Sunday, 9 September 2007

Trip to the North East

I spent the last few days this week in the North East – enjoying some wonderful, sunny weather and the opportunity to meet some Daglishes.

The main reason for the trip was to be at Gibside, the National Trust property, which has been open for free this weekend as part of the Heritage Open Day scheme, under the theme “Your History Matters”. I was there trying to help others who are interested in starting family history search and want to know where to begin. There was a steady flow of visitors all day – some of whom were already experienced researchers with their “brick walls” that they wanted solved!
The highlight of the day for me was meeting Mr & Mrs Bill Daglish, who came to meet me after their son saw details of the event on the blog – an unexpected pleasure!

I also had the pleasure of meeting Louise and her husband Nigel, and Vera and her husband Allen. Louise has been researching her Daglish line for over 20 years, and has got back as far as 1583 in Whickham. Louise told me about her dismay when she found that one of her family headstones in a local cemetery had been flattened – apparently done to making mowing easier.

This started some thoughts about how gravestones and headstones are in danger of being either flattened, damaged or even removed, and I thought it might be useful to create an archive of photos of Daglish graves and other memorials.

With this in mind I went out to look for some. One in Newcastle Cathedral is for John Daglish (1793-1837), a chemist and druggist. He is recorded as being the son of William Daglish of Gateshead and whose mother was a descendent of Henry Maddison, sixth of the ten sons whose effigies are on the extraordinary Maddison Monument, also in Newcastle Cathedral.

John Daglish is reported to have been "of a philanthropic and benevolent disposition, a promoter of infant and Sunday schools, and a warm hearted friend of the young, the helpless and the suffering. " He was twice married, first to Catherine Wilson (who is buried with him) and later to Mary Wilkinson. One of his sons William Stephen Daglish (1832-1911) became a prominent solicitor in Newcastle, whilst another John Wilkinson Daglish (1828-1906) was a mining engineer and Justice of the Peace.

The only danger to this stone is probably from the hundreds of pairs of feet that must walk over it every day, most without taking time to read the inscription.

If anyone has their own photos of headstones or memorials connected to the Daglish name that they would be willing to let me have copies of I would be very grateful. Also it would be very useful to know the locations of any Daglish graves or memorials - much easier than finding them by chance! Living as I do in the south of England, it was a thrill to be able to go into a churchyard or cemetery and find a Daglish grave.

I have posted some other photos that I took on this trip on a flickr site (a way of sharing photos).

I also visited another National Trust property, Wallington, to try to locate the Daglish clock that my wife and I remembered seeing there some 15 years ago. My wife remembered that it used to be in the upstairs restaurant – but it’s no longer there. I spoke to a lady who worked in the restaurant at that time, who confirmed that the clock was indeed there at the time but she thought it was now held as part of the private collection. The person who would know was not there on the day I visited – but I left details and hope to hear from Wallington soon.

My thanks to Louise and Nigel, and to Vera and Allen, for their kind and generous hospitality.

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