Tag Archives: wright

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?

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!

Heading up to London again

12 Jun

Tomorrow I venture up to London again, and I have a long list of things to find out, but I realise I am not going to fit it all in, so I am going to have to be selective about what I want to achieve.

I was hoping to get up to London early so I could visit Soho and get some photos of  the streets where Thomas KINGHORN lived, before it gets too busy. I don’t think I am going to have the time for that, because I want to take advantage of two archives that are not open every Saturday, but are this weekend.

Firstly I want to make brief a visit to the London Metropolitan Archives to look for a baptism for Edward GASSON (son of my 3x great grandparents) in the parish of Edmonton, Middlesex. Possibly also any rate books which might identify the exact location where they were living.

Secondly, I plan to head to the British Postal Museum and Archive (BPMA)  and start digging for information on Thomas KINGHORN. This could be tricky, as I have very little hard evidence to go on, so I may well spend several hours searching to no avail. I do have a few ideas for where to start so it may not be a total loss.

If I do have any time left over I will probably head for the London Family History Centre again, and try and get some more answers on Henry WRIGHT and his family.

It may also be worth me popping into the Society of Genealogist’s Library before heading to the BPMA, and having a look at the Carlisle monumental inscriptions as they may provide so more data on Thomas KINGHORN.

I am worn out just thinking about it (or is that because I walked home again tonight?), I shall probably be asleep on the train before it even leaves London for home!

Harriet WRIGHT is giving me sleepless nights

8 Jun

I awoke this morning and it felt like my brain hadn’t been to sleep. I am sure that whilst the rest of me was sleeping my brain was going through possible name variants and spellings for Harriet WRIGHT (or whatever her name was).

At 7am this morning I very nearly ordered the birth certificate for one of Harriet’s siblings, but I stopped at the last minute, just as I was about to enter my debit card details.

What stopped me (apart from not liking to spend money, especially that early in the morning!) was the fact that I probably already know Harriet’s mother’s maiden name. I am convinced it is SHOREDEN/SHAWDEN/SHALDEN or some variant thereof.

It is my guess that Henry WRIGHT (Harriet’s father) and Sarah SHOREDEN (Harriet’s mother) never saw the need to get married and just lived together under his name as husband and wife.

However, when it came to naming children things got more complicated and the surname recorded depended on who asked for it, how the question was worded and to whom the question was asked.

I could be wrong (quite likely) but that is my only hypothesis at the moment. So initially I am going to be searching for the baptisms of Henry and Sarah, in the hope of being able to work forward and locate Harriet’s birth and baptism (and their 1841 census entry).

Both of their dates of birth are pretty consistent across the census years, Henry was born in 1811 and Sarah in 1821 and this is confirmed by their entries in the GRO death indexes.

Places of birth are a different matter, for Henry the choice of place of birth is not too bad, either Ospringe (Kent), Canterbury (Kent) or Alton (Hampshire), with Ospringe being the most popular. For Sarah there are more options, Alton (Hampshire), Harrow (Middlesex), Deptford (Kent) or Lincolnshire. I think I can rule out Lincolnshire and Alton, but the other two are quite plausible.

Of course I need to bear in mind that all of the census returns could be wrong, and none of these are the correct places, but it is one of the few records I have to go on. Wish me luck!

A disappointing search for Miss WRIGHT

5 Jun

I was quite excited when I realised that Harriet WRIGHTs birth certificate had arrived today, but this soon turned to disappointment when I discovered that it wasn’t my Harriet WRIGHT (not unless some serious name changing has gone on).

The certificate I ordered turned out to be for Harriet the daughter of James and Tammy WRAIGHT, born 17th September 1839 in Faversham, Kent. The date and registration district looked correct for my Harriet, and the WRAIGHT could well have been a variant of WRIGHT.

Like I said unless there has been some serious name changing going on, which I very much doubt, this is not my 2x great grandmother. So I am going to have to re-think my next step. I was hoping to follow this up with a visit (to Canterbury or London) to check the parish registers for a baptism, but unless I can find some more information on this family I have nothing much to go on yet.

Time to review the evidence and start delving into the 1841 census again, spreading my search wider, and doing the same on FreeBMD as well. I am sure there is nothing unusual about this family, just that they didn’t know how to spell their names!

A large helping of sunshine and with a pinch of genealogy

30 May

It has been another beautiful day here in Sussex, I don’t think I saw a single cloud in the sky. I am quite glad I was not out walking in the sun today! I had to go down to Brighton to get some shopping in the morning (before it got too busy).

I couldn’t resist a visit to the Brighton History Centre whilst I was down there. I spent a while scrolling through newspapers on microfilm trying to find some mention of the death of Abraham KINGHORN.

Abraham was the son of my 3x great grandparents Thomas and Isabella KINGHORN, and he died in the Brighton Registration District in Q1 1886 aged only 30. I felt sure the fact that he was only 30 years old when he died might have made the newspapers, but so far I have been unable to find a mention. It looks like I need to order a death certificate, to find out the story behind his early death.

Today I also ordered a couple of certificates, Harriet WRAIGHT’s (or WRIGHT) birth and William GEERING and Emily GREEN’s marriage). Hopefully they should enable me to finally complete the list of my 3x great grandparents.

I also made a start on one of the books in my to be read pile, London: A Social History by Roy Porter. This is of course background reading for my Thomas KINGHORN research, but also an attempt to learn more about our capital city, about which I know shamefully little.

Opening a can of worms at the London Family History Centre

25 May

Help! I really opened a can of worms when I started looking into the WRIGHT family in Alton, Hampshire at the London Family History Centre this weekend.

I had only been able to find GRO birth index references for a few of the younger children of Henry and Sarah WRIGHT in Alton Registration District. From the census I knew that the family had started in Kent, so I assumed the older children were registered there or somewhere in between Kent and Hampshire.

What I discovered when I started searching the Alton baptism register was surprising to say the least. Almost every child had a slightly different surname! I was sure they were the correct family because everything else tied up with what I already knew.

I had to go through the microfilm twice to make sure I had picked up all the baptisms. The first time I was just looking for the surname WRIGHT, the second time it was a case of carefully checking the other names and occupations. It didn’t help that the handwriting was rather smaller and indistinct, so some of the letters were not clear. The surnames I found were WRIGHT, SHORDEN, WRIGHT-SHALDEN, WRIGHT-SHAWADEN and WRIGHT otherwise SHORDEN.

My next step was to check the Ospringe baptisms, under a variety of different names and spellings, but the closest I could find was a Mary-Ann Hannah SHORNDEN in 1836. She could be their first child, but her fathers name is William not Henry.

Likewise the Ospringe marriages didn’t really come up with any likely marriages. There was a marriage of George WRAIGHT to Sarah COULTER in November 1836, where the witnesses were John and Lucy WREIGHT.

So where does that leave my search for my WRIGHT ancestors. Well, it explains why I have been unable to find them in the 1841 census yet. I don’t know what name to look for! Armed with another batch of names and spellings I hope I could find them, even if it means going through the census for Alton, Hampshire and Ospringe, Kent page by page.

I have however located a GRO birth index entry for Harriet WRAIGHT in Q4 1839 in Faversham District, which is a good match for my 2x great grandmother. I can now go ahead and order her birth certificate, that should make interesting reading to say the least.

For now I will wait until I have these two records before I start speculating on why they had such a variety of surnames!

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