Monday, 30 August 2010

30th: Never enough backups; New sources

Nothing like a computer problem to make you realise you never have enough backups, or enough of the right bits of the system.
The computer repair (see 13th, %^&#$ Microsoft security patch "installed" on the 4th) continues apace, but did involve a repair of my Win XP Pro operating system, which resulted in a(n ongoing) reload of my software, although MOST of the settings remained intact and the data is fine.
Could take some time as yet.
Meanwhile, over on the laptop where my genealogy remains intact....

Assorted recent contacts include a branch of the RICHARDSONs in Australia - the WOONTONs, so some updates will ensue in due course.
It also occurred to me that it was time to do an update to OneGreatFamily with whatever I'd changed since last time, which seems to be back about March.
In the process of reviewing what I was about to upload I did of course spot that several more updates were also likely, given the inclusion of a heap of Cheshire records on FamilySearch (which link is only to the Parish registers, other useful indexes exist), and the England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations),1861-1941 on ancestry.
The former allowed me to firm up several dates for the family of Walter Maes TURNBULL & Rosetta COURT, as well as identifying their third child, whose presence was known from the 1911 census, but no further details (a Lionel Maes TURNBULL).
The latter, filmed indexes to probates, are a welcome addition to the data now available online, showing death dates and places, along with dates/places for administrations granted to whom (and estate values).
I've already had some unexpected finds in there - several Scottish probates, granted in London, where I would not have thought of looking.

And then today an email out of the blue providing details from the death cert. of Catherine BAIN, whose 1904 death cert, apparently said she had died Fuarry, Kirkwall, at least according to the chap who transcribed it for me.
Obviously not a local. I'm now informed that it actually reads the Quarry, Halkirk - which is a tad more understandable!

Friday, 20 August 2010

20th: Cornwall Parish Registers

The Lost Cousins newsletter alerted me to some of the recent additions to Family Search pilot - digitized, but unindexed, parish registers for Cornwall.
To view you have to go into Browse collections, but they are most definitely worth a look.
The marriages for St Germans go up to 1978, with a note from the Registrar saying the register was now closed, by order of the Registrar General.
No wonder the GRO put up their prices, what with the London records on Ancestry and Family Search access.
Quite interesting really. When I bought microfiche of several Devon parish registers, although the marriages continued beyond 1837 in several cases, those fiche weren't available for purchase.

(I continue to add any 1911 English Census families I research into Lost Cousins, one day I hope to actually find a "cousin"!)

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

18th: Archie older than thought

With all this HENDERSON activity at the moment I took the opportunity to pop a bit more of the family onto my ancestry tree as I checked for some records.
And up popped some of those wonderful hints.
Found someone with Archie, son of William & Marion (AITKEN) HENDERSON in their tree.
No wonder I could never verify his birth around 1920, he didn't belong to William's second marriage after all, being born in 1905 instead.
Lisa is thrilled to bits to find she has a heap of NZ cousins, and we will no doubt swap more info in due course.

Monday, 16 August 2010

16th: Short commons

So far, descendants of the newfound John HENDERSON appear to be in short supply.
The tree now includes these surnames: GIBSON, BINNIE, SCHOTTIN, VROMAN, KOWLITZ, BARROWS, CLEGHORN, HIGGINSON and REID, with only the SCHOTTIN currently looking like it might make it down to living descendants able to provide memories of these families.
Places include: Galt (Waterloo Co, ONT); Hamilton (Wentworth Co, ONT); Dundas (Wentworth Co, ONT); Buffalo (Erie Co, NY).
Some families I simply cannot currently find, eg Isabella, widow of Robert GIBSON and dtr of John and Isabella (BERRY) HENDERSON.
The three children I know about were born in the States, probably Buffalo, but by 1891 they were back in Hamilton, Ontario, and vanish after 1901. So if anyone knows what happened to Annie and her children Annie, Archibald and Robert GIBSON I'd love to hear from you.

My WorldConnect db LornaHenderson has had a long overdue update so now includes these families, and my web pages updated with John's new information.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

15th: FOUND HIM!!

OK, so the William HENDERSON blacksmith I followed around Ontario and back to Scotland the other day was a red herring.
Today made up for that.
The mysterious Isabella HENDERSON, whom I nearly entirely overlooked because the HENDERSON wasn't very clearly written, living with her (as I now know) cousin William McGREGOR in Galt, Ontario, has solved a genealogical life-long mystery for me, some 30 years on.
What happened to my great great grandfather's brother John (or William for that matter)?
Their sister Margaret was found back in 2006, and redoubled efforts back then failed to find John or William.
However, the answer is that he high tailed it to Ontario from Cadder, Lanarkshire about 1855 with, it appears, most of his family, and followed the family blacksmithing trade.
And I only found his daughter Isabella by complete accident, she is enumerated twice, once with William, and once at home with her parents, also in Galt in 1861.
I've updated the HENDERSON descendant chart with the family I've managed to add to the tree in the last few hours.
Interesting to note that John and Isabella also had a set of twins.
I don't yet know what wife Isabella's surname was as they appear not to have favoured the established church for baptisms, or Tillicoultry, Clackmananshire isn't on the IGI, nor in the OPRs, yet in Canada they are always enumerated as Presbyterian.
Those with ancestry access can follow my trail of source documents for John, including both his 31 March 1901 death cert, AND his entry with his daughter in the 24 Apr 1901 census - didn't he do well.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

14th: Back to the FAIRBAIRNs

Given the recent DNA results show that the family of James & Agnes (LINDSAY) FAIRBAIRN belongs in Lineage 1 (as does my Archibald FAIRBAIRN), and their closeness to the modal for all of the matching FAIRBAIRNs, the neverending story has been updated to include an overview of their family tree, and a few links for those wishing to follow this story through.

14th: Who is Sylvia (Isabella)?

After I thought I'd done enough for the day on bringing William McGREGOR's family a bit more up to date, I remembered that I'd spotted a William HENDERSON, blacksmith, living nearby in one of the Waterloo, Ontario censuses.
Unfortunately, he wasn't a wonderful lead into a hitherto unresearched branch of my blacksmith HENDERSONs from the Bridge of Allan (unresearched because to date other than my James, and William's Margaret, they are resisting attempts at being found). His parents turned out to be Hugh HENDERSON, shoemaker, and Marion GILLIES, of Kilmarnock, Ayrshire.
But in finding which census it was, and rechecking it, I also resolved a little niggle at the back of my mind in that William's household was enumerated as 1 male and 1 female, and I'd not noted the female member of the household, other than noting whoever she was, she wasn't a McGREGOR.
Closer inspection of the squiggle made her an Isabella HENDERSON, aged 18, unmarried, born Scotland, and living in Galt, Waterloo Co, Ontario in 1861.
So she is the next mission.
I've reloaded William McGREGOR's page, to show her in the household.

Friday, 13 August 2010

13th: Not so Black Friday

It really is the time for the McGREGOR branch of the HENDERSONs to be updated.
Must be something in the air. Three contacts in as many weeks on different twigs of Margaret HENDERSON's descendants.
The latest appears to be a descendant of Charlotte BETT.
In checking where I'd got to for this line, I noticed that William, son of Margaret HENDERSON, who had emigrated to Canada in the 1850s, could probably have more information found for him these days.
And so it proved.
I thought I was merely going to be adding a census or two and ended up finding and documenting a first wife, two children, and some descendants as well. Check out William's updated page. (William, son of William married a Helen DRONE, their dtr Charlotte Jean married a James Elsner CRONIN, but as yet I've not figured out what happened to William's sister Mary, nor Jean's sister Elizabeth Swinton McGREGOR).

In addition to all the above, the RUNCIMAN DNA project has turned up trumps. The preliminary results mentioned back on the 6th did indeed end up being an excellent match at 67 markers as well.
On the strength of that I've updated my RUNCIMAN surname page to include some of the descendants of Thomas and Alison (GRIEVE) RUNCIMAN as well.
By no means all, just some I've documented in passing.

All I need now is for my computer to be fixed! I'm somewhat hampered at the moment as I was silly enough to download a supposedly 'critical' microsoft security patch, KB2286198.
More fool me. My desktop went into a boot loop which I'm still fighting.
There's always a silver lining though, as a result I was forced to resolve a couple of things I'd not bothered about on my laptop, and at the end of the fix, I will end up with a backup server on a spare older slow machine, which task has been on the to-do list for rather too long.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

11th: G(ee) Whiz

The FAMILTON dna results for the descendant of Robert and Mary (McDOUGALL) FAMILTON are indeed for a predicted haplogroup of G.
Would be really good to get a direct male line descendant of a FAMILTON or HAMILTON from William and Bessie (WILSON) FAMILTON.
Any takers?

Sunday, 8 August 2010


In addition, the fledgling FAMILTON Surname DNA project results are also beginning to arrive.
Only 12 markers so far, but interestingly enough, a 12/12 match is being reported with a HAMILTON who knows nothing of any Scottish ancestry, but can trace the line back to a John HAMILTON born Ireland and died Sth Carolina (no timeframe supplied).
However the family researcher indicates this is a G Haplogroup and as our results don't yet give a haplogroup, we are unsure if this will hold up when further results are available.
Watch the FAMILTON Surname DNA Project Diary for updates.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

7th: WATTs where?

If you are patient enough things turn up eventually.
Back about 4 years Linda pointed me to a post on a Black Watch web site that was about one of our HENDERSON/McGREGOR descendants. However as the post was dated 1998, it was likely that the email was inactive, and so it proved.
Today however, the poster found my WorldConnect db LornaHenderson and left a post-it against his father's entry, and sent me an email.
Contact has been made.
With the hints received so far, further digging has added a few more dates and confirmed birth places to the family of James WATT and Jane D JOHNSON of Dunfermline, then Montreal, and their immigration records have been found.

Friday, 6 August 2010


DNA results are beginning to filter in from the activity generated by the last Family Tree DNA sale, and with excellent results.
The two RUNCIMAN participants have both turned out as a match to my RUNCIMAN line (somewhere! it is too early to tell how closely at only 25 markers so far).
Likewise the recruited FAIRBAIRN has also, thankfully, matched the rest of the Scottish Borders Lineage 1.
See the Supplmentary pages for these projects for further information.