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Monday, 6 July 2015

Second cousins once removed

left Nottingham by car at 9.00 am, arriving at my Heathrow Hotel at 11.45 am. The traffic was a bit heavy through Buckinghamshire, and my driver told me how sensible I was to travel to Heathrow the day before my scheduled departure. I am doing well in relation to luggage - I still haven't used the expander on my suitcase and am now unlikely to need it, as I will take my coat and another warm layer out of my suitcase before booking my luggage through.
I mentioned yesterday that I was meeting two second cousins once removed this afternoon. 

Andrew, Peter and I are all descended from David Higgs
and Lydia Webster,
who had a market garden off the Bath Rd near Hounslow. The market garden was established by David's father, Richard Higgs, who acquired 15 acres just off the Bath Road between 1851 and 1861. David and Lydia had 9 children. Alice (far left below) was grandmother to both Peter and Andrew. Emily, (far right, standing) was my great grandmother - mother to my mother's father.
Peter and I met online through our mutual family history researches. Unfortunately, Peter's health prevented him coming today. Andrew, however, bravely came to meet me and kindly drove me around the area that the market garden occupied - now housing estates
and part of the A4.
A small part is still market garden.
The old farm house was behind the current Macdonald's.
Andrew's father remembered it as a market garden and told him much about it. Andrew is my age so this is not such ancient history. It tallies with memories my Aunt and Uncle had, and recounted, of their childhood in England after WWI. It was good for me to see it today with another connected family member.

Andrew also remembers stories of my great grandfather, Emily Higg's husband, driving his mineral water delivery dray at speed down a lane and turning it at the end in one movement. This is a new slant on my G Grandfather who died of a heart attack and fell off the back of his dray!

Andrew drove me past Runnymede
 into Windsor where we parked within sight of the Castle
and walked to Cote Brassierie, on the Eton side of the footbridge where we had a most pleasant lunch while I watched the swans and ducks glide past. We were too absorbed in conversation for me to take photos until afterwards, when most of the swans had gathered upstream to be fed.
We discussed all sorts of things including travelling and family history. Once again, it is heart-warming to find such connection and common ground. My only regret is that Peter was unable to join us. I really hope I can return Andrew's hospitality in Australia one day. I am grateful for a terrific afternoon.
Tomorrow morning I leave for the airport at 9.30 am. My car is confirmed and my boarding passes printed. To complete my saga I will post one final blog after I arrive home on Wednesday night, 8 July, provided, as Hank Williams used to say, the Good Lord is willing and the creeks don't rise!


  1. It is good you were able to see the family area and meet up with your cousin. Remarkable there is a market garden still in the area. Safe trip. Kate and family are in Bali. We are hoping volcanic ash settles before their return. Safe travel. Talk soon. Vivienne.

    1. Yes, it does seem remarkable, doesn't it? Hope Kate and family are OK.

  2. Safe travels home, Jillian. I have so enjoyed your UK blog and your attention to details both in text and photo images. Carolyn

    1. Thanks Carolyn. Will catch up soon in person.

  3. I have really enjoyed your sharing of this trip, Jillian. Thank you for your blog. Have a safe and comfortable trip home.