Monday, 9 January 2012

Beyond the Internet Week 1: Church interiors

On the very first visit I made to Puttenham in Surrey I just knew I belonged. There was a feeling of completeness.

I walked up the main isle of the church towards the alter and stopped and sat down at one of the pews. Had my ancestors sat in that very spot?

I walked along towards the windows and looked at the stained glass. So vibrant with the sunlight bursting through.

I then looked at the various plaques littered indiscriminately on the walls.

Upon the plaques were the names of people that I had seen in the Parish Records and upon the Census. I remember being so excited I could have burst!

I then walked up to the font. How many ancestors had been Baptised at this very font? I could, time and fingers allowing have worked it out. My earliest known ancestor was Baptised at this font in 1724. This photograph was taken in 2004 - 280 years after that first Baptism.

What struck me as I stood at that font was the powerfulness of it. In years gone by parents would have struggled from their meagre earnings to have the money to pay for their child to be Baptised. There would have been no hesitation. The money would have been found.

So on that day in 2004 I remember telling Stuart exactly how I felt on that very first visit. The feelings of excitement, wonder, completeness. He didn't exactly say I was obsessed, but he did show me a particular look just before his eyes glazed over.

My fascination of the Village has not gone away. I host a One Place Study for the Village and during 2012 the Puttenham Archives that I hold will be placed upon their very own blog. I also need to up date the photographs including taking some of the stained glass windows.

Inspired from Family History Across the Seas.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:18 am

    What a wonderful story Julie demonstrating the power of church artefacts whether or not they're directly related to our ancestors. I too have seen the baptismal font my ancestor (2xgt grandfather) would have been baptised in. Somehow it really all does bring it to life. I understand even if Stuart didn't ;-)

    Congratulations on the One Place Study.

    Thanks so much for joining in this week's topic.


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