Post archive

More Information re Don Hildick-Smith

Some time now since my last update and really there has been little to report until now. I continue to get contacts through Genes Reunited, some from those who are distantly related and others with queries about various names and dates that may be of relations but turn out not to be.

There have been one or two contacts who have furnished some extra names but the most exciting one relates to Grandfather Don Hildick-Smith. I had some time ago left a message on a web site dealing with the 14th Hussars who he served with in WW1. A chap called Patrick O’Dwyer contacted me with information relating to the unverified “shipwreck” story that came via the Hildick-Smith’s in the USA. It turns out that the story is true after all and he really was on a ship that sunk although the “rescue by whistling” still remains unproven.

It is likely he was on board the SS Cameronia (along with Patricks grandfather) which set sail from Marseilles in France en route to Alexandria in Egypt in March 1917. On 15th April 1917 it was attacked and torpedoed 150 nautical from Malta  by the German submarine U-33 and sank within 40 minutes. 210 souls died. Some of the survivors were picked up by the escorting destroyer HMS Rifleman. As the U-boat was still in the area, the remaining survivors had to be picked up the next morning by a sloop from Malta. Don was one of those rescued by the sloop but it is unknown whether his whistle saved the day. From Malta he then went to India where the 14th Hussars depot was. From there via Bombay and Basra he joined the Hussars in Mesopotamia in August 1917. As far as is known he served out his time there in relative safety compared to his other brothers in South Africa and France and was demobbed at the end of the war.

So another family “tale” has a lot of truth in it.

I have also had contact from Carole Irons who is descended from George Chamberlain who married twice, his first wife being Elizabeth Hildick b1847. I had for some time been trying to find out if she had any children by him and she did, ELEVEN of them!! Some more names to add there then.

 I also made contact with a Tessa White (nee Oldnall) who is just starting her tree and I was able to offer lots of information re her side of the family, although we are only distantly related.

My thanks go to all the other people that have been in contact, I may be unable to add all the branches to the tree but at least I now know of them and where to go if I do decide to radically expand the search.

Some more news

So sorry that I haven't added any news since January, I can hardly claim pressure of work, can I??

Such a lot has happened since January so I will briefly summarise it below.

We have been to Egypt for a cruise on the Nile and a week in Luxor and had a fabulous time of it. Mum and sister Jackie came over for Mothers Day weekend, we went up to Leicester for cousin Pats 60th celebrations, had a huge family reunion in Oxfordshire with step relatives over from Canada and attended a funeral of an old family friend back in Worcestershire at the end of this week staying overnight with Debbie in Herefordshire. The poor old car is starting to fell the pressure!!

As fart as the family history goes the main amendments are as follows:

Since putting the "Royal" links into the tree and downloading the lot onto the Genes Reunited website I have been contacted by several other enthusiasts all with connections to the family. Lots of bits and pieces have been added but nothing with any big impact on the close family history. It all adds to the volume of info I have on tap and I now have to go away and have a look at all the trees I now have access to, adding all the other snippets and links to masses of other families.

From Pats birthday party I came away with lots more accurate details of Kaths family, gleaned from birth, death and wedding certificates as well as photos. We will pursue her family more in due course.

Pete and Bev were over from Canada. Pete is the son of Roger Montagu who was Mums step brother. We have for some time been trying to unravel Mums mothers tangled love life and we still have very little to go on despite exhaustive searching on both sides of the Atlantic. At the reunion we had a whole host of Mums relatives, albeit on the "step" side together with all of us lot (bar sisters Carole and Noni) together with Aunt Verity and some of her brood who I haven't seen for years. I really will have to sit down and add all of them to the tree properly, some have now moved on 2 generations from me!!

We did go back to Chaddesley for the funeral of a family friend, Margaret Green who died tragically at 81. Although I didn't (knowingly) bump into any relatives, I did come across several old friends including primary school chums I haven't seen for about 40 years and although it was a sad occasion it was great to see them all again, especially Noel Clark and his Mum, who I last saw at Dads funeral.

I mentioned in January the fab maps of Chaddesley that Jackie gave me for Xmas. An old school friend of Kaths, Elizabeth Mountford is now in the local history group and was very interested to see these so we are now in contact with her and perhaps more on the family roots can be gleaned.

I have also had contact from the website from people interested in the picture of Mabel Hildick, painter E Hildick and the author E W Hildick, all of whom I am now in contact with although most seem to be asking me about these members of the family!! I have also been contacted by Zachary Hildick, grandson of Robert Arnold Hildick- I hope to get more details soon.

Now the garden season has dawned I am just gearing up for the pricking out and planting thing and my winter plans to really organise my files seem to have been thwarted (again) although they are at least all in one massive box now, some day I will have a system that allows me to go to a particular person without ploughing through every file to find them, at least most of the relevant bits are on the computer. If only I could remember to back them up more regularly.

Post Christmas Update and Latest News.

Hope you all had a very good Xmas and a great New Year, we cetainly did and thanks for all the cards, presents and birthday greetings.

I have had a chance to have a look at the tree and have now added details of our connections to the current Royal family. Apparently the Prince of Wales is our 15th Cousin!!!  I don't think that this gives us any titles or estates but at least we can have boasting rights!!!

I have had several notable presents that have had a lot of effect on the history. My sister Jackie found a bundle of sale documents relating to Chaddesley Corbett, and she also found two more Hildick and Hildick company bills as well as a book on the Church charity in Warwick which has a lot on Chaddesley.

I also got several CDs which contain records from St Mathews Church in Walsall (re the Hildick family), The Heraldry of Worcester and the Visitation of Worcester 1634, (re the Oldnall, Perowne and Russell families) and an old catalogue with early makers marks for Sheffield in the 1700s. They will all add lots to the research.

Sister Noni found a book on tracing your homes history and that has lots of useful info in it. So all in all a great haul and they will all give me hours more research lines.

We have also spoken to Pete Montague who is coming over to visit again in March so hope we will be able to catch up with that side of the family.

More work

I have now updated the family tree to reflect the work I have done on the Russell/Oldnall side but have yet to add the text to the main document as there is much checking to do.

I have also had contact with an old pupil of John Hildick-Smiths who has added some background to his time teaching at the Masonic School in Bushey. John was Dads best man.

I have also taken the Smart tree back to William the Conqueror just because I could!! Various sources tell me that the preset Queen has direct ancestry going back to Edward II of England and as he is my (our) 23rd Great-Grandfather that makes us some kind of cousin to Her Majesty.

So I'll wish all my subjects a very Happy Christmas and New Year and take myself off to Sandringham for the holidays!

Christmas Update

I have done some more work on the site, generally tidying up and adding a few more birth, death and marriage dates.

I have also been tracking some more Oldnalls and Russell-Oldnalls and Oldnall-Russells. All descended from the original Oldnall (Roger c 1560) and once holders of Hill Pool amongst other places. I revisited the book my sister Jackie gave me- "Chaddesley Corbett" by The Stroller 1932 which has been a treasure trove of snippets and have now established a link to Sir William Oldnall-Russell, b 1735, an eminent lawyer and a high court chiel justice in Bengal in the 1830's. His family included, I think, Henry Cairns Oldnall whose memorial is in Chaddesley Churchyard, the cross on the wall facing the main street by the other war memorial. He was killed in the Boer War. One of his sisters Helena Frances married The then Bishop of Worcester, the Rt Rev Perowne and one of their sons went on to become an eminent historian and orientalist. I now believe he married, albeit briefly, the renowned author and daredevil explorer Dame Freya Stark. She was one of the only female explorers of her day and spent years wandering the deserts of Arabia and beyond. Quite a lady and I will be trying to really prove the link in the future.

The Russell family were from Worcester and the family changed its name (and then back again) in honour of the eminent Dr Russell of Worcester. (Rev Samuel Oldnall married Mary Russell the doctors daughter, thier son was Sir William). Dr Russell set up the Royal Infirmary in Worcester and a portrait of him still adorns its walls, I am told.

I now have 1938 people in the tree and although I have not yet updated the text to include all the fringe family stuff, my master family document now runs to over 100 pages!!!

More Updates

More updates to the tree have been added recently. As well as adding a few more names, (there is now 1877 names in the database) I have updated some notes for the US Hildicks and tidied up other notes that seem to have gotten scrambled in the conversion process.

I have had several new pieces of information, mostly from Carol Button who you will recall passed on a lot of information re Applejack. This time it is an article from the American Wine and Liquor Journal, March 1934. It describes the production of Applejack in the family firm from that date and includes photos and plans of their plant I will add the photos and text later as I need to convert the article into a manageable format first.

Carol also sent lots more information on the financial dealings of the Distilled Liquors Corporation and also some poetry written by one E.B.Hildick who I assume to be Eleanor Beatrice Hildick b1891 who I know little of. I have put this on a separate new page on the site.

I have also found an article about Alfred Heeley Hildick who committed suicide in August 1891, and also his son Alfred E Hildick who manufactured cycles in new York at the turn of the 19th century and was a competitive cyclist there in the early years of the 20th C. I hope to add all this to the text as soon as I can.

I have also had more information on Mabel S Hildick from Chris Harrison who sent me 2 more pieces of artwork that she had created.

Wilf Rhodes alsocontacted me re The Smart family and I have been able to source some very interesting digitised texts relating to Walsall, Worcestershire and Sheffield which I hope will yield more on the family history.

More later.


More news from America

More information has arrived from a direct descendant of Walter heeley Hildick who started Hildick's Applejack. Carol Button is his great granddaughter and came across the site after I posted the birthday greetings for the other Walters 101st birthday. She has sent me links to information on the family business. Walter H had a son (another Walter H ) whose son William Kenneth Hildick is Carols father. The business survived stock exchange upsets in the early 30's, a change of name and was finally sold by William and his brother Alan in the mid 80's after Walter H Jnr died. The company staggered on for a while but sank without trace soon after being sold. Carol sent me a link to an article about Walter and the cider trade (he was President of the American Cider and Cider Vinegar Association in the 1920's). I attach a photo below, taken in 1922 from the article published in "The Glass Container" the trade magazine of presumably a Glass makers federation but I will in due course be adding a lot more detail to the Hildick pages together with a promise from Carol that she will send more information on the family in due course.

More Contacts

I have very recently recieved contacts from the website which have further added to the wealth of detail regarding both the Hildick side of the family and from the Smart side (my grandmothers mother.)

Firstly from Australia, Darren Weise in Melbourne contacted me via "Curious Fox" where I had left a note relating to Frances Smart. Her father and Darrens great grandfather were brothers and he is just starting to put together his family history. he says he has photos of his grandmother and her parents. This is exciting as I have no photos of Frances or her family at all and would be a welcome addition to the archive.

The other was from Patricia Maxson (nee Hildick) who is a direct link to the US Hildicks concerned with the Apple Brandy trade. Her father Walter Edmund Hildick celebrates his 101st birthday on August 21st having been born in 1906. She says he is very fit and well and enjoying life. Walters father was Francis J Hildick who along with his brothers Walter H and Thomas Hildick emigrated from Walsall to the US at the end of the 19C and between them set up the Applejack brandy company. Francis set up orchards and processing plant in Massachusets whilst the other two concentrated on the selling end in New York. She has supplied photos of her father and details about the company and her fathers life so far.

The photo below is reproduced with her blessing and I am sure all of us wish him the happiest birthday and many more to come!!! I have added some text to the history pages and will update the tree in due course.

More details added

I have not been doing much lately but I did notice some additional matches with names from Genes Reunited. I have made contact with John Butt, who is related through James Hildick b1891. He married Ethel Sandwell and one of her sisters who married a Fahy is the link down to John. He was very helpful and with permission to see his tree I have been able to add some more Hildicks to the tree, these ones living mainly in Canada.

I also had a contact from Gail (Melvin) who is related to the Biddle family, and therefore via my mothers father to the Johns family. I had already added most of the Biddle/Johns side but she kindly supplied her tree which details much info on her side of these families. I haven't added all this to the site as it gets too unwieldy and difficult to follow but she suggested I add the whole of the tree to GR as she has had much success in getting additional contacts from her side of these families so I think I will do that. Lets hope it will bear fruit on other branches of the family.

More details from another Hildick branch

I haven't had much to report lately but I have had another contact. Joanne harrison is the great grandaughter of Sarah Hildick (1884), the daughter of Francis Spencer Hildick. She has recently purchased 2 watercolours by Mabel S Hildick who produced the postcard detailed earlier on in the blog. She got a hit on the site when trying to research Mabel. Although i couldn't help her with any firm details except that already on the site she kindly supplied details of her family which I have now added. She also says she will give more info and perhaps copies of the paintings at a later date. So more progress made. 

May Updates

I have had additional information from three more sources who have made contact.

The first was from Paula Entin who is Assistant Curator of Rare Books at Princeton University NJ. She was documenting some books who once belonged to Rev Thomas Foley. He married Elizabeth Bache (see Bache family page). He collected books relating to, or written by, Joanna Southcott who was a religious mystic and somewhat of a cult figure in England at that time, who is still followed in certain quarters. Paula is documenting and digitising some of these books and was interested to learn some more details of Rev Foley and his family. I was able to fill in some gaps in her knowledge of his family as they attribute collections and like to know something of the people who collected them. I haven't really got round to finding out where the books originated but they were apparently willed to the University by an ancestor (on the Foley side) of Rev Foley, who I know little about except he was the Rector of Oldswinford Church in the late 17thC and early 18thC. How he met Elizabeth Bache I don't know.

The second was through Genes Reunited from the Biddle family. I think the lady whom I contacted was the original one who sister jackie had contacted when researching Mums ancestors, namely through her father Seymour Johns. A member of the Biddle family married Seymours grandfather. Sue Biddle lives in Australia and has an extensive and detailed family tree which she kindly sent to me. It has a mass of details about all her family and I have been able to get Mums side back a lot further via the Johns family, back to the mid 16thC in fact. I have added some of this to my tree and will add this too the website in due course.

The third was from a name that came up on from a Robert Pitt who had a relative that married Francis Spencer Hildick in the late 1800's. He wrote:

 "My family (Pitt) are blacksmiths and Engineers in Worcs/Staffs (Worfield, Pattingham) and London, then latterly they developed Stothert and Pitt Engineers in Bath (once Bath’s largest employer and maker of most of the world’s dockside cranes, now a name only – part of Rolls-Royce). The reason I hit on the Hildick family is that Francis Spencer Hildick (1855-) married Alice Beddoe, who is related to the Pitt, Stothert, Parsons and other families in the West Midlands who prospered in the industrial revolution."

He also gave me access to his family tree and I will be adding more re the Beddoe family and the Pitts in due course.

I must also say thanks to sister jackie who obtained from E Bay an original bill from the Hildick and Hildick Company dated 1895, a great little bit of history in itself and a welcome addition to the mass of paperwork that I am building up. I really must get it all into some sort of proper useable filing system so that it may be of some use to someone else in due course!!!

More later. 

Latest News

I have been quiet on the family history front for a while due to moving Mum down to Cornwall. All went well, the place is brilliant and I think she was genuinely overcome with it all. We got pretty straight on day one, went out for a meal and christened the house with a couple of bottles of champagne. We came back last Friday and got back to normal, the poor old car has been racking up the miles, having done the Hythe, Lowestoft, Hythe, Cornwall run in good style.

I have now reconnected Mums old scanner at home and caught up with a few bits and pieces. Below is a sample of a calender from 1942 that Dad did as a school project when he was at Hartlebury Grammar and I intend to get the originals framed and put up somewhere. There are 6 lino cuts in all, although Dad only did 5 of them, the other one done by MJB, anyone know who he was???

This is part of one he did of St Cassians Church in Chaddesley Corbett, a bit Art Deco in the sky department but I like it very much.
















I also was sent a postcard signed by Mabel S Hildick, who was the daughter of Aaron Hildick (of steel blade making fame). I didn't know she was an artist and can find out little more about her than I already know. I have e mailed a couple of Hildick contacts to see if they know more and if I do find out more I will let you know.
















More later and if I have any more to add I will be sure to post it here.

More on the Bache family

I have recently revisited the Churchill Forge website and have gleaned much more information about all the branches of the Bache family. This has been incorperated into my tree information and the text of the Bache pages will be (selectively) incorporated in due course. Notables include a female Bache who married into the Salter family of West Bromwich, the famous manafacturers of weighing scales and a West bromwich Albion, England Amateur footballer, and Worcestershire cricketer who was killed in his prime at Ypres in 1916. have a look in the tree for Harold Godfrey Bache.

The spring is almost upon us now and as usual the garden starts to take precedance over the work on the tree, which incidentally now contains 1640 individuals. I have sown tomatoes, leeks, cauliflower, brocolli, flowers of several varieties as well as broad beans, all in my new propogator. I have also started chitting the potatoes and have the onion sets ready to go when the weather allows access.

I hope to get all these well under way before next month when the key event, Mums relocation to Cornwall will no doubt keep us all busy. For more newsy stuff go and look on Jackies website (link in the Links page) or Debbies. Debbie has now moved from Hove to temporary accomodation in Worcester so has been busy too.

More later.

Computer failure!!

Due to a computer failure and various infections (none of which have escaped) I have been off line for several days. The problems have all been solved but I have lost most of my software and it is taking me a while to resurrect all of them. The site details have had to be put on the backburner for a while but I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Gilbert Torrance

This is a photo of Gilbert Torrance who was Jessie Isabellas brother. he was a succesful businessman on the Isle of Man and involved in the Non Conformist Church at Douglas, as was his father Gavin. For more detail have a look at The Hildick family pages.

Latest update

I have been doing some further research on Jessie Isabella Torrance who married John Hildick. I have found references to the family on the Isle of Man and the business they ran there. The updated text can be found on The Hildick family page.

As yet I have not updated the family tree but in due course I will add all the information relating to Gavin Torrance, his children and also some detail of subsequent generations.

Xmas Update

Just a few lines to update you on what has been happening with the website lately. The frank answer is "Not a lot"!

I have been pottering on updating and tweaking it all but have no definite additions to report. I have come to a bit of a dead end with research on the Smiths after Lindsey contacted me and I haven't heard more from her yet. You will recall she thought we were related through Joseph Howes Smith somehow. I have looked hard but although we are definitely from the same roots (she has an album with photos of him) I cannot for the life of me find out where.

One thing I did find was the photo shown below. It came from a website run by a photo enhamcement company, David Hambly Photography from Liskeard, Cornwall. On his restoration page there was a sample of his work and the picture is of some Hildick ancestors and looks to be early 1900s in date. Does anyone out there know who they are???



Edmund Wallace Hildick

I had a letter today from Greta Morley (nee Hildick). Some time ago she had written to to Edmund Wallace Hildick after her son Giles had read one of his books "A Cat called America". She wondered if he was related and his reply to her indicated that he was, albeit distantly. I have now linked him into the family. We have mutual Great Great Great Grandparents in Francis 1767-1812 and Martha Hildick. Moore, their son, b1796 is our line (and Gretas) and his brother Thomas 1794 is Edmunds line. In fact Thomass line includes most of those Hildicks who went to America and includes the Hildicks Applejack Brandy dynasty.

I'm not sure when Edmund went to America but he is well known as an author of childrens fiction as any internet search will tell you. The letter, written from Ireland, gives details of his grandfather Edmund Septimus Hildick, a prosperous saddler from Walsall. he was also involved in local politics and was a town councillor there at the same time as both John Hildick and Joseph Howes Smith, who both served as mayors. A bit of a Hildick/Smith political mafia I think.

I have a photo of Edmund Septimus Hildick, supplied via the photo album that Pat Mangwana got hold of.


In the letter Edmund describes the origin of the cat in his book "A Cat Called America" who had come to them as a stray and was the inspiration for the story. I must try to get hold of a copy.

I have updated the site and trees with all the latest amendments and additions so do have a browse for all the new snippets too numerous to detail. 


Latest news

I have now heard back from Churchill Forge and have got permission to put a link into their site and I have also "copied" some of the text and photos about the family. Have alook at the new page "Churchill Forge/Bache family. I know we are not closely related but the Bache family seemed to have aninfluence on both the Page and Hildick-Smith families so I have included the details out of interest.

As yet i have not updated the Family Tree or Names List pages, I have some more work to do on these and will update ithem soon. I think the "count" of people has gone up to over 1300 now since I started, who knows where it will finish. I have also made a few tweaks to the text in the document to reflect a few new contacts who have supplied me with previously unproven links and names so its worth a re- read from time to time.

The Smith family of Walsall

If you have read the text relating to the Smith family of Walsall you may know that it was rumoured that we were in some way related to the family of Sir Edwin Thomas Smith, who made a name for himself in Australia in the latter part of the 19th C. He was a well respected local and national politician in Adelaide, South Australia, where there is a statue in his memory as well as having roads and parks named after him. From Mona H-S's letter, she thought he was one of the grandchildren of Thomas and Ann Smith i.e. that our Frederick Bentley Smith/ Jane Howes Smith were his parents. I tried this out but it didn't work so had dismissed this connection.

Through I received an E mail from Lindsay Brown which seems to show there really may be a link with this side of the family. She is related to Edwin Smith, b 1804 in Walsall who I thought was brother to Frederick Bentley Smith. At least they are closely related somehow. This is born out by the fact that she has a photo album presented to Edwin 1804 in 1869 by his daughters which has photos of Joseph Howes Smith and some of his family. He is my Great Great Grandfather and was a Mayor of Walsall, as was John Hildick. In fact Linseys father Herbert Smith OBE, JP was also Mayor there in 1964/65! It must run in the Smith family. The album also has pictures of Frederick Bentley Smith and his son Josephs daughter Polly Hildick(although I don't yet know what her "real name was, and seems to indicate yet another Hildick/Smith connection before our John Hildick married Sarah Smith.Maybe Sarahs nickname was Polly?). All very intriguing. 

She has lots more info on her side of the family but we are both stuck on the generation before Frederick Bentley Smith b 1799 and Edwin Smith b1804. Both had parents called Thomas and Ann, I have Thomas b 1775 and married to Ann Maria Hunt, Linsey has Thomas b 1762 and married to Ann Bates. I would be suprised if there is no connection, perhaps a second marriage.

She has kindly promised me copies of the photos in due course and i really look forward to seeing them.

More on the Page family

I have had another "hit" on the web site from David John Oldnall Page. He is the grandson of Joseph Page b1871, youngest brother to John Oldnall Page b1857 who was my great grandfather. many years ago I recall visiting two old brothers who lived at Hoarstone, Bewdley. (I always thought it was called Horseshoes for some reason.) This must have been in the late 50's or early 60s sometime. Joseph 1871 had 3 sons, John Oldnall Page b1898 (who was David Johns father0, Elliot Oldnall Page b 1899 and Roger Oldnall Page b1900. All three were born at Hoarstone Farm, where there father Joseph was a farmer, like most of that generation of Pages. The two younger brothers Elliot and Roger never married and lived on until the late 80s at Hoarstone Farm. I don't know what happened to it after that. I have e mailed David for any more info or pictures he may like to share with us and it was good to add yet another branch of the family to the ever growing tree.

I have also just e mailed the Churchill Forge site to tell them of our family connection which is only slight. However, I do know that grandpa Don lived there (at Stakenbridge) for a while both before and after after serving in WW1, in 1919, when he went back to South Africa. I have a photo dated 1919 labelled "Don saying goodbye before return to SA". He had obviously met Elsie during a visit to Stakenbridge. Her sister Ethel Mary had married Rupert Bache whose family owned and lived at Stakenbridge. The Baches were old friends of the original 8 H-S's, Gertrude Bache (Ruperts sister) had attended Queen Marys School along with the all the Hildick-Smiths, qualified as a PT Instructor and came back to the school to teach. You may also recall that Dorothy Hildick-Smith also married one of that batch of Baches, Eric brother to Gertrude and Rupert. There were 7 in the family altogether, Norman being the only other one I know anything about. He became a clergyman and actually officiated at Grandma Elsies marriage to Don H-S in 1926 at St Cassians, Chaddesley Corbett. Quite a family connection there then.

More as it happens.

October Update

Well, not really much to report. We are busy sorting the garden out for the winter but after recent rain it has perked up no end and it seems a shame to rip it all up at the moment. We've done well for beans, spinach, carrots and salads but its now time to put the veggie patch to bed. The onions and garlic will keep us going through the winter and does anyone know what to do with several dozen chillies????

Our trip to Luxor has been cancelled due to lack of demand so we have opted for a later trip to Malta, sometime in April.

The car is due its MOT this week and as it is very long in the tooth now I am not expecting a smooth run through. It will have to last for a few more years yet if possible as cash is in short supply for the time being, although if we want to eat we may need to shell out on a new cooker soon.

On the Family History front I have added many more names to the database. Many are distant relatives so I will spend the long days of winter writing them up and adding them to the history document. I was only intending to write about the immediate family when I started but now have over 1300 names in the lists. I have been pursuing the Bache family who had some influence over both the Page family and our own so I was delighted to find a web site relating to Churchill Forge which has a couple of pages about the Baches. I well remember visits to see Dolly Page, grans sister who lived at Stakenbridge and married Eric Bache. Grandpa Don also spent some time there after WW1 learning farming from Eric and here it was that he met Elsie. It was a huge house, now sadly demolished but it did have an old forge. Apparently way back, one of the Bache family married into the ownership of Churchill Forge which is situated about a mile up the lane from Stakenbridge. They made spades as well as doing the usual forge stuff. Have a look at the site:

I have also added more Pages (the family not pages if you see what I mean but have not yet had time to trace them any further back. I seem to have drawn a blank before the first John Page came to Hill Pool but I will crack it. Its endlessly suprising to me that just when you think that you've gone as far as you can something else turns up to add more to the family. Another hit on the site from a lady in Australia has furnished more Hildick info. Strangely it seems that they too emigrated to Johannesburg at the same time as Gavin H-S and set up as portrait photographers there. Maybe they knew each other???

Happy reading

More Hildick details

You will recall that I was in contact with Pat Mangwana re some photos of Aaron and Elizabeth Hildick and their descendants. pat has now got hold of the album and is busily scanning them as we speak. look out for a sample of them on the website soon. I will put them on a new page for all to see. Go to Aaron and Elizabeth Hildick Page for latest.

I have been fairly quiet lately but have been busy adding evidence for the people in the trees as I was starting to doubt some of the links- its easy to get carried away with creating trees without recording where you found the evidence. Going back I realised I had added little in the way of notes so have been busy doing that and in the process altering some of the previous family trees.

I have also added all the Smart family members, these go back to Kings of England and I had them in a seperate set of files. My "new" software can now handle all these people so I have added them. Unfortunately some got scrambled in translation so its been a devil of a job to get it all sorted. This shows the evil of having too many different versions of the same files!!!!

Happy browsing!

Addition of more names/connections

I have now added at least 130 "new" names to the database. Primarily these all the descendants of my Grandmother Elsie Oldnall Page and her illustrious forebears stretching back through the Smart family to Elizabeth Woodville (Wydeville).

I have also made several ammendments and corrections to the Hildick family records, and have added further notes relating to the evidence for connections, births, marriages and children. I now have access to all the census records from 1841 to 1901 and much more on the "American" Hildicks but a mass of data still remains to be checked and  added/ammended.

Warch this space!!!


Latest discoveries

Pat mangwana has contacted me again. She is now in possession of Hildick family bible pages and a photo album which has photos of some more Hildick family members. These relate to her branch of the family descending from Thomas Hildick b1755. We are a bit further back from there. However, it all adds to the overall tree and I have been able to add many more names to the tree and intend to write them up, probably as a seperate chapter in the story. I took the plunge and joined, only as a Pay per View member, and have also got much more detail of the Hildicks in the earlier Census data (1841,1851 and 1861). This has supplied more names to investigate and also given me access to US Census records, other than the LDS on line records. I now have a whole raft of US Hildicks to investigate at my leisure. Many happy hours this winter to look forward to.

Visit to Greta Morley 21/8/2006

Kathy and I, together with sister Debbie went to lunch with Greta Morley (nee Hildick) on Monday. She lives in Guildford in a house she has lived in for more than 40years. She gave us a real welcome and we spent a long time chatting about the Hildicks of Lapworth and her family. I didn't learn anything very new, just confirmed a lot of detail and was able to give her a full "history" and an improved blow-up of the photo she lent to Debbie. She had cuttings from a Walsall paper about John Hildick, her Grandfather, our Great Grandfather and showed us an ashtray from the Hildick and Hildick Tube Works. She also had some lovely miniature cast metal figures of Horses and Hounds which were manafactured by Hildicks in the factory, although they were a lot older I think than the recent output of the factory. I think that the factory was sold after WW2 to a rival firm, Hopes of Walsall. She also had a bracelet which dated back to the Torrance/Allen period. (they were married on the Isle of man and their daughter Jessie Isabella married John Hildick there.) She also had a silver epergne (?), a Victorian table centre piece dating back to the Silver Wedding of Joseph Howes Smith and Mary Jane Attwood dated 18th August 1888, thats almost exactly 114 years to the day of outr visit. Her sister apparently has THREE family bibles which I would love to see and Debbie said she would follow this up later. We also saw photos of her husband Howard when he flew Typhoons in WW2, all fascinating stuff.

She gave us a lovely lunch and after a stroll in the gardens we left for home.













More news is brewing re some pages from Aaron Hildicks family bible and a photo album relating to his family. Watch this space for news.



Latest News

I have now updated the story of the family with all the latest research and have added more photos to the three galleries on show. I have also updated the names lists and trees to reflect the additional research derived from the latest contacts, relating to the Hildick family and the Page/Oldnall connections.


If anyone has more photos which you think will be of interest please let me know and i will try to get them on the site.

More updates for the history

I've just submitted the site for inclusion on Cyndis List which is one of the better known genealogical websites which acts as a filter and search site for all sorts of stuff relating to family history. if accepted i will be hoping for more hits on the site and hopefully more information on the origins of the family.

At the moment i am concentrating on the Hildicks with much more information gleaned on another branch of the Hildicks after Pat Mangwana visited the site and made contact. She is descended from Mary Hildick 1785, sister of Aaron 1795 who together with his nephew Robert (who I am currently seeking info on) started the firm of Aaron Hildick in Sheffield. They were the makers of fine edge tools which come up for sale on E Bay etc from time to time.

Pat also kindly supplied copies of newspaper articles on Elizabeth Hildick nee Dukes who was Aarons 1795 wife. I had already seen some information about this lady who lived to be 101 and very nearly lived to see 3 centuries (18th, 19th and 20th) but there is further information about the Hildick origins which must have come directly from the Hildick family. Apparently the original Hildikes or Hyledycks (not sure which) were Dutch Protestants     (probably Huguenots) who fled to Sheffield around 1570 or so "by the aid of George, the 6th Earl of Shrewsbury". The date seems about right for that particular Earl, although i do have some records of the name Hildike and Hyledyke before that date. One example is Robert Hyledyke who was born around 1560 in Staffordshire, although I have yet to verify the details. He is undoubtably the primary source of our family roots but I still want to know who his parents were. If they moved from Sheffield, I can find no other birth records before then and so assume his parents were the above mentioned immigrants. I'll be looking into the Dutch connections although without a placename it may be difficult..........unless anyone out there knows more.

Pat also supplied info regarding wills, funerals etc of various other members of that branch of the family, all useful information to add to the ever growing pile I have already. I think I may have to start filing this info in a bit more professional way than I do at present. More later.

More work done and latest research news.

I have continued to refine the tree and names part of the site and it now has some of the glitches sorted out. I had a "hit" on the site from  Patricia Mangwana, who is related back to Aaron Hildick. Our bit of the family is a further generation back but it is still nice to hear from another distant family member. She has a considerable amount of info on the family Hildick from her side so am looking forward to receiving any further detail that she has kindly offered to supply. Nice to hear from you Patricia.

I have also done some work on the Smith conundrum i.e. what happened to Frederick Charles Smith??? I thought I had cracked it when I found a death entry for a Frederick Smith who died in St Petersburg, Russia between 1911 and 1913. However, on receipt of the certificate it proved to be a wrong un, this Fredericks death was reported by his son Frederick who was 33 when his father died. So unless Fred was leading a double life then it is definitely not him.... Oh Well back on the trail.

I have also got hold of the Will of John Page, of Hillpool, dated 1822. He was the first Page at Hill Pool and Kath is busy trying to translate the text into readable English. These wills are copies of the originals and the copyists hand writing leaves a lot to be desired ton 21st C eyes. However, there is mention of the Blakeway connection and details of the property that John held in the Chaddesley Corbett area. His wife Anne known as Nancy Page nee Watkins has also revealed a Will, as well as that of her father Thomas Watkins of Stoke Prior. Our John was born at Stoke Prior but I have had no luck in tracing the Pages any further back. The Watkins Will may help in this search and it is plain that John Page and Nancy Watkins were neighbours in Stoke Prior. So another thread in the puzzle to follow. Its very difficult keeping track of all these bits of information, but it is enthralling and fascinating all the same.

Site updated

I have now done some more work on the site.

1. The poor family tree pages have been removed

2. These have been replaced by a package that enables you to look at any family member and create a tree from that. It's a package called GedHtree and although I havent played with it fully it allows a tree to be generated on screen. Obviously personal details of those who are still around have been restricted.

3. There is no facility as yet to download a Ged file but if you want one to play with let me know and I'll send you one.

The new stuff can be found under Family History.

4. I have also added a site visitor counter and an internal search facility and upgraded the meta files so that external searches will find the site.

5. I have also submitted the site to Ancestor Connections for inclusion for named searches for people looking for ancestors with the same surname, hence the "award" graphic.

6. I have also discovered how to download files using FTP software which makes it easier to add files in volume.

So quite a few changes, have a look and let me know what you think.

Update 7th July 2006

Well, The house seems a little quieter now that all the visitors have gone and we had a lovely letter from Andrew saying thanks for the visit, so they arrived home safely via Scotland and London. The photo below shows us all in the garden, we had a barbeque and the weather was great. Sister Debbie came over to say hello as well.












Debbie came over early this week (3/7/2006) and we went to Beaulieu to see The Who in concert. It was brilliant, and it took us all back to the "good old days". I first saw them in 1967 when I was down here in Southampton doing my training at the Ordnance Survey. It was an all-nighter at the Top Rank suite in Bitterne and cost 12/6d to get in. Keith Moon threw a drumstick at us and I caught it and still have it somewhere, probably lost in the loft!!! In about 1971, at least it was just before Keith died, I saw them again at Mothers in Erdington, Birmingham. I took sister Noni with me and they went down a storm, playing themselves to the point of exhaustion and smashing the whole stage, as they did then. The concert at Beaulieu was just superb, all the old songs and played as if it was on tape and sounding exactly like they always did. They were definitely the best live band I have ever seen and I've seen most of the late 60's early 70s bands( Led Zeppelin, Free, Pink Floyd, Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa, Deep Purple, and Cream, who probably are right up there now I stop to think.............. At least I remember it all, if a little hazily!!!!









This appalling photo was clipped from the video I took of the show. The video is good so you'll have to take my word for it being them.

Ah Well back to the real world. More later...............................



Updated family history.

I spent yesterday updating the family history between football matches. It now includes additional dates and info re Greta Morley and a few new photos. I also tried to tidy up the Trees but am having severe problems with the graphics so it is not as user friendly as it could be. Also looked at the Ancestor links but haven't yet cracked the files needed to bring up info relating to each person (where I have any).

The weather makes me a lot keener to get out in the garden and I suspect this will keep me away from the computer until later on in the year.

Visit by the Boston Hildick-Smiths

We were happy to have Andrew and Hughie Hildick-Smith to stay with us fro a couple of days. Debbie came over on Monday last and met the family for the first time. After a barbeque we all went down to the shore at Lepe for an hours stroll by The Solent. Tuesday was a visit to Portsmouth for a look at The Mary Rose and HMS Victory. On Wednesday they all left to travel by plane to Edinburgh for a trip into Fife to look at Nettie Gray Youngers birthplace near St Andrews. After a few days in Scotland they return to London by train for a few days in the capital sightseeing and then back to Boston. It was great to have them and there will be photos on the site soon when I have sorted it all out.

Andrew left me with lots of information re his Grandmothers family (The Youngers) who have roots in Scotland way back and although this line was not one of my original tracks of research I will be adding some to the main family document for those who are interested in The Duncan, Gray and Younger families. The Duncans are pretty illustrious, the prime contender Admiral Adam Duncan, the hero of Camperdown: if you don't know the name do a search on "tinternet" and see what comes up. Also Lewis Younger, Andrews grandmothers brother fought with great distinction in The Great War, being awarded an MC and soon afterwards a Bar to the original MC, only given for great courage and second only to the VC. Incidentally John Norman Hildick-Smith got one too, does anybody know when or what for???

More later

Ida Wolstenholmes 90th Birthday

We were very happy to be invited by Janet Marsh to her mother Idas 90th birthday party at Wherwell on Saturday 10th June 2006. Ida is the daughter of Gavin Hildick-Smith. She is a wonderful lady, full of life and all her American nephews and their families came over so there were over a dozen Hildick-Smiths in attendance. Her brother peter very sadly died in January 2006 after a long illness but it was lovely to see his wife Kit there, the first time we have met. I gave ida a framed photo of the original Hildicks and Smiths and we spent a long time talking about the family.

Andrew, Hughie and their boys are coming to stay tomorrow, Peter is flying back to the States on Monday but his wife and children are staying on here for several days. They may also pay us a visit.

I'll post some photos etc soon.

Lapworth Visit

Before the wedding we managed to pay a visit to Lapworth. We found John and Jessies grave and in the church is a beautiful window dedicated to Martha and Benjamin Hildick, dedicated by Joseph Hildick. Martha lived firstly at The Hall and then moved to Gospel Oak where she demolished the old house and built the new one. We passed by there and very imposing it is too. We also had lunch at The Boot by the canal.








































Although there are a number of other Hildicks buried at Lapworth Church, we were unable to find any others and the vicar was not around. I'll be updating the document soon.




Latest news

Well, we are just back from the wedding and a fantastic time was had by all!!! Congrats to Mike and Carole.

I will be posting lots of photos in due course but here is a taste.










It will take me a while to download and create the video and I will put a new gallery with the wedding photos on it.

We all had a great time, the weather was gorgeous and the venue at Corse lawn perfect.



More on the Oldnall family

If you have dipped into the Page family page then you will know that Hill Pool where my Granny was born came to the Page family in the early 1700's. Before that it was owned by the Oldnall family. I had a contact through the website from Elwyn Bull who is related to a branch of the Oldnalls of Chaddesley. She kindly sent some photocopies from a rare book on Kidderminster that she has obtained, and also a family tree relating to the Oldnalls called The Visitation Of Worcester of 1642. Down the line from Roger Oldnall of Stone c1580 is shown John Oldnall of Hill Pool who died in about 1669. I am now sure that he bought Hill Pool from a Francis Smith in 1656 and when in this branch of the male line of Oldnalls died out and Sarah Oldnall 1727 married Edward Blakeway, the farm passed to the Blakeways for a short time. On Edwards death, Sarahs daughter, who had married Joseph Page 1740 took over at Hill Pool and Joseph founded the current dynasty of Pages in Chaddesley Corbett in 1807.

Now I know there are still Blakeways and Oldnalls in Chaddesley but how these are related will be the next stage of my research.  Alluseful stuff and my thanks to Elwyn, she took trouble to contact me and happily gave me lots of info.

Next up is a visit to Lapworth to chase down some Hildick dates, then Caroles wedding in Malvern, followed by Ida Wolstenholmes 90th party at Wherwell , followed by Andrew Hildick-Smiths visit.

Who said retirement would be boring!!!!

Latest Developments

I have now added lists of Family Surnames and Individuals to the site. As yet there is no link to individual names, nor any other details.You will get an unavailable page screen at present but at least you will be able to see names and dates of individuals. If you want more info on any of these you will have to contact me directly by E Mail.  This is to protect the living but in the future I will add a link to an edited Gedcom file for anyone to download. This may be some time in the future when I have reached a suitable point in the research.

New photo just recieved via Debbie. I've got most of the names and it includes the first picture I have of Frederick Charles Smith. I reckon the photo was taken around 1905 or so












Standing L-R: John Hildick 1857, poss ? Alan Hildick 1889 ,Ida H-S 1888, Douglas Hildick (Johns son) 1887,Mona H-S 1892, Howard Hildick 1885, unknown lady, poss Fredk "Atwood" Hildick-Smith 1889.Sitting middle L-R: Jessie H-S 1885, Frederick Smith 1858, Mary Jane Howard Hildick (nee Smith, Fredericks sister)1855, Jessie Hildick 1855. Front L-R: John Norman H-S 1894, Joseph Don H-S 1895, Dorothy H-S 1890.

Some of these may be a little muddled, for example Alan Hildick bears an uncanny resemblance to Attwood H-S from other photos I have, and its a bit suprising that Gavin H-S does not appear. Datewise it must be about 1905 judging by the smaller childrens appearance. Greta Morley thinks it was taken at Victorias Jubilee in 1898 but that would put my grandfather at only 3 so I think that is wrong. Also, I had supposed that Frederick Smith had left the family in 1901 but Greta firmly states that the photo is of him. Still, some room for discussion and comparison. Its still a great picture.

2nd periodic Update

Debbie has reported back from her meet with Greta Hildick and has given me lots more on the family. We have a lot of new relatives but I won't be putting the info onto the website to protect the living. I will, however, update my master document soon, so if anyone wants a copy just ask.

Plans fixed for Andrew and hughies visit, they may go and stay with Jackie if they can fit it in, otherwise Jackie may pop over for a visit.

First periodic update

Although I am not going to be doing this daily, I will add anything that crops up, particularly with the family history.

Recent developments:

Andrew and Hughie Hildick-Smith are coming over to England in June and will be "camping" with us for a few days. We spend a great day with them in Boston last year and although we can't give them whale watching we will do our best.

A contact with Greta Morley (nee Hildick) who is our 2nd cousin once removed (or is it twice removed?). Sister Debbie was in the Telegraph and she contacted her via the paper. Debs is going to visit next week. She is the daughter of Howard, grandaughter of John Hildick (1857). John was brother to Sarah Hildick who is my paternal great grandmother. I spoke with her on Saturday last and she has filled in lots to do with Lapworth, where her grandfather lived. Howard her father ran Hildick and Hildick for many years. More later.

If you have read the history, Joan Hildick-Smith (Gavins daughter, sister to the late "Pete"(Andrews father)) was killed in the WW2 on the SS Ceramic. A book has just been published detailing the ships history and details of the tragedy. I have 3 signed copies if anyone wants a look just ask.

Much work in the garden, lots of pricking out and potting on and the tree fern has just been unwrapped for the year, all seems fine.

Now if you want to see a REAL blog, you won't be far wrong to look at Jackies site (see Links Page), its a cracker.

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