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Americans with Chester Roots need advice

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Indianapolis
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Americans with Chester Roots need advice

A family of cousins (6 or more of us) from different areas of the United States are planning a trip to Chester for 2010. We actually became acquainted in the last several years due to our common interests in genealogy. Our grandparents were siblings. We would like to use Chester as our base because our great-grandparents immigrated to the US from there sometime between 1887 and early 1889. Our great grandmother was born at Johnson Buildings on Lower Bridge St in 1858. We have never been able to pinpoint the current address for what would have been the Johnson Buildings. Anyone familiar with that?

Our plan is to visit all the places we have identified in our research as ancestral haunts:Chester, Denbigh, Mold, Flint. We want to see St Michaels, St Marys-on-the-Hill and St Olaves. Then for the other side of the family we need to find the Three Pigeons pub in Banbury and raise a pint or 2 there. Maybe identify the location of the Buck and Bell where our great-great grandfather died. Later find Islip ans Warwickshire as well.

We plan to spend 10-12 days and right now I am thinking we should fly in to Liverpool. Many have never travelled outside of the US and all but one have never been to Europe. We are looking for what we think as pub-style, low cost but safe accommodations and would like to stay as close to where our ancestors were from as possible.

Advice? Recommendations? We are thinking of coming late May or mid-June. Is there a bad time to come as far as crowding and prices?

Any information will be appreciated. We are truly ignorant!

uk
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1. Re: Americans with Chester Roots need advice

The Cheshire Record Office may be able to help you with locating the current address for Johnson Buildings:

cheshire.gov.uk/Recordoffice/…recoffvisit.htm

Are the St Michaels, St Marys on the Hill and St Olaves that you are after the ones in Chester or elsewhere? If the ones in Chester they are all very close to Lower Bridge Street. St Michaels is now a Culture and Heritage Centre I think. The Record Office is also very close to the bottom of Lower Bridge Street by the river

Chester is a lovely city to visit in its own right and will obviously be much more interesting because of the family link. Don't know much about accommodation in Chester but there are a lot of B&Bs quite close to the centre.

I think you would also find Liverpool interesting to visit - especially if this is where your relatives embarked from to go to US. The maritime museum has an exhibition about emigration: liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/maritime/…

Are you planning on hiring a car for your visit? You could do the Liverpool Airport to Chester part of the journey relatively easily by public transport - or you may want to prebook a taxi for the journey but a car would give you much more flexibility for the rest of your trip. A car is a bit of a liability in Chester though as parking is expensive in the centre and the one way system is a pain.

In terms of when to come - if possible avoid the Whit half term (which is usually the last week in May/beginning of June) as accommodation will be more likely to be booked up.

Little Sutton...
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2. Re: Americans with Chester Roots need advice

You may have to alter your flight plans as no airlines fly in to Liverpool direct from the USA,Manchester is the closest International Airport with direct flights from/to the USA.

Indianapolis
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3. Re: Americans with Chester Roots need advice

Thanks. I believe 2 of the churches are in Chester.

We are so looking forward to it

Indianapolis
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4. Re: Americans with Chester Roots need advice

Yes - I am now looking at Manchester or even Birmingham. Any preference? We will probably visit London as well.

uk
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5. Re: Americans with Chester Roots need advice

I think Manchester would be easier if travelling by train - 1 change and a shorter journey.

www.nationalrail.co.uk - can check train times on here

Also closer and easier if you hire a car - straight along M56 from airport

Manchester, United...
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6. Re: Americans with Chester Roots need advice

To add to the first reply - the last Monday in May is a public holiday here and that week is a school holiday (in some areas they have two weeks), so this is the busiest time, perhaps best avoided if you have the choice.

Chester has a lovely and interesting centre and is well worth a visit without the added bonus of the family ties. If you plan to visit the Records Office it's worth contacting them in advance to check they'll have any records you want to see, as some are not kept on site.

Manchester probably offers the most options on direct flights from the US other than London - how it fits with the connection in the US may be a different issue and by 2010 things could have changed. The airport is around a 45 minute drive from the centre of Chester - Birmingham would probably be nearer 2 hours.

Little Sutton...
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7. Re: Americans with Chester Roots need advice

Depending on where you are flying from in the USA,Manchester has a number of direct flights from the Eastern part but nothing much further out than that,if you are coming from Indianapolis I would have thought that Chicago to Manchester may be your best route.

Chester, United...
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8. Re: Americans with Chester Roots need advice

I would echo using Manchester airport, there are as above direct connections with much of US, better to change there than in Heathrow for instance, to be avoided!

Chester is a lovely and friendly city, I have been resident for over 20 years and would be happy to answer any questions.

All those churches you mention still exist in some form, and are close to the Lower Bridge Street part of town, as are the Archives which should be somewhere for you to visit.

I rather think Johnson Buldings were demolished and Quicks motor HQ was built there, now closed sadly, but the archive office can tell you for sure.

Chester is a very safe place, there are I think some accommodation close to the city walls near Lower Bridge Street overlooking the river, the local tourism office can give you lots of information.

Presumably you have used ancestry.com, I too am a family geneaologist and can tell you that UK census records go back to 1841, things get tricky before then! I hope your plans take good shape and you have a wonderful trip.

Chester Races take place the first week in May, the city is crazy and accommodation booked, school half term is the last week in May, probably best to avoid those dates.

Indianapolis
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9. Re: Americans with Chester Roots need advice

Thank you all so much. Based on all the advice I believe we will try and travel mid-June and arrive in Manchester. I will look in to bed & breakfast lodging if that is the best. I am sure I will have more questions as arrangements firm up.

10. Re: Americans with Chester Roots need advice

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