The End of an Internship

July 5, 2007

By Heather Walgren
Isn’t it horrible when someone leaves you hanging? Well, I have been back in the U.S. for two weeks. I called home before I left, so I did not send an email describing my last days in London. Worse, I want to start blogging about other topics. Don’t worry. For anyone I haven’t spoken with in the past few days I won’t jump into an unrelated topic until my next post.

London was great! I think I enjoyed it more my second time around… or maybe it was the fact that I was a tourist rather than a researcher. Regardless, we left Essex early Saturday morning. By 10 am we were settled into our B&B and ready to explore. I got to spend four hours in the British Museum, get my picture taken with Sherlock Holmes on Baker Street, visit the international headquarters of the Boys Scouts and go on a walking tour of one of London’s shopping districts.

Sunday I went through Green Park, St. James’ Park, walked around Buckingham Palace, and got to see the preparations for a parade, which I couldn’t attend. The parade celebrated 25 years since the Falkland Wars. Prince Charles, Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher were scheduled to speak. As I rushed across town to meet Jillian and MaLese at the church I found a memorial for the London Bombings during the Battle of Britain: it was a wall outside of the Victoria and Albert Museum that still had damage from the bombs. It created a silent contrast in my mind. I walked away from a parade that honored a war I don’t agree with and found a silent but powerful symbol of a war that needed to be fought. The scars in the wall bore a silent witness to the sacrifice the British people made during the 1940s.

On Monday MaLese and I went through Hyde Park, found a really neat tree, and went paddle boating on the Serpentine. Then we made our way through Kensington Gardens and went on a tour of Kensington Palace. After we ate we went to the tube stop to find Jillian and take her through the Gardens. After we took pictures with Peter Pan we headed to the Tower of London. Unfortunately, we got there a half an hour before it closed, so we were advised not to go in. Instead, we visited the gift shop, took pictures of Tower Bridge and went on a ferry ride down the Thames. As we reached Westminster Jillian bade us goodbye as she set out to meet a friend from Yorkshire and attend a concert. MaLese and I visited the shops in Trafalgar (hoping to find a few more souvenirs). Then we went on the Eye of London. Following this, I took MaLese through the Westminster Tube Station (the 5th Harry Potter movie used the station as part of the Ministry of Magic) and we went home.

We met up with Jillian and her friend, Sarah, at St. Paul’s Cathedral on Tuesday morning. We fed the birds, and then crossed the Millennial Bridge. We bought tickets for the evening’s performance of The Merchant of Venice. Then we walked down the waterfront until we could cross at Tower Bridge. MaLese and I went through the Tower of London while Jillian and Sarah sat on the grass. We saw the crown jewels as well as some of the other attractions. Following this we ran to Piccadilly to see a matinee of The Phantom of the Opera. During the performance Brad dropped off a bag of his books and jams he asked Jillian to take home. He told her it was a grocery sack. We found a large department store bag. I had been thinking of buying another suitcase, so I ran into a store and found something we could put his stuff in. We went to dinner then ran back to the Globe. The performance was brilliant. When we got out we strolled along the banks of the Thames and then headed home.

Wednesday morning found all of us preparing to go home. We left around 8:15. Our flights were around 12:30. After experiencing massive delays on the tube system we ran into Heathrow around 11:00. As MaLese headed for her terminal Jillian and I embarked on our airport security adventure. We got through to our terminal about 10 minutes before passengers started to board the flight. A very kind gentleman traded me seats, so Jillian and I could sit next to each other (a nice arrangement because both of us wanted to stay awake to minimize the jet lag). We arrived in Chicago with three hours to get through customs, collect our bags, recheck our bags, take the train to the other terminal, and go through security again. Oddly enough, it took less time for us to do this than it did for us to get through Heathrow. We had dinner, looked around the shops, and used our cell phones to call family. Both flights were very full, but the one to Salt Lake carried a surprising number of missionaries, returning from their missions. By the time we arrived in Salt Lake we had been awake for 21 hours and traveling for 20 of those hours.

I feel so blessed to have had this experience. I don’t think you can have an opportunity like this and not grow. Despite how much I love England (I am already planning on traveling their again) I was so grateful to be home. The trip feels like a closing chapter in my college experience. Although there is editing that needs to be done (I still have to go through all the research we brought back and complete some projects at work) I know that the BYU stage of my life is at an end, and I am okay with that. I am ready for some new adventures. Speaking of which, did any of you know you can go four wheeling in a 95’ Geo Metro?

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June 18, 2007

June 18, 2007

Hi Mom!

We will be going at a whirlwind pace now until we catch our flight home. We are out to see Kensington Palace and Gardens today. Yesterday I went to Buckingham Palace to get better pictures and they were setting up for a parade to celebrate 25 years since the Falkland Wars. The Prince of Wales, the Prime Minister and Margaret Thatcher were set to speak.  I had church, so I took pictures walked through St. James Park, and Green Park then left.

I think that my flight comes in around 8:00 PM on the 20th. I will check tonight and email you. I love you lots and I’m looking forward to being home. Thanks for everything!

Love,

Heather

Editor’s note: This will be the last post from Heather until she gets home. I would like to thank Heather for allowing me to share in her journey by appointing me to be her editor/blog manager while she has been in England. I would like to thank you for sharing in her internship with us.

All future entries will be made by Heather after her return to the states. It will be fun to see what she decides to do with this blog so stay tuned.

Janet Walgren – aka Mom, the best title in the world!:)


June 16, 2007

June 16, 2007

Hey Mom,
We just got into London a few hours ago. I sent Dr. Doxey the paragraphs on Wednesday and all of my hours are in. MaLese and I went to Colchester on Saturday. It is the oldest recorded town in England and has the largest Norman Castle anywhere in Europe. The Castle was built on a Roman Temple. We went on a tour of the Castle and they took us down into the foundations of the Roman temple. It was very fun. I got to see 16th century graffiti and walk where 4 kings of England have walked.

I am coming to be a firm believer in “there’s no place like home.” I have loved this experience. I am so grateful I got to come, and I do want to return and visit, but home is home and I will be so excited to see you and just take a break. I have researched about 200 hours and feel like I have been going and going and going. These last few days will be a marathon. I am glad we are doing it, but I am excited to come home and see you. After seeing some of these places I am very grateful for the sacrifice that our ancestors made in leaving to go to a barren desert (and it was and still is in comparison), but I am so thankful for all the little things I have in my life that are a direct result of their sacrifice. You are great.

 Love you lots,

Heather


June 12, 2007

June 12, 2007

Hi mom,
This is a quick check in. I am in Essex researching. We are not going to the Channel Islands. Trying to figure it out when we do not have internet has been an interesting experience. I just got a chance to look today, however, and it would take two research days to do the trip. The archive is not open on Friday which means we would be leaving tomorrow and getting home on Thursday, I just can’t deal with planning at the moment. It is alright, though. I already knew the chances of us going were very slim.

 

The wheel on my suitcase is going to break. I am not sure how much it has left in it, but I am hoping it will last till I get on the plane. I will need to buy another bag to check, so I don’t go over the 50lb. weight limit. Oh well, I guess I will have to go shopping when we go back to London.

 

The Essex Record Office is great. It is the most high tech county record office we have encountered. Another reason I am a little relieved I don’t have to plan a trip to the Channel Islands is because it will allow me time to research the Gunn family. I really feel like I need to look into them while I am here. The family that we are staying with actually lived right next to the villages the Gunn family came from. They say it is beautiful countryside over there. I might try to go over and see it.

 

Oh! On another fun note, I was reading through this little history of the church in Essex on Sunday (Gloria and Peter got me a copy when I mentioned I wanted to write my religion paper on the early church in East Anglia). Anyway, the book mentioned the ship of Mormon emigrants Charles Dickens visited and wrote about (we had heard of this account from Peter when we were on our church history tour). The ship he visited was the Amazon: the ship the Castleton family, as well as MaLese’s ancestors, emigrated on. So, Charles Dickens called our ancestors “the pick and flower of England…” Now I can say that Jane Austin walked where my ancestors walked (I got to walk there, too) and Charles Dickens toured my ancestors’ emigration ship, and paid them a compliment. I really think I am going to have fun writing my family history report at the end of this trip.

 

I need to go, but I love you lots. I am so excited to see you again. We will have to both come to England, so I can take you to some of these places. You can be my travel buddy to the Channel Islands.

 

Love,

Heather


June 9, 2007

June 9, 2007

Dear Mom,Thank you for your email. You have an amusing way of summing up events.

Hi Sweetie,

Thanks for the update. I enjoyed your post and I am so glad that you finally found a family that is jumping. I must admit that it probably is a good thing that Robert Pennel had his work done after he was dead if he got baptized 100 times. Otherwise he might have thought they were trying to drown him instead of save him, and approximate dates would have been hard on his hinny when the doctor slapped him and said, “It’s a boy!” (How many times?:))

The weather is incredibly sweet today. It has been cool – almost cold and it is raining. The clouds are hovering low on the mountains and it is just the kind of day that makes you want to get outside. The rain is a good solid almost heavy rain so everything is looking very green. At work today, Shauna said, “Janet, look out the window. See that soft steady rain and how everything looks green? That is what England looks like on a typical day.” Perhaps we got our love of the rain and the green from our English ancestors… 

I Love You,                               
~Mom
 

Tonight is MaLese and my last night in Bury. Oddly enough we haven’t spent much time here. The Saturday we got here we went through the market with Gordon and Jean. Sunday we begged a ride back to Ipswich to go to conference. Then we went out to the country for dinner in the house with the mote. Monday we researched in Bury and realized there are not a lot of emigration records here. As a result, we traveled to Nottingham and back on Tuesday. I found quite a bit there. Wednesday, we went to Norwich to research at the Norfolk Record Office. The archive was beautiful, but the records I needed no longer exist. I still found some helpful records, though.

Thursday we returned to Nottingham. We were one our way to the train station before 6 AM. We arrived a little after 9 AM. And we got to travel through Netherfield! While in Nottingham, MaLese and I found an emigration card index for transportation, I spoke with the archivists and will email the archive when I get home. We arrived home around 9:30 PM.

We visited Cambridge on Friday. I worked on emigration while MaLese researched her family. The archive closes for lunch, so we climbed to the top of Castle Mound and took pictures. MaLese’s family was only in Cambridge for one generation. The family joined the church in Cambridge and immigrated to Utah. As a result, she was at a loss as to what she could do that was unique. Luckily, we remembered the project Dr. Doxey was working on to locate the homes of early converts in the tri-county region. As a result, MaLese spoke with the archivists and found a map of Cambridge from the mid 1800s. After the archive closed we found her ancestors’ church and the street where they lived.

MaLese still needed some family research hours so we decided to find
the parishes of the ancestors she studied for History 412. After sleeping in for the first time this week we headed to the bus station (the train did not go to Saint Elmham or Rumburgh). Unfortunately, MaLese forgot the paper she wrote the directions on, so we showed up at the station and asked how to get to South Elmham. We were met with blank stares. MaLese did remember that we needed to go to a place called Diss. When the bus station employees pulled out a map they decided if we went to Diss we might find a connecting route. So we hopped on a bus and rode through the beautiful English countryside.

On arriving in Diss, we could not find any bus information, so we found the tourist information. The lady in the information center looked at us like we were from another planet when we asked for directions. She was horrified that we were trying to go there on a Saturday without a definite plan. She phoned the bus company and figured out our itinerary. She was so worried about us traveling on our own that we listened and analyzed our plans. At worst (if our transfer bus arrived before our bus) we would have one hour to walk three miles to All Saints, find the church, and walk back three miles to catch the last bus to go through the area. If we missed the bus we would be stranded for the night.

At this point we thought of our mothers and decided to be responsible. We analyzed our time constraints for the rest of the trip and discovered we have less than 20 hours of research left that we need to do. We can finish our IAP research by Tuesday. We are still looking into flying to the Channel Islands Wednesday, which leaves Thursday and Friday open. There is regular bus service to South Elmham on Thursday, so we will run up there next week.

We only have 11 days left on this trip. It seems like the time has slipped away. Most of our time has been spent in archives, but I feel like I have learned and grown so much. I have always loved Britain. England has a fascinating history, but now I feel like I am a part of that history. I feel the presence of my ancestors in this land. I felt them with me as I researched. I have walked their streets with them. I also feel the pains they must have felt as they left their home to travel to a new land. The land they traveled to is my home, and I am so glad I had the opportunity to leave my home to walk the streets where they lived. I feel like I know them just a little more than I did. I appreciate the sacrifice they made for me. They left everything they knew so their children and decedents would have a better life. My ancestors will always be my ancestors, but now they feel like they are truly a part of my family.

I am so glad I will be seeing you in less than two weeks.

I love you,
Heather
 


Nottingham, the land of Robin Hood

June 7, 2007

Hi Mom,
Thank you for the email. It made me smile and laugh. I am sorry I haven’t written to you this week. Our internet is somewhat temperamental. Plus, we haven’t been in until pretty late and have been leaving pretty early. I guess I have some catching up to do.

 

The last time I wrote MaLese and I were walking out the door to have dinner with the family that had taken us to stake conference. The family is an American air force family. They lived in Japan for 7 years and are half way through a 2 year stint in England. Because they have so many members in their family they are renting a home off base. Their home is probably my favorite house (that I have seen) in England. First, it is surrounded by a mote. Most of the house was burned down a while back, but part of the house dates back to before the reign of Mary I. It was the home of the regional leader who opposed Mary and held her captive for a short time. The family was so kind; the oldest daughter will be attending BYU-Idaho in the fall. After dinner, the kids took MaLese and me on a walk. We went around the mote. Then, we toured the surrounding area via the old public foot paths. Some of these paths you would not be able to tell were paths unless you knew they were there. Still, we saw a number of hidden jewels. I even got to walk through a wheat field.

 

As a result of this trip, I had the worst allergic reaction I have ever had in my life (but it was worth it). We got home. I took a shower, and when I still resembled the elephant man in the morning MaLese went into town and bought me some Benedryl. Around noon, I felt up to going to the Archives. I guess I was the only one who held this opinion because our B&B lady advised me to keep on taking the allergy medicine when she saw me and MaLese linked her arm in mine and wouldn’t let go until we got to the archive. It was then that I realized the power of comparison. MaLese and our host compared me to what I was like when I wasn’t swollen and running a fever. I compared myself to how much better I was at noon the day after than I was when I went to bed the night before. Still, we took it easy on our way to the archive and by the time I went to bed I wasn’t swollen or running a fever.

 

MaLese and I discovered very quickly that Bury does not have emigration records. As a result, we analyzed our options. MaLese’s grandmother gave her a file on a family line from Nottingham a day or so before we left. We had been trying to find a day to visit the Nottingham archives. So, we set our alarm clock for 2 hours earlier than usual and caught a train up to the land of Robin Hood. 

 

We  decided to go based on the fact that MaLese felt a very strong impression that we needed to go. Oddly enough, I remembered that somewhere I had one ancestor from Nottingham, as well. When we reached the archives I searched through all of my PAFs and finally remembered that I had put together a list of my English ancestors and organized it by county at the beginning of winter semester. Then I found him: Robert Pennel, the father of Hannah Pennel, who married someone in Pennsylvania in the 1690s. This was my first encounter with anyone in my Bond line. It was also my first attempt to extend a colonial line. This is the first time that a family I am researching has jumped out of every record I looked at. After ascertaining that the parish recorded in PAF as the birth place of Robert did not exist I looked in the only other parish that sounded remotely similar to what was in PAF. The Pennel family are all over the place and can be found in the records back to the 1530s. I even found two wills for the family. Knowing the work that has been done on my colonial lines I was rather surprised at this, but after looking at the FHL holdings for the parish in question I realized that we don’t have the records in the US that are needed to research this line. It also dawned on me that if Hannah was married in Pennsylvania in the 1690s the family probably joined the Society of Friends (Quakers) before they emigrated. Apparently, the Nottingham Archives has a great collection of Quaker records, which I will be investigating tomorrow.

 

Hoping that this lucky streak would continue MaLese and I went to Norwich today. All of the Lowestoft records are held there and I was hoping for some bastardy bonds and rate books. I was not as fortunate. In fact, none of the poor law I needed exists any more. I found a good marriage index for Norfolk and learned more about Joseph Castleton and his history in the Wesleyan Methodist church, though, so the day was not a complete failure. I am glossing over the fact that we got lost in town, ended up walking in the wrong direction, and missed a connecting train on our trip home. All in all, I compared the day with my first trip to Lowestoft and suddenly today seemed to be a pretty good day.

 

I need to get up in 5 1/2 hours to catch our train for tomorrow, so I am going to bed. I love you and am glad you had such a fun day. 

 

Love you lots, 

 

Heather


Bury St. Edmunds 6-3-2007

June 3, 2007


Hi Mom,
I am sorry I cut off so abruptly from our IM conversation last night (for you the middle of the day). My internet connection died. Still, we have internet here sometimes, so at least I will be able to write more. For now, I guess I need to play catch up.

MaLese and I made it to Bury St. Edmunds! It is such a beautiful town. Gordon and Jean (one of the couples we stayed with in Ipswich) drove us here because they did not want us spending more money on the trains than we already are.

Margaret had arranged for us to stay with Gloria and Peter, but due to an incorrect email address and the death of Margaret’s mother Gloria and Peter did not know when we were coming until the day before we arrived. They were installing cabinets in Peter’s office, so they had moved all of his office paperwork into their spare room. As a result, they arranged for us to stay with Gordon and Jean for two nights. Gordon and Jean are two of the sweetest people I know. They asked us to dinner after we went to stay with Gloria and Peter. When they found out we were going to Bury they decided to drive us. When we arrived, Gordon and Jean inspected the B&B we are staying at and made sure to let us now we could come back to stay with them if we did not like it here.

Gloria and Peter were equally wonderful. They are the sweetest people. Peter is a genealogist, so he had great stories, as well as copies of the CRO catalogues for Suffolk and Essex. MaLese and I were overjoyed to see these and pretty much commandeered them for the week we were there. They fed us breakfast and would have fed us dinner if we hadn’t put our feet down. As it was, they let us use their kitchen to cook dinner and Gloria did our laundry (this is the first time our laundry has seen a washing machine in a month)! We have been washing things in sinks and bathtubs, so we felt like we arrived in heaven when she did it. She wouldn’t even let us think about doing it ourselves.

When I mentioned I wanted to write my church history paper on the saints and the early church in East Anglia Peter and Gloria started emailing and calling people in England, Canada and the United States to find me sources and stories for my paper. They are two of the most gracious individuals I have ever met. Gloria started joking that we would gain the epitaphs, “I don’t want to be an imposition” if we said it one more time. When we went to conference on Sunday she told us we could come back and stay with them if we did not like Bury. Leaving Gloria and Peter along with Gordon and Jean was bittersweet. They all welcomed us into their homes and hearts without reservation. Still, we will stay in contact.

Before leaving, MaLese and I spent a very sunny day researching in Lowestoft. This was somewhat unexpected. The Ipswich Office showed that all of the parish records for the places MaLese and my ancestors lived were in Lowestoft. As I went through a vestry minute book looking for IAP information I felt a strong desire to see this information for my people. But the possibility of the trip became a certainty when I found Thomas Castleton of Lowestoft in the Quarter Session Records of 1809 while doing IAP research. This “accident” sent me running to the archivists to see if they would have anything more. When she confirmed that the information I was looking for would be in Lowestoft my ticket was as good as bought.

I also did a frantic search through all the series of Quarter Sessions indexes and found John Castleton in 1750. He had something to do with a case involving a sewer. John and the two Thomas’ are the Castletons that I have run into a dead end with. Because Thomas was appearing before the court on a mater of bastardy Lowestoft parish records probably contain a bastardy bond for his child that might list other family members.

Again, I boarded the train to Lowestoft with high hopes. The day was beautiful. Lowestoft looked a lot better. It is still not my favorite town, but it had a record office which is all I cared about on this trip. Unfortunately, Lowestoft does not hold any of the records for Lowestoft. Norfolk Record Office in Norwich does. It does have some good indexes. I also discovered Lowestoft had an 1821 and 1831 census, where the Castletons show up, so the trip was not a waste of time. I am glad I got to go again before we left Ipswich.

When we arrived in Bury we dropped our suitcases at the B&B and walked into town with Gordon and Jean. They ended up spending most of the day with us. We visited their market in the town center. Then we found the tourist information shop and collected the information we needed to find the Record Office on Monday. We strolled through the gardens and ruins for the old abbey where St. Edmund is said to have been buried (hence the town’s name of Bury St. Edmunds). The garden is beautiful and the ruins were great. Gordon and Jean took us to lunch then walked us home.

MaLese and I then had to figure out a way to get back to Ipswich or Cambridge for conference on Sunday, because none of the trains or buses would get us there on time. We called Gloria and she gave us some numbers of members here. The first couple we called gave us a ride there and invited us to dinner. They live in a house surrounded by a mote. Their oldest daughter is going to BYU Idaho this fall.

I have to run or I will be late. They are picking us up in a few minutes.

Love you lots,

Heather