Cheltenham is a spa town in north Gloucestershire, to which our 2xgreat grandfather moved in the early 1860s. He lived away from the fashionable area, on the north-western outskirts of the town in the district known as Alstone, which was a centre of farming and market gardening. At this time the population of Alstone was growing rapidly enough for a church to be built to serve it, and the parish church of St Mark’s (one of five in Cheltenham designed by John Middleton) was opened there in the early 1860s: previously St Mary’s in the centre of Cheltenham served the area. Over the years our family drifted away from Alstone and lived in various parts of the town, in particular Leckhampton to the south.
Being one of the main centres in the area Cheltenham attracted many incomers, and we have come across nineteenth century records of Pitmans in the town who seem to be unrelated to either our family or the other Pitman families we have been researching.