Monday, 19 February 2018

Week 8 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks


The dictionary definition of an heirloom is a valuable object that has belonged to a family for several generations.

For most this will mean a piece of jewellery or something else with considerable monetary value.

However, to many family historians, other items which may have less monetary worth may be considered to be more valuable. Items such as a family bible containing information and clues as to who their ancestors were are prized possessions. That is not to say that other items of monetary worth are not valuable or prized. If like our family, you came from a background of agricultural labourers or other labouring class, nothing of great value was owned or survived.

I would like to discuss a couple of items in this post which have a value to my husband's family and I have in my possession. These have come to me from different people and this has a bearing on their provenance. 

Hopefully, this comparison will highlight the importance of documenting provenance for both accuracy and thoroughness.

The first item was given to me by my father in law but had been originally created by his father in law.

This will be unlikely to ever have any real monetary worth but it is still going to have value for the family. The person who created this was Harold Ward who was the owner of the suitcase in this earlier post. In fact he already has 2 gt gt grandchildren who might be fascinated to see what he made.

The second item is a bible which contains within it details of my father in law's maternal grandparents and their children. This item was sent to me, by a person, with no connection to the family, who had rescued it years earlier in Stratford Upon Avon. My father in law has a brother who lives in this town, but he had no knowledge of this bible, and the family had lived in Rutland, a neighbouring county, miles away.

Useful information is contained in these pages but it is not entirely correct and I have no idea who wrote this or when it was written.

If you have inherited items of interest from older family members make sure you find out more about who, what, when, where and why. Include what you know alongside the item or somewhere other will know what you are refering to such as a blog like this with images.

Many of the items in the suitcase I wrote about, were kept for a reason, but as the generations go by the reasons for keeping them get forgotten. Items become just some tat and get thrown away along with the memories. There are a stocking, ration book and other wartime memorabilia, day to day items that have been kept because they meant something, items that came back from overseas with the soldiers. 
I think I need to find out more whilst I can still speak to his son .

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Week 7 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks


When I first read this prompt I thought to myself, what do I write about, we have nobody with the name Valentine in the family.

A quick look at my tree on Ancestry was to show that actually 6 people are recorded with the name Valentine. 

Of these 3 are confirmed as being born on 14 February but the remaining 3 have births at other times of the year. 
Of those with births other than Valentines day a father and son had births in July and the final quarter of the year so no connection. The third of these was born in September and as this was a third forename for a female it may have had some significance in the wider family circle.

I have used different records to clarify the exact date of birth for these individuals. If they died after 1968, in England or Wales, then the date of birth is included in the death indexes.

One of these individuals was Walter Valentine Garland (14 February 1876 - 28 April 1883). So for him I could not use the death index.

He appears on just one census record in 1881

This does not give enough information to determine his exact date of birth and the birth index will only give the quarter in which the birth was registered.

So unless I pay for a certificate or a digital copy I have no record of the exact date of birth.

Find My Past has christenings for Lincolnshire and sometimes the date of birth was also recorded in the register so I went and searched for him there.

So I didn't find a birth date in the christening record but I did find this
The National School Admission Register for Barkston, Lincolnshire, England. 

Although the Valentine is not recorded here it fits with his birth and death records.

to complete the picture his Find A Grave memorial can be found here .
This is his burial in the Barkston register including a cause of death.

So poor Walter Valentine Garland died of Diptheria at the age of 7 years. An illness which is now part of the standard vaccinations given to young babies.

I also have my own connection to Valentine's Day. I shall record it here as part of my own lifestory.
On our first Valentine's Day 37 years ago my husband and I visited the jewellers in Southampton and bought my engagement ring.

In July this year we will be celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary.

Here is another heart ring that my husband had made for me several years ago. It has 2 heart shaped amethysts.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Week 6 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

Favourite Name

So what is the favourite name I have encountered whilst researching my family tree. There are names that are common and pass from one generation to the next. 
Names that provide clues for maiden names such as the name Heffield in my One Name Study which may have been a corruption of the surname Hayfield. Peregrine is another name which has been used by the family for my One Name Study.

But it is to my own ancestor that I look for a favourite. 

My maternal grandfather Alfred Roberts died 2 years before I was born.

This photograph was taken by my mother in the garden of their house in Totton, Hampshire, England.

His mother was Tamsey Love Savory the daughter of Thomas Savory and Tamsey Galpin.

I have researched both his mother and grandmother and with an unusual first name, you might expect to have little problem finding either of them in the records.

I first encounter the name Tamsey Love on the birth certificate of her son Alfred. I also now have a digital copy of the certificates for 2 of his brothers. All 3 certificates clearly have these recorded as her forenames.
Thanks to my uncle's interest in the family he has preserved many of the family documents and also has some family photographs.

Tamsey Love Roberts (nee Savory)

However the search for Tamsey has been hampered by poor transcriptions.

This table shows the search results from Ancestry.

Jamsey Love Roberts
Oakford city, Dorset, England
Samsey S Roberts
Oreford Fitzpaine, Dorset, England.
Fanny L Roberts
Okeford Fitzpaine, Dorset, England
Love Savourie
Okeford Fitzpaine, Dorset, England
Luie Savory
Okeford Fitzpaine, Dorset, England

This table shows the search results from Find My Past

Tamsey Love Roberts
Okeford Fitzpaine
Tamsey S Roberts
Okeford Fitzpaine
Fanny S Roberts
Oakeford Sity Spaine
Love Savourie
Okeford Fitzpaine
Line Savory
I think that before she left home having mother and daughter using the same first name would have been difficult which would explain the use of Love instead of Tamsey.

However once we move to the printed electoral rolls at Find My Past she is only recorded as Tamsey.

Yesterday we marked 100 years since some women first got the vote in Britain and my gt grandmother was one of those listed in the 1918 electoral register.

Each of us has a role in history however small.
So my favourite  name is Tamsey.

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Week 5 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

In the Census

Why was Ann Elizabeth Grant not with her husband and children in the 1871 Census? ¹ 
The headstone clearly shows that she did not die until 1896.

She is with her family in the 1861 census. ² 

By the time we get to the 1881 census, ³  she is listed as a widow and head of the household. 
Her husband Edward had died in 1879, 4 and her occupation was now listed as a nurse.

So where was she in 1871 if not at the family home.

A search of the census records revealed that there was an Ann Eliz. Grant born in Lyndhurst, Hants. whose occupation is listed as Carrier. She is enumerated at Hants County Prison in St Faith, Winchester, Hampshire and listed as an inmate.  

Why was she there what was her crime and sentence?

I found this before any criminal records had been made available online and I do not live near the Hampshire Archives. However, I managed to elicit some help from another descendant of Ann who has also been researching this family.

This is what has been posted on her tree at Ancestry.

I have subsequently been able to find digital images of criminal records and newspaper reports.

This is a transcript of a report from The Hampshire Advertiser, March 1, 1871, p. 3, col. 3, entitled "Larceny by a Bailee."

Ann Elizabeth Grant, carrier, aged53, was indicted for stealing a watch, at Lyndhurst, on November 15th.
Mr. Beetham prosecuted, and called prosecutrix, Ann Hedgerton, a single woman, who intrusted her with a silver watch to take to Mr. Pegler's, at Southampton, to be cleaned. She was to bring it back in a week, but failing this, prosecutrix went, after another week's delay, to prisoner to get it. She made a variety of excuses, and eventually went with prosecutrix to Mr. Pegler's shop, where she said she had left it there, but they denied it entirely. It was found at Mr. Cotten's shop, a pawnbroker in St. Michael's square, where, on December 19th, prisoner, he believed, pledged it, and came on February 6th to take it out again. It was pawned in the name of Ann Green, of French street.
Mr. Russell, for the defence, urged that Mr. Pegler and his shopman should have been called, and also that Mr. Cotten was not sure prisoner pledged it, but only went so far as to say she took it out of pawn. He suggested to the jury that it was pledged by some other woman, and traced out by prisoner.
The Judge, in summing up, put the ingenious defence on one side, and the jury found her guilty, recommending her to mercy on account of her age and former good conduct as a carrier. She was told her character was lost by this affair, which was most clear. The sentence on her would be six weeks imprisonment with hard labour.

It is interesting what a single census record can lead one to discover. 
I will share more about this in another post.

  1. "1871 England Census," database with images, ( : accessed 11 January 2005), digital image, enumerators schedule, household of Edward Grant, Lyndhurst, Hampshire, England; citing The National Archives (TNA), RG10, Piece 1184, Folio 17, p. 2, New Forest Registration district, Lyndhurst subdistrict, ED 1d, household 10
  2. "1861 England Census" database with images, ( : accessed 5 February 2007), digital image, enumerators schedule, household of Edward Grant, Lyndhurst, Hampshire, England; ; citing The National Archives (TNA), RG9, Piece 670, Folio 20, p. 33, New Forest Registration district, Lyndhurst subdistrict, ED 1d, household 169.
  3. "1881 England Census" database with images, ( : accessed 13 ‎April ‎2005), digital image, enumerators schedule, household of Ann E. Grant, Lyndhurst, Hampshire, England; citing The National Archives (TNA), RG11, Piece 1202, Folio 42, p. 41, New Forest registration district, sub district Lyndhurst, ED 2, household 235.
  4. General Register Office, England, certified copy of an entry in the certified copy of a Register of Deaths, New Forest Registration District, 18 January 1879, entry for Edward Grant, died 14 January 1879, Pike Hill, Lyndhurst, Hampshire, England; photocopy certificate, issued 14 April 2010, New Forest Registration district, Vol. 2b, P. 447, General Register Office, Southport, England.
  5. "1871 England Census" database with images, ( : accessed 13 ‎April ‎2005), digital image, enumerators schedule, entry for Ann Eliz. Grant, Winchester, Hampshire, England; citing The National Archives (TNA), RG10, Piece 1212, Folio 99, p. 6, Winchester registration district, sub district Winchester, ED County Prison, Line 6.

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Week 4 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

Invite to Dinner

Rather than discuss who I would invite to dinner I have decided to discuss a meal our family had to celebrate my grandparents Golden Wedding Anniversary as it allows me to share some of the photographs and documents I have as a reminder.

Albert E. V. Buckle, Gwendoline A. Buckle nee Wiltshire and Betty Owens nee Buckle

Some of their guests

The Menu

I am sure that some of my cousins will remember this family occasion and I am fortunate to have in my possession the cards that my grandparents received from friends and family some of them can be seen in this photograph below.

Golden Wedding Cards and Flowers
This side of my family would often get together at Christmas and my aunt Phyl, who left me these photographs, the menu and cards would love to get the family together.

Each Christmas we would go to my grandparents' house.  

My aunt Phyl, who was the younger of their two daughters, would often have family parties at her own bungalow, where she would put on a lavish spread. 

This menu is fairly typical of the time period. But I am sure would be considered quite bland when compared to restaurant menus we would expect if we were celebrating today.

A search for the venue today brings up this website. So all that remains are photographs and our fragile memories.

Some of my cousins are aware of the reason I choose this particular occasion to discuss on my blog. 

Take a look at the marriage certificate for my grandparents.

Before you say there must be a transcription error I also have the index entries.

So we celebrated a year early. Who cares!. We had a chance of a family get-together, which included some of my family from the United States, and my grandparents did have more than 50 years together. My grandmother did not die until 1979.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Week 3 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks


Both of the photographs above were taken in the 1920s, or possibly later for the first one, as the young girl in the photograph was born in 1924. She is his great grandaughter, Betty Buckle.

Henry WITT,¹ the son of Isaac WITT (1800?-1894) and Mary Ann ELDRIDGE (1812?-1893), was born on 1 April 1847 in Minstead, Hampshire, England.¹

He married Selina GRANT on 2 December 1869 in Lyndhurst, Hampshire, England when he was aged 22 and she was 24.²

When the birth of his daughter Elizabeth Ann was registered on 26 November 1870, he was a Garden Labourer living in Minstead, Hampshire, England.³

He witnessed the marriage in Southampton on 31 July 1893 of Joseph Buckle and Elizabeth Ann Witt.⁴

He died of Senile Arteriosclerosis on 10 October 1946 in Southampton.

On each census from 1871, his occupation was shown as a gardener. He started out as a labourer on the 1861 census but appears to have spent some time at school as in 1851 he was shown as a scholar. I will discuss more in a post later this month.

He is buried in Southampton Old Cemetery a map of the cemetery can be found here. I have seen the headstone but need to visit again to take a photograph. Several years ago, when I first looked at this, I discovered that for this cemetery, he was the person to reach the greatest age at burial. 
Reaching the age of 99 is still not that common but he was not the only one of his family to reach a good age. His father died at the age of 93 and his grandfather David Witt was 79 when he died in 1843.
He must have experienced much during his life living through both World Wars. The area of Southampton where he lived experienced a number of air raids in the years just prior to his death.

  1. General Register Office, England, certified copy of an entry in the certified copy of a Register of Births, New Forest Registration District, 12 May 1847, Henry Witt born 1 April 1847, Minstead, County of Southampton, England, New Forest Registration district, Volume 8, Page 191; photocopy certificate, 10 April 2004, General Register Office, Southport, England.
  2. New Forest Registration District Register Office, Hampshire,England [now part of Hampshire], certified copy of an entry of Marriage in a register in the custody of New Forest Registration District Registrar, 2 December 1869, Henry Witt & Selina Grant, Marriage in Lyndhurst Parish, County of Southampton, England, entry no. 245; handwritten certificate, 12 March 2003, Hampshire Record Office, Winchester, Hampshire, England.
  3. New Forest Registration District Register Office, Hampshire, England [now part of Hampshire], certified copy of an entry of Birth in a register in the custody of New Forest Registration District Registrar, 26 November 1870, Elizabeth Ann Witt born 12 November 1870, Minstead, Hants, England, entry no. 340; handwritten certificate, 12 March 2003, Hampshire Record Office, Winchester, Hampshire, England.
  4. The Register Office, Southampton, certified copy of an entry of Marriage in a register in the custody of Southampton Registration District Registrar, 31 July 1892, Joseph Buckle & Elizabeth Ann Witt, Marriage at St  Barnabas Church, Southampton, County of Southampton, England, entry no. 1; handwritten certificate, 28 February 2003, Southampton, Hampshire, England.
  5. General Register Office, England, certified copy of an entry in the certified copy of a Register of Deaths, Southampton Registration District, 10 October 1946, Henry Witt, Minstead, Southampton, England,  Southampton Registration district, Vol. 6b, P. 516; photocopy certificate, 11 March 2010, General Register Office, Southport, England.
Footnote: Hants is an abbreviation used for Hampshire. 
Due to naming changes what was Southampton county is now Hampshire.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Week 2 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

Favourite Photograph

Trying to choose a favourite photograph is not an easy task and I have decided on this one because it was the first one to spring to mind when I read the challenge.

This is possibly the only colour photograph I have of my father and me. 
It was probably taken before I started school. I would take a guess at 1963 or 4 but possibly earlier. 
I have no idea where it was taken but probably in Southampton, Hampshire, England in the garden of my grandparent(s). We had no garden as we lived in a flat at this time.
I do not remember my father having anything but grey, balding hair which men of his generation, often, tried to, unsuccessfully, disguise by what was known as a "comb -over". I believe that as a child he was actually blond although black and white photographs of the time do not show this.

Dad (on the left) with his younger brother

I wonder if this photograph of my father was taken on his first day at school, 21st April 1936, according to the school admission book.

Photograph of page from the School Admission Register for West End school taken by Hilary Gadsby 
at West End Local History Society Museum ,West End, Hampshire, England on 19 May 2007