Saturday, 9 April 2016

Hidden in plain view

I do so love serendipity in genealogy.

Researching to answer a question on a list I monitor, about what may or may not have been possible when downloading family tree data out of FamilySearch* I decided to try using my own tree as the guineapig.
For some reason I chose James TURNBULL, my 2* great grandfather.
No idea why, I've not recently been working on the family at all.
If I had been, what I found might not have been a surprise, as I would have diligently noticed that the gaps in his information may well have been able to be filled long before now :).

A busy beaver (thank you Ellen) had attached an immigration passenger list to James' son James, whom I had assumed to have died in Cumberland prior to their emigration to New Zealand by around 1862/4 ish (according to conflicting death certs for the family).
Not that I'd ever found a satisfactory death entry for him in England.

James, Jane and all four children had departed from Liverpool in April 1862, arriving Melbourne in September.

Son James' 1863 death cert. shows they were living at Geelong, where James was working as a carpenter.

Some 20+ years ago I had painstakingly searched the assisted immigrants into New Zealand for James and Jane and concluded that they were not assisted here by the NZ government.

My excuse for leaving things there was that 20+ years ago records were by no means as easily accessible as now.
It's a poor excuse however as I could easily have subsequently checked the Victoria (Australia) to New Zealand - 1852-1923 migration fiche, which would have shown me  Mr James, Mrs James, Robert, Stephen and Ellen all on the "S.S. Tararua" departing Melbourne on the 10 Aug 1866.

Which date is 4 years later than implied by James' 1891 NZ death cert, and 2 years later than that implied by daughter Ellen's.
Where they disembarked however remains to be discovered.
Take your pick! My assumption is Wellington. The next snippet of previously gleaned information was that James was in Tikorangi when son Robert fell from a horse breaking his arm in 1873.
Which I suspect was meant to be Huirangi instead.

This information was definitely worth updating my website for.
James' entry on my webpages is now a little more complete and should shortly be even more so, as I've found that Archway has digitized the Taranaki Land District Primary Deeds Indexes 1856-1998. So instead of heading for Wellington, I'm working my way through assorted books online in the comfort of my own home, checking to see which relative bought, mortgaged or sold which parcel of land, swapping out every so often to the New Plymouth City Council Maps to figure out where each Lot was.

All because of a casual, completely unrelated, enquiry. 

The query was whether or not a gedcom from FamilySearch FamilyTree was
a) possible,
b) included the Memories and Photos attached.
The short answer being no.
The long answer:

But you can use those programs that integrate with the tree, eg RootsMagic and Legacy, to download (or upload) the basic data, just not the Memories and Photos.