More Plantations: Nisbet Family

In my previous post, I had mentioned that I would be looking in more detail in the slave ownership of my Russell ancestors who had plantations in Nevis, Aniqua and possibly also St. Kitts. I will come back to them because while trying to untangle the ownership of their estates, I noticed that this blog was cited on the record for my ancestor Walter Nisbet (1745 – 1797) on the Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slavery database (LBS) hosted by UCL. And that a resource I have been citing in recent posts.

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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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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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Birtwistle Coat(s) of Arms

This is the second chapter from Thirtyone Generations of the Birtwhistle Family: A Family History (2006) compiled by L. Alan Birtwhistle that he has given us kind permission to serialise here on the Ancestorium collaboration (see previous one on Huncoat Hall here).

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 as more connections are made and sources proven, thanks to Hamish Maclaren with kind help from Alan and others collaborating with them. As you can see below, we have included active links from some of the ancestors below to their records in the tree.

You can read more about how to best search the family tree on this site and where else it can be accessed here. There’s also an article about the Birtwistle family in the Family Index and Other Sources section that contains links to other information including those discussing Birtwistle Coat of Arms old and new.

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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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Lord Armstrong of Ilminster (1927-2020)

Lord Armstrong was one of the many distant cousins to have got in touch via my descentfromadam blog where he left the following message:

FitzHerbert and Charlotte Wright had a younger duaghter, Emily (or Emilie) Augusta. In c.1884 she married the Revd W. H. Draper. She died in 1914; he died in 1933. They had three sons and three daughters. Two sons died in World War 1. The eldest, Roger Francis, m.in 1914 Anna Gardiner, of Boston, Mass. They had one son, Roger. After Roger Francis was killed in Gallipoli Anna returned to Boston, and m. Henry Richardson Shepley, by whom she had four sons and one daughter. “Young Roger” was killed in a sailing accident at the age of eleven.

The surviving Draper son, John Godfrey Beresford Draper, m. Aileen Masefield, and had one daughter, Joan Christabel (now Mrs. Patrick Benner) and Michael William.

The only daughter to marry was the second, Hester Muriel (b.1897). She m. in 1926 Thomas Henry Wait Armstrong (b.1898, d.1994). He was Principal of the Royal Academy of Music 1955-68, and was knighted in 1958. They had one son, Robert Temple (b.1927) and one daughter Helen Hilary (b.1930). Robert m.Serena Chance in 1953, and had two daughters:

Jane Orlanda (b.1954) and Teresa Brigid (b.1957) Jane m. Joseph Whitlock Blundell and has three sons. Teresa m. Simon Littlewood and has trwo sons and a daughter. Helen Hilary is unmarried.

Robert was Secretary of the Cabinet 1979-87, and became Lord Armstrong of Ilminster in 1988.

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New site – possibly

My cousin Hamish and I have been discussing setting up a new site to make the family tree side of things easier to follow. This blog was originally just a way to keep tabs of my discoveries, even if it has evolved into something more than that. However, it is not so great at showing Pedigree and other views of ancestors.

My cousin has been using Rootsweb to make all of the 135,000+ individuals publicly available, but that platform has been going through a lot of changes and not always for the better – possibly as a result of their new VC owners trying to rationalise the ecosystem of platforms and drive growth.

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