|This is the on-going story of the Darch family on my fathers side, and the Powis/Sowley family on my mothers side.|
Albert Darch (my father) always told tales of his life down on a farm,with servants and a pack of st bernard dogs, life it seemed was very good for this family. Consequently, we had always assumed that he had been born in Devon on the family farm, which was Indicknowle in Berrynarbour, this is where his family farmed in the 19thc .
When we finally got around to orderinghis birth certificate (remember, when doing family history, always start with the nearest, and don't take for granted what they tell you!)it seems he was actually born in Weymouth, Dorset.His parents moving to this area just before 1900. This is probably because of the drama involved in his marriage to an already married lady!
His father William John Darch born in Devon, lodgedin the house at Stickypath Terrace outside Barnstaple, where a lady called Lotta Hawking and her family lived. Lotta was living with her mother, and her brother, and his family. Further down the terrace was Marks, the man Lotta was to marry.
Lotta married, had 3 children, but then suddenly eloped with William John, and we next see them in the 1901 census in Portland Dorset, with the children all listed as Darch.
Lottas ex-husband filed for divorce, which in those days was unusual and expensive.
.On speaking to a cousin that I found via an article in the local paper, her family had been told by their Grandmother that their fathers name was originally Marks, but was changed to Darch when the war came along as he was German. In Williams will however, he only named the last 4 children to be born, presumably those were his natural born children.
We can assume that Alberts family were still farming down in Devon, as my father used to vividly recall his life , and the animals there, so we can only assume that he went there often, and probably to stay for periods of time with his relatives.
My older sister Paddy, also has vague memories of being taken, by taxi!, with her Grandmother to Devon. to a farm.
As with most families ,we unearthed more than a few skeletons during our on-going research.
The family on my fathers side all seem to come from farming stock down in the Devon area, mainly in the Barnstaple area, and the the Hawking and Cobbledicks from the Holsworthy region in North Devon.
My Great-grandfather had a farm at Berrynarbour called Indicknowle,I have recently discovered that this farm is still there, and being run again as a farm and holiday accommodation.
Going back further generations, one line were prosperous millers in the North Devon area, their family owning quite a few mills.
We also discovered that the Hawking (Lotta's family)line, contained a fairly well known artist (locally in Devon) this might account for the large artistic streak in our family...many of whom have gone on to have jobs in the creative media, such as graphic designers, landscape architets and clothes designers.
The Darchs who moved to Weymouth went on to own businesses in the town.
First that I know of is a restaurant which apparently burnt down, followed by a second -hand shop in the Park district, my sisters recall having to work here at times.
Then they ran two shops in the town, opposite what was the Echo office.
A second-hand shop that also dealt in gramaphones and batteries!!..and a bicycle shop.Thesehave now been turned into a pub.
My siblings often recall tales of staying there at times, in the large premises above the shops, but also of the tunnels that ran beneath the building.
Marie Louise Powis (my mother )was born and lived most of her life in Weymouth, Dorset.
Her father,Harold Powis,is a complete, and very frustrating, mystery. He emigrated to Australia sometime before 1914,where he joined the AIF and fought at Gallipoli and on the Western Front, before being injured and sent to Britain to recupperate.
This, it seems