Thursday, 31 December 2009

Where did the year go?

2009 seems to have vanished exceedingly fast. Not sure I've achieved much, but I've had a great deal of fun along the way. Many thanks to all who helped.

Ended the genealogical year by updating the neverending story to include this month's complications that have been added to my FAIRBAIRN research, with a hope that the dna project's findings may eventually resolve the questions asked.

All the best to you and yours, and may 2010 prove as interesting a year to all (only 5 hours left in 2009 here in kiwi-land).

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Some wedding!

I don't know who the James FAIRBAIRN was who married in 1737, but I think I'd like to know what this NAS Catalogue GD18/5415 refers too:
"Letters (2) to Sir John Clerk from James Fairbairn requesting money for his wedding and giving an account of the uproar which occurred on his wedding day"
(this being in the papers of the Clerk family of Penicuik)
Postscript: he has to be the James who married Margaret GIBSON

Monday, 28 December 2009

"Keeps Lodgers"

A new light was shed on one of the extended FAIRBAIRN family today.
I was trawling the National Archives of Scotland (NAS) Catalogue and came across this entry for Ann CURLE or FAIRBAIRN who had appeared in the 1841 Kelso census as "keeps lodgers":
The catalogue entry shed light on what sort of lodgers, reading:
"Petition and complaint in case brought by William Smith, Procurator Fiscal, against Ann Curle or Fairbairn, residing in Kelso, for harbouring vagabonds, vagrants and other idle persons"
Ann CURLE was married to Robert FAIRBAIRN, son of George and Janet (MURRAY) FAIRBAIRN.
The FAIRBAIRN Surname dna project is still looking for a proven representative of this family as we only have representatives from George and Janet's assumed son James (married Helen GOODFELLLOW and emigrated to Canada).

Sunday, 27 December 2009

27th: Got a spare year or two?

That's how long I think it will take me to decipher the 1610 testament I've just downloaded from ScotlandsPeople!
While researching some early FAIRBAIRNs in the Earlston Old Parish Registers (OPRs) I noticed that there were contemporary families surnamed FLAEBAIRN, rather than FAIRBAIRN, so became intrigued as to what had happened to them, and whether or not they were, or would eventually become, FAIRBAIRNs.
Noone seems to be currently researching anyone of this surname (FLAEBAIRN, and variants), and several appear as patron submissions on the IGI as FAIRBAIRN instead.
The document I refer to above is a 1610 testament of one Michaell FLAIBAIRNE, merchant, burgess of Edinburgh, which I have published on the Originals section of my web pages.
Any hints as to what all it says would be most welcome!
It will take me a long time to work through it methinks, and makes the occasional word I cannot decipher in the Earlston OPRs a doddle by comparison.
e.g., what would you make of the occupation or designation of James fairbairn father of the Barbara baptized 11 Feb, second entry from the bottom of this extract from the Earlston OPRs? (they appear to have lived in fan(n)s, and I am assuming that the word I cannot decipher is James' occupation).

Thursday, 24 December 2009

two shillings per horse

The latest (Dec 2009) Scottish Genealogist provides the information that back in Oct a new website was launched as a joint venture between the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Scotland, and the National Archives of Scotland.
Check out Scotland's Places, I've already got myself sidetracked from the 1797 Farm Horse Tax Rolls, having found a family of RICHARDSONs buried in the wonderfully named Black Swamp Cemetery of Hampton Co., Sth Carolina.
All because the Morebattle Horse Tax rolls mentioned a Revd W RICHARDSON, and I only knew about a James. The Rev W had two horses, so had to pay 4/-
I went fishing. Henry, son of Rev James RICHARDSON of Morebattle, is buried in said swamp (he married a Mary FRASER from Beaufort, which I'm assuming is the Sth Carolina Beaufort for now).
So far I've found Henry's daughter-in-law Mary Asinthe MANER, described as a "ladie farmer", and her son John Maner RICHARDSON as a rice planter.
Absolutely no idea if these RICHARDSONs are in any way connected to my RICHARDSONs (who were actually at Maxton), or the Revd W RICHARDSON, but they sounded intriguing.

Seasons greetings to you and yours.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

22nd: Too much exercise

I've had too much exercise jumping to conclusions, with my only excuse being unfamiliarity with Quebec, Canada and all the Scottish and English town names that get re-used.
Earlier this year I mentioned finding a FAIRBAIRN/TAYLOR marriage where the bride's father was of Thurso.
I jumped to the conclusion this was Thurso, Caithness, but no, a descendant has just put me straight.
The Thurso mentioned was in Quebec, near Gatineau.

Friday, 18 December 2009

On the trail...

Found out where Nora CARLAW fits (see post for the 15th). Her father was Errol Hastings MARSTON of Longueuil. So, if any of her family read this, I'd love to hear from you to find out more about her notes on file at the Wellington County Ontario Archives, particularly about the John FAIRBAIRN she gives as father of the David FAIRBAIRN who married Charity WALKER.

The "Quebec Connection" descendant chart has been updated to include any of the latest findings, and my WorldConnect db LornaHenderson has also been brought up to date.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

15th: John found in action?

(Refer to previous posts dated the 10th and the 3rd)
Ross and I have been mulling over the implications of the newfound baptism of John to John Fairbairn of Grenville, and reviewing what we do and  don't know, and what the dna evidence tells us.
Then along came a copy of a document from the Fairbairn file at the archives of Wellington County, Ontario (thank you Duncan, you don't know what you started!).  It was undated, and unsourced, but was obviously a tree that I'd been given extracts from previously many years ago.
(I've included the tree on the DNA Project Patriarchs page, along with links to the dna project supplementary pages where you can find some commentary on the erroneous family linkages shown).
The archivist advises that it was catalogued in 1994, and submitted by a Nora CARLAW of Elora, now deceased.
From the document she would appear likely to be a descendant of David and Charity (WALKER) FAIRBAIRN.
Whereas the tree contains many errors of fact in linking up earlier generations, it has provided two very significant clues with regard to the family of what we had previously shown as David and Jane (WILLIAMSON) FAIRBAIRN, namely that Jane's husband was a John, not a David, and gave his date and cause of death.

All of which has led me to republish the web pages for the following two Johns:
John, son of Archibald and Alison (CROSSER) FAIRBAIRN, and
John, son of "John or David" and Jane (WILLIAMSON) FAIRBAIRN.

You may be interested in the discussion on the former John's web page.

I haven't yet bitten the bullet and merged the families, as there's still the puzzle over William and Aylsie (ELLIOT) FAIRBAIRN, given as parents to the William who married Jean (WANLESS), to re-evaluate the evidence for.

As the notes for John state, it would be really really great to find a proven direct FAIRBAIRN male line descendant of the families concerned for the FAIRBAIRN Surname DNA project to see what additional weight can be given to this re-evaluation:
"John or David" & Jane (WILLIAMSON) FAIRBAIRN
Archibald & Alison (CROSSER) FAIRBAIRN
David and Jane (HERD) FAIRBAIRN

Sunday, 13 December 2009

What the English did to the Scots in 1545

I was ferreting around on the internet trying to validate a story of destruction of Yetholm by the English on the Scottish Borders in 1545.
Read all about one such expedition from near contemporary sources.
It contains a fascinating list of place names which can still be recognised (despite the ravages of the Earl of Hertford).

Friday, 11 December 2009

11th: Thomas Alston RICHARDSON found

A (10th Dec) posting in my Guestbook from a SCOTT/RICHARDSON descendant has led me to find what happened to Thomas Alston RICHARDSON (See this post from 2007)
Given I didn't have him married, and couldn't find a marriage in Scotland, I was a tad surprised to find someone claiming to be a descendant, although I shouldn't have been, as I'd also been unable to find a Scottish death for him.
A quick web search led me to a Voluntary liquidation notice by liquidator Thomas Alston Scott in the 1919 London Gazette for him, described his company as:
T. SCOTT & CO. (CARDIFF) Limited, Bakers, Pastry Cooks, Confectioners, etc.
So, off to the 1911 census for Wales, where he was found. Looking at the Enumerators' lists for the census, his shop was about 3 shops away from the Public School, so I guess he sold a lot of sweeties to the local school kids.
(Brother George was in Wales in the 1891 census, so I guess I should have looked there anyway before now.)
Good to hear from you Steve, (a 5th cousin, sharing Robert RICHARDSON and Margaret RUNCHAMAN).

10th: What do you make of this?

What would you interpret the forenames of the above squiggle as?
He is enumerated in the 1852 Hull, Quebec census, a few entries below Jane FAIRBURN (aka FAIRBAIRN) with her assumed sons James (later married Mary SMITH, Jane's niece via her sister Agnes SMITH nee WILLIAMSON) and John (married Sarah DAUGHTERTY and moved to Stillwater, Washington).

We'd like to prove that he is Jane's son, hopefully with an extant death cert or obit. that conclusively states whether Jane was married to John or David FAIRBAIRN.
New information found (see re John's son John) has led to a re-evaluation of supposedly known information for this family.
With records indicating that there was both a John and a David in the area, and assorted records assigning their assumed families indiscriminately between the two, and often with the wife for both being Jane WILLIAMSON, it's been an interesting exercise.
The jury is most definitely still out, but tending to Jane being married to a John, who seems to have died in 1847, from a fall from a horse if newly received information is accurate.
Children Agnes, James and John rather look like they belong to John and Jane, with possibly Archibald (marr. Margaret GRAHAM) and William George (marr. Sarah FARRELL) belonging to David and wife unknown..
David marr. to Charity WALKER could belong to either, but I'm currently leaning towards him being John and Jane's!

Anyone with hard facts about these families? The family information is rather contradictory, one even throwing an Archie in as married to Jane WILLIAMSON.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Honor becomes Hannah, and Fanny was/is Sarah

Oh I wish our relations made things slightly easier for us by having one name throughout life!
Sarah COMBELLACK's 1879 Bristol birth cert has turned up, and yes, she has to be the Fanny with Henry and Flora COMBELLACK in Llandaff, Cardiff in 1881 and the Sarah with Charles H CHARLES, widower, in Plymouth in 1891.
It shows her as the dtr of Charles Henry COMBELLACK, miller, and Hannah (sic) formerly DAWE.
So, unless Henry married a Flora between 1879 when Sarah was born, and 1881 when he shows up in Wales with wife Flora, I currently think Flora is just another name for Honor/Hannah, after all she has to keep up her side of the name-changing equation, given how many names we've found her husband had.
So, I've removed Flora, and shifted Ada and Sarah/Fanny to being daughters of Honour, and republished Honor's web page (or should that now be Hannah's web page?

Thursday, 3 December 2009

3rd: David or John revisited

What was the Latest Update, re John and Sarah (DAUGHTERTY) FAIRBAIRN back in March rather looks like it might have just been upturned.
Today I stumbled across a Quebec 1834 baptism (born 1833) that just has to be him, and may well overturn my sceptism as to the accuracy of his marriage and death certs.
I'm mulling over the options and implications, but for at the moment, he stays as a son of David and Jane (WILLIAMSON) FAIRBAIRN. (My currently favoured revised theory is that there's a brother John for David and William.)

Re the blog entry for 27th Nov: the Flora DAWE mentioned didn't marry either a COMBELLACK or a CHARLES, so it's back to the drawing board.

And for those interested in COMBELLACKs, I've kickstarted a COMBELLACK Surname DNA Project to help any of you wishing to explore further the inter-relationships of assorted COMBELLACK trees.
Supporting web pages etc yet to be developed, but the basic join link is active.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Fanny/Sarah - Honor/Flora revisited

Liz has provided a certificate that has both a COMBELLACK and a CHARLES mentioned, even more evidence for the prosecution that her Annie CHARLES was Annie COMBELLACK.
This led me to get a bit more determined to identify Ada and Fanny/Sarah, and see if Sarah was indeed Fanny or yet another mystery in the family.
There's a Sarah COMBELLACK birth registered in Bristol 1879 which would sort of fit with Sarah's age in 1891, and make it highly likely she is the Fanny of the 1881 census.
So I turned my attention to the Honor/Flora mystery again.
Still being investigated but I've found a promising looking lead in a marriage of a Flora DAWE in Bristol in 1878, which fits by time and place. The FreeBMD index shows that the page has a mismatching number of bridges and grooms, and of all the marriages in Bristol that quarter, none are obviously Nicholas/Henry COMBELLACK or Charles Henry CHARLES, so the images will be searched.

DNA work of late has been on assorted FAIRBAIRN families to add a couple of lineages to the Patriarchs page - not yet published, but they will be that of John FAIRBAIRN and Margaret DEANS, in the hope we can prove John is indeed the son of Alexander FAIRBAIRN and Isabella ATCHESON.
Also that of the engineer Robert FAIRBAIRN of Eckford, who married Elizabeth YOUNG and moved to Liverpool then vanishes
DNA candidates being sought.

Sunday, 22 November 2009


The FAIRBAIRN Surname DNA Project just got even more interesting. Check the project diary for the links to those involved etc, but basically, an IRWIN descendant has just popped up as a 64/67 match to his closest FAIRBAIRN, an exact match to an ELLIOTT, and is only 1 marker off the modal values for all of FAIRBAIRN Lineage 1 (the Scottish Borders FAIRBAIRNs who are all looking to be related in some degree or other).
Given his supposed IRWIN line dates back to a chap born 1815 in Illinois it could be an interesting, but probably inconclusive, investigation.

Lorna's Links have been updated to include a nifty online latitude/longitude utility that can give you lat/long values for a point you've clicked on, and convert between decimal and degrees/minutes format values.
Given that the new bing maps (was Virtual Earth at seem to have hidden the bits I used to use for determining such things, I'm finding this link very useful when working with maps for my web pages.

Work of late has mostly been on trying to find FAIRBAIRN descendants of families wanted for the DNA proejct to (dis)prove assorted theories of where they may, or may not, fit.
These include the Robert of Eckford, a civil engineer, who moved to Lancashire, and his children moved to London, and descendants to the usual places around the globe, and include William Ewart FAIRBAIRN, of Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife and Shanghai police fame; and an interesting set of nurserymen/seedsmen of the Chelsea and Clapham area (and Oxford) who may or may not be related to each other, but one set of whom are rumoured to have come from the Scottish Borders back in the mid 1700s.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

19th: SHEARERs in Canada

The BAIN descendants chart has been republished to include a few more of the family of Catherine McKENZIE and James SHEARER who emigrated to Toronto in 1887/8.
I've just noticed that she has never been included in my WorldConnect db LornaHenderson, so this will be remedied next update (dtr of Janet BAIN and James McKENZIE Clashmaharribeg, Lybster).
Still two of them to be accounted for, a Lizzie found in the 1881 census but not later (and there was an Elizabeth Jane born several years later in Canada), and identification of the informant for Catherine's death.
By elimination she is probably dtr Janet as Mrs James BRUCE, but I haven't found her marriage as yet. Whichever daughter she was, she was living at 96A Ashburnham Rd Toronto in Jul 1929.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Cumberland to Clerkenwell

Great to hear from Bridget again re assorted TURNBULL/GRAHAM snippets.
She kindly sent me both a photo of the Canonbie headstone of Robert & Helen TURNBULL, and the obit of my 2*great grandfather James TURNBULL, which had appeared in the Carlisle Patriot - and very fulsome it was too. (I've now remedied the oversight that he had missed being published on my web pages).
The obit completely confirms that I've correctly identified his brother John as the one married to Isabella MARTIN, as the copy of the "Huirangi papers" obit has an addenda: "Mr Turnbull was a native of Haithwaitegate near this city and brother of the late Mr John Turnbull of White Close Gate".
In addition Bridget sent a transcript of the death notice for Frances SCAIFE (nee GRAHAM) which confirmed my suspicion that she was the 1856 death registration in Penrith.
Fossicking around as a result of these I've now found the original of the marriage of Jane GRAHAM and John SCAIFE (parents of the above Frances' husband William SCAIFE) in St Bennet Grace Church, London, and see not only was the date different to that I had entered (15th March not Sep), but that the witnesses included a Jane BATY and Richard GRAHAM.
I assume the latter is her brother, but who is Jane BATY, presumably also so far from her Cumberland home?

Saturday, 14 November 2009

14th: OneWorldTree - check the sources

Oh the joys of "researchers" attaching people to their trees on the strength of Ancestry's hints without checking the sources.
I've just noticed that OneWorldTree, Ancestry's attempt to do what OneGreatFamily do rather better, has assigned a son Robert (born 1811 Anderston) to my John and Catherine (GRAY) BAIN, and he now appears in several trees, many of which erroneously include rather a lot of the descendants of John and Catherine as their relations.
I checked why Ancestry seem to think he belongs to John and Catherine and see that if you examine the sources, they've taken the data from two tree submissions, one being the Rootsweb tree of mine that they pinched many years back (and which I can no longer access to correct in any way shape or form - for the current version, see WorldConnect db LornaHenderson). That tree shows a male born 1826 to John and Catherine.
The other tree source is that of a Robert born 1818 Anderston Scotland to a John and Isabella (MacDONALD) and married to a Barbara FERGUSON, and dying in Polk, Minnesota in 1904.
Whereas John and Catherine have a large gap in their children that he could fit in, the Anderston Scotland Robert has siblings born in 1820 in Anderston when John and Catherine had Elizabeth up in Caithness, so it seems rather unlikely he fits with John and Catherine at all.
Check the sources!

Friday, 13 November 2009

Shifting Alistair

One result of the correspondence with Sheena was a re-examination of the family of Diana Berry BAIN and Donald SWANSON. (Their son John SWANSON married a relative of Sheena's).
My initial data on the family had come with two sons for Donald and Diana, John and Alister. I'd never been able to confirm Alister's existence, and have now decided that he is probably Alexandra Mowat SWANSON, John's son instead, as Sheena advised he was also known as Alistair.
Sheena's family story also assigns a son John George Waters SWANSON to John and Alexandrina (Alice) SWANSON, John being Diana's son.
The 1916 Manitoba census does show a John G SWANSON in the family of John and Alice SWANSON, who may or may not be this family - the doubt being that Alex M seems to have turned into an Alice T.
I found a London Gazette entry (Nov 1945) mentioning a Capt John George Waters SWANSON of the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps being recognised for gallant and distinguished services in Italy who seems a likely match.

My WorldConnect database LornaHenderson has been updated to include the latest round of updates, as has OneGreatFamily.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Where things lead..

Prompted by the correspondence with Sheena, I became curious as to why the Wilma MacDONALD who married David OAG, had Finlayson as a middle name. Interesting journey.
I nearly stopped looking once I'd hit her grandparents as they were living in the Orkneys rather than Caithness, but then noticed that her father said he was born Pulteneytown, so I persisted one more generation "just in case" there was going to be a connection.
David FINLAYSON, born Pulteneytown in 1827 turns out to be the son of a cooper William FINLAYSON born Bower. At which point my mild curiousity went up a notch or two.
William, wife Catherine (LIDDEL) and family had moved to Whitehall, Orkney by 1841, and were still there in 1851 but then they vanished, and I couldn't find a death for him at all. Nearly gave up, thinking he might have died between 1851 and 1855, so not in civil registration.
Idly searched ancestry for his son Neil and found his death at age 90 as Capt Neil FINLAYSON in Toronto.
Yes, William, Catherine and family had indeed vanished from Orkney (apart from David who stayed behind). They'd emigrated to Trafalgar, Halton Co, Ontario along with a David who looked like he might be William's brother.
That led me to the Bower baptisms of a David and William children of James and Elizabeth (COGHILL) FINLAYSON of Stemster.
Someone must be researching this family as there are patron submissions on the IGI, but I've not yet figured out who they are to see what conclusions they may have reached working back from James and Elizabeth in Bower.

Monday, 9 November 2009

more buses

I think I've commented before about the bus saying: nothing for ages, then along come two at once?
I've been working on a FAIRBAIRN family with Eckford connections to try and find candidates for the FAIRBAIRN dna project.
My attention strayed, as it often does, to a different Robert FAIRBAIRN I'd found in the wonderful London records now more readily available.
One of the sons was from Yoxford, Suffolk, a place I'd never heard of, and obviously none of the census enumerators had either as it variously appeared against his name as Yufford, Foxford, as well as the more often listed, and presumably correct, Yoxford.
Then along came an email (or two, or three) from Sheena about a mutual interest we have in the family of David & Johnina (BAIN) Oag. Sheena and I aren't related, but are both connected to this family, one way or another.
So, once again, I checked off what additional info had come my way, and looked to see what else might be found.
This time, I found a new ancestry tree had been posted dealing with a branch of these BAINs that I knew had New Zealand connections but had never tracked down.
I have now confirmed the marriage of the additional NZ BAIN link, that of Albert Victor KEABLE and Hughina Bain MATHIESON.
Not entirely sure how ever they came to met up and marry in Caithness as Albert gave his address as of Heveringham, Yoxford, Suffolk.
With a more accurate spelling of Albert's surname, I am now in contact with one of the descendants, and in the process have tied up several other loose ends.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Back to the BAINs and their multitudinous descendants

Bobby has been in touch with a descendant of William MOWAT and Alexandrina BAIN, so I had a quick check on what new snippets might be found.
Filled in the line down to this newfound rellie, and also found several marriages for the rest of William and Alexandrina's family.
BAIN descendant chart updated, as will be my WorldConnect db LornaHenderson sometime soon.
The only new surname that added to the tree was BURRETT, all the rest of the newfound spice were the usual Caithness suspects: GUNN, DUNNET, SUTHERLAND, ROSIE.
Investigated the ROSIE a little further, and sure enough there's a connection.
The Alexander ROSIE I've just added in as husband of Margaret MOWAT, was the son of Angus & Jean (BREMNER) ROSIE.
Angus had a brother George (their parents are Alexander ROSIE and Elizabeth SHEARER), who married Annie SWANSON. A dtr Jessie married Alexander John BAIN, another of our BAIN twigs.
These linkages will show up next WorldConnect update.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

5th: Round the (ANDREWS) mulberry bush

Prompted by an email from an ANDREWS relation/researcher asking about a London branch of our family, I started checking what I did and didn't have them (the family of Abraham ANDREWS and Mary Ann CHANT).
I reminded myself that their son John had married a mysterious (to me) Emily someone and decided to figure out who she was, given census data showed her as born Odcombe, Somerset.
With all that wonderful new info on London marriages and baptisms etc now available on ancestry, I quickly found the marriage of John to Emily, only to see that her father was supposedly a carpenter, one John ANDREWS!!
I spent rather too long investigating an Emily Ann ANDREWS born 1850 to a John and Anna (HILL) ANDREWS, whose extended family did occasionally have Martock connections, but basically this John had the wrong occupation and just didn't feel right.
Rather belatedly, I then checked the deaths and found what looked like their Emily Ann had died back in 1851, so back to the drawing board.
This time I started by searching births of Emmas and quickly lit upon the 1850 Emma Q4 reg. Yeovil. And also very quickly, realised that I had her in my database all along as the illegitimate dtr of Tabitha ANDREWS nee HUNT, later ROBBINS, who had married John ANDREWS, brother of the above Abraham, and of my 2 greats granddad Simon ANDREWS, and been left a widow back about 1845, 5 years prior to Emma/Emily's birth.
What goes round comes around, all mysteries get solved eventually.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Stray George Henry WARE - Jeweller anyone?

With all the Devon families getting a bit of a look in at the moment, one that got more attention was that of Nicholas WARE and Margaret King CREBER (those darn rabbit farmers). I'd "parked" a mysterious May WARE, grddtr with Margaret in 1881.
With the arrival on ancestry of a heap of London records I went searching, and found a marriage for her (to Alfred Edward GRIMES), which told me that her father was George Henry WARE, jeweller. Not a known (to me) son for Nicholas to either wife.
However, he can well fit in between Richard and Margaret Annie. But I can't as yet find him anywhere to confirm this.
The relevant Devon descendant charts have been updated: BARTER, KING, DAWE, CREBER

Monday, 26 October 2009

26th: What a way to go

You've got to feel sorry for this chap and his family.

A Canadian death cert. I've just read (Samuel METHERELL 1894, Lindsay, Victoria Co, Ontario) gives cause of death as "diarohia with melancholia".
Haven't yet placed him in the HELSON/METHERELL families I'm currently filling in gaps on but he has to connect somewhere, given two of the dtrs of Thomas HELSON and Elizabeth PEEK both married METHERELLs, and many of them ended up in Victoria, Ontario, mostly around Mariposa.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

24th: Census enumerator defeated

Having uploaded some updates to OneGreatFamily , I reviewed the families concerned (those of the last few posts) to see if anyone else was researching them.
Lots of "conflicting information" symbols showed up, along with several greyed out boxes on the descendant charts which showed that someone else had more people in the tree than I did (or insufficient information on our respective records for OGF to have merged them automatically).
One family I strayed into checking was that of Ann HELSON, dtr of John and Elizabeth (HORTOP) HELSON, whose son Aaron I thought had married an Emma, but the investigation of same hadn't ever made it to the top of the growing pile of Round TUITs.
The first record I checked was the 1881 census, at Wimsdon, North Petherwin, Cornwall, and two of the dtrs were listed merely as M.E. and H W F. MEHTERAL.
Birth records eventually unearthed showed M E as Mahala Elizabeth, and H W F highly likely to be Hephzibah Florence.
I concluded that the names were just too much for the enumerator to spell!

(OneGreatFamily are having a cut price sub offer for a few more days if you're interested)

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Charles Henry CHARLES again

But this time, the father.
Finally found the family of Nicholas/Henry COMBELLACK/CHARLES and Honor/Flora in 1891.
After being in Cardiff in 1881 (as Henry and Flora COMBELLACK), Henry has returned to England and is living in Plymouth as Charles H CHARLES, widower, with Annie, Mary and Ada with him, and a Sarah who may or may not be Fanny from 1881. Next household schedule, same address, is for Henry and Fanny CHARLES (the son, subject of the previous posting, Fanny looks like she remarries in 1897 to a Joseph George JURY, Henry having died in 1893).
Still can't find either Honor's death, nor marriage or death of Flora (if she exists and isn't Honor), and would very much like to find the births for Ada and Fanny/Sarah, supposedly in Bath to figure out if their Mum was Honor, or possibly Flora.
Anyone out there with a mysterious Ada or Fanny or Sarah CHARLES or COMBELLACK?
DAWE descendant chart updated.

Charles Henry Charles

What a mouthful.
With the hint that the COMBELLACKs may have become CHARLES, and the now knowledge, that the Military records on ancestry labelled as 1914-1922 actually also include earlier service records, I searched them for CHARLES instead of COMBELLACK.
Up popped one Henry CHARLES, of Devonport, born abt 1866, so I read his record.
He enlisted on the same day as Edmund John CHIVERS, for the same Corps.
Next of kin given as father Nicholas of Plymouth, crossed out and "wife Fanny with him" written in.
Fanny later identiifed as the Fanny Grace JEWELL, whom he married in 1890 at Mutley Wesleyan Chapel, Plymouth.
I believe this is Charles Henry COMBELLACK, and the C H CHARLES witness to the marriage of Edmund John CHIVERS and Annie CHARLES.
Just as well he only alternated between surnames beginning with C as he had a tattoo H C on his arm.

20th: Combellacks or Charles!

The power of pooling information was very evident today.
The name Charles obviously had some significance to the COMBELLACK family of Nicholas and Honor (DAWE) COMBELLACK.
Two of their sons had led me a merry dance as I tried to convince myself that Isaac Daw COMBELLACK was one and the same person as Isaac Charles COMBELLACK, and ditto for Richard Thomas or Richard Charles COMBELLACK.
Not to mention as to whether or not Henry in Wales in 1881 was actually Nicholas.
Yes to all of the above.
I still don't know the significance of Charles as a name to the family, BUT today I was contacted via the Ancestry message service by a Liz investigating her ancestor, an Annie CHARLES who had married an Edmund John CHIVERS in 1891, giving her father as one Henry CHARLES, and a witness being a C H CHARLES.
Her research had led her to Henry and Flora COMBELLACK in Wales in 1881 (family story about runaways, millers, gardeners and name changes from COMBELLACK to CHARLES).

With these hints, I have now found what looks like Nicholas aka Henry COMBELLACK aka CHARLES in Roath, Cardiff in 1901 as a widowed gardener, Henry CHARLES of the right age, birth place Gwendron, Cornwall, which I guess could pass as Welsh for Wendron .

Still can't find them in 1891 though.

Had a great deal of trouble finding Annie and Edmund anywhere beyond the marriage entry on FreeBMD, but eventually confirmed that it did rather look like she was the Anna, dtr of Nicholas and Honor as the 1911 census shows her as born Helston, Cornwall abt 1872 (Anna was Dec 1871 Sithney, Helston).
Edmund's military service record was very interesting reading (joined up in 1884, served until 1907, seeing service in Egypt and Sth Africa, and ended up being discharged from Ireland, getting a whole 5 pounds for his long service and good conduct over 23 years and 75 days service.
The only injury noted on his record was a head injury from being thrown from his cart when his mule shied at passing soldiers - in Aldershot.
So far this was all only circumstantial evidence of the right Annie, but the service record neatly lists all 5 of his children and adds considerably more circumstantial evidence in that one son was named Phillip Isaac Nicholas CHIVERS.
Phillip being Edmund's father, Isaac being a good DAWE name, and Nicholas being Annie's father.
I'm convinced. Now to see if C H CHARLES can be found and confirmed as Charles Henry COMBELLACK.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Update time

Thought it time to publish some of the updates from the last few weeks.

WorldConnect Database LornaHenderson has been updated.
Main changes are in the Devon families mentioned over the last few postings:
In addition I've incorporated all recent changes into OneGreatFamily , as usual. I was interested to note the results of an informal survey that Dick Eastman carried out recently that question 12 about usage of on-line genealogy programs showed that of those answering this question (admittedly not a large number of responses), most used OneGreatFamily, so it can't just be me that finds it useful.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

17th: Honor confirmed

While adding Gladys ROWE into the copy of the tree I keep on Ancestry I deviated into attaching some available census data to Isaac Smith DAWE.
One thing always leads to another, and as Isaac and Betsey had grddtr Honor GALE born Marystow living with them in 1851, I also included her in the ancestry tree (where I can link to sources found there) and realised I'd never confirmed my suspicions from 2006 that she had married a John CREES.
Back then FreeBMD could only provide a John CREES(E) who married in 1863, but no matching Honor. Which is now explained as they actually married in 1870.
There are a couple of trees researching this family from the CREES side, so I am reasonably happy that the id is correct.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Definitely time for Devon families

Must be something in the air at the moment, with all this activity on the Devon branches of my tree.
Next WorldConnect update will include several more of the COMBELLACK family of Honor DAWE as several certificates have arrived to confirm my suspicions as to who married whom apart from Emily Jane where I drew a blank. The Emily Jane who married Hugh NICHOLLS was the dtr of Richard Toll COMBELLACK instead of Nicholas as I was hoping she would be. So her fate remains unknown beyond 1881 when she was in Bristol with brother Richard.
And while all this activity was going on, yet another wonderful email arrived asking if I had any interest in a box of WILMERING memorabilia that included several photos letters and newspaper clippings relating to the family of Gladys ROWE and Norbert WILMERING. Thank you so much Bart, for sharing this little treasure trove.
Norbert is a relation of Bart's wife, and they had contacted a relation who had saved these boxes of memorabilia from an elderly WILMERING relation. The newspaper cuttings are in a grocery store's ledger book which begins in 1868, but was later used by Norbert's grandmother for the family clippings.
I feel yet more updates coming on!

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

13th: Let me count the ways

How many variants can there be for finding the surname CREBER in the indexes?
A couple of marriage certs for Richard CREBERs turned up today, ordered after I got confused about the identification in 1841 of who Eliza was with.
(Eliza is the one from the other day's entry, who married Robert PEARCE, and sister of Henry CREBER, all of whom ended up in Ontario).
The best 1841 candidate was of a 21 yr old Eliza with a Richard (34) and Mary (35) at Yealamade, Sheepstor.
However, that Richard doesn't exactly look like her brother Richard, as he is more likely to be with wife Mary (GILES) at Welltown, Walkhampton.
The next most likely candidate, a cousin Richard, son of James CREBER and Agnes SPRY was married to 1st wife Margaret at the time (2nd wife Mary BALL didn't come along until 1844) and they appear at Huckworthy Bridge, Sampford Spiney as expected.
Looking at the other Richards in the timeframe led me to the 1801 Richard son of Richard CREBER and Elizabeth SPRY and I noticed that some ancestry trees provide him with a wife and family in London.
Took me a while to verify this, beyond the easily found, but inconclusive, marriage record to Elizabeth WARE.
Census data indexed them as CREBO (1851), ALBER (1861), COLBER (1871), and yes, one states he was born Walkhampton.
Yet another musical CREBER family, as Richard, and son Samuel are both enumerated as pianoforte makers.
Son Samuel added to the count, by being enumerated as CREVER (1861) but indexed as BREVER.
However, that didn't solve my mystery of the Sheepstor 1841 census Richard and Mary.

Creber, Barter and King descendant charts has been updated to include a few more twigs, as has the DAWE descendant chart, and a page for Honor DAWE (marr. to Nicholas/Henry COMBELLACK) has been added.

Friday, 9 October 2009

9th: Still no matches

Given Family Tree DNA have just announced some greatly reduced mtDNA testing prices (yes, I've ordered the new Mega, full sequence mtDNA for myself), I also thought it was time I checked whether or not anything had popped up lately re the HENDERSON dna.
No, Bill and Russell, still show as the only matches each has in the entire FT DNA database. Some day, someone else will test that will match and give me some leads as to where Archibald may have come from.

Monday, 5 October 2009

4th: Happenstances galore

Do so love it when assorted threads all come together.

A message arrived from ancestry accepting a correction I'd lodged some time ago so I checked to see who it was.
As previously advised, I have loaded the basic ancestral tree onto ancestry (suspect the link will only work if you have a sub, or are accessing it via a library), and am adding connected people as I research them and find source data.
So, given the correction was for a connected person, I added them to the tree, added the source I'd previously viewed, and connected them up to the previously loaded common ancestor.
This led me to review where I'd got to with the family of Richard PEARCE and Mary HELSON.
Putting the hints ancestry provided together with checking now more readily available sources, I've finally solved a long standing mystery (to me anyway, others may well have solved it long ago), AND connected up two previously separate branches of my Devon families.
As I checked off the family of their son Robert, and couldn't find Robert and Elizabeth's son Richard anywhere in Canada after 1871, it dawned on me that I may have solved the mystery about the Mary PEARCE who married John OXENHAM and moved to Michigan.
I now believe I've found the final proof (or sufficient additional circumstantial evidence) that she was indeed the dtr of Richard PEARCE and Mary HELSON.
John and Mary's dtr Betsy OXENHAM married a Richard H PEARCE/PEARSE/PIERCE, and shortly before their marriage, both had appeared in a Michigan Census as niece/nephew of John & Grace KEAGLE (that's still a mystery for another day).
Richard looked like he might be the son of a Robert & Eliza PEARCE in Belleville by 1851
I didn't have enough additional information at the time I last investigated this.
Coming to the family from a completely different angle this time, I landed on Eliza or Elizabeth CREBER, dtr of John and Ann (WORTH) CREBER as one of the hints ancestry provided and found that at least one tree thought she had married Robert PEARSE and emigrated to Ontario - yes Belleville.
Guess I'll have to re-check the family of John and Ann (WORTH) CREBER however, as I had assumed she had died young, given there was a later baptism in Walkhampton of an Eliza to John and Ann.
Either it's a different John and Ann, OR someone was telling porkies, and the 1829 Eliza is actually a dtr of a dtr? I do admit I was a bit sceptical about adding her to the family, as Ann would be abt 51 by then.
It looks fairly clear that the 1821 Eliza or Elizabeth is indeed the one in Belleville, but I'm basing that mainly on two facts.
A son named Worth in one census (and William in the next), and that they were living next door to a Henry CREBER of an age and birthplace to be her brother Henry CREBER, whom I'd lost in England after a possibly 1841 sighting at Sampford Spiney with what looked like his cousin Richard.
So two found families for the price of one census entry, and the descendants of the HELSON/PEEK/ALGAR families matching up with those of the BARTER/KINGs.

I've updated the CREBER and PEEK/ALGAR descendant charts to include these new twigs, as well as adding assorted source data to them on the ancestry tree which may help others find more, given the variations in the indexing for these surnames:
PIERCE, PEARSE, PEARCE, CREBER, CHEEBER, CHUBER, CREBAR just to name a few I can remember from today.

Next WorldConnect database update will include shifting some of the above people into my main database from LornaPotential, which holds those I've researched in some way and suspect they'll connect, but lack sufficient proof.

Back to the COMBELLACKs next, as Alan has kindly provided a copy of his data for me to work thru.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

3rd: Nicholas vs Henry

Fully convinced that Nicholas COMBELLACK is the Henry with Flora in Cardiff in the 1881 census.
Alan sent me a copy of Isaac's marriage cert to Annie PUGH, which shows his father as Henry (by now a gardener, not a miller, even though it was probably as a miller he shifted to Wales).
He had been provided it by a previous researcher of this family also hitting the same puzzles.
I still need convincing that Flora is Honor though, given the gap in the children's ages, and the fact I cannot find the birth registrations of the youngest two as yet.
Mind you, looking at a badly written Flora in that census, I did wonder if it was someone's mistranscription onto an enumerator's sheet of another poorly written misspelt Honor.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

1st: Combellacks combined

Finally found a couple of links I was missing in the family of Nicholas and Honor (DAWE) COMBELLACK to convince me who all these variously named people were:
Richard Thomas aka Richard Charles aka Richard marr. to Annie WOOD living Penzance
Isaac Daw aka Isaac aka Isaac Charles marr. to Annie PUGH and living Cardiff (buried Thanet)
have all been combined into the family of Nicholas and Honor, who may, or may not, be Henry and Flora in Cardiff in 1881.

For the curious, the links that finally convinced me were a couple of War Graves, and War memorials.
Isaac's burial in Thanet records him as Isaac Charles, son of Nicholas and Honor and husband of Annie Pugh COMBELLACK of Roath, Cardiff
and Richard James, died Mesopotamia 1919 is shown as son of Mr and Mrs R T COMBELLACK of the same address as the Richard Charles COMBELLACK who married Annie WOOD.

My Rootsweb WorldConnect database LornaHenderson has been updated to reflect all the latest findings.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009


This family is proving MOST intriguing to research. There are so many alternatives online, with different parents, different names, and they are particularly elusive in census records beyond 1871.
Found one note that said Nicholas and Honor(DAWE) COMBELLACK had moved to Wales where they became Henry and Flora. Certainly Henry's age and occupation fit, as do the oldest two children enumerated with them in Cardiff. But why suddenly say they were all born Bristol? Talk about re-inventing yourself.
Given the age gap between the two oldest children and the two younger ones, I'd guess that Flora might be a second wife, but if so, I've been unsuccessful to date in finding the marriage to Flora, or death of Honor.
I've posted some of the contradictions on the COMBELLACK message board in the hope that someone can chime in with evidence from BDM certificates and will keep digging.

As recent changes will show up on the DAWE descendant chart, it has been reloaded.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

28th: Who is Francis, who is he?

Finally found Jemima CLINTON in the 1841 census tonight. Suspect I've not been successful in the past as dtr Emma, my great grandmother, wasn't at home and I had probably been searching primarily for her (younger members of a family generally having more accurate ages).
They were living at 31 Rose St, St Martins in the Fields, Long Acre, Middlesex (same address as 1851). However I wonder who the "25 year old" Francis was with them, seaman. An older brother for Emma that I didn't know about?

Also took the opportunity to check London baptisms for the family given they are now online on ancestry. As a result the William CLINTON/Jemima PARKER family has lost one of the members I had as I've convinced myself that the one I had as James? baptised in 1826, was simply an additional baptism for the 1817 James, given that date was written in the margin of his St Leonards Shoreditch baptism.
Which neatly solves the puzzle I had as to how come the James who lived to marry appeared to be the earlier 1820 Fish St Hill Independent baptism!

Other than this sudden London flurry, main activity of late has been on the Honor DAWE who married Nicholas COMBELLACK, and the family of Maria Jane DAWE and Richard PRYOR.
Honor and Maria are sisters. The activity is thanks to Karinya for contacting me re her possible x greats grandfather John Henry PRYOR, Maria and Richard's son, whom I didn't have in my database, but he certainly appears on the shipping list with several of his siblings in 1878. The family story is that Maria died at sea en route to Australia with her new second husband, and the children were abandoned once they reached Queensland. The reality may be a little different, as Maria's death is registered in Queensland, but then, that doesn't necessarily mean she wasn't a death at sea and simply registered on arrival. More later, I hope.

The Honor DAWE isn't my 2greats grandmother, but one of her cousins, and there's another NZ connection with the family! Still working on it.

Also the FAIRBAIRN DNA project has a new member and match (not in my line, but an interesting match nevertheless as it is another between a Fife FAIRBAIRN family and an Irish/Canadian FREEBORN one. Check the DNA project diary for further details.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Third time lucky

I should have gone back to basics with Ellen Maud SKEWES. Instead, I compounded a problem.
No wonder I couldn't find her in 1901.
The Henry James H SIMMONS marrying in the 1894 qtr must have married the other bride.
Alan set me straight, pointing out he'd been told she married a Walter Hammond NALL.
Sure enough, he was the other groom that qtr.
Still took me a while to find them in 1901. Failed completely using findmypast census searches, but eventually found them on ancestry indexed as RALL (correction lodged) at Bere Alston.
Walter was a Congregational Minister from Sheffield, and they appear to have one dtr Edna Doris, who may or may not have been known as Doris (tentative id in 1911 census).

Check out the McADIE DNA Project Diary for some activity re assorted Watten pedigrees.

Monday, 21 September 2009

21st: Better searching

The more alert of you may have noticed that the blog version of my research diary has changed. Not just the look, but also the location.
This is because I've shifted it to being fully hosted on blogspot, rather than on my domain pages. Main reason for this shift is to enable better searching - use the search box "powered by Google", rather than the one at the top in the blog navigation bar which I've never had much success using.

Continuing the METTERS/SKEWES family updates.
Found an old "to do" note to myself to check out Ellen Maud SKEWES again, and as a result I've removed the son I had assigned to her and assigned him back to the other Henry and Ellen SYMONS/SIMMONS. Interesting that both Ellens were born Bere Ferrers, however the Henrys were Henry William SYMONS and Henry James H SIMMONS. Still looking for the latter Henry and "my" Ellen after their marriage in 1894 though.

Big Brother has been updated, so all trees should now show be latest versions.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

How many Williams?

As part of the attention being given to descendants of Richard MATTERS and Patience PIKE at the moment, I reviewed their son William supposedly born Aug 1796 Bere Ferrers.
I had, from data originally supplied to me, and not independently checked, that there were two Williams in the family, one 1783 and another 1796, so I'd assumed the first had died.
Today I checked the family off against the Bere Ferrers baptisms and came to the conclusion that there was only one William, the 1783 one, who hadn't obviously died young (no burial up to 1805). So, I've deleted my second William from the family.
Thought I'd found him in Tavistock with wife Ann in a couple of census records, but eventually discounted that identification as he thought he was born Bridestow.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Time for another update - or two

My WorldConnect database LornaHenderson has been updated to include recent activity.

Mainly this has been on Quebec FAIRBAIRNs and the HUDSONs, thanks mainly to Adeline who contacted me questioning the reported HUDSON/FAIRBAIRN links which most sources show as two sets of siblings marrying siblings.
I think we both ended up satisfied that the family records looked correct, and that her HUDSONs were a different set, despite family stories from descendants of the FAIRBAIRN/HUDSON lot.
As a result of the activity, several Quebec FAIRBAIRN marriages were also checked off, and assorted related census data checked, including a couple of quite modern ones which show a FAIRBAIRN/TAYLOR marriage where the TAYLOR side of the equation has a link to Thurso which rather piqued my interest, given my TAYLOR connections from Caithness (not yet investigated, but if anyone knows anything more about a William TAYLOR from Thurso who may have emigrated to Quebec and can elucidate, do get in touch).

Another rash of activity was prompted by Alan of Christchurch contacting me about Daniel Hodge SKEWES, brother of his ancestor.
This made me realise that I'd never finished processing the Bere Ferrers headstone photos I'd taken back in 2006, so several of the METTERS family this Daniel married into have also been updated (ongoing). He also answered my un-investigated question on how come Daniel's son Samuel was a Samuel Dawe SKEWES, although as yet, neither of us know anything about the DAWE connection beyond Alan advising me that Samuel's mother was an Anne DAWE who died aged 32.
One of the connected family that I'm not having much joy in finding is John COURTIS son of John and Mary (TOLL) COURTIS, (who both died young their headstone in Bere Ferrers shows them both dying on 28th February, one in 1863 the other in 1866). Eldest known son is John Humphrey or Humphries COURTIS, who disappears after the 1861 census, but may be the John H COURTIS in Lewisham, London with a wife Nellie, "living on means" and born Tavistock.
Certainly some of his siblings are enumerated as born Tavistock once they've moved away from Devon (sister Mary Ann CHEAL nee COURTIS)

And after many years of using but avoiding trusting my data to them beyond the above RootsWeb World Connect databases, I've given in, despite their terms and conditions of what they can do with your data.
(I got the pip with their OneWorldTree which merged in ridiculous data and made it look like mine, at least now it looks like any merging will be only at my request!).
So, I've uploaded a very basic tree of my direct ancestors and their siblings, and as I research assorted relations, am adding to it with the attached census and BMD data, or whatever I find on ancestry.
As a result the tree is very much a subset of my total data (as are all my online trees, some more than others), but newly added information will be attached to source images.
It may not always be clear how the research connects to the ancestors as I may not have got round to linking them up with the connecting people however!

OneGreatFamily continues to be updated with more completely and more regularly and contains slightly more people than the WorldConnect db, with all their BMD data but no attached sources as I still love their merging of families into one huge tree, although some of the outer edges can be a bit suspect most of the merges I've checked off do look quite kosher, and have provided several good leads.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

9th: "Tedious courtship"

Another chuckle from some general searching in some online newspapers using Thornham as a keyword.
Up came a completely unrelated Thornham in this marriage entry reported in The Manchester Times and Gazette (Manchester, England), Saturday, November 3, 1838; Issue 528.
"On the 25th Ult. at Prestwich Church, Mr Samuel Cheetham, manufacturer of Shaw, to Miss Schofield, of Thornham, after a tedious courtship of fifteen years."

Reason for looking?
The ALGAR family of Devon is taking up most of my research interest and time at the moment.
One descendant was an Elizabeth (dtr of Samuel & Wilmot ALGAR), who is shown on the 1920s chart as marrying farmer William MEDLAND.
Extracted records from the IGI provide them with one dtr, Elizabeth Algar MEDLAND.
A tree on Rootsweb, and the IGI provide a marriage of Elizabeth MEDLAND to a William PEARSE, 1811 at Ivybridge, (both of Modbury, witnesses William PEARSE and John MEATHREL), and four children, the eldest being William baptised Ermington 1813, another being Henry Medland PEARSE.
Census records provide a likely candidate for this 1813 William who mostly says he was born Modbury, but by 1891, reverts to saying he was born Ermington.
If he is the right chap, this is the PEARSE family of Thornham that handily feature in many documents extracts of which appear online on the UK National Archives website.
Linkages above remain to be proven but the dates and places fit, including an 1826 marriage of William PEARSE to Catherine Charlotte HOOKEY which post-dates Elizabeth Algar nee MEDLAND's 1824 death, and this couple's presence in the 1841 census at Thornham, with William's assumed son William born between 1811 and 1816.
I do admit to some doubt however in that there's also a lease from Samuel & Elizabeth PEARSE to William PEARSE, carpenter of Yealmpton. If this is some property being kept in the family, William's occupation should be farmer, as the two generations of Williams were farmers of Thornham, and the next William (William Henry Dunning PEARSE, born 1847) a bank clerk.

Also found several more earlier ALGARs in New England, but this time voluntarily. Brothers Andrew & Arthur ALGAR, of Richmond Island in Maine by 1635ish (from Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-33, by Robert Charles ANDERSON)
Data relating to these families is also recorded in a history from the other side of the Atlantic in The New Maritime History of Devon: From early times to the late eighteenth, found on Google books.

Friday, 4 September 2009

3rd: More on ALGARs

Still digging around on ALGARs.
Had a chuckle at one discovery. Found one Arthur ALGAR part of a "transport" to Virginia in 1731 after being convicted at the Devon Assizes.
I then found another site recording the earliest ALGARs in America, amongst whom was one Arthur ALGAR who "emigrated to Virgina in 1731".
This may, or may not, be the Arthur baptised 1693 to Andrew and Mary (CURTIS) ALGAR in Yealmpton.
The ALGAR chart has been updated with a few more checked out baptisms (still mostly from the IGI as I check off the 1920s chart Richard kindly sent me a copy of, but supplemented by assorted leasing transcripts on the UK National Archives site, and web searches).

Saturday, 29 August 2009

29th: More catch up updates; ALGARs added

Also time I republished my research logs. They've been lagging behind this, the blog version, for rather too long.

In addition, the PEEK surname link to a descendant chart has been replaced by a Peek/Algar page with charts for both surnames. It's been an interesting exercise fossicking around in assorted lease agreements held in the Devon Archives and swapping notes with Richard up the road on who belongs where.
My knowledge of the area around Newton Ferrers, Yealmpton, Ugborough is growing somewhat.
I do wonder how on earth Elizabeth ALGAR of Newton Ferrers met up with Richard PEEK/PYKE of Walkhampton!

Friday, 28 August 2009

28th: Continuing in update mode

My main web pages have been fully reloaded, others will follow as time permits.

Full set of BAIN dna results now in. Too early to tell if we have an accurate DNA signature for the line of John BAIN (married Catherine GRAY) as there are no matches to other tested BAIN families (see full BAIN dna project).
We only have one representative for our BAIN line and would very much like a second line to be represented to confirm this dna signature.


With a couple of separate sets of information and new contacts re the extended PEEK/HELSON family of Devon it was time for a catch up.
Thelma left a note in my GuestBook. She is related to Elizabeth THOMPSON, wife of David COOPER, son of Ellen Jane HELSON (Ontario) and provided a couple of family write-ups from the ?1970s? and a photo of Ellen and two of her sisters.
Peter on GenesReunited found me and provided a link to his tree which is the line from Thomas HELSON and Elizabeth PEEK via son John (married Elizabeth HORTOP).
All of which reminded me that I don't think I've ever mentioned the local ALGAR link that surfaced back in May and led to an interesting exchange of emails with Richard, a 5th cousin twice removed who lives just up the road.
It led to a re-examination of my 5*great grandmother, Elizabeth ALGAR, wife of Richard PEEK, who appears in the tree as Mrs Elizabeth ALGAR, from my interpretation of this entry

in the Walkhampton Parish Registers.
Richard disputes the Mrs, given that he's sure he can claim Elizabeth as sister to his x greats grandfather, Samuel (and take Samuel's line back several more generations, mostly in Yealmpton).

PEEK descendant chart updated, as is Elizabeth PEEK nee ALGAR's page.

Also updated OneGreatFamily with the last few weeks of updates to anyone already on-line in any of my databases or web pages.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

26th: What's been updated

Time for a catch up for the databases on-line at WorldConnect: LornaHenderson and LornaPotential have both been updated, but may not appear in index searches for a couple of days, so if you want to check anything there, use the links in this post.

LornaHenderson contains basic BMD data on all rellies and those connected to them (no data published on the living, who may not even appear in this database at all).
LornaPotential is also basic BMD data only, but for families that may, or may not, connect to my assorted families.

All source data available on request, or, check my web pages to see if anyone you are interested in has been given a page of their own there, with sources.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Devon DAWEs

Brief flurry of activity on some of the Devon DAWE families, prompted by emails to/from Val and a long overdue filing session.

Main family to benefit from the attention was one of the many Isaac DAWEs as I tried to find the family in 1911, not always successfully.
It makes sense that the Isaac married to Amy FOLLETT, and Thirza STEVENS, is the 64 yr old whose death is registered Dartmouth 1917. But if so, where on earth was he in 1911? Found several of the children, but as yet, no Isaac.
NB Val provided the information that Amy didn't die in childbirth as I'd thought was likely, but was kicked by a cow, his narrative has been updated.

The DAWE/DAW Surname dna project would very much like to recruit a representative of (m)any of the Devon DAWE/DAW families to see how they may inter-relate, and whether or not those in Newfoundland are our (distant) relations.
All you have to be is a direct male line descendant of any of the Devon DAWE families, the more the merrier.

Read all about dna testing, and see the existing Newfoundland family at the Summary pages on the WorldFamilies network, and supplementary information on the DNA Projects Portal pages.
(Other projects have had great success in both proving and dis-proving relationships not able to be determined by paper trails).

Sunday, 23 August 2009

22nd: Dorothea Beatrice revisited

Think I might have to conclude Dorothea Beatrice GOULD is NOT Dora Myrtle FAIRBAIRN.
I've found a curious death record at Adlophustown, Lennox Co, Ontario of a Dorothea Beatrice GOULD (indexed as Serethea Beatrice), supposedly aged 6, in 1907, informant one Thos J GOULD of E 17 Con 4, which just happens to be exactly where Thomas James GOULD was living in 1911. But 6!! Dorothea should be 22 in 1907 (ancestry's transcribers interpreted the age as 67, but the line below is 58y, so I think the 7 of the 67 is actually "y").

This family really doesn't know their birth dates.
In 1901 Thomas James GOULD with second wife Celia Ann (OLIVER) and family show their children as: Florence M 7, being born 23 Jul 1883 (actual birth cert shows 23 Jul 1893, so the 7 and day/mth were correct); Roy E as 5 born May 19 1885 (cert. is Ernest Roy born 19 May 1895); John B as 3 born 1 Jun 1887 (John Bogart GOULD's birth was registered 1 Jun, but the cert. shows his birth date as 12 May 1897); perhaps the enumerator thought he was doing the 1891 census? I've rechecked the image, it was definitely the 1901 I was looking at. By 1911 normality was resumed, Dorothea not with them, and no marriage, or other death record obvious in Ontario.

So back to the drawing board and trying harder to interpret the "squiggle something daughter" on her 1901 census entry

where Dora is enumerated with Mary FAIRBAIRN (nee STRAIN).

Thursday, 20 August 2009

19th: Dora Myrtle &/ or Dorothea Beatrice?

Those two lone FAIRBAIRNs in Brant's database that I mentioned the other day have revived my curiousity about Dora Myrtle FAIRBAIRN.
Brant kindly provided Dora Myrtle HART nee FAIRBAIRN's obituary, which reinforces that, as her marriage cert shows, she thought her name was Dora Myrtle.
I've placed a post-it against Dora on the online Rootsweb database of Rita in the hope that someone may be able to shed some light on this mystery (Rita's 2003 email address bounces, but there appear to be quite a few living descendants, so someone out there might have an answer)

I'm interested in what anyone may be able to tell me about the family of Franklin HART and Dora Myrtle FAIRBAIRN of Fredericksburg, Ontario.

I'm working on a theory that Dora Myrtle is actually
Dorothea Beatrice, dtr of Thomas James GOULD and Agnes Bush FAIRBAIRN.
Agnes died 3 Dec 1886, and dtr Dorothea Beatrice appears with her father Thomas in 1891 (as 5 yr old Dorothea B) and 1901 (Dorah D 15 b Jun 27 1885).
If she and Dora Myrtle are one and the same, how come she also appears with Mary nee STRAIN in 1891 (as dtr Dora FAIRBAIRN, 4) and 1901 (as "something" dtr Dora FAIRBURN, 13 b 27 Jun 1886 or 1887).
The "something" may be an abbreviation for adopted?.

I can't find any other way of explaining Dora Myrtle.
Her marriage cert to Franklin HART shows her parents as James FAIRBAIRN & Mary STRAIN, ie Agnes Bush FAIRBAIRN's parents, but she patently cannot be the dtr of Mary FAIRBAIRN nee STRAIN, although she could be her grddtr.
The puzzle is how come a Dorothea Beatrice can turn into a Dora Myrtle, and show up in two places on two separate censuses.

If they aren't one and the same person, who on earth is Dora Myrtle (the Myrtle only shows up on her marriage cert to Franklin, and her obit as far as I can tell) who appears to share the same birthday and month, and probably year, as Dorothea Beatrice.

So, I'm hoping for some family knowledge and someone who may be able to explain all this.
My interest is the FAIRBAIRNs. I've been trying to find more proof of my assumption of where Archibald James FAIRBAIRN, married to Mary STRAIN, fits into the picture, and one way of doing that is to find descendants who may have either family stories, or be willing to represent his line in the FAIRBAIRN dna project (he himself appears not to have had sons, so his particular line is a literal dead end as far as dna testing goes, but someone might be in touch with cousins).

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

18th: Back to Devon

Slight digression from the 1861 Ontario census.
Brenda drew my attention to a ROWE tree on GenesReunited that had Bickleigh connections.
The family (that of John ROWE and Mary WALTERS) has been sitting in my LornaPotential database for a while, to no particular conclusion as to whether or not their proximity to Matthias and Ann (KING) ROWE at Hele in Bickleigh was coincidence.

Jury still out, but next update, more of the names and dates will have been checked off and included. Unlike my ROWEs, who travelled one way to New Zealand, this family came back to England, after a soujourn in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

17th: Archie and Donald

Some time ago I'd noted a Donald FAIRBAIRN entering the States in 1917 with wife Mabel, giving as his "address whence came", that of his brother Archie in Vancouver.

My genealogical ears prick up when I spot unknown Archibald FAIRBAIRNs, but at the time I couldn't place him, or Donald/Mabel.

Happened upon them in my database again today and decided to see what additional information might now be available.

Turned out to be a red herring as far as an Archibald immediately able to be connected to my known FAIRBAIRN families was concerned, but did allow me to connect up three other waifs and strays I'd noted in passing, as being one and the same Archibald.
"Brother Archibald" turned out to be Archibald McDonald Duff FAIRBAIRN, and Donald was St George Donald Frere FAIRBAIRN, both born Sth Africa, sons of William Archibald Shaw FAIRBAIRN, born c 1850 East London, Cape Colony (Sth Africa) and Anna Georgina SMITH born Jamaica.
Although not my immediate family, I'm curious to know whether or not their forbears were from the Scottish Borders, and whether or not there are descendants who may be interested in the FAIRBAIRN dna project, given how inter-related such families are proving to be.

Saturday, 15 August 2009


Bobby's preliminary dna results are in, so DNA Surnames now includes the first BAIN kit, yet another of my main lines represented.
Way too early days to say where that will lead, but no immediate matches to others in the project already.

See also the other DNA project diaries to keep track of what's changed there, mainly the FAIRBAIRN one as several pedigrees have been added over time, and more results are now in, adding to the jigsaw of the Borders FAIRBAIRNs.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

11th: Ontario bits and bobs

Stumbled across Brant's forest with its two lone FAIRBAIRNs that looked a bit familiar.
And so it proved, and provided a wonderful new contact, Jim, with his local knowledge of the Napanee/Lennox & Addington area. (He has a connection to Peter Nelson KELLER, whom I've just found married to Mary Catherine FAIRBAIRN.)

All of which spurred me on to seeing how many of my Ontario relations and connections might be able to be found in the 1861 census now that it is more readily available.
Could take me a while, after a couple of days I'd only winnowed the list down to some 630, and I'm always prone to being sidetracked.

Monday, 10 August 2009

9th: Venturing into Peebles

I'd either not looked, or not found, Helen, dtr of James and Joan (FORSYTH) FAIRBAIRN in the 1841 census until now.
Whilst looking for something else, I happened across a proclamation for her marriage to Robert "SAFLAY" in the Peebleshire OPRs (Traquair) "Robert Saflay of the Parish of Melrose, Helen Fairbairn of this parish".
Having previously been satisfied that they had married in Melrose, I'd not looked further afield.
Spurred on by this find, I searched Peebleshire 1841 census, and found her as a female servant at Cardrona House (James & Elizabeth KER), supposedly along with an Isabella and Mary FAIRBAIRN as well, according to Ancestry transcriptions.
However, FreeCen says the latter are THORBURNs instead. There was an Isabella FORSYTH, not born county, with her though, possibly a cousin?

Friday, 7 August 2009


Realised that I'd not entered all the known (to me) children of Archibald & Jane (BLAKEY) FAIRBAIRN when I first started tracing them. A dtr Jane and son John show up in the 1861 Ontario census, and when reviewing other data, I realised there was also a dtr Helen or Ellen, born 1848 back in Cowpen, Tyneside, fate beyond the 1851 UK census as yet unknown.
They'll show up online next update.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Buffalo anyone?

As I worked thru the Surrogates Notice I realised that it referred to a nephew of Barbara's that I'd assumed had died young.
Last year Betsy had thought she might have found William George son of James and Elizabeth (O'CONNELL) FAIRBAIRN as a riveter in Detroit in the 1880 census.
At the time I couldn't find him to work out whether or not I agreed or disagreed, but now, with the Surrogate Notice implying that he was still alive in 1896 I became rather more determined, and found suitable candidates in Buffalo, Erie Co, NY 1900, 1910 and 1930, but so far 1920 eludes me.
I am now convinced the 1880 riveter is our William, particularly as the 1871 Canadian census is now more readily available and the full images are available instead of just a heads of household index and he was indeed in Canada with his parents then.
This has added names like Lillian (MARK), Anna, Lester, Edmund, Marion, Eugene and Evelyn to the descendants of James and Joan (FORSYTH) FAIRBAIRN, along with the ever present William, James and Robert names. There may, or may not, also be an Ermina.
So, if you recognise any of these names with Buffalo connections, we would love to hear from you (particularly if you are FAIRBAIRN son and willing to represent this line in the DNA project as we still don't have a representative of a line with a fully confirmed paper trail back to Archibald and Alison (CROSSER) FAIRBAIRN to support our inferred dna signature for Archibald.

The Portsmouth CHIPP/WARE updates will appear in my next upgrade to Rootsweb db LornaHenderson. Yet another instance of two sisters marrying two brothers. Thanks Helen for bringing this to my attention, and Colin for his ancestry tree (with photos).

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Surrogate's Court Notice

What a wonderful happenstance find today.
Dick Eastman's newsletter mentioned the Fulton History site and its newspapers.
So I popped in a search for FAIRBAIRN and Delaware to see what would pop out.
By some miracle of modern technology, one of the items I got was a Surrogate's Court Notice for a list of people, presumed to be beneficiaries of Barbara FAIRBAIRN otherwise known as FAIRCHILD, requesting their attendance at the probate of her last will and testament.
Managed to identify everyone listed, and as a result, also realised I'd not found some of them in later records.
The family of Thomas & Anna SCOTT have now advanced to 1920 for Anna and two of the daughters (Vernona/Verona, and Beatrice) but lost them all again after that. Also added a husband and child for Viola (George C and Kenneth G HINMAN respectively) by the 1930 census. In the 1910 census George says he's been married 4 times, in 1930 he says he was first married at age 28, which makes him marrying 4 times between about 1906 and 1910. And in what looks like his death in Connecticut in 1950 the index says "never married", but wife Viola's death in 1964 shows her as widower, husband George.
Nothing like a good mystery - anyone out there interested in George C HINMAN, born NY about 1875/8, foreman in sewing machine factory. Parents either both b NY, or father b CT, mother b PA.

Monday, 27 July 2009


Big brother, my main family tree web site, has been updated. Needed to fix a few broken links, realised I hadn't included my McADIE direct line as yet, despite linking to it from the McADIE Surname dna project pages.
This update should also improve some of the Google map links from the place index. I understand that Google changed something that made the links not open at the correct place, and an update has been provided from John Cardinal of Second Site (developer of my web page generation software) that should overcome this until Google come up with a fix.

Other updates that may show:
A few extra twigs on the tree of James & Mary Bell/Mabel (THOMSON) FAIRBAIRN.
Thanks to the efforts of Gordon in BC and Andrea, and Facebook, a couple of the mystery lines have been advanced, Robert Henderson FAIRBAIRN having been confirmed as the one in Vancouver in 1958, and finding that his son moved to Denver.
Still looking for his brother John's son John Douglas FAIRBAIRN however.

Pending updates include the line of David H COOPER, a PIKE/HELSON descendant (see Guestbook), and some updates to the Devon line of Fred WARE, thanks to MyHeritage SmartMatching.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

22nd: Glovers anyone?

Spate of activity on Peter's tree as he has become curious about his maternal side of the family.
The GRAINGER pages have therefore had some preliminary updates in the hope of winkling out someone who knows something about the family of Thomas A GLOVER of Worcester.
If I've identified the correct Thomas in 1911, his family were actually glovers by trade.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

16th: Big brother updated

Probably time I updated Big Brother again, seem to have got sidetracked from keeping my main pages updated.

The main changes of late have been on the GRAY front, with the family of Margaret GRAY, newly confirmed as a dtr of William GRAY and Margaret SUTHERLAND.
A fair few of her descendants have been tracked and included in the GRAY chart, and I've also given Margaret a page of her own, purely to show I've identified Tormsdale, where her 1855 death cert said she was born.
This exercise did result in many updates to the MORGAN families of Thurso and Halkirk, but most of those aren't in my published data, and haven't resulted in any connection to Kathrin MORGAN being discovered.

Also a few tweaks in the HAMLEY tree thanks to Vikki who sent me a copy of Elizabeth HAMLEY nee ROWE's 1865 death cert. Given the informant was Charles HAMLEY, assumed to be her son Charles Baskerville HAMLEY, I checked where I'd got too in documenting his family too. Still cannot find dtr Selina Mary in 1901 at all, but did find her in Plymouth with husband, piano dealer Charles Frederick HOCKING in 1911 (no children with them). Earlier census identifications are complicated somewhat by there being another Charles & Selina HOCKING couple (in Cornwall) who married earlier. Will show up on the ROWE chart as a few added twigs.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Wouldn't you know it...

As soon as I decide there's a lull on updates to the visible, published, data, along comes a bunch more, just after I've updated the online databases!

Thanks Bobby, the GRAY updates will appear in due course.

Bobby saw my posting (page down to my one) on the forum asking for GRAY descendants who might be interested in proving a theory about two GRAY families in Watten, Caithness, by joining the GRAY DNA project.

He then acted on a hunch about a BRUCE in his tree, and sure enough, found an additional daughter for the family of William GRAY and Margaret SUTHERLAND.
There's a Margaret who married a William MURRAY and lived at Olgrinmore, Halkirk (1851).

Behind the scenes however, Harry and I have been having fun sorting out his STEPHENSON family of Edinburgh, formerly Kelso, Ancrum, Gifford, and as he's just found out, Cumberland, thanks to Sonia in Mississippi. I'm just tagging along for the ride as there's a WIGHT connection in there that one day we may prove is related to the other STEPHENSON/WIGHT connection that makes us distant cousins.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Update time

Don't seem to be keeping very good track of just what updates have been done for reporting them here, but regardless of whether they've been noted or not, all updated data will now be included in the full update of all the BDM data I've just run for my:

World Connect databases and the last three months of updates have been updated to OneGreatFamily where they will automatically be merged with any existing families there (and any differences with either my earlier data, or that from any other researcher for the same person, highlighted for further investigation, I do so love that feature).
My submissions to OGF only include the same data for those of my database that I publish online somewhere else, eg my web pages, the WorldConnect databases above, and some of the data from the Patriarch pages on the summary dna pages on the World Families Network dna projects (generally only the earlier generations in this case, and where I've checked off the data first as best I can, and they belong to linked families I'm particularly interested in), but there they get combined with other researchers' data and inter-connected families show up easily.
There were 685 of these in the last 3 months it appears.
To make sure that every "family" that had been updated had enough information to enable the matching logic on OGF to slot them into their rightful places rather than leave them as orphans never to be found again, I made sure that all families had two generations with spice/parents as applicable included. This resulted in about 830 people being sent to OGF this run.

Friday, 3 July 2009

2nd: DNA results

The results from the recent FamilyTree DNA discount promotions are starting to trickle through (some from batch 309 and 312 have both arrived, but a particular result I'm waiting for in batch 311 is still not evident).
Check the assorted dna project diaries (listed on the DNA Projects Portal blog) to see what has changed, eg our first McADIE result has started coming in, one of the FAIRBAIRN results has shown quite a close connection between two families not linked by a paper trail.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

21st: New addition

Not all new additions to the trees are dusty old ancestors, welcome to a new SINTON descendant, Eloise Mary Francine on the 20th.

Coincidentally, I also had some unexpected updates to a early branch of the SINTON tree in that a FAIRBAIRN certificate I pulled from Scotlands People, which wasn't the person I was looking for, had on the same page, the marriage of one William TURNBULL and Elizabeth WEATHERSTONE (1884 Jedburgh). William's parents were Thomas TURNBULL and Jessie ROBSON, Jessie being the daughter of Isabella SINTON. So that led me to track a few more of this family through a few more of the records. Updates will appear in my db LornaHenderson on WorldConnect in due course.

20th: Devon, Middlesex and NZ

Brenda has turned up an unexpected connection between her ancestors that makes some of the Taranaki families even more inter-related than before, albeit distantly.
On her RIDDLE forebears she turned up a family of MATTENLY (or MATTINGLYs) whose descendants married into one of her husband's, and my ROWE family, that of Frank COLLINGS' daughter Joyce who married George F GIBBONS. The same MATTENLY family also track down to Brenda.
The linkages, but not full trees, will be included in my WorldConnect database LornaHenderson in due course.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

13th: Ebissa Canute and Quendrid

I was stuck on my TURNBULLs, and had been contacted by a chap with an interest in Peter's GRAINGERS (in America rather than Worcester by this stage). Names like Canute, Ebissa, Quendrid, are rather more interesting to search, and excepting the vagaries of indexed versions of their names, mostly findable.
Peter's GRAINGER pages have therefore been updated with a few more twigs on the charts.