Researching the Family Tree
By Eric Streeton
This photograph was given to me from an elderly relations effects after he passed away in the mid nineteen eighties. Up until this time the thought of researching my family history had never occurred to me.
The photograph fascinated me, and started me on my never ending quest to research my family and local history. Photo’s like this never existed in my parent’s home. This was due to the fact that they lost everything they owned when their home, at Salutation Cottages in Castle Street Winchelsea was bombed on the 13th. of January 1943.
The location of the photograph was the Salutation Inn Mill Road Winchelsea, it was taken around 1911. It shows Lewis Streeton, my Grandfather with his carriers van, a typical example of a carriers van of this time. Not only was Grandfather a Carrier, he was the licensee of the Salutation Inn, and a Job-Master (Builder). The boy sitting on the horse was Edward (Ted) my Father, and the boy standing in the van was my Uncle Lewis. Both of them living into their nineties.
The lady standing in the doorway was my Grandfather’s second Wife (Polly) Streeton. The fondest memory I have of her was when she lived in Western Place in Rye. As a child I always found it amusing having to talk into her ear trumpet. Grandmother’s Father was a Buttonshaw and her Mothers maiden name was Monk; I mention this because both names are documented as smugglers in this area. My Great Grandfather Henry (who was born in France) was a seafaring man, later to become a Beer Retailer and Carrier. He also lived in the Salutation Inn at- Winchelsea. In 1886 he was one of Winchelsea’s last Grand Jurors, and one of forty-nine men sworn in as a special constable in 1868. My Great Great Grandfather James married a Susan Hoad, was she from one of the Hoad Boat Building families in Rye? I can only speculate. Also I have found my name recorded in Rye in 1682 and 1688, but to date have not been able to place this link into the chain.
If you have a great deal of patience, a lot of luck, and can take many disappointments, but can enjoy success, and would like to meet some really nice people along the way, try researching your own family history. As they say in the X-Files, the truth is out there somewhere. Happy hunting.
From March 2002 Issue of “Rye’s Own”