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.