Sunday, 4 November 2012

A Sentimental Outing

One of my main family branches is the surname Flucker from the fishing village of Newhaven, Midlothian, which is now part of Edinburgh. 
Most of the men were fishermen and the women were the well known Newhaven Fishwives and I have traced some of them back to the 1600's.

From the late 1800's onwards, many of them began to emigrate or move to another part of the United Kingdom and I traced one of my Flucker lines to Manchester, England. I have been living near Manchester for about 10 years now and was very excited when I found the burial record online with the details of the cemetery and a map which showed me which area of the cemetery he was buried in.

William Henry Sheils Flucker,my 1st cousin twice removed, was born in 1898, Newhaven, Midlothian. He was the son of David and Margaret, his father being an iron moulder. It was about this time that I find many of them begin to leave the fishing industry. William married Margaret Cunningham Pheely in 1919 in Edinburgh and at the time of his marriage was down as a dock labourer. At some point after 1926 the family moved to Manchester and had at least 3 sons (maybe 4), the elder ones being born in Edinburgh and the youngest in Manchester. Margaret died in 1977 and William died in 1986, both in Manchester. I would love to learn more about William and his family and find out if he has any living relatives still living in my area. Would be lovely to find some distant cousins living nearby.

Today I bought some flowers and set off with my ever tolerant partner to the Southern Cemetery in Manchester. I didnt realise just how big the cemetery was until we got there, but plan in hand we eventually found the area the burial records had mentioned. The area was very large and there must have been at least 200-300 graves in that one area. My partners face dropped as he realised his quick trip out was about to turn into a major operation with rows and rows of graves to check, ( he is very good about my addiction to family history, but grave searching is not something he really enjoys!) As we stood on the path looking at the mass of graves in front of us, I glanced down at my feet and couldn't believe my eyes, the grave right next to the path we were standing on was William and Margarets!

The grave looked very unkempt, no recent flowers, just some plastic ones that had obviously been there a long time and I wish I had had the fore thought to bring something to clean the head stone. We found some water and just used our hands to clean off the worst of the lichen etc from the lettering, then left some fresh flowers. The headstone mentions children and grandchildren but guess they may have moved away from the Manchester area and are not able to get to the cemetery very often. I plan on going back in the near future to tidy it up properly and lay more flowers and hope that one day maybe one of their grandchildren will stop by and be glad that someone has been looking after their grandparents grave. 

William Henry Sheils Flucker and his wife Margaret's grave after trying to clean the lettering.
Some fresh flowers for William and Margaret

Rest in Peace William and Margaret xxx

Friday, 2 November 2012

Back to writing

Well it has been a while since I wrote on here but will try to visit more often in future.

I have been busy doing more research on my tree and helping some close friends to find out more about theirs. There is nothing like the feeling you get when you see someone get all excited about some information you have found for them!

I have also started volunteering at the Local and Family History Help Desk in the library and am thoroughly enjoying that. Now if they would only pay me for it, it would be my ideal job! I help out with Family History Workshops, which are designed for beginners who want some help to begin their research and again, its rewarding to see them gain interest as they go and the thrill they get when they find some information on an ancestor. I have been doing my own research for many years now and forget just how quickly it got addicting. People seem to really enjoy the workshops and come back at later dates to use the resources we have shown them. It is also great being able to refer to original documents and newspapers etc...none of my ancestors come from this area so I am limited in how often I can travel and use these for my own research. 

I has been fascinating to learn more about the history of my local area and I could spend hours reading some of the many books they have in their collection. It has made me think more about doing a course I saw on Local History and has rekindled my enthusiasm for history in general, as well as my own.