Sunday, March 29, 2009

BMD records .Order Online

I have had do some research lately so i rejoined This time i just took out the Essentials membership. This cost 10 pounds for one month. Was it worth it? time will tell but i was going around in circles today with out getting any where.
The imformation that i wanted i found on two free sites. and BMD Lancashire. Both are sites that i have recomended and the links are here in older postings.
I wanted to have a look at how much Ancestry were charging for copies of BMD Records as i wanted to order a Marriage Certificate .
Well ,here are the prices , for a standard delivery charge it was 20 english pounds and for the express delivery charge it was 40 pounds. I have also come across the 40 pounds fee on some other Genealogy sites.
Please do not waste your money on these fee's. You can order online for England and Wales for 7 pounds for the standard and i think it was an extra 4 pounds for the express. I will give this link again

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hartley Family , Barley Lancashire, English Ancestors

The Hartleys of Barley

Samuel Hartley 1875-1948

Renee Hartley was born in 1930. The middle child of three girls born to Enos Hartley and Edna Hartley nee Dole.

Edna and Enos were married in 1928 in Burnley, Lancashire. Enos had been born in 1906 at Haslingden, He was the middle child born to Samuel and Sarah Hartley. Unfortunately, Enos was run over and killed in 1942 in Coventry during the black outs.

Renee remembers her Grandparents as being strict but very kind. They lived in Nelson, Lancashire, in a small Terraced house that looked on to Pendle Hill and the surrounding countryside. Samuel had been born in Bacup, Lancashire. He was one of four children born to John Hartley and Susanna Hartley nee Standing.

I first find Samuel in the 1881 English census. He is six years old and living with his parents in Newchurch, Lancashire. His father John, born in 1849 at Barley, Lancashire is listed in the census as a Stone Quarry Man. Susannah, his mother was born in 1848 at Bacup, Lancashire. She was listed in the census as a cotton weaver.

The family are living at 4 Westly Place, Bacup, Lancashire.

In the 1891 census, Samuel is 16 and now living with his family in Spotland. His occupation is listed as a Blacksmith.

In 1903, aged 28, Samuel marries Sarah Elizabeth Edmondson in Haslingden. Their three children as born soon after. Annie 1903, Enos 1906 and Jack in 1913.

The 1st world war is looming ahead and on the 28th August 1914, Samuel enlists in Preston, Lancashire with the East Lancashire Regiment. He was 37 years old and 11 months. Described as being 5ft 6 and 130 pounds. He was to serve in France from the 18th of September 1914 until the 17th of October 1915.Sarah and the children were living at 3 lane Head. Bacup. Sarah was listed on Samuel's papers as his next of kin.

On the 19th of January, 1919. Samuel is discharged from the army due to a disability. He was suffering from Rheumatism, which was a result of the poor conditions that he had endured while serving his country in France.

In later life, Samuel and Sarah moved to live in Nelson, in the house overlooking Pendle hill. Samuel's Father had been born in Barley, which is a village at the foot of Pendle hill. John Hartley was born in 1849, one of ten children born to John and Elizabeth Hartley of Inge End farm, Barley. John Hartley senior was born in 1812, also in Barley. We find him in the 1861 census living with his family in Barley. He is listed as a farmer with 15 acres of land.

Samuel Hartley died in 1948 in Nelson aged 74. Sarah died within 6 weeks of her husband. The small terraced house in Nelson became the home of their daughter Annie and her husband Jim. They didn't have any children and when they died the house was sold. It must have been in the Hartley family for around eighty years.

Barley is a small farming settlement at the foot of Pendle Hill. It is the usual gathering place of people setting off to climb the hill. Its history can be traced back to 1324 when it was known as Barleegh.

Pendle Hill is also famous for the “Pendle Witches” In 1612 a group of nine women and two men from the Pendle area were tried and convicted of witchcraft. They were executed by hanging at Lancaster.

Copyright 2009 English Ancestors

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

1st World War Romance For Station Mistress

Sarah Hannah Lewis

Sarah Hannah Lewis was born into a coalminers family in Hope, Flintshire, Wales in August 1893
George and Ruth Lewis her parents had both been born in the same area. George born in 1865 at Penymunydd and Ruth born in 1867 at Hope, Flintshire.

During the 1st World War most of the male population were involved in fighting for their country.The women who were remained behind on the home front were employed in jobs, that were normally filled by men. Sarah Hannah was made Station Mistress at the Burton Point Station, Burton on the Wirral.
Needing somewhere local to live, Sarah Hannah found accommodation with a family who lived in Neston.

It was while she was employed as Station Mistress that Sarah Hannah met her future husband. Thomas Cottrell was from a local family in Neston. He was a guardsman on the train line, an occupation that kept him away from the Trenches.

Lizzie Lewis was the younger sister of Sarah Hannah. She too left Hope in Wales to take up the position of Station Mistress, at Neston North Station. Needing accommodation in the area, a room was found in the family home of Thomas Cottrell

Thomas had a younger brother Joseph who was living in the Cottrell house. News reached the Lewis’s in Wales that young Lizzie had become involved with Joseph Cottrell. They must not have thought that this was suitable, as upon hearing this news, George Lewis father and coal miner turned up on the Cottrell door step demanding his daughter.

Poor Lizzie was taken back to Wales, never to return to Neston. The really sad fact about this story was that Lizzie never married or had her own family. She remained a spinster all her life.

Sarah Hannah went on to marry her ‘Cottrell boy’ and settled into life in Neston, where she remained for the rest of her life. Sarah Hannah and Thomas had one son Thomas Alan Cottrell born in Neston in 1923
Copyright 2009,English Ancestors

Will's Connor and McMullan, Drumnaquoile

Patrick Connor

He died on 28th November 1908 - Aged 72 - Unmarried

He appointed his nephew Hugh McMullan of 19 Curwen Street, Harrington, Cumberland, Iron Worker, and James Connor of Dunturk as his Executors. (Hugh McMullan made his mark on the Affidavit of Executor.)
"I give and bequeath my holding in Drumnaquoile and any chattels thereon and anything I may die possessed of to my said Nephew Hugh McMullan, subject to him paying my debts, funeral and testamentary expenses, he having already advanced me upwards of £30, and subject to his paying my Nephew Patrick Connor of Workington who was injured in Works £10 as a legacy I leave to him."

Will was dated 8th August 1904 and it was signed by Patrick himself in his own hand.

The Farm of Land in Drumnaquoile was held on a yearly judicial tenancy and was 6 acres 0 roods and 20 perches statute measure.

John McMullan

He died on 26th April 1910 - there was no age given on the IR Affidavit. As this was an Administration there was just the Affidavit of Mary McMullan, which she signed in her own hand, and also the Intestate Bond which was signed by John Connor and Daniel Connor both of Drumnaquoile. On this there was 5 acres approx. which was purchased under the Land Commission.

Mary McMullan

She died on 28th March 1913 - Aged 54 - widow with 10 children.
( the age here is wrong as Mary must have been around 64)

She appointed James Connor Snr. of Dunturk and her son Michael McMullan as her Executors. She left to her daughter Mary £30 at her marriage date and until then she was to be kept on the farm free of all charges. Subject to that legacy everything else was left to Michael.

The Will was dated 13th January 1913 and was witnessed by David Reid of Drumnaquoile and James Macardle of Ballywillwill.

There was a Codicil to her will - this was dated 1st February 1913. Michael was also to pay to the Rev. Hugh Gallagher C.C. Dunmore or the curate of the same parish at the time of her decease, £5.

The land involved in this was 7 acres 1rood and 24perches - this was originally noted as a judicial tenancy and valued as such, but this was then

Copyright 2009, English Ancestors

Monday, March 23, 2009

Irish Ancestor, Daniel McMullan

Discharged for being Drunk and Disorderly

Daniel McMullan was 15 years old when i last found him in the English Census

of 1901. The elder brother to Allan 11 and Michael 9. The two girls Mary and Ellen were 19 and 18 so there was a big age difference between him and his older brothers. Hugh 30, Patrick 28, William 25 and James 21, were still living at home even though they were adults.

Sometime between 1901 and 1910 John and Mary McMullen returned to their homeland of Northern Ireland. Michael returns with them but its unclear if Daniel goes with them too.

Next Daniel is enlisting in the Royal Lancs at Barrow in Furness, number 14846. Source citation here is The British ww1 Pension records 1914-1920.

He was 27 years old. Trade or calling was listed as a Labourer. He answered yes to the question ‘'have you resided out of your father's house for three years”

His father John McMullen had died in Northern Ireland in 1910 and his Mother Mary had died in Northern Ireland in 1913.

The new recruit was cautioned and signed the declaration at Barrow in Furness on the 20th October 1914.

Earlier in January of that year, his younger brother Michael had signed his wedding certificate, when he married Lizzie Laverty at Drumnaroad Catholic Church. By residing in Northern Ireland, Michael would not have any involvement in WW1.

Michael now a farmer with a young wife and nine children around the corner was living a different life compared to Daniel.

The description of Daniel in his Army papers was as follows

Height 5 feet 7 and ¾
Weight 156lbs
Chest measurement 38 inches
Complexion fresh
Eyes grey
Hair dark
Religious denomination Roman Catholic

Daniel served from the 20th of October 1914 until the 22nd of March 1915. He was discharged under the code Para 392(X) K .R having been convicted of an offence by the civil power before enlistment.

a)Assaulting a police officer
b)Drunk and Disorderly
c)Three months hard labour

It was also noted that his character was good previously. The order states that he was in prison in Carlise awaiting discharge

There was one more interesting piece of information that came from these papers.

He gave his next of kin as Brother John, Coatbridge, Scotland. I last found John McMullen in the 1881 census as a 13 year old. With this new piece of information I was able to find John in the 1901 Census in Coatbridge Scotland.

This is where we leave Daniel, as my records don't go any further at the moment. He was to survive the Great War at least, as his army papers were stamped the 6th of April 1922 for his army pension. I can remember my father mention an Uncle Dan. It seems that the McMullan brothers were all big drinkers. I have heard tales of them coming out of the pub in Workington on a Saturday night, ‘Drunk and Disorderly' and ending up falling into the dock after a good punch up. But that's another story

Copyright 2009,English Ancestors

Irish Ancestor, Margaret O'Prey Laverty

A Women of Granite

Margaret O’Prey/Prey was born in Ballymagreeham, under the mountains of Mourne. She was one of nine children born to Patrick William O’Prey and Margaret McEvoy. The family came from a farm that was at the foot of the Morne Mountains .

‘’The Mountains were made of Granite and she was made of Granite too’’
This quotation was made by the grandson of Margaret. No doubt he had been reprimanded by the formidable lady.

Margaret had spent some of her childhood living with her fathers brother in Durham, England. It was here that she attended a private school. At a time when schooling was not compulsory in Ireland this would have been considered unusual.

Margaret’s grandson also remembers that his grandmother was always writing. What we can only imagine and wish that we could recover the thoughts that she put down on paper.

Patrick O’Prey and Margaret McEvoy, Margaret’s parents had been married on the 16th Feb. 1847 at Leitrim Catholic church. Their witness’s had been John and Ann McEvoy, no doubt these witness’s were brother and sister in law to the young bride.
The next few years saw the births of all their children starting with their first born Hugh in 1849, Elizabeth in 1853, Michael 1855, William 1857, Owen 1859 and Margaret in 1862. Owen and Michael would leave the Emerald Isle and make a new life for themselves in America.

We find Margaret in her Marriage records. She married a John Laverty from Dunturk at Ballyward RC Church, Drumgoland on the 17th February 1887. John Laverty was from a well known local farming family.

The trail goes cold over the next few years until we find the records of Margaret in the Irish 1901 census.
John Laverty is listed as a farmer in the town land of Dunturk. The census gives his age as 40 years old and Margaret his wife as 35 years old. They have a big family now with Mary Ann 12, Catherine 10, Elizabeth 8, Edward James 6, John 4 and Theresa 22 months.

Elizabeth would marry in 1914 to Michael McMullan a young farmer who had inherited a house and land in nearby Drumnaquoile. Margaret would outlive her husband John Laverty who died before his father John Laverty sn.
John Laverty sn had been planning on leaving his farm to his grandson Edward Laverty, Margaret’s son. Here again her grandson tells the tale that Margaret and her spinster daughter Mary Ann wanted the farm. John Laverty senior told his grandson Edward ‘to get the hell away from those two women’ which he did, moving across the sea to Scotland.
Margaret and Mary Ann took over the farm in Dunturk. Margaret would live well into her nineties and outlived her daughter Elizabeth who died during the 30’s of consumption. Mary Ann would remain on the land at Dunturk until she died still a spinster during the sixties.

Copyright 2009, English Ancestors

Frederick William Penington, English Ancestor

Frederick William Penington
Born 28th of May 1850, Liverpool ,Lancashire

He would live an eventful life over two continents and two centuries.
The first records we find are of his christening on the 8th of August 1850 at St Peter’s Church in Liverpool. He was the first child born to William Frederick Penington and his wife Ann Penington nee Sutton.William and Ann had married in 1849 at St Philips, Liverpool.

We next find Frederick William Penington in the 1861 English census. Frederick is 10 years old, he has two younger sisters Elizabeth and Litchi .The three children are living with their father William in Everton, Liverpool. William is listed as being 36 years old and a boarder at that address in Everton. There is no mention of a wife for William or a mother for the children. The census records William as being a widower. The Occupation for William here was a Pilot In those days it was a Pilot of the waters and not the sky.

The trail from here goes a little cold on Frederick for a while.

The story that had been passed on to Frederick’s granddaughter was that William married a young girl only a few years older than his son Frederick. Frederick had found this news hard to accept. He had a falling out with his father. He left Liverpool vowing never to return to his father’s house again.
I was able to find William Penington in the 1871 English census. The story is backed up here. William is now 47 and has a young wife, Elizabeth who is 26 years old. They have a daughter called Minnie G Penington who was 11 months old at the time of the census. The young family are living in Everton and the Occupation for William was Pilot number 5. The marriage records for William and Elizabeth also help confirm why Frederick was not happy about the marriage .They were married at St Davids,Liverpool in 1864.That would make Frederick around 14 years old and his new Step Mother 19 years old.

So what happened to Frederick? His grand daughter believed that after leaving Liverpool, he went to Manchester. He became friendly with Henry Gregson and his family. The Gregsons lived in Hulme, Manchester. Frederick married Mary, Henry’s daughter. Mary Gregson, had been 20 years younger than Frederick ‘Had history been repeating itself’.

The last records of Frederick that we have for the moment were taken from the 1900 United States Federal census. He was with Mary, their son Frederick Jr, 5 years old and a daughter Anita, 4 years old. They were in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The record stated that Mary, Frederick and Frederick Jr had arrived in America in 1896. Their daughter Anita had been born in Pennsylvania in May 1896.

Here we go back to the history that has been passed down through the family. It is believed that Frederick Williams never returned to English waters. He had his own Livery company and was successful on the work front. Happiness on the family side was short lived. Mary and their children would return to England, leaving Frederick Williams back in America.
Copyright 2009,English Ancestors

Frederick Williams , English Ancestor

Frederick Williams son of Frederick William Penington

Born 1895

Died 1981

Copyright 2009, English Ancestors

Michael McMullan, Drumnaquoile, Irish Ancestor

Michael McMullen 1892 to 1970

On the 19th September 1945 Eugene McMullan left Belfast, Northern Ireland on route to London. He was 22 years old, strong having been used to farm work and eager to make his fortune.

It had all come down to the toss of a coin, heads would be London, tails had been New York. He had waved goodbye to close friends as they sailed for the big apple.

Chance had chosen London.

Eugene had been born on the 15th April 1923. He was one of nine Children born to Michael and Elizabeth McMullan of Drumnaquoile, Castlewellen. Michael had been born in Harrington, Cumberland. He had moved to Ireland when his parents had returned to their homeland. Here, he had met and married a farmer's daughter from Dunturk. Lizzie Laverty had been 20 years old and Michael 22 when they had married at Drumaroad Catholic Church.

Michael had received a farmhouse and some farming land in Drumnaquoile from an uncle who had died. It was here that Eugene had been born along with his 6 brothers and 2 sisters. The McMullan clan all attended the local school at Drumaroad. Walking the 3 mile distance every day barefoot.

Tragedy would strike the young family when Eugene was 12 years old. Elizabeth became ill and died from consumption. The family struggled on without her. Aunt Mary Anne, Elizabeth's spinster sister was a big help with the young family.

Michael decided to send the two girls Margaret and Mary away to a boarding school that was run by nuns. Unfortunately, Margaret became ill and she too died from Consumption.

The 1940's came along and brought another world war. Only one son would enlist in the English army, Allan the fist son born in 1914. The land could not provide a living for all of Michael's sons. One by one they all left Ireland and moved to England. Only one son remained with Michael. Patrick would stay in Ireland .He bought some land next to his fathers, married a local girl and moved into the farm house with his young family.
Michael decided to send the two girls Margaret and Mary away to a boarding school that was run by nuns. Unfortunately, Margaret became ill and she too died from Consumption.

The 1940's came along and brought another world war. Only one son would enlist in the English army, Allan the fist son born in 1914. The land could not provide a living for all of Michael's sons. One by one they all left Ireland and moved to England. Only one son remained with Michael. Patrick would stay in Ireland .He bought some land next to his fathers, married a local girl and moved into the farm house with his young family. Michael would spend the rest of his days in a little cottage just above the lane next to the farmhouse.

Eugene arrived in London and found a country rebuilding its self after 5 years of war.

Work was plentiful and Eugene found employment in the building industry. He spent the next few years' busy working and living in boarding houses. Eventually he moved up to the north of England and bought a terraced house in Accrington, Lancashire.

He met his future wife at a dance in Accrington. She was attracted to his ‘movie star' looks. Black hair, blue eyes and a soft Irish accent.

They were married on the 2nd of January 1954 in Nelson, Lancashire. Eugene was 30 years old and his young bride was 23. Nelson would replace Drumnaquoile as home for Eugene. He would return to Ireland at least once a year to see his father. In the last year of his life, Michael visited all of his children in England, staying with each for around 6 weeks.

Michael McMullan died in Castlewellen in 1970. He was buried in the graveyard of Drumaroad Catholic church. The family plot has Michael, Elizabeth his wife and Margaret their daughter.

Eugene McMullan was a good husband and father to three children He always had dreams of lands further a field. Maybe he should have taken the boat to New York along with his friends. That wanderlust was instilled in his children. His son left England for Australia in 1979. Eugene died in 1990. His daughter left England for Australia in 1992.
Copyright 2009,English Ancestors

Irish Ancestors

Micheal McMullan with two of his sons, Frances and Tony. Photo was taken outside the farmhouse in Drumnaquoile, County Down , Northern Ireland

Copyright 2009, English Ancestors

McMullan Family, County Down to Cumberland

John McMullen was born in 1848 in Downpatrick, Down, Ireland.

Mary his wife was born Mary Connor in 1851 in Clough, Loughinisland, Down, Ireland. Clough was a town land of 396 Acres.

The first five boys they had were born in Down, Ireland. John was the first, named after his father. He was born on the 20/09/1868. Then came Hugh 1870, Patrick 1873, William 1876 and James 1880.

The family packed up their possessions and moved over to Cumberland in England some time between 1880 and 1881.

John McMullen and his family were found in the 1881 English Census. The family were living at 169 Sibsons Place, Harrington. In the district of Whitehaven, Cumberland. John was 33 and Mary was 32. John's occupation was listed in the census as a labourer.

Description of Harrington from the National Gazethar of Great Britain and Ireland 1868:

Harrington, a parish and seaport in the ward of Allerdale-above-Derwent, county Cunberland. 2 ½ miles south of Workington and 5 miles North of Whitehaven and is a subport to Whitehaven. It is a station on the Whitehaven junction railway. The town, which consists of several streets, is of modern date, having a small pier harbour at Bellaport and is a subport to Whitehaven. There is a 44 feet high fixed light and is seen 11 miles distant on the coast.

John and Mary added to their family here. Mary born 1882, Ellen 1883, Daniel 1886, and Allen 1890.

The McMullen family, were still in Harrington in 1891 and were included in the 1891 English Census. John was now 42 and Mary 41. Their eldest son John, had now left home. The second son Hugh was 20 and his occupation on the census was a Steelworker.
John was still a labourer. Hugh was 30, still living with the family and working as a Steel Worker. Patrick was 28, his occupation was listed as a Bronzeworker. William was 25 and a Steelworker. Ellen was 18 and a school teacher. Here for the first time the last son is mentioned. Michael, born in Harrington in 1892,was 9 years old at the time of the Census.

Copyright 2009, English Ancestors

Saturday, March 21, 2009

English and Irish Ancestors Brick Wall

We all have a brick wall somewhere along the line. I was thinking today that there are not many sites or blogs where you can list your research and post your brick wall. There are plenty of message boards but no one on the other side to give a hand. So why not leave a comment and maybe i could help you. If i get too many walls i will choose a couple and list them here on English Ancestors

Friday, March 20, 2009

Wish List, English Ancestors . Books galore

I have rediscovered Amazon.If you are a book reader then Amazon is like a big on line toy shop. The good thing about them is, if you are looking for a book that is out of print. They may have a good used copy for a fraction of the price. This is often the case with Genealogy books so take a look here, and make your own book wish list.

These are on my wish list, DVD Set of Who do you think you are, and two books that i have not seen before but look really interesting. Researching Down Ancestors and
Tracing Your Irish Ancestors

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Free with Ancestry

Now is a good time to take advantage of the free offer that Ancestry has on at the moment. It is available on all three sites,, and
They are all offering a 14 day free trial. You need to submit your credit card but if you do not want to continue after the free period, its easy to cancel your details before your 14 days run out. This is an ideal time to start looking for your English Ancestors.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Kendal, the Gateway to the Lakes. The last post about Cumberland, which is now called Cumbria reminded me that Kendal played a big part in my life. My eldest two children were both born in Kendal at Helmechaise Hospital.
This site is a valuable source of information as its gives a view of Kendal's history and kendal today. Researchers of Cumberland and Westmorland will find it of interest.

Free Parish Records,Westmorland and Cumberland

The Cumberland and Westmorland Archives is available for free search online. Parish records are available to browse from 1662.
This site also has links to local record offices, Kendal, Carlisle, Whitehaven and Barrow in Furness. This site will be of interest to researchers of English and Irish family history.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Your one stop shop for Genealogy but is it?

Well yes it can be. is the one for you if you are in the United States, or you are in England but have part of you family line in America.
Just to make sure you get the best price if buying world membership,check rates first on a money converter. See which is the best value for the pound verse the American dollar.
So now you have joined the biggest Genealogy site in the world. Make the most of what the site has to offer. The worst thing you can do is to get bogged down with searching for one person. In the beginning its like one big jigsaw puzzle, if you spend all your time looking for one piece you will not progress. So if you hit problems ,stop and record what you know to date and move on to another section.
Take your time on and find out all that the site has to offer. People may contact you with questions about a name on your tree. Take the time to reply back and help them if you can. Good manners on Ancestry will help you in the long run.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Irish Immigration to United States 'Missing Friends'

The Boston newspaper ran a column with advertisements from people looking for friends or relatives who had left Ireland for the United States.
The web site is sponsored by the Irish Studies program at Boston Collage.
Take a look.

Free Records County Down Ireland

Raymond's County Down Website has been made to help people researching Down. It concentrates on the areas of Banbridge, Dromore, Kilkeel and Mourne. There is great deal on information on this site. Hope you enjoy listening to the Irish music.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Which is the best paid site, Ancestry or Genesreunited ?

Can anyone help me with this? I have always used and So the thought of building a family tree with a new company does not appeal to me.I joined Genesreunited sister company 'Friendsreunited' when it became popular about six years ago. When they first started 'Genesreunited' i joined that too but never went any further adding people to the site as i was busy with Ancestry.

I know people that use Genesreunited but they have never used Ancestry.
So which one is the best and Why? If you have an opinion please leave a comment and share your view.

Great Gift Ideas

Its my daughters birthday in a couple of weeks time and i have been researching on the net for some gift ideas. I have seen lots of things that i would like that no one would think of buying. Number one choice would be a years membership at Emerald Ancestors. Number two choice would be a years full world membership at .Number three choice would be some look ups at Emerald Ancestors. My daughter turning 22 would not not like any of these things. I found a great site though with gift ideas that she would like. She would love a laptop and it would give me back my laptop as she is always taking it into her bedroom. Just had another gift idea , a nintendo ds, she would love one of those and she could use it on the train going to work. I have found one on the same site at I can order something online and save time not having to go and shop around looking for something.Just had another thought, i could borrow the nintendo too.
So take a look at this site, for some great ideas. I will pass this site on to my husband then if all hints fail he can order me some flowers.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A letter sets a scene from the past

When you were beginning your family tree, you gathered together all the information that you could find. Were you lucky enough to find an old letter?

Old letters can set a scene from the past and give us a real insight into the writer's life The letter or parts of the letter can become a feature on your family tree.

Did any of your Ancestors leave their country and head off in search of a new beginning. If you can find that journey, then that can also become a feature on your family tree. Passenger records are available for you to search through. They can hold some interesting information. Usually the name and age of the person, whom they were travelling with, their occupation, where they were heading to once the ship docked, how much luggage they were taking with them. If you have membership with Ancestry then you will have a good chance of finding that journey. You can also order copies of those records from Ancestry. If you have not been able to find that outward passage then maybe your Ancestors had a holiday back in the homeland. Ancestry also has the records of ships that sailed into England and Ireland on return trips from the USA.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Free search of Irish Index's

The Irish Family History Foundation has around 40 million of Irish records indexed.
Church Baptisms, Marriages and Deaths.
It is free to search the index's here you can narrow down the lists until you find a couple of records that look like they may be your Ancestors.
From here if you want to view the records then they charge 4 pounds to see one record or if you are a paid member of the Foundation,the charge per view will be 2 pounds.

Friday, March 6, 2009

English Census 1841 Bronte Family

The census not only tells us about our own family history, it records the history of well known people. I have always had a fascination for the Bronte sisters. This may be as the Yorkshire village where they grew up, was only 9 miles away from the Lancashire mill town where i grew up. I have many memories of visiting Howarth, as a teenager and the last time as a parent. When i was about 14, my sister and her boyfriend and i walked to High Withens from the village of Howarth. It must have been in January as the ground was covered in snow.It was absolutely freezing.High Withens is thought to be the house where Cathy and Heathcliff lived in 'Wuthering heights'. Ruins was all that remained of the house. We sheltered in its walls and warmed ourselves on hot soup.

The Bronte sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Ann were three sisters who would become the most famous sisters in English literature in England.
Charlotte Bronte 1816- 1855
Emily Jane Bronte 1818-1848
Anne Bronte 1820-1849

Charlotte can be found in the 1841 English census as follows

Charlotte Bronte estimated birth year 1821
Born Yorkshire
Civil Parish Guiseley
County Yorkshire.
Registration district Otley
Sub Registration district Yeadon

In the census image Charlotte age was given as 20 and her profession is a governess. Her employers were Mr and Mrs White of Upperwood House, Rawdon,Yorkshire.

In the same census her sisters, Emily Jane and Anne can be found living at ‘Parsonage House’ in Haworth Yorkshire, along with their Father Patrick Bronte and Aunt Elizabeth Branwell.
Charlotte became famous for her novel, ‘Jane Eyre’ Emily for her novel ‘Wuthering Heights’ and Anne for the novel ‘Agnes Grey’

Charlotte can be found also in the 1851 English census. In this she is residing at the ‘Parsonage’ in Haworth. The only other member of her family still alive was her Father Patrick Bronte.

If you would like to know more about the Bronte sisters of Haworth and their lives and novels , take a look

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Free Genealogy Resources for Australians

This is a free resource for Australians who have residence in Australia. Australia was populated in the beginning with settlers and convicts from the British Commonwealth. There must be a high percentage of today's residents who have English Ancestors. The National Library of Australia has many different Collections that are available to search online. One example is the collection of Australian Newspapers from 1803 1954.
To view the website visit

Aply for a library card

Monday, March 2, 2009

Ancestors, Break down your Brick wall

So you have built your family tree and now have got as far as you can . You have run out of ideas ,you are up against the 'Brick Wall'
So what do you do? you need someone to help you, maybe someone researching the same family or the same name.
If you belong to Ancestry there are a couple of things that you can do.
Go to the family tree section on Ancestry and type in details of your Ancestor. Look through the results for someones tree with you Ancestor listed there. Try different combinations like the name of a brother, uncle, father, sister, mother.
Take note of who owns the family tree .If it is a public tree, then you can look through it to see if you can make a connection. If the tree is private then you will be able to e-mail them through Ancestry and ask for further information.
Ancestry also have another section where you can look for people who are researching the same Surname and make contact with them.

Another avenue, is to check out the message boards. Using your Ancestors name and place of birth or residence, leave a message on a notice board or you may find a message to reply too.
All of these avenues have worked for me, not only have i gained new information i have made some good friends too.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Pay Genealogy site, is it worth the money?

I have left the biggest until now., and Is it worth the money? Well yes and no.

If you only have a go at family research a couple of afternoons a month, then you would not get value for money. If you are going on the site daily then yes, it is worthwhile having membership. If your ancestors lived in England and then moved to America, then i would suggest having world coverage. If they were just from the USA then just have the coverage for America. If they were from England and moved to Australia I would suggest world coverage. You can pay monthly and cancel at any time.
There are two things that i find disappointing with Ancestry.
When doing a search for somebody, the first couple of results look like they could be the person. Then there are long lists of searches that are way out of the information that you have submitted.
The next thing that is disappointing, is that they do not have a great deal of results for Ireland. Considering that so many Irish were our Ancestors the coverage for Ireland and Northern Island is lacking.

If you are keen at finding your ancestors and willing to spend a lot of time researching then i would recommend taking out membership on a monthly basis. If you are in Australia and want world coverage take out world membership from With the Australian dollar being down against the US dollar, it works out about 10 dollars cheaper a month with the English Ancestry