I had to go over to Louth yesterday to buy bread from the market. Once the bread shopping was done I drove back over the hills, stopping off from time to time to walk a bit and to take photographs.
One of the stops I made was at Ludford, as I knew there was a dilapidated old stone and brick farm there that I wanted to capture. I also visited the Parish Church of St Mary and St Peter in the centre of the village. The church itself was locked, but I was quite content to explore the churchyard and look at the headstones and the stonework of the building.
The church has an open bell tower so the bell itself can be seen, although it was difficult to get a good shot of it because of the surrounding trees.
What really caught my attention, however, were the old headstones that had been removed from the ground and propped up against the wall of a cottage which adjoins the churchyard. I spent some time reading the engravings, and was fascinated to find that the name of one lady was Azubah. This was a name I had never heard before, and I initially thought that she was maybe foreign. I found her daughter’s headstone there too (Lettitia), and was able to establish that Azubah’s husband had been called James Wilson. So the seeds of interest were sown. Later on, back at my desk I googled some of these names, and the internet came up trumps as usual. I was then able to draw together a small image of Azubah and her family.
This lady was born Azubah Twigg in 1805 in Ludford, Lincolnshire. Isn’t that a marvellous name? She married James Wilson from nearby Binbrook in 1827, becoming Azubah Wilson. They lived all their lives together in Ludford, and had 11 children. None of the children inherited her unusual name though. They were all given very traditional English names. A number of the couple’s offspring died either as children or as teenagers, although I don’t know from what or exactly how many died. Azubah also outlived her first child, daughter Lettitia Wilson, who never married. Lettitia Wilson died in 1891 aged 64 and her headstone is also in my photograph. Oddly, both Azubah and her husband James lived to be 90 and 87 respectively. James died in 1887 and Azubah died in 1895. They must have been extremely hardy individuals to have endured their tough life and the huge heartbreak of losing some of their children – unimaginable in this modern age of ours.
I now realise thanks to a Flickr friend that Azubah is a very old Hebrew name from the Old Testament of the bible, which means “forsaken” in Hebrew. In the Old Testament Azubah is the name of Caleb’s wife.
Churchyards really do provide a fascinating insight into the past history of families and villages. Next time I’m over there I will look for the headstones of the rest of Azubah’s children. I also want to know why the headstones have been removed and what the future plan is for them. Finally, I have never known anyone named Azubah – it is indeed a rare and beautiful old name. I should be interested to learn if anyone else has come across it anywhere.