Wilfred Stanley Pettitt (1904 – 1978)

As part of consolidating a number of family trees that my cousin Hamish has been putting together at the Ancestorium.com family tree collaboration, he’s traced a number of my wife’s ancestors (see links to some of the longer branches below).

There’s an obituary for her father Robin Garth Pettitt in The Times that’s included in his record. I’ll try and add a photo of him and her uncle David along with his eulogy. And from what I understand there’s also a tree of my wife’s maternal ancestors (the Jenkins) that’s been compiled and I hope to be able to add this at some point.

But in the meantime, I thought I would start with her grandfather William Stanley Pettitt (see biography below I found for him on the Tudor Galleries website). He was a commercial and fine artist, and we are lucky to have several of his paintings but here is a selection of his landscapes I have found online (mostly of East Anglia):

My wife has put a little book togher of his painting she and other members of her family have, as well as those she had found online. I will try and add those to the blog at some point:

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Ann Hamilton 1931-2021

Ann Hamilton was the godmother of my wife, who heped look after her and her brother after their mother died when they were infants. I put together this tribute to her, which was printed and distributed at the requiem mass held for her at St Anthony’s church in Rye on September 27th. It brings together reflections from close friends, family and colleagues, with other material published about her. It hopes to provide a flavour of the esteem in which she was held, her impact on the lives of those she came into contact, and just as importantly how she was much loved. A short biographical sketch below has also been included about aspects of Anne’s life not covered in the reflections and other material.

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Lest We Forget: Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge

My cousin Simon (Hamish’s brother) stopped at the Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge on his way back home from North Uist (outer Hebrides) in late August. He took the photographs below that includes the following plaque remembering those who died during Operation Herrick in Afghanistan, which lists my nephew Sam Alexander (see Wiki entry):

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Miss D.M. Birtwhistle Mystery

I.M. Birtwistle, 1943

The photograph above is of my aunt Iris Mary Birtwistle (aka Lilla and IM Birtwistle). She was a poet and gallery owner, who achieved notoriety – in part – for continuing to run her gallery after she had gone blind (see her wiki entry here).

I’ve shared the photograph because it is an example of how searching for one thing can yield another. And in this case that started by trying to find out more about a Miss Birtwistle mentioned in documentary about Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.

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Huncoat Hall

This chapter was originally published in Thirtyone Generations of the Birtwhistle Family: A Family History (2006) compiled by L. Alan Birtwhistle, who has given us kind permission to share it here along with other chapters from the book that we’ll be publishing over the coming months.

Alan’s book also included a CD supplement that contained a family tree file with details of many Birtwhistle and other spellings of family members from 1160 A.D. That tree continues to be updated on this site thanks to Hamish Maclaren with kind help from Alan and others collaborating with them.

You can read about how to best search the family tree on this site and where else it can be accessed here, in article about the Birtwistle family that contains links to other sources.

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Edmund Frederick Astley Birtwistle (1924-1986)

Unlike our uncles Michael and David, our uncle Edmund (aka Frog) never received an obituary we can find (even in the Ampleforth Journal):

As a child I had heard stories about his war exploits from my mother and grandmother, which included how he may have been picked up in the North Sea having had to ditch from a plane or possible accident while crossing the channel in patrol boat. That apparently included getting lung damage through the inhaling of diesel fumes, which may have contributed to lung problems later in life. My cousin Hamish had also been told a similar story by his mother, although in the version he’d heard our uncle had ended up in the channel when boat he was in sunk on its way to France.

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Generation 5: Paternal 3x  Gt. Grandparents…

In theory, there should be 32 ancestors in this generation, but two ancestors (Fitzherbert and Mary Wright) in the last generation were siblings so shared the same parents. And we can’t confirm the natural father of our great grandmother Annie Birtwistle (née Hartley), so that branch is currently a dead end. That means we not only have a duplicate pair of ancestors at this generation, but also a missing pair.  And so there are actually only 28 possible ancestors we can currently trace in this generation.

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