Updated: Feb 15, 2021
Theresa Bailiff contacted Dr Jeffrey Mazo at the Ventnor Heritage Museum and the Bonchurch Village Website. Theresa was researching her family tree and has connections with the village and we are delighted that she is sharing her research with the Bonchurch Blog.
If you have a story to share about the village, please get in touch we would love to hear from you.
“On researching my family tree, I knew my great grandparents used to work for the owners of the Grange in Bonchurch and that they lived in Bonchurch cottage. We knew my g/grandfather was Head Gardener and assumed my g/grandmother was a maid of some sort. My cousin from South Wales had visited the island some years ago and found the cottage. She told her husband that having come so far she was not going to go home without knocking on the door! The gentleman inside invited her in and told her that the cottage front room was the same as it would have been when our ancestors lived there and he showed her where the carriages would have been stored. At the time he was moving to the mainland but they stayed in touch for a while. My cousin also went in the village store and was told by the assistant that another lady had visited recently and was desperate to find out more about the cottage as her grandparents lived there – we have since established this was my aunt (now deceased) and she took a photo of the cottage at the time and it had the sale sign up! I was too young at the time to enquire further and it was only on my 3rd visit to the Isle of Wight that I finally found the beautiful church with the map showing where the Grange was located – on a previous trip we had parked by the water but following a bit of a domestic tiff as we only had the old photo to go by and my hubbie felt we had traipsed about too much! - we didn’t go far enough along the road to find the cottage, we had only been about 100 yards away!
During lockdown I went back to compiling my family tree and was curious as to who my great grandparents worked for at the Grange so I contacted the Bonchurch information centre where Jeff and Sue have been of great assistance. We now think my great grandparents (Mr & Mrs Harris) worked for Col. Philip Peter Perring Goodchild who lived there from 1892 until made bankrupt in 1896 as those dates seem to match prior to my g/grandparents living in Eynsham near Oxford where they had my uncle and then moving to St Helier in Jersey where my grandmother was born.
I hope to come and visit Bonchurch again when times are easier - it is such a beautiful place, even more so now that I can envisage my g/grandparents being there - but in the meantime I have put together a family history folder of photos and snippets for my younger family and hope they may come and visit at some point too!”
in Bournemouth, Dorset
Below is a photograph of Mr and Mrs Harris with their son.