The town of John Newman Holdman
10.06.2015 - 10.06.2015 16 °C
Today is the start of my family research and in this particular instance, my mother’s side of the family. So this post would most likely be of interest to my Newman relatives.
Left London early to catch the train to Swindon and pick up the car. Got a fright when they wanted £66 for the train fare. Apparently they have time based fares, so peak hour cost more. Decided t wait 30 minutes and pay half the cost. Picked up the car and soon I was used to the English driving style and headed out to Minchinhampton.
My great great great grandfather John Newman Holdman was living here between 1798 and 1822, when he was eventually transported to Australia for stealing a roll of cloth.
Just like the show “Who do you think you area”” I had arranged to meet a local historian, Di Wall, to show me around the town and fill me in on a bit of history. Well Di went above and beyond the call of duty and did so further research on the family for me. She provided me with books on the history of the town and she had extracts from church records that she passed onto me. (Bubsy, I will send these home from here on Friday – keep an eye out for it).
So things of note that she found / told me:
1. John’s father (John Holdman) could write and it is possible that he was in the military. So the story of John (Jnr) being born in St Domingo (Haiti) may be more a story of his father serving there at the time, but John (Jnr) was more likely to be born here in Minchinhampton. He was definitely baptised here, but her was about 6 years old at the time.
2. Di seems to think that they lived in Watledge (http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/domesday/dblock/GB-384000-198000/page/16) which was a small hamlet of buildings occupied by weavers just north of Nailsworth. I don’t recall what her reasoning’s were, but it may help explain the references to Nailsworth Parish on his convict records (notwithstanding that Nailsworth Parish did not exist until 1890). But he may have related to Nailsworth more than Minchinhampton because it was much closer and accessible.
3. The eastern part of the church would have existed at the time of John. The western half of the church was constructed in the 1840’s. The christening (whatever) was the original and would have been used for John’s christening.
4. The actual township of Minchinhampton was quiet small at that time and was mainly focused on the cross road and Friday Street. The agricultural (wool) areas came right up to the town houses.
5. She could not find any further information on John Holdman (Snr) before or after his birth. So she seems to think he was not from this town.
6. Sarah Newman most likely lived in the Alm Building in West End (which is a castle shape building in one of the photos). This was a house owned by the church and whould have been used to house people of limited means. At the time of the 1841 Sarah Newman was listed as a pauper (or some other term), so it is highly likely that she lived here. Now the same building sells for £500K
Spent the rest of the afternoon walking around the town and I travelled out to Watledge taking lots of photos.