Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ancestry.com - a plethora of leaves

I've been using Ancestry.com since it was a free site. Family trees for each of my grandparents are stored there on the public free section.
On a fairly regular basis I have been getting the leafy hints in my e-mail but could not attach the sources. Any research I've done at the site has been at the Franklin FHC, our local library, or through a couple of very kind, generous friends.
My husband recently surprised me with a subscription to Ancestry and I have been plowing my way through all the leaves attached to my ancestors. It will probably take months to get that all sorted out.
Major find - a descendant of my great great grandfather's sister Jane Fowler Lindsay. I'd about given up on ever finding her, or her daughter. It turns out she got married briefly, then moved to Australia and died a few weeks later. Her daughter was wooed over to Australia. It took her besotted intended two years or so to get her there :)
Once I knew what Jane's married name was it was fairly simple to find records for her at Scotlands People and some of her descendants through the Australian Electoral Rolls.
So some family names on my old calligraphy main line tree have now gloriously come to life and I finally feel at peace. I hope my newly found cousins and I can keep in contact.
Biggest surprise - most of my ancestors are not being researched by other Ancestry subscribers. A few of my "twiggy" cousins have worked hard at their research and I am impressed with their efforts. I won't be putting my BMD images or sources on my trees (which now includes one for my uncle's father). The BMD sources will remain at my web site or people can contact me for the info. I have not made up my mind about photographs yet.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Georgia Family History Expo Nov 11-12, 2011

From my e-mail in box.

We are excited to invite you to the second annual Georgia Family History Expo to be held again in the Gwinnett Center, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth, Georgia, on November 11 and November 12, 2011.
Registration begins at 1:00 p.m., and the keynote address will begin at 2:00 p.m. This gives you plenty of time to check out exhibits before the program begins.

The exhibit hall is one of the best parts of the expo. Be sure to tell your friends and those curious about the expo but not committed to classes that the hall is open and free to the public. There will be excellent displays available for browsing in the exhibit hall.

Family History Expos’ Bloggers of Honor will be tweeting and blogging about the expo. You can follow the buzz by going to @FHExpos and searching on #fhexpo.
The opening keynote speaker will be M. Bridget Cook, who will speak on “Taking the Tiger by the Tail: Tackling Your Personal History with Creativity, Enthusiasm, Integrity, and Skill.” Bridget will share inspiring stories of human nature and teach attendees how to write their own lasting legacy.
The closing keynote speaker will be Holly T. Hansen, president of Family History Expos, Inc. Through Family History Expos, Holly has helped thousands understand techniques and technology that they can use to trace their roots in today's ever-changing technological environment.
Over 50 classes will be available and will cover a range of topics such as research tips, online resources, helps for writing personal histories, recent updates in FamilySearch (shared by staff from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah), and much more. You can review the class schedule at www.fhexpos.com/expos/
Exhibitors from throughout the U.S. will teach about the latest products and services available in the industry. Representatives from various genealogical societies will also be on site.
There is no cost for attending the keynote addresses, visiting the exhibit hall, or attending the three free classes on Saturday morning for family history consultants, stake directors and assistants, and priesthood leaders.
General questions relating to the expo should be directed to:
Family History Expos.com
P.O. Box 187
Morgan, UT 84050

E-mail: Expo@FHExpos.com
Phone: 1-801-829-3295
Web: http://www.fhexpos.com/expos/

Monday, August 8, 2011

Beginners Tip - when in doubt - Travel

More often than not when you are doing Scottish research people disappear. If this happens with your relatives think ...... travel..... i.e. check other countries. A large # of Scots have emigrated either by force or by choice, through military deployment or other work.
In some instances my relatives were traveling on business or vacation and important events happened so the BMD records are in other countries.

I've spent the past two weeks doing some extensive internet "travel" in various parts of Canada, USA, and India as I researched family members related to my great-uncle and one of my cousins. (I'm on a major dry spell with my family so I am "puttering" around with other family members info.)

Orkney is the main study area for my great-uncle's family but for a long time I could not find his uncle. I happened across a query on the internet about the same person and lo and behold he had emigrated to New Jersey and had  his family there. Then I ran across two of his brothers and their families in Nova Scotia ! The recorded "uncle" in NS is definitely NOT their "uncle" but as yet I have not worked out how they are related.

On my cousin's maternal line a lot of the research is in India military records, about the time Queen Victoria became Empress. Some of the family eventually moved to the same town I grew up in but I did not know that till about a couple of years ago. Small world.

Tip - At ScotlandsPeople there is a section called Minor Records, which is a useful area to look in if you have "lost" a relative. It provides some (but not all) records for Air Register, Consular Returns, Foreign Register, Foreign Returns, High Commission Returns, Marine etc. Returns, Marine Register, Marine Return, NRH, Other Returns, and Service Returns.

What internet resources did I use?

I looked at some sites and books related to military history in India. Newspaper articles and local county sites for Nova Scotia (specifically Pictou County.)
For my home town I accessed the annual indexes for the local newspaper and found marriages and descendants. I also found a photograph on line for a family tombstone.
So by looking overseas I found siblings and their families, BMD's, christenings & burials, professions, immigration, census records, military records, newspaper articles, parents, and learned more about the history of the relevant time periods.

So travel on people and have fun exploring other countries and their resources.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Research Help - The Long, Long Trail

The Long, Long Trail - The British Army in the Great War was an invaluable tool as I tried to do some background research on my grandfather's WWI POW experiences http://www.1914-1918.net/

Recruitment Timeline
1914 - call issued for volunteers to join the army
May 1915 - upper age limit raised to 40
15 July 1915 - National Registration Act - men between the ages of 15 and 65 to find out what their occupations were
11 October 1915 - Derby Scheme - voluntary enlistment/semi conscripted, war pension introduced.
27 January 1916 - Military Service Act - All British males between the ages of 19 to 40 (on August 1915), unmarried or widower (on 2 November 1915) were conscripted. This came into force on 2 March 1916. Most males were conscripted to the army unless they expressed a preference for the navy.
1 September 1916 - Training Reserves formed.
25 May 1916 - Military Service Act extended to include married men
10 April 1918 - extension of Military Service Act, age of conscription lowered to 18.

The site has so much information in it that it's probably better to dip into it at a leisurely, timed pace than try to look at it all at once. You will find general information about WWI, the army and more specific information about army units, battles, maps, finding service records - to name but a few. It helps that the site is split into three main parts - Soldiers, The British Army and The Great War. Thanks to Chris Baker for giving us this wonderful resource.

My grandfather was in the Royal Naval Division which later became the 63rd RND. He was in the 189th Brigade. While the RND was originally under the command of the admiralty it transferred to the army in 1916 and I was able to find useful information at the site.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Scottish National War Memorial

Gorgeous building but some of the tourists need to be a bit more respectful and show more reverence. There's no photography allowed inside but people still tried while we were there, and I found that upsetting.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The year was - 1898

Since I am doing some research about my grandfather, John Wilson Hall, I thought I would take a look at the year of his birth - 1898. My grandfather was the second of six siblings, all of whom were born at the Schoolhouse, Drymen, Stirlingshire. His father John, was the schoolmaster and local registrar.

This photograph from my grandfather's WWI personal book shows his 4 sisters. Surprisingly there was no photograph of his parents or his brother. (Maybe they got separated since the pages are loose.)

Other family births in 1898 were few i.e. James McGeachie McEwan (brother-in-law of JWH) and Frances S. Hall (1st. cousin to JWH) and so far I have no deaths.

World Events
Royal Army Medical Corps formed within the British Army
Henry Lindfield - first fatality in a car accident on a public motorway.
Spanish-American War
First official game reserve established - Sabi Game Reserve in South Africa
First Italian Football League games played
Joshua Slocum completes a 3 year solo circumnavigation of the world
Pepsi-Cola given it's name
Marie & Pierre Curie announce discovery of radium
meat slicer invented by Wilhelm van Berkel
Will Kellog invents corn flakes
Klondike Gold Rush
Neon, Krypton and Xenon discovered

Some famous births
Alvar Aalto - Finnish architect
Dorothy Gish - actress
Golda Meir - PM of Israel
Norman Vincent Peale - minister
Henry Moore - sculptor
Peggy Guggenheim - art collector
George Gershwin - composer

Some famous deaths
Lewis Carroll - British writer
Charles Pelham Villiers - longest serving MP in British House of Commons
Aubrey Beardlesy - artist
Gustave Moreau - artist
William Gladstone - British PM
Otto von Bismarck - German statesman
Wilford Woodruff - 4th President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

I have almost finished the first proof of grandpa's WWI POW memories. There's a few areas I would love to know more about but info "out there" is somewhat slim. My grandfather also wrote about a memorial visit the British Legion made to Europe so maybe I might find some information in there on my next trip to Scotland. (We did not have time to scan/copy all of that story.)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Family Obituary - William Seybourne Bailey

Death of Hong Kong Shipbuilder. (Singapore Free Press. 8 January 1936. Page 12)

Mr. W.S. Bailey's Forty Years of Residence

The death of Mr. William Seybourne Bailey, managing director of W.S. Bailey and Co., Ltd., Kowloon Bay, took place at the War Memorial Hospital, Hong Kong, on Dec. 27 after a short illness, at the age of 76 years.
A resident of the Colony for the past 40 years, the late Mr. Bailey was one of the best liked and most highly respected business men in the Colony, having earned the affection both of friends and the staff of the firm which he so successfully established and managed.
Born in Ireland, the late Mr. Bailey was formerly connected with the Australian coasting trade and with the China coast, before going to Hong Kong. The firm of W.S. Bailey and Co. was formerly Messrs. Bailey and Murphy before the deceased took over the sole interest.
For many years the firm has had a high standing as shipbuilders and repairers, specialising in smaller craft, which were regarded a s models of good workmanship.
Mr. Bailey was also the builder of several river gunboats from the Canton Government.
Mr. Bailey was a keen sportsman, and his speciality was boxing. He figured, as a young man, in many a hard-fought contest and was at one time light-weight champion of the Colony. Long after he had retired from the ring Mr. Bailey, as referee and general patron of the sport, was still one of the leading figures in Hong Kong boxing.
Mr. Bailey was also a keen swimmer and a fine long-distance runner. Until a few years ago, all through the summer he would swim his three or four lengths at the Victoria Recreation Club, and then off for a run, to keep himself fit.
Mr. Bailey enjoyed extraordinary good health until about three years ago but, while in England, he had rather a serious illness. Though from then onward he had to take things more easily than had been his custom, he still kept hard at work and in fair health. He was only in hospital for four days, and his passing was unexpected.
Mr. Bailey was a life member of the Institute of Engineers and Shipbuilders; past president of the Kowloon Resident's Association; a member of the Hong Kong Boxing Association and of the Hong Kong Club.
He was formerly a member of the Kowloon Bowling Green Club and was also a keen and generous supporter of St. Andrew's Church.
Mr. Bailey is survived by a widow and four young children, two of whom are in Hong Kong and two at school in Australia having left here only a few weeks ago.


Jurors Lists for William Seybourne Bailey
1899 Merchant. Bailey's Engineering Agency. 17 Praya Central.
1900 Merchant. Bailey's Engineering Agency. 17 Praya Central.
1901 17 Praya Central, Hong Kong, China
1902 Merchant. Bailey's Engineering Agency. Hong Kong Hotel
1903 Merchant. Bailey's Engineering Agency. Hong Kong Hotel
1904 17 Praya Central, Hong Kong
1905 Merchant. Bailey's Engineering Agency. W.S. Bailey & Co. Hok-un
1906 Bailey's Engineering Agency. (does not show address)
1907 Bailey & Co Hong Kong Hotel
1908 Engineer. Bailey & Co., 20 Connaught Road.
1909 Engineer. Bailey & Co. Highlands, Kowloon
1910 Bailey & Co, Highlands, Kowloon


Postcard of the Hong Kong Club Building c. 1905.
"Twentieth Century Impressions of Hong Kong, Shanghai, etc." by Arnold Wright vol 1. page 242 has a good description of the company W.S. Bailey & Co.
Here's a few details
Founded - 1897 by W.S. Bailey
Partnership - 1900 with Mr. E.O. Murphy
First order - 50 foot steam launch "Ida"for the Hong Kong Steam Laundry Company
1905 - upwards of 2,500 men employed in the yard
Some other ships built - Kwong Chow, Kwong Tung, Loong Sheung.
Customers included Messrs. Markwald & Co., the Imperial Chinese Navy, Standard Oil Co. of New York, Manila Govt.,
Non ship related - metal work for Kowloon-Canton Railway Terminal Station (1914)

"The senior partner, Mr. Bailey, was born in Dublin and served his apprenticeship as an engineer with the Australian Steam Navigation Company, of Sydney, N.S.W. He came to Hong Kong in 1890 and joined the Hongkong, Canton and Macao Steamboat Company Ltd., in whose steamers Honan and Heungshan he served until he started in business for himself. Mr. Bailey is a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, London."
At the time the entry was written his partner Mr. Murphy was vice-president of the Institute of Marine Engineers, London.

St. Andrews Church c. 1906 shortly after it was built.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Family Obituary - William Field

William Field, longtime Valley resident http://gazettenet.com

South Hadley - William F. Field, 89, formerly of Amherst, passed way on Sunday, May 22, 2011.
He was born in Los Angeles, Calif., the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. William Field. He was schooled in Philadelphia and held degrees from Westchester University, Temple University and the University of Maryland. He held an honorary degree from the University of Massachusetts.
He was employed at the University of Massachusetts, first as a teacher and later as Dean of Students, a position he held until he retired in 1988. He served for many years as Moderator of the Amherst Town Meeting. He enjoyed wood working, and designed and built parts of his home and much of the furniture it contained. His principal pleasures involved his home, his family and his dogs.
He was married in 1949 to the former Helen P. Long, who survives him. He is survived also by a son, Jonathan A. Field of Ft. Scott, Kan.; daughters, Nancy A. Field and her husband James Becker of Windsor, Conn., and Margaret J. Light and her husband Richard of Pelham; and grandsons, Tim, Alex and Jake Light of Pelham.
It was his wish that no funeral or memorial services be held. His family will gather at a later date to celebrate his life. It was his wish also that those who wish to remember him do so in the form of kindnesses to others. Obituary and Memorial Register at www.douglassfuneral.com

This is one of those "related through marriage" i.e. his wife Helen is my cousin. Her grandfather and my great-grandfather were brothers. We had a good phone conversation a few summers ago about Hall cousins we both knew.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Family Obituary - Jessie Joyce Lee

Sometimes it can take a while for an obituary/tribute to pop up on-line. Even though I have been typing in my cousin's name every few months it only showed up (for me) yesterday at www.tributes.com

Jessie Joyce Lee
Born: December 10, 1922
Died: August 23, 2009
Residence : Concord, CA

Joyce Lee a 56 year Bay Area resident, passed away peacefully in her sleep on Sunday August 23, 2009. Joyce was born in Australia and moved to San Francisco in 1953. Over the years she had a full and happy life, had many friends, and was always ready to lend a helping hand. Beloved wife of the late Robert Lee; loving mother of Michael Lee; grandmother of David, Corinne and fiance Ryan, and Jason Lee; daughter of the late David and Nora McEwan; cousin of Shiela Oconnor of Michigan, dear friend of Theresa Greco and her beloved dog Poopsie.
Friends may visit Wednesday August 26 from 9am at Duggen's Serra Mortuary, 500 Westlake Ave, Daly City and are invited to attend the Funeral Mass at 11am at St.Bruno Church, 555 San Bruno Ave, San Bruno. Committal to follow at Holy Cross Cemetery, Colma. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the San Francisco S.P.C.A.

I had been in contact with her grandson a few years ago, but that fell apart when I mislaid his e-mail and the paperwork I had printed out. This is one of those moments when I feel really inefficient with regards to family paperwork and contacting. My grandmother (aunt to Joyce) would probably roll in her grave :(

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Fireman's Memorial - London

In a previous posting I said I would try and stop at the Fireman's Memorial when I went to London. It's across the street from St. Pauls Cathedral.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Looked what family name popped up on our recent vacation

We were walking down some side streets in London with my brother and he showed us this one :)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

"Walking" in the footsteps of a POW

I've enjoyed reading my grandfather's POW story in a bit more depth and am looking forward to putting his whole story together. I hope I can find out more about the places he stayed and the people he knew.

Here's a brief timeline of events.
Sunday, December 30th 1917
early morning taken prisoner near La Vacquerie (Cambrai)
taken from the front line to the reserve line then to the collecting stations (cages)
About mid-day escorted by military
5.00 p.m. stopped to eat (first meal as prisoners)
9.00 p.m. arrived at Caudry - had dinner
Continued on to Le Cateau.

January 3rd. 1918
left by train for Le Quesnoy -  a disinfecting and distributing station.

January 6th 1918
left in cattle trucks for Dulmen, Westphalia (passed through Belgium)

January 9th 1918
walked two miles from the train station to Dulmen Lager POW camp.

February 11th 1918
Left Dulmen for Kommando 40 in Lunen
Remained here till after the armistice and "worked"in the coal mine.

Saturday November 23rd. 1918
Marched to Munster Camp from Lunen

Monday November 25th 1918
walked to wayside station then took train to Enchede

Friday November 29th 1918
train from Enschede to Rotterdam via Utrecht. Marched to the docks.

Saturday November 30th 1918
boarded SS Londonderry and sailed down river. Anchored overnight.

Sunday December 1st 1918
Crossed the North Sea and anchored off the Cromer Light.

Monday December 2nd. 1918
Sailed up the Humber to Hull, (received a huge welcome home greeting), ate and left by train for Ripon.

Wednesday 4th December 1918
train from Ripon to Glasgow and home.
(some of the regular soldiers had not seen home for 10 years.)

10 US military were amongst the POW's taken with my grandfather to Le Cateau. He mentions their photograph being taken, probably for German propaganda purposes.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Year Was -1837

Janet Anton - great granddaughter of Frances Pierre/Pirie (mentioned in my The Year Was - 1745 posting),  was born in the first year of the lengthy reign of Queen Victoria. The Anton family were members of the United Association Congregation of Lochee. For a while her parents were "keepers of orphans" though by profession her father's was a stone quarrier. Janet was known as Jessie and grew up in Backmuir of Liff, near Dundee. After she married William Colville, she spent most of her life living at 1 Fords Lane just off Perth Road in Dundee.
Dundee is famous for it's jute industry which became a major employer of workers from the 1830's. None of "my" Antons were employed in this industry and only one spouse of Jessie's siblings was. Dundee's population exploded from 4,135 in 1831 to 55,338 in 1841. My Anton parents/siblings/spouses were Quarriers, Guardian of children, Lodging House Keeper, Farmer, Baker, Master Draper/Tailor, Factory Overseer, Confectioner, Grocer & Spirit Dealer (William Colville), and Gardener.
Jessie had 4 older siblings - William, Margaret, Isabella and Susan and 1 younger sibling, Agnes. Her father was originally from Perthshire and after marrying her mother in Blairgowrie in 1828, they lived in Auchterhouse till about 1835. Backmuir of Liff is just a few miles south of Auchterhouse.

Watercolor painting of Queen Victoria by Alfred Edward Chalon.

Sir Robert Peele installed as Lord Rector of Glasgow University
Buckingham Palace becomes the official royal residence
Pigot & Co's "National Commercial Directory for the Whole of Scotland and the Isle of Man" is published.
Civil registration of births, marriages and deaths begins in England and Wales.
Construction starts on Marischol College, Aberdeen University
Duncombe's Uprising - Ontario
Patriots Rebellion - Lower Canada
The Panic of 1837 - America
Samuel Morse patents the telegraph
William Crompton patents the silk power loom
Galilee earthquake
SmallPox epidemic - Great Plains
Flu epidemic

Some famous births
William Allan - Scottish Engineer and poet
John Thomson - Photographer
James Augustus Henry Murray - creator of the Oxford Dictionary
Mrs. Amanda Smith - missionary
William Harkness - astronomer
Ivan Kramskoy - artist
Robert Henry Elliot - farmer and originator of organic gardening

Some famous deaths
William IV - King of Britain
John Constable - artist
David Prentice - Founder of the Glasgow Chronicle
Francois Fabre - French artist/printmaker
Samuel Wesley - musician
John Field - musician
Robert Nicoll - poet

Friday, June 3, 2011

Greetings from Bonnie Scotland

I was planning on doing some genealogy research and visit New Register House while here in Scotland. Well I've been doing some research but not quite in the way I was planning.
I transcribed my grandfather's WWI Prisoner-of-War memoir and had my brother scan a number of photographs, drawings and other items for me. Now I have the basis for some research that I can hopefully put together into a short book to give back to my family and the historical society in the town my grandfather grew up in.
We had the opportunity to go to Edinburgh yesterday and we chose to go to the castle, amongst some other places. The military exhibitions scattered round the castle are quite fascinating and in some instances, quite overwhelming. We started out at the Scottish Military History area, which I highly recommend. It appears to be one of the 'quieter' areas of the castle but definately prepares visitors well for the rest of the tour.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Year Was - 1745

Scotland was in a wee bit of an upheaval in 1745. Bonnie Prince Charlie had arrived to lay claim to the throne and the Jacobite Rising started. My ancestor Frances Pierre (or Pirie) arrived into the world during all of this tumult through Scotland and much of England.  I wonder if the Pirie family were pro or anti Charles?
The family lived in Newtyle Parish, a few miles north of Dundee, and had done so for many a year. Dundee itself, was heavily garrisoned by the Jacobites in late October of 1745.
Eventually the Pirie family moved to Dundee by way of Lundie, Auchterhouse, Backmuir and Liff .
This is one of my families that spelled their surname in a variety of ways, even amongst the siblings e.g. Pourie, Pierry, Pierre, Pyrie, Piery, Perry, and Pirie. The surname, seemingly, is of early medieval English origin and means "someone who owned or lived near a pear tree." Somewhere I also have information that the name originated in France.

I wish I could say I know lots about Frances, but I don't and I only know little bits about the straight line family I am descended from until it gets to my great great grandparents generation :)

Some other events
"God Save The King" sung for the first time in public.
Jacobite Rising which led to the Disarming Act of 1746 that prohibited the wearing of the kilt and the playing of bagpipes (till 1782).
Court of Session Act, Scotland
Highland Peasant Uprising
Jacques Duval performs first cataract surgery, France
Cattle plague - Gloucestershire
Battle of Prestonpans
First recorded ladies cricket match takes place near Guilford, Surrey
Skirmish of Clifton Moor (last land battle on English soil)
Treaty of Dresden
1st Carillon Bells in America shipped to Boston from England
Yoshimune Tokugausa - shogun of Japan resigns
Battle of Fontenoy
Schonbrunn Palace chapel is concecrated

Some famous births
Henry James Pye - poet
Johan Peter Frank - Entomologist and physician

Some famous deaths
Robert Walpole - first PM of Britain
Tomass Antonio Vitali - violinist and composer
Jonathan Swift - writer

We are about half way through our trip to Scotland. Even with the funky weather we have managed to get about a bit and enjoyed seeing lots of historical sites. Tomorrow we are planning on going back to Glasgow to visit Kelvinside. Hopefully this time round we won't get caught in any type of weather that cancelled all trains last week (we got 'home' on a bus).
So it appears that Scottish regional libraries are none too happy that they are not being given copies of the new 1911 census records. It has the potential to make it somewhat inconvenient for those people visiting, or living in, very specific areas if they do not have access on-line to ScotlandsPeople or physically to Edinburgh. I for one, did a huge amount of research at Stirling Cental Library the last few times I visited.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Year Was - 1687

I have one uncle and occasionaly I do research on his family. One of his lines is the Gatherum family from Fife, which has a goodly number of people researching them. Janet Morgan married John Gatherum. Her grandfather was John Auchterlonie who was born 29 January 1687 in Ceres, Fife.

Auchterlonie is an unusual surname, and Othirlonay in Forfar is credited with being the geographical origin of the name. A variation of the name was first recorded in the early 13th century - 1226 John de Othirlony - "Land Charters of Forfar." Lonie is the more common modern version of the surname.

Census records
1841 - 22
1851 - 86
1861 - 104
1871 - 135
1881 - 189
1891 - 272
1901 - 304
1911 - 261

Births 1855-2009 = 907
marriages 1855-2009 = 317
deaths 1855-2009 = 823
OPR's births & christening 1538-1854 = 207
OPR's banns & marriages 1538-1854 = 139
OPR's death & burials 1538-1854 = 83
Catholic births & baptisms 1703-1992 = 2
wills & testaments 1513-1901 = 30

The village of Ceres is not far from where I was born and is currently home to The Fife Folk Museum. The men of the village were involved in the Battle of Bannockburn (1314). The village itself was built some time in the 12th century and was built round a village green (which was a rarity in Scotland).

Some world events
The Sedan Chair is introduced as public "for hire"in Edinburgh.
Scottish Declaration of Toleration (The Declaration of Liberty of Conscience)  - Moderate Presbyterians allowed to worship in private homes, Quakers allowed to worship anywhere and Catholics allowed to hold public office.
The St. Andrew Jewel made for James VII and II. It was completed in 1688.
Isaac Newton publishes "Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica"
First South African vineyards established
The Parthenon in Athens is severely damaged by mortar attack. Gunpowder was being stored in the building.

Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle is founded "wha daur meddle wi me'"
Guillame Amontons invents a hygrometer
Tulleys Almanac first publication

Famous births
Robert Simson - Scottish mathematician
William Stukeley - one of the founders of modern archaeology

Famous deaths
Jean-Baptiste Lully - composer
George Villiers - 2nd Duke of Buckingham
Henry More - English philosopher
Geminiano Montanari - astronomer
Nell Gwynn - mistress to Charles II
William Petty - scientist
Constantijn Huygens

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Year Was -1770

Way back when ............ David Lyon was born. Not exactly a direct ancestor. He was grandfather to my g-g- aunt's husband. Like many people of his time he was a weaver (often an "at home" occupation.)
David was born at Kirkton of Panbride, a parish near Dundee. The village of Panbride was not formed until about 1800. The parish, historically, has a connection with St. Bridget of Ireland. At the north end of the parish stood Panmure House (now demolished) nicknamed "the big hoose" by the locals.

Geographically the area is situated near the the mouth of the Firth, and way back in time was completely submerged.
At some point David and his family moved to Dundee. Any census records show him at Todsburn Entry, Wellgate with his wife, Ann (who hailed from Aberdeenshire). All of their children were born in Dundee.
It appears that a number of the inhabitants in the area of Todsburn were a mighty feisty bunch, probably because of their business usage of the burn - the miller and the brewer, in particular, had issue with each other.
During the time that David and his family lived in Dundee there was a number of Cholera and Typhus outbreaks due to sanitation, or lack thereof, issues.

1770 some world events
Marie Antoinette marries Louise-Auguste (Louis XVI)
James Cook discovers New Holland (Australia)
Boston Massacre
Townsend Acts repealed
Battle of Cesme
The toothbrush was invented in the 1770's :)
first Orange Lodges created
St. Andrew Square Garden (Edinburgh) created
Scottish explorer James Bruce finds the Tissisat Falls and the source of the Blue Nile in Ethiopia
Bubonic Plague starts in Russia
Falkland Crisis
Lexell's Comet passes by
British Linen Company switches to banking
The first eraser, made from rubber, is created
Famine in Bengal - about 10 million died

Some famous births
William Wordsworth - poet
Frederick William III of Prussia
Ludwig von Beethoven - composer
George Canning - British PM
Johann Friedrich Schubert

Some famous deaths
James Stirling - Scottish mathematician
George Grenville - PM of Britain

Monday, May 9, 2011

Something to think about - cemetery/burial records

A lot of people get aggravated trying to locate cemetery/burial records for their ancestors. If you fall into that category - that would be me - take a wider look at what epidemics, plagues, severe illnesses were going on at the time your "missing" ancestor was buried.
Many plague victims were deposited, sometimes in large groups, in special areas away from the main burial sites.
If you are lucky there might be some kind of record in existence even though there might not be a tomb stone.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Year Was -1828

Sturrock Arthur - I love that name and it shows up in various forms amongst his descendants. He was born in 1828 near Tealing in Forfarshire. He was known as "Stroke" and as far as we can tell only two of his children lived into adulthood. His daughter Mary married William Lindsay and her brother Thomas married Wilhelmina Gunn. Thomas descendants live on this side of the "big puddle" just a few states away from me and are actively researching "their" side of the Arthur family :)
There were 5 other siblings, 4 of whom definitely died as babies (Charlotte, Arthur, James and Robert). William is still unaccounted for and I'm thinking I'll put him on my list of family to research on my trip to Scotland.
"Stroke" was my great-great-grandfather. He and his family moved around the Dundee area and show up in a different home on each census record. He was a Calenderer by profession, which means he operated machinery (calender) that used two large rollers or plates, to press and finish fabric. Later in life he was a Cloth Packer.
He died in 1907 just a few months short of his 80th birthday from "Senile Degeneration" i.e. old age. He outlived his slightly younger wife by 16 years.

So what was going on in the world in 1828?
1828 was a Leap Year
Bubonic Plague
Duke of Wellington becomes Prime Minister of Britain
New Corn Law in Britain
"Websters Dictionary" published
"Birds In America" vol 1 by J.J. Audoban published
Lord William Cavendish Bentinck becomes Governor-General of India
Casparus van Wooden patents chocolate milk powder
Rene Caillie is first non-Muslim to enter Tombouctou (Timbukto)
Russia declares war on Turkey
Zoological Gardens open at Regent's Park, London
Circuit Courts (Scotland) Act
Kaspar Hauser found wandering in Nuremberg
St. Catherine's dock opens in London
Andrew Jackson elected 7th president of USA
6.8 earthquake strikes Japan
"The Fair Maid of Perth" and "Tales of a Grandfather" by Sir Walter Scott published
J.B. Neilson invents the hot-blast furnace
Maitland Club founded
Burke & Hare murders in Edinburgh
"Dedham Vale" by John Constable
Glasgow Asylum for the Blind built

Some famous births
Jules Verne
William Randal Cremer - politician & pacifist
Margaret Oliphant - writer
Jean Henri Dunant - founder of Red Cross
Dante Gabriel Rossetti - painter
Nikolai Chernyshevsky - Russian philosopher
Giovanni Rossi - composer
Leo Tolstoy - writer
Henrik Ibsen -
Josephine Butler
Joseph Wilson Swan - physicist and inventor of incandescent light bulb
John Rhind - sculptor

Some famous deaths
Francisco Goya - artist
Shaka - founder of Zulu Kingdom
Dugald Stewart - Scottish philosopher
Rachel Jackson - wife of 7th US PresidentAndrew Jackson
Sophie Maria of Russia (wife of Tsar Paul I)
Carl Peter Thunberg- Swedish naturalist
Hongi Hika - New Zealand Maori chief
Gilbert Charles Stuart - portraitist
Franz Schubert - composer
William Thornton - designer of US State Capitol

I mentioned earlier in this post that the "other" Arthur's have been working on their genealogy. Thomas and his family originally settled in Omaha, Nebraska and there is a nice index site available for marriages
There's also an index site for obituaries http://omahaobits.wordpress.com/
I found some information at both sites :)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The History of Scottish Fire Brigades

As far as I know I never had any ancestors that served in the Fire Brigade (modern day cousins, yes). If you have ancestors, then here's an interesting site, if you don't it's still interesting :)

Since I am currently trolling around the general area of Dundee in my family research, I thought I'd look up what the site had to say.
Here's a wee bit of it.


1835 to 1837Superintendent T. Matthew
1837 to 1845Superintendent J. Coutts
1845 to 1870Superintendent James Fyffe
1870 to 1873Superintendent John W Fyffe
1873 to 1898Captain Robert Ramsay
1898 to 1903Captain John Ramsay
1903 to 1937Captain James S Weir MIFireE
1937 to 1941Firemaster William MacKay



Steam Engines,350 gallons capacity
Manual Engine (obsolute, not used)
70' Horsed Fire Escape
Horsed Hose Tender
General Service Waggon
Hand Hose Reel
Hand Pumps
Stand Pipes
Branch Pipes
Scaling Ladders
15'Pompier Ladders and Belts
Horses belonging to the Department
8,300 yds
Canvas Hose 2 1/2"

Received an additional Horse Hose Tender.

Calls to fires
1904 - 146
1905 - 137
1913 - 235

There's also information about where the fire brigade was located, some salaries, staff (some locations list the names).
Some other districts also have breakdowns on the kinds of fire trucks.

 AD43 - the Romans invaded Britain and the first fire fighters were organized - basically buckets of water.
1666 - Great Fire of London. As a result Nicholas Barbon introduces fire insurance then sets up his own fire brigade. Insurances companies set up their own fire brigades but only attended those buildings insured by their clients.
1672 - fire hose invented by Jan Van der Heiden
1725 - fire engine developed by Richard Newsham
1810 - Napoleon Bonaparte creates the "Sapeurs-Pompiers"
1824 - First public fire brigade in Britain is established in Edinburgh by James Braidwood. He later took charge of the London Fire Engine Establishment which had been created in 1832. He developed the strategy of entering buildings to fight fires.
1938 - Fire Services Act
1947 - Fire Services Act 1947 returns fire brigades to local authority control

It would be difficult for me to sum up the operations of fire brigades (in Britain) in a few sentences because of all the changes that have occurred over the years.    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_Fire_Brigades_of_the_United_Kingdom

The Scottish Fire Heritage Group http://www.ayeready.org/ has got a lot of resources in their LINKS section.

A wee hint - if you had male ancestors living in Edinburgh, in the early to mid 1800's, who were tradesmen e.g. slaters, carpenters, masons and plumbers, or sailors, they might have been volunteer firemen.

When I'm in London in a few weeks time I'll try and pay a visit to the Firefighters Memorial near St. Paul's Cathedral. Last time I was there it was pouring rain so I did not take time to stop. http://www.firefightersmemorial.co.uk/

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Year Was -1805

My main paternal line stops at 1805 and I'm hoping if I research some other events it might spark other avenues to explore.

Twas the time of the Napoleonic Wars. The Battle of Trafalgar was fought. Lord Horatio Nelson died. Napoleon was crowned king of Italy.

If you want to find out if one of your ancestors fought in the Napoleonic Wars try searching at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/trafalgarancestors/ I found a John McKellar from Bute, now I just have to work out if he is one of mine.

Did you know that -
Dayton, Ohio was incorporated (I had to put that one in since my husband grew up near there.)
Tangerines appeared in Europe from China.
The modern matchstick was invented by K. Chanel
Jane Austen's father moved his family to Bath.
"The Beauties of Scotland" 5 vols. by Robert Forsyth was published.
The Beaufort Wind Scale was devised.
Sir Walter Scott wrote "The Talisman".
George Greenough did a geological tour of Scotland

Famous births

Hans Christian Andersen - writer
Horatio Greenough - sculptor
Samuel Palmer - painter
Franz Xavier Winterhalter - artist and engraver
William Harrison Ainsworth - writer
Joseph Smith jr. - founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Famous deaths
Jean-Baptiste Greuze - artist
Friedrich von Schiller - dramatist and poet
Alexander Carlyle - Scottish church leader

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Another WWI casualty

I'm old enough to have grown up around a lot of people that were impacted by WWI. Last night I was doing some research on one of my great grandparents when up pops an e-mail.

Stewart Greig
son of Lyall and Jessie Stewart Greig of Dundee
Lance Corporal Royal Marine Light Infantry (CH/15295)
Killed, age 34, after HMS Hogue was sunk by U9 off the Dutch coast. 22/09/14
Commemorated on Chatham Naval Memorial.
Source: CWGC Casualty Details Data Base.

That's all it said.

Stewart's mother was sister to my gggrandfather John Kirkwood Stewart. At the moment they are the only two of the 9 siblings that I have done any research on. They had an older brother and the remaining 6 were younger. My dad grew up near his Stewart cousins.

So I took a wee detour, checked out the information and added a lot to it :) Here's some of it.

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ has some information.

Greig, Stewart
register # 11266
division Royal Marine Light Infantry, Plymouth Division
when enlisted: 02 December 1901
date: 19 April 1881
catalogue ref: ADM 159/79
depart: Records of the Admiralty, Naval Forces, Royal Marine, Coastguard, and related bodies
series: Admiralty: Royal Marines: Registers of Service
piece: 10916-11464
image ref. 351/332

War was declared 4 August 1914
Stewart died 22 September 1914 in what I learned was a really famous incident (from the German perspective) at the time involving a German U9 boat and 3 ships, Aboukir, Hogue and Cressy.
Alan Coles wrote a book specifically about the incident "Three Before Breakfast"(1979).

There's a very sobering list of WWI Royal Navy and Dominion Navies casualties here http://www.naval-history.net/xDKCas1914-09Sept.htm (This is the September page.)

A concise write up on the event can be found at http://www.maritimequest.com/daily_event_archive/2005/sept/22_cruiser_force_c.htm

After reading about the ships, nicknamed "The Live Bait Squadron" and the circumstances surrounding the incident "it was an accident waiting to happen", it's a sobering thought that it only took HMS Hogue 10-15 minutes to sink and that if zig-zag protocol had been stuck too maybe many of the deaths (abt. 1400) might have been avoided. Hogue was attempting to rescue survivors from Aboukir.

http://www.cityofart.net/bship/hms_terrible.html (scroll down to the Cressy Class)

As usual it annoys me that memorials like Chatham Naval Memorial get vandalized. We need to be more respectful of those that fought to give us freedom http://www.cwgc.org/ Many were scared, young men with inadequate training, trying to do the best they could in horrible circumstances. (IMHO)

Lance Corporal Stewart S. Greig was added to the CNM Find a Grave Memorial on May 23 2006 (#14372098). A copy of the Memorial Register is kept in the Naval Chapel of Brompton Garrison Church, other copies are kept at Chatham Library.
"In honour of the Navy and to the abiding memory of these ranks and ratings of this port who laid down their lives in the defence of the Empire and have no other grave than the sea."

Gate photo courtesy of http://nobeatenpath.com/
It's somewhat ironic that for about 2 years (in the mid 1980's) I lived 40 miles NW of Chatham and at the time never knew anything about the memorial.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The year was - 1849

I have a fondness for my g-g-aunt Ann Kay nee McKellar. I don't know a whole lot about her and have not been able to track down any descendants yet. I do know that she was a very talented stitcher because I have one of her samplers in my possession. She was a shopkeeper by profession and had 5 children, that I know of. Ann was born, raised, and died on the Isle of Bute. She did make some visits to the mainland to visit her sister who was living in Glasgow.
So I decided to use her birth year - 1849- as the first of my "The year was ...." mini series. I'm in a mood to explore Scottish history and put my relatives into some social context.
Our relatives may, or may not, have been impacted by greater events and it definitely is useful to know what was going on during their lifetime.

It's somewhat ironic that my little delve into Scottish history would find Peter Hume Brown who also was born in 1849. He is credited with being the first professor of Scottish history at Edinburgh University and slanted his classes toward placing Scotland in a European context.

The "Highland Clearances" were at the tale end of that sorry episode. The bareness, and barrenness, of the Highlands led to some wonderful art and writings, so I suppose some good came out of it.

There was an epidemic of Cholera, including Glasgow (where 3,777 died.) Ick :(
Thomas Carlyle visited Ireland in July and wrote about the effects of the famine.
Edinburgh and Bathgate railway opened, as it did in a number of other towns round Scotland.
600 people left the Isle of Tiree bound for Canada.
Multiple Sclerosis was first diagnosed.
California Gold Rush.
Inverurie Catholic Church was consecrated.
Rosslea Hall, Helensburgh, built for Daniel Walkinshaw.
Ness Bridge (Inverness) destroyed by a flood.
1.5% of Scotland's population was from England - 39,000.
David Livingstone was traveling from Mabotsa trying to find a waterway across the African continent.
Auchen Castle built
Tileworks opened at Kilchattan Bay, Isle of Bute.
Corn Laws abolished.
Battle of Novara
Britain annexes Punjab
Ardnamurchan Lighthouse built.
Alexander Duff, first Duke of Fife, was born
First edition of "Who's Who" published

Family births in 1849
William Robertson Lindsay (great grandfather, Angus)
William Colville (cousin, Perthshire)
Margaret Audus (cousin, Orkney)
Elisabeth Bissett (cousin, Fife)
Kay Brownson (cousin, England)
David Gardner (cousin, Stirlingshire)
David Howie (cousin, Ayrshire)
Mary Robertson (cousin, Orkney)
Ann Smith (cousin, Forfar)
William Thorburn (cousin, Bute)
Mary Ann Wilson (cousin, England)
Janet McArkley Wighton (cousin, Forfar)
Robert Charles Williamson (cousin, Midlothian)
Janet Weir (cousin, Fife)
George Watson (cousin, Scotland)
Mary Ann Watson (cousin, Fife)

map of Scotland  1849 drawn and engraved by J. Rapkin

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Original Scots Colonists of Early America" 1612-1783

David Dobson has done a ton of research over the years about Scottish immigration to the Americas.
"The Scottish participation in the settlement of America dates from the early seventeenth century, and from that time until the American Revolution probably around 150,000 Scots emigrated to the New World. During the seventeenth century many Scots settled within the English, Dutch and French colonies, while others attempted to establish independent colonies in Nova Scotia, New Jersey, South Carolina, and at Darien (Note: Darien is the Scots' name for Panama. --GB). After the political union of Scotland and England in 1707 the Scots had unrestricted access to the English plantations in America. Emigration expanded slowly but steadily until 1736 when a combination of factors in Scotland and America stimulated emigration, especially from the Highlands. Although Scots could be found throughout the American colonies from Barbados to Rupert's LAnd, areas such as Georgia, the Carolinas, upper New York, Nova Scotia and Jamaica had the greatest concentration of Scottish immigrants. This then was the general pattern of Scottish immigration and settlement in colonial America."
Source - "The Original Scots Colonists of Early America"1612-1783, David Dobson

I highly recommend reading any of his publications though be prepared for lists, and lots of them. I am currently reading "The Scottish Surnames of Colonial America."
I have the Arthur surname in my family and here's what the book says - Arthur. Probably from the Gaelic "Artair", also MacArthur, from "MacArtair". Their traditional lands were in Lorne in Argyll. Isabel Arthur, from Edinburgh, emigrated to Philadelphia in 1775, and Duncan McArthur from Jura settled in North Carolina in 1754. Linked with the Clan Campbell or the ClanMacArthur."

If you have Scottish Quakers in your lineage then check out "Scottish Quakers and Early America, 1650-1700." Very interesting.

One of his newest releases is "Genealogy at a Glance: Scottish Genealogy Research" a 4 page laminated resource for conducting research. It includes tips, publications and in-line resources. (where would most of us be nowadays in our research without on-line resources.) I'm looking forward to getting my own copy and trying it out.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Ship Passenger Arrival Records and Land Border Entries

Most people in these parts have immigrant ancestry so the topic of port entry comes up fairly regularly.
Not everyone came in though Ellis Island or the main ports of call earlier in history. Ships captains were not obligated to keep, or hand over, a list of passengers till after 1820. A goodly number of people came in through Canada or South America. Not all immigrants flowed from north to south or east to west.
A good start off point is to check the introduction page at the National Archives (Washington DC). There's lots of general background information and resources.
If your British ancestry came "By Way of Canada" you might be interested in this article by Marian L. Smith
Another useful listing of, and about, port entries can be found at http://www.genesearch.com/ports.html
Irish Ancestry - check here - http://www.genealogybranches.com/irishpassengerlists/
History of the INS - http://www.uscitizenship.info/ins-usimmigration-insoverview.html
A few years ago I had a lengthy talk with one of the ships experts in Edinburgh. His advice to anyone researching from the US was to exhaust all possibilities here (US) first before attempting to research in the UK.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A starter tip when reading birth records

If you are going to make a photocopy of an original Scottish birth record OR make a digital copy double check the back side. Oftentimes the christening/baptism date was written on the back (mine being an example). Also check information that might have been added onto the certificate at a later date. I have a number of birth certificates where the christening dates have been written in, and signed by the minister.

I have copies of a number of OPR pages that I am revisiting. I originally got them because a specific family member was recorded on each page. One page I am currently "re-visiting" has two or three other people on it that are family but I did not know that at the time the copy was made.

I also have both copies of the Certificate of Proclamation of Banns that were posted for my maternal grandparents. The marriage date was written in after the event on both copies by the minister. One of the pieces of paperwork is "suitable for framing" :)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Scots-Irish: The Thirteenth Tribe

The longer I live in the south the more questions I get asked about Ireland, specifically the "Scotch-Irish". Yesterday during our question and answer session at our local genealogy group my mind went completely blank when asked for resources and unfortunately I did not have my resources book with me :( (It's at the Franklin FHC if anyone is interested in looking.)

Northern Ireland (Belfast)
PRONI - Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

Southern Ireland (Dublin)
General Register Office

National Library of Ireland

Find My Past Ireland (new)

I have issues with the term "Scotch-Irish" and consider it a purely American "tag" made for convenience sake. Having said that it did originate with the Protestant Irish to separate themselves from the newer Catholic Irish immigrants. Here's some sources about the history.

The Scots Irish - The Thirteenth Tribe

Tracing the Scots Line

Scottish and Scotch-Irish Americans

Scotch Irish Emigration to America

The Irish Story

This wee Scots lass with Irish ancestry is currently trying to work out why her ancestor moved from Ireland to Scotland. I guess I better hit the history books again. Looking at the time period 1790'ish thru 1815.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Book Review- History for Genealogists......

The full title is "History For Genealogists. Using Chronological Time Lines to Find and Understand Your Ancestors" by Judy Jacobson, a very long title for a very interesting little book. Very well researched.
It mainly covers USA state timelines and history BUT there's a bit about Scotland at the start and a number of European sections. I'm still reading the book and enjoying it very much.
How did I find the book? My friend Rick attended my class on Timelines and when he saw the book thought I would be interested in reading it. He came into the FHC and I have it on loan from him. I need to buy my own copy because I guarantee I will use it often :)
Here's a taste of some of Judy's timelines -
Major revolutionary war events and battles
foreign military and armed engagements
uncivil disobedience
international disasters
the rise of labor unions

Judy has a lot of concise, well written "shorts" that are packed full of information. A great jump off point to take your own research further e.g. Meandering Boundaries, Ghost Towns, Orphan Trains, The Lost Three States, America's Historical Migration Patterns, to name but a few.

Chapter 2 is specifically about how and why to create Time Lines.

For more information about the book go to http://www.genealogical.com/products/History%20for%20Genealogists/9956.html

With all the junky weather, bronchitis type stuff that's been going round the family and my own lack of transportation on occasion, today was the first time this year that I was able to go to our local family history group. Thanks to Bob for highlighting my blog at his web page and to everyone who came to our question and answer session. Hopefully between the two of us we were able to provide decent information :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Personal Past Meditations-A Genealogical Blog

I've been thinking recently about genealogy blogs that I really like and would like to share with others.
Dr. Daniel Hubbard has a wonderful blog (IMHO). Lots of wonderful information that is very concisely written and reflects his sense of humor :) http://thepersonalpast.com/
It's not got a huge amount of information about my area of research - Scotland BUT it does have a ton of information that is useful for any kind of family history research.
One of his recent postings entitled "Who Will They Think We Were?" raises some very good points about when a future genealogist might be researching him.
Daniel lives in the house that his grandfather built. There are plenty of records locally indicating that Daniel lived/lives there BUT does that tell the whole truth? In this case ..... NO..... because Daniel has travelled extensively, married abroad and had some of his children abroad also.
So while we are focusing on researching our own ancestry remember that one day one of our descendants might research us. What information will we leave behind in our own paper trail? Will it be accurate or shrouded in family myth?
My descendants might get upset with me because I am not an active journal writer and do not come from a family that does. I have stories that I am writing down and photographs that I am collecting, but will it be enough to flesh out the official documents?

The good doctor has a topics section in his side-bar that takes you to interesting postings on such things as experimental genealogy, forgotten history.
If you live in the USA here's a good resource from his writings that could prove useful - Sanborn Maps. http://www.thepersonalpast.com/2010/06/14/a-memory-trip-down-any-lane/What are they? Fire insurance maps. How many of you would have thought to look there for family history information?
And why is the good doctor so interested in the maps himself? http://www.thepersonalpast.com/2011/03/06/taking-walks-with-the-census-taker-and-my-dad/
I love how it links into expanding upon the use of census records AND how it got his dad talking.

Addendum - The British equivalent of Sanborn would be Goad and they can be found at the British Library http://www.bl.uk/.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

So excited ......

...... because I am heading off to Scotland in May, with two of my daughters in tow, to visit my parents. So far we have our flight to and from London booked (we want to visit my brother) and just have to take care of booking the short hop up to Edinburgh. We have a 4 hour lay-over in Toronto, Ontario on the way over and will be in spitting distance of some family history locations there.  I've already had the "no you cannot leave the airport to go visit ......." speel.
To make good use of my family history opportunity in Scotland I'm going to have to make some tough decisions about who and what I will have time to research.
How to incorporate touristy stuff for my daughters with family places I would like to see.
How much time can I actually spend at New Register House in Edinburgh without the girls "buying up" the whole city :) Last time I was in Edinburgh the new section of NRH was still being built and I so want to see the changes AND check out the newest census record releases (1911).
What research information/notes do I want to take with me just in case there are issues with internet access.
Which cousins do I contact and visit, etc. etc. etc.
I had camera issues last time I did research over there so one of my questions to myself is "Do I want to revisit some areas to get decent photographs or do I want to go to areas not visited before?"

Monday, March 28, 2011

Season Two: The Generations Project

The second season of BYUtv’s The Generation Project premiers Monday, March 28 at 7:00 p.m. MDT. The Generations Project is a reality-based family history show that uncovers the remarkable stories and family histories of everyday people. The people take a hands-on journey to learn about their ancestors, and in the process they discover more about themselves.
The second season of The Generations Project “takes you from Germany to Holland to New York's 'Little Pakistan' and everywhere in between, following eleven journeys into the past: the Denkes explore the origins of their children’s life-threatening genetic disease. Kerry hopes his ancestors will help him find his estranged son, and Ty delves into his complicated heritage as a son of Nazi Germany. They along with eight other guests engage with the past to understand the present.”

BYUtv is available through many local satellite and cable companies. In addition, The Generations Project can be viewed live online at http://www.byutv.org (you'll need to register for a free account to view the show live). All episodes are also available to be viewed immediately after airing at http://www.byutv.org/thegenerationsproject/episodes (no registration required).
A link to more information has been placed on the home page of the FamilySearch.org website. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I was contemplating 10 things then ........

we got snow and the kids were out of school all last week ........ and guess what ....... it's currently snowing so they might be out tomorrow. So before I get side-tracked with other things ..... yet again ... here's my 10 things that have surprised, humbled or enlightened me about my ancestors (and my search).
1. If there is no paper trail, there's no paper trail.
Sometimes records just plain do not exist, and it's not because "there was a fire and the court burned down." So our ancestor William Lindsay is still without parentage and no records that exist (that we can find) tell who they are. To those ancestors who found the money to pay to register .... thank-you. To those that could not ... I totally understand ... no hard feelings.
2. Some family tree "no issue" couples did a fairly good job of populating the planet :) I bet their descendants would love to see that part of the tree if I could ever track them down :)
3. Some occupations were surprising and thought provoking - keeper of orphans, prison matron, carriage maker, gunsmith, master shoemaker, spirit dealer, being a few of them.
4. Some of my brick wall research has been solved by unknown cousins who just "popped up out of nowhere" and handed over years of information "because no-one else in the family was interested."
5. My grandma and grandpa Hall never told my mother how they met.
6. There's always two sides to every family story. It's important to either keep, or develop an open mind. Ancient family "fall outs" can be reconciled and wonderful relationships created.
7. My great grandfather lost his "drawing" arm in an industrial accident and used his stump to hold his mechanical drawing instruments.
8. My great-uncle married his daughter-in-laws mother (marriage #2 for both) so said son and spouse are now step brother and sister !!!!
9. You need an iron stomach, a good dictionary, and lots of paper tissues if you take an interest in researching "cause of death" e.g progressive emaciation, gangrene, softening of the brain, miners lung, run over by a train, paralysis.
10. My seemingly very quiet, and wonderful,  great aunt actually led a very active interesting life. I did not know too much about it all till after she died :( One of the disadvantages of moving to a different country as an adult (me).

Here's another general one - I miss my active research at Edinburgh's New Register House. I loved going up the the spiral staircase and being able to see the hand written documents up close and personal. Being able to share my excitement on finding someone's info with the person showing it to me was a real treat "back in the day." Having said that Scottish on-line research is amazing and I am truly thankful for what our wee country has available. Spoiled rotten we are ........ spoiled rotten.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Aaaaw shucks and thanks :-)

Kathy at http://jonesfamilymatters.blogspot.com/ has given 10 genealogy blogs the following award.

The award was the brainchild of Leslie Ann Ballou of "Ancestors Live Here" in March of 2010. http://ancestorslivehere.blogspot.com/ It was her way of sharing other genealogy/family history blogs that she enjoyed because of their "tips, tricks and funny & heartwarming stories."
So I'm supposed to pass along the award to 10 other genealogy blogs that I like (this might be hard since a goodly number of them already have been given the award), after sharing 10 things that have surprised, humbled or enlightened me about my ancestors.

Now to put my thinking cap on. It might take a few days to put my lists together.