Friday, 20 July 2018

FRIDAY FOTO 20 - A NEW WORLD (Leaving Norway)

My post this week is not a single family history photograph, but rather a video made up of a selection of photos which we have in our family archive.

(click above for video)

I have already written a couple of posts here on the website about my great-grandparents, Peder Ingebretsen and Elizabeth Douglas, featuring a couple of photos we have of them in our possession.

This video is an attempt to tell Peder's story in greater detail; pulling together photographic resources from our collection and also using other material freely available off the Internet.

For my 50th birthday I was taken by family members on a five-day Norwegian cruise holiday, making my first visit to the beautiful homeland of my ancestor. During this visit I saw first-hand the type of community he would have grown up in; seeing for myself the mountains and fjords, together with the types of towns, villages and farms with which he would have been familiar. I have used some of the photographic and video footage I shot during that visit to illustrate this video.

The video attempts to recount a short version of Peder's story; presenting images of what his life would have been like growing up within his Norwegian homeland, and his subsequent journey to England. 

Working as a mariner on ships which regularly sailed between Great Britain, Europe and the America's during the late 1880's, my great-grandfather found himself in Glasgow, Scotland. It was here that he first met my great-grandmother, Elizabeth Douglas, and her family who resided within the city.

The family eventually moved to Liverpool in England, and the couple were married in the city in 1890 and ended their lives here-- but not before founding the family groups from which myself and some of my cousins are descended.

The soundtrack is the beautiful ballad 'Into The West', as featured in the movie 'Lord of the Rings: Return of the King'. The music was written by Howard Shore with lyrics by Annie Lennox and Fran Walsh. I've always loved this song above all the others which appeared in the film series, and at the time I was putting this video together, I felt that the majority of the lyrics seemed to fit the story I was trying to tell.    


Friday, 13 July 2018


Combining a business trip with family history research, a few years back I made a visit to St. Mary's church in Haughley, Suffolk as I'd discovered that my great-grandfather (x6) had been buried here on 11 December 1785. 

Robert Layte was born in 1708 in Suffolk, England.  

He married his wife of German descent, Sarah Kurtz, in 1732 and seems to have lived in the small village for the majority of his life as most of their children were born in the area.

In total, the couple had at least 11 children-- with our immediate family being descended from their sixth-born child Timothy, who was born in 1742.

Over the years, the surname of the family was altered slightly-- either by choice or by it being transcribed incorrectly. Early iterations of the family name used by the branches who lived within the Suffolk and Norfolk areas, were spelt either Layte or Laight. 

By the time our branch of the family left the East Anglia area to move north to Lincolnshire, and to subsequently end up living in Liverpool-- the spelling of the name had changed once again to become Laite or Lait. 

There is a family legend, so far unsubstantiated, that the name is derived from France, and that the family came into England as part of the Huguenot community of immigrants who fled religious persecution in the late 1600's.

Research into this branch of the family continues, but I won't be taking any bets at the moment that the legend will actually be proved true... even if the word 'lait' stands for 'milk' in French!