Notes from the White County Historical Society

By Charlene Shields

Notes from the White County Historical Society as they appear in "The Carmi Times."

Copyright ©1998 by "The Carmi Times" Permission to reprint granted to Laurel Crook and the ILGenWeb by Tammy Knox, editor, "The Carmi Times."

July 7, 1998

Relatives, dead and alive!

This is the third and final installment of an account written by Sam and Martha Endicott about their trip to England to the homeland of their ancestors. We left them in last week's article as they prepared to visit Catherine Endacott, manager of a hotel in Chagford.

"We made arrangements to call on Catherine at Gidleigh Park, and we made plans to share any genealogical information that any of us had. It turned out that much of her information about the very early Endicott family corroborated that which we had. We were unable to determine exactly where her family branched off, but it is obvious that is must have been before 1628, when John Endicott set sail for the New World. Perhaps with the material we left for her, she may be able to determine just when our families parted.

In addition to her genealogical material, Catherine supplied us with local maps and information which proved to be invaluable to us as we roamed around the byways of this sparsely populated countryside. We found more cemeteries where distant relatives were buried, and it was interesting to see on the tombstones the same given names that our family continues to favor today: James, William, Robert, John, Thomas. Common names, it is true, but we have stayed with them somehow. She told us how to find Middlecott House, where John Yendecote had lived as long ago as 1448. We doubt that it is that same building, although it did appear to be quite old, and it seems now to be a working farm. No one was at home when we were there; but it was marked by a signpost, so there was no doubt as to where we were.

"Much of the land in this area is known as 'The Moors.' It is high, open wasteland covered by a layer of peat. Very little grows on the moors other than heather. Blacklaced sheep graze everywhere, and there are also wild horses roaming the area. There are quite a few prehistoric monuments or altars, smaller than but similar to Stonehenge (which we passed both going and coming from this area). The villages and the farms are, of course, found in the river valleys, not on the desolate highlands. The moors do have a strange and fascinating beauty, however and it is easy to see why they play such a major role in England's literature.

"We were very content with our trip back to our original homeland. We felt we learned a lot about the sort of people our ancestors were and the area in which they lived. Naturally, we did not go that far without seeing some other things of interest to us. We took a trip to Plymouth, visited Exeter and, finally, spent a week in an apartment in London where we enjoyed all the sights and sounds of one of the world's major cities, but that is another story."

My thanks to Sam and Martha Endicott for writing this account for our enjoyment. It's wonderful they made the effort to make this trip. Now if I'd just get busy and go investigate whether or not there are still Clevelands in County York, the home of some of my ancestors!

The Genealogy Library is open from 11 to 5 on Wednesdays.
Write us at PO Box 121, Carmi, IL 62821.

Notes from the Genealogy Library
White County Historical Society
located downstairs in the Ratcliff Inn, downtown Carmi

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Created by Laurel Crook, 05 Aug 1998

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