Loose ends revisited: Keynell and Russell

My cousin Hamish has kindly been adding my family history finds to his much bigger Maclarens, Birtwistles and Many Other Families tree of related families on rootsweb.

We’ve been collaborating on our mother’s Birtwistle family and other ancestors. But he has also added my patrilineal descent here. It’s helped remind me of all the loose ends, as well as those branches that go on and on and on.

This prompted me to see if could find another generation on at least one more branch. Not only did I find one more branch it took me back to the Vikings via Hervey and Percy families.

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‘The Story of Osmaston by Ashbourne’ book launch


Maggie Silcock, Chairman Osmaston History Group, has been in touch about the launch of their book “The Story of Osmaston by Ashbourne” on November 3rd at 10-12am at The Shoulder of Mutton in Osmaston Village

The book is based around Osmaston and its connections with Yeldersley, which are where my Wright ancestors hail from. I think my grandmother (Rosemary, née Wright) was actually born at Yeldersley Hall.

It also covers life at the Manor since it was built and Osmaston village and its tenants up to the present day including: the early history of Osmaston and Yeldersley; the arrival of Francis Wright and the building of the Manor; a small section on John Osmaston and Manor sale; the early life of Sir Andrew Barclay Walker and his arrival at the Manor and grand Balls, etc; Sir Peter Carlaw Walker, his wedding, and WW1 and WW2 when the Manor was used as a Red Cross Hospital and villagers were encouraged to enlist.

There’s a large section on Sir Ian Walker Okeover and numerous photographs of polo, motor cycle racing on the Manor drives etc, as well as tenant memoirs and the demolition of the Manor. Life in Osmaston village is also covered.

Sir Andrew Walker-Okeover will be at the book launch and it looks like Wrights will represented by my distant cousin and family historian Charles Wright. You can find out more about the Osmaston History Group, the book and launch on their Facebook page here.

There’s a small B&B in the village owned by Lady Walker’s parents and Yeldersley Hall also has accommodation and cottages if anyone should want to make a weekend of it. I’ll be away that weekend, but if the Osmaston History Group ever organise a trip around the grounds of the former Osmaston Manor built by my ancestor Francis Wright I’d would love to visit and, who knows, maybe even stay at Yeldersley and visit Tissington Hall (home of my Fitzherbert ancestors).

Portrait of Muriel Harriet Fletcher

Andrew Sanders has very kindly sent me a photograph of this portrait of Muriel Harriet Fletcher, daughter of Colonel Henry Charles Fletcher and Lady Harriet Marsham. She married Captain Henry FitzHerbert Wright (see Wiki entry here). He was the son of my great great grandparents FitzHerbert Wright and Charlotte Rudolphine Louise von Beckman. 

Muriel and Captain Henry lived in the Old Hall between 1903 & 1913 that as demolished in 1929 and stood on the site of what is now Hall Court in West Hallam. It’s close to where Andrew now lives and he is currently writing a book called ‘Ilkeston’s & surrounding area Subterranean Past – Truth or Legend’. The portrait was handed to the Head Gardener John Burrows when they left to live at Yeldersley Hall, where my grandmother was born. Would make nice wedding present for Princess Eugenie later this year, as she is descendent of Muriel but neither Andrew or I have been invited ;)





The Patrick McDonald Collection


Late last year I went to a rather magical cultural gathering of second cousins that have common Maitland and McDonnell of Keppoch ancestors. I took my mother along as she had been to the weddings of the parents of both sets of cousins. Not only did they offer a fantastic spread and mulled wine on cold winters day, but played music and read poetry including the The Wee Town of Effen. I didn’t bring much more than myself, some booze, chocolates and stories about their ancestors. But my mother read some of her poems and now attends poetry reading with one of my cousins she met there. Continue reading

More on (Birtwistle) Coat of Arms

My posts about my Birtwistle family ancestry have by far the most active comments. There seems to be a common ancestor we might all be descended from with some commenters being more rigorous at proving so than me:

Ralph de Bridtwisell (c.1160) of Bridtwisell in Hapton (between Burnley & Accrington)

There’s an archaeological dig that may have even discovered the small Hamlet of Hapton Cum Bridtwistle we may all hail from in Lancashire:


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