JACK EARDLEY, M.D.
3366 Commodore Drive
Lexington, Kentucky 40502-3602
Fax #: (606) 266-7317
E MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web Site: http://www.eardley.org
Eardley Family Member,
Before I come
to the main part of my letter to you, let me make an impassioned plea to those
of you who so far have not contacted me. I
can well understand that at first many of you thought the project was in some
way a scam. This is quite
understandable when we all, including myself, receive junk mail on an almost
daily basis. Those of you who have
been hearing from me for almost four years know that I am bearing the cost of
the project and I feel it’s been worth it.
This all started when I retired and wanted a worthwhile project which
would mean something to my children, grandchildren and every person in the world
who shared the name Eardley.
beginnings the project has now grown to enormous and monumental proportions.
The enclosed information will enable you to link into the Eardley Family
which, as many of you know, began with a few families in Audley, England around
the twelfth century. Now, at last,
we can really see how we are all related to each other by a common genetic
heritage. Around 500 of you have
responded, but there are those of you out there who have not yet done so. It really is so easy to help.
Just a postcard will be enough. You
don’t need a family tree. Please
just drop me a line telling me the name of your grandfather/mother - where they
were born and about what year. Of
course, if you know more, please tell me. Many
people do not like writing letters. It
reminds them of school. Well,
perhaps a phone call is easier. Just
contact me by phone (US 001-606-269-3686) and I will call you back.
Again, some of you leave it to the family spokesperson - the expert in
the family, and don’t do it yourself. It’s
you I want to hear from, however briefly. This isn’t even a project for clever people - it is for
every Eardley in the world wherever you’re from, whatever background.
Remember, my great grandfather Henry was a coal miner and his courage
gave his descendants their chance of a new life and we all took it with both
hands. By responding, you will be
helping not only me but also the Eardley family.
We can all leave a history of our family to all the Eardleys who will
follow us. Now is the time, before
it is too late, as this is a ‘one off’ situation.
So please contact me, even in a small way - a minimal way, so that we can
all share in the putting together the family heritage.
Family Group get-together will take place on Saturday, July 15th at noon in
Audley, Staffordshire, England. We
will assemble in St. James Church which dominates the town.
Please bring your camcorders, cameras, tape recorders, and family tree,
if you have one. Eardleys who are
traveling a great distance need to make suitable arrangements, and do be aware
that the year 2000 will be extra busy.
There are a
number of hotels in the Stoke downtown area which are more than suitable.
The North Staffordshire Hotel has offered the Eardleys an attractive
package. Other hotels to consider
are ‘The Moat”, ‘Stakis’ in Hanley, and ‘The George’ in Burslem.
Should you wish to stay in small country accommodations or bed and
breakfast style, you can contact the Staffordshire Tourist Board for their
brochure. They will be most helpful.
The city of Stoke-on-Trent has been called the cradle of the Industrial
Revolution and is still justly regarded as the world centre for fine china.
Tours of local factories are provided daily and excellent bargains can be
obtained from adjacent retail outlets. The
countryside surrounding Stoke is attractive.
If you are having a car, trips to nearby Chester, Shrewsbury, Nottingham,
Liverpool, Manchester, and Ludlow (a perfectly preserved Medieval town in
Europe) are easily reached.
the letter itself, you will of course understand that it is impossible for me as
a one man operation to be able to arrange the event in detail. I believe the power of this gathering lies in its dynamic
potential, the chance meetings with other Eardleys which will produce meaningful
connections. The coincidences you
can share and the long lasting friendships which will spring from meeting others
who share our blood links! So I
know you’ll produce a memorable day for us all.
We now have
our own web site. It can be
accessed on http://www.eardley.org. Amongst
its attractive features are pictures of Audley church, the Eardley family crest,
a famous Eardley tombstone, and a copy of all the Eardley letters.
A growing number of you are becoming proficient users of electric mail
(e-mail) and faxed messages. I do
have both, but the method of communication which works best for me is a regular
phone call or postal mail. You can
write or call me. I will call you
back. Telephone U.S.
001-606-269-3686. My direct
relative in America, Karen Eardley-Patterson, has agreed to respond to your
e-mail messages. contact her on
Since I last
wrote you, the Eardley mailing list has grown.
I now have 2400 Eardley addresses worldwide.
If you will be receiving your first Eardley letter, welcome to our
worldwide family group. I look
forward to hearing from you and receiving your family tree, or indeed any
information you have about you ancestors. Do
please give names and dates of your ancestors.
Without this important information it is difficult to link them into the
“big picture”. Again, purely
for first time recipients, please let me know if there is a history of diabetes,
red hair, syndactly (skin joining the second and third toes at a higher point
than the other toes.) All of these
traits are common in the Eardley family. In
order to make the operation more cost effective, future letters will be sent
only to those responding at least once in the past. I know you will agree that this makes sense.
So, let me know by making contact.
To return to
the July 15th get-together, news of this is traveling throughout the area.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council is being very supportive along with the
“Staffordshire Sentinel” and BBC Radio, Stoke.
Audley actually lies within Newcastle-U-Lyme and it is most appropriate
that its council be given an opportunity to participate.
Some of you
have suggested that we have some kind of memento of our event introduced to St.
James Church, Again, if this idea
makes strong appeal to a number of you, please let me know. Perhaps there is someone out there who would wish to
coordinate this activity. The Vicar
was asked if he had any suggestions. He
indicated restoration of the prestigious east stained glass window which is
in need of repair.
Next, I turn
to something new and important for all of us.
The Eardley women have been “lost” to us when they marry. By searching the marriage records of the Eardley ladies from
1837 - 1900 I will “reclaim” them and make a list of surnames of families
into which they married. It is
remarkable to appreciate how widely we have spread our Eardley genes.
Serious scholars like Professor Hey have been able to establish that
Eardleys (along with Salts, Plants, and Bloors) are the four families which have
appeared on a continuous basis since the 14th century.
Genetically we are one of the most profuse and widely distributed
families in the entire area. Very
recently I visited the family history centre in Islington and collected the
names of all the Eardley women who married from 1837 - 1900.
I have the code indices and it is my present intention to purchase these
Next, I turn
to what is by far the most important and exciting development in my long stated
quest to put the whole Eardley family together!
I have purchased every male marriage certificate from 1837 to 1900.
The main information is groom, bridegroom, groom’s father, marriage
location and male occupations, which appear in chronological order in one of the
following pages. Now every Eardley can be a geneaological detective.
No matter where you are reading this letter - from Australia to Canada,
you can be certain your ancestors appear somewhere in these lists!
If you can check your grandfather or great-grandfather back to 1900 and I
have, in previous letters, explained how to do that - you will find your direct
Now with a
little work you can start to work backwards.
Count back about 21-30 years from the year of the marriage you know
belongs to you, try to spot the marriage of the groom’s father.
His occupation is a good clue, as is location. You can also “see” other brothers of your ancestor
getting married a few years before or after the marriage you are studying.
Brothers tended to marry in clusters.
Once one had married the others soon followed since they were of broadly
similar age. You do the same for the bridegroom’s father (possibly your
great-great grandfather). Occupations
such as potters, miners, butchers, and so on give valuable clues when putting
families together. You will
discover possible relatives when you see that your grandfather had brothers who
married and you didn’t even know their names!
personally found fascinating is that over the centuries, communities which were
somewhat “isolated” like those in North Staffordshire, Shropshire, and
Cheshire would have a high degree of genetic penetration by a relatively few
prolific families. The Eardleys
would be one such family. So, when
I travel to Stoke I like to consider that I must be related to almost everyone!
When we checked the Eardley ladies last month we found that they made up
approximately the same number of men. The
significant difference was that as many more women remained married in their
birth-area than did the men. If we
think of men as “hunter-gathers” and women as “nest-builders” at that
time in our national social development, this would make a lot of sense.
As the records began in 1837 the overwhelming majority of Eardleys moved
within 30 miles of Audley. As the
century closed almost half of all marriages took place much farther afield.
In the case of Eardley women there was comparatively little variation in
percentage terms between 1837 and 1900. Most
women married in their place of birth, unless of course, they were taken to a
new town by their parents.
migrated during the last century as I have previously mentioned in my letters.
Some Eardleys from Ireland (descendants of people who had moved to
Ireland with Lord Audley in the early 16th century) seem to have settled in
Michigan, USA. Many are surprised by their English roots.
This is understandable, given the history, but it remains a fact that
Eardley is a most English name. The
Utah Eardleys are all descended from four brothers from Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent,
who became prominent Mormons and left many descendants.
The Ohio and New Jersey Eardleys were mainly potters who left
Stoke-on-Trent to work in the growing ceramic factories in East Liverpool, Ohio
and Trenton, New Jersey. A single
family from Congleton, near Stoke, settled in Texas and there are now a large
number of descendants in the San Antonio area.
Eardleys went to Australia from the 1840’s onward and are well
established in various locations. We
believe there are about 60 families there.
Many South Africa Eardleys are more recent - they may only have settled
after World War II. Canada Eardleys
seem to have mirrored migration to USA and their most frequently found locations
are in the province of Ontario.
Francis Eardley and I have also been working to establish a heritage link
between East Liverpool and Stoke-on-Trent.
I can now announce that Stoke and East Liverpool have this relationship
officially in place. There is also
a possibility that St. James, Audley and St. Stephens, East Liverpool will twin
their respective parishes. What a
wonderful relationship that will be, especially in the millennium year.
All this activity further enhances our extended family and promotes
cultural and friendship links, and the Eardley profile worldwide. We can go even further.
Mr. Richard Gibbins, Managing Director of Tacklers Sports and Leisure
International, Robert Francis Eardley, and I, under the aegis of North
Staffordshire Chamber of Trade and Commerce, are now promoting trade links
between North Staffordshire, England and East Liverpool/Pittsburgh through the
offices of my cousin, Tom Hileman (another Eardley descendant) and the British
American Trade Council. All of
these relationships cement the ‘big picture’ of making lasting and
meaningful connections wherever Eardleys are found.
There are so
many people I wish to thank. This
has been a ‘grass roots’ organization and it’s been exceptionally
effective. So in no particular
order, I thank a number of people who have been supportive and without whose
friendship and help our genealogical ship could not have sailed so far. Many of their names have uncanny echoes in my own past life.
members of the twinning association, Syd Bailey and Alan Mountford. A Dr. Bailey was in attendance at my birth and my first
‘prom’ date was a Mountford. Then
Doug Brown and Alan Edwards, both former Lord Mayors, who have equally given
their time and effort to enhance the profile of the East Liverpool-Stoke
connection. Ron Fargher and his
wonderfully talented staff together with the Youth Band of Stoke and its Drama
Group, which contributed so much to the July 4th celebration last year in East
Liverpool, Ohio. I thank CEO Brian
Smith and Leader Barry Stockley for their encouragement for the setting in place
of the ‘Heritage Link’. A
special thank you to Joanna Thomas, European Policy Office.
Ex-Lord Mayor Cath Banks for her warm hospitality.
BBC Radio’s Sam Plank and his team have been unwavering in their
support and have allowed us to spread our mission both for the genealogical
story and for the spreading the news about the East Liverpool cultural ties and
for trade which flow from cultural links between us.
Another special thank you goes to the celebrated ‘Sentinel’ columnist
John Abberley for his genuine interest and commitment to the East Liverpool
link. John is now an adopted son of
East Liverpool. More recently the North Staffordshire Chamber of Trade senior
officers and Richard Gibbins of Tacklers Sports and Leisure International with
Robert Francis, who are all working hard to bring about trade and tourist
activities between Staffordshire and East Liverpool/Pittsburgh.
Of course my
main focus remains and will always remain the putting together of the ‘Eardley
Big Picture’. However, if
Eardleys can be of a wider service to our communities, then this can only be a
positive. On the American side my
friends, Frank and Gretchen Dawson, have
given so much to their own community, often quietly and in the background.
As recently retired president of the largest Alumni Association in the
world, 16,000 members worldwide, he has kept the goodship in East Liverpool
firmly afloat and steered it softly through sometimes choppy seas.
Mayor Dolores Satow and her council have given unswerving support in our
‘Heritage Link’ project. Glenn
Waight, ex-editor of East Liverpool Review, for his brilliant articles in
support of the link. Tim Brookes,
and Joan Witt for their timeless input in the historical links.
Gina Gulutz for her positive articles for the ‘Review’, the Michels,
the Vardys, the Vodreys, the Waltons, and the Toots, my niece Janice, St.
Stephen’s Church, the Catholic, and Methodist churches for their help in
hosting. Mr. and Mrs. Carter and
their unique self-help community in the East End should be noted. I could write a whole book about their enterprise and
everyone in East Liverpool, my home town.
recently in Dresden, Germany with Alan Edwards and John Picken and received a
most friendly welcome from the mayor and his team.
They are interested in bringing together in the year 2006 (their 800th
anniversary) towns and cities worldwide who have an area, a street or any
physical landmark which includes the name ‘Dresden’.
Of course Stoke has ‘Dresden’ in the south of the city. East Liverpool had the Dresden Pottery and a number of
immigrants from Dresden. If you
know of other Dresdens in your part of the world, please write or call me and
let me know.
The now Lord
Mayor Reginald Booth and Lady Mayoress Shelia Booth, both have an Eardley
connection. We have documented
evidence of Booths marrying Eardleys in the area and Shelia Booth has an Uncle
Harold and Aunt Christine Eardley. To
cap it all, a Bill Booth was the most famous football player to emerge from East
Liverpool and Lord Mayor Booth was a former semi-professional soccer player.
All these strange and uncanny coincidences continue to present
themselves. It certainly makes one
think that an unseen hand is guiding these events.
But then, genealogists get so used to strange coincidences that they
rarely mention them! Member of Parliament George Stevenson, who I understand is
trying to increase trade links with ‘the world at large’ and East Liverpool
in particular, is another echo from the past.
Stevensons were my neighbors in my childhood. The memories and links with Stoke are too numerous to
mention, but they remain a part of my memory to this day.
I will leave
you with a second reminder that the Stoke area is becoming a ‘tourist honey
pot’ to quote the words of a local journalist.
The entire area (hitherto a closely guarded secret) is now opening up.
Please book early to avoid disappointment.
Spread the word and preach the gospel of togetherness for Saturday, July
15th at noon, St. James Church, Audley, England.
If everyone who says they’re coming, comes, we will fill the church.
Does anyone have any comments or suggestions for the service 15th July 2000.
Does one think songs/hymns would be appropriate?
contacts, family trees and interest alive and well.
We’ll meet you in Audley at noon 15th July 2000 at St. James Church.
If you have a computer and are on the internet, check the Eardley website
for further information.
God bless you
Robert Jack Eardley
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