St Nicholas Church in Guildford Surrey was the venue of my Christening in the late 1960s, that of my Mum in the mid 1940s and my Grandmother in 1913. It was also the venue where my Grandfather’s sisters married during the 1930s.
This is the photograph of my late Great Aunt, Dorothy Lilian Butcher upon her wedding to Richard Dick in 1936.
I have a Christening Certificate which was presented to my Mum at my Christening, alas it has the wrong middle name for me and is written as Julie Joyce. Joyce was in fact my Mum’s middle name! So either the vicar looked at the register or it was the same vicar!
My Grandfather was Christened at the parish Church in Wanborough in 1908 and prior to that we have almost 250 years of ancestry on my Grandfather’s maternal line connected to the beautiful rural Surrey parish of Puttenham, which is the subject of the two photographs below and that of my One Place Study
This is a great photograph, showing the font at Puttenham. How many of my ancestors have been baptised here? There is rather an amusing story which concerns one of my Ellis ancestors at Puttenham and features this very church.
George Ellis was a blacksmith in Puttenham. He was busy working and a spark caught and set alight a building next door and suddenly Puttenham was in the midst of a fire. The locals rushed to form a human chain between the fire and one of the village wells which was situated in the front ground of the church. The fire was put out and over time the well was covered. It remained covered until Easter Sunday 1972 when during the service a huge noise was heard. Upon leaving the church, it was visible that a tree that had previously taken root over the spot of the well had completely disappeared into the spot thus locating the hidden well. The well is now visible for all to see and the spot marked with a plaque celebrating its rediscovery after 222 years.
Now, having read the information in the archives for the village I was curious as to how the well had been covered and why no one remembered the spot where it had been situated? So many questions….. and this little story demonstrates how the church was interwoven into the lives of our ancestors.
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