Gowlland Gatherings


Second Gathering 2007


The second Gowlland Gathering was held on Wednesday 1 August 2007.  There were more than thirty attendees, including three from America and one from Canada.

The third Gowlland newsletter, Gowllands United August 2007, was launched, as well as the new DVD entitled  ‘A Gowlland Gallery’.  This contains over seventy images of members of the extended family, the earliest of which date from about 1860. 

The family tree was on display and there was plenty of opportunity for those present to meet with those most closely connected to them, exchange news, and look at the various displays. 

Also launched was the transcription of letters referred to in newsletter number 2.  This has been published under the title My dearest Birdie and is a fascinating collection of some letters sent by Richard Gowlland in England, between 1874 and 1885, to his sister Celia in Australia.  The book is now available via the UK Amazon website, www.amazon.co.uk. 

At the end of the day we enjoyed a slice of the celebration cake and then moved outside so that group photographs could be taken, like the one below.  Many thanks are due to all those who attended and made sure that we all had such a cheerful and worthwhile time together. 


On Thursday a smaller group of us visited three churches in southeast Kent, which were all associated with the early known documented history of the family. 

We first visited the tiny hamlet of Church Hougham near Dover and went into St. Lawrence church.  Both the interior and exterior have been altered during the last two hundred years, but the Norman doorway at the base of the tower is original.  There were several Gowlland burials here between 1775 and 1823, but the local stone memorial slabs with inscriptions do not weather well and parts of the churchyard are now very overgrown, so it was not possible to trace any actual family graves.




Church Hougham  -  note how overgrown is the churchyard, demonstrating why no Gowlland graves could be found.


Then we adjourned for lunch and were delighted that the researcher for the Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness, who had made some fascinating discoveries for us in the Dover area, was able to join us.  



The first of our two visits in the afternoon was to St. Andrew, Buckland by Dover. 

Here Joseph Gowlland was married in 1734 and his eight children were baptised, including Stephen our direct ancestor.  In the 18th century Buckland was probably also a quiet hamlet, but it is now towards the northern end of the conurbation of Dover. 

Sadly, in common with many other churches in England, it was locked and we were not able to see inside.  The interior was apparently extensively re-modelled about 150 years ago.



Buckland in Dover



Our last visit was to St. Clement church in the ancient Cinque Port of Sandwich.  Richard Gowlland married Sarah Symonds here in 1770.  The outside doors date from 1655 and Richard and Sarah probably walked through them after their wedding.  So we stood outside the same doors for photographs!





St Clements   Sandwich





First Gathering 2004


Pictured below is the first such Gathering which took place in September 2004. For enlarged images, click here.

















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