Tag Archives: birth

My Family History Week: Sunday 17th June 2012

17 Jun

Not a great deal happened to my family tree this week, a fair bit of planning and plotting and some transcribing, but not a lot of actual updating.

Adding missing birth details

I spent a bit of time playing with my database and creating a list of those people without either a birth or baptism date. Now I have a list of 379 individuals and have started work on adding missing birth details.

So far I have only updated one individual, not much I know, but it is a start. Of course it doesn’t help that it is very hard for me to work on just one event, the birth event, because this inevitably leads to something else.

The Diary of Percy Ebenezer Trower

I made good progress on the diary of my 2x great-uncle Percy Ebenezer Trower. I have transcribed one page a night except for Friday and Saturday, when I was too busy. It has proved quite an interesting experience and so far has been a lot easier than I expected.

So far there hasn’t really been much family history information apart from Percy’s day-to-day activities, there is no way that I am going to be able record every aspect of his daily life in his entry in my family history software.

I already have the diary set up as a source, but I may need to create a custom attribute that records when someone gets a mention in the diary that isn’t directly related to normal events like births, marriages and deaths.

The week ahead …

More of the same this week, expect that I want to try to get some more birth dates added. I realise that I am not going be able to transcribe Percy’s diary every night, but I think I should be able to manage five pages a week, which will be better than nothing.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Statisticly Speaking: Missing birth and baptism events

12 Jun

I have decided that I would like to be able to use Family Historian to produce lists of individuals based on certain criteria, such as a list of all those men who might have served during the First World War.

To be able to produce these queries I need to have an idea of the lifespan for each individual and for this I need to have a birth/baptism event and a death/burial event for each individual.

I have been taking a look at how much work would be needed in making sure that I know where and when everyone was born. It looks like I have quite a bit of work to do.

Out of a total of 1797 individuals currently in my database there are 769 people (42.8%) without birth dates and 845 people (47.0%) without a place of birth. The discrepancy between the two is not really surprising, there are many occasions where there is not clear evidence where a person was born, even if I have a date of birth.

The situation with baptism events is not quite so good, there are 958 people (53.3%) in my database without baptism dates and places.

The fact that the number of dates and places match is consistent with the fact that all the baptism records are all coming from the same source (parish registers) so they should match, however the birth records come from a variety of sources, some providing only dates and other dates and places.

The good news is that there is only a partial overlap between the births and baptisms which means that there are only 379 people (21.1%) without a date for either their birth or baptism.

I am not sure yet where I shall focus my attention, the 379 people without a birth or baptism date is the obvious place but it might be better to tidy up the existing data first before adding any new data.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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My Family History Fortnight: Sunday 10th June 2012

10 Jun

There is not a lot of family history activity to report for the last two weeks. The fact that I have left it for two weeks shows just how family history free my time has been. There was a good excuse last for last week’s inactivity, but the week before was really just down to me being lazy.

Holidays galore

I had hoped that the long bank holiday weekend last weekend would provide some time for me to do some work, but there was so much else going on that I never really got down to any research.

On top of that the end of this week has seen my wife and I away for another long weekend, primarily for me to indulge my passion for trains, but also as an excuse to get away for a few days.

Percy Ebenezer Trower

Much of my recent blogging has centred around my 2x great-uncle Percy Ebenezer Trower. Although this wasn’t really a conscious decision on my part, it probably stems from the fact that in the absence of any new research I have been “forced” to go back and look at information I already have.

In particular I keep returning to the fact that I really ought to transcribe his diary. Whilst it is useful to be able to look up particular dates and events it is not possible to search the entire volume without having an idea of the date. I fear there is so much more of interest that could be uncovered if only it was transcribed and possibly indexed, or at least searchable.

The sheer scale of the task and Percy’s handwriting has put me off up to now, but I feel now might be a good time to start.

Adding birth and death details

The other thing that I have looked at is the lack of birth and death details for many of the people in my family tree.

I want to be able to do a bit more querying of my database, so that I can produce lists of people to search for things like First World War service and Probate Index entries.

For this I really need to establish the starting and ending points for the people in the database. This means I need a birth/baptism and burial/death record for each individual.

This is not something that is going to happen quickly, some should be quite easy to work out, but some of the deaths could be difficult to pin down with any confidence without getting a death certificate, which is nothing something I really can afford to do.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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NEWS: Free access to Canadian Vital Records on Ancestry

16 Feb

Someone at Ancestry must be reading my blog and seeing my need for some Canadian records they have decided that they will open up access to their Canadian Birth, Marriage & Death Collections until the 20th February 2012 (more specifically until 11:59 p.m. (ET) on the 20th February). Either that or it has something to do with Family Day in Canada on the 20th.

The free access (registration required) covers some 28 million records across the following collections:

  • Acadia, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1670-1946
  • Bells Corners Cemetery (Richmond Road)
  • Births-deaths-marriages, Christian messenger
  • British Columbia, Canada, Birth Index, 1872-1903
  • British Columbia, Canada, Death Index, 1872-1990
  • British Columbia, Canada, Marriage Index, 1872-1935
  • Canada Obituary Collection
  • Canada Parliamentary Marriage and Divorces, 1867-1919
  • Crawford Cemetery, Dalhousie Township, Lanark County
  • Elmview Cemetery, Kars, Ontario, North Gower Township, lot 24, conc. 1
  • Kitchener, Ontario German War Graves
  • London Press (Ontario) Obituaries, 1998-99
  • Mariages de l’Enfant-Jesus de la Pointe-aux-Trembles, 1674-1975
  • Marriage Notices of Ontario 1813-1854
  • Nova Scotia, Canada, Births, 1836-1910
  • Nova Scotia, Canada, Deaths, 1864-1877, 1890-1960
  • Nova Scotia, Canada, Marriages, 1763-1935
  • Ontario Marriage Notices [1830-1856]
  • Ontario, Canada Births, 1869-1913
  • Ontario, Canada Marriage Registers by Clergy, 1896-1948
  • Ontario, Canada Marriages, 1801-1928
  • Ontario, Canada Obituaries, 1999-2001: Kitchener Record and Windsor Star
  • Ontario, Canada, Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1747-1967
  • Ontario, Canada, County Marriage Registers, 1858-1869
  • Ontario, Canada, Deaths, 1869-1938 and Deaths Overseas, 1939-1947
  • Ontario, Canada: Civil Marriage Registrations, 1869-73
  • Ontario, Canada: Roman Catholic Marriages, 1827-1870
  • Ottawa, Canada, Beechwood Cemetery Registers, 1873-1990
  • Quebec, Genealogical Dictionary of Canadian Families (Tanguay Collection), 1608-1890
  • Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967
  • Répertoire des mariages de Sainte-Cécile-de-Masham, comté de Gatineau : 1853-1963
  • Répertoire des mariages du Lac-Sainte-Marie (Comté de Gatineau) : (1881-1963)
  • Repertoire des mariages, Sainte-Anne-de-la-Perade, 1684-1900
  • Riverside Cemetery Index, New Hambug, Ontario
  • Scottish-American Gravestones, 1700-1900
  • Sheldon Cemetery
  • St. James Anglican Church Cemetery, Hudson, Quebec, Vaudreuil County.
  • St. Paul’s United Church Cemetery (the old Methodist cemetery), Richmond, Ontario
  • St. Stephen’s Anglican Cemetery, Papineau County, Buckingham, Quebec
  • St. Thomas Anglican Church Cemetery, Stanley’s Corners (formerly Rathwell’s Corners)
  • The Denny Cemetery near Philipsville, Ontario
  • Toronto Star Obituaries, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 1999 – April 2000, February 2001
  • Waterloo County, Ontario, Cemetery Inscriptions
  • Web: CanadianHeadstones.com Index, 1700-2010
  • Woodland Cemetery Records, Kitchener, Ontario
  • Zion Cemetery, Scarborough, York County, Ontario

What’s in it for me…

As you can see there is a definite shortage of Alberta records, which is where my attention is currently focused. However, I shall be taking full advantage of this free access to search for Patrick and Kate Vaughan and their children, as there is no guarantee that they remained in Alberta. Also there are one or two other relations scattered in my family tree that ended up in Canada that I haven’t really looked into, including Kate’s brother Asher.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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‘C’ is for Confusion in Carlisle

1 Sep

I went to bed last night (slightly later than I had hoped) feeling very pleased with myself, I had managed to clear a name off my list of unidentified wives. Every time I opened up my family history software (Family Historian) the alphabetical list of names begins with a section of seventeen women whose surname is unknown, and it has been bugging me that I haven’t found out who they are.

I hadn’t really set out to try and clear any of them last night, I didn’t really know what I was going to work on, but I ended up picking the first name off the top of the list and looking again at trying to find out who she was. The first name on the list was Alice, the first wife of George KINGHORN the son of Thomas KINGHORN the mail guard (my 4x great-grandfather).

I think George is probably the only one of Thomas’ children to remain in Carlisle, Cumberland, the rest appear to have moved down to London. The marriage of George KINGHORN and Alice should have taken place in Carlisle, the other end of the country from me, which explains why I hadn’t got around to identifying her yet.

Having reviewed the data and available online databases I found that there was still not much chance of finding her maiden name, George KINGHORN is in FreeBMD, marrying in Q1 1840 in Carlisle Registration District, but none of the spouses on the same page are named Alice. The most likely scenarios seemed to be that this was another George KINGHORN and that my George married prior to the start of civil registration in 1837, or that Alice wasn’t her real name but a nickname.

With nothing better to do I thought I would work forward and fill in some more detail on the family. It appeared I didn’t have an entry for the family in the 1851 census, but this turned out to be incorrect. I had entries for everyone except George and Alice’s daughter Sarah KINGHORN, so I decided to go in search of her. It was then that things started slotting into place.

She was living in Wetheral, Cumberland, with her uncle Thomas CARR and his mother Sarah CARR. Could Thomas be the brother of Alice? Both Thomas and Alice CARR were baptised in Carlisle, the children of Thomas and Sarah CARR (according to the IGI). Things were looking promising. Even Alice’s age was about right, this had to be her, but when did she get married and why was she not showing up as marrying George KINGHORN.

Searching FreeBMD for Alice’s marriage brought up the same details as George, Q1 1840 and Carlisle Registration District, so why hadn’t I found her before? Looking closer I noticed she was listed as being on page 25C of the register whereas George was on page 25 (both were in volume 25).

Something is not quite right with the index, there are eight people listed on page 25 and only one on page 25c, I don’t know what that extra C means, but it does mean that there is an odd number of people getting married in Carlisle that quarter.

It also means that there is still an element of doubt in my mind, there is enough evidence for me to identify the Alice in my database as Alice CARR daughter of Thomas and Sarah CARR, but I won’t 100% until I have seen a copy of the marriage certificate or the entry in the parish register.

I have solved one mystery but uncovered another. What does the C in the page number in birth index mean?

Australian BMD indexes on Ancestry.com.au

16 Jul

The release of the Australian BMD indexes on Ancestry.com.au is great news for my BATEMAN research. As most of the records relating to this family are connected with the state of Victoria I have so far been limiting the amount of index searches I do, because the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages charge for their index search results.

I know the charges for index searches weren’t particularly high, but with an Ancestry Worldwide membership I can now search to my heart’s content and can also extend to some of my other surnames just to see who might have ended in Australia as well. I am sure there are more than just the BATEMANs who went out there.

Interestingly a search for the surname GASSON in the death indexes only returns 81 results, and the surname TROWER returns only 49, both of which are a lot lower than I would have expected. The result might reflect the coverage of the indexes more than the number of my relations that actually left these shores.

One thing that doesn’t seem clear from the Ancestry web pages is the coverage dates for these indexes. It correctly states that the dates when civil registration started varies for each state or territory, but doesn’t mention that they also appear to have different cut-off dates for public access to the indexes.

As an example, although the birth index quotes the dates 1788-1922, there don’t appear to be any Victoria births after 1909. I haven’t played around to find the limits for all event types and places, but don’t be surprised if you don’t find the record you are looking for, despite what the collection title might say. The shame is that there is not an easy way to find out, unless I am missing something.

Christmas Tree Project update – fill in the gaps

2 Nov

I still have four missing people, hopefully I should find at least one of them this week when the marriage certificate for Henry SHORNDEN and Sarah LAY arrives, but nothing should be taken for granted with that family. Two other from Hampshire will probably have to wait a couple of weeks, before I can do any more work on them down at Winchester.

Now my focus has turned to filling in the gaps with the ancestors I have already located and think about what I want to display on my finished chart. For each individual I would like to have a date and place for each of the following events: birth, baptism, marriage, death and burial. Also I would like to find a census entry for them in every census for which they were alive.

For display purposes I would also like some sort of general sentence that describes where they lived and another describing what they did for a living. This will probably have to be hand written (or hand typed), summarising information contained in many different sources rather than using the residence and occupation attributes. I haven’t decided about education yet, I probably don’t have enough information at the education of my ancestors to make it worth including.

Last week I downloaded a query from the Family Historian User Group query store (thank you to whoever upload that), which reports which census years are present for each individual. I then modified it to show all the birth, baptism, marriage, death and burial information I want, plus restricted it to only include me and six generations of my direct ancestors. I then saved the output as a tab-delimited text file and opened it up in Microsoft Excel.

The result was slightly surprising and rather disappointing, the query had worked without any problem, it was just that there were an awful lot of holes in my data. I added in a few formulas at the bottom of the data and came up with some statistics on how complete my data was based on the 123 individuals I have already found.

Marriage data was the best, I have 85% (105 out of 123) of the marriages for my direct ancestors, and I know at least one couple were never married, so that is never going to be 100%.

Birth dates are at 65% and birth places at 63%. The low figures I think are due to the fact that I have not entered a birth date or place when I already have a baptism record, rather than assume that the person was born just before the baptism and in the same parish I have left it blank. I need to see if I can find other data to confirm place of birth from the census and the GRO Indexes.

Baptism data is surprisingly low at 42%. I thought I had found more baptism records than that, as that is where much of my early research was focused.

There is quite a discrepancy between the date of death (53%) and place of death (45%). This discrepancy is largely due to me not assuming that the person died in the same parish as they were living previously or where they were buried. This is never going to be 100%, at least not whilst I am still alive!

Perhaps the most surprising figure of all is that for burials, I only have dates and places for 28% of the individuals. Like baptisms I would have expected to have found more, but I guess I haven’t really been killing off my ancestors and burying them as diligently as I should have. Again this is never going to be 100% whilst I am still alive.

I haven’t paid too much attention to the census data. I will save that for once I have established birth and death (or baptism and burial) dates for as many as possible, although in some cases the census data helps find when an individual died leaving their spouse behind.

Now I need to stop analysing and start researching, I want to have as much data as possible in place for the end of November, so I can spend the first couple of weeks in December tweaking the chart and getting it printed.

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