Sunday, 10 April 2016

ESM's QuickLessons A DearMYRTLE Genealogy Study Group Lesson 5

Hilary Gadsby

QuickLesson 5: Analyzing Records    
Elizabeth Shown Mills, “QuickLesson 5: Analyzing Records,” Evidence Explained: Historical Analysis, Citation & Source Usage ( : accessed 30 March 2016)

For this weeks lesson I would like to refer you to an earlier post which includes a transcription of a record I found when I visited the archives in Southampton, Hampshire, England.

I had contacted the archives before I visited as I had been looking for a bastardy record for my 2xgt grandfather. The baptism record, that I had received a copy of from my aunt, showed that Stephen was the illegitimate son of Stephen Buckle and Louisa Richards and was christened in 1827 at St Michael's Church in Southampton. 

When I received the baptism record I could have left it at that as I had the name of the father recorded. However even though I had this information I had heard of bastardy records and hoped that I might learn more. I have still not used these records in my research yet.
Fortunately for me the settlement examinations for this time period had been indexed and as Louisa Richards appeared in this index I looked at the record transcribed in the aforementioned post.
Understanding of why a record was created is important and may lead us to discover more.
Why were they asking about where the mother was born, and had worked. In this document there is also reference to the grandparents. To fully appreciate what information is contained in this document we need to know more about settlement and how the parish of settlement is determined. Why were they trying to determine a parish of settlement?
The analysis of this document reveals many details about the early life of my ancestor and creates many questions. 
I refer you to my preferred reference source for more information about settlement
Herber, Mark D. Ancestral trails : the complete guide to British genealogy and family history. Stroud: Sutton, 2004. p 345-349.
Questions posed by this document were touched upon in this earlier post and some of these can now be answered by further research. Discovering the marriage of Edward and Mary revealed her maiden name. Her christening revealed her father's name and the Christian name of her mother this led to marriage of the parents. Records for Jersey are difficult to find but I discovered a transcription online so a trip to the beautiful island of Jersey is now required. I may have discovered more about Thomas Richards but I need to discover what military records are available for this period. I believe he may have been involved in the Napoleonic wars as I found a record for his regiment.
Thorough research involves more than analysis of documents. Context and understanding of what may help your research ensures that everything is looked at in the context of when and where the record was created.


Lisa Gorrell said...

Love the graphic!

Magda said...

It's nice to draw these analyses out to problem solve. The LAW aspect was one I never considered before.