Saturday, 31 January 2009

Best Genealogy Find

Over the years I have been researching my family tree like most people I have made several great finds and every time you find that elusive piece of information you get that urge to shout out Yes!!
If I were to pick out one find which I found really interesting and have still not managed to follow up completely it would be the one I found after trying to find out whether any record existed regarding the parentage of my gt gt grandfather whose parents were not married according to his baptism.
I emailed the archive in Southampton, Hampshire, England to ask if any bastardy records existed for his baptism year of 1827.
They sent me a very helpful reply stating that whilst they had no records relating to bastardy for that period they did have in their card index a reference to a settlement examination for a Louisa Richards (this was his mother's name) in that same parish in that year.
My next visit to Southampton I determined to follow this up as I thought it might hold some clue to where she was from and then possibly her parentage.
The document was ordered and I looked up the page given on the card. All this told me was that she did not know where she was born. Was my luck running out?
I then noticed at the bottom of the page there was a reference to another page. I turned to this page and read the examination for her mother regarding Louisa's place of birth.
Now we get to the really interesting bit.


The Examination of Mary Eley

Southampton now Residing in the Parish of Saint Michael

of the said Parish of Saint Michael

Wife of Edward Eley ˆin the said Town and County, Labourer

taken on Oath, this 10th Day of July

1827 before us two of his Majesty’s Justices of

the Peace in and for the said Town and County,

touching the place of the legal Settlement of her

Daughter Louisa Richards of the said Parish of Saint Michael, Singlewoman

The said Examinant saith, That she was born at the Parish of Millbrook

In the county of Southampton as she hath heard and believes where her Parents

Then resided but whose place of Settlement was the Parish of Titchfield in

The said County of Southampton as she hath also been informed and believes

That her father died in the Poor House at the said Parish of Titchfield and

That her mother is now living at and receiving two shillings weekly from the

Said Parish of Titchfield That this examinant was never apprenticed nor ever

Served as a yearly servant for one whole year That upwards of nineteen years ago she

Went to Jersey and was married to Thomas Richards a private in his majesty’s 76th Regt of foot then on duty in the said island and remained there some months after her

Marriage when the Regiment was removed to Colchester in the County of Essex and

From thence to Black Heath camp that her said daughter Louisa was born at

Colchester in the said county of Essex but in what parish this examinant

Does not know and this Examinant further saith, that the said Thomas

Richards to whom she was so married as aforesaid was a married man at the

Time he married this Examinant and that while the Regiment lay at Black

Heath camp his wife and three children came there to him which when this

Examinant knew as she saw them there and was informed by a man in the

Same Regiment that it was his the said Thomas Richard’s wife and that he

Knew her to be such the said Examinant left the said Thomas

Richards and came with her said daughter to her parents who then resided in

Hamble in the said county of Southampton that this Examinant then

Worked at various places and about 13 years ago she was married to her

Present husband at Titchfield church that some time after her second

Marriage the said Thomas Richards came to see this Examinant but she

Refused to see him and since that time she has never seen or heard of


I have found what I believe to be the marriage of Mary to Edward Eley, she appears to have given her maiden name when she married by licence.

I then found a baptism in Milbrook, Southampton for about the right date for this to be her, and also found baptisms for her siblings, and her parents marriage.

I believe her father came from Titchfield and there are family of this name in the area.

But what must be the biggest coincidence, and one which I must follow through, is that her mother's maiden name was WAITE and my sister married a man whose family were from this same area with the surname WAIGHT.

I still need to confirm the marriage in Jersey.

But I never thought that I would find so much out from 1 piece of paper.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Face to Face

Having read Dick Eastman's blog regarding a talk given by someone on the other side of the globe
it set me to thinking about what we get if we attend Family History conferences/fairs.

The big show inthe UK is Who Do You Think You Are which includes talks if you can get a ticket.
I have not attended this but have been to the Hampshire Genealogical Society Annual Meeting and listened to someone speaking about how to get organised and what happens to your research after you have gone.

These talks can be very informative but do we get more out of these events than just someone giving us information.

My uncle has been tracing his part of the tree for many years. He also has at least one Victorian Magic Lantern and a large number of slides and has done a number of shows in various places.
Some of these places are in areas where our ancestors lived and he has been known to use these opportunities to talk to some of the locals who know the area.

I would therefore surmise that we may get more from these get togethers than we might think and that it is well worth attending local events to get a taste of the area.

Who knows you might even meet up with a distant cousin!

Monday, 12 January 2009

1911 Census

My first blog for this new year has to be about the long awaited release of the 1911 census.
I was able to take advantage of the beta release over the Christmas period and managed to find some of the family.
Not all of the counties I wanted were available but I found some of the family.
Tonight I was able to find the WARD family from Norfolk as Lincolnshire was available.
They had moved to Stamford which I had suspected when I was unable to find them in Norfolk.
Now I will send for the death certificate I had found in Stamford in 1917 as it is likely to be for Charles Henry WARD who I know died before 1920 when his wife Eliza remarried.
I have found 3 more sons for this couple and they also had 2 children that had died who had not made it to any census.
If you have not had chance to view the 1911 census then I suggest you do the images are not cheap but they are your relative's own handwriting and they tell us more than any of the earlier censuses have done.