It could be said that one part of finding out who you are is finding out where you came from. I have spent several years gathering together information for the family tree, on both my Dad’s and my Mum’s side. The internet net is truly a wonderful thing and it never ceases to amaze me with the information that it provides. Being of a somewhat tenacious disposition, I have been known to sit at my pc well into the small hours on the track of an ancestor. It’s all down to starting with a crumb of information and like a dog with bone, or Miss Marple might be a better description, I will follow the trail to the nth degree.
When I delved deeper and deeper into my paternal grandmother’s family I came across the “Suxpitch Carters”. There is a wealth of information on the internet about them as someone else had clearly done a lot of homework. My father always told me that there was a family link to Cleopatra’s Needle but it was always dismissed it as idle gossip. Although gossip, it was not! My 2nd Great Grand Uncle Henry Suxpitch Carter (1837 – 1880) was the captain of the “Needle Ship” designed by John Dixon, used to transport Cleopatra’s Needle from Alexandria in Egypt to London.
The Needle was dug out of the sand after being buried for nearly 2,000 years and was encased in a great iron cylinder, 92 feet (28 m) long
and 16 feet (4.9 m) in diameter, designed by the engineer John Dixon and dubbed Cleopatra. It was towed, as a floating pontoon, to London by the ship Olga and was erected on the Victoria Embankment on 12 September 1878.
Not content with finding all about 2nd Great Grand Uncle Henry, I wanted to find out who his father was. Thomas Suxpitch Carter (1800 – 1858) my 3rd Great Grandfather, turned up!
Thomas Carter, a yeoman farmer, was from a long line of yeoman farmers from East Budleigh, Devon. The Carters lived at Hayes Barton, the famous birthplace of Walter Raleigh, throughout the 1840s and up until the early death of Thomas in 1858. They had 13 children, all were descendants of William Suxpitch. His family owned the Marsh Barton farm at Clyst St. George for over 600 years, finally selling it in 1803. Robert Suxpitch Carter, the son of Thomas and Charlotte Carter, was born at Hayes Barton in 1828. He left Devon for India in the 1840’s and became a pilot in the Bengal marine. He married in India and his son, Walter Raleigh Carter, was born Calcutta in 1857.
So, there we are – I wonder what character traits of theirs, if any, I carry in me.