Meet the Family: Kinlet to Acton Burnell, UK
I have been doing genealogy for a number of years, going back farther and farther in my family history, now over 35,000 people strong! One of the reasons for the trip to the UK was to document and photograph the villages my family (my mother’s side) came from and to visit the last village that Richard Henry Lee, my 22nd GGrandfather, lived in before leaving England for the United States in the early 1600’s. What an experience! The first stop after leaving the Cotswolds was Kinlet, Kin (royal) lett (district) Shropshire, population around 600. I was looking for St John’s Church where my relatives, the Blounts, are buried. First driving to Cleobury Mortimer, the roads dwindled to sheep pastures and upon reaching Kinlet, the main attraction seemed to be The Eagle and the Serpent Pub, in the middle of nowhere! They have THE BEST burgers and fries!!!!!
Driving up and down the road several times, to my dismay, and seeing no sign of a church, we did find a large old school now being used as a nursing home. SB, being the gentleman he always is, went in the nursing home to inquire about St John’s Church. The young attendants had no clue to it’s where abouts, but a tiny frail woman in a wheel chair said, “take the path in front of the pub up the hill!”
It was a path with an iron gate, which we opened and went in and drove on up the hill through the rolling hills dotted with sheep and lambs. When the path ended, there was the church and next door a huge, huge, huge manor house! The Manor House or Kinlet Hall is now the Moffats School, a private school, but we went in and talked to the head mistress, who through marriage was also related to the Blount family. She told us to take as many pictures outside the building as we wanted, as not to disturb the classes, and to go on through the gate to the church. This is what I found in Kinlet and St John’s Church.
It’s nice to know your relatives were so well thought of and very important to the community!
Next, traveling to Acton Burnell, we discovered the remnants of Acton Burnell Castle and a path through a really spooky grove of trees that we had to go through in order to reach the castle. I couldn’t help but think something awful had gone on here! If only these trees could talk!
Acton Burnell Castle is a 13th century fortified manor house, located near the village of Acton Burnell, Shropshire, England. Built in 1284 by Robert Burnell, Bishop of Bath and Wells, friend and advisor to King Edward I, the manor house was substantial enough to accommodate Edward I, his household, soldiers and advisors. It is believed that the first Parliament of England in which the Commons were fully represented was held here in 1283. Today all that remains is St Mary’s Church, also built by Robert Burnell, and the outer shell of the castle. The Lee family must have been important in the village of Acton Burnell, but like a lot of young men of his time, Richard Henry Lee was not the oldest son to inherit, so left England to start fresh in a new country. It’s good to see where you came from so you know where you’re going! Have you traced your family back to lands unknown? What did you experience? I would love to know! Enjoy!
16 Responses to “Meet the Family: Kinlet to Acton Burnell, UK”
How fascinating! What a wonderful trip discovering your past.
Oh Annette, doing family history is so much fun. It really gets you into the thick of things, the good and the bad! It’s remarkable the way family names are past down into the family! I’ve often wondered just what in the world people were thinking with certain names, but when I started doing my family history some of the names popped up in every family, in every generation, going back a long way! I was so thankful for odd names then because I knew I had the right family!
How long have you been doing it? My daughter-in-law, who is Canadian, but with Scottish roots on her mother’s side, has just started using an application on the internet. She is really enjoying it too.
I started in 2004! Both my parents had passed and and I didn’t have a clue about any of my relatives except the names of my grandparents! I have been to the border of France (Alsace) region to find the village of my fathers side! They were late comers to the states arriving 1849. Went to Canada to find the ancestors of my husbands family, big big Catholic families! It is very exciting to see all the bits put together and I have met wonderful people along the way that helped me!
Wow – that sounds amazing.
Annette, would you consider budding up with me? We could share garden ideas and pictures. Let me know.
That would be great. I would like that. Thanks for asking. I haven’t read today
Sorry – I was saying I haven’t read today’s blogging task properly yet but will do tomorrow.
[…] 3. Confused, because we speak the same language, but I had trouble understanding what people were saying. When I got to the smaller villages, things went much more smoothly! Since the Lees had left England a long time ago, I was not sure just what I would find. I wrote about it in my post Meet the Family. […]
YOur travel log was a lovely way to begin my September Sunday morning. Many thanks for your gifts.
I do a lot of English research trying to find the ancestry behind my Jamestown ancestor Edward Grendon who arrived there before 1616.
The old anglo-saxon name for “Acton” is derived from the Old English for “farm (or village) with oak trees”. … The manor of Iron Acton was held by the de Acton family, which took its name from the manor, It is also claimed my ancestor’s surname was taken from the villages where they lived, Grendon.
I live in SC now and we have
The SC Plantation Acton was named after Acton Park, England by Cleland Kinloch , who may have ties into these English origins somehow.
Acton Park is on land owned by Bishop Robert Burnell of Bath and Wells whose family married into my Grendons
Robert Burnell built a castle there and built in defenses (new word for me was crenillation, and the act of adding crenels to a previously unbroken parapet is termed crenellation. Thus a defensive building might be designed and built with battlements, . ). He entertained the King and his family there often as well as held meetings of the English Parliament .He called the place Acton Burnell. Robert Burnell was the wealthiest and most powerful man of his time.
I have sent your site location to a man I know here with the surname Acton and my family.
Really beautifully done. Many thanks again,
Margaret Louise Drody Thompson
PS you will find my Edward Grendon genealogy on line posted by the Jamestown Society of SC
Dear Margaret, Thank you for reading my post on Acton Burnell. I tend to do a lot of research. I will need to live to be 200! The remains of the fortification and church at Acton Burnell was quite a site. Definitely the name Acton well describes that wooded area of trees. They were very impressive and spooky looking. There was something foreboding about the grounds. I could feel it! I will have to look in my tree to see if the Grenden name pops up anywhere. I am also related to the Greens and Berry family who came here very early on. I am thinking they were in Jamestown, but will have to look at my genealogy.Those names later became the Greenberry family in my tree. It is all so interesting! I will look up your tree on the Jamestown Society of SC site. I will look forward from hearing from you again. Have you been to the UK to do any research? It is a treasure trove and there are centers in just about every district. Cady Luck Leedy
Re your question whether I had researched abroad: Have been to England for love of travel, but did not spend time there to do research. Now, at 84 years of age my main mode of research is using documents put on line. Have used BHO for years. I also engage researchers there who know their way around to help sort out brick walls.
In earier times I did spend months doing research on my Scottish Clan, the McIvers, time in Germany for my Palentines, in Holland for my Schoonovers.
Unfortunately, I have actually traveled to countries just ahead of discovering ancestors there.
I was within a stone’s throw of my renowned Bassano ancestors home in Italy without realizing it. However, I did humm and dance with my husband beneath their musicians balcony in the Doge’s Palace in Venice where they had performed.
I did know where my Lanier musicians had performed in France for visits..
I am very fortunate to have many talented cousins who love the search, and are great, sharing authors.
Our DAR Regent’s husband is Bishop Acton.
Good going, and keep going to 200.
Margaret Louise Drody Thompson
Some South Carolina Acton history:
There is a lover’s bench of historical Charleston, SC lore called the Joggling Board. The lover’s would sit down on the board a distance from each other and while courting bounce up and down on the board which would slide them ever closer. it wasn’t restricted to young lovers, however, and many youngsters have had fun on these long boards, and old ladies too !.
The families associated with the Acton Plantation in Sumter Co near Stateburg, SC credit the origin of the joggling board of Scotland in America at the Acton Plantation.
Cleland Kinloch of Weehaw Plantation near Georgetown, SC built Acton Plantation in 1803. Widowed, his sister, went to Acton to care for the household. Mr. Kinloch undoubtedly had connections with the Actons of England.
Mrs. Benjamin Kinlock Huger, his sister, suffered so severely from rheumatism her relatives at Gilmerton, Scotland sent a joggling board suggesting she sit on it and bounce gently for more exercise. (Kinloch and Huger families of SC(pronounced kin-law and u-gee),
Carpenters were able to easily construct joggling boards from the introduction, and they became popular throughout the yards and piazzas of the Lowcountry.
Yes, indeed I have bounced upon a joggling board,
Margaret Louise Drody Thompson
Your story is very interesting. Thank you for writing about it. I have just started really digging into my family tree. Richard Lee of Coton Hall is my 11th great grandfather, John Lee, 12th, and Johannes DeLee 13th. Thank you for sharing and best wishes, Dawne Perkins
We are related then Dawne ! Richard Lee and both those John’s in my family too! Are you in the Lee family? Cady
Dawne I went to Coton Hall when I was in Shropshire too. I couldn’t go in or see the grounds because it is privately owned! Bummer! I should have just knocked on the door, but it was a bit intimidating after a long day and I did not want to push my luck! Cady