On Saturday (yesterday) we drove to Babworth Church in Nottinghamshire in connection with my family research project. My maternal grandmother's family came from a village in Essex, but some of them moved and settled in Northumberland. My great grandfather, Charles, then married a Cornish girl whose father had gone to Northumberland to seek work in the mines. However, in the last year or two of my great grandfather's life when he was a widower - my great grandmother had died when she was quite young and I remember my grandmother saying she had to look after her younger siblings - he went to Nottinghamshire. The rest of the family, including my grandmother, were still in Northumberland so it's likely my great grandfather went to find work in rural Nottinghamshire, not in the mines, but on a farm which had been the family's original means of livelihood. Unfortunately, at the age of 52 years he died from influenza during the epidemic in 1919. A family memorial card records that he was interred in Babworth.
The church is open for visitors on a Saturday afternoon from May to September and I thought that even if I didn't find any records it would be an interesting place to visit because of its connection with the Pilgrim Fathers. The Pilgrim Movement originated there during the time of one of the rectors, Richard Clyfton, (Rector from 1555-1605) and some of the founding families who sailed on the Mayflower lived in the area.
It's situated in an isolated spot in the middle of woods and farmland with the old rectory opposite and a few houses and cottages down the long lane.
Haygarth House (old rectory) and Pilgrim Way
There was to be a harvest festival service
this Sunday (today).
Above the font is the ringing chamber and the window
is by Charles Kempe known for his beautiful
designs in stained glass.
There are eight examples of the carved mouse trademark
of Robert 'Mousey' Thompson, the well known
19th century church furniture maker, in the church.
A model of the Mayflower
Unfortunately, the church warden looked in the records, but the ones kept there are from 1925 and the earlier ones will be in the Nottingham Registry Office archives. We couldn't find any memorial stone for great grandfather in the woodland burial ground which is quite spread out into various sections. There might not have been one or any evidence of a grave is covered up by the leaves and vegetation. Nevertheless, it was good to be shown around by the church warden and we sat and listened to him as he played hymns on the church organ before we went on our way.
However, we found what is likely to be the row of cottages where my great grandfather lived from the address I had in my documents and I will be continuing with my research by phoning the Nottingham Registry Office to see if they have some more information on great grandfather Charles.