Friday we left York and headed to Doncaster. My dad has one line of his family tracing back to Doncaster. His great-great-grandfather was born in Doncaster and immigrated to the States as a young man. My dad had an obituary for the great-great-grandfather that mentioned his birthplace (Doncaster) and the fact that he was a chorister in the cathedral there, as well as his profession (barber) – but that is all my dad really knew.
We went to the Doncaster minster first, where my dad quickly met the vicar’s wife who took he and my mom over to the old vicar’s house where some old pictures of the church were displayed. It ends up there was a catastrophic fire when my ancestor was a young boy, so most records and photographs from that era were destroyed. In the house the church ladies were hosting a public tea, so we had some nice tea and scones. Lowell and I brought the average age in the room down significantly.
After tea we went back to the church and took some pictures – it was a very pretty church.
After finding out that any remaining church records were housed at the city archives I made an appointment to visit there after lunch. We had lunch in the city centre to pass the time. My dad noted that the accent was ‘heaviest’ up here, which I attributed it to being a northern, working class city. It was indeed thick. Over the course of the trip I often had to ‘translate’ for my family when they had a hard time understanding what someone was saying. I guess I’ve picked it up in my six months over here.
After lunch we headed to the Doncaster Family History Society. My parents met a very kind man who spent the next hour helping us search the birth and census records on fische – quite a job since we only had a birth year to go off of. (this may have been the first time my brother ever used microfische). My mom had the right pane, but it took Lowell’s young eyes to read it. The gentleman then helped my dad find it on the computer and there we found the names of my great-great-great-great-grandparents. This was pretty neat, and lucky that we could find something so quickly.
We headed for home at 3pm. Mom, dad, Lowell and Steve went out to dinner with our neighbors that evening and I headed to the hotel (where Steve and I stayed so my family could stay at the house) as I was super-tired from the driving.
Overall it was a great day, and a great tour of England. Just a few more days of England fun for the Dickersons.