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Our return journey begins....

What a fantastic trip!

Since my last post, we have had a wonderful personal tour of Warwick and spent a day at the famous castle and St Mary's church. The church has a crypt dating back to Norman times in the 1100's. For an Australian, it is a hard concept to grasp given that these people lived and died centuries before Australia was even known about in the rest of the world.

Our trip into Wales was made even more special as our driver was a Welshman.  Jeff had a lot of local knowledge and helped to make the rest of our journey very personal and enjoyable.  Nothing was too much and he even got out at the graveyards and helped us find the relevant graves complete with umbrellas as necessary!

Wales is a very picturesque place and one of our guests was able to find 3 homes that had been lived in by one family in her tree.  The progression from single fronted small terrace through to seaside semi detached illustrated the family's continued success as a coal merchant in the area in the 19th century. History is so exciting when it comes to life!

Our visit to Bristol was very productive with our guest enjoying a look through the records and being able to see, touch and photograph a document that was signed by her Great Great Great Grandfather back in the 1800's. WOW this stuff is exciting. This visit also solved a mystery as we now know more about the "Ashley Buildings" and where they were located. Sadly, the buildings are no longer there, although there is still evidence of the chapel that was close to where the family lived and worshipped.

Another beautiful and historical area is Bath and the group split up this day so that some of our guests were able to do more research at the Gloucester archives and the rest of us spent a day discovering the Roman influence on the town of Bath, as well as the fantastic shops.

From Bath we headed back to London, via Avesbury, a wonderful mystical area similar to Stonehenge, although older and much more accessible.

Our meeting with Emma Jolly, expert researcher of the London area and owner of the business Genealogic went well, although it was cut short because of the famous London traffic.  Emma guided us through the streets from the New St Pancras to the Old St Pancras churches and made relevant the history of these 2 churches for our guest whose GGGG Grandparents were married in the Old Church in 1818.  The connection one feels is hard to explain, but very very real. Let's just say there was a lot of emotion.

Today we have one last family site to see and then the homeward journey starts.

I'll be in touch as soon as I can when back on deck.

Cheers for now,

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