Tag Archives: personal research update

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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Personal Research Update: Sunday 15th April 2012

15 Apr

There were really only two things that I worked on this week, completing the challenge that I set myself last week and working on processing all the information that I collected last month at the East Sussex Record Office. I didn’t specifically do anything about updating my to-do list or on Finding Minnie.

East Sussex Record Office information

I did a little work on some Brighton marriages that I collected at East Sussex Record Office, but got side-tracked with one of the Trower marriages. Unfortunately the groom Abraham Trower wasn’t in my family tree, so I decided that I ought to add him, but that meant I also had to add his father as well (and his many siblings) and this took much longer than I had intended, in fact I still haven’t finished this.

This Brighton branch of the Trower family is something I have neglected, although in typical fashion I do have some more information already but haven’t added it my database yet. I think this is an important branch of the family and although I am not quite in the position to start a one-name study I do think that I need to put in some more work on this branch.

Challenging times: Updating facts without sources

I am pleased to say that I have successfully completed the challenge I set myself on Monday to make sure that all the facts in my database have at least one source attached (several have more than one). I am glad I that I have got that out of the way, although to be honest it wasn’t really that difficult, but it did involve actually making decisions on how I was going to record things, something that I have put off for too long.

Part of this involved re-visiting some of my US relatives and assessing what further work I need to do. What I really need to do at this stage is work through all the information that I have gathered over the years and make sure it is all recorded in my database. I have gathered lots of bits of information over the years (like census images and newspaper extracts) but have not actually done anything with them yet.

Future Challenges

Re-visiting some random parts of my family tree has given me many ideas for things that still need to be done. I am conscious that I am not getting out to record offices often enough, but I don’t feel quite so bad now because I realise that there is still much to be done with the information I already have and that I still have a lot of information that I haven’t processed yet.

So I think any futures challenges need to be related to processing what I already have, there is much to do in that respect on so many parts of my family tree, but really it ought to initially be focused on Patrick Vaughan and Finding Minnie but I think I need to go through all my files and folders and making sure everything is up to date.

I probably need to make sure I have my to-do list updated as well because I know the process of going through my files will generate new to-do items and I need a solid foundation on which to build upon.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Personal Research Update: Saturday 7th April 2012

7 Apr

I really need to find a more catchy name for these regular posts…

To be honest I haven’t done a great deal of family history this week, the main reason was because I spent some time planning a short-break (with a family history connection) for later in the year, on top of that the family history that I did do was not really what I had planned either.

As unlikely as it may seem the 1940 US census has also provided another distraction, not the actual census itself mind you, but the free 1940s-era collection on Ancestry.co.uk (750 million records from 139 different collections free until 11.59 BST on the 10th April 2012).

I am sure I am not alone in having the odd relative here and there that ended up in the US, in my case there are two that stand out, the Allcorns and the Eades (both connected through my Trower ancestors). So I took the opportunity to capture a few more images and bits of data, and will try to gather a few more bits and pieces before the offer runs out.

I already have a fair bit of data on these two families sitting in folders on my hard drive (some of this dating back to November 2007), but I haven’t really done anything about processing the information. I must get this information sorted and add some items to my to-do list for when opportunities like this spring up.

Talking of my to-do list, I haven’t really done any work on updating it this week, but I have done a little bit more work on processing the data from my visit to the East Sussex Record Office, but still have much to do on that front.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Personal Research Update: Friday 30th March 2012

30 Mar

It has been two weeks since I wrote my last update, and they have a relatively productive couple of weeks, beginning with a visit to the East Sussex Record Office. Since then my focus has pretty much been on processing the information gathered at the record office and trying to get my to-do list into a better condition.

Finding Minnie

To be honest I haven’t done a lot on my Finding Minnie project this last fortnight, apart from processing what I discovered at the record office. I still haven’t ordered a copy of Patrick Vaughan’s service record, which I can do now as I am sure I have the right man.

Apart from ordering the service record my other priority is to enter all the data that I already have for Minnie, Kate and Patrick (and his first family). I have made a start on this, but need to get this finished.

To-Do List

I have spent a fair bit of time worrying about my to-do list, and in some respects this has been a distraction, but I feel it is important to have a useable to-do list.

I have done a bit of work on updating the list, and this has inevitably lead me off in different directions as I revisit some of the items to see if they can be completed yet or if I have already done them.

I know I need to be more methodical with this review and once I have done my first pass through I need to go through a bit more carefully and double-check everything.

High Hurstwood, East Sussex

Again I haven’t put much more thought into the idea of a one-place study on the village of High Hurstwood, East Sussex. Whilst I was at the record office viewing the parish registers I did wonder whether one day I will be transcribing them.

My current thinking is that it would be a worthwhile project to take on, but also that I don’t have the time at the moment. If I can put aside a tiny bit of time each week to work on it then it might be feasible.

The Family History/ Book Reading Half-Hour

This pretty much fell by the wayside this week, the week before wasn’t so bad, but I really need to try to get back in the routine of turning of the computer and picking up a book instead.

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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