Tag Archives: durham

Ancestral Profile: Isabella GRAHAM (1818-1900)

13 Dec

Isabella GRAHAM was my 3x great-grandmother and came from the county of Durham in the north of England, but ended her days at the other end of the country in Brighton, Sussex on the south coast of England.

Isabella was baptised in St. Mary’s Church, Staindrop, Durham on the 11th June 1818. She was the daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth GRAHAM of New Raby, Staindrop. She appears to have been one of eleven children, although at least three of these did survive to adulthood.

New Raby appears to have been a small settlement about a mile north-east of the main part of the village of Staindrop and about half a mile east of Raby Castle. The houses now appear to have disappeared completely and the woodland surrounding it has engulfed them. I am sure there is an interesting story behind this if I had the time to look into it.

I have no record of Isabella until the 1841 census where she is still living with her father at New Raby, Staindrop along with a six year old John GRAHAM, who doesn’t seem to be one of Isabella’s siblings so is probably a nephew. Her father is described as an agricultural labourer but Isabella herself has no occupation given. Her mother had died a couple of years earlier in 1839, and her father would die three years later in 1844.

I have been unable to trace Isabella in the 1851, so the next record I have is of her marriage to my 3x great-grandfather Thomas KINGHORN in London in 1853. They were married on the 31st July 1853 in the parish church of St. James Piccadilly in Westminster, London. This was Thomas’ third marriage but Isabella first, both were described as being of full age.

Thomas was a tailor and lived at 10 Great Windmill Street, whereas Isabella was living at 19 Great Windmill Street. Thomas’ father was Thomas KINGHORN, the mail guard about whom I have written a great deal in the past. The witnesses at the wedding were Henry MORGAN (about whom I know nothing) and Dorothy GRAHAM, who was presumably one of Isabella’s older sisters.

Together Thomas and Isabella had three children, before Thomas’ death in May 1863, all three were baptised at St. Jame’s Church where their parents had married.

  1. Dorothy Isabella KINGHORN (born 22 Jun 1854) my 2x great-grandmother
  2. Abraham Graham KINGHORN (born 25 March 1856)
  3. Isabella KINGHORN (born 1 Nov 1858)

In the 1861 census Thomas and Isabella are living at 3 Golden Place (just off Golden Square) in Westminster with their three children and one of Thomas’ sons from his first marriage, also called Thomas. In 1871 the widowed Isabella (whose occupation is given as a nurse) is still at 3 Golden Place living with her son Abraham and three lodgers.

By 1881 Isabella has moved to Brighton, Sussex. She is living with her son Abraham and his wife Sarah and their three children at 79 Hanover Street, Brighton. By 1891 she has moved to join her daughter Dorothy Isabella and her husband Henry BATEMAN and their two children in nearby Preston, Sussex (on the outskirts of Brighton) at 19 Yardley Street. Her occupation is given as a retired nurse.

I don’t know the exact date or cause of Isabella’s death. Her death was registered in Brighton Registration District in Q3 1900. By this time her daughter Dorothy and her family had moved to Hurstpierpoint, Sussex but I don’t know if Isabella had remained in Brighton or whether she went with them. The fact that the death was registered in Brighton doesn’t mean that she was living there, she may have died at the hospital in Brighton. The only way to know for sure would be to get a copy of her death certificate.

I don’t know where Isabella was buried (or cremated), I am guessing it was at one of the cemeteries at Brighton, but may have been at the cemetery at Hurstpierpoint. The problem is that the Brighton cemeteries charge an arm and a leg to search their records, I am hoping one day that they will become available online for a reasonable price.

Statistically speaking… "a huge great chunk of Sussex"

8 Oct

I am proud of the fact that my ancestral roots run deep in Sussex, but just how much of my ancestry stems from Sussex. Just to satisfy my own curiosity I decided I would try and analyse where my roots come from.

Using the place of birth or baptism for my 4x great-grandparents, I summarised the English counties that they came from (to the best of my knowledge none of them were born outside of England). Then using Microsoft Excel I came up with a simple pie chart that would illustrate the figures, the resulting chart shows quite clearly where my roots lie.

Pie Chart It is only a very simple chart, I could probably have spent ages tweaking it, but it is only meant to give a basic idea, and I think it does that quite well with it’s huge great chunk of Sussex ancestors. Approximately two-thirds of my 4x great-grandparents were from Sussex. If I took this further and grouped together the southern counties of Hampshire, Sussex, Surrey and Kent you would find almost 80% of my 4x great-grandparents.

So what does this prove, not a lot really, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I have inherited any of the traits of my Sussex ancestors, any more than those of my Gloucestershire ancestors. I does show that I haven’t strayed far from the homes of most of my ancestors, and they themselves didn’t stray far either. Of course there is still the annoying ‘unknown’ segment, there is possibly one Scottish ancestor within there, and I am sure as I go further back I will eventually find some foreign blood.

All these statistics are based on the best information currently available. If I wanted to be more sophisticated I could probably further refine it by using an earlier generation where known (so one 5x great-grandparent would equal 1/128 of my roots) and eliminate the unknowns by using a more recent generation. However, I think I probably have better things to do with my time than playing with numbers and pie charts.

Ancestry.co.uk expand their military collection

24 Jun

Ancestry.co.uk have been busy expanding their collection of military databases. We all know Ancestry is the place to go for First World War service records, but they have also added records from a couple of possibly overlooked conflicts.

UK, Waterloo Medal Roll, 1815 – contains details of approximately 39,000 men who fought at the Battle of Waterloo, and a couple of earlier actions. The details for each man are pretty basic, but they may point the way to other avenues of research. These records were original published by The Naval & Military Press, but originate from The National Archives (MINT 16/112).

UK, Casualties of the Boer War, 1899-1902 – contains details of 55,000 British and colonial soldiers
who were killed (including one by crocodile), wounded, captured, or who died of disease during the Second Boer War. This includes more than 20,000 men who died, and 23,000 who were injured. Like the Waterloo Medal Roll the details for each man is pretty basic, it is just an index after all. Again this collection comes from The Naval & Military Press.

As I understand it, you will not find service records for the 20,000 men who died in the Chelsea Pensioners British Army service records over at findmypast.co.uk (because they didn’t survive to receive a pension), so this collection is a useful alternative.

Back on more familiar ground, they have also added another database to those already available for the First World War.

Gateshead, Durham, England, Roll of Honour, 1914-1920 – whereas the two previous collections are indexes, this collection contains many photos. This Roll of Honour is a scrapbook of newspaper cuttings from the Gateshead area, featuring more than 4,000 men. If you have Gateshead ancestors you might be lucky to find them mentioned, and not just because they had been killed or wounded. This collection was indexed by the Ancestry World Archives Project, and the original scrapbook comes from the Gateshead Libraries and Arts Department.

Genealogy Saturday was a success

29 Nov

Genealogy Saturday was a success.

First I spent some time on the FamilySearch Record Search site, looking at the Diocese of Durham Bishops’ Transcripts. I had searched here before (in the parish of Staindrop, Durham) for the siblings of Isabella GRAHAM, my 3x great-grandmother, but I had never finished it off.

Some of the baptism entries were quite detailed so I was able to establish that Isabella’s father Joseph was from Hexham, Northumberland. So now I have added another new county to my list of places.

After Durham and Northumberland I headed back down south, to Gloucestershire and the BATEMAN and JACKSON families. I wasn’t so lucky here, despite some records on the IGI the dates and places I was after weren’t available.

Next I moved back closer to home and the area around Singleton, Sussex. I have more ancestor from these parts than I first believed. Here I added many events for the BOXALL, RICHARDS, PITT, TARGETT and CHANDLER families.

I have identified a potential problem with Thomas PITT, my 4x great-grandfather. I know he married Ann BONE in Stoughton, Sussex in 1798, and he appears to have died before the 1841 census.

Fortunately it is not that common a name, so I should, with a little bit of searching, be able to find a burial record and hopefully an age at burial. This should enable me to work out a birth year, and I can carry on backwards from there.

All in all I added forty new individuals to my database, several of them 5x great-grandparents, and many new events. Also I finished off sorting the George Thomas GASSON stuff in my stuff to sort folder, which was really pleasing.

The North-South divide in my family tree

1 Jun

If you have read many of my previous posts you will know that the majority of my ancestors are from the southern counties of England, that is Sussex, Hampshire, Kent and Surrey.

More recently however I have found myself researching the lives of some of my more northern ancestors, so those from Cumberland, Durham and London (probably stretching it a bit far to say London is northern, but it is north of Sussex!). There is also one line that I haven’t really touched on and that is the BATEMANs from Gloucestershire.

It occurred to me a couple of days ago that all of these “northern” ancestors come from just one branch of my ancestry. They are all ancestors of my great grandmother Dorothy May BATEMAN (1889-1916).

From Dorothy’s father (Henry BATEMAN) I get the Gloucestershire connection and from her mother (Dorothy Isabella KINGHORN) comes the Cumberland and Durham ancestry. Dorothy herself was born in Sussex (probably Preston near Brighton).

I am sure I will probably find other “outsiders” when I go further back on other lines, but I find it rather strange that all my non-southern ancestors come from one particular branch of my family tree and not scattered across all the branches of my tree.

Exploring the familysearch pilot site in search of the GRAHAM family

31 May

Today I have been reviewing my notes on Thomas KINGHORN (3x great grandfather) from London to see what else I need to research and it occurred to me that I was still hadn’t entered some of the details for his third wife, my 3x great grandmother Isabella GRAHAM.

From the census I knew she was from a place called Staindrop, Durham and from her marriage certificate that her father’s name was Joseph GRAHAM (and he was a labourer, no surprise there). Using this information I had previously located a baptism record for Isabella on the FamilySearch Record Search Pilot Site but hadn’t really followed it up.

One of the datasets on the pilot search is the Diocese of Durham Bishops’ Transcripts, which includes Staindrop parish. This collection isn’t index, so it has been a case of going through page by page searching the baptisms, but that isn’t so different from looking at the microfilm, or the original register for that matter.

The image quality is pretty good, certainly as good as you would find on some of the pay to view records on other sites. The image download speed is pretty good as well, the only thing that I did find annoying is that there aren’t (or don’t appear to be) any keyboard shortcuts. It would be nice to be able to move around the images and go to the next image without having to use the mouse all the time. Still it is a very good site and free, so I can’t really complain.

As this is the bishops’ transcripts it has the burials as well as baptisms and marriages, so with any luck and a bit more searching I expect to be able to find the burials of Isabella’s parents (Joseph GRAHAM and Elizabeth STAMP) in the same parish, as well as baptism records for her siblings.

Some of the baptism entries I have found (pre-1813) are quite detailed, for instance it list the number of the child (eg 3rd, 4th or 5th) and gives Joseph’s wife as Elizabeth daughter of Robert STAMP, which gets me another generation back.

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