“Old Pictures of Claybrooke Magna, Claybrooke Parva and Ullesthorpe”…….and Why I Joined Facebook!

1 Sep

I have always asked myself “Why would I ever join Facebook?” Now I have my answer. It is so I can connect with all the others who live in, have lived in or have ancestors who have lived in “The Claybrookes and Ullesthorpe” in Leicestershire. YES, I have finally come into the 21st Century…..from my Red Phone to my Smart Phone, from my Underwood Typewriter to a Laptop Computer, from hand written letters to postings on Facebook! Who would have thought such a thing possible? Well maybe my Dad, after all, he was a telegrapher and the fastest typist I knew and he had a Ham Radio back in the 50’s and 60’s and he would “chat”, albeit in a somewhat different manner with others around the world. How he would have loved Facebook!
It all began earlier this summer, when someone responded to a post I had placed on the Leicestershire Village Website in 2009 asking for help in locating any living Perkins in the Claybrooke Magna/Parva area. Over the July 1st Long Weekend, someone responded that they thought they knew of a connection and would get back to me. I think they gathered in the Pig in Muck, the local, to solve the problem. Soon I had an email from a living Perkins, a descendant of Walter Joseph Perkins, brother to my grandfather, John Thomas Perkins. Emails and pictures went back and forth across the Atlantic as we caught up on 100 years of family history. You see, my grandfather, John Thomas had left England in 1913 to come to Canada. Once here, there was minimal contact with those back in the village. My Dad made only one trip to the Old Country in 1932.
It wasn’t long after this happened that I had an email from someone saying that, if on Facebook, I should check out this group who was posting info and pictures related to The Claybrookes. I did and I’m hooked!!! Can’t believe what I have discovered about the villages and their inhabitants going back into the 1800’s. The pictures are absolutely marvelous!!! And the memories they engender are wonderful to hear. Young and old alike have been sharing what they have dug out of trunks and other storage boxes. So far the group has 158 members, not bad for only being in existence for 3 weeks. Who knows who will find us in the future!
Summer here is almost over and it has been quite the summer. It began in London at the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations for the Queen with a spur of the moment trip and ended here in Edmonton with The International Fringe Theatre Festival -Village of the Fringed. In between, there was a multitude of Festivals…..Jazz, Blues, Symphony, Folk, Rock, Street Performers, Open Doors for History and Heritage Days….the choices were yours.
Time now to get ready for fall and my trip to China. No, I will not be looking for any ancestors. This is the trip that I have always dreamed of doing….when I return there will be plenty of time to look for ancestors.

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