Monday, 23 April 2018

#52Ancestors - Week 17 - Cemetery

On a visit to England in August 2011 we spent part of the time trying to locate graves of ancestors buried in village cemeteries. One of these cemeteries was at Todmorden, a town near the Yorkshire Lancashire border.

We arrived at Todmorden on a wet Sunday morning and soon found St Mary's Church of England in the centre of the town.
St Mary's Church, Todmorden
My great x3 grandfather, Simeon Lord had lived in this area as a child so we hoped to find some grave stones for members of the Lord and Fielden families who lived in the area for many generations. I had located some church records for the area around Todmorden which showed that although some of the family were Quakers, some belonged to the Church of England.
St Mary's Church, Todmorden
St Mary's Church has been located in Todmorden since the seventeenth century though there have been alterations to the building over the years. The cemetery is easily located at the side of the church however when the road was widened in 1968 the church grounds, including the cemetery, were reduced in size. The gravestones were saved and used as pathways or placed against the wall.
Cemetery - St Mary's Church, Todmorden
In the rain we walked carefully along the slippery path trying to recognise names on the grave stones.
A Fielden family grave stone - St Mary's Church, Todmorden
We had some success finding a Fielden family grave stone dating back to the late1700s and early 1800s.

Lord family grave stone - St Marys, Todmorden
We then found grave stones for some members of the Lord family dating to the early 1700s.

The rain continued and we were about to leave when I noticed a small monument in front of the church door. We had walked past it when we arrived.
Small monument at St Mary's Church, Todmorden
The monument included information copied from original grave stones.
Panel on monument - St Mary's Church, Todmorden
The end panel recorded the death of Simeon Lord who died in 1683. Simeon was my great x7 grandfather.
Panel on monument - St Mary's Church, Todmorden
The next panel recorded the death of my great x6 grandfather, also Simeon Lord.
Panel on monument - St Mary's Church, Todmorden
Susan Lord (Ashworth), my great x6 grandmother, was the name on the second end panel.
Panel on monument - St Mary's Church, Todmorden
The final side panel included the name of Mary Lord (Sutcliffe), my great x5 grandmother.

I did not recognise any of the names on the top sections of the monument.

As the church service had not yet started I asked people handing out prayer books if anyone knew anything about the creation of the monument - they didn't, but gave me a pamphlet about the history of the church.

Our time in Todmorden was limited and I would certainly like to return one day to investigate sites where members of the Lord and Fielden families lived and worked. In the meantime, it was great to be able to experience a brief connection with these ancestors and other family members.

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