Friday, 30 May 2014

Build your own "luck"

Isn't it  amazing we get lucky in this genie hunt - by working hard!

Keep notes on all the potentially interesting snippets when you find them and you never know when you'll get lucky after all.
Some years ago I noted a newspaper obituary for a William SINTON who had died in Birkenhead (Cheshire) having served 20 years as chief engineer for the Ocean S.S. Co.
Never could find him in a census to figure out who he was.

I'm currently checking off assorted old SINTON research to upload more to WikiTree. In particular at the moment, the children of John SINTON & Alison HALL.
Amongst whom were a William and Elizabeth with nothing known beyond the 1851 census in Lismore & Appin (Argyll).

Something brought me back to the above obituary so I decided to explore further.
With probate information now more readily available I quickly found that he was married to an Elizabeth Formby HALSALL.
William was obviously home from his travels at regular intervals, as although he didn't appear in any census, Elizabeth shows up with a growing family over the years.
The first child was called Mary Hall SINTON, so this was looking a rather likely lead as to the fate of William.
Then in the 1871 census, who should show up living with wife Elizabeth but a "sister" Elizabeth SINTON, of the right age, and shown as born Scotland.

Bingo. Two birds one stone.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Increasing FORTUNE

Another of the descendants of Jessie FORTUNE nee ORMISTON has got in touch, prompting me to do a bit more exploration of the FORTUNE family begun last month.
Bit more success this time in finding what happened to some of the descendants.
Some trees have Andrew Park FORTUNE as dying in British Columbia in 1954, which I cannot confirm, but at least he has a Canadian connection as his Boer War medal card shows that after he had served in the Commander in Chief's Body Guard, he transferred to the 2nd Canadian Rifles.
Whether this was before or after the note saying "discharged to settle in Sth Africa" is unclear.
Regardless, it does explain how come he wasn't to be found in the 1901 census in the UK.

Webpages partially updated to include a page for Jessie's Mum Jeany FAIRBAIRN - anyone know what happened to her?
I finally decided that it was silly having both Jeany and Jan in the family both born around 1826 and fate unknown, they have to be one and same person - so I've halved the mysteries in the family!

FAIRBAIRN descendant chart also updated.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Fate of Mary Ann LIVOCK

Remember how a while ago Michael popped out of the woodwork having identified the first wife of the Rev Robert TURNBULL?
And how we couldn't find her death? The closest match by place being a few weeks shy of when Robert remarried, which seemed unlikely undue haste.

Karen, a descendant of David STEVENSON and his wife Eliza (who turned out to be Mary Ann's sister) came up trumps.
She read the online correspondence of David STEVENSON rather more closely than I and found his report back to wife Eliza and the Rev Turnbull of a visit to Milverton in Somerset to see "poor Mary Ann's grave".
Somerset would never have featured on my radar as a place to look for Mary Ann's death.
Karen also found a transcript of the burials at St Michael's, Milverton, and I found several 1843 advertisements for the Milverton Classical and Commercial School, "Master Mr Turnbull".
He obviously couldn't teach Greek!
Mary Ann now appears on my webpages with her own page

Friday, 23 May 2014

SINTON * two

Fascinating where a posting on my guestbook can lead.
Bronwyn left a query asking if I had any clues about her children's 3greats grandmother Catherine SINTON.
Most definitely.
We have now both solved mysteries.
I now know both who the mysterious Catherine in Alford Forest was, and what happened to Catherine in my SINTON tree - one and the same person, or at least I strongly suspect so.

Then a day or so later, Bronwyn casually mentions that she thought Catherine's sister had also emigrated and settled in Alford Forest.
And so it turned out.
There are an awful lot of GRIEVEs to sort out, so anyone interested in helping with who belongs to which GRIEVE family around the Alford Forest/Methven/Rakaia area, please do get in touch.

A few more pins have been placed on the SINTON map.

Monday, 19 May 2014


As I'm addicted to genetic genealogy, in case readers hadn't guessed by now, a while ago I succumbed to an sale and added one of their dna kits to my sum of knowledge.
Although I now see firsthand how woeful their tools are for actually confirming their suggested matches, I do have to report a success.

Using the search by location for Roxburghshire, Scotland over my suggested matches brought up several trees of interest.
One of particular interest showed an end of line HAMILTON as Archibald HAMILTON and Isabella HEN(D)RY whom I know to be of the Abbey Hotel, Melrose (father George appears on my webpages complete with photo).

Our DNA match was predicted as confidence "very low", and I strongly suspect that FamilyTree DNA wouldn't even show it as a match, but nonetheless, having confirmed sufficient of the papertrail shown, I believe we are 7th cousins!
This is somewhat beyond the normal range of autosomal dna testing for a great deal of confidence, so maybe there's a closer papertrail in there somewhere, but for now I'm happy to have found a Californian branch of my FAMILTONs.

However, the next step is to try and verify which segment of my dna can be tracked back to our shared ancestors, William FAMILTON and Elizabeth WILSON (which descendant chart now has at least some of the newfound (to me) line appearing on it).
This couple are the parents of the Bessy FAMILTON who married John RUNCIMAN and we have several descendants with detectable matches back to at least the next generation down.
With a lot of luck and co-operation with the ancestry match we should be able to use the wonderful third party tools at to see if the shared segment is detectable in some of those.

Any other FAMILTON/HAMILTON descendants out there wanting to try their luck at a detectable match via this tree, do join my FamilyFinder project FFLornaHen and order a FamilyFinder test. I'll happily help you through the maze of results.