The T Tree

Volume 2, No. 1                                       Winter, 2009 

How time flies!  Seems like only yesterday I put together Vol.1, No.1, promising an autumn issue.  Robert Burns knew what he was saying when he penned those famous words, “The best laid plans of mice and men oft gang aglee

    Never fear, the next one is here!

Two great additions to our family history this newsletter.  I was going to do one in the fall and one this winter, but seeing as I missed one window of opportunity, I’ll not make our donors wait....  But first... a sad announcement.
    While corresponding with Paul Tollerfield in November, he told me that Derek Saunders passed away a couple of years ago.  Derek was descended from James and Sarah’s Joseph, then Joseph’s Benjamin, then  Benjamin’s William.  It was sad news indeed.  Derek’s wife, Trish has asked that his name be withdrawn from our lists of ‘cuzzins’, so if you have a contact list, please stroke him from it.
    Derek provided me with information from his family line that allowed me to join him up with the rest of us.  He will live on in the family tree.

    For those of you who have a descendant chart of the family, you will see that James and Sarah had a son Peter, born at Hazelbury Bryan Parish about 1751, and was christened there October 15, of that year.  He was their second child. John, their first child, and James their third child, along with Peter are mentioned in their grandfather’s will in 1753, and each was left an inheritance.
    Sometime about 1766 or 1767 the family moved to Bere Regis Parish and at that place Benjamin, Jeremiah and Joseph were born.
    The church registers were lost in a fire there in the late 1790's, and so no further information has ever come to light about these first three children of James and Sarah....not until family researcher, Stephen Connor e-mailed me to ask if Peter Torevell was part of our family.
    WHOOPPEE !  You could hear me hoot for miles!  One of those three sons was finally captured and brought home.  For a few years now I have had information from Avril Torevell about her branch of the family in the north.  I told her she was indeed related, but how, I couldn’t be sure.... now, with Stephen’s input, I have been able to match them all up, link the Yorkshire branch and Lancashire branch to the rest of us, and Bob is now your uncle......  Here’s how it happened.

    Peter went off to seek his fortune, but got only as far as the parish of SixPenny Handley.  Here he met the fair Mary Cookman, and they were married at that parish 16th August, 1781.  Their children included James (christened at SP Handley 28 Dec. 1783), Sally, Mary, Jenny, Peter, John, Marey, Jeremiah and Martha.
    Their son James, like his father, went off in search of his fortune when he had reached a suitable age, and finding himself in Yorkshire, settled into a job and met Mary Ann Midgeley, whom he married about 1819. (Below is Thorp Arch Parish church where James and MaryAnn's children were Christened)

James and Mary Ann had 8 known children.  They lived in the Parish of Thorp Arch.  Most of their children stayed in the Thorp Arch vicinity, but some moved to Barnsley, and some to Wharfedale.
    I have been able to follow most of their children and grandchildren and great grands and find one poor lad, a gr. grandson, died at Passchendeale, W.W.1, age 25 years.
I was able to gather about 100 or more new names for our ever-growing T Tree with Stephen’s query.  Thanks Stephen!

Now, for our second item......
This comes to us from our American cousin, Sherilyn Gertz.......

Family Heirloom
When my maternal grandmother, Eva Grace Dowell Madden, decided it was time to attend to her “estate,” her only assets were pieces of jewelry that she had tucked away in her dresser drawer. She chose a piece of jewelry for  each of her daughters and granddaughters, and presented them to each, as we  would visit her. Mine was a bar pin with pearls and amethysts.   After her death, I treasured the reminder of her.
Later when I became interested in family history, the pin became more important to me. I did some research and found that it was an Edwardian bar or lace pin. And, not long after making that discovery, I made another.
While looking at a portrait of my great grandmother, Annie Dowell Madden (the daughter of Ann Torevell and Charles Dowell), I was astounded to see she  was wearing that same pin. She must have given it to her daughter-in-law who then passed it down to me. The pin is lovely, but lovelier still is the feeling of connection to these two ladies.
  ( PHOTOS:   above: the pin..... below, Annie Dowell Madden)

Sherilyn Gertz


I met with Sherilyn at London, Ontario last spring.  We had a wonderful visit, and supper out together.  Sheri got to meet my Mom, she and Sheri are 4th cousins, I think.  It was a great visit. 

So, check out some of the things you may have inherited and like Sheri, you may find a ‘real’ family heirloom among it, AND a story for our next issue!

For those of you who may have missed the previous newsletter, please print this off and save it in the book with the rest of your family history.  Eventually, I want this newsletter to be a blending and joining of our many branches of this family - our story!

See you again in a couple of months! 
Sherrell Lynn Branton Leetooze