And the search for Purkisses
After planning for over 20 years, Pixie and I were finally able to make our "Genealogy
Trip" to Europe. Of course, the first stop had to be England, where my Purkiss Family
originated. We flew from San Antonio to London's Heathrow Airport on 9 August, leaving
at 4:30 PM and arriving the next morning at about 10:00 AM. After collecting our
baggage and clearing Customs, we took a taxi to the London Marriott Grosvenor Hotel.
Our intention was to perhaps take a brief nap, and then strike out see some of London's
sights. Wrong! The "Jet Lag" hit us like a ton of bricks. It seemed like a shame, but 10
August was a lost day. We stuck around the hotel, mostly in our room. We were hoping
to get a decent night's sleep and start bright and fresh in the morning. Well, we weren't
bright and fresh, but we did head out.
You can see that we had pretty nice digs at the Marriott. Our first stop was at
Buckingham to see if the Queen was in. She apparently was, as her royal guard
was in his red uniform. You probably can't see in this picture, but I don't believe
that he's sporting a "ceremonial" weapon.
Next was the Parliment Building and
Westminster Cathedral. Of course, in that
part of London, Big Ben is visible from most
We took a Thames River cruise, which took us by the London Eye. Pixie
thought I should go on it, but I decided not to take the time. The cruise took us
to Greenwich and the Royal Observatory, where time (GMT) begins. I wanted
a picture of me straddling the Prime Meridian, but several hundred other
people had the same idea.
We were hungry by then so we stopped off at the King's Arms in Greenwich for
an ale and some supper. We then took the cruise boat back, stopping off at the
infamous (off with her head) Tower of London.
The next day we picked up a Rental Car and headed to the Avon River. First we
stopped at Warwick Castle and then went to Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of
Shakesphere. Thankfully, we had a GPS or we would have never make it.
That evening we met Mark and Annie for dinner (and an ale) at the
Brampton Halt Inn near Northampton. The next morning, we headed out to
the New Forest and the Purkiss Stone (aka Rufus Stone). We had lunch at
the Sir Walter Terrell Inn before heading to Colchester. For a full
explanation of the Rufus Stone and Walter Terrell, I suggest you visit
Colchester is about 65 miles East Northeast of London, in Essex County. This is the area where all my Purkiss
ancestors have been found.
Click on the "England-2" button above to read about our exploits in the Colchester area.