Tuesday, 17 May 2022

New twig on the branch & Other news: My Genealogy Weeks 1-15 May 2022

This fortnight saw me add a little twig to my own family tree. At last I am a grandmother to little Theodor while friends tell me they are great grandmothers. Proof that we can't always guess generations in family history. Some people marry and have children early while others are late starters and my son followed in my footsteps. 

Theodor lives in Sweden and it will probably be Christmas before I see him in person when I finally have the White Christmas I have been talking about since 2019. Until then we have various platforms where I can see him and his parents and chat - not quite the same as in person but where would we be without the internet? 

Makes me wonder about our own ancestors who left home to come to Australia - their parents may never have heard from them again. Perhaps photos were mailed home but goodbye back then was a final moment in a family's life and history. Do you ever stop and think about those left behind? 


Since I have been talking about the Ela of Salisbury mysteries - on to the last book in the series and hoping that the next is not too far away - people have been suggesting other authors too me. 

Bernard Knight is the latest suggestion and a quick look online tells me he wrote 15 Crowner John mysteries.  The series is set in Devon and  Cornwall in the 10th century and one of  Mum's family lines was from Cornwall.  Knight is a Welsh author and a former Crown pathologist in the UK, and who doesn't like a book written by a coroner. 

The bad news is that Moreton Libraries only has two books in this series and not the earliest. I always prefer to read a new mystery series in order as that lets the characters develop and is less confusing in my opinion. Of course it is available on Amazon ebooks but slightly dearer than the Ela series. There should be a discount for the whole series. I might try my local second hand book shop first. 


Ancestry has again updated ethnicity estimates and mine is starting to get really interesing. On Dad's side there are three unknown biological ancestors - a grandfather, a great great grandfather and another great great grandfather all on his biological father's line. While I have been able to work out paternal ancestors further back on one unknown, the other two are still a bit of a mystery. 

I know that Mum is the England & Northwestern Europe and she has no family lines outside of that area. I believe Dad is mostly Irish and Scottish. Some of his Irish is Antrim in Northern Ireland which could account for some of the higher Scottish percent. So Norway and the Baltics is one of my mystery great great grandfathers possibly. Given that Scotland is 31% I am now wondering if the other unknown great great grandfather is possibly Scottish. Now to try and identify possible matches and families that might connect up with me. 


Findmypast released two new indexes which interested me. 

Lancashire, Oldham Workhouse

This brand new collection sees over 150,000 records from Oldham Workhouse in Lancashire published online. These records cover over 130 years, from 1800-1936, and include both admissions and discharges. The transcripts provide standard biographical information, as well as the admission or event date. While the original record images include details such as notes on the inmate’s state at arrival (including health conditions and financial situation), whether they were on a regular diet or 'infirm' diet, religious persuasion, and reason for discharge.


Huntingdonshire Marriages 1754-1837 index

Though this collection was originally released as a browsable collection, Findmypast now transcribed these records and released them as a fully searchable index for the first time. The records include full names of both spouses, the year of marriage, and sometimes extra details, such as occupation or whether the spouses were previously widowed.

FamilySearch expanded the following collections which are good for those with non-conformist ancestors:

  • England, Gloucestershire Non-Conformist Church Records, 1642-1996 1,750 records
  • England, Herefordshire Bishop's Transcripts, 1583-1898 166 records
  • England, Lancashire Non-Conformist Church Records, 1647-1996 212,301 records
  • England, Middlesex Parish Registers, 1539-1988     15,024 records
  • England, Northumberland Non-Conformist Church Records, 1613-1920 58,798 records


Giving presentations is certainly keeping me busy this year. I'm averaging about 6 presentations a month either in person or via Zoom. At the beginning of May I gave an entertaining look at family history downunder for the Virtual Genealogy Association birthday party. This can be seen on YouTube here plus any of the other presentations on the day.

Another trip to Noosa for two talks. The first on mining ancestors was at Noosaville Library and the second was at the Cooroy Tewantin Genealogy Research Group meeting. It was a look at how to maximise your searches in various online Australian archives catalogues. Presentation slides are available on the Resources page of my website.

Brisbane office, National Archives of Australia

Thanks to yet another wet weather event, I was unable to attend the History Queensland meeting in person at Queensland State Archives. But I was there via Zoom and oversaw the election of the new committee and gave my talk on how I ended up working in archives and libraries. It's interesting looking back at your own life story and seeing where the turning points were. 

Plus two English genealogy classes at Bribie U3A and it has been really interesting walking through various brick walls presented by those in the class. 

Check the Events page for 2022 talks.

What's Coming Up

My next talk is not until 14 June 2022 at Strathpine Library with a presentation on convicts. This means I have a couple of weeks to get back to my downsizing my genealogy records and writing up family stories. Resisting the urge to do more research will be the hard part. 

Until next time, take care and stay safe and happy family history researching.

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