Weekly Photo Challenge: Family

Vintage paper with plenty of copyspace for text

John and Harriet Arthurs lived nearly all of their lives in Sampford Peverell, Devon. In a previous Weekly Photo Challenge I used a photograph of John and Harriet’s gravestone to explain how I use a digital camera to record family history information such as gravestones, churches, places the family lived.

Born in 1817 in the tiny village of Uplowman, Devon, He married Harriet Dunster at the parish church of Taunton St. Mary in 1843. John and Harriet moved to Sampford Peverell where he worked as a farm labourer until his death in 1892.

Nothing remarkable here, but John and Harriet had four children, three of whom moved to the industrial north to work.

First of all Richard Arthurs, the eldest son, moved to Bolton to work in the coal mines. Think about it. Why would anyone swop fresh air and working in the open for the dark and dusty coal mines? Simple really, through necessity.

The Industrial Revolution in Great Britain signalled new manufacturing processes, using machines instead of the previous hand production methods. Increasing use of water and more importantly steam power meant greater demand for coal.

Agricultural improvement had already begun prior to the Industrial revolution and more and more farm labourers were no longer able to work on the land. As the revolution in industry progressed a succession of machines became available which increased food production with ever fewer labourers being required to work the land.

Richard had no choice, He had to work and the main employers of the time were the industrialists of the north.

Later Edward and Emma followed their brother, eventually settling in Manchester, one of the greatest industrial towns of the North.

Normally the photographs I use in my blog are mine, all mine but today I used a stock image as the background for the photograph of John and Harriet. The Terms of Use mean that i must notify you that the background image is © Sandra Cunningham / Fotolia 


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Weekly Photo Challenge: Beginning

I was thinking about this challenge and deciding what photographs to use this week. So I’m going to take you back to 2004 when I first bought a digital camera. A little Fuji S304, cost me an arm and a leg, but it opened up so many new possibilities for my photography. It’s still in working order and this is one of the first photographs I took with it. (I never throw anything away)

John Arthurs

I wasn’t experimenting. I took this photograph for a purpose. My wife was working on her family tree and by recording this digital photograph of the gravestone of John Arthurs, her great, great-grandfather, we were able to share it with other family members.

Digital opened up a whole new world, we were able to visit locations where past generations had lived and instantly record grave stones and their location for future use in the family tree.

Saint John the Baptist - Sampford Peverell

This is the beautiful church of Saint John the Baptist in Sampford Peverell, Devon and it is where John’s grave is located. I am standing almost next to his grave and by recording this viewpoint it allows others to find the stone should the churchyard get overgrown, as many do nowadays.

Finally I’d like to mention the decision by WordPress to drop the Zemanta Plugin since the start of 2014. For a good few years I have been using Zemanta to point to other bloggers who were taking part in the Weekly Photo Challenge, or articles from the web that were relevant to my post. Suddenly we have lost the facility. No notice, just an arbitrary decision. I am not happy to say the least. The folks at WordPress say that their new in-house Related Posts is far better. I disagree. In fact I would go so far as to say it is totally useless as i only points to posts from my blog and i have no control over what is considered related. At least with Zemanta I could select how many related posts to add and choose what i consider related.

However there is some form of workaround. You can install a plugin for Zemanta into your browser which seems to work except for WordPress related posts. So far I have been unable to get Zemanta to find any related posts for this weeks challenge.


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