Friday 27th November 2020 - Curtins & RankinsSome DNA matches make no sense at all with no common names or even places of birth. But sometimes a familiar name does occur though maybe in a different context or place, and that was Jeremiah Curtin. As far as I was aware there were Curtins in the Hopkins line, but no Jeremiah; a bit of deeper digging though showed that his father was a Patrick Curtin, born in Ireland in about 1813: the same as the father of Mary Ann Curtin in the Hopkins tree. Were Jeremiah and Mary Ann siblings despite their being born twenty years apart, the former in Ireland and the latter in Warwick?Patrick Curtin and his wife Ellen Mullins were both from Ireland, and while they don't seem to appear on the 1851 census in England they had a son Patrick born in the Warwick registration district - possibly in Leamington - in 1852 who died in Bilston in Staffordshire two years later. Read more …Tuesday 5th October 2020 - Charlotte CoxCharlotte was the last of Obadiah and Ann’s daughters to be wed, and she married John Boniface in St. Mary Magdalene, South Bersted on the 24th August 1829. While Charlotte’s age of 36 seems advanced for a first marriage, as she waited until after her mother’s death, it suggests that she had spent the previous years as her mother’s companion. It would seem likely that after her mother’s death Charlotte moved from Chichester to Bognor where her sister Harriet and her husband Edmund Greenway were already living. When she married John Boniface by banns, they are both of the parish of South Bersted, which included Bognor. Read more …Tuesday 29th September 2020 - Jessie Mary WoodwardJessie Mary Woodward, my second cousin once removed, was the granddaughter of Emma Skinner, my great grandmother's sister. She was born in Bow, in East London on the 24th May 1879 to parents Robert Woodward and Margaret Alice née Cook. She married Leonard Roper, a milkman, sometime dock labourer and subsequently a grocer, in St. Luke's, Millwall on the 6th August 1900. She came to my notice through a DNA match with descendants of her daughter Violet, and this led to an East End story of tragedy but ultimately of survival.Read more …Tuesday 4th August 2020 - The Queen’s Arms near Dartington, and the Alsop family of Newton AbbotIn 1858 Robert William Morgan, my first cousin four times removed, decided to pick a fight with a Captain Alsop in the Queen’s Arms public house on the road between Totnes and Dartington … So I decided to do a quick bit of research into the pub and Capt. Alsop, the object of his drunken anger, not expecting to find much, and ended up spending most of lockdown looking into the pub’s history, Devon's Newfoundland trade, Liverpool shipping and silk manufacture in Leek in Staffordshire.Read more …Tuesday 31st March 2020 - Obadiah Cox of Sturminster MarshallThe Daniel Cox who was the father of the Obadiah baptised in Blandford Forum on the 3rd of August 1754 is a bit of a problem. The baptism records in the parish at this time generally only state the child's father's name so there is no clue to Obadiah's - or to Daniel, Elizabeth and John, his siblings' - mother. This is not helpful in tracking down his father Daniel's provenance or marriage. Read more …Friday 21st February 2020 - the Ousby family of Bermondsey and ShoreditchOn the 19th of May 1822 Elizabeth and Hannah Ousby were baptised at the church of St Mary Magdalene in Bermondsey to parents Henry and Elizabeth Ousby of Grange Road. Henry is described as a Labourer, and they are probably the Henry Ousby and Elizabeth Jenkins who married on the 18th of April 1802 in St Leonard's, Shoreditch. This baptism seems to be the only mention of the Ousbys in the Bermondsey parish registers, though with the name appearing in many different spellings - and transcriptions - varying from Ausly through Cusby and Ousley to Houseby, it's possible some have been missed. The 1851 census finds a John Ousby born in Bermondsey in about 1802, and living in the workhouse there, where he died in 1854, who was possibly Henry and Elizabeth's first-born. Read more …Monday 23rd September 2019 - Honnor Gregory and a (probably) unrelated diversion …It’s been puzzling me for a while just where Honnor (or Honour, Hannor, Hanner) Gregory, Edmund Greenway’s second wife, sprang from. They had a daughter born in 1867, and her birth registration gives the clue to Honnor’s maiden name; however I can’t trace a marriage for the couple, or them on the 1871 census. Subsequent censuses consistently show Honnor to have been born in about 1826 in Windsor. She doesn’t apparently appear in any earlier censuses and neither does there seem to be any baptism recorded under this name anywhere let alone Windsor. There was however an Edward Gregory baptised on the 6th June 1830 in Old Windsor to parents James and Mehetabel. So I thought I’d follow him up just on the off chance …Read more …Tuesday 20th August 2019 - Long memories, family storiesI came across a letter from a cousin sent in 2007 that said she had a vague childhood memory that Sir Isaac Newton was supposedly an ancestor “just a family myth I am sure”. As the gentleman in question was childless, it would have to be through his parents’ lines or his half-siblings, and these have been fairly well followed up. I have however found another connection.I spent a lot of time last year researching the Essex parish registers for my Skinner ancestors, hoping that William Skinner (1800-1864) was the brother of my 2xgreat grandfather John. As I have DNA matches with William’s descendants in the USA the link is now confirmed, and it is possible to trace the Skinner line right back to Diana (Dionisia) Symes who married Richard Lancaster in 1613 in Albury in Hertfordshire. Her second husband was John Hauksbee, Vicar of Earls Colne from 1615-1640, and she married him in about 1620. Her daughters, Mary and Margaret Lancaster, were joined by Richard, Ann, William and Sarah Hauksbee. Richard Hauksbee lived in Colchester and:ffrancis Hauksbe son of Richard Hauksbe of Colchester in the County of Essex Draper was on the ffourth day of December 1678 bound an apprentice to John Hauksby Citizen & Draper of London as appears by their books this being the 17th day of October 1712.John Hauksbee was Richard’s oldest son, and he also had a son called Francis. You can read about both Francis Hauksbees on Wikipedia:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Hauksbeehttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Hauksbee_the_YoungerSo I think that probably settles the Isaac Newton link. Or does it? In another part of the same family tree I have a Hannah Smyth. Now Hannah Ayscough (née Blythe), the mother of Isaac Newton, married as her second husband the Rev. Barnabas Smyth and they had a daughter Hannah … It’s unfortunate that the name is Smith or variants thereof! My Hannah Smyth married John Lillie, the vicar of Lamarsh, and son of John Lillie (1612-1678), Musician to the King, who for some reason is not recognised by Wikipedia, but who is worth googling.
With family members from most of the counties of England (also Scotland, Ireland and continental Europe, and probably Wales and the Isle of Man) this is a collection of stories about people whom I have found interesting. This page reflects my current research and the sidebar lists the main names already researched to a greater or lesser extent.