Caldecote Revisited

Dot Harvey (left), with her daughter Bev Pollard in the churchyard of St Michael and All Angels

Dot Harvey (left), with her daughter Bev Pollard in the churchyard of St Michael and All Angels

On 1st September 2016, two descendants of James and Jane Parish, Dot Harvey and her daughter Bev Pollard, made the journey from their home in Swan Hill, Victoria, Australia to visit Caldecote and the church to see where their family originated. Having spent a month touring the UK, the ladies were delighted to be spending the last day of their holiday in the village where their ancestors lived and worked. They spent a pleasant afternoon in the late summer sunshine looking around the churchyard, and although is no longer any sign of where their family members might have been buried, they were thrilled to be in the area that their family would have known so well.

In August 1792 Elizabeth Parish baptised her baby son, Smith, in the Church of St Michael and All Angels, Caldecote. When Smith grew up he worked as a farmer labourer and married an Irish girl called Ann.

Together Smith and Ann Parish had seven children (Jane, John, James, Robert, Caroline, Sarah and Mark) and they brought them up in one of the labourers’ cottages near the church. As the children grew up, the boys also went to work on the land. Most of the children found marriage partners locally and, in time, presented Smith and Ann with a succession of grandchildren.

Smith died in October 1855 and was buried in Caldecote churchyard. Ann, his widow, lived alone on until May 1869, when she was also laid to rest beside her husband in the churchyard.

Many of Smith and Ann’s children did not move far and settled with their families in nearby villages, Kingston, Toft, and the Eversdens. James, born in August 1821, married a girl from Kingston, Jane Smith, in 1849. In 1850, Jane gave birth to twin girls, Louisa and Eliza. Sadly Louisa died, aged only 17 months old.

After the loss of their daughter James and Jane Parish set out for a new life in Australia, where they settled with Eliza in Victoria. Eliza later married and had a daughter of her own, Ellen, who in turn married and had children.

James died in Victoria in 1895, and Jane followed him in 1901, the family having made a good life for themselves far from the farmlands of Cambridgeshire.

On 1st September 2016, two descendants of James and Jane, Dot Harvey and her daughter Bev Pollard, made the journey from their home in Swan Hill, Victoria, Australia to visit Caldecote and the church to see where their family originated. Having spent a month touring the UK, the ladies were delighted to be spending the last day of their holiday in the village where their ancestors lived and worked. They spent a pleasant afternoon in the late summer sunshine looking around the churchyard, and although is no longer any sign of where their family members might have been buried, they were thrilled to be in the area that their family would have known so well.

swan-hill-region-victoria-oct2016

Postcard from the Swan Hill Region, Victoria

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