Historical Gems Articles.


Historical Gems takes pleasure in researching interesting aspects of local history. This page contains some of the articles that have been published by Historical Gems.  We hope that you will enjoy them.

To access and view an article please click on the underlined title of the article.


Chester Cathedral and its Historic Links with New York.

The tale of two prominent New York residents who are commemorated on memorials in Chester Cathedral. George Clarke of Hyde a British Colonial Governor of New York, and Frederick Phillips,a wealth American born landowner, who was forced to quit his land in New York due to his support of the British in the American War of Independence.

Gravestones & Memorials Honouring The Lifetime Occupation of the Deceased.

Today, placing the former occupation of a relative on a gravestone or memorial might seem a little unusual.  However, in the past, some people had so strong an association with their occupation that it was felt appropriate to mention their occupation on their gravestone or memorial.  This article contains some fine examples of the former occupation of the deceased being mentioned on their gravestone or memorial.

Gravestone Inscriptions at St. John the Baptist, Chester, Cheshire, England

St. John the Baptist Parish Church, Chester was formally the Chester Cathedral.  The majority of the gravestones outside of the church have now been laid to the ground and form the pathways immediately in front of the church.  In 2009 the condition of the gravestones was deteriorating due to erosion caused by a combination of the weather and people walking over the gravestones.  Historical Gems offers a free publication that records the inscriptions on the gravestones that remained visible in April 2009.

Great World War Gravestones - Agecroft Cemetery, Salford, Manchester, England

 I have always had an interest in the Great War.  When many people think of the men who died during the First World War they tend to think about the large cemeteries in France and Belgium lined with row upon row of white gravestones.  However, many men were buried nearer to home.  This page contains pictures of the gravestones of the casualties of the First World War that I have discovered in the sprawling Agecroft Cemetery, Salford.  Please do not take this as being a comprehensive listing of all of the Great War gravestones in the cemetery!

The Solitary Military Gravestone at St. Peter, Stockerston, Rutland: The Story of Flight Sergeant Donald Frederick Payne

The churchyard at St. Peter, Stockerston, in the small county of Rutland, is extremely tranquil with stunning views over the Eyebrook Reservoir. It is somewhere that I frequently visit as my grandparents are buried there. After a recent visit, I started to make some enquiries about the solitary military gravestone in the churchyard. This article tells the tragic story of Flight Sergeant 1737531 Donald Frederick Payne of the 115 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, Bomber Command.

Great War Graves at All Saints, Gresford

The Churchyard at All Saints, Gresford, Wrexham, North Wales contains the graves of six servicemen who died during the Great War (1914-1918), Quartermaster Sergeant William Barratt, Rifleman Thomas Beech Barton, Private Walter James Field, Captain Charles Eustace Fishbourne, Ordinary Seaman Reginald Eyton Griffiths, and Captain Arthur Henry Leslie Soames.  Historical Gems offers a free publication that provides biographical about each of the servicemen, facts about their military service, and the circumstances surrounding their death and burial at All Saints, Gresford. The information has been drawn from a large range of historical sources and the publication is fully referenced.

Family War Memorials

Family War Memorials are any memorials that have been erected privately by a family to commemorate the death of someone who has died during active military service. I take pleasure in assisting The War Graves Photographic Project (TWGPP) by submitting any family memorials to servicemen who have died in active service at any time since the Great War to the TWGPP, including those shown in this article.

 Land Use in Wollescote

Land Ownership & Use in Wollescote, Old Swinford, Worcestershire 1710 - 1830 : Transcripts of various documents dated between 1710-1830 relating to the ownership and use of numerous pieces of land in Wollescote, in the Parish of Old Swinford, Worcestershire, is a book written by Wayne Cronin-Wojdat. the owner of Historical Gems.  View the full details of all the transcripts included in this book, and indexes of the people and land mentioned in them.

 Criminal Case Documents

Documents relating to criminal cases can often provide genealogists and family historians a fascinating insight into the life of their family, regardless if the subject of the case is a victim, witness, police officer, court official, or indeed, a suspect or offender!

The "Halifax Case" is an example of how criminal case documents can enhance the story of our ancestors.

The Mildmay Family and the Marwell Estate 1744 - 1859

The Mildmay Family and the Marwell Estate 1744-1859: Transcripts of Various Documents Prepared For A Sale of Estate in 1859, is a book written by Wayne Cronin-Wojdat, the owner of Historical Gems. View the full details of this book, and download a list of all the people mentioned in the book.

The Ganton Village School Managers' Minute Book

The Ganton Village School Managers' Minute Book: The History of Ganton Village School, in the East Riding of Yorkshire Between 1903-1941, is a book written by Wayne Cronin-Wojdat, the owner of Historical Gems. View the full details of this book, and download a list of all the people mentioned in the book.

Wrexham Crime & Criminals

 The Wrexham area, like any other area, has had a fair share of criminals.  Some of the crimes committed them have been notable because they are both serious and ghastly.  Other crimes, whilst viewed dimly in the past, today seem trivial and humorous.  This article includes a mixture of interesting crimes that have occurred in Wrexham's past.

Paranormal North Wales

These articles might seem a little strange:  Why would a professional genealogist and local historian have an interest in paranormal activity? The reason for my interest is that in many cases the background to these stories can be researched and the truthfulness of the stories evaluated.  These articles cover paranormal stories that I have found particularly interesting.