AN AMERICAN father and daughter discovered the final resting place of an ancestor while visiting Oakworth.

Kent Sunderland, from Kansas City, America, and his daughter Jenn Mayhew who now lives in London, located the tombstone of Martha Pearson Sunderland at Dockroyd Lane Cemetery. Martha died in 1864.

The graveyard, part of which is covered in thick undergrowth, has recently been bought by retired farmer Andrew Heaton, who plans to tidy up the land and restore it. Some of the work has already begun.

The Sunderlands visited while Mr Heaton's restoration project manager Paul Reynard was working in the graveyard.

Mr Reynard said: "Jenn and her father were on a mission to find where Jenn's relative was buried.

"The headstone was in the thick of 'the jungle', but I was determined to find it. As we checked down the row Jenn’s dad found her.

"It's a reminder that this restoration work is the right thing to do. It’s important we protect our history and heritage."

Mrs Mayhew said: “My family are proud of our English heritage, tracing our roots to Haworth and Hob Cote Farm before emigration to America in 1844.

"We've records of the burial of Martha Pearson Sunderland in Dockroyd Lane Graveyard, but had never been able to find her because of the overgrowth.

"But thanks to Andrew's efforts and Paul’s help, we've now uncovered her burial site.

"The photos and memory of the discovery will be cherished and re-told many times as we continue to share our family’s story with future generations."

More details about the Dockroyd Graveyard restoration project can be found online at