Help Norma trace her family

Norma Watt, from Australia, hopes that readers can help her track down her relatives. (Photo supplied).
Norma Watt, from Australia, hopes that readers can help her track down her relatives. (Photo supplied).

An Australian woman is on the search for relatives from the South Lincolnshire area.

Norma Watt (68) travelled approximately 10,677 miles from her home in Tasmania to Spalding in the hope she could find out more about her ancestors.

I just want to know if I have any ‘rellies’ here

Norma Watt

She got in touch with the Spalding Guardian during her visit to see if readers could help her trace her roots.

She said: “I just want to know if I have any ‘rellies’ (relatives) here.

“I’ve been travelling all the back roads that my ancestors would have walked.

“I know they are from the area that stretched from Bicker to Cowbit, Peakhill and Surfleet Seas End.

“I was born in Tasmania but I have traced back my history and know the names of people and I have some information.

“The Cowbit people have the name Wilson. Thomas Wilson married Sarah Freeman on Boxing Day 1813. They had children who were born in either Cowbit or Peakhill.

“Their son Joseph emigrated to Tasmania in 1857.

“He was married to Sarah Morriss King. Although I believe the second ‘s’ from the surname Morriss may have been dropped later on. The King family came from Holbeach and Surfleet Seas End.

“Her parents were John King (1784-1860) who married Susannah Morriss.

Sarah and Joseph had two children born in Lincolnshire - Isaac and John Thomas and the rest of their children were born in Australia.

“Thomas and Sarah from the Cowbit area are our fourth great-grandparents.

“I’ve been tracing my ancestors since the 1970s. It has been a long time but it was much harder in the early dates because there were not digitalised records. I managed to find some headstones in Australia - they were still legible at that time but are not legible anymore as they are sandstone which has weathered.

“In England, the headstones are too old and because the families were not well off they maybe did not have headstones.

“They all seemed to be agricultural labourers. Only one, a guy called William Morriss, from Bicker, had himself down as a landowner and I have not yet tracked down a way to find out about his landholdings from that.

“Maybe I might find something in the Lincolnshire Archives.

“The Morriss family seem to be the only ones who may have had land.

“I have recently found out that any grandchildren of Allan, George or Alice Horner from the Melton Ross, Barnetby Le Wold or New Barnetby area in North Lincolnshire would also be related to me and of my generation.”

Widow and grandmother-of-four Norma has also traced her history back to Dorset, where her mother’s family came from; and Yorkshire, where her father had ancestors.

She said: “I would love to hear from anybody who might know more about my ancestors.”

Norma can be emailed at: normawatt@gmail.com

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