Friday, 19 February 2010

19th: Long time coming

It's been a while, but every time I set too checking my updates were ready for the web, I got sidetracked, so next time there were even more to check.
The task got too big.
Now, however, three months later, it is done.
The recent changes index shows the people affected who actually have a page of their own, but the descendancy charts will also include whichever people I've found since the last update, back in mid November.
Most will have been mentioned in passing here on this blog, but not necessarily.

The latest contact has been from another descendant of the William McADIE who married Sarah ABBOTT trying to convince me that this William is the William of an age and birthplace, son of George McADIE and Elizabeth ROSIE.
I'm not altogether sure why I'm resisting this quite so strenuously as it does seem a likely match BUT there are still at least two other William's not yet sufficiently ruled out of contention, the naming pattern doesn't quite "fit", and if we've all found the only 1851 census contender for the chap marrying Sarah (or the son of George and Elizabeth for that matter), his occupation doesn't gel with the rest of the family and his own later occupation.
Whichever way it goes, I've ended up putting what I know about both of them on the web. Check out William and William.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Long overdue updates

I normally manage to update my WorldConnect database LornaHenderson about once a month, but things just keep rolling in, so the update slipped out to two months.
There now.
Checking of the related updates for my own family tree web pages however, has taken a backseat as I'm having too much fun with the Fairbairn DNA project and the Runciman One Name Study (ONS) (and some real life intervening).
Links to both of the above are on the lhs of this blog.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

11th: Foulden, Berwickshire

Gave up on trying to find an Andrew RUNCIMAN on ancestry's 1841 census transcripts the other day.
He had to be somewhere, but I could NOT find him.
Went to Scotlands People, and yes, there was a chap of the right age in Foulden, Berwickshire in the search results.
Even armed with this new info, I still couldn't find him on ancestry, so paid out my shillings for the SPeople copy.
Out of curiousity and armed with all the people on the page, back to ancestry.
Spot checks, nary a one of them anywhere, and Foulden didn't appear in the list of parishes available.
So I logged it with ancestry.
Some year, it may arrive, their response:
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. This databases should be complete, so it appears that this parish may be missing from our records. I have reported this to our content team to look into and correct when possible. Feedback from you, our valued customer, helps us correct errors and improve the website. Your patience and efforts to assist us in this matter are appreciated.

Please understand that fixes to errors on Ancestry are posted firstly in the order of those which affect the greatest number of users, and thereafter in the order in which they are reported. For this reason, fixes for some errors may take longer than others to be posted. We appreciate your patience.


Sunday, 7 February 2010

7th: From bigamy to ... make up your own mind

What an innocuous start to a conversation.
Hello Lorna

Could we talk about Oswald?
I can't find him on your Lornahen website Regards from Veronika

As he was on the far reaches of my WINES, all I knew about him was that he existed, hence my reply:
Hi Veronika,

You can't find him on LornaHen for two reasons, one I only write up and publish people on that site that I know something about and I don't know anything about him other than he existed, and two, the other place he may appear there would be in a descendant chart but I've never done one for the WINES, they're just too prolific!

Are you related to Oswald? Can you remedy the fact that I know little about him and his branch of the tree?


Which led to:
Subject: Re: Oswald Dixon ancestry

Hello Lorna

Sure can...

Oswald Henry Dixon, born 1884 Gundagai in 1913, married my Marguerite Alice Wakeford, born 1885, Newtown, NSW died 22 Jun 1917, The Rock, NSW Her parents :
George Wakeford and Ellen/Eleanor Smyth

I'm led to believe that they had one daughter, before...

The Sydney Morning Herald... Saturday 30 June 1917, page 14 ALLEGED WIFE MURDER.
WAGGA, Friday.

I've not yet dragged myself away from the RUNICMAN One Name Study, and latest set of FAIRBAIRN DNA results, but here's a link to one of the articles for those interested in the spicier side of family history to be going on with.

Veronika's summary:
He prepared the capsule purporting to contain liquorice powder, and gave it
to his wife
And he is reported as having an affair with a young girl who works in the

And at the end of it all, he got his wife's inheritance
He got rewarded for poisoning her!

Friday, 5 February 2010

5th: What's the word for a serial bigamist?

(other than cad and bounder and several other stronger terms I suppose).

The answer appears to be two words, you call him "Robert FAIRBAIRN".

Sue (of Clapham nurserymen fame) and I have strayed onto a cooper Robert instead of her nurserymen FAIRBAIRNs for a while, having found this chap in passing:
There's a Robert born abt 1817 in St Giles, London.
We’ve figured out that his first wife Elizabeth Stedman OSBORN(E) had died in 1849 and that he had remarried a Frances YELVERTON nee HUBBARD in 1852.
I may or may not have mentioned the trail for an Elizabeth aged 3 with what looked like a sister Elizabeth aged 6 that I eventually rationalised as being the Alexina who was baptised as such with her sister Elizabeth on the same day, but born in the right timeframes to identify the 3 yr old as Alexina.
I figured the enumerator had been told she was Lexie, heard it as Lizzie, and wrote Elizabeth (by 1871 she’s Alesandra, and the only likely matching birth reg. we can find is indexed as Alexander)
Anyway, by 1861 she is recorded in the census as Angelina, living with step mum Frances and older sister Elizabeth, with Robert nowhere to be found (yet), and Frances giving her occupation as “supported by husband”, and showing as married.
Frances continues thru 1871 as “married” with both (step) dtrs with her, and by 1881 is an imbecile, widowed, in the infirmary workhouse.
Then in 1881 up pops a cooper Robert of the right age and birth place, married to a much younger Jane, with three children, Louisa, Frank and Eliza, aged 13, 4 and 1
But none of them anywhere to be found in 1871. (and we cannot find Jane/Louisa with or without a FAIRBAIRN surname in 1871)
Two people researching this latter tree believed their Robert and Jane had indeed been married before, but to an Elizabeth CASTLE, which neither Sue nor I can corroborate.
We thought we were onto the trail of a bigamist, or at least a two-timer, as we could not find a marriage to Jane.

Sue thought she'd cracked it, sending me a simple email saying:
“could be why we can’t find him in 1871”, with a link.
The link was to the criminal registers, with the source showing a Robert FAIRBAIRN, imprisoned for 3 mos for bigamy days before the 1871 census.
On the surface, case solved.
(The Old Bailey Proceedings actually call him Robert FAIRBURN).
Far from it and what an interesting journey that turned out to be and all.
I went to the newspapers. The 19th Century British newspaper collection came up trumps with two separate reports.
One going on about a Richard Fairbairn and bigamy sentences saying it was right that he got the lighter sentence of the two bigamists tried that day as his “wife” knowingly married him, whereas the other chap had deceived his wife.
I could identify that the bigamous marriage was likely the marriage of a Robert to Ann Jane MOORE, the other pair of that marriage page being identified elsewhere, in qtr 1 of 1871. Turns out it was complete coincidence that I found the right one, as I was specifically looking for a Robert/Jane marriage.
The report said he first married in 1864 – which would fit a date for an 1868ish Louisa born to Jane and our cooper.
BUT, the 1864 marriage turns out to be a Richard Robert FAIRBAIRN marrying Mary Elizabeth DOYLE, which you’ve probably guessed by now, was “known to us”.
She was the first wife of father of Richard Robert FAIRBAIRN, the Worcester politician of the 1890s, and one of the lines of the Clapham nurserymen.
Full circle I think you can call that.
But wait, there’s more.
This chap was a lighterman, and obviously a budding politician in his own right, as earlier in the year newspaper reports show an R FAIRBAIRN representing 8000 lighterman pushing for the Admiralty to get some law thru parliament.
But that little bit of history aside, this newly proven bigamist was already identified as a bigamist as I’d much earlier found his marriage in Canada in 1875 when he says he’s a widower.
He brings the Canadian wife back to London between 1876, birth of first dtr Ann Jane Agnes FAIRBAIRN in Toronto, and 1881 when first wife divorces him, and he’s living with the rest of his new family in Bermondsey.
If I’d found the other newspaper report first, a Lloyd’s Weekly Register report of the Old Bailey trials which gave dates and first wife’s forenames, the journey may have been shorter, but I suspect I’d have missed a step or two of discovery along the way.
So, there’s such a thing as serial bigamy!
Fancy calling your first child by your second bigamist marriage the name of your 1st bigamist wife!!
We still haven’t proved that the Robert / Jane that started this lot is definitely one and the same cooper Robert we're looking for.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

4th: When is an exact search not an exact search?

A friend was trying to direct me to something she had found on ancestry, and I simply could not see what she was seeing.
Given I believed she wasn't telling me porkies, we went through our respective settings.
I nearly always use the "exact matches only" setting, with wild cards if need be, she didn't.
I don't see that it should have mattered as I had typed, accurately, and later rechecked by doing a copy/paste of the exact name from the results, but still, the chap only came up when "exact matches only" was unticked!

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

3rd: Non conformists

Been reading a bit about the Non Conformists of late, given that so many of the Scots who moved south can be found in their records .
Some links:
Dr William's Library
The Surman Index
Some indexes to registers are available for free searching at (but pay to view images - thanks Sue, for pointing me to this one).

Adam SCOTT appears in the Surman index, so I had a bit of an update for his family.
I knew he'd died between 1901 and 1924, and now also that Marion was a widow in 1911, but hadn't bothered tracking down his death given his name is a bit too common. The Surman index gives his date of death as 14 Sep 1908, so I thought it likely that he was the 1908 registration indexed in the District of Blackburn - but that chap is indexed as 39.
At the moment, I'm assuming it's a mistranscription for 59, even though the image of the index does show 39.
Can't yet figure out what happened to children Sydney and Margaret E after 1901. One day.
1911 did add another descendant into the tree, a dtr Jean Evelyn for Bertram & Christian Pettigrew WAGSTAFF in Ealing.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

2nd: FAIRBAIRN approved

The FAIRBAIRN One Name Study has now also been registered to me with the Guild (See the Guild of One Name Studies aka GOONS, for what this entails).

A set of basic introductory web pages are now in existence, and probably bear a remarkable similarity, apart from content obviously, to those for RUNCIMAN.

Links to both have been added to the list of web sites on the lhs of this blog.
Both have their related project diaries, so if you think I've been a bit dilatory posting anything here, simply look around my other projects/blogs, chances are extremely high that I have not been neglecting genealogy.