Welcome to the world of one-place studies! Twenty-six of our members are sharing something in their particular place for this year's A-Z Blogging Challenge. Kirsty Gray is often out and about on important genealogical business and has been pondering what journeys might have entailed in days gone by for her Tetcott and Lufincott residents....
Every day is a journey. For us, today, journeys are much simpler to make (well, for the most part), or at least quicker to make than they were in yesteryear.
My two one-place studies of Tetcott and Luffincott are on the Devon/Cornwall border. Picture roads only really designed for agricultural vehicles, with grass growing down the centre, and you have conjured up an image of my place even now! These roads were built for horses not cars/vans etc. and a real challenge presents itself when you meet an oncoming vehicle.
The journey from Tetcott/Luffincott to the nearest market town of Holsworthy is said to take 12 minutes and is a distance of 5.6 miles. Domesday Reloaded details the history of the Pannier market in the town which officially began in 1155. “The market is held on Wednesdays throughout the year at an open-air venue at the main square in Holsworthy. The stalls generally open at 8.00am and close at 4.00pm. The stall holders come from Holsworthy and other areas.” Travelling with their goods on foot or using horse and cart would not have been a comfortable nor a quick journey for market sellers in the twelfth century!
Prior to the twentieth century, the residents of our one-place communities would have had much narrower horizons. Without the aid of motor vehicles, a journey from one parish to the next could take an hour or more on foot and although migration to far-flung shores was not unheard of, the experience of travelling on a ship and the time the trip would take was enough to discourage many.
Their journeys through life were also markedly different from our experiences today, not least in terms of the cost of living. The Poor Law Rates paid by owners of vast acreages of land in Luffincott in the 1830s are listed at around £10. My grandmother bought her first house for around £1,000 in the 1950s whereas my council tax costs more than that per annum! Over the centuries, there have been so many changes which considerably affect our daily existence and our journeys through life.
Within your community, what is the furthest documented migration journey for a resident prior to the twentieth century? Do you know the reason for the journey? Are there any specific events which significantly affected the life journeys within your community? What evidence is there of the impact and how have you researched it?