Tag Archives: burial

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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William Trower and the fly in the ointment

24 May

My 4x great-grandfather William Trower of Henfield, Sussex is one of the weak points in my Trower ancestry.

At first glance everything seems right with the world, William was born about 1790, his death was registered in 1875 when his age was given as 85. Likewise with his burial at Henfield on the 8th January 1875 his age was given as 85.

Tracking back through the census we find him aged 81 in 1871, 70 in 1861, 59 in 1851 and 50 in 1841. In short everything seems to add up right and points to William being the son of Henry and Ann Trower.

A baptism exists in the Henfield parish registers for William the son of Henry and Ann Trower on the 13th March 1791. Don’t you just love it when everything works out neatly?

Unfortunately the fly in the ointment is a burial at Henfield on the 23rd January 1794 for William the son of Henry and Ann Trower, which of course I can’t explain.

Was this William my 4x great-grandfather? or rather was did the William who I thought was my 4x great-grandfather die at the age of three? Should I be looking for another William?

I can’t satisfactorily explain this burial record, it looks like my William Trower could not be the son of Henry and Ann Trower, but there are no other William Trowers who would fit the bill for my William Trower.

My saviour is in the form of a family bible (technically a prayer book), which has been passed down through the Trower family, or rather has survived through the generations without being thrown out. This bible clearly links Henry and Ann Trower with William’s descendants.

So where does this leave the William who was buried in 1794? I can only assume that Henry and Ann Trower had another son after my William but he died suddenly, perhaps before he had even been given a name or baptised. Stuck for a name for the burial register they used the name William. Either that or the vicar simply made a mistake.

Perhaps one day I will find further evidence (there is no sign of a will for William’s father) to be able to prove the relationship one way or another. For now I can only acknowledge the presence in my database of this fly in the ointment.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Tombstone Tuesday: Mary Trower (1793-1855)

22 May

It has been a long time since I wrote a Tombstone Tuesday blog post, but yesterday’s newspaper article prompted me to think some more about William Trower and his wife Mary who were the victims of the crime.

Headstone of Mary Trower (1793-1855) Henfield, Sussex, England

This is the headstone for my 4x great-grandmother Mary, the wife of William Trower. The church in the background is St. Peter’s Church in Henfield, Sussex. Mary was buried on the 8th November 1855, her husband died nearly twenty years later and presumably he is buried in the same grave, although his death is not mentioned on the headstone.

The inscription is not particularly clear on the photo or on the actual stone, the lower part of the stone has a quotation which I don’t have a record of, but the top half reads:

SACRED
TO THE MEMORY OF
MARY WIFE OF
WILLIAM TROWER
WHO DIED NOV 3RD 1855
AGED 63 YEARS

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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My Family History Week: Sunday 22nd April 2012

22 Apr

It was a good week, although admittedly most of the family history happened towards the end of the week. There wasn’t really anything new this week, no new databases plundered just sorting out what I already have and a little bit of updating from things like the census and BMD indexes.

Challenging times: Processing Framfield burial records

The thirty-eight Framfield burial records that I captured at East Sussex Record Office have been recorded on my spreadsheet and all but ten of these have been included in my family history software. The ten individuals who didn’t get included weren’t in my database yet and I successfully resisted the temptation of going too far down the road of trying to find out who they were.

I am sure that they will eventually fit in somewhere, but I can wait until that time comes rather than go chasing after them.

East Sussex Record Office information

As well as clearing the Framfield burials I have also finished recording all the other records that I captured at the ESRO have also received a similar treatment. Some records fitted neatly into place in my family tree and others didn’t, but like the burials they will eventually find a home somewhere down the road.

It is great to have these papers off my desk and captured digitally, it is not that I don’t have enough papers on there already.

Future Challenges

I am not sure what my challenge will be this week yet but it probably ought to be either sorting out the information I have for Patrick Vaughan or finishing off updating my to-do list.

I now have the urge to get some of my family photos identified, but before I can do that I really need to get them sorted into some sort of order. I need to do some research into what is going to be the best method for organising them.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Henfield, Sussex – parish register transcriptions released

19 Feb

Every once in a while it feels like a particular genealogical resource has been created just for my benefit, such is the case with one of the latest releases from The Parish Register Transcription Society.

I have been eagerly awaiting the latest parish register transcription CD since it was announced last year, because it covers the parish of Henfield, Sussex which has been home to my Trower ancestors for a couple of hundred years.

The transcriptions cover the following registers for the following years:

Baptisms 1596 – 1897
Banns 1653 – 1656, 1687 – 1698, 1756 – 1812 & 1823 – 1901
Marriages 1595 – 1894
Burials 1595 – 1900

Naturally I have consulted the Henfield parish registers dozens of time, usually on microfilm or microfiche at the West Sussex Record Office, but to have this transcript available at home is going to be a great boost to my research.

Although I have probably extracted every Trower in the registers, this transcription will become particularly handy when it comes to tracing descendants of my ancestors as a result of the marriages of the women of the family. Each new family surname requires another visit to the parish registers.

This collection of transcriptions is available to buy on CD through their website and others (I ordered my copy from the Sussex Family History Group) or it can be searched online through their pay-per-view Frontis website.

For those with Sussex ancestors the PRTS are currently working on the following parishes: Cuckfield, Pagham, Slinfold and Coldwaltham.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Carved in stone, but that doesn’t make it correct

24 Dec

On Monday I wrote about John FAIRS, my 4x great-grandfather. I mentioned that his headstone records that he died on the 11th March 1846 and that the parish register recorded that he was buried on the same day.

I was rather suspicious of this, it seemed plausible that he died and was buried on the same day but it seemed unlikely and incredibly efficient of all the people involved, including the people who had to dig the grave.

A much more likely explanation was that one of the records was wrong, either the wrong date had been carved on the headstone or the officiating minister had recorded the wrong date in the burial register.

Given that John died aged only 41 years I felt that there could be an interesting story behind his death, so I decided it would be worth ordering a copy of his death certificate. I was astonished to receive the certificate in the post today, having only ordered it on Monday evening (excellent service from the GRO and the Royal Mail).

The certificate revealed the truth, John FAIRS died on the 7th March 1846 not the 11th March, so the inscription on his headstone is wrong.

Disappointingly the cause of death was not very exciting, the cause given is “Acute Gastritis 48 hours” according to Wikipedia Gastritis is “an inflammation of the lining of the stomach”. Not particularly exciting or unusual, Wikipedia does also say that “the main acute causes are excessive alcohol consumption”, so maybe it was alcohol that caused his premature death?

Regardless of the cause of his death, this story does prove one thing, even if it is carved in stone it is not necessarily true.

NEWS: London’s largest cemetery now on Deceased Online

6 Dec

Deceased Online have added another 575,000 London burial and cremation records to their website, taking the total number of London records available on their site to over 1.1 million.

This latest batch of records date from 1854 and come from the St. Pancras and Islington Cemetery in north London. This cemetery covers the boroughs of Islington and Camden and according to the site is the largest single cemetery in London. The cemetery has its own entry on Wikipedia which provides a some basic details on the history of the cemetery and some of its famous residents.

According to the press release not all the records are on the site yet, “of the 800,000 burial records, approximately 70% of these are available immediately with the remainder to be uploaded within the next 3 to 4 months. The 575,000 records currently available comprise nearly 362,000 for the Islington section between 1854 and 1945 and the remaining 213,000 for the St Pancras section are for 1854 to 1898, and 1905 to 1911. Also available now are 46,500 records from Islington Crematorium which date back to 1937. The 8,500 most recent cremation records will be added in the next few months, together with the remaining cemetery records.

Not only will the remaining burial records be uploaded, but in the next few months “maps of areas in the cemetery indicating grave locations will be uploaded together with photographs of many notable memorials and headstones.”

Deceased Online is a perfect complement to the National Burial Index CD (from the Federation of Family History Services), together they provide a pair of essential resources for locating the burial place of UK individuals, especially as Deceased Online continues to expand covering more of the country. Sadly I don’t think I have any relations in this cemetery, but with such a large number of records you never know who you might find waiting to be discovered.

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