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My Trip to England and Wales in 1998

I had never been back to England and Wales since I left there on June 6, 1957. So when I returned in February 1998 I expected to find a lot of changes in 40 years.


My trip to find my roots

My mother a I set off from Aunty Margaret's one sunny day in March to look for my Great Grandfather. First we went to the St Margaret's Church in Betley. I had found a picture of the church on the internet some years before. We found the church easily enough, then we hunted around and around looking for a grave with Dodd on it, just as we seemed to have drawn a blank, low and behold there was the grave of my great grandfather. My father did not remember his name, but here was the grave of George Dodd (1846 - 1910) his wife Mary (1847 - 1922) and one of their sons David (1879 - 1901), who we did not know about.

We then went on to look at the adjacent grave yard to look for more Dodd's or Hughes the family that his daughter's had married into. It seems that we only found one that we knew, later we found out that Aunty Alice's grave was #7, but it has no marker on it. Then as we where about to leave, we started talking to a mother and daughter who were putting some flowers on their husband and father's grave. The mother said that she knew of my Great Aunty Alice and that we should talk to Rachel Fox who had worked for her in her younger years.

Great Uncle Greoge's farm in Balterley GreenWith sketchy instructions we wandered over to Baterley Green to find Rachel. At first we could not find her house, but stopped and asked a older lady that was cleaning her drive way. Rachel lived just down the road. It happens that her house is next to the farm where my Great Uncle George lived. Rachel greeted us and was glad to hear from us, she invited us in for lunch. As she was making us soup and sandwiches she said that she remember by father and that she had been sweet on him. My mother quipped "But I got him", sadly we had left my father Percy Dodd at home as he was not well enough to travel. Rachel who was over 80 years old, remembers well working for Aunty Alice and she told us where to find the family farm.

We then thanked her very much for the lunch and followed her instructions as to find the farm. At the gate there is a brass place saying "Buddileigh Farm", we went through the gate but know one was at home so we took these pictures.

The gate and plaque saying "Built A.D. 1620, Rebuilt A.D. 1906"

"Buddileigh Farm" from the driveway 1998

"Buddileigh Farm" front porch

"Buddileigh Farm", the barns

The trip I did not take

One place I did not visit is "Hill Farm" in Burwardsley, where my Grandfather Dodd lived from 1914 till 1957 when he passed away. The reason is that the Barbour's tore down the old house and replaced it with a modern one. To me the house was the farm, so I felt I'd rather just remember it as it was, as in this painting by my Aunty Mabel.

It is my understanding that the red sandstone blocks were taken to the Chester Zoo and were used to build the elephant house. We went there to look at the elephants. My pictures did not turn out too well as it was such a dismal and rainy day.

After our return

Soon after we got back my father got worst and was taken to the hospital. They put him on the 5th floor, which I called the "Waiting room to Heaven". All the family came to see him, but that perked him up enough for him to be sent home again.
Percy Dodd with his nieces Ruth and OliveBy September he was going down hill again and the doctor put him in Dufferin Place. While there two of his nieces came to visit him, Ruth from Ellensburg, WA, U.S.A. and Olive from Cheshire, England. The visit brought tears of happiness to his eyes.

Percy Dodd with Bessie on His 86th Birthday, 1998We took him to his oldest daughter Pauline's place for his 86th birthday on October 12th., where he was surrounded by most of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He struggled on past Christmas into the new year. On January 22nd, 1999 he pasted on to met his Lord and Savior. Follow these links to his story and his own biography.

(c) Copyrighted by Brian Dodd 2001