Tag Archives: personal research update

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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Personal Research Update: Sunday 11th December 2011

11 Dec

My already limited research time has been even further reduced over the last couple of weeks, as a result of which I have again done very little research over the last few weeks.

I did get the opportunity to scan some more of my postcards (and to buy some more) but strictly speaking that is not really family history, although a few were of ancestral locations (mainly churches).

What little family history I did do was centred around maps. I spent some time on the A Vision of Britain through Time website studying the First Series Ordnance Survey map from 1813 for the western part of Sussex. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, but I ended up finding where my 4x great-grandparents Thomas and Mary WELLER lived in Twineham, Sussex.

That discovery was particularly satisfying because I had struggled to find their home for a while, but I will write more about that at a future date.

My other research centred around Henry and Dorothy Isabella BATEMAN (my 2x great-grandparents) and the whereabouts of their home in Hurst Wickham, Hurstpierpoint, Sussex. Encouraged by the comments of a local resident on one of my blog posts I decided to re-visit this particular problem again.

Using the 1911 census I was able to find out the names of adjacent properties to their house (2 Shenley Villas) and by studying the maps on oldmaps.co.uk I was able pin down the probable location of their house.

The key thing here was that the map contemporary with the 1911 census didn’t show house names, but one from fifty years later did have house names on it, and enough of those names hadn’t changed to enable me to find Shenley Villas, now known as The Double House, at least that is my belief.

Now I know where to look I should be able to confirm this with a visit to The National Archives to view the records of the Valuation Office Survey. This will not only confirm that I have the right property but it should also give me a description of the house itself, so well worth doing next time I am up at Kew.

Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.
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Personal Research Update: Thursday 29th September 2011

29 Sep

In the couple of weeks since my last update I have done very little family history whatsoever. It is not something I am particularly happy about because I do feel that I have been a bit lazy, but I think in part is also due to having no energy left after a long day at work.

It is not all bad news however, I have done a little bit of work on my great-grandmother Minnie DRIVER and in particular her death certificate. Inspired by my recent South Downs Way walk I was looking for a good reason to return to the Petersfield area of Hampshire and do a bit more exploring.

I will probably write more about Minnie in the coming days, especially if I get to go for the walk, but the bringing together of her death certificate and an Ordnance Survey map has given me a much better understanding of where she and her husband were living and corrected a misconception that I had developed.

It has also raised the question of where she was buried. Was it with her first husband (probably somewhere in East Sussex, maybe High Hurstwood) or where her second husband was buried much later on (Oving in West Sussex) or was it somewhere completely different? Another little challenge to work on…

Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.
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Personal Research Update: Tuesday 13th September 2011

13 Sep

Where am I now with my research?

Most of my very limited time has been devoted to Henry and Catherine GASSON and in particular their children. I have been trying to find out what happened to all their children, mainly using census returns and various parish register transcriptions.

There have been a few challenges but on the whole this has been pretty straight forward stuff, however I am reaching the stage where I really need to supplement the transcriptions I already have with a trip to the West Sussex Record Office. I can’t remember the last time I paid a visit to an archive, so it is long overdue.

I still have several more of the children to work on so I will probably try to complete the work on them and make sure I have a nice bundle of look-ups to do when I do finally get to the record office.

I don’t want to get dragged too far down these family lines, researching people who are not my direct ancestors, and need to remember that my original plan was to find out more about the migration of Henry and Catherine from Horley, Surrey to Nuthurst, Sussex and identify similar migrations by other GASSONs.

The “other GASSONs” part got unintentionally sidelined, but it is something I still want to pursue so I really need to start doing something about it. The trouble is I am not really sure how it is going to work, but I will probably start by looking at the 1841 census and parish register entries for Nuthurst and see if I can pick out any other GASSONs and see what develops from there.

Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.
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