Identifying Photos

Saturday, January 27, 2018

#52Weeks, High House, St Bees, Cumberland, England

 I spent years trying to trace my g grandfather John Robert Fox's family. He was born in New Zealand but came to Australia before marrying. I had his birth certificate but back then they just listed his parents, not where they came from or when and where they married etc. We are very lucky in Victoria with this information recorded.
High House, St Bees Cumbria photo Jill Coulthard
Then came the internet! I had gone into the library one day determined I was going to find Charles James Fox and his wife Harriet Pollard. It appeared they never married in New Zealand so I started on the English IGI, which at that stage was still microfiche by county. Then I remembered that the Mormans now had this on CD and may be quicker and can do a sweep of all counties.
I made my way up there the following day and advised the Librarian what I was looking for. She pulled out the Victorian BDM? I had just told her New Zealand!
But there it was, the marriage of Charles and Harriet! in Victoria. From there things went crazy. I purchased the marriage certificate and found that Charles was in fact living in New Zealand but Harriet was at that time in Castlemaine. But now I had their parents names, Harriet was the daughter of Robert Pollard and Mary (Hart) while Charles was the son of Rev John Fox and Faith (Huddleston) both of Cumberland, England.
There was a Rootsweb group started for the Fox Family. I put up my names to see what would happen. Within hours someone from Texas contacted me to say she had gone to Cumberland seeking her Fox family and passed on the information of the Fox Family of St Bees Cumberland.
Here was a family history that went back to 1500s! and yes on checking this was my family. I was then able to go to the GRD (Genealogical Research Directory), this was published each year for people trying to find links. It was here that I was able to find Jill Coulthard who was also researching this family. I wrote to Jill sending her copies of evidence that I had linking my family to hers. I also sent her my email address. Within days I had an email. She was very excited as she had never had a reply to her entries.
Research shows that Antonii Foxe was living in High House when his son Gwalfridi Foxe was born in 1544. Antonii is my 11x great Grandfather. Since then all these generations of the Fox Family have grown up at High House.
One family member visited there once and was shown through the house but was advised, "this is not the original house, it was rebuilt about 300 years ago"! This came from the then current occupant Anthony Fox, the name still carries.
Part of the property has now been sold off and one of the cottages has been turned into a holiday rental. I will have to visit that one day.
This is New High House photo Jill Coulthard 
My last ancestor there was Charles James Fox who was the son of the Rev John Fox, who was the minister of Haile, Cumberland but also Headmaster of the St Bees College for some 12 years. The family have a very strong presence in the school from its inception.
Charles James Fox went to New Zealand, came to Melbourne and married Harriet Pollard before returning to New Zealand where their three sons were born. It was after the youngest of those sons died from croup that they returned to Australia where Charles died of pneumonia aged 42 years and is  buried at Chewton, Victoria.  The eldest is my grandmother's father, she was Olive Cecilia Fox and she had 2 brothers whose families carry on the name here in Australia, and other families have also come to Australia.
There  is a massive history for this family just in this house.

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