The Craxford Family Magazine Red Pages

{$text['mgr_red1']} Editorial

Page 7 Newfloridian Speaks

Introduction


Craxford Road sign, Gretton, Northamptonshire

As Site Administrator of this new venture I thought I would pen a few words of introduction.

Prior to beginning this website, I have to admit that I do not recall ever having been to our ancestral village of Gretton. I was born and bred in Leicester and Brenda and I spent many happy family weekend afternoons and picnics around lanes and in the fields of the South of the County. I do remember a school trip to Rockingham Castle and being impressed by the sight of the Harringworth viaduct (a huge Victorian railway bridge - 82 arches if memory serves me right) snaking across the Welland Valley. (Memo to PA: Digital camera to Northamptonshire this summer?) I have been sequestered in the North East of England for over a quarter of a century now (sounds far more grand / grim than 25 years - depending on your point of view) and have rarely ventured South again in that time.

 I am aware that there is a Craxford Road in the village of Gretton (indeed a Craxford Lane is mentioned in the 1891 Census) and there is also a Craxford Road garage. I am very grateful to a member of the Gretton Local History Society (1) for some help in clarifying this point of origin."Craxford Road was named simply because the family lived there at some time. A number of Gretton families are remembered in street names, either from the 1930s when the streets received their current names, or more recently with new building taking place. We have Spendlove, Caistor, Woolston, Stafford, Hatton, Finch Hatton and Northen. Agricultural families were surprisingly mobile, particularly as they did not own their own houses but rented. We find them moving between villages in the area, probably as a result of annual hirings of labour. Rockingham had a Hiring Fair right up to the end of the 19th century."

This map should help to orientate us with the home of our ancestors. Corby and Northampton are to the south, Oakham to the north, Leicester and Uppingham to the west and Stamford to the East. The villages of Middleton, Barrowden and Morcott are all close by.

Quiz Answers

ANSWERS TO QUIZ 1 (358, FOSSE ROAD NORTH)

Q.1.: "I'm worried about Jim" said by Mrs Dale in Mrs Dale's Diary
Q.2.: Dare Dare featured in The Eagle
Q.3.: "You'll look a little lovelier each day" with Pink Camay
Q.4.: The faces were named: Desperation, Pacification, Expectation. Acclamation, Realisation
Q.5.: Lonnie Donegan; before he left to create his skiffle group
Q.6.: Lord Rockingham's XI played 'Hoots Mon'
Q.7.: Derek McCulloch was "Uncle Mac" - presenter of "Children's Favourites" on BBC radio
Q.8.: Elvis Aaron Presley
Q.9.: Annette Mills played piano and sang to Muffin the Mule
Q.10.: Buccaneer - another long withdrawn board game

ANSWERS TO QUIZ 2 (A WALK DOWN KING DICK'S ROAD)

Q.1.: £22. Piccadilly is in the Yellow block with Coventry Street and Leicester Square (2)
Q.2.: Grace Archer. Said to be a response to the start of commercial television broadcasts.
Q.3.: 1971
Q.4.: "The King and I" - Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr
Q.5.: The wedding of Princess Margaret
Q.6.: The Four Marys from The Bunty
Q.7.: "Strand" - a brand of cigarettes
Q.8.: His Football Pools prediction programme
Q.9.: "Beep Beep!" a song about a bubble car, stuck in second gear
Q.10.: The first broadcast of the new Elvis Presley single "Are You Lonesome Tonight"



Newfloridian? How come?

Why the choice of screen name then? Florida has been my vacation home and retirement dream for twenty five years now. I first stepped onto the silver sands of Miami Beach in 1980 and have returned two or three times a year since. I have visited Walt DisneyWorld so often that I think I am an honorary "Cast Member". I love the sights and ambiance of Tampa Bay. My favourite brew is Ybor Gold and stone crab claws (when in season) are to die for ....

Spaceship Earth at EPCOT, Walt Disneyworld, Florida

Spaceship Earth at EPCOT Center DisneyWorld, Florida

For some time I wrote review articles for one of the opinion sites on the internet. Everyone adopts a nom de plume - not necessarily their screen name - and I felt most comfortable with Newfloridian. I have continued to use it as my alter ego - and will do so here. For fun, I thought I would share with you a somewhat whimsical and slightly lyrical effort I posted on that site after my wife and I hired - for the first time - a convertible sports car


Illusions shattered in Florida


The author in a convertible

Newfloridian tastes the thrill of the open road

AH! THE DREAM.

  • The thrill of the open road
  • The wind rustling through your hair
  • The glamour of the sleek machine
  • The envy of the other drivers
  • The glory of the sun, sea and sky

OH! THE REALITY

  • You canít put the top up/down when travelling at more than five miles per hour
  • Sorry, weíre on the Interstate for the next 35 miles
  • Put the top up its starting to rain
  • Put the top down I canít see the scenery
  • The traffic is extremely noisy today
  • Turn the radio up, I canít hear the band
  • With the top up Iíve got a big blind spot behind me on the passengerís side
  • Whatís that dreadful smell?
  • Put the top up, Iím too hot
  • Put the top down, Iím too hot
  • You canít have the air conditioning on when the top is down
  • Iím getting sunburnt on my bald spot
  • Iíve got dust/a feather/garbage/spray/bugs in my eye/nose/mouth/ear
  • Put the top up, Iím too cold
  • Put the top down, Iím too cold
  • I think that truck driver just dropped his sandwich on me

If you want to see the full article, you will find it at:
Illusions Shattered In Florida: CIAO


And now for an admission

I have to admit that as far as genealogy is concerned you can never assume any family relationship until you have seen it in black and white. I had taken it for granted that when I started transferring charts, pieces of paper and card files collected over several years into a database program that the data contained was correct. The problem with any family tree is that the generations tend to be traditionalists and if your grandfather was called William and your uncles were Robert and John, the likelihood was that you would have one or a combination of these names. Also, if a family moved from its point of origin it would often only be as far as the next village down the road.

We were certain that we had traced our own branch back through nine generations to the "founding father" - Richard Craxford, of Gretton - in 1620. I was then quite confident in expanding the limbs of the tree to include the brothers and sisters of each preceding parent and also declaring my ("I'm your long lost whatever ...") relationship when introducing myself to new found Craxfords and fellow enthusiasts. Imaging my surprise when my cosily built edifice was shaken to its roots a couple of weeks ago when it was suggested that my great grandfather was not the son of the family he had been attributed to.

Frantic searches of the censuses and the eventual arrival of his marriage certificate confirmed these suspicions that John Craxford who married Sarah Anne Claypole in 1871 was not the son of Robert Craxford and Harriett Cotterill of Barrowden but was the son of William and Elizabeth Craxford born in March 1834 in Middleton, Northamptonshire. The curious thing was that the other John had been assigned to the wrong parents too - it was just a matter of swapping them over ...

The envelope

... or was it? Well, for them, of course, it was. However there were some practical considerations for the living. I suddenly wasn't who I said I was. These two branches DO converge and share a common ancestor but a further two generations back. So, my recently discovered and befriended fourth cousin is now my fifth cousin once removed. Everyone I have confessed to so far has been very gracious and has accepted me for who I am! It has also righted a wrong interpretation of a letter that I have entered into the histories section of the database written by Lizzie Craxford in 1945 (A Letter To Henry Craxford From His Aunt now told in the OLIVE pages.) My initial reading of this letter had tended to confirm my impression that her uncle John was one and the same as my great grandfather and that my very presence here had given the lie to his being lost at sea without issue. Having restored the two Johns to their rightful places in history it does also confirm the veracity of this historical document.

References

1. Elisabeth Jordan, Gretton Local History Society.
2. Monopoly rents: Financial Markets and Electoral Systems: JDA Wiseman

Newfloridian - Site Administrator.
Added: December 1st 2005
Last update: March 17th 2012

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