Ludham’s links with George Washington are celebrated with US visit

Richard Weaver signs the visitors book at St Catherine's Church in Ludham.
Picture: Nigel Pope

Richard Weaver signs the visitors book at St Catherine's Church in Ludham. Picture: Nigel Pope


Richard Weaver, President of the National Society of the Washington Family Descendants, has travelled from Washington DC in America to present a plaque to St Catherine’s Church in Ludham.

The society wanted to commemorate St Catherine’s direct ancestral link to the first US president George Washington.

The rector of the Waterside group, Rev Deborah Hamilton- Grey, accepted the plaque on behalf of St Catherine’s.

The plaque will be displayed in the church.

Mr Weaver signed the visitors book and was keen to look around the church; looking particularly at the older areas like the font which would have been the one in which George Washington’s ancestors were baptised.

The visit came about because in September St Catherine’s churchwarden, Alex Cordiner was contacted by Mr Weaver who was researching his family history.

His ancestor, Thomas Sotherton, was baptized in St Catherine’s in 1530; this ancestor was also an ancestor of the George Washington.

Fortunately Ludham has a very active local archive group and one of the group’s members, Christina Pope, investigated Thomas Sotherton’s family tree and not only discovered Ludham’s connection to George Washington but also to our Royal Family.

She identified an ancestor of the first US President with a direct connection with St Catherine’s.

This is Lady Elizabeth of Ludham, who was born in 1478 in Ludham.

She married Sir Thomas Herman de Sotherton in 1499 at St Catherine’s and through their son Nicholas, she became the seven times great grandmother of George Washington.

Interestingly, Lady Elizabeth had another famous descendant.

She is the thirteen times great grandmother of the Queen. If this was not enough, she was also related by marriage to Sir Winston Churchill and Diana Princess of Wales.

The society is hoping to create a guide to Washington ancestral churches for family members and others to follow and St Catherine’s looks forward to welcoming visitors from the US and this country as they follow the trail.

The vicar of Wroxham Rev Liz Jump was also presented with a plaque for her church.

Other News

26 minutes ago

A Norfolk hospital which recognises that good food is essential as part of the treatment it offers has revamped its restaurant. The James Paget’s Aubergine Restaurant has been offically opened by a Michelin-starred chef who gave the canteen his seal of approval.

51 minutes ago

Two cases of a mystery illness that can kill dogs walked in woodland have been reported to a Norfolk vets after a break of several years.

A Great Yarmouth couple were involved in making fraudulent benefit claims amounting to £19,000 using a false tenancy agreement to pretend they were not in a relationship, a court heard.


A man has shared his account of how he leapt into action to free a workman buried by bricks after a wall collapsed in Cobholm.

Most Read

Mon, 15:30

Emergency services rushed to the scene of an industrial accident where a wall fell onto a man in the Cobholm area of Great Yarmouth.

Read more
Mon, 15:45

Flowers and emotional tributes have been left by the river in Bure Park by family and friends of Tony Green.

Read more
Monday, August 6, 2018

Searches are taking place for a 12-year-old boy who has gone missing from home.

Read more
Trafalgar College
Mon, 17:12

Dozens of people turned out to pay their respects to an “amazing” man who did so much to help others.

Read more
Great Yarmouth
Mon, 17:08

A former medical centre in Great Yarmouth could become the regional headquarters of a ‘luxury’ tobacco and whisky seller.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 23°C

min temp: 14°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the Great
Yarmouth Mercury

e-edition today


Newsletter Sign Up

Great Yarmouth Mercury weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy