Category Archives: Blog

Accidentally found a relatives grave

In researching for a new grave visit video I visited Shirehampton Cemetery to try and find my three-times great-grand parents Henry and Sarah Ann Butcher.

With my initial research into the family I knew that Henry Butcher was born in 1846 in Easton-in-Gordano, Somerset to Thomas and Eliza Butcher. Henry Butcher married Sarah Ann Bull in 1867 and had had eight children by 1892.

Searching on the Bristol and Avon Family History Societies website I searched the Inscriptions for Shirehampton Cemetery. I found two hits, one for Sarah Ann Butcher (widow) and an Ernest Edward and Mark Biddle Butcher; and one for Harry and Ethel Butcher and John Butcher (son).

On my first visit the the cemetery I found the grave for the second Butcher family. Two further visits to the cemetery and I have not yet found the location for the first family.

Back home I researched this family further and found an entry on the 1939 register for Harry and Ethel Butcher with their children Ernest and Doreen.

The children’s birth certificates show that their mothers maiden name was Buller, and there is a marriage between Harry Butcher and Ethel Buller in 1919.

It seems like Harry and Ethel’s son Ernest was known by his middle name of John. There is a death recorded in 1971 of the name ‘Ernest John Butcher’ and with the correct birth date.

I just need to order the marriage certificate for Harry and Ethel to confirm my findings and that this is my two-times great-grand uncle and auntie.

I have also contacted Canford Cemetery office to enquire about the grave of Sarah Ann Butcher, I should have an answer in the next week or two.

Changing of Web Hosting

I was going to post about my visit to the BAFHS Family History Fair, but it was cancelled due to a lack of exhibitors. Hopefully it will be back in the spring of 2023

I am about to change my web hosting, so this will be the last post until October.

See you then


As posted over on my main blog, the change of hosting is complete.

I’ll be back next week with new family tree posts.

Unlucky in my search for graves

In my search for graves I have had mixed results when I arrive at the cemetery or graveyard as to whether I will find the plot I am looking for.

My first unsuccessful find is my great-grand uncle William Rogers. The information I received from a relative on Ancestry said that he had died in February 1939 and that he was buried in Canford Cemetery.

One visit to the Canford Cemetery office later, I now know that the grave is located within the V section, which has been designated as their wildlife, and as such is cleared less often.

Using the provided map I believe I located the area the grave is in, but I couldn’t find a headstone. There was some nearby, but they were covered in thick brambles and I was unable to locate William’s grave.

On the same trip to the Canford Cemetery offices I enquired about the grave of my two-times great-grandparents George and Mary Rogers buried at Greenbank Cemetery.

Upon arrival at Greenbank Cemetery I aimlessly wandered around until I phoned the ground keeper who helped me find the location of the grave. It was at this point I was told that in this part of the cemetery many of the graves had the headstones removed.

Location of the grave of George and Mary Rogers, Greenbank Cemetery

Back home I sent off an email Canford Cemetery Offices asking what had happened to the headstone, and this was their response:

For certain sections where all graves were out of their lease, masonry was removed and disposed of, and a log was taken of the details of what was present on the grave. In this instance there was not a headstone on the grave at the time of the removals, but there was a marble kerbset, a marble ashler, four posts, a vase, and a broken concrete base. There was no inscription recorded on any of the masonry.

In a later email I was told that “the last time these removals took place was in the late 1980s”. Great, almost 40 years too late!

My final grave hunt was for my three-times great-grandparents George and Elizabeth Lambourne. I had found a source saying that they were buried in St. Mary’s Church in Shirehampton.

As the church is only a 5 minute drive from where I live I thought I would go down and search the graveyard.


I emailed the church office asking if they had any information about the grave I was looking for, and this was their response:

I have checked the names provided below and have discovered that your ancestors are certainly buried here.

Back in 1928 the church building was burnt down and a new building was built, which was completed and dedicated in January 1930. As the parish had grown substantially since the times of the original building, a larger church was built, at a different angle to the original building. This unfortunately meant that some graves were covered over by the building, and some gravestones were moved.

Your ancestors , among others, are now buried beneath this church and are commemorated in our Memorial Chapel. The names of all those whose graves are beneath the church are engraved in a memorial there. I have just found your ancestors’ names on that memorial.

I have just taken a photo of the memorial and a closer one of their names, since I expect this will be of interest to you. It is really sunny here at the moment, so there is some reflection coming through the Memorial Chapel window that is affecting the quality of the photos. If you would like me to try again and send other photos through, please let me know and I will try again on another day.

St. Mary’s Church Memorial Chapel

What a result, I now know for certain that my ancestors are buried there and why I couldn’t find the grave

So far these have been the only times I’ve not been able to find a grave, but the further back I go the more unlikely I will be able to find the graves I am looking for.

Visiting the grave of Frederick and Eliza. Ann Lambourne

In this video I am at Shirehampton Cemetery to visit the grave of my two-times great-grandparents Frederick and Eliza Ann Lambourne.

Frederick was born in 1871 to George and Elizabeth Lambourne, he was the youngest of three children.

Eliza Ann Lambourne, née Butcher, was born in 1876 she was the second child of eight children born to Henry and Sarah Butcher.

In 1898 Frederick married Elizabeth Butcher, and by 1920 had seven children. Sadly their third child, George Henry died in 1914 aged 8 years.

More details about Frederick’s life can be found here.

Visiting the grave of Emily Flay

In this video I am visiting the grave of my two-times great-grand auntie Emily Flay (nee Rogers)

She was born in 1881 to George and Mary Rogers, she was the second child of six children.

In 1900 she married Archibald Flay and had two children by 1908. She died in 1937 aged 53 years old.

In 1938 her widower married Lily Ann Way, who then died in 1954 aged 70. Archibald then died in 1955. They are both buried with Emily Flay.

Searching for Lambournes

Using the Local Burials section on the Bristol & Avon Family History Society website I found the monumental inscriptions for Shirehampton Cemetery.

Normally I would search for Rogers, but as Shirehampton is on the wrong side of Bristol I decided to search for Lambourne instead.

I found two hits, one for Frederick Walter, and one for George Henry, both in the same grave. Other information included said that George Henry was 8 and was Frederick Walter’s brother, and that Frederick Walter had a wife, Eliza Ann.

This was a gold mine, I knew that Frederick Walter Lambourne married Eliza Ann and they had a son called George Henry.

So I decided to take a trip down to the cemetery to search for the grave.

Eventually after about 45 minutes of looking I found the grave on the opposite side to where I had originally started searching.

It didn’t have a headstone, instead it had just the edging to it and the inscription around the outside.

Grave of Frederick, Eliza Ann, and George Lambourne

1921 Census

With the release of the 1921 census I thought I would have a look for my grandparents and great-grandparents.

With the research carried out so far I knew that out of four pairs of great-grandparents only three were together, and only one grandparent had been born.

I have found everyone apart from one great-grandparent and her four children, I can only assume that they were either living in Scotland, or they may have been mistranscribed.

But I did find her husband serving in the army as an “Artillery Clerk Master Gunner” at the Mawitins Command Headquarters, Vacoas Camp in Mauritius.

I doubt I’ll be able to find my last great-grandparent until the Scottish census is released which has been delayed until the latter half of 2022.

Hello world!

Welcome to my Family Tree site!

Despite not much updates on this site for awhile, I have been busy and have a supply of draft posts ready to go. As I finalise the posts I’ll update the site.