Tag Archives: pocock

Feeling very pleased with myself

10 Oct

I am feeling very pleased with myself, it is Saturday morning and I am on the train making my way to Winchester and the Hampshire Record Office.

Why am I feeling so pleased with myself? Well, for once I am off to a record office with a clear idea of what I want to find, I have a plan, a pretty simple one admittedly, but it is a still a plan.

I am hoping to find the parents of William MITCHELL and Susannah POCOCK and check the baptisms for the children of Henry and Sarah Ann WRIGHT in Alton, Hampshire. Also I want to check for the burial of Henry and Sarah Ann, which I would expect to find in Alton as well.

So I am feeling confident, I know what I want to do, I had a reasonably early night and slept well, the trains appear to be running on time, and it has stopped raining and the sun is starting to appear.

What could possibly go wrong?

Missing from my Christmas Tree: The parents of William MITCHELL and Susannah POCOCK

9 Oct

Four of the missing individuals on my Christmas Tree Project stem from this couple. William MITCHELL and Susannah POCOCK are my 3x great grandparents, and were married on the 16th January 1832 in the parish of New Alresford, Hampshire.

To my knowledge they had ten children, including my 2x great grandfather William Henry MITCHELL (who I have written much about previously), and they appear to have spent most if not all of their married life in the parish of Exton, Hampshire.

I have found them in every available census from 1841 up to the 1881 for William (he died in 1888 aged 81) and the 1891 for Susannah (she died in 1898 aged 90).

The ages and places of birth are pretty consistent for both of them across the range of census years. William was born in Alresford, Hampshire and Susannah was born in Micheldever, Hampshire.

Their ages give a year of birth around 1807-08 for William, and 1808-09 for Susannah. There is a slight discrepancy with the 1861 census where both of them are a couple of years younger than they should be according to the other census data.

So there is a possibility that they may have been born slightly earlier, if the 1861 census was correct and the others are wrong, but that seems unlikely. Also the ages in the other census years also tie up with their ages in the GRO Death Indexes.

All of this seems quite straight forward, all I need to do is look in the parish registers for (New and Old) Alresford and Micheldever and there they will be. The problem, other than not having copies of the parish registers to hand, is that the baptisms for Micheldever are on the International Genealogical Index on familysearch.org and they don’t include Susannah or any other POCOCKs.

My saviour will hopefully be the Hampshire Baptism Index, this is available on CD from the Hampshire Genealogical Society and I know they have a copy at the Hampshire Record Office. I could buy a copy, but unlike the Sussex Marriage Index (from the Sussex Family History Group) I am not sure I will get enough use out of it to justify the cost. Perhaps one for my Christmas wish list.

POCOCK is an unusual enough surname that there shouldn’t be too many of them about and hopefully there will only be one Susannah in the right time frame. Hopefully I will be able to find William in Alresford without too much trouble, if not the problem will be just the opposite, there will probably be too many William MITCHELLs to choose from.

Time to schedule in a trip to Winchester I think. If I can find both sets of parents then I should hopefully be able to find out more details on their families, confirm what is in the index and hopefully go back a generation or two on the same visit. Now where is my calendar?

The fear of failure and finding my 4x great grandparents

3 Oct

I have been slowly working through my tree trying to identify all my 4x great grandparents, but I think I have reached a point now where there is very little I can do without a visit to a couple of archives, and spending a serious amount of time searching.

So far I have identified 52 out of 64 of my 4x great grandparents to a varying degree. Some of the women haven’t got a maiden name yet, some I have only the briefest of details for, but most have more than just a name. Some have more detail if they were alive during the census years.

Filling in the gaps is going to be my goal for November, although I may start early. What is really worrying me is the missing 12 individuals, and the realisation that I might never find out who they all are.

There are some who I just need to get to the right archive. For instance the MITCHELLs and POCOCKs from Hampshire will probably require a visit to Winchester and the Hampshire Record Office, or maybe the London Family History Centre.

Then there are the parents of Ellen NICHOLLS who may or may not have married William GEERING. From the census I have a clue where she came from but without a marriage record giving me her father’s name it is going to be hard to say for certain that I have found the right person.

Many months ago I wrote about Henry WRIGHT and his wife (or partner possibly) Sarah Ann, who appear not to have married either. I have not looked at their data for a while, because it was doing my head in.

Part of me thinks that if I never find all these 12 people I will have failed, I will never know completely who my ancestors were and it is not worth continuing, so I should stop now.

I need to accept that whether it is this generation, the next one or four generations further back I will inevitably run into a dead end that is never going to be solved no matter how much time and money I throw at it.

But now is not time to give up, perhaps it is a time to focus on something else for a while, but I have given myself October to identify all my 4x great grandparents, so I still have time to complete it (ultimately I want to find all my ancestors back to my 4x great grandparents so I can produce a printed tree to share with the family at Christmas).

I have one weeks holiday coming up soon which will enable me to get out and get some research done. So the next step will be to draw up a research plan for each of these 12 individuals to make sure I make the most of my research time. With the other 52 I need to identify any obvious gaps, such as missing maiden names so I can fill in those as well whilst I am out researching.

Most of all I need to stop worrying and accept that one day I will have a brick wall that cannot be destroyed no matter how hard I try, and that I will not have failed when that does happen. It will just make my tree look a bit odd, with one branch shorter than the others!

Preparing for another trip to Winchester, possibly!

21 May

I’ve been preparing for a visit to the Hampshire Record Office in Winchester, just in case I decide to go (still can’t make up my mind!)

In terms of research goals for this visit my main priority is to find the parents of my 3x great grandparents William MITCHELL and Susannah POCOCK, who married in New Alresford, Hampshire on the 16th January 1832. I have pretty consistent census information (ages and places of birth) for them, so it shouldn’t be too much of a problem finding their baptism records.

Next I would like to find out some more details on Henry and Sarah WRIGHT (another pair of 3x great grandparents) who lived in Alton, Hampshire. I would hope to find baptism records for some of their children and maybe some clue as to where they were living before the moved to Alton. I also need to check for burial records and monumental inscriptions for both Henry and Sarah, in preparation for a visit to Alton at some stage in the future.

Hopefully I can also find some school records for the children of both the MITCHELLs and the WRIGHTs and try and get some more details on where they lived exactly in Exton and Alton. Then I need to do the same for William Henry and Harriet MITCHELL (2x great grandparents) which I started last time.

That should give me more than enough to be getting on with, but if I do run out of things to do then I can always start on some of the siblings of my 2x and 3x great grandparents, that is if I decide to go of course…!

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