Tag Archives: patrick vaughan

Investigating Patrick and Kate’s marriage

20 Mar

I had two specific questions about Kate Allison and Patrick Vaughan’s marriage to answer yesterday when I visited the East Sussex Record Office.

  1. When did it take place?
  2. Was this Patrick Vaughan the one from Canada?

When did it take place?

Although I have a copy of the marriage certificate, the date on the certificate doesn’t match the date in the GRO index. I know this doesn’t make that much difference in the whole scheme of things, but I don’t like uncertainty so I wanted to confirm with the original parish register what was the correct date.

As I suspected the certificate was incorrect, the marriage took place on the 25th December 1917 and not 1918 as the marriage certificate states. It doesn’t really change anything, but just provides a useful reminder that mistakes do occur even in the “official” records.

It could have been a different story if there had been a child born between the two dates, it could have been the difference between legitimacy and illegitimacy.

Was this Patrick Vaughan the one from Canada?

Everything pointed to Patrick Vaughan that married Kate Allison as being the same one who joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force in June 1916, but before I would put my hard-earned cash on the line and order a copy of his service record I wanted to be certain. It occurred to me one evening in the bath that I could compare the signature on the marriage register (not on the marriage certificate) with that on the attestation form and hopefully confirm they were the same man.

I don’t have a copy of the marriage register entry to show you, so you will have take my word for it. Although the two signatures are not exactly the same they are similar enough for me to be happy that they are the same man.

This is quite a relief as I have spent a fair bit of time and money over the last few weeks downloading records from Scotland and Ireland for Patrick and his first marriage. Now I have no excuse for not ordering a copy of Patrick Vaughan’s service record.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Use It or Lose It – A visit to East Sussex Record Office

19 Mar

It’s that time of year again. My holiday year runs out at the end of the month and if I don’t I use my last couple of days holiday then I will lose them. What better excuse than that to indulge in some family history research.

It was a beautiful day today, if a little chilly to start with, and I wondered whether I should have been walking rather than shutting myself away in East Sussex Record Office. The journey down to Lewes, East Sussex gave some splendid views of the South Downs. The short grass and low sun highlighting the curves and texture of hill-side, if I had been wearing my walking boots instead of my shoes then the day would have been completely different.

East Sussex Record Office

I can’t remember the last time I visited the East Sussex Record Office or any other archive for that matter, although I am sure looking back through my blog posts would tell me. Looking at my to-do list it was obvious that I hadn’t been to an archive for a long time.

There were a couple of high priority items for this visit concerning Finding Minnie, checking the marriage entry for Kate Allison and Patrick Vaughan and checking the baptism register for High Hurstwood.

After that the plan was to collect as much other data as possible and clearing as many items from my to-do list along the way.

One thing that became obvious whilst I was preparing for this visit was that my to-do list is not really up to the job, something that I am going to have to take another look at in the near future. At least I have a better idea of what is needed now.

I was quite pleased with myself when I used my Family Historian software on my netbook to quickly create an ad hoc to-do list for Brighton marriages to check. It would be very easy to do this with many other facts, but things could easily get out of hand. The question is not so much what don’t I know, but what do I want to find out.

All in all it was a good day, the record office was quiet (a shortage of staff and users) and I have come away with several pages of baptisms, marriages and burials for High Hurstwood, Framfield and Brighton that need processing and one important piece of evidence about Patrick Vaughan that will enable me to move my research forward.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Personal Research Update: Friday 16th March 2012

16 Mar

Once again I have had a good week. Pretty much all of my research was in Scotland or Canada, and I am really enjoying investigating some slightly different records. I still can’t believe how far this research project has taken me, it will soon be four months since I started Finding Minnie and there is no sign of it coming to an end.

Finding Minnie

Finding Minnie was more about finding Patrick Vaughan this week, with some success. I have now found Patrick Vaughan travelling to Canada in 1910, presumably for the first time. He is on his own, leaving his first wife behind in Scotland (she is in the 1911 Scottish Census).

Interestingly Patrick is travelling to Taber, Alberta, which suggests he knew where he was going and possibly already had a promise of work. Patrick’s son Cornelius also travels to Canada a few months later, also destined for Taber.

Cornelius returns to England in 1914 (although I haven’t found an entry in the passenger lists yet), maybe to serve during the First World War and returned to Canada again in 1919 at the end of the war.

I need to find out whether Patrick’s first wife ever joined him in Canada and more importantly when and where she died. Was Patrick actually a widower when he re-married in 1917?

High Hurstwood, East Sussex

I haven’t put much more thought into the idea of a one-place study on the village of High Hurstwood, still the problem is with defining what constitutes High Hurstwood.

I really need to get hold of a decent digital map (maybe Google Earth), on which I can draw some boundaries and see just what is involved. I know if I do start this study then I want it to be just as much about places as well as people, so perhaps the one name study will be just a part of it.

The Family History Half-Hour

I decided at the beginning of the week to transform the family history half hour in to a book reading half hour. Having bought a couple more books last week I decided I really need to make some time to read them and the stacks of books I already have waiting to be read.

This week I have been switching off the computer about half an hour early and picking up one of the many books waiting to be read. As most of the books are related in one way or another to family history you could still say that it is a family history half-hour.

The only drawback to this has been that on a couple of occasions I have found myself nodding off. Perhaps this is beneficial in a way as it is obviously a sign that I should turn the light out and go to sleep, a sign that I probably would have missed if I had been staring at a screen.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Personal Research Update: Friday 9th March 2012

9 Mar

It has been quite a good a week for my family history. I am pleased with what I have achieved, although I would have liked to have done more. Much of what I did involved working with collections which were unfamiliar, which was quite rewarding as not only was I learning about my relatives, but also learning about new areas of research.

Finding Minnie

I have managed to pull together a few bits of information on Patrick Vaughan and his family. I really wanted to try to find out where Patrick came from and how he ended up in Canada, before then trying to find out what happened to him and Kate after their marriage and the move to Canada.

I have managed to put together a very basic timeline for Patrick, from his birth and marriage in Ireland, then over to Scotland and from Scotland over to Canada. Now I need to find further evidence and fill in some of the gaps.

High Hurstwood, East Sussex

I have spent a bit of time thinking about what I should do with High Hurstwood. I want to find out more about the village where my grandmother was born, but I am not sure about whether I want to (or have the time to) go into great detail and start a one-place study or just concentrate on some aspects of its history.

Apart from indecision, the other problem I have at the moment is defining exactly what makes up High Hurstwood. It is an ecclesiastical parish in its own right, and has been for about 140 years, but it is also part of the larger Buxted Civil Parish.

Probably what I am looking for is a way to be able to define it as a community, which may or may not be limited by administrative boundaries. If I can get that idea clear in my head then I might be able to start making plans (and decisions).

The Family History Half-Hour

This week I have failed to actually carry out the idea of a family history half-hour. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but I forgot to actually set aside that time for family history. Obviously I am going to need to set myself up a reminder, so that I know the half-hour is about to start. Hopefully next week I can give it a proper trial.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Georgina Allison – a brief life

8 Mar

On a couple of occasions I mentioned that my 2x great-aunt Kate Allison had a sixth child whose life was tragically short.

At the time Georgina Allison was born her mother Kate was a widow, her first husband Robert Cecil Allison had died about sixteen months earlier in October 1914, and she didn’t marry her second husband Patrick Vaughan until December 1917.

I knew from the GRO indexes that Georgina had a short life, her birth and death being registered in the same quarter in 1916, but I felt I should get copies of the two certificates to fill in some details.

It was odd, but I felt the need to learn what happened to Georgina. There was the feeling that she needed to be remembered and that I was probably the only living person who knew of her brief existence.

At first glance she seems an insignificant part of my family tree, but I felt I had got to know this family so well over the weeks that I had been “Finding Minnie” that I felt I owed it to them not to just skip over her.

Georgina Allison was born on the 10th February 1916 at Quarry Cottages, Land End, High Hurstwood, Sussex. Her birth was registered by her mother Kate Allison (formerly Driver) on the 13th March 1916. The certificate makes no mention of her father or his occupation.

Sadly Georgina died on the 30th March 1916, at Lane End Cottage, High Hurstwood. The death was registered by her mother on the following day, again no mention was made of her father. The cause of death was recorded as premature birth and this was certified by George Lucas M.R.C.S. of Uckfield, Sussex.

Thus ended poor little Georgina’s short life. Aside from a burial record and a possible baptism record this is probably all I am ever likely to find out (it seems unlikely that there would have been a gravestone, but I will check when I next visit High Hurstwood).

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Patrick Vaughan, you’re a hard man to pin down

5 Mar

My 2x great-aunt’s second husband Patrick Vaughan is proving to be a hard man to pin down. I put this down to two things:

  1. He never stayed in same place for long
  2. His age seems to vary from document to document

Both of these things make me wonder if I have the right man, or even the same man.

I am used to some of my relatives moving about a bit, usually from parish to parish or over the border from one county to another. Patrick on the other hand seems to have hopped from country to country. From his birth in Ireland across to Scotland , then emigrating to Canada. He came back across the Atlantic to England (and possibly mainland Europe) for the First World War, before returning to Canada where he seems to have lived out the rest of his life.

Or at least this is what it looks like. It is hard to be certain because of the variations in his ages across the various documents. The first time I came across Patrick Vaughan was on his 1917 marriage certificate, where his age is recorded as 43, giving a year of birth around 1874. Back in Canada his attestation record from 1916 gives an “apparent age” of 44 years and 2 months, from his date of birth of 17th March 1872.

I think I have found him living in Scotland in 1891 and 1901, his place of birth is correct, but the 1901 census gives his age as 39, which pushes his year of birth back to around 1862. His age in the 1891 census is not clear, it might say 29, but it is not good enough to really be sure.

Going back to Ireland the only likely baptism in the right county and right parish is in 1857. Losing a few years here and there is not a big deal, but it does mean that when he signed up to serve in the First World War in 1916 his year of birth was 15 years out, and he would in fact have been around 59 years old not 44. Interestingly his description does describe his hair as grey.

There are just enough similarities between the Patrick’s on these different records to make me think they are the same man, but not quite enough for me to be 100% certain that they are.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Finding Minnie: taking stock

2 Mar

I have to admit that my Finding Minnie project has got a little out of hand and has grown way beyond my original expectations.

I was a little surprised at first to find my research taking me into Essex and away from my comfort zone in Sussex, but now I have left that comfort zone way behind and I am now trying to get to grips with research in both Ireland and Canada (with plenty of research still left to do in England).

I have no idea where or when this project is going to end. I have already achieved my initial goal of finding out who Minnie was, but instinctively I have just carried on investigating.

Taking a short break has given me chance to review what I actually want to find out and how it is going to happen. My attention has now turned to finding out what happened to Minnie’s mother Kate and the rest of Minnie’s siblings after they arrived in Canada, and also about the life of Kate’s second husband Patrick Vaughan.

I know this process is going to take some time, so whilst I get to grips with Irish and Canadian research I want to return much closer to home and find out more about my grandmother and my great-grandmother who brought up Minnie.

I also want to find out more about the village of High Hurstwood in East Sussex, where they were all living. I can find very little information online about the history of the village, so it will be quite interesting to see what I can find out and it could possibly evolve into a one place study in the future.

One of Kate’s brothers also emigrated to Canada, so as I am starting to explore Canadian research it would be a good time to find out some more about him and his family as well. There is also another brother who I haven’t been able to trace yet, I have a suspicion that he might also have emigrated to Canada so now would be a good time to find out more about him.

Now I see this project more about investigating this particular generation of the Driver family, so I may have to come up with a new name for the project.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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