Following the death of my father I was clearing out his old papers and a number of items relating to the Ridler and Eamer (my Mother’s side of the family) history including photographs were found
I was now Quality Assurance Manager for KONE Elevators Group based at Hounslow. We still had a factory in Bristol manufacturing control systems. I needed to visit the factory on a regular basis and with the stirrings of the Family History bug about to strike I looked out those old pieces of paper and studied them again. The more I thought about it the less I really knew, except for the immediate family.
Questions needed an answer, “who were William senior’s parents”, “did the Ridler’s originate in Bristol”, what happened to Kate” and other questions. However finding the answers just generated even more questions.
How do I start and where? During my visits to Little Nan she had mentioned that the RIDLER’s had a vault at Greenbank cemetery where most of William senior’s family were buried, this seemed to be a good place to start.
After visiting the Bristol Factory in March 92 I went to Greenbank cemetery only to find all the tombstones over 100 years old had been removed and the cemetery had been turned into a garden of remembrance. A sign at the gate stated the records had been moved to Arnolds Vale Cemetery on Bedminster Down.
Upon my next visit to Bristol I went to Arnolds Vale and after paying the £5 search fee I inspected the records since Greenbank first opened. I found almost all of William’s family except Alice Ellen who if the family tales are correct, emigrated to Canada.
I made a second visit at the end of March 92 in order to record the inscriptions that were engraved on the original tombstones and I met Ron LEWIS in the research room copying tombstone inscriptions. We engaged in conversation and he told me he was recording all inscriptions from tombstones in the Bristol and Avon area for the Bristol & Avon Family History Society.
Following our discussions I joined the society and almost immediately I was involved in exchanging knowledge with other researchers. Ron Lewis wrote to me giving me the name of John Lovell who was also researching Ridler’s in the Bristol area. Through a series of letters we investigated each other’s family but no connection could be established. Maybe some time in the future we may have a connection several generation before our present knowledge.
Through the society I found a number of Ridler’s in the 1851 census so my next visit to Bristol I visited Bristol Central Library which has the complete census on microfilm.
Although quite a few Ridler’s lived in Bristol in 1851 I could only find William senior, Sarah and their first son Albert William age 9 months. This was most frustrating as I expected to advance my research in a large leap.
I now started the tedious task of wading through the OCPS marriage index eventually finding a match in the June Quarter of 1849. I sent off for the certificate but I received a letter from the OCPS returning my fee (£15) as it turned out to be the wrong William and Sarah. I had come to a dead end, however after making some enquiries I found out that the Bristol Record Office had microfiche records of most Bristol parishes. A new line to research to follow.