Armitage ancestors?

A local newspaper traces ancestors of Richard Armitage back to St Thomas Parish, Salisbury.

Finally (?), I cross paths with Richard Armitage’s ancestors. I was in this church in the spring of 2007 when I took my parents to see Stonehenge.

eos1_013-350Source.

There I saw, unexpectedly (I actually went there for the cathedral, but it was hard to view on Good Friday), the coolest fresco I have ever seen. It’s sometimes called the “Doom Painting” and dates from 1475. It was covered over in 1593.

Armitage’s ancestors married in this parish in 1830 — the piece had been painted over and was revealed again in 1819, though not restored. So they might have seen it, or pieces of it, if they married in front of the high altar.

~ by Servetus on April 15, 2013.

33 Responses to “Armitage ancestors?”

  1. Very interesting. Back in the late ’90s I did some work related to Parish registers in Italy for Florence University. Parish registers are the only source of information for Demographic purpose and marriage and death were recorded (with cause of death and professions) and that permit Demographers to rebuilt population index and attitude.
    This news affects me professionally, so to speak, and I suppose it can please RA and his father since they are so interested in historical roots of their region. So why not of their proper family? Nice news, thank you so much for posting it ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • You have the catasto, don’t you? ๐Ÿ™‚ [We European historians are always talking about the Florentine Catasto}

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      • Every time I think about our glorious past I got more ashamed of our present. It seems impossible we had Renaissance, all the artists and the organization. Now we are a poor city with a wonderful past and an horrible future.
        For many little towns the only data sources are Parish Register, but I worked in Archivio di Stato with those wonderful enormous books that reported all marriages and death (with cause of death) and origin of the people. It was really interesting ๐Ÿ˜‰ It was a very sad period in my life, and it helped to get through it ๐Ÿ™‚

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        • It does seem to be a tough patch at the moment. But courage!

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          • We need a lot of courage. 2 months from elections we still have the same government and now the same President. They couldn’t do anything good in these months, only cheating us. Tough times indeed.

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  2. Very cool! I am always awed by the incredible antiquity that is almost a part of everyday life in Europe. I’ve always been interested in genealogy, but my own has proven elusive…when I asked my mother once where her ancestors were during the US Civil War, she said, “Hiding” *sigh* It didn’t get easier from there ๐Ÿ™‚ Nice for RA to have solid archives and non hiding ancestors!

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    • I always think that, too. Like I walk into a church in W. Europe and think, people have made that same journey over the threshold for eight centuries (or whatever it is).

      I had a cousin who got heavily into this and traced it all and gave us all the info. I wouldn’t do it myself but it’s interesting to know.

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  3. I love when my father does family research and he has quite significant results. It is so humbling to see, how many fates (Schicksale) and people are needed to create just one person of today. And most fates of my ancestors were not easy, but they built, created and worked hard and came to terms with their fates. I admire that very much.
    Would be a nice interview question, what RA thinks about his ancestors and if acting runs in the family somehow. (No circus for once, though I am one not supporting personal questions either ;o)

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    • I seem to remember him saying in one of the N&S interviews that except for a granny who liked to sing, there were no performers / artists in his family.

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  4. I love stuff like this. Family history…anyone’s family history…fascinates me.

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  5. I love this type of stuff. I wonder if Richard has done tracing of his family tree on his own. I bet he has a very interesting ancestry.

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  6. I wish I could so easily trace my genealogy. It’s a bit more complicated.

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    • population dislocations in modernity can make this extremely difficult.

      It’s interesting to me that the genealogy craze in the U.S. was set off by Alex Haley’s _Roots_. Haley couldn’t trace his genealogy far through the archives b/c his ancestors were enslaved. All he had was a few words connected with his ancestor who’d been transported to the U.S. He went with the words to Africa and someone told him approximately where the words were from. He was then able to find a griot who actually confirmed the name of his ancestor, and his ancestor’s disappearance.

      Anyway, what interests me is that African Americans typically have a really difficult time with this — it’s often the case that they simply can’t go back before the point at which their ancestors were enslaved and brought here. But the history of an African American family inspired all of these other people — who can rely on paper archives. There’s a certain sad quality to that.

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      • It is quite a bittersweet irony that due to the fact so many were taken to a country and a system which likes to keep detailed records of its population, and sadly their properties, they are able to trace some of their genealogy.

        In my case it’s the question whether records have survived the political onslaught in the 1950-60s. And who actually has access to them. Not to mention language barrier.

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  7. The best ยฃ85 I spent was with Ancestry UK and became hooked on tracing my family. You make amazing discoveries like my grandmother is related to my husband’s grandmother!!!

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    • I’m dying to find out something like that. I keep thinking if I can go back far enough one half of the family is bound to be related to the other but so far no dice. It is looking likely that I’m related to someone I met on Twitter via the RA fandom. Life is surprising ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • It can be really interesting!

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  8. I live near Salisbury. Perhaps Richard could come visiting to find his ancestors. Whoo.

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    • Write and offer him tea ๐Ÿ™‚

      It’s a beautiful part of England; then again I haven’t been to an ugly part of England, really (although I’ve read that they exist).

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  9. Well he has already joked about his fans keeping him apprised of his itinerary, so he probably figures someone will trace his ancestry for him–why do the work himself when he has such a willing Army?LOL!

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  10. Maternal ancestry?

    Parish records are invaluable for ancestors born before the central B/M/D and census records beginning in 1837. Ancestry.com has been working extensively with countries/parishes to digitise these records – many have been made available on DVDs.

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    • I’ve been doing my genealogy and, thanks to well cataloged parish records in the county my fathers ancestors farmed (and some unusual names), i have been able to get back to a marriage in 1616 in only a few months. And because my relatives didn’t move about, i have plenty of cases of cousins marrying and people popping up in two completely different places in the tree. However, on my mothers side, it has been nothing but frustrating dead ends and ambiguity.

      I wonder if this is RA’s mothers line? He has said his family were weavers in the north but perhaps this was his fathers side of the family. Or maybe he has found what i found – that family stories handed down can prove difficult to substantiate, whereas things i had no idea about have been well documented.

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      • Our access to reliable information about him is limited, but he’s said his father is from Leeds and his ancestors were weavers and miners. So yeah, it’s possible this is a maternal strand of his heritage.

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  11. I also would like to trace my family, but it would prove to be hard. My moms part Polish, German, and Irish. There has been some work done, but more to find with her moms side. Her dads side is harder since no one knows or wants to talk about why his parents left Russia (they came over in 1902 when Poland was part of Russia and Germany and not there own state). The same for my husbands dads side of the family who are also Polish. My dad is Irish, English and Scottish with a way to common of a last name. I know that I am not related to them all, or there would be to many of us. His family never keep in touch with each other. I have watched the UK’s Who Do You Think You Are and I just keep wondering even more. The sad part is I might have gotten some answers from my dad as for his grandparents names but I never really listened to his stories as he was always telling one. Now it is to late as he can no longer talk clear, I was a fool at the time. I know that my husbands Polish side has used a couple sites, but only to find out it was the wrong person. We don’t even know if his name here was his real name there, it’s thought that he may have taken someone name as he may have been running from the law.

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    • I think that’s fairly common. People frequently came to the US to escape troubling histories of different kinds elsewhere.

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  12. As you know Servetus nearly every Polish family has a little booklet with family tree thanks the Nazis. They had been made with great accuracy.
    My ancestors are bakers,farmers,servants..hard-working people…no trace of a member of the nation of the Israel,sadly.
    Fascinating topic BTW.

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    • Joanna,
      I guess that you learn something new every day. I never knew that during WWII that there was a booklet of most Polish family’s. Since both mine and my husbands Polish family’s left before 1915 and if there is still family there it is something we didn’t know. I would guess there is still family in Poland, but no one keep in touch, so you lose touch with each other. There have been a few family members to go to Poland after 1992 or so but no one talked about finding family. My husbands 2 uncles that are still alive are talking of going, but really need to get a move on it, they are both older. My late FIL and Pope John Paul II look a lot alike and there was talk that maybe he was a related on his moms (FIL) side.
      All this is very interesting and who knows some of us may be related many generations ago.

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      • Hi Katie! ๐Ÿ™‚
        It’s so nice to meet compatriot and possibly relatives ๐Ÿ˜‰ It looks like we all are brothers and sisters .

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    • yes, indeed — Nazi Germany was very effective in that regard. Still, those books are really interesting.

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