Back to the Myddle: Day Seven of an Ancestral Adventure
Shropshire. Suffolk. Shropshire. Suffolk. Where?
Just where exactly do I come from? I was born in Shropshire. I live in Suffolk. And, in between times, I’ve lived just about everywhere else in the UK. Rootless. Rootless and a long way from home. A long way from Myddle – the home of my Grandparents and Great Grandparents, and the home to the memory traces of my many Great-Great-Something Grandparents, Aunties, Uncles and cousins.
Convinced that Myddle was my true home, back I went. Never mind that I was born in Shifnal, a good forty-five minutes’ drive away from Myddle. Never mind that I’ve never even ever lived in Myddle. Never mind that I’d never even set foot in Myddle until last week! The point is that I did set foot in Myddle, albeit belatedly. And the point is that I set foot in Myddle and that my children clambered up and down Myddle Rock, placing their feet in the very footholes that had been worn in to that very same rock-face by their predecessors.
But when I myself sat down to rest at the foot of the rock that Grandad had once looked down upon from his bedroom window, I had expected to feel as if I had at last arrived home. But is that what I felt? No, not really. I felt elated, yes. But at home? Of that, I wasn’t really sure!
Still, the elation of the moment sustained me and nourished me, and I returned to Suffolk feeling a little more complete than I had felt when I left. At least that was what I thought. That was the thought I deluded myself with, before the very worst thing happened. Before the unimaginable happened.
Before, the day before today, when I decided to refamiliarise myself with the love-of-my-life, with Ancestry.com. And before I got sucked back into my addiction – and decided to take that one line of my family tree back … just a little bit further.
Back just a little bit further from the Myddle. From the Myddle? But I came from the Myddle. I came from a cave in the middle of the Myddle, so how could go back any further? But back I went. And back the tree went. Back from the Myddle, back from Great-Something-Uncle Humphrey Kynaston and his sister, my Great-Something-Grandmother Jana Kynaston, and back to their mother Lady Elizabeth Grey of Myddle Castle. Back to Lady Grey’s Great Grandfather, Edward IV (surely from Myddle?), and back to Elizabeth de Burgh (I’m related to Chris de Burgh? But he cheated on his wife!). Back to Elizabeth de Burgh’s Grandfather, John de Burgh, who married Elizabeth de Clare … What? De what? De Clare? That name. It was so so familiar…
A village named Clare is just a few miles away. I lived and worked in Clare, just a few years ago (quite a lot of years ago!).
The connection? Sh**! Elizabeth de Clare, her daughter Joan de Acre, and granddaughter Elizabeth de Burgh – they all lived just down the road from me. And … even worse …. unimaginably worse. Elizabeth de Burgh, my ancestor Elizabeth de Burgh, she … she … lived in … Sudbury! She owned a Manor House … in Sudbury!
I paid for all that petrol. I drove for nearly four hours to the Myddle, with two squabbling children. I humiliated myself over my inability to use a Sat Nav. And I undertook a gruelling eight-hour journey back … back from Myddle to Sudbury.
When all the time, all of that time, there was my ancestor … and a really significant ancestor at that … right on my doorstep!
Home. I’m back.
Copyright owned by Jay Cool, May 2017
Disclaimer: Please refer to the ‘Who is Jay Cool?’ post for details.