Tag Archives: patrick vaughan

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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The hunt for Patrick Vaughan’s service record resumes

14 Feb

My attention had now turned once again to Patrick Vaughan, the second husband of my 2x great-aunt Kate Vaughan, and trying to find his First World War service record.

I had discovered that Patrick was a Canadian and an attestation record on the Library and Archives Canada website proved to be a good match, but I wasn’t 100% certain that this was my man. If I was going to order a copy of his full service record then I needed to be absolutely certain that I had the correct Patrick Vaughan.

My first attempts to find out more about Patrick were largely unsuccessful, I didn’t really know where I should be looking. There were a couple of interesting possibilities hidden behind pay-walls, but by and large nothing that seemed a good match, until I stumbled across a headstone for a Patrick Vaughan on Find A Grave.

This headstone was in Taber Cemetery, and Kate and her family had been heading for Taber when they landed in Canada, this seemed a good match. Furthermore, this was a military headstone, presumably erected by the local branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, and it gave a the same regimental number as the attestation record.

This looked like the missing link I needed to confirm that the attestation record was for my Patrick Vaughan, but still I wasn’t certain. If only there had been some mention of Kate on the headstone, but it only had a date of death (2nd September 1934). I was still left pondering whether I had enough evidence to order the service record.

Then came my eureka moment. I was soaking in the bath, but my brain was still in Canada, trying to justify the cost of the service record. Then it occurred to me, I had the perfect way of confirming if I had the right man. Patrick had signed his attestation form and of course he would have signed the marriage register.

If I could match those two signatures I could safely order the service record in the knowledge that this was my man. It was so simple and so obvious, I didn’t leap straight  out of the bath, but when I did get out I made a note to check the original marriage register when I next go to the East Sussex Record Office (the copy of the marriage certificate I have doesn’t have the actual signatures of the bride and groom).

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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