Showing posts with label Yorkshire. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Yorkshire. Show all posts

22 September 2011

Treasures from the To-Do Pile: North Yorkshire archive & maps

Last March, Linda Elliott's Mad About Genealogy (English and General Genealogy News & Links) had a great post on the North Yorkshire County Record Office and all the goodies they have online.I had left a note in my To-Do-Pile to remind myself to get around to it someday....
The archive section of the North Yorkshire County Record Office website has more goodies than I can describe in one post.  I've played there for hours now, and I still haven't seen it all.  If you have any connection to North Yorkshire, this website is a must! 
Here's a snip of just one section of the webpage.  Notice that just this one little part of their site has links to historical maps, photographs, online archive catalog, and links to other excellent sites.  As with most large and intricate sites, the search options take a little getting-used-to, but the time is well worth the effort.
I played in the map section and found lots on Malton, Hutton's Ambo, and Rilington.  My direct-line surnames ETHELL, ROSE, BEETHAM, and MUNKHAM have ties to that area in the 18th & 19th centuries.  It was a joy to see the maps and I am confident that more work with these maps will improve the research I have to do to firm up the latter 3 surnames.  Here's a snip of one of the maps showing Rilington and the location of St. Andrew's Church.  I haven't yet proven a link to this specific church, but my people were bound to have been in the neighborhood!
  • Wouldn't it be nice if all the counties of England (or anywhere, for that matter) had similar sites? !  Thank you, North Yorkshire!
  • Thank you, Linda for sharing this wonderful resource.
  • Yet again, I've found great stuff in the To-Do Pile... the pile is shrinking, slowly but surely.  I think I am, finally, getting control!
  • I must check out the Archive section of this fabulous website.

01 July 2011

First Friday Folder: Grice & Gibb

I chose this folder for review this month because I knew it would be pretty quick to check!  After all, I have to get back to analyzing and inputting all the new Richardson & Shaw data I got on my recent trip to Missouri....  On the other hand, Grice & Gib will be the ones I return to after I get all of Missouri sorted out.

The Couple
John GRICE and Sarah GIBB are my 4th-great-grandparents on the paternal side of my Carr line.  I have posted before about these surnames and geography and specifically about their marriage. [1]

There is a nice sequence of baptisms in the West Lutton / Weaverthorpe area for children of John & Sally GRICE, including my 3rd-great-grandmother Rachel (Grice) Ethell.  Two trees from solid family researchers had given me the marriage of John Grice and Sarah Gigs as 1808 in Yorkshire, with unsourced, online trees giving John's birth as 1754.

My early research found an 1823 Baine's Directory for Yorkshire with both a John Grice senior (farmer & grocer) and John Grice junior (wheelwright & farmer).  This and John's calculated age at the marriage worried me and made me think I should at least consider the idea that Sarah had married Junior or even that "Sally" and "Sarah" were two different women.

But, now having followed both Bishop's Transcripts and Parish Records [3] in the area for a whole lot of years, I agree that
  • Sarah/Sally is one person,
  • she married John Grice senior, and
  • the Rachel Grice who marries Joseph Ethell is their daughter.
The tricky part is that Senior was a widower when they married!  Junior was one of at least seven children of Senior and Ann Simpson, who was buried 27 Dec 1807.

Senior was buried in 1833, after he and Sarah had another seven children.  Then, widow Sarah Grice married widower George IRELAND in 1834.  They had no children together.  They appear together in the 1841 census District 6, Weaverthorpe, Yorkshire [2].  Conveniently, Jane GRICE, the youngest daughter of Senior and Sally is with them, cementing the family groups I've formed:

The Folder
Given the time span, the folder is not swollen with census extracts.  But, it does need three family group sheets: Grice/Gibb, Grice/Simpson, and Ireland/Gibb.  I had only printed out one of those previously, so I fixed that omission today.

The folder also holds several sheets of info on "unknown" Grice's.  I think I will be able to label several of those after I finish with the parish records and sorting all the kids and grandkids.  I also have a few printouts from online family trees with clearly incorrect and/or incomplete info on this couple. 

The Plan
  • after I "finish" all the work left from my wonderful Missouri research trip, I have to go back and finish reading/analyzing the parish records, land tax records, and church wardens' accounts for this area
  • input all the data from that analysis
  • try to see what I can find on the kids in the 1841 and later censuses
  • verify Senior's birth/baptism and parents as much as possible
  • look for Sarah Gibbs' birth and parents; I have a clue that leads me to Acklan and I'm excited to start looking there!
It really pays to use multiple sources.  I'm pretty proud of the research I've done on this couple.  I wonder if I should try to contact some of the owners of those online trees?

Watch out, "Missouri pile," here I come!  I've got a thing or two to show you!

Sources & Disclaimer
[1] see those posts for additional source citations
[2] census image cropped from that at
[3] Weaverthorpe, Yorkshire, England.  Parish register 1682-1862, FHL # 1,068,415, Item 14-19

I do not and have never worked for nor received any special consideration for any of the entities listed above.

12 January 2011

Lots More Marriage Records: Grice & Gib

I didn't intend to write a series, but here's another example (my first such post is here) of the need to use indexes, regardless of their format, only as finding aids leading to the original records.  Today's example is from  FamilySearch and its England Marriages, 1538-1973 database.

Index Results
Searching for a GRICE and GIB marriage, my 4th-great-grandparents, yields these two index results:

This one gives lots of info;  FHL film # 1,655,691 is cited.  The slight misspellings/transcription errors could be the first hint that something might be a tad askew....

The second search result gives less info, a bit of conflict in the location, and a marriage a day later:
It cites FHL # 990,896 as the source.  I really, really hope that anyone getting these search results takes the time to look at the source microfilms....

FamilySearch Issued a Warning
If you follow the links back from the image screens to those about the database itself, you arrive at the Wiki page for the English Vital Records Index.  It's a fairly detailed description of the record set.  The first section in this wiki is 'Known Issues with this Collection.'  I think FamilySearch made a good decision in making these records available online, even though they knew there were major problems. It's up to the genealogist to carefully evaluate any records and to do a thorough job before drawing conclusions.  In this case, the sources cited for my ancestors give a much more precise picture than the conflicting index entries.

Back to the Source
FHL film # 1,655,691 is Marriage Bonds,1806-1811 for the Church of England, Dean & Chapter of York.  The entire film is images of marriage allegations and marriage bonds.  The indexed "marriage date" of 17 October 1808 is really the date the allegation was made and the bond was pledged.  The "marriage location" was really the couple's cited residences at the time. Later in the bond, it says that John "prayed a License to Solemnize the said Marriage in the Chapel of Luttons Ambo."  It's good data to have, but it's no guarantee that a marriage ceremony occurred that day, if at all.

I was looking only in the Weaverthorpe area.  Without the FamilySearch index leading me to a film about the 'peculiar jurisdiction of the Dean & Chapter of York,' I am not confident that I ever would have found it on my own, even though I knew the jurisdiction existed.  I just wouldn't have looked for it.  This series of films begins with 1613-1704.  I wonder what treasures I could find if I look at more of them?!

and Back to the Other Source
FHL # 990,896 has Bishop's Transcripts: Item 1 for the Parish Church of Helperthorpe, 1631-1870; Item 3 for the nearby parish church of Weaverthorpe, 1631-1852.  The Helperthorpe item is much shorter and Helperthorpe residents all most exclusively.  The Weaverthorpe item includes residents of both areas and  seems to have all the burials for the area.    In Item 3, we find this record:
There are no page numbers -- just general chronological order.  The section is labeled Marriages 1808.  My photo is not that good, but the image was easy to read:
Octr 18th.  John Grice of this Parish, Widower, and Sarah Gib of the same Parish, Spinster, were married in Lutton Chapel by licence [sic]
In this case, the index seems to be accurate in giving October 18 as the marriage date and Weaverthorpe was the parish, but not the exact location.  A very small number of entries in this film specify Lutton Chapel as the location. 

  • New online databases are wonderful, but there are problems.
  • Not everything we need for better results in our research is online.  Microfilms still have great value.
  • Having been led to these films by the FamilySearch website and now having read the source films, I've found details of John's first marriage, discovered his probable parents, and found that Jane remarried after John's death.  That totally unexpected discovery even led to finding her in the 1841 census.  Thank you, FamilySearch!

27 October 2010

Great-Great-Great-Grandmother Rachel GRICE: Update

I'm still working through the Weaverthorpe microfilm.  I've already renewed it once and still haven't made it all the way through for the first time!  The film does not have its own index, but the FamilySeach entries online have helped me find some of the entries.  Otherwise, I'm basically reading the entire film page by page.  I've certainly seen films with poorer quality images, but some of this film is very hard going.  So, I'm expecting to renew the film again next week; and, that will keep it at my local FHC indefinitely.  

There are several GRICE entries and I am extracting each one.  I've started to make family group sheets for them all in an attempt to confidently sort out all the Grice's.

The baptism of Rachel Grice
Online, unsourced notes show her birth and/or baptism on 2 June 1816 in Weaverthorpe or West Lutton.  With this film, I now have my own real source for Rachel for a specific event with a specific location!
This image is fairly easy to see on the microfilm reader; my photo here does not do it justice.  Transcription of the entry on a page of baptisms for the Weaverthorpe parish, Yorkshire, in 1816:
June 2 / Rachel Daughter of / John & Sally / Grice / (abode) West Lutton / grocer / (performed by) Abm Ashworth
Perhaps the most significant information here is that specifying an occupation for her father John.  There are clearly two John Grice's in town in this time period and this entry will certainly help correctly determine Rachel's line.

The Marriage of Rachel Grice and Joseph Ethell
Again, all I had here were unsourced notes from other genealogists.  But, now I have this beauty:
I've read about 60 years' worth of Weaverthorpe BMD entries now, and this is the only ETHELL in the lot!  Joseph may have been "of this Parish" at this time, but he was not part of any extended family raised here!  This entry is unusual in Weaverthorpe in that, where only one of the couple signs their own signature, it is usually the groom.  I'm assuming the witness, Charles Grice, is Rachel's older brother, but that could change as I proceed with all the other Grice's!

  • I think I will still need to look at the original parish records, rather than relying only on these Bishop's Transcripts.  The original entries could well have additional or even different information.
  • I'm feeling more confident about the potential for keeping the different Grice families straight. I think I am going to be able to present a fairly solid line of evidence to confidently identify Rachel's parents and at least her paternal grandparents.
  • I'm still proud that I've stayed focused on Weaverthorpe for several weeks now.  But, I must admit, even with all this success, I am getting bored and am eager to change to researching and writing about something else!

Related Posts
Research Diary - Weaverthorpe, Yorkshire
First Friday Folder - Joseph Ethell & Rachel Grice
Bishop's Transcripts for Weaverthorpe, 1631-1852. Church of England. Parish Church of Weaverthorpe (Yorkshire). FHL # 990,896. Item 3. [There are very few page numbers, but the images are generally in chronological order.]

01 October 2010

First Friday Folder: Richard ETHELL & Mary BEETHAM

I'm taking it easy this month: I know this is a very thin folder!  I selected this couple because they are (probably? hopefully?) the parents of Joseph ETHELL, the subject of last month's FirstFridayFolder and my recent Weaverthorpe post.  I'm still working on the Weaverthorpe/Helperthorpe microfilm and I just don't want to change gears right now.

The Couple
I am very hesitant to post this information at all: I have no primary sources and there are clearly problems with what I do have. Please do not add this data to your database, but for this discussion, here is what I have right this minute:
Richard ETHELL was born 17 March 1784 in Rillington cum Scampton, Yorkshire and died 18 December 1845 in Low Hutton, Yorkshire. Mary was born 10 September 1774 in New Malton, Yorkshire and died 26 June 1856 in Huttons Ambo, Yorkshire. They were married 23 November 1801 in High Hutton, Yorkshire.
The Problems
Oh, dear, where do I begin?!
  • Richard seems a bit young to be getting married and what is the likelihood that a 17-year-old would marry a woman 10 years older than he?
  • I have to be very careful about the town names, given the possibility of confusing the script for 'Hutton' versus 'Lutton' or 'Sutton.'
  • The first child I have for them, Thomas Beedison ETHELL, was born (or is it a baptism?) before the marriage date and before Richard would have turned 16 years of age.
  • I have a number of variant surnames for Mary: Beedam, Beedison, Beetham, Betham.  If the Thomas I just named goes with this couple at all, perhaps Mary was a widow and has another surname all together.
  • The biggest problem is my complete lack of anything I can honestly call 'evidence.'  Some of my info is from two family researchers who are generally very thorough, but their conclusions are conflicting and not all their pieces are sourced.  That's why I'm working on their son's generation and reading the Weaverthorpe/Helperthorpe records for my self right now.
The Folder
It's hard to have organizational problems in a folder that only contains a few items, but there were still a couple of things to do.  I had not printed a new family group sheet for 4 years, which isn't so bad I guess since I have not been working on them in that time.  There were two copies of the 1841 census image and no annotation to explain why I had two!  And, neither of them had been entered in my database.

The Good News
The best thing I have going for me here is Richard ETHELL himself. Noted English genealogist, Pauline Litton, is an Ethell/Ithel descendant and has used the family research as examples in her publications and speeches. It is her reputation that gives me confidence that the other two family researchers and I do indeed have the right people and that we just need to tidy up around the edges!  I've seen two of Litton's articles and would like to find more.  Also, she has registered the ETHELL surname at the Guild of One-Name Studies.  What I really need to do is to write to her! And, I'd like to buy her book,too! 

There are certainly problems with my Ethell/Beetham couple, but I can't really do anything here before I thoroughly deal with my Ethell/Grice couple!

It's nice to be able to use the research of others as a help in my genealogy, but my ETHELL line is a good example to show that there can still be conflicts and problems.  Clearly, I still need to find and study the sources and build my own solid evidence trail.

I'm proud of myself for staying focused on Weaverthorpe.  I'll be even more proud if I can stay focused until I've finished the film, analyzed it, and made a thorough plan for what to do next....  

I have no connection to nor do I receive any special consideration from The Guild of One Name Studies or Litton's Swansong Publications.

27 September 2010

Research Diary: Weaverthorpe, Yorkshire

This post is a report on how my research on ETHELLs and GRICEs of my last First Friday Folder post is going.  Ah, the unexpected things I learn....

Having reviewed my folder on great-great-great-grandparents Joseph Ethell & Rachel Grice, and feeling well-prepared for my research, I arrived at the local Family History Center and set myself up at a microfilm reader.  My goal was Item 3 of FHL # 990,896: Bishop's Transcripts for Weaverthorpe, 1631-1852, Church of England, Parish Church of Weaverthorpe in Yorkshire, England.  My first thought was 'How inconvenient that I'm going to have to scroll through 2 whole items to get to the one I need, drat!'

I am still compulsive enough that I at least write down the title of every item on a film and annotate my notes about whether or not I read an item.  First, I wrote down the film number and what my general goal was: birth and marriage data on Joseph, Rachel, and their children.  Then, I wrote out the title entry for Item 1 and my note that I was not reading this one at all: whoever even heard of 'Helperthorpe'?  I need Weaverthorpe and so there. 

But the compulsive me, while rapidly scrolling through Item1 on my to Item 3, did a random stop and read one page.   And, there was a GRICE!  This is not a super common surname so I figured I'd better check this out before I went any further.  I ran Google maps on one of the FHC's computers and found that, wonder of all wonders, Helperthorpe is only 0.8 mile from Weaverthorpe! 

I had broken one of the cardinal laws of genealogy: know your geography before you do serious research!  Fortunately, the Genealogy Elf had given me a GRICE on my random stop.  Otherwise, I probably would have sent the film back to Salt Lake without knowing what I had in my hands.

Quickly reading backwards just 3 pages from my random stop yielded 4 more GRICEs, but the year was much to early to be of use to me now, so I went forward to an intermediate section title page which said "Helperthorpe -- 1790-1807, 1802, 1809-1812." As 1790 was where I had decided I would focus my reading in Weaverthorpe, this seemed like a good place to start my notetaking for Helperthorpe.  I saw that Helperthorpe must be a pretty small place because there were only 3 baptisms and no marriages nor burials for the entire year from Lady Day 1790 to Lady Day 1791.  I also found a notation for one year specifying that the marriages and burials for that year were recorded at Weaverthorpe.  So, clearly, these two locations are linked and I must consider them both in my ETHELL / GRICE quest.

I read through to 1850 in Helperthorpe and found 15 GRICE entries (including 3 children of a Wilson/Grice couple.  I can't yet connect any of these to my lines, but I've just begun!

Before I left for the FHC, I went to the GENUKI website and ran Weaverthorpe through the church database.   I searched for all churches within 6 miles of Weaverthorpe.  I quickly got a list of 26 churches (18 Church of England and 8 Methodist of one sort or another).  Here's a snippet of those search results:

I'm already pretty confident that my GRICEs & ETHELLs are connected to Weaverthorpe and to Lutton.  Now, I see that if I had run this search earlier when I should have, I would have also known to search in Helperthorpe and Butterwick.

At the FHC, I scrolled ahead to Item 3 to read Weaverthorpe. [I had already run Google maps on Hornby of Item 2 and found that it was 60 miles away and I don't feel a need to read it yet!]    I started reading/notetaking in the third section, dated 1760-1775.

There are more GRICEs here, but the script is different and it appears to be spelled 'grifse,' which I think is GRISSE, a possible alternative spelling.  I was hoping I was making a good assumption when I found this marriage record:
Banns of Marriage between Richard Grice & Ann Kellington were published on Tuesday ye 12th ye 19th & ye 26th of May by Mr Geo Lawson Mininster. / The above Richard Grice, spelled Grifse in ye Baptismal Register of Lutton, Batchelor & Ann Kellington also of Lutton Spinster, were married in ye Chapel of West Lutton by Banns on Wednesday ye twenty ninth day of May in ye year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred & eighty two by me...

Wasn't that nice of the minister to specify the exact name he wanted!  Altogether, I extracted 14 more GRICE entries this day.  I still can't confidently claim any of them, but I am starting to form family groups.  Once I get to the 1830s, I hope to find the link I need.

Whoops! I woke up with the sudden realization that I wasn't looking for GIB/GIBS/GIBB/etc.  That's the surname of Rachel's possible mother.  I think I would have come to my senses if I had seen a GIB, but it bothers me that I hadn't actually include the surname in my goal statement.  The little research I've done before on Rachel has never found any GIB (etc.) families anywhere near a GRICE or ETHELL.  

Well, I'm eager to get on with reading the Weaverthorpe film, but I won't make it to the FHC today after all.  Life gets in the way sometimes....  But, I've sat here instead and reviewed all the notes I've made so far.  I'll try again on Thursday!

  • Always run the church locations before reviewing any church records in England.
  • Always look at a detailed map and see the nearby towns, too.
  • Make sure the goals I specify for reading any film have all the surnames I'm looking for.

There are no page numbers in either of the two Bishop's Transcripts used here.  All the records are in rough chronological order.  The film is unusually clear and easy to read for the most part.

03 September 2010

First Friday Folder: Joseph ETHELL & Rachel GRICE

I selected the folder of this set of great-great-great-grandparents because a film of Bishop's transcripts for Weaverthorpe in East Yorkshire, England has arrived for me at my local Family History Center and I need to get ready for starting this research project next week! 
The Couple
Joseph ETHELL was probably born 7 April 1816 in Huttons Ambo, North Yorkshire, and probably died 18 Jan 1889 in North Yorkshire.  Rachel GRICE was probably born 2 June 1816 in West Lutten, Weaverthorpe, North Yorkshire, and died about March 1895 in Castleford, West Yorkshire.  They were perhaps married 16 July 1835 in Weaverthorpe and at least 2 of their 10 children were probably born there, too.  These dates/places are from two, usually very thorough, family researchers who were kind enough to share with me. Unfortunately, I have no record of the exact sources they used, nor do they agree exactly with their details.

I have Joseph and Rachel together in the following censuses, all in Yorkshire:
1841  -  South Elmsall, South Kirkby
1851  -  Glass Houghton
1861  -  HIghtown, Castleford
1871  -  Gow Close, Glover's Row, Whitwood
1881  -  Discomb Row, Welbeck Street, Castleford
Obviously, there should be a good deal of information about this family in the Bishop's transcripts of Weaverthorpe.  On the other hand, the family could have really been in one of the little, adjacent parishes and not have used the Weaverthorpe church itself.  Another caution is that I know they were members of a Primitive Methodist Chapel by 1849.  Their marriage should still be recorded in the parish church, but the early baptisms might not.  At any rate, I need to see this film and I am hoping it will give me some "real" sources!  And, if they are not there, at least I'll know to start looking in neighboring parishes.

The Folder
The organization of the folder is in pretty good shape.  It includes a family group sheet, census summary and images, and a few other copies of records.  (I am missing a few censuses for some of the children, but I think four of them may have died young.  Perhaps I can find death info in the film next week.)

There was just one 3-page printout from GENUKI in 2006 on "The Ancient Parish of Weaverthorpe" that my current system files under the location rather than in a couple's folder.  Reviewing the three pages before moving it to my Yorkshire notebook, I saw that the website included a link to the 1834 Electoral Roll for Weaverthorpe and I don't remember having tried it before.  Unfortunately, a quick visit there showed no Ethell, Grice, or anything close in the surnames.  But, I did see that they have more maps and have added 8 church photos.  Clicking on the link to the Methodist Chapel leads to a nice photo and a database search for other nearby churches that very quickly showed me that there are 6 churches within three miles of the chapel.  GENUKI is a wonderful thing!!

The Biggest Problem: Geography
Is it just me or does anyone else have trouble keeping Yorkshire place names straight?  It may be 'English' but it usually feels like some language I have never, ever seen....

There is a Huttons Ambo (High Hutton & Low Hutton) only about 16 miles from Luttons Ambo (East Lutton, West Lutton, Lutton).  There is also a Sutton in North Yorkshire.  With different scripts in that time period, I think these locations could be mixed-up.  Also, sometimes they seem to be giving a local neighborhood name but the larger city sometimes.  For instance, I have one notation that Rachel was born in West Lutten and one that she was baptized about two miles away in Weaverthorpe.  And, I also have that daughter Jane may have been born in Elmsall or in South Kirkby, which are only about a mile apart from each other (and only about 60 miles from Weaverthorpe).  Where these seem to be different places, it could just be someone referring to a larger or smaller neighborhood name for one location.  I need to keep a map handy and to keep an open mind!

  • GENUKI is a wonderful resource for anyone researching in England.  The aids to finding nearby parishes are outstanding.  The site is continually adding info: I need to check back more often!
  • I must pay continual attention to place names and geography, especially in Yorkshire.  Keeping civil and ecclesiastical parishes sorted is hard enough, but when the names themselves are so similar, it is even worse.
  •  I still need real sources for the basic events in this couple's life.  I hope that my having reviewed this folder before starting to work on the microfilm will help me focus my search and keep the locations straight.
Line of Descent
Joseph Ethell = Rachel Grice
Jane Ethell = William Carr
John Henry Carr = Ann Matilda Causier
Bertha Carr

20 August 2010

Great Resource: National Probate Calendar for England & Wales

There have been lots of announcements lately about the debut of the England & Wales, National Probate Calendar database at  I finally got a chance to play around in it and found some of my CARRs and CAUSIERs.

Grice Ethell Carr 
He is one of my great-grandfather John Carr's brothers.  I don't have problems in that generation or the previous one, so I haven't done too much work on Grice Ethell.  Given his unusual name, he is easier to spot when looking for CARRs in general, and I have written about him before.  

This find [1] gives me a specific address and a death date.  The surprise (or problem?) is his wife's name being 'Sarah,' when I was expecting Emily J.  Since I have no other record of him after 1901, Emily could have died and he could have remarried.  I should spend at least a little time and see if I can fill in the new gaps and see if I can resolve the wife issue.  I don't feel a real need to pursue the original records that go with this index entry, but at least I now know where and how to find them!

The address given, however, intrigued me.  I have a terrible time keeping track of the geography and levels of goverance in England.  This one, especially with no punctuation, completely threw me.  So, I posted a question in the Yorkshire section at RootsChat (also see previous post about this great resource).  Almost immediately, I received several responses, telling me that the street address is 12 Brandon Terrace.  'Slade Hill' is an area within the Moortown district of Leeds.  I also was told that it's a very nice area of town and that 'Slade Hill' has an alternate spelling of 'Slaid Hill.'  I love RootsChat!

William Cornelius Causier
Yes, this record [2] only says 'William Causier,' but with the info given, he is the one in my files as William Cornelius Causier, the son of my great-great-great-grandfather William Causier and his first wife, Letitia Willis.  My line is through William's second wife, Ann Tolley, so this is a very collateral record for me.

His occupation at that time is new to me.  I sent off another question to the Worcestershire section of RootsChat asking about 'Hill End' and the relationship to Droitwich and Dodderhill.  I've seen it many, many times in parish records for the Causiers.  Again, I received replies clarifying the lay of the land and including a new website to checkout:  the Dodderhill Parish Survey Project.  There's enough info there to keep me busy for ages!  Their growing site includes history, maps, and records.  Thanks, yet again, to the great folks at RootsChat!

The WRONG William Carr!
My William Carr is my great-great-grandfather and I only have death information from another family researcher.  Granted he's an absolutely expert researcher, but it would be nice to find more info anyway.  As you should assume, the search at the database turned out oodles and oodles of William Carr's who died in 1916.  But I was excited when one of those high in the list was a William Herbert Carr who died in 1916 from Scarborough, Yorkshire, which is very close to where I would expect to find William, and 'Herbert' is a family name.  But, look at what I got when I went to the image [3]:

Regretably, I have no known relationship to this brave soldier.  I am, however, certain that my 76-year-old great-great-grandfather was NOT off in France in WWI.  This non-find reminds me that no matter how an index entry may appear to match, don't get too excited! 

Yet again, I found myself playing around, finding absolutely interesting stuff on collateral lines and strangers.  Do I need to draw a harder line on how I spend my research time?!

The entry on William Carr was a good reminder that I must never assume that an index entry is the person I'm researching, not even when the dates seem to match.  And, it's real folly with common surnames.

Genealogy people, and especially those at RootsChat, are the nicest and most helpful people!  I should spend more time in RootsChat searching the info already there and I should see if there are any queries where I can be a help and not just a problem.

[1]  England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1861-1941.  [Database at]  Image from 1928, p. 526.

[2]  England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1861-1941.  [Database at]  Image from 1870, p. 333.

[3] England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1861-1941.  [Database at]  Image from 1917, p. 454

I am a paid subscriber to but I receive no other special consideration from them in any way.  I am registered at RootsChat [that's free!] and receive nothing but good responses from them.

01 February 2010

A Carr/Causier Voyage & More

The first time I remember hearing the expression "Every journey has two ends" was in a podcast from the National Archives of the United Kingdom. [Please see Note 5 for more info.] Now, I have my own examples!

Fairly recently,
(a commercial subscription site) posted oodles of records of passenger lists of people leaving from the UK on long voyages during the years 1890 to 1960. Last week, I finally got around to playing in those records, accessing FindMyPast for free at my local Family History Center. It was great fun!

The Family

Great-Grandparents John Henry CARR and Ann Matilda CAUSIER made at least two trips between the USA and England. The first trip was between May, 1887 and February, 1889, settling in Wisconsin with 3 young children (Matilda, Grice Ethell, & Charles William). There, Jane Catherine, Ernest Grice, and Bertha Maud were born. Sadly, both Matilda and Grice Ethell died in Racine, Wisconsin in July 1889. About 1894, the family returned to England, where their last child, Anne Martha was born in 1904.

The Voyage with Two Ends

Some time ago I had found the arrival manifest for their 15 September 1907 return through Philadelphia. Here are crops of both pages of the arriving manifest.

Page 1 [Source 1]
John Henry CARR is line 18; Ann and four children are lines 19-23:

Before I talk about the Carr’s in this image, let’s look at the ‘scribbles’ on the page. The line through Mr. Marshall on line 26 means he did NOT take the voyage after all. The date and code numbers on line 23 for Aunt Annie most likely mean that she applied for naturalization in 1931. [Note 6]

Page 2 [Source 2]:

I especially value seeing that great-grandfather John Henry was only 5’7” and had blue eyes, while great-grandmother Ann was 5’3” with brown eyes. Re-examing all this info for the writing of this blog, I see that maybe I can’t find a birth record for Ann is because I have been looking in Tipton, Staffordshire per her death certificate, rather than in Castleford, Yorkshire. Given that the passenger list was made 40 years closer to her birth, it could be the accurate one! It’s funny how re-reading documents can reveal details missed before.

Also, note that on Page 2 where it says John Henry was going to his father’s at 188 Wiliams, it really is his father-in-law Charles Causier’s address. There is no indication that William Carr ever left Yorkshire.

Last week, at, I found the passenger list for the 4 September 1907 departure from Liverpool [Source 3]. So, now I have both the beginning and end of the Carr’s second voyage!
This passenger list doesn’t give me any earth-shattering new info, but it does contain the surprise that Grandma Bertha was called, at least once, “Bessy.” If I had not already had the arrival manifest, finding the departing passenger list would have given me a date, a ship, and a port, which would surely make finding the arrival easier.

The Ship

They traveled on the SS Merion. It was easy to find info on this ship at The wiki entry says that the ship was first launched in 1902, so it was still fairly new when this family sailed. The entry continues that the ship held 150 second class passengers and 1700 in third class. Its career includes running aground and a few at-sea collisions, but fortunately none in 1907! Perhaps most interestingly, it was sunk, without casualties, by a German submarine in WWI while on duty in the Mediterranean as a decoy. [Source 4]

Finding documents and matching photos like all these really strike me. I just stare at this ship thinking over and over that I may have never met them, but my great-grandparents were on this ship! Wow!

Maybe this FindMyPast database will be expanded one day soon and I'll be able to use it to find the date and full info about the first Carr/Causier trip to the USA. For now, I'll just try to get used to the idea that Grandma Bertha may have been a 'Bessie.'

I neither work for nor receive any consideration from any of the entities listed here.

Sources & Notes
[1] cropped from database “Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1800-1945,” 1907 / September / Merion / image 27

[2] cropped from database “Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1800-1945,” 1907 / September / Merion / image 28

[3] cropped from migration database
"Passenger Lists Leaving UK 1890-1960"; SS Merion, Liverpool to Philadelphia, 4 Sep 1907

[4] Merion picture & info from Wikipedia entry:
-- Wikipedia says this image is in the public domain in the USA.

[5] More info about the National Archives podcasts: The best way to access their wonderful podcasts is at

Here's the podcast specific to passenger lists and every voyage having two ends:

Just for fun, here are links to 3 of my other most favorite National Archives podcasts:

How the sinking of the Titanic affected the families of the crew

a case study on genealogical research featuring the family of Charles Darwin

workhouses of the 1800s

The National Archives have an incredible amount of resources and I could never do them justice in this blog. For genealogy research help, I love the book Tracing Your Ancestors in the National Archives by Amanda Bevan. My copy is the 7th Edition, published in 2006. !

There is a wonderful document “A Guide to Interpreting Passenger List Annotations” online through JewishGen. It has lots of examples and all sorts of info about all the details on passenger lists. Be sure to look at all of the sections: my printout of the guide runs to 28 pages.

04 January 2010

Great-Great Grandparents CAUSIER & 7 missing children

This photo was one of the first CAUSIER items that I found online: it’s posted in numerous places now by several family members. I first found it at Genealogy Cousin Kathy’s website. It shows great-great-grandparents Charles CAUSIER, Catherine (HUGHES), and four children: Manwella, Ann Matilda, Charles, and Martha.

Here is the young family in the 1861 census at 70 Chapel Street in Dist. 29, Sedgley, Staffordshire, England:
In 1871, they are at Half Acres in District 9, Castleford, Yorkshir
e, England:
By 1881, they have moved a bit to 85 Richard Row, Whitwood, Yorkshire

It was fairly easy to find additional info on the four children, which I'll only summarize here:
Manwella (1859-1937), married Enoch Field
Ann (1861-1940), married John Henry Carr

Charles (1874-1961), married Elizabeth
Martha (1876-1937), married David Slater

The 13 years between the births of Ann and Charles bothered me. Having read several basic genealogy books by then, I knew that such gaps should raise questions. I even went so far as to wonder if the last two were actually grandchildren or were otherwise not birth children of Charles and

But then I found Charles and Catherine in both the 1900

and 1910 census
In both of these US census records, they are at 188 Williams St. in the 17th ward of Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Both images show entries with Catherine having 4 living children but having had 11 children! I was missing seven children!

Since I already had found the family in every possible England census, it probably meant that the seven had died very young and missed census listings. But it really bothered me not to know their names. Since finding they existed, I have been on the lookout for the missing children.

A reference from Genealogy Cousin Judy first showed me that the family had been non-conformist. (I now know that in that time period in Yorkshire non-conformists were common.) Judy’s reference led me to FHL# 1,657,057, which is primarily baptism registers for several Methodist chapels or circuits in Yorkshire. It wasn’t too hard to find three entries (Item 3, Primitive Methodist Baptism Register, Castleford Bradley Street, 1862-1880, pp. 12, 28, & 37 respectively) for children of Charles & Catherine Causier, living in Castleford with Charles’ occupation as a labourer:

Charles (#1), born 24 Dec 1867, baptized 19 Jan 1868
Sarah, born 1 Aug 1871, baptized 27 Aug 1871
Lydia, born 30 Dec 1872, baptized 2 Mar 1873

Now, my list of the children of Charles & Catherine CAUSIER is:
Manwella, born 1859
Ann, born 1861
Missing child 1863?
Missing child 1865?
Missing child 1866?
Charles (#1), born 24 Dec 1867
Missing child 1869?
Sarah, born 1 Aug 1871
Lydia, born 30 Dec 1872
Charles (#2), born 1874
Martha, born 1876

Of course, the possible dates that I’ve listed for the missing children are merely guesses. Catherine would have been about 40 in 1878, so there could even be one that late. [Writing this blog entry also shows me that I am missing real sources for most of Charles & Catherine and for all 3 of the girls in the photo, too! I have to see if the Primitive Methodists kept burial records…. This family group sheet is not in anywhere as good a shape as I thought it was… ]

So, this blog entry is not complete. It is important to me to remember all 11 of Charles and Catherine’s children. At least now I only have 4 missing children. I will keep looking for them and I hope to have good news here one day!

IMAGES All census excerpts are from images

12 August 2009

Great Books: Yorkshire

Perhaps I should admit now that even with all my college degrees, I got through school with only one real history course. With the help of PBS, my interest in history did increase over the years but that's not saying much. But as my interest in genealogy increased and my research progressed, I saw how lacking my knowledge was and how interesting specific topics in history could be.

For instance, I soon found that all of my CAUSIER and CARR lines have a connection to Yorkshire but my research was hampered by my complete lack of knowledge of Yorkshire's geography or history. These great books are helping me catch up:

A History of Yorkshire: 'County of the Broad Acres' by David Hey (Lancaster, England: Carnegie Publishing, 2005). It's 472 pages with at least one illustration on almost every page. It is so lovely just to look at that sometimes I just sit and go through reading the picture captions. In 10 chapters, content goes from "prehistory" to present day. Careful attention is made to show how the sub-regions are each unique across that time span.

My Ancestors were Methodists by William Leary (London: Society of Genealogists, 1999). This is a small, 115 page pamphlet. Most of it is a listing of existing Methodist records across England, but the first 20 pages are an excellent overview of all the different types of Methodists. This topic became very important to me when I realized that I was having trouble finding records on the children of John Henry CARR and Ann Matilda CAUSIER because I was looking in Church of England records while the family was Primitive Methodist! Clearly, I need to learn more about Methodist records and history, but this is a start.

Have a great time at your library or bookstore!