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The Newmarch Quest

The Newmarch Quest

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The Newmarch Quest

241 pagine
2 ore
Mar 11, 2014


The Newmarch Pedigree, written in 1868, traces the life and times of the Newmarch family back to the Norman Conquest, when Bernard de Neufmarche, accompanied William the Conqueror to the Battle of Hastings, in 1066.

Come on an amazing serendipitous journey with the author, as she geographically seeks out the physical evidence through England, Wales and France, as described almost 150 years ago, and in the process discovers, knight effigies, castles, and so much more. Many other families feature in this story, and include, the Wentworths, Fitzwilliams, Mowbrays, Gascoignes, Nevilles, Parkes, Sparks, and many more.

As well as the personal adventure, the history is ‘unpacked’, well researched, and brought to life, through the pages of this book, including more recent history, where it was discovered that 3 generations of ‘The Newmarches’, were either born, or lived in India. Key features of this publication are the many wonderful pen and water illustrations, which brings colour and vibrancy to the story
Mar 11, 2014

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The Newmarch Quest - Wendy L. Campbell



I’m so excited to be able to share this amazing story with you all. For those of you who share a common ancestor with me, I hope that my research will help to fill in some of the blanks for you. If you are one of the many who will simply enjoy the process and the thrill of the chase, I’m delighted that you can come along for the ride. Perhaps it may even inspire you to search out your own ancestral treasures!

When I began this ‘quest’, I had no idea that it would become such a juggernaut, slowly and unexpectedly ‘drip feeding’ me small details which, clue by clue led me into such a beautifully colourful, and historic panorama.

As the custodian of "The Newmarch Pedigree" for the last fifty years, I felt the heavy weight of responsibility upon my shoulders to try and make sense of its contents, and to be able to share that in some meaningful way, with my extended family, as a legacy for the generations to come, and to anyone else who will read and enjoy the journey.

I could never have imagined, however, the rewards that would follow.

I hope that Charles and George Newmarch, the authors of "The Newmarch Pedigree" would be pleased with with my efforts, I certainly am in awe of the pinpoint accuracy of their work, especially considering the resources available to them at the time of their writing.

Embarking on this adventure has not only enabled me to verify and confirm the assertions made by them almost 150 years ago, but above all, to experience every day the providential hand of God at work.


Wendy L. Campbell

Gold Coast, Queensland,


January, 2013.

The Newmarch Quest

Chapter 1

I want to tell you a true story, one that is filled with unexpected adventure and amazing serendipitous events, or if you’re a believer as I am, God putting me in the right place at the perfect moment to meet the precise people or circumstance.

The story really begins almost 50 years ago, when as a 12-year-old girl, I was fascinated by a dusty faded green volume, held by my paternal grandmother, Harriet Gwenyth Newmarch, (or Big Nanny to my brother and me), and entitled,

"The Newmarch Pedigree,

Verified by

Public Records, Authentic Manuscripts, and General and Local Histories.

Printed for Private Circulation only."

It was fragile even then, having been written in 1868 by Geo. Fred. Newmarch and Chas. H. Newmarch, the pale green cardboard cover was now spineless and bore the remnant brown stains of previous sticky tape repairs.

The forty or so pages were thin and yellowing, even the pressure of the printing process had indented some of the letters through the pages as if expressing the importance of the document.

The Newmarch Pedigree – My Treasure Map!

As a 12 year old, I was amused by small things, such as the spelling of antient, as well as the ‘old English’ used in the book, which contributed to me only being interested in the ‘juicy’ bits.

For me then, the thing that made the book so important and tantalizing, was the opening paragraph of Chapter 1, which read:

"A. D. 1066-1216.

BERNARD DE NOVO MERCATO, NEOFMARCHE, OR NEWMARCH, accompanied William the Conqueror on his invading England, A.D. 1066, some of the Welsh Pedigrees speaking of him as William’s half brother."

Wow, how amazing! I needed to take this to school to show Miss Lyon! And so the precious volume was relinquished to my care, and came with me to school carefully wrapped in brown paper.

I’m ashamed to say that it has remained with me to this day, as I never gave it back to Big Nanny, and despite numerous inquiries over the years from concerned aunties and cousins as to its whereabouts and its welfare, it is still with me even escaping the total destruction of our home by fire, because it was in a chest in the shed and not in the house!

And so, almost half a century later, I felt that the onus was squarely on my shoulders to explore the book in depth and to find out what it really held in its pages besides the family’s links with William the Conqueror.

As one who loves to travel, especially with a purpose, I thought that it would be wonderful to geographically follow The Newmarch Pedigree, which covers around 800 years of family history through France, Wales and England.

This was a great idea, and a wonderful reason to go travelling. How then was I going to go about it? I began by trawling through a copy of the family tree, noting and listing every place name mentioned, which I charted, showing the page number in the family tree, any significant event related to that place, and the map reference which was gleaned from super sized Great Britain and Europe road atlases.

I was amazed and thrilled that most of these place names, which were written about 143 years ago, and which in many cases referred to people or incidents which occurred almost 1,000 years ago, could still be found in the Great Britain atlas.

I marked the locations with an orange felt marker pen, the advantage of this was that I could see the ‘big picture’, with my orange dots scattered across the length and breadth of England and Wales, and across to Normandy in France. This strategy enabled me to plan the trip, which is not in any way my usual modus operandi, usually preferring to enjoy the surprises, which come along when no accommodation is booked, route planned or itinerary scheduled! For the purposes of this trip, as I wanted to visit as many places as possible, which were mentioned in the book, a more defined schedule was required in the 3 weeks consigned to this Quest.

I split the time into, 2 weeks in England and Wales, and a week in France and deliberated as to the best pick up and drop off points for the rental cars.

As to accommodation, my first thought was to take my small two-man tent and camp, but fortuitously for me, whilst scanning the travel section of the local library for camping directories, I chanced upon Lodging in Britain’s Monasteries, by Eileen Barish. The idea of staying in such exotic old buildings containing rich tapestries of history, whilst tracing the footsteps of generations of my family through many centuries, was very appropriate and incredibly exciting!

Mud Map Example of the Orange dots on my road atlas

Much to my delight I also discovered, Lodging in France’s Monasteries, also by Eileen Barish. Now armed with these 2 volumes, I set about working out an itinerary and where possible, booked nights in the monasteries, abbeys, convents and retreat houses which were listed in my source books, and were in reasonable proximity to my orange dots in the atlases.

Many emails and phone calls followed, and the big challenge, was to correspond in French with those in France. Eileen’s book did contain a form letter, but at times my good old school French was called upon heavily to actually make the bookings. Eventually I had a good chunk of reservations, which largely set my itinerary. You can’t imagine my joy, every time I received a positive reply, especially to the French respondents. On one occasion I received a three-page reply from a monastery, which was written in French, and initially I misunderstood it, which made me believe that I’d sent them the wrong email accidentally! However, on closer scrutiny, I realized that they were accepting my request for a booking!

Leaving a couple of days without any accommodation booked towards the end of the UK leg for contingencies, I was then able to book rental cars, now knowing where I wanted to pick up and leave them.

Being a practical individual, I understood that trying to both navigate and drive in foreign countries to the many and frequently obscure villages would be very difficult if not impossible, without stopping frequently to get my bearings and check directions. There was nothing for it but to use a GPS.

As I was not returning the hire cars to the pickup location, I was not able to hire GPS units with the cars, and trying to buy appropriate software for my own domestic model was expensive. The solution came through E Bay where I purchased a GPS unit with world maps, fairly inexpensively, which I hoped would work, but the super sized atlases came along for the ride just in case!

So it was that armed with a copy of The Newmarch Pedigree and other related documents, my French dictionary and phrase book, a sketchbook and art materials, and of course my digital camera in my luggage, I flew out of Australia bound for England.

I need to explain that for practical reasons, even though The Newmarch Pedigree begins in France, I visited England and Wales first, and whilst there, I visited places named in The Newmarch Pedigree as I found them en route and not necessarily chronologically. This is further complicated because the stories of various branches of the family tree which are discussed in The Newmarch Pedigree, run concurrently in different locations. I can however promise, that I will faithfully cite the references and page numbers, which relate to the places I visited in order to share the amazing experiences which I enjoyed on this fantastic journey as they happened.

Chapter II

Having spent 4 days in Abu Dhabi en route, in an effort to break up the jet lag, I arrived at Heathrow airport on 30th September 2011 at around 1pm on a clear blue day, which according to the weather man on the car radio, was the hottest September 30th on record at 29.2 degrees Celsius.

I wasted no time in picking up the little black Peugeot 107 assigned to me and plugged in my budget GPS – nothing! Cheap useless thing! It had crossed my mind more than once that it was perhaps too good to be true! Never mind, I had my super sized Great Britain atlas and having cleared the ring road at Heathrow, I confidently headed off into the heavy pre weekend freeway traffic and managed to go south instead of north!

Some miles later I was able to exit and turn around, and having decided to avoid London completely, made for my first night’s destination at Cropthorne in Worcestershire. The countryside was lush and beautiful with green hills interspersed by groves of woodland. There seemed to be such a buzz of excitement as I passed through busy quaint villages of stone and thatched houses, that I thought it must be a long weekend.

After becoming lost a couple of times, some kind locals directed me over a narrow rickety bridge into the village of Cropthorne, where I could see the square tower of a Norman church and then a collection of quaint 16th and 17th century Tudor style thatched houses leaning into the narrow roadway.

Edging my way down Kennel Lane, I arrived at a magnificent ‘chocolate box’ thatched Tudor house set on 3 acres above the Avon River in manicured gardens complete with a croquet court and mature trees. This was ‘Holland House’, a retreat house owned by the Anglican Diocese of Worcester, and my base for my first two nights in England.

I could barely believe my good fortune as I rang the doorbell of this magnificent house and was greeted warmly by Shirley, a friendly youngish South African woman who showed me to my room and then informed me that I would be the only guest that night. She then gave me a tour of the historic house, which made me feel as if I was in something from ‘Escape to the Country’!

We wandered through the library, drawing room and the amazing dining room with its wood paneling and low dark stained oak beams supported by huge square oak posts. A proper ‘Inglenook’ fireplace fitted with cosy seats and pretty blue and white tiled walls completed the dining room. All the furniture complemented

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