Archive for the ‘ Your experiences ’ Category
In our previous newsletters we asked you to send us your experiences of researching your ancestors. Thanks to all of you who got in touch – we love reading your stories. Read on for how Pat Trewin is getting on with her family tree research:
Many years ago, when I first started my family history and was interviewing my mum’s mum (both have now passed away) Nana told me that her father had been in the British Army for about 10 years prior to being married. She was their third child, born in 1901, so I was working back from that time. Until now I had never been able to find any evidence of this, so decided to try my luck with the new listing of Chelsea Pensioners. Imagine my delight when I found him straight away, including 7 items of his service records available for downloading.
He was in the East Surrey Regiment and served 4 years in India as well as 6 years in England. Poor chap would probably be mortified to know that his descendants now know he had a large brown birthmark/mole on his penis! More interesting to me though was a notation at the end of his Statement of Service saying he was ‘convicted of a felony by the Civil Power’ and sentenced to 15 months hard labour! They provided a date of arrest and also a date when he was discharged because of the crime.
So then I set about to find what he had done – and I found that too! He was sentenced at the Old Bailey for ‘Stealing a letter containing a gold ring while working at the Post Office’. So I even have a convict in my past – of sorts. A year later he got married and a couple of years later, with the three children, they emigrated to Australia on the SS Osterley, settling in Brisbane. So it’s nice that he was able to make a fresh start. Punishment was pretty heavy though, I thought.
Many thanks to findmypast – what wonderful luck I had finding him straight away!
In our previous newsletters we asked you to send us your experiences of researching your ancestors. Thanks to all of you who got in touch – we love reading your stories. Read on for how Shirley Pizziferri is getting on with her family tree research:
My great-grandfather, Michael White, was said to have come from Co. Cork, Ireland. He shows up in Maine, USA in the 1850 census with a young family and then dies before the 1860 census. The cemetery record shows his birth about 1812, but that is all I have been able to learn about him for the 30 years I have been researching my family.
The oral history is that he ‘jumped ship’, and I’ve accepted this as the reason his arrival in the US has been so hard to find. However, a search for him on your site reveals a record of a Michael White, born 1813 in Wicklow (County Cork) Ireland, who deserted from the UK Army! This has to be him and would explain the mystery surrounding his identity in the US. Thank you!
In last month’s newsletter we asked you to send us your experiences of researching your family tree. Thanks to all of you who wrote in – we really enjoyed reading your stories. Read on for how Ann is getting on with the search for her ancestors:
Ann Barker’s story:
One branch of my tree is the Scadding/Scadden family from Cornwall, Devon and Dorset. I found information about my 5 x great grandfather John Scadding who was hanged, but nobody could find any newspaper reports.
Quite by chance I was reading The Western Gazette while visiting my daughter who now lives in Dorset. There was a section of news from 100 years ago, 50 years ago etc. I wrote to the editor to ask if there were any archives of newspapers in 1795 and if so where were they kept. He informed me that they were in the Somerset Studies Library in Taunton. So I persuaded my husband that we needed a day out!
There I discovered reports of his arrest, trial and subsequent hanging. He was arrested on 9th March 1795, his trial was on 11th March, he was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging. He was hanged on 28th March 1795 in Dorchester Prison.
One of his accomplices Samuel Foster, who was also due to hang, was reprieved and sent to Australia the other one, Samuel’s brother Thomas Foster, gave King’s Evidence and was acquitted. Justice was swift in those days.
In last month’s newsletter we asked you to send us your experiences of researching your family tree. Thanks to all of you who wrote in – we really enjoyed reading your stories. Read on for how Liz is getting on with the search for her ancestors:
Liz Riley’s story:
‘I’ve had a lot of trouble locating people on one branch of my tree because they have changed their first names. The first one to come to mind was my husband’s great great grandmother who was christened Ellen Fawcett in 1809 and was named that at her marriage in 1832. Then on all the censuses she was Ellen Riley (her married name) and Ellen Fawcett on the birth certificates of her children. This was consistent until her death in 1874 which I could not find for many years.
I knew she died between 1871 and 1881, as I couldn’t find her on the 1881 census and couldn’t find a second marriage for her. I bought one certificate which looked close enough in DOB (1911) but it was the wrong Ellen Riley. So I gave up looking until recently I noticed a number of Eleanors among her grandchildren and great grandchildren and decided to risk the expense of buying the certificate – this was after checking the 1871 census for Eleanor Riley born about 1809 to ensure there wasn’t another person who this could be. It paid off and I now have the correct death cert for Ellen – I still can’t figure out why she suddenly changed her name though! I’ve noticed several others who had different names on official documents from the ones on censuses, but for Ellen this was a one-off.
This led to my reviewing a number of Ellen’s children and grandchildren who had seemingly disappeared without trace. Her daughter, always Ann on earlier censuses, turned out to be Susannah, her grandson Riley turned out to be Samuel (Riley was his middle name) and his brother Herbert was later known as John (his middle name) when he migrated to the US. Another brother, Henry, was known as Harry, so I was able to find some of his missing records when told this by a living descendant. I should have guessed these name changes earlier as my father-in-law was Lewis John, but was always known as John or Jack, and his sister Beatrice Maud (still living at 106) is mostly known as Maud, but was Betty to her husband. Also my husband’s grandmother was known as Annie, whereas her name was Ruth Hannah.
So my advice to others is to keep trying different variations of first names and second names, as they may have gone by different names at different times of their lives. You may also find clues in younger generations’ names (I now understand why my father-in-law almost insisted that we add John and Ruth as middle names to our first born son and daughter). It’s also important to get the certificates to ensure you have the correct person, but before purchasing them, check censuses if available to help rule out the wrong ones or you can spend a fortune on the wrong certificates. This is why it is important to have a subscription as it gives you the freedom to check all the resources available without worrying about how many credits you’re using up.’
Mrs Barbara Joyce Dainton (nee West) died on 16 October 2007 and was buried last week, in Truro, England.
Mrs Dainton was a passenger on the Titanic‘s ill-fated maiden voyage, along with her parents Edwy Arthur West, Ada Mary West and her elder sister Constance. She was 10 months old at the time of the sailing.
She can be seen with her family in the passenger lists
Throughout her life Mrs Dainton shied away from all Titanic related press and publicity.
The last living survivor of the Titanic is Elizabeth Gladys ‘Millvina’ Dean.