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3 Apr 2020

C is for Corfe Castle

Linda & Margaret at Corfe Castle
After a very interesting couple of days in Weymouth, where we had been joined (in separate accommodation by second cousin Linda and her husband Peter, we all decided to head back east to Sussex (Linda) and Brockenhurst, Hampshire (John and me).  However, it was the perfect opportunity to visit the village where one of our mutual ancestors lived.

It's a steep climb to the Castle
A medieval market re-enactment was taking place on the day we visited in May 2014.
Playing medieval games

Aaron Hardy's birth village

My 2xgreat-grandfather, Aaron Hardy, a mariner was born in Corfe Castle, Dorset in 1826 to William Hardy, a labourer and his wife Mary (Whiterow/Whitrow). His mother died less than three years later.  William continued to live there and was a carpenter in 1850.

Corfe Castle was built by William the Conqueror as a fortification on the Purbeck peninsular, and the village below has the same name.  In Elizabeth 1's time, it passed into private hands. During the English Civil War, Cromwell's men "slighted" the castle by destroying much of it, making it non-functional as a fortification.

Today, many tourists arrive by train for day-trips.

By 1841, young Aaron was a male servant in Radipole, Dorset. From there, it was less than a two-mile walk to Weymouth Harbour, so it is easy to imagine Aaron meeting Amelia Billett at the Old Harbour before 1850 when they married.  By then Aaron, like his father-in-law William was a mariner.

Sometime between 1852 after their first two children were born and 1856, the family moved to Southampton.  This, of course, was a bigger port by then.  His daughter Agnes Mary (1858-1912) married George William Tucker (1856-1924) in 1881.

Our great grandparents Agnes and George W. Tucker must have been mortified when two years later Aaron was charged with being drunk and disorderly, having been held in the police lock-up overnight.  By then he was a labourer, not a mariner.  I have not yet been able to find records of any ship he served on.

Both Aaron and Amelia Hardy lived long lives in Southampton until Edward V11's reign.


  1. I didn't realise that your were participating in #AtoZ Challenge Margaret. Pleased to have found your posts.

    1. Great Jill. I need assistance to find more subscribers - apart from my dear Mr Grevillea of course! You've started a trend with spouses. I see Anne Young is interested. I also subscribe to her blog.

  2. Just read your posts thanks to Jill alerting me to your participation. It is nice to virtually travel when we are confined to barracks.
    Look forward to following along on your journey.
    Fellow Australia family history A to Zedder

  3. Thank you Anne. Much appreciated. You have an amazing line of documented ancestors. Sadly most of mine were not bad nor high bred. Mr Grevillea now - a lot of his were bad or had bad misfortune.