Tag Archives: parish registers

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 Week: Sunday 20th May 2012

20 May

There is nothing much to report this week except for an almost complete lack of family history activity. Whilst time has been an issue, as always, the main cause of this in-activity has been a lack of motivation.

I just haven’t really been inspired to sit down and do any family history this week. About the only positive thing that happened this week was the addition of three or four new relatives to my tree.

I realised that with a very small amount of work I would be able to add a seventh cousin. There was no real benefit to gained from doing this but it seemed like a fun thing to do at the time and nice to be able to say that I have a seventh cousin.

Challenging times: Sorting out Patrick Vaughan’s information

Given my current lack of motivation it seems unlikely that I am going get around to sorting out Patrick Vaughan’s information. It would probably be better for me to find another more interesting project (more interesting than sorting out files) to get me back on track.

Kent parish registers on familysearch.org

I made several attempts to access images of Kent parish registers on familysearch.org, hoping that at last I might be able to go back a bit further with my Gasson ancestors.

Unfortunately I was unable to view a single image for any of the parishes I tried, I don’t know if it was me or the website, but I tried nearly everyday with the same result. Maybe next week I will be more successful.

There is another potential distraction coming up this week with a change in the weather coming at last. Hopefully it will be dry and warm enough for me to contemplate at least one decent evening walk this week.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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My Family History Week: Sunday 29th April 2012

29 Apr

It was another reasonably good week, nothing really new, mainly re-visiting various parts of my family tree inspired by going through my to-do list.

Challenging times: Updating my to-do list

I am now pretty happy with the state of my to-do list, I am also aware that it still has some short-comings. Although I have cleared some duplicates and even completed a few items, however there is still a lot to be done.

I think a lot of the items don’t really need to be on the list at all. By that I mean that I ought to be in a position to run selected queries on my Family Historian software to give me lists of individuals for whom I still need to find births, baptisms, burials etc. for a particular place.

Various parts of my family tree

I put in a fair bit of work on Edward Gasson and his wife’s first family and this brought my thoughts back around to my 3x great-grandfather Thomas Gasson and his brief time with the Metropolitan Police. I must order Edward’s birth certificate this coming week.

A little bit of creative searching has uncovered a missing baptism record for the son of another of my 3x great-grandfathers, Thomas Kinghorn. John Kinghorn’s baptism in London had eluded me for several years. It turned out he had been baptised in Holborn, rather than Westminster where his siblings had been, this still leaves me two more children to find, but every little nugget of information helps.

Future Challenges

I am still finding my weekly challenge to be a helpful motivational tool, but with so many things that I could do it is getting hard deciding what to do next. I may take the opportunity to go through my to-do list again this week and try to clear a few more entries.

It still has over 140 entries so there is no shortage of things to do, however there is a shortage of things that I can do without visiting a record office, and that is not likely to happen this week.

There are several people where I have more information to be entered into my database (Patrick Vaughan and William Joseph Henry Bateman are two examples) so I might get around to updating them.

One thing that did surprise me when I was looking through my to-do list was the number of men whose First World War service was not properly recorded. I have copies of their service records or in some cases just a medal index card, but I haven’t really recorded all that data anywhere.

On the same theme there must be many more men in my family tree who served in the First World War, but whose records I haven’t found (or looked for) yet. I owe it to them to make sure I have at least checked to see what was recorded.

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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Challenging times: Processing Framfield burial records

16 Apr

Last week’s challenge was quite helpful in giving my family history a little bit of focus. The danger however is that I am going to get carried away with doing new exciting stuff, and ignore what I am really ought to be doing.

So this week I am going to attempt to process all the Framfield burial records that I gathered at the East Sussex Record Office last month. I have two pages of burials transcribed from the Framfield burial registers, totalling around forty entries in total.

These are from the period 1890 to 1983 and mainly cover the Hemsley family, but there are also a few Drivers, a couple of Trowers, and a handful of others including one Gasson (probably very distantly related).

The “processing” is in parts, firstly copying these entries on to my parish register transcription spreadsheet, so that I can get rid of the paper copy. The second part is taking each entry and entering it in my family tree if possible.

This second part is likely to be the time-consuming part as I know that some of these people won’t be in my family tree and it will be tempting to try to add them in just so that I can “use” the information I have. I am going to try to avoid adding any new people as much as possible, that is a task for another day.

I have already decided that a future job will be to go through my transcription and make sure I can distinguish which entries have been used, then some when down the line I can work on those that haven’t been used.

There is a third part, which is not quite so onerous, that is to make sure I update my to-do list by removing any of the burial records that I have found from the list and noting those that I wasn’t able to find.

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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News: Canterbury Cathedral records to go online at findmypast.co.uk

29 Jan

The most exciting news for me this week was the announcement from findmypast.co.uk that they are going to be digitizing parish records from the Archdeaconry of Canterbury.

Starting “in the coming weeks” the website will be adding the Canterbury Collection to its existing collection of parish register records. This has been timed to coincide with the temporary closure of their current home, Canterbury Cathedral Archives.

Initially the collection will consist of just browsable images, but the records will ultimately be transcribed and an index provided “later this year”.

I have written several times about my difficulties in researching in Kent, so this marks a great step forward for me. The county of Kent has been under-represented online until now and although most of my interests are further west nearer the Sussex border (the Archdeaconry of Canterbury covers eastern Kent) I am sure this is going to prove a valuable asset in my research.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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