This week’s theme for #52Ancestors is At the Cemetery and I want to tell you the second curious Cemetery story I have. Last year I told you about the graveyard at Chiddingly Church and the possible ghost that led me to the graves of the Funnell family. This week I will tell you about one of my first ever visits to a graveyard at Lingfield Church in Surrey.
Lingfield was where my maternal grandmother, Edith Evelyn Mary Terry was born in 1911. Her maternal grandparents were John Payne 1844 – 1925 and Jane Faulkner 1846 – 1930. Their dates of death were included in the notes I found in the Family Bible when I started my research and I had been told they were buried at Lingfield and wanted to find their gravestones.
I spent a couple of hours wandering around the graveyard and found my great uncle, Harold Terry’s grave but the rest of the search was fruitless. I found some Terry graves but not my great grandfather, Albert John or any that I could fit into my family at that stage of my research. It was a hot summer’s day and under a large yew tree was a bench that looked very inviting so I sat down and had a drink. Munching the apple I had with me, I took stock of where I was at and what to do next. The trip to Lingfield had been mostly a wasted journey. I sat on the bench for about 10 minutes and I remember saying out loud “oh where are you?” Something prompted me to look down beside the bench and yes you have guessed it, there was a little gravestone and on that little gravestone was written:
“In loving memory of John Payne who passed away August 19th 1925 aged 82 years. “Peace perfect peace” Also Jane his wife died July 15th 1930”
the bottom line gave her age but was obscured by the ground and grass but I think should say aged 84 years. There they were, next to me! I had found them.
I haven’t found out much about them, I know that they both lived their entire lives in Lingfield in Surrey and they had eleven children including my great grandmother Emily.
John was a bricklayer working for a builder all his working life and presumably in the long years he worked, must have built a fair few of the houses around Lingfield. Jane had looked after the house and the family. On the 1911 census they state one of their children had died and that was Martha who had died at the age of 22.
On 27 August 1925 the East Grinstead Observer reported on his funeral saying that his death had removed a familiar face from the district. He spent practically all his life in Lingfield and was a keen supporter of local cricket. The principal mourners were 5 of his sons and 2 of his daughters and “The Earl of Cottenham” Lodge of Odd Fellows of which John was a trustee, acted as coffin bearers.
There is clearly some research to be carried out now, to find out why he well known and about the Lodge of Odd Fellows.