I had done the barest minimum of research on my Murdoch forebears and can only get back around 200 years. Perhaps it's because they lived in Scotland but it's perhaps that there are that there aren't many other people doing research which I can add to my own research. The maternal side of my family, the Ferriman side, is far easier to research as there are a great many other people who are out there doing similar research. As a result I have got back to around 1520, as I have already mentioned. There are connections to several families, the Eddons, Pursers and mostly the Pratleys. My grandfather and grandmother came from across The Cotswolds, both Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire. Mostly around Stow-On-The-Wold and Burford. A small village close to Burford called Leafield. I have done quite a bit of research by merely using Google searches. I recently Googles 'Leafield' and found a site which bought up a great many details of the Pratley family who lived and worked in that area. I then came across something which has really caught my attention. I may have found the names, dates and basic facts of many of my ancestors, but no real details or what they did. This is what makes the television show "Who Do You Think You Are?" when the subjects of these programmes discover something extra-interesting about them, some incident which stands out. In this case I came across a historic even regarding "The Ascott Martyrs." There is a chestnut tree on the village green in a village in Oxfordshire called Ascott-Under-Wychwood. Around this tree are four steel seats painted black and bolted together around this tree. Each bear an inscription. One has the words "Ascott Martyrs imprisoned 1873." The next lists the names of "Amelia Moss, Caroline Moss, Jane Moss, Martha Moss, Mary Moss, Ellen Pratley, Elizabeth Pratley, Mary Pratley." These Partly ladies are my ancestors, through my Ferriman line of the family. I will not go into too much detail on here, as it's possible to find out far more by Googling 'Ascott Martyrs.' The incident very much has similarities to a far more famous incident called 'The Tolpuddle Martyrs.' All about setting up unions. As a result we visited this place so I could at least put the places I've researched into some sort of context. I shall continue with my research but this historic incident has made the whole experience far more interesting. At least someone did something which was rebellious and exciting, in an attempt to change things.
It's odd that I've always has a sort of affinity with the Cotswolds. Knowing that so many of my ancestors came from the area, lived and worked in and around that area makes it even more interesting. The scenery is quite breath-taking. It amazes me that people can say that Britain is boring, that there's nothing much to see. I cannot agree. Why go abroad for a holiday when there is so much history and so much amazing scenery to enjoy? And in such a relatively small space. You don't have to go too far, either, to come across something fascinating to look at and discover, as we've done over the past few years.