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).