In 2003 whilst on maternity leave I commenced researching my own family tree and right from the start I was hooked. I loved not only the challenge of finding and confirming links between individuals, but also the social history element of it and adding the “flesh to the bones” so to speak! My grandmother, Florrie who I loved dearly, was born a SCRACE in 1914, which is my association with the surname. The main brickwall in my personal family history though lies in East Barming , Kent, UK. This is where my GGGGG Grandfather James SCRACE’s marriage took place.
James SCRACE married Mary COUNTS on 21st May 1766 at St Margaret’s Church. After his marriage he settled with his family and subsequently leased the farm that was owned by the Hubles, that had previously been hired by his father in law Thomas Counts. He was in his early life a constant attendant at Public worship, but through drinking spirits to extreme he stopped entirely! James and Mary had three children that I have located so far, all from the parish records at St Margaret’s Church: Elizabeth SCRACE who was baptised on 12th April 1767; John SCRACE who was baptised on 20 February 1768 and finally James SCRACE who was baptised on 29 March 1772.
The farm was at some point named “Scrace’s Farm” and can be seen clearly on old maps of the area as such. James was also a farrier by trade, from which he obtained some property, sadly though in 1791, only a few weeks prior to his death, after having a new house built and moving in he died and subsequently his burial took place on 8th April.
From this generation forwards I know about most (not all though!) of the family descendants. I have though been unable to find out where James was born or to whom. In the hope that I would eventually find him and his parents I commenced gathering information on all Scrace’s that I found within a 10 mile radius of East Barming, using Parloc to identify parishes. Several descendants with whom I have made contact believe that he may have come from Sedlescombe, but I to date personally cannot find any evidence to corroborate this. My search has now expanded and so the SCRACE One Name Study was born!
East Barming itself is one of Kent’s mystery names. It is recorded in the Domesday Book as Bermelinge, but where this name came from, and what it means, are uncertain. The parish church of East Barming is dedicated to St Margaret, and is of Norman origin, although it is a small building, consisting of one isle and a chancel, with an elegant spire steeple.
A farrier is a specialist in equine hoof care, including the trimming and balancing of hooves and the placing of shoes on their hooves, if necessary. A farrier combines some blacksmith’s skills (fabricating, adapting, and adjusting metal shoes) with some veterinarian’s skills (knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the lower limb) to care for horses’ feet. Historically, the jobs of farrier and blacksmith were practically synonymous, shown by the etymology of the word: farrier comes from Middle French: ferrier (blacksmith), from the Latin word ferrum (iron). A farrier’s work would have included horseshoeing, as well as the fabrication and repair of tools, the forging of architectural pieces, etc. The Blacksmith trade then continued several generations within this line. [Wikipedia]
The pictures below are of St Margaret’s Church, where these ancestors life events were recorded, thank you Paul for allowing me to use the following two images (http://www.flickr.com/photos/pauls_fotos/).
I would also like to thank Adrian of Adrians Art for allowing me to use the following two images of St Margaret’s in East Barming, I just LOVE poppy fields, what a fantastic foreground to the church.
RESEARCH UPDATE: I had hoped to finish extracting all the details from the UK 1911 Census for all the correctly transcribed SCRACE entries from Ancestry this week, but alas I managed only about 90%! I have though received some fantastic information from a fellow Guild member on a Scrace from Brighton who lived in Bexhill, which I am sure I will post about soon once I do a little more digging that is and find out some more about him!
Until next time…………………………………………………
© Karen Anderson 2012