Friday, July 24

Postcard Friendship Friday: X Marks The Spot

The "X" marks grandfather Arthur SOWERBY's birthplace.

Grandpa was born at Long Marton, Westmorland (now Cumbria), England in 1877. By 1881 his parents, Philip and Annie, had moved into the larger market town of Penrith.

In December 1884 Philip, Annie and children (Mary Elizabeth, Arthur, Ruth, and baby John) sailed for America on the British Crown, arriving at Philadelphia in mid-January 1884.

Philip permanently resettled the family in Kansas where besides establishing a successful dairy, he bought large parcels of the land around it. In 1912, he sold some of the land and took Annie back to England for a month. This postcard is one of several they brought back from that trip.

It took quite a bit of sleuthing to determine exactly where the multi-family dwelling with the "X" was located in relation to the village of Long Marton.

The high embankment at first appears to be a road, but is actually one end of the Long Marton Viaduct on the old Settle to Carlisle Railway (begun in 1870 and completed in 1876).

Much thanks to Simon Ledingham for these
two photos. The building in the top photo with
four chimneys is Grandpa's birthplace.

Below is St. Margaret & St. James, Long Marton's
village church where he was christened.

[See also Simon Ledingham's photos of St. Margaret's]

The small building barely visible above the Sowerbys' home in the original postcard is not Long Marton Station as I originally thought. The station is beyond that building and out of sight.

But thanks to David and Madeleine Adams, the station has escaped the wrecking ball.

Their account of its history and how they came to own it is a fascinating read in itself, and includes another postcard from the same series as mine.

In the extreme lower right-hand corner of the photo at right, the road that led down to Grandpa's birthplace is now grassed over.

The station has been lovingly restored and made available as a self-catering holiday cottage.

I can't think of a more perfect place than Long Marton Station as a base for exploring my Sowerby and Savage roots in Cumbria.

Happy PFF!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Postcard Friendship Friday is the
brainchild of the delightful Marie Reed!


Cal said...

How lovely to be able to trace your roots pictorially.
Cal x

LondonGirl said...

What a wonderful tale! How far back have you managed to trace this line?

Debby said...

WOW!!! This is amazing. Thanks for sharing.

JamaGenie said...

Cal - For this line, I have to thank a cousin who had the good sense to let our grandmother know she and I would treasure the old family photo she'd one day leave behind. Otherwise they would've gone to an aunt whose children couldn't care less about old photo and what they represent.

LG - Things get fuzzy around 1700 because of the repetition of Christian names (John, William, Mary, Elizabeth) in preceding generations. Without baptismal records, which don't always give the mother's maiden name, there's no accurate way to sort out who begat who.

Debby - You're most welcome! Thank *you*!

Meg said...

A self-catering holiday cottage - the very place to stay and write that book I've been saying you must write! In fact, that's the beginning of the story: Writer, staying in a self-catering holiday cottage within stone's throw of ancestral home, learns that....

Take it from there, Jama, my love, because the whole world is waiting to read it! (Not least me.)

pinkpackrat said...

X definitely does mark the spot-- wonderfully woven post Jama and I think Meg has got something there:-)

JamaGenie said...

CORRECTION to the reply to Cal. It should read: "For this line, I have to thank a cousin who had the good sense to let our grandmother know she and I would treasure the old family photoS she'd one day leave behind. Otherwise they would've gone to an aunt whose children couldn't care less about old photoS and what they represent."

In my haste to get offline as a storm was rolling in, I left off the esses on what was meant to be *photos* (plural). Many thanks to Meg, the grammar guru of Brookman Editing who brought this to my attention.

JamaGenie said...

Meg, what a great idea!

Ian Walker said...

Hi. I read your blog with interest, as 2 years ago I bought No 2 Railway Cottages - the second from the right in the old photo. There are 6 cottages in the row, built around 1870, so it looks like your Great Grandparents moved in when the cottages were first built, suggesting that one or both of them worked for Midland Railways on the Settle - Carlise line. Four of the cottages - numbers 1, 2, 5 and 6 are lived in as permanent residences. The cross on your photo is over the centre of numbers 3 & 4. If your Grandpa was born in No 4, it is currently owned by the Bishop of Papua New Guinea (yes really!!!), number 3 is used as a holiday cottage. The building at the top of the photo is not the station, (which is more to the left and hidden behind the embankment), but is an old railways goods shed which is still standing, although it's got a bungalow built in front of it now. The lane running down from the goods shed is known as "The High Road" and is a bridleway/farm track leading to the top of the village near the entrance to the station. The lane right behind the cottages running left to right is the road between Long Marton and Dufton - the garden sheds on the right of the picture have long since disappeared. I hope this is useful to you - if you want any more info or up-to-date photos, please let me know... Cheers,