Vegas, I would not hesitate to make it a one day trip, a visit and a return. No big deal. I would not dream of challenging myself that way in Britain. Driving is done on two lane roads that weave along in a meandering design through country side and city alike without the least concern for traffic congestion. The English rarely use directional indications on their roads. This may not sound critical but when roads twist around themselves so much you can never be certain if you want left or right. Instead they give the name of towns that the road will pass through, and some of these are such big towns as Bubwith, Barmby on the Marsh, and Scrooby. Try finding those on a map!
Aside from the adventures of driving, all was well on my trip. It did somewhat to hinder though what I did around Gainsborough, though. I got there around ten in the morning on a Monday which was a Bank Holiday, a long weekend with no cheery moniker as we use in the US such as Memorial Day or Labor Day. Unlike some larger towns where the stores are open, Gainsborough was shut pretty tightly.
Day One - The Search for Jerrems Remnants Near Silver Street
Although it was a holiday, the Old Hall was opened. It is the oldest best persevered Medieval Manor House in England. Built in 1460, it was owned by two families through its history. The Burghs built it and near the end of the 16th Century it was sold to the Hickmanís. By the time of the Jerrems family in Gainsborough, the Hickmanís lived else where and the Hall saw various uses. It was rented by the Masonic Lodge and used as a theater in their time. By the time they emigrated to Australia it was back in the hands of the Hickmanís. Before that it had been used by the Separatists who moved between there and Holland and eventually joined together as the Pilgrims who sailed on the Mayflower, of course a rather big issue for Americans. John Wesley also preached there frequently in the late 1700s.
The Old Hall is a magnificent statement to history. It looks, in some places a little unstable, but supposedly it is still sound. It had an envious kitchen for its age, complete with a central chimney, quite a rare thing. It also had beautiful leaded glass windows from the 1600ís. The nice thing is that it survived first the Civil War in the mid 17th Century in which the town took a very heavy beating, first being over run by the Royalists and then the Parliamentarians. The worse damage to the town however came during World War II. On one day it apparently took two direct hits.
Because of this, Silver Street no longer exists past the number 18 and 19. Beyond that is a vacant area that is no longer developed. It dead ends into their major town road. So any hope of finding a remnant of the Jerrems locations fell flat. The short part of Silver Street that did exist still had buildings that would have been there when the Jerrems were. The other area, Bridge Street, is not in such a lively section, a little worse for wear. I did find one person walking who pointed out the oldest building on the street, but a few of them would have been there in the Jerrems time.
Ray's Note: Jerrems Square was located behind Bridge Street, a lane from that street giving access to the Square. The 1851 Census also refers to a Jerrems Yard adjacent to the Square, a Jerrems Street, a Jerrems Row and a Jerrems Terrace.
Day 2 - The Cathedral, The Hall and Gravestones
On Tuesday I took an old lane that ran along the River Trent to Lincoln where I did the Cathedral, absolutely breath taking even though I had been through many already, and the Old Bishops Palace. It was then I found out that one of the four copies of the original Magna Carta was on display at Lincoln Castle. Well strange that it may seem I really wanted to see it, only because it had been cited so many times in relationship to Englandís history and well as the US. So instead of returning in Gainsborough, I did Lincoln Castle. Now I have seen the U.S. Constitution and the Magna Carta.
Gainsborough is a fairly good sized town, not large but fair sized. Like all the cities of England, it has its weekly or bi weekly Market in the square. A large portion of their shopping is dependant upon the markets. I was not there for Gainsboroughís but I did several others, and all of them were delightful. Gainsboroughís I would imagine would have been impressive for they have a large market area and their downtown is blocked from traffic for the most part. The Merchantís Hall which would have existed or been built while the Jerrems were in residence has been changed so much that it does not look much like it is a couple hundred years old. It had been damaged by fire and rebuilt over the years.
The town has had such a long history and so much up and down, that it does not seem surprising. In the many conflicts over the past 1000 years, Gainsborough seems to have born the brunt of one faction or another fighting over it. From Royal disagreements to religious, it has seen more than its share of battles. It no longer has shipping traffic; the river is not kept dredged that far. Aside from the downtown, buildings in most the town are probably from 1940ís onward.
I did however make it to Willingham by Stow, only a few miles from Gainsborough, along a few twisting back roads in beautiful farm lands. So that was another church I could not get an interior picture. I did however wander around the cemetery, and low and behold, I found some Jerrems gravestones: one of Mary, wife of William and another gravestone for Jane. It seems to be good news for the Jerrems group for they were long lived even back then. While the distance pictures show them cleared, I had to do a bit of primitive trimming to expose them. I would imagine William was next to them, but I dug around as much as I could with my hands and could not tell for sure.
Many of the gravestones have fallen over and are half or fully buried and deteriorated. I wished I had found Williamís, that would have seemed really cool, to have actually found the namesake of my husband. I think Jerry would have been pleased none the less. (For those who might get confused, the man everybody knew as Jerry was actually William George Jerrems IV). Editors Note: Jerry passed away in December.
Lighting a Candle
I stopped at Stow also, on the off chance of finding something because it is only about a mile further along. Willingham is just a tiny farming village, maybe 20 or 30 buildings. Like many of the little villages tucked along the way, the buildings date back usually about 200 to 400 years, and complimented with a handful that are newer. However, the new houses are done to fit in with the rest.
So I did not find much, but it was still fulfilling none the less. I will return to England, probably sooner rather than later. I did light a candle for Jerry and left a prayer request for him at the Bishopís Chapel in the Bishopís House in Lincoln (not the same as the place) where I spent the night. So hopefully even though he could not accompany me in person, in spirit he came along.
|Ray Jerrems, Family Researcher and Historian||
Remembering our Ancestors
To refresh your memory: William was the son of William Jerom who married Cecelia (Cis) Futtit on 29th July 1750 at St. Helenís Church in Willingham-by- Stow near the city of Gainsborough.
Mary was the great great great great grandmother of Jerrems readers like you and I, with an extra "great" for the next generation. The gravestone shows that Mary was born in 1750 and died on 15th January 1821, facts we did not previously know. We do not know when her husband William died but the gravestone indicates that Mary died before him, otherwise one would expect William to have been referred to as "the late William" or "William (deceased)".
Mary and William had 5 children, Jane, Mary, William (who we have nicknamed "Big Bill"), Robert and John. Big Bill had a farm in Willingham, possibly the farm was originally owned by his parents William and Mary and even his grandfather William Jerom.
Mary and William's daughter Jane was born in 1778, whereas the Jane referred to on the other gravestone was born in 1798. Although people often gave the same name to a later child when an earlier child died at a young age this is unlikely to be the case here because Mary was 48 in 1798. So I do not know who Jane was. Perhaps William Jerom had a brother and Jane was a grand-daughter of that brother.
Jane obviously died single and had not moved away from Willingham, unlike Big Bill who went to Gainsborough.
|Ray Jerrems, Family Geneologist, Historian||
There's Something About Mary
It was reported in an earlier Newsletter that "Susan" is the most popular name in the current Jerrems families (there are a total of five). However, in earlier generations in England and the US the name "Mary" was even more popular. The first was the daughter of William and Cecelia Jerom, followed by the Mary referred to in the "Gravestones" article and Big Bill's daughters Mary b1812 d1814 and Mary b1821.
Then we journey to the US to find Mary Nicholl Jerrems (actually born in Scotland), who had a daughter Mae (sometimes recorded as "Mary", perhaps "Mae" was a short version of "Mary"). Mary Nicholl's sons included Alexander Nicholl and Arthur Wallace. Alexander married Mary Bell and one of their daughters was named Mary (later changed to Marabel). Arthur married Mary Morse and (guess what) their son Arthur William Jr had a daughter Mary also.
If you count Mae as being a Mary then this makes a total of 10!
|Included is one of the few pictures of proof that I was there, since only a couple of my pictures have me in them. Just imagine, I had to go to England to hold a Bald Eagle. I flew several of the hawks, other eagles and owls on my own, but they do not normally let the bald eagle be handled because of his weight and his poor attitude.||Naturally, if he landed off the glove, the arm would be a bit damaged, but he also has a tendency to be perturbed at times and has wanted to bite, not a pretty thought when you consider the beak. Still, since I handled the rest well, they did let me hold him at least. Flying the birds was absolutely wonderful, and I spent the morning doing it, one of the many high points.|
|All Saints Cathedral Gainsborough|
|All Saints Interior|
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