I have been researching my family tree since my paternal grandfather died in 1976. Whilst researching my mother's ancestry I started recording every instance of her maternal grandmother's name FARMERY and so my one-name study was born! I now record every instance of the name I find all over the world, and my database currently contains over 51,600 name events. I am constructing family trees for each family group and try to put distant cousins in touch!

My study covers the FARMERY surname and known variants such as FARMEARY, FARMEREY, FARMARY and FARMERIE, as well as instances of the name being used as a forename rather than surname.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Thetford Warren Lodge

Whilst in Norfolk over Christmas I took the opportunity to visit Thetford warren lodge which dates from the fifteenth century and was built as a home and headquarters for the gamekeeper of the prior of Thetford who had hunting rights in the area.

The principal room of the square tower form building was at first floor level and defensive features included the narrow loops for windows on the ground floor and a hole for dropping missiles above the entrance.

Rabbits were introduced by the Normans as an extra food source. About ten rabbits per acre could be caught each year without decreasing the stock which needed to be closely guarded from poachers. In Norfolk rabbit farming was still a local occupation right up to the second world war.

Robert and Ann FARMERY (my 6 x gt grandparents) appear to have moved into Walesby, Lincolnshire, between 1744 and 1750 and they were both buried there - Robert FARMERY, warrener, in 1782 and Anne FARMERY, widow of Risby warrenhouse, in 1785. It is likely their daughter Anne married Francis SOWERBY, warrener, in 1769 and Anne may have had a brother John who was also a warrener. There are no remains of the warrenhouse at Risby, a hamlet in Walesby parish - now just a farmstead.

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