Here in Utah we have been enjoying great February weather while the rest of the country is buried in eternal winter and feet of snow. We have been going about our routines while it feels like spring. The best part is that we still have been getting mountain snow but rain here in the valley.
Since I haven’t been taking pictures lately, here we are back to our trip last June. When I left off we had explored Scotland by bus tour. We ended our tour in London and enjoyed another night there. The next morning we rented a car (I drove!) and drove west toward Bath. This last part of our trip was about discovering our roots. We wanted to visit the places our ancestors were from. This turned out to be my favorite part of this trip. Our first stop was in the small village of Marshfield where our great great-something grandparents Elizabeth and Thomas Burgess were from. We loved this small but quaint village where we walked the streets, ate a fantastic lunch in a tea shop, and visited the church where Thomas Burgess was the respectable Bell Ringer. That is until he joined the Mormon church and immigrated to Utah in the 1850′s. That must have been scandalous!
Our ancestor Elizabeth Burgess had a story straight out of Downton Abbey. She started working as a maid at 13 for some estate in Marshfield. She worked her way up to being a ladies maid. Just like Anna in Downton, at some point she was raped (it is assumed by someone in the family of the estate). Unlike Anna, Elizabeth got pregnant and had a baby boy. The baby was raised mostly by her brother’s family and she kept working at the house. Eventually in 1842 at age 36 she married the Bell Ringer, Thomas, and they had 3 daughters. When her first daughter was born she finally quit her job as a maid after working 26 years. The family lived somewhere on Sheepfair Lane. It was fun to find the actual road.
Eventually Elizabeth and Thomas came across Mormon missionaries and were soon baptized in Bath (8 miles away). In the 1850′s they immigrated to America, crossed the plains with wagon and oxen, and ended up in Utah. One story mentioned how excited they were to finally own land (something they couldn’t do in England). Although we kept saying to ourselves “I can’t believe they left this for the desert of Utah.” We loved Marshfield, but I probably wouldn’t love being in service as a ladies maid.
Here is the old church where Thomas rang the bell.
That same day we drove onto Bath. Bath was amazing, the only problem was we didn’t have enough time there to see everything. Someday I will go back and spend more time there. Here were some highlights: