Tag Archives: international genealogical index

I need another to-do list

17 Feb

One of the outcomes of my visit to two archives last week was that I needed to tweak my to-do list a little bit, but more than that I decided to answer the question that I posed a few weeks ago.

I have decided to tackle my concern with the old IGI citations in two ways. My original intention had always been to replace these entries once I had viewed the original record, so I will bring that forward and view as many of the original records as I can. For any that I can’t access (those records physically further away) I will update the source to reflect the new FamilySearch website.

Whilst I am at it, it occurred to me that there are several other indexes and transcriptions that I have used in a similar manner as the IGI, in that they would do until I could view the original records and verify them. These are mostly from the wonderful indexes and transcriptions produced by the Sussex Family History Group and the Parish Register Transcription Society and shouldn’t be a problem to verify.

The problem has been that I haven’t really worried about doing it until now. In addition to my normal to-do list I now need to create a second list, the priorty is not so high (it is after all just going back over old ground) but every time I visit an archive I should be able to cross a few more off the list. Given that I have dates and places for all these records it should be very easy to find them.

Going forward I need to remember to keep adding new entries to this second list as and when I add a new citation for one of these indexes to my family tree.

Should I be updating my IGI source citations?

12 Jan

I currently have 62 events in my database which cite the International Genealogical Index as a source. I use the extracted records from the IGI as an alternative source until I can view the actual entry (digital image, microfilm/fiche or original register) and confirm the details for myself.

It occurred to me a couple of days ago that some time in the future the IGI will disappear in its current form (or at least not be so easily accessible) and all the source citations I have for it will cease to be of use to anyone trying to follow-up my research.

Now the extracted records are included on the new FamilySearch.org website and in the future I will be citing the England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 and the England Marriages, 1538–1973 from the Historical Records as the source of the information I would previously have found in the IGI, but what should I do with the existing citations?

Technically the IGI is still the source of the information, whether it exists or not, but when it ceases to exist it is not going to be particularly helpful to those coming after me. Now that the information is available from a new source (which will presumably be around for many years to come) it would be much more helpful to update those sources to the new format, but of course that means I will be wasting valuable research time on updating source citations that I don’t really need to.

So what do you think? Have you got source citations for the IGI? Are you going to be updating your sources?

Another birth certificate and more questions than answers

8 Dec

The birth certificate for Rebecca BATEMAN arrived yesterday, and it wasn’t quite what I expected, in fact it has given me more questions than answers.

It should have been quite simple, Rebecca BATEMAN was the daughter of my 4x great-grandparents Thomas and Rebecca BATEMAN, born in Ford in the parish of Temple Guiting, Gloucestershire on the 10th December 1839. The reason for ordering this particular certificate was to find out the maiden name of Rebecca.

I had suspected it was TOWNSEND, based on the most likely marriage entry I could find on the International Genealogical Index (IGI). The birth certificate however gives her maiden name as TOWNLEY. Quite close, but not really close enough to be explained away as a transcription error or a mis-spelling.

As there is a baptism in Temple Guiting (also on the IGI) for a Rebecca TOWNLY at about the right date, coupled with the fact that the marriage I was looking at wasn’t in Temple Guiting, but about ten miles away, makes me think that the registrar was correct. I am clearly going to have to do some more work in this.

The other anomaly is the birth date (or baptism date). The certificate says that she was born on the 10th December 1839, yet there is a baptism record for Rebecca BATEMAN in Temple Guiting on the IGI, with a date of the 4th December. Either there is a transcription error on the IGI (most likely) or Thomas and Rebecca lied about (or couldn’t remember) their daughter’s exact birth date. Again more work needed on this family in the original parish registers.

So I think I have the maiden name of my 4x great-grandmother, which leaves only one 4x great-grandparent with no maiden name and three missing completely. Hopefully next year I can pay a visit to the Gloucestershire Record Office and do a bit more research on these branches of my tree. I have enough of a start to make it worthwhile visiting now.

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.

Have I found the marriage of Henry SHORNDEN and Sarah LAY?

25 Oct

Having just discovered the maiden name of Henry SHORNDEN’s wife, the next step was to use this information to try and find a marriage for Henry SHORNDEN and Sarah LAY.

It didn’t take long to find a likely marriage in the GRO BMD marriage index, the problem is that it shouldn’t have been in the marriage index.

Both Henry SHORNDEN and Sarah LAY were amongst those individuals married in Q4 1840 in the Gravesend Registration District. The International Genealogical Index has an entry for the marriage, which confirms that they were married to each other on the 25th December 1840 at Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Milton by Gravesend, Kent.

The problem is that according to the 1851 census there were two children born before the 25th December 1840, including my 2x great grandmother Harriet.

This raises several questions, such as it this the correct marriage? If it is then were the two children’s parents Henry and Sarah, or was one of them married previously? There are many possibilities, the two children may even be adopted.

The next step will be to check the marriage details, and see if I confirm that this is the correct marriage. Probably the easiest way to do this will be to order the marriage certificate, but I could also try and get hold of a copy of the marriage register entry.

The TARGETT/HILTON story – Part Three: Where next?

4 Oct

Really this is no longer TARGETT/HILTON story, but just HILTON or SAUNDERS/HILTON story because the TARGETT side of the equation seems quite normal.

If truth I am unlikely to find out any more about the relationship between William TARGETT and Ruth HILTON before their marriage, although there may be something in the parish records that suggests that William was urged (or forced) to take responsibility for his actions and do the decent thing and marry Ruth.

I still need to find William and his parents in the census, prior to his marriage and unless they happen to have been living next door to Ruth HILTON there is probably nothing else that will provide a connection between the two.

The HILTON side is more interesting, and more of a challenge. Having no ages or parents names for Ruth HILTON’s parents is going to make things awkward, but there are still other places to look for clues.

I don’t expect to find a marriage for Ruth’s parents, at least not to each other. There is of course the chance that one or other of them died around the time of Ruth’s birth, which is why they never married, so I need to check for burials and in the GRO Death Index.

I would hope to find some mention of Ruth and her mother Eliza in the parish records for Duncton, Sussex. It seems likely that Duncton parish would have had to support Eliza if she or Ruth’s father were unable to provide for the child. So I need to check to see if there are any overseers records amongst the papers for Duncton parish.

My best bet however it to try and find Ruth in the 1841 and 1851 census. Hopefully she will be living with either one of the parents, or perhaps grandparents. In an ideal world Ruth would have been living with her mother in one census and her father in the other, but the chances of that seem very slim.

If that doesn’t provide me with enough clues, then I need to try and find Richard SAUNDERS and Eliza HILTON in the 1841 and 1851 Census. If Ruth is not with them then it is not going to be possible to say for certain they are the right people. Fortunately the names are not particularly common so it might be possible to produce a small list of likely suspects and narrow them down one by one.

This is going to take some carefully research, but I am confident that it will be possible to take both of these lines back further. I would be interested to see if there is a history of naughty young girls in the HILTON family, or whether there was some respectability amongst the earlier generations.

The TARGETT/HILTON story – Part Two: The baptism of Ruth HILTON

2 Oct

I have already mentioned that the other record I wanted to look up at Worthing Library was the baptism record for Ruth HILTON. I had found a very likely entry on the International Genealogical Index (IGI) and wanted to confirm all the details and fill in the missing data.

There was something curious about the entry on the IGI, the baptism date was given as 1837, just 1837, no day or month. I felt that it was probably a transcription error, but couldn’t understand quite how such a glaring error could have slipped through.

Ruth was baptised in the parish of Duncton, Sussex which ties in with one of the census entries I have found so far. When I loaded the microfiche I soon found that the entry on the IGI was correct, only the year had been entered in the date section.

Worse still, but not for me fortunately, the next baptism had no date at all. It looks like Ruth only got the year because she was at the top of a new page. The previous entry was from the 12th March 1837 and the one after the one with no date was from the 6th August 1837.

I would not be surprised if a date was missing from one of the early general registers, but after 1813 there was a printed page to fill in with all the relevant information, so it should have been obvious at the time that something was missing.

Apart from that the baptism record was quite normal, normal that is for someone who was illigitimate. Underneath the name Ruth was the word illigit and only Ruth’s mother’s name was given, Eliza HILTON. The occupation was entered as labourer, and I am guessing this refers to the father’s occupation not Eliza’s.

So using both the baptism and the marriage record I have both parents names, but that is all I have, no clue as to how old they were, whether they were ever married or remained single or where they came from.

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