Brailes, Part 2

The death of Henry Clifton

Henry Clifton was my great-great-great-grandfather Daniel Holtom‘s cousin, i.e. my 1st-cousin-5-times-removed. He was shot dead by George Ditton, the gamekeeper of Mr H.J. Sheldon of Brailes, on 18 February 1864, aged 29. As reported in the local newspapers Clifton, a farm labourer, and fellow labourer John Holtom were walking home along a footpath leading across one of Mr Sheldon’s farms when Ditton accused them of trespassing. A struggle ensued and Clifton struck Ditton with a stick. Ditton then pointed his double-barrelled gun at Clifton and shot him dead. Ditton was charged with wilful murder, but committed for trial at the Warwick Assizes on the lesser charge of manslaughter. While in Warwick Gaol awaiting trial, Ditton suffered greatly from remorse and mental anxiety, and his health was in a precarious state. On 10 April he became suddenly worse and died that day. Continue reading

Brailes, Part 1

My great-great-grandmother, Kate Holtom, was born in Brailes, Warwickshire in 1862. Her father, Daniel Holtom and Daniel’s mother, Charlotte Clifton were also born there. Charlotte’s parents Joseph Clifton & Mary Davis were married in Brailes in 1795. Joseph’s parents may have been Leonard & Esther Clifton. A 2 line article in the Hereford Times of 1785 says that Mrs Clifton, wife of Mr Leonard Clifton, of the George Inn at Brailes, in Warwickshire, was last week safely delivered of three daughters, all living. Mrs Clifton had before 19 children, all born alive and baptized. It is recorded in the parish register that all the triplets died within a few days. Continue reading

John Duppa and Judith Green of Loxley

Tell anyone your hobby is researching your family tree, and one of the most common responses is ‘How far back have you got?’ Here is my answer to that question.

On all of my lines, I have gone back at least 4 generations, i.e. to my great-great-grandparents. Going further back depends on many factors, but I have found that the most important is whether a family stayed in the same area. The line I have provisionally got furthest back with stayed in one village for 6 generations, about 180 years!
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The Dagnells (sometimes Dagnalls) of Denaby Main

James Dagnell and Priscilla Bourne were my great-great-grandparents. Priscilla is one of my ‘brick wall’ ancestors, who I haven’t so far found any information on. James came to England from Ireland in the 1840s with his parents & 2 siblings, at the time of the Great Famine. After marrying, James & Priscilla lived for a few years in Whitwick in Leicestershire, before moving to Denaby Main in the mid 1870s, where they stayed until they died.

Denaby Main was historically in the West Riding of Yorkshire, although now it is in South Yorkshire. The Denaby Main Colliery Company was formed in the 1860s, and Denaby Main Colliery Village was built to house workers and their families. The colliery closed in 1968, and all the terraced houses where mine workers like the Dagnells had lived were demolished and replaced by semi-detached houses. Continue reading