Skip to main content

52 Ancestors - Storm

Well, this week's theme on 52 Ancestors is "Storm". Last week was "taxes" and try as I might, there was nothing I could come up with, so I had a week off. I nearly did the same this week, but as I was doing a bit of research, sure enough, we have a thunderstorm going on, so I'm going to draw a very long, tenuous bow...

John Broome is my 7th great grandfather. He was born in 1710, in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, England. Now this place is interesting because a) Worcestershire sauce! and b) Kidderminster is considered the home of the first machine-made (as opposed to hand-made) carpets.

Kidderminster had been a textile producing town since medieval times. By the 17th century, Kidderminster cloth was the only textile industry to survive and flourish because of the town's ability to adapt to changing needs and tastes. Already famous for its broadcloths, the town rapidly became famous for producing what was known as "Kidderminster stuff" which was mainly used for bed coverings and wallhangings.

As it turns out, John Broom(e) and John Pearsall were "stuff weavers" and are credited as being the first weavers of "Kidderminster" carpet in 1735. It was a coarse, flat weave, woven with mainly woollen yarns, patterned with the design visible on both sides, so it was reversible. They were not floor carpets in the truest sense, but more like wall hangings. Known as "Ingrain", they later became known as "Kidderminster" and later as "Scotch" as the process was exported to Scotland. It was cheaper than hand-woven carpets and instrumental in bringing carpet to the wider market.

Apparently, John Broome was quite the entrepreneur and in 1749 he travelled to either Brussels, Tournai or Wilton, where he "borrowed" the plans for a new type of loom and brought with him immigrant workers. 

Up until then, they were always keeping an eye on their hand-loom competitors in Scotland, Axminster and Wilton. Kidderminster is located on the River Stour, and then the opening of the Kidderminster canal gave them access to the rest of the world and Kidderminster became the "Carpet Capital of the World".

Kidderminster Church on the River Stour

As carpets became larger and more ornate, it became necessary for larger looms to be used and they could not be housed in individual weaver's homes. Some carpet factories were converted from other textile factories. In 1832, the carpet firm of John Broome (John Broome's son and my 7th great uncle) went bankrupt.

John Broome Jnr - my 7th Great Uncle

What's all this got to do with storms, I hear you ask? Well, I was researching the Hardwick tree (my mum's dad) during this storm this morning, and they were all from around Kidderminster too. In fact, Effie Clara Broome (my Great Great Grandmother) who married Arthur John Hardwick Snr is the direct descendant of John Broome Snr and they both lived in the area, but immigrated to Australia separately, where they married in Sydney in 1887.

So, a pretty long bow to "storms" but a fascinating story and a really interesting part of my family tree!


Popular posts from this blog

I see...

We've had a couple of interesting weeks here. Video Boy has inherited his mother's shocking vision - he has myopia (commonly known as short-sightedness or near-sightedness). It occurs when the eyes focus light in front of the retina, leading to unfocussed vision.

Close up is usually OK, but distance vision is pretty fuzzy:

For me, even the couple would have been blurry! I was "medically blind" which meant I got my optometrist fees covered by Medicare (yay!).

So, Video Boy has had glasses for a couple of years now - he has broken one pair and then lost the replacement pair (grrr) and so for a couple of months, his world has looked like the picture on the right...and he was squinting to watch TV, read signs, pretty much all the time.
So, we went off to the optometrist last week to get us some new glasses!
The optometrist is up on all the latest research - with Wombat Girl, we bought a software program with special "lenses" and she had to do a practice session…

Pssst...wanna be a fly on the wall?

My Students + Curriculum + Learning Spaces + Real Life = A Day In the Life

This Day is from last week when I thought it was A Day In The Life but it was Learning Spaces instead...probably just as well, because the last few days have not been worth blogging about (or maybe there's a big blog post in there lurking away, but I just can't deal with it right now)...anyway...

This week is the last of our Aussie NBTS posts and a's a long post!! So if you stay to the end, you have done well and earn bonus points.

I think a lot of people who don't homeschool are curious as to what our days look like. Those 6 panel Facebook memes have been doing the rounds, and of course there was a Homeschool one:

He he he!

The night before the Day in the Life: I should preface this Day with the fact that we had a late Night watching Ferris Bueller's Day Off. It was on TV, but we got out the DVD to skip the ads. I feel that some movies are just a compulsory part of any child&#…

52 Ancestors - So Far Away

This week's #52ancestorsin52weeks is Father's Day - but of course, it's not Father's Day in Australia, so I'm going to do the theme we had a couple of weeks ago when I was away - So Far Away.

When you first start doing your family tree, it's exciting to see how "far back" you can go with your branches. Until last weekend, the furthest back on my direct line was Benjamin Broome, my 9th great-grandfather born in 1646 in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, England (grandfather of John Broom in my carpet story), which I thought was a long way back!

Last weekend, I was searching back to see if I could see a link between the Freemans on my Dad's side and the Freemans on my Mum's side (spoiler alert - not yet). Anyway, I was having a search on Joseph Freeman (my 5th great-grandfather born in Gloucestershire, England in 1765) and his wife - Sarah Arkell (my 5th great-grandmother also from Gloucestershire, England, born in 1767). Well, I had her father John…