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Adderbury, Oxon - St Mary Church
Adderbury, Oxon - St Mary Church
This is the church where Elizabeth Hayward was baptised on 11th June 1815. The Haywards in Adderbury can be traced back to 1599, and baptisms, marriages and burials nearly all took place here.

Adderbury village is in Oxfordshire, just 3 miles south of Banbury. There was considerable rivalry between Adderbury and neighbouring Bloxham, which led to a couple of rhymes:

Adderbury for length,
Bloxham for strength,
And Kings Sutton for beauty.
Bloxham dogs, come to Adderbury to buy your togs.

Adderbury is noted for its Church which features an impressive steeple, a magnificent chancel and 14th century stone carvings. The village is also noted for the many honey coloured Horton stone cottages in the older parts of the village. 
Banbury, Oxon - St Mary Church
Banbury, Oxon - St Mary Church
This is the church where George Hartwell married Elizabeth Edwards on 11th July 1865.

The present Church is a late Georgian building erected in the last decade of the 18th Century and consecrated in September 1797. Its predecessor was a splendid mediaeval church which had fallen into disrepair and had become dangerous. Part of the old church collapsed one Sunday morning in February 1790 with the tower adding itself to the rubble the following day. Financial constraints delayed the completion of the new church and the 'pepper pot' tower was not completed until 1822. As designed by the architect, Samuel Pepys Cockerill, the building was a perfect square with sides 90 feet long. It is thought to have been modelled on Sir Christopher Wren's St. Stephen's Church, Walbrook, which, like this building, has a dome supported by twelve classical columns.

Banbury town

A nursery rhyme, 'Ride a Cock Horse', has made Banbury one of the best-known towns in England. It has been suggested that the 'Fine Lady' of the nursery rhyme may have been Lady Godiva or Elizabeth I. More likely it was a local girl who rode in a May Day procession. The original cross was pulled down at the end of the 16th century. The present cross was erected in 1859 to celebrate the wedding of the then Princess Royal to Prince Frederick of Prussia. Banbury is also well known for its Banbury Cakes.

Banbury is believed to have been the site of a 5th century Saxon stockade. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book. By the 13th century it had grown to become an important wool trading centre bringing wealth to the local population. In 1628 the town was ravaged by fire which destroyed many buildings, though some have survived to the present day. The opening of the Oxford Canal in 1790 connecting Banbury with the Midlands bought new industries and growth which continued with the arrival of the railways. 
Beckermet, Cumberland - St Bridget Church
Beckermet, Cumberland - St Bridget Church
This is the old church where many ancestors of Dave's daughter Judy were baptised, married and buried in the 18th century and earlier. Her 7*g-grandfather Clement Mossop was baptised here in 1709. The church, which is down a narrow lane, a mile or so from the village, was probably built on the site of a 7th Century monastery. The church is only used for services three times a year, and a new much bigger Church of St John is now in the village 
Boarstall, Bucks/Oxon border - St James Church
Boarstall, Bucks/Oxon border - St James Church
This is the church where James Watts and Mary Blake married on 5 April 1860. Mary and her siblings were baptised there between 1826 and 1842.

Boarstall is a tiny hamlet on the Bucks/Oxon border, which despite its size saw significant military action during the Civil War.

Immediately adjacent to the church lies what remains of Boarstall House. In the English Civil War this house was turned into a garrison by King Charles I who was in possession of the nearby town of Brill. When Brill fell in 1643, so did the garrison at Boarstall. However whereas the manor at Brill was destroyed in the fighting, the fortified manor at Boarstall was saved, and used as a garrison by John Hampden's men, from which they were easily able to attack Royalist Oxford, just eight miles away. Having no further use for the manor in 1644, Hampden left it to go and fight elsewhere. The house was then taken back for the Royalists by Colonel Thomas Gage, whom it is said launched such heavy fire from his cannons against the house that the incumbent Lady Denham was forced to evacuate and steal away in disguise. Gage left a small garrison in place to defend the house. In May 1645 the house was attacked again by the Parliamentarian forces, this time led by Sir Thomas Fairfax himself, though he was unsuccessful. The following year in 1646 Fairfax returned, and the house was surrendered to him on June 10th, after a siege of 18 hours. All that remains of the original fortified house today is the gateway and turrets, though the more modern house that replaced it, called Boarstall Tower is owned by the National Trust because of its historical importance. Ecclesiastically, Boarstall was originally a chapel of ease for nearby Oakley, and its tithes were granted by Empress Maud to St Frideswide's monastery in Oxford. The parish of Boarstall was formed in 1418. The original church was mainly demolished during the English Civil War, though a replacement was constructed out of funds provided by Lady Denham.
Buckingham, Bucks - St Peter and St Paul church
Buckingham, Bucks - St Peter and St Paul church
This is the church where Ansel Smith and Rachel Woolhead were married on 4th March 1878.

Buckingham is probably 7th Century in origin, it is first referred to in the year 918 when, according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Edward the Elder stationed his army in the village during an attack on Danish invaders. It is likely that Edward's stronghold stood on Castle Hill, later the site of a Norman castle and now the location of the Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul. Throughout the Middle Ages Buckingham prospered as a market town, with official Charters from Mary Tudor in 1554 and Charles II in 1684 allowing for market days and two annual fairs. The town also welcomed some famous royal guests: Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII's first wife, was resident in Buckingham in 1514; Edward VI founded the town's Latin School and Elizabeth I dined at the manor house while travelling to Bicester. During the Civil War, Charles I spent time in the town, as did his rival Cromwell, reflecting the fact that Buckingham's local gentry took opposing sides in the conflict. In 1724, a disastrous fire destroyed much of the ancient town centre. Reconstruction followed, and various fine buildings dating from the period include the Town Hall, the Old Gaol and the Church of St Peter and St Paul. 
Croston, Lancashire - St Michael and All Angels Church
Croston, Lancashire - St Michael and All Angels Church
Many of Dave's ancestors in the 18th century appear in records for this church.

The church of ST. MICHAEL (fn. 9) is situated at the south end of Croston village close to the River Yarrow, which bounds the churchyard on the south side, and consists of a chancel 41 ft. 6 in. by 14 ft. 6 in. with north and south aisles and north vestry, nave 49 ft. by 15 ft. 6 in. with north and south aisles, south porch, and west tower 16 ft. 3 in. square, all these measurements being internal. The tower stands almost entirely within the church, its west front projecting only 4 ft. beyond the end walls of the north and south aisles, and is open to the building on all three sides under lofty pointed arches. The oldest parts of the church other than the piscina mentioned later seem to be the east end of the chancel and the lower part of the tower, which are probably of 15th-century date, at which period the church may have been built on the present plan, and to which date some other portions of the building may belong. There was so much rebuilding and restoration, however, in the following three centuries, of which no exact record has been kept, that it is now very difficult to assign the actual date to the greater part of the building. It seems, however, to be largely 16th-century work on a 15th-century basis, altered in the 17th, partly rebuilt in the 18th, and restored in the 19th century.

Drayton-by-Banbury, Oxon - St Peter church
Drayton-by-Banbury, Oxon - St Peter church
This is the church where George Edwards and many other of Irene's ancestors were baptised, married and buried in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

Drayton by Banbury village is in Oxfordshire, just a mile north-west of Banbury. It should not be confused with the larger Oxfordshire Drayton, which is near Abingdon.

St Peter's is a medieval Church tucked away from the main road and because of this & repeated burglaries is now locked for most of the week. 
Liverpool waterfront - Our Lady and St Nicholas church
Liverpool waterfront - Our Lady and St Nicholas church
Dave's ancestors William Stirret and Letitia Bruce married here in 1837.

This is probably the best known church in Liverpool. It is one of two churches mostly used for baptisms, marriages and burial services up to the mid 19th century in Liverpool. The other was St Peter in Church Street.

St Nicholas is the Patron Saint of sailors and is regarded as the guardian of seamen proceeding on their voyages. Consequently the Parish Church of Liverpool is often known as the Sailors Church. The church overlooks the river Mersey. It must have been very prominent until the arrival of the "Three Graces" (including the Liver Building) and more recently the Atlantic Hotel. These somewhat dwarf it today.

The church was almost destroyed during the World War II, but after rebuilding was re-opened in 1952. 
Liverpool, Church Street - St Peter
Liverpool, Church Street - St Peter
Dave's grandmother Emily Hall (later Foster) was baptised here in 1874.

St Peter's Church in Church Street was one of two churches mostly used for baptisms, marriages and burial services up to the mid 19th century in Liverpool. The other was Our Lady and St Nicholas.

In 1699, Parliament sanctioned that Liverpool be made a separate District Parish from Walton, and  
Liverpool, Lancs, Everton area - St Chrysostom church
Liverpool, Lancs, Everton area - St Chrysostom church
Dave's parents John Foster and Minnie Ferguson were married here in 1938.

This church was opened on 31st August 1853. The church, designed by the architect Raffles Brown, was located in a thickly populated and rapidly increasing neighbourhood of Everton and was built in Audeley Street to replace a Sunday School in Mill Road which was soon found to be inadequate. The church was built in the parish of Walton-on-the-Hill, but an ecclesiastical district was assigned to the church and the parish of St. Chrysostom was not created until 1866.

As a result of the reorganisation of the parishes of St. John, St. Chrysostom and Emmanuel, St. Chrysostom was demolished in 1970. 
Maids Moreton, Bucks - St Edmund church
Maids Moreton, Bucks - St Edmund church
This is the church where Irene's ancestors John Fich and Hannah Watts married in 1795, and where their children were baptised.

Maids Moreton is just a mile from the north east edge of Buckingham. 
Middleton Cheney, Northants - All Saints church
Middleton Cheney, Northants - All Saints church
This Church saw the wedding of Irene's ancestors Samuel Harbage and Elizabeth Hopkins on 16 April 1771. All eight of their children were baptised there.

Middleton Cheney is the largest village at the southeren end of Northants. It is just 5 miles from Banbury.

Middleton is located near to the prehistoric trackway called Banbury Lane, which runs along the northern boundary. This was the main medieval route from Northampton to Banbury and the important period of its use would have been in the late 12th century. Much of it is still an important road between the two towns. At one time Banbury Lane would have been used as a drove road to move cattle to market and would have linked up to another drovers' route known as Welsh Lane at Culworth. After the Norman conquest many Norman lords added their family name to the manor they had been awarded. Simon de Chenduit held the manor in a 12th century survey. John de Curci held a part in 1205. The name is derived ultimately from Medieval Latin, "casnetum" (in Old French this becomes "chesnai"), which means oak grove. Many factors affect the location of a settlement , some of these will have exerted an influence in the past but are no longer important. In its natural state most of the low lying clay land in Britain was marshy and liable to flood so settlements avoided it. Middleton Cheney is no exception and is sited along the top of a ridge - as can clearly be seen on Ordnance Survey maps of the area. Settlements also need an accessible water supply. Many undoubtedly obtained their water from underground sources, wells or springs. A walk around the village will reveal that a large number of wells and pumps still exist in cottage gardens and many are in working order today. Finally, this has always been an important agricultural area. No remains of the original manors in this area can be found but the medieval pattern of strips and furlongs can still be seen in some fields around the village. This pre-enclosure pattern of ridge and furrow has been preserved because, over much of the Midlands, the land was turned over to pasture long ago, thereby fossilising the strips. 
Penwortham, Lancs - St Mary Church
Penwortham, Lancs - St Mary Church
This is the church where Dave's Foster ancestors were baptised, married and buried for 200 years up to c1880s. Virtually all the Fosters discovered so far, certainly up to 1850, seem to be descendants of Thomas Foster (origins unknown) and his wife Jenet Winterbotham (origins unknown), who married here on 5th September 1699.

Penwortham is on the south side of the river Ribble, facing Preston. The ground behind the church slopes downward, and from the rear edge of the graveyard, one can look down on the river.

In front of the church, against the railings at the right, is the grave of Dave's 2* great grandfather Roger Foster and his wife Jenny. On the far side of the church, on the flat ground before the slope starts, is a large flat horizontal gravestone under which are buried Dave's 4*great grandparents William and Ellen Foster, plus several of their children. This grave was used for burials over a period of 60 years up to 1824.

The church records started in 1632. Unfortunately, the records held in the church were lost in a fire c1850, so the only information available is from the bishop's transcripts, which have some gaps in the 18th century - and large gaps in the 17th century! 
Tysoe, Warks - St Mary church
Tysoe, Warks - St Mary church
On 24 Feb 1819, Irene's ancestor Charlotte Pargiter was baptised in this church.

Tysoe actually comprises 3 parts, Lower Tysoe, Middle Tysoe and Upper Tysoe. The church is in Middle Tysoe. The full name of the parish church is the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The church is a grade one listed building and one of the most beautiful parish churches in England. There is a Saxon wall and evidence of an ancient foundation but in the main it is Norman with fourteenth century additions. However, there is some evidence to suggest a pre Christian religious origin to the site - the church is magnetic due east of the old Red Horse and, at the vernal equinox, the rising sun over Edge Hill bisects the horse site to strike the dead centre of the east window. Extensively restored over the last decade, it is now in excellent condition - although restoration never stops. 
Wardington, Oxon - St Mary Magdalene church
Wardington, Oxon - St Mary Magdalene church
Irene's grandfather George Hartwell was baptised in St. Mary Magdalene Wardington on 23 June 1889. His parents married there in the previous year. His mother, nee Clara Watts, could trace her Watts ancestry back to the wedding of Thomas Watts and Raleigh Lovell in the same church on 28 March 1758.

The village is in Oxfordshire, on the borders of Northamptonshire, 4