Hello to everyone who has been searching for the answer to the mystery of Matthew Strickland of England! My name is Chris Strickland. I am a native of the state of Georgia and a descendant of the line of Solomon and Amy Pace Strickland. I am from the Meriwether County branch of the family. I have proved my line with documented evidence all the way back to Matthew Strickland Jr. originally of Isle of Wight County,VA. I have some copies of papers dealing with Matthew Sr. his father (who is reputedly) the original male ancestor to cross the ocean from England. Well...I now actually reside in Essex, England with my wife and two sons and have attempted to shed some light on where the confusion has come about. I may have some answers for you all, but I am afraid that they are going to upset a few people and confuse the hell out of the rest of you. Sorry but it needs to be cleared up. There is a lot of bad info out there and a lot of people have gone around making things up and I am really afraid that some of you are chasing ghosts and barking up the wrong tree entirely! Is there one Matthew or two or three!!?? Oh dear. This nonsense has really gone on for too long! I have not been able to solve all the mysteries either, due to my family reponsibilities requiring so much of my time...but I have some updated information. There are, in fact, actually 5 (FIVE) different Strickland families from England that I have uncovered. One is from Gloucestershire, another is from Cambridgeshire(possible distant relatives), a third is from Dorset, and TWO are from Morland (formerly the ancient county of Westmoreland)now called CUMBRIA.
To begin with, the original wellspring of the whole ancestral line before any Strickland was called "Strickland" the family was rewarded for their brave service to King William (aka Duke William of Normandy)in the conquering of England and were awarded lands in several parts of England. Our particular ancestor had his stronghold and lands seated at or near the village of Castle Carrock in the far northwest of England in the district of Carlisle. At that time, the family name was the Norman name of de Vaux(de Vallibus in Latin) which later was changed to de Castlecarrock named for their stronghold. (incidentally the remains of the castle earthworks are now underwater in a reservoir) One of the grandsons of Adam de Castlecarrock met and married an heiress named Christian (or Christiana)de Letham (or Letenham, Ledingham, etc.) who inherited and held lands further south near Stirkland Magna and Stirkland Parva(Great and Little Stirkland). They left the north and moved to these lands and resided in the manor of Great Strickland at a hall there. This was in the ancient parish of Morland. The grandson, Walter, changed his surname to de Stirklande and they became local benefactors of the churches at Morland(the church dates back to the 11th century before the Normans conquered England)and Crosby Ravensworth, and lords of the manor. The Stricklands held land and title there for over 200 years. Over time,the family from Morland split into three separate branches. One went north and settled in the Scottish borders nearby Carlisle, not far from the other Stricklands which had stayed near Castlecarrock and Gilsland; another settled to the west between Morland and Penrith in the Eden Valley, and another went south to Kendal. The one that went south to Kendal split into three branches(at least). One went to live at Sizergh Castle, one went to the Lyth and Winster valleys. The other went west towards Whitehaven. ANOTHER offshoot branch seperated from the Sizergh Stricklands and moved to Yorkshire. This was the Boykin-Strickland family. Sizergh Castle is adjacent to the Lyth valley in the south lakes district. The villages and settlements of Hubbersty Head, Crook, Underbarrow, Crosthwaite, Lyth, Winster, Cartmel Fell, Bowland Bridge, Witherslack, Helsington, The Howe, and Brigsteer are within this area. Stricklands lived in several of theses villages and also held land in the nearby villages of Levens (Ninesergh Hall),Strickland Ketel and Stavely. At that time there were small chapels like the one at Crosthwaite(St, Marys) but the mother church was in Heversham, and that is where most of the local Christian people travelled to attend special services,christenings, marriages and funerals.Even after ceremonial rites were awarded to the Chapel of St Mary the records were actually stored at the mother church. Okay now comes the bad part. The majority of records for the parish were destroyed in a big fire at Heversham church caused by a careless workman in about 1660. So baptisms, marriages, and deaths that had been recorded were lost. A span of about 40-50 years worth of records was destroyed in the fire. The time frame neede to identify Matthews parentage once and for all are lost, in effect. I have visited the archives in London and in Kendal. I have contacted local history groups in Kendal, Crosthwaite and Lyth, and Great Strickland. When and if I find any definite leads I will come back onto this forum and post them. If anyone out there has documented proof of any connection to England, please speak up! Ship and transport records are not kept as far back as the 1600s here in England. The only way we know what ship the Stricklands embarked upon and when they sailed to the colonies is due to passenger and cargo lists verified at the destination. Feel free to respond to this message or lternatively anyone interested may email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Good luck putting the pieces together and if you are ever in England look me up.
Your Strickland cousin,
Christopher A. Strickland