On Covid And the 1400 And 1500s Nickson

It seems to be a very common story lately. After two years of manging to avoid Covid, it caught up with me. My partner tested positive on a Saturday, and a day later it was my turn. It was thankfully mild, a runny nose here and there, occasional coughs and sneezes. In the early days of the pandemic I’d felt that catching it was a death sentence. And it was for so, so many. Now, thanks mostly to the remarkable vaccines, it ended us a little more than an annoyance to us. I know many are still dying every day, and I’m not trying to make light of it, at all. We were lucky, and there but for the grace of God…

It’s meant rescheduling events, but that’s minor. The first is now next week in Wetherby, with others to follow.

We’re back, fighting fit, and I’m making up for lost time on the allotment. Curiously, having had it and escaped so lightly, I feel liberated. I don’t have to be scared now (although I can get it again, of course; I know several who have). On Monday I took the bus for the first time in two years, for instance. My own fears, yes, and I had the luxury of not needing to take the bus, but even so…

With all that’s happen in Ukraine, everything else seems frivolous. But we all need to escape, and I’ve managed to delve further back on my family tree, to the mid-1400s, which pulls it two generation further back into history. One of them, William Nykson, was a freeman of York, a corn merchant.

A freeman of York
He also appears on the muster roll (third name down in he lonest block on the right-hand page)

I’ve also discovered a couple of Nicksons from Wilberfoss, about eight miles from York, in the mid-1400s, and another Nykson who became a freeman of York in 1419-20. He was a mason. However, there’s nothing to tie them directly to the line.

It did all make me realise something, though. The Nicksons (in their spelling variants) pop up in York, then one of them goes to Westow sometime in the 1500s, which isn’t far away, and the family stays there until the 1820s, when Isaac Nickson moves his family to Leeds. Again, it’s not a huge distance. We’ve never exactly been a family given to shofting around the globe. My 30 years in the US looked to be the exception. And even then I came back. Maybe the return was in my genes…all I know is that Leeds feels right,m and maybe I’m doing something right by my hometown. A new review of The Blood Covenant says it “reveals the way power and wealth can corrupt and pervert decency and justice, a message that is as relevant today as it was two hundred years ago.”