Monday, August 23, 2010

When We Were English, Part XV

Making Sense of Our Cloudy and Confusing English Past
by Glenn N. Holliman
This gargoyle on the parish church at Tring, Hertfordshire, England represents the challenges to discover our Holliman roots. The 'past', this gargoyle, seemingly does not wish to tell us what we long to hear....who are our ancestors? Photos by Barbara Holliman

Indeed, new research provided by cousins Maxine Wright and Joe Parker is moving the focus of our search from Tring to Bedford, Bedfordshire, England, approximately 35 miles to the north.

In the meantime, I continue to share some findings in Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire, about 25 to 30 miles northwest of London. Below is a map of the villages where Holymans lived in the 16th and early 17 centuries: Cuddington, Tring, Cholesbury, Berkhamstead and Aldbury. They are overshadowed in a yellow marker. Double click to make larger.

The gargoyle at the top of this posting is from the Tring parish in the photo below.

In the photo above, I stand in front of the Tring, Hertfordshire parish church, which has been reconstructed several times since its 11th century founding. The present structure was erected in 1470. In this sacred space in England some of our distant ancestors probably worshiped and their remains may linger in the ground behind me.

After visiting the Tring parish church a first time in 2005, my wife and I stepped down the block to visit a charity shop (seeking yet more royal coronation ware, a vice of mine). The kind clerk showed us the local telephone book. Yes, seven or eight Hollimans were listed in the local exchange. Hmm… Later we motored to a pub for roast lamb and red wine (and I remember little more that day!).

Next posting, we continue to explore the villages and paperwork that connects Holymans in Cuddington to Cholesbury and Cholesbury to Tring and Tring to Berkhamsted and Aldbury.

Some new insights published via email by cousins Jeanette, Joe, Maxine, Betty and others continue to add to the tapestry that is emerging concerning our English roots. My continuing thanks to them for sharing.

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