Barry's Relatively Speaking: The Old Forge

Posted on Aug 24, 2012

Barry's Relatively Speaking shares the personal experiences and stories of genealogists found in the Everton Genealogical Helper Magazine collection on Paul shares the following experience.

This Spring my mother and I went to England for a "holiday" and to tramp through the haunts of our ancestors. We had done enough research on our Winter family through the LDS Library in Salt Lake City, Utah that we had much material to guide us to the little town of Foston, Lincolnshire, from which my mother's greatgrandfather left in 1802. It was a cold, damp day when we arrived there. After inspecting the church and its cemetery, we were invited to tea by the Smiths, church wardens. While Mrs. Clarence Smith forced upon us delicious sandwiches and more tea, Mr. Smith paged through our family history, stopping to read the details of a 1794 will and commenting that the building he used as a garage was once an old forge, possibly the same that was mentioned in the will. I scolded him for his jest. The English have a way of

preserving things so he presented us with a parcel containing the deeds of their house and property. The English are required to have a copy of every deed ever written on their property, not as in the U.S. where you are given an abstract. Much to our surprise, there were the names of our ancestors on those old deeds, almost two hundred years old. The Smiths named their home "The Old Forge". They also preserve other documents and the county archives in Lincolnshire are well developed and growing. They even pride themselves on their ancient edifices such as their Norman chapel, a part of their present church.

Hurrah for the English and their sense of historic preservation.

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