Tag Archives: research

My Family History Week: Sunday 13th May 2012

13 May

It was another productive week, although once again I didn’t do what I had intended to do. Most of my family history time was spent re-visiting past research projects, mostly inspired by my brief foray into British Newspaper Archive.

Challenging times: Sorting out Patrick Vaughan’s information

For the second week in a row I have failed to do anything about sorting out all the information I have about Patrick Vaughan. I think this is probably because organising and sorting is just not as interesting as doing new research.

I already know all the information I have for Patrick Vaughan and whilst I know I need to have this all in order before I do any more research, it is just not as exciting as doing the new research.

I think I should try to make an effort next week to actually get it sorted. If I leave it another week I suspect it will never get done.

Luther Trower, Henrietta King and Joseph Brinton

These three individuals are the main characters for one of the most interesting stories lurking in my family tree. It is a story that I haven’t fully researched yet and I am hoping this year I will get around to telling that story.

I was reminded once again of this unfinished story by several newspaper articles, sadly the articles didn’t provide any new information, but they did spark an interest again.

I have done a bit of work this week on tracing what happened to some of the supporting cast and updated my database. I think the story is probably worthy of a book, not a big book, but a book nonetheless.

For that I know I will need some more background material, old photos and new photos, but before I get too carried away I ought to sit down and put together an outline for the book.

Thomas Kinghorn – the mail guard

Another newspaper inspired piece of work, which lead to his Ancestral Profile blog post this week. It also lead me to re-visiting the life of my 4x great-grandfather and his connections with Carlisle.

There wasn’t really any new research, just looking over what I already have and dreaming about the time when I get chance to spend some time at the Carlisle Record Office and what I would like to try to find out.

It occurred to me that unless I actually make plans to visit the record office it is never going to happen. No-one else is going to make those plans for me, I could wait for records to be digitised, but even then it might not be the records that I need.

I need to make some plans and do some research:

  1. How and when do I go there? and how much will it cost?
  2. What records do I want to check when I am there?
  3. Is it likely to be worth going?
  4. Would I be better off at the SoG Library or London Family History Centre?

I might try to work this out this week, the sooner I do it the sooner I might be walking through the doors of Carlisle Record Office.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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My Family History Week: Sunday 6th May 2012

6 May

It was another good week, although most of what I did wasn’t really what I had intended, but it was interesting and varied, which certainly helps keep me motivated.

Challenging times: Sorting out Patrick Vaughan’s information

I have to confess that I didn’t get very far with sorting out all the stuff that I have on Patrick Vaughan. I did make a start, but was almost immediately distracted by another part of the Finding Minnie story that needed sorting out.

One day I will get around to telling the story of these relations of Minnie Allison and answering the question Who Was Daisy Denyer? The information I has bundled up with that of Patrick Vaughan, so it made sense to get that sorted out at the same time.

There were two reason why I chose to start with this information, first I didn’t think it would take too long and secondly it was all English so I wouldn’t have any problem entering and sourcing the information, whereas Patrick’s was Irish, Scottish and Canadian and that would take some time to work out my source citation.

Thomas Acock of Malvern, Worcestershire, England

I decided that I would also like to clear a couple of items from my to-do list as well this week. Both of these items involved Thomas Acock who married my 4x great-aunt Anna Trower.

Anna was his third wife, so I wanted to include some details from these previous marriages in my database and I wanted to expand on the information that I had on their descendants.

I was able to delete these two entries from my to-do list although I really need to add a new one that will remind my to keep a look out for the parish registers for Malvern so that I can verify the work that I have done.

Upgrading Family Historian

Version 5 of Family Historian (my genealogy software of choice) has been out several weeks and this week I finally got around to paying for and downloading the update.

As expected everything went smoothly and I think the only thing I had change was the default project on opening, all my other settings were exactly the same.

This is just the sort of upgrading I like, whilst the core of the program looks and behaves the same as before there are several new features that are waiting to be explored. I had a quick play with the new fan charts and can see I am going to be having some fun with them in the future.

British Newspaper Archive

Part of the reason I didn’t get very far sorting out the Patrick Vaughan stuff was because I decided to take the plunge and buy a few credits for the British Newspaper Archive.

It has taken some getting used to and some of the image quality is dreadful, but there are more stories of interest than I had first imagined, but finding them has proved a big challenge requiring some careful searching. Capturing the information proved to be a bigger challenge in many cases, and my Print Screen button has not seen such use for many a year.

I still have a few credits left and a few hours to use them, so I will make the most of them to try to uncover more of what my relatives got up to.

Future Challenges

There is no question, no excuses, next week I must carry on sorting out the Patrick Vaughan information. I know that with the searching of the British Newspaper Archive I have gathered even more information to be sorted, but I will try to put that to one side for now and work on Patrick.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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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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New Year – New Research

4 Jan

Last year wasn’t particularly ground breaking in terms of my family history. It is hard to bring to mind any major discoveries, I’m sure there were a few mysteries solved and gaps filled in but nothing memorable stands out.

This year I don’t expect a lot to change, time is still going to be a limiting factor and I suspect money will become more of an issue this year as well, so in general it needs to be a case of making the most of the resources I have already available to me.

I do want to get out to more archives and record offices this year and in light of the previous paragraph, I need to be making the most of these opportunities by making sure I am more organised about what I want to achieve.

I don’t actually see myself growing my family tree to any great extent this year, but rather adding to what I already have. Specifically I have become more interested in recent generations (my grandparents and great-grandparents) and feel I should be learning more about these generations whilst those that knew them are still around.

There is always plenty of housekeeping to be done on my family history, generally I consider my database to be in pretty good order, but there is always something that needs doing (like attaching photos to my family tree) and one big task this year will be to update all my 1911 census images with the unredacted versions and note any disabilities that come to light on my database.

There should hopefully be a couple of new collections coming out this year from Ancestry and Findmypast which will prove interesting and helpful for my research and should give me something to look forward to. Talking of things to look forward to there is of course Who Do You Think You Are Live in a couple of months, which I really ought to be preparing for now.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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It’s been a bad week for my family history… so far

21 Apr

Once again I seem to have achieved very little this week when it comes to family history, in fact I don’t really know where the time has gone.

I have done much thinking about family history, but not much real work. That thinking about family history usually pays off in the long run, it usually helps me organise my thoughts and plan the way forward on particular projects.

I know what I need to do next with the NICHOLLS/DRAPPER families from Kent, a little bit more research from home using the IGI and the census to build up a basic framework and then head for an archive or library to check some copies of the original parish registers.

I know that project is going to grind to a halt shortly as I wait for the opportunity to visit that archive or library, so I have lined up my next project, working on Thomas WELLER and his wife (possibly Mary NEWNHAM). This puts me back on home territory (Sussex) again and hopefully I should be able to make some progress on this without too many problems.

The next step for Thomas and Mary WELLER is to prove I have found the correct marriage, I should be able to do this by ordering the birth certificate of one of their children. I would like it to be Mary Ann WELLER my 3x great-grandmother but I am having trouble finding the correct reference, so it might have to be one of her brothers.

The good news is that the long Easter weekend means that I should have opportunity to get on with some family history. Unfortunately I can’t spend all four days on my family history, but should have enough time to get a decent amount done.

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