Geoffs Genealogy Update 6 October 2012

Saturday October 6th, 2012 | Geoff

This is a busy time for me, as I’m in the middle of working on my last ever edition of the journal of the Shropshire Family History Society. I’ve really enjoyed my period as editor (about 11 years, I think). Apart from the enjoyment of putting together each issue, the job has brought me into contact with many good friends, and many interesting people. It has also enabled me to learn so much about this amazing hobby. However, all good things come to an end, and I think the time is right for a new editor with a fresh outlook and some new ideas. Unfortunately, although I gave over twelve months’ notice that I am vacating this post, not one person has expressed serious interest in succeeding me. This is rather disconcerting. After all my work I certainly do not want to leave the Society with a problem. However, although there is a temptation to do just one more year, to avoid the problem, I shall not do that. After all, in another twelve months we may be in exactly the same situation!

I really do hope that somebody comes forward to fill the post before I leave it.

A few weeks ago I was contacted by a lady who is descended from the Charles Benzoni (abt 1811-1885) and his wife, Eleanor Crow nee Brannan (abt 1809-1889). It is always good to make contact with a ‘new’ Bankes Descendant, and I am hoping that this lady may be able to help me add some more detail about her line of descent to the Pedigree. I was able to put her in touch with Ted, another Benzoni descendant, who lives in Australia. Hopefully they will be able to help one another in their research.

As I’ve mentioned many times previously, additional sources are continually appearing on the various family history internet websites, and we all need to be aware of the new stuff that has appeared, to see whether it may be useful to us. When new material is added the websites usually make an announcement of some kind – possibly in the form of a monthly update – so it is not too hard to keep tabs on this. Also, there are a number of newsletters that can help you. Two that I use on a regular basis are the Lost Cousins newsletter, and the newsletter of the Institute of Heraldic & Genealogical Studies (IHGS), which provide regular updates on this type of information.

One of the sources that came online at a few months ago was the Electoral Registers for London, 1847-1965. This data set is not complete – one suspects that many records have been destroyed over the years, but if you can find your ancestor in them they can be a great help in tracking down where they lived, and after 1918, when women first obtained voting rights in the UK, they can be very useful in tracking down marriage dates. When a person disappeared from the register that can be an indication that they had died, so you are able to tentatively define a date from which to start your search of the Deaths indexes. It is true that, compared to censuses, these documents give us quite limited information – basically the name of the person and their address, but particularly after 1911, when the most recent census currently available was taken, they can be extremely useful – especially when linked to other sources.

I have several times used these electoral registers very successfully to overcome what we family historians refer to as “brick walls”. They helped me sort out my history of James Archer Smith (1877-1957), enabling me to solve the mystery of his second spouse’s identity. They also enabled me to track down Albert Francis Smith (1886-1959) and his family, as well as giving me an almost complete record of the whereabouts of Jessie Mary Elizabeth Codd nee Smith (1880-1941) and her family from 1918-1937. I have even spotted my own parents in these records – a bit spooky, that!

Another source that can be quite revealing is the London Land Tax Lists. These date from 1692-1932, and again, they are by no means complete. Once again, if you find your ancestor you can find out quite a bit about him. David Price (1774-1840) was a prominent businessman in London, and he features in these records in an almost complete run of records from 1812 to 1839. These records give you a list of names and properties, plus the amount of land tax that was paid. By comparing the record for your forebear with other records you can get an idea of his relative wealth. I even found a couple of Land Tax records for John Bankes (c1850-1719), relating to his property at St Benet, Paul’s Wharf, which was very exciting, and I have noted a very long list of records relating to my ancestor James Jacobson (abt 1692-1759) of Aldgate, but I haven’t yet got around to looking at them.

It is easy to think that once you’ve extracted all the information available online about your forebear at a particular time that is “job done”. However, I hope it will be clear from the above that we need to keep on repeating internet searches for your ancestors. As one last example, I’ve recently been doing some research into my wife’s Haves ancestors of Great Yarmouth. Knowing that Frederick Joseph Haves (1890-1968) served in the British Army during World War One, some time ago we searched the online military records, but did not find his service record. However, in the intervening period Ancestry have published online lots more records – notably the Burnt Records collection, and when I searched these this week Frederick’s service records came up. Bingo! Thirteen pages of information that tell us so much about him and his experience of WW1.

I close with my usual reminder about the second John Bankes’ Descendants Reunion, which is planned for Saturday 8 June 2013 at Coulsdon, Surrey. Helen and I do hope that as many Bankes descendants as possible will come, and make the day a big success. You can express interest or book via the Geoffs Genealogy website. It should be a really good day.

8 responses to “Geoffs Genealogy Update 6 October 2012”

  1. Colin Hose says:

    Hello Geoff., can you help me., I am a descendant of John Hose 1699-1769 Cordwainer, I notice that John married Elizabeth Collyer on 18Aug 1731, I was wondering if she was the cousin or sister of Joseph Collyer who married Mary Mitchell on 28Sept 1738, by the way I am originally from Ellesmere, Shropshire b.1947.
    Also Joseph Hose was a Tailor (Taylor) from Cheapside (brother of John) both where born in Nottinghamshire, Edwalton, I think.,around about the same time.
    Any help you can give would be appreciated,
    My very best wishes to you.,
    Colin Michael Hose

    • Geoff says:

      Hello Colin. Thanks for your comment, which raises some interesting questions.
      If you look at the Joseph & Mary Collyer Sources section of my website you will see an image of Joseph Collyer the Elder’s Freedom record, dated 1725. Among the signatories as witnesses was John Hole, Cordwainer. This is seven years before the marriage you refer to, but it certainly suggests that the Elizabeth Collyer who John Hole married was a member of Joseph the Elder’s family. The question is, where did she fit in?
      My daughter, Helen, went to Nottingham some years ago, to research the Collyers. She saw the non conformist register containing the births of Joseph the Elder and his siblings. They were: John (b c1710, Nottm), Jeremiah (b abt 1718, Nottm), Eliezer (b abt 1721, Nottm). John was a Stationer, active in London and Nottingham, and wrote a Grammar book. Incidentally, Joseph the Elder was born c1714 in Nottingham. The parents of Joseph and his siblings were John Collyer & Alice Tingey, who were married in London in 1700. As there is a big gap between the date of their marriage and the birthdate of their first known child (1710), it is quite possible that there were some children born to them before 1710, possibly in London, and one of these could be Elizabeth. Alternatively, as you mention, Elizabeth could have been a cousin to Joseph. I have seen a transcription of the 1731 Hole / Collyer marriage marriage at St Peter, Nottingham on Family Search, but there is no mention of parentage. Also, there was a marriage licence, seemingly granted in Nottingham. A transcription of this is on Find My Past website, but again, no mention of parents. We could really do with seeing the original marriage entry in the St Peters Nottingham register, and the original marriage licence documentation. It’s quite likely that that will still leave us wondering, but that is the place to start, I think. Not sure when I may be able to do this, as Nottingham isn’t local to me, but I’ll give it some thought.
      I’d be interested to know what sources you have already looked at re this research. Do you have any Hole family wills, for instance, and if so do they name Collyers?
      I’m thinking that if you are willing, it would be interesting for us to work together on this. If this appeals to you maybe we could correspond be email. You can send me an email by using one of the links on Geoffs Genealogy.
      Once again, thanks very much for a very interesting message.

  2. Colin Hose says:

    Hi Geoff, sorry for the long delay, I have been out of the country for some time., Yes of course I would love to work with you on the subject matter of John and Joseph hose., I also have some fascinating info on the Hose family, including the Bishop of Singapore and Charles a famous Anthropologist and Naturalist., my email is ‘’ looking forward to hearing from you.

  3. Colin Hose says:

    Hi Geoff, unable to contact your email address, keeps coming up with ‘fault’. By the way the 1700’s style of writing shows the letter ‘S’ as a wavey ‘l’ so Hose can be sometimes mixed up with Hole.
    Looking forward to working with you in the New Year, if we can establish contact, I am also originally from Shropshire spending most of my life in Ellesmere and Shrewsbury now living in the Cotswolds.

  4. Colin Hose says:

    Hi Geoff., just a quickie, are you still researching, especially the Hose Family?
    Best Regards

    Colin Hose

  5. Paul Sayer says:


    I live in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

    I came across your page on Daniel Wilby Sayer today. I had never bothered looking him up previously because he is not my direct ancestor. I knew about him, though, because his name appears in the UK censuses.

    I am descended from his younger brother, Benjamin William Sayer, who seems to have migrated to Australia (most likely Victoria) in the 1860s. Like his father, he was a miller, although he was later a “hotel keeper” in Melbourne. He was married twice, had only one child, William Samuel Sayer, who served in the Boer War and was killed at Messenes in 1918. In that regard, William is mentioned in Australia’s Official History of World War I. William had three children and quite a number of descendants. I myself am one of his grandsons, the eldest of eight.

    While looking at your site, I noted that you had a number of blank dates for the early period. I long ago obtained baptismal and marriage certificates for Daniel, his brother and their parents.

    Paul Sayer

    • Geoff says:

      Hello Paul

      It was very good to hear from you. My wife, Jan, and I were very interested in the information you included in your message, as we knew nothing about the life of Daniel Wilby Sayer, or, indeed, Bernard William Sayer.

      The Sayers are Jan’s ancestors. Her grandmother was Gladys Amy Jessavina Sayer (1892 – 1978). Jan’s Sayer line comes down from Manning Sayer (c1806-1866), who was a brother of Daniel Wilby Sayer, her direct male Sayer forebears from that point being:

      Manning Sayer (c1806-1866)
      Samuel John Sayer (1833-1909)
      Bernard (Barney) Sayer (1865-1933)

      We shall be happy to add the information you sent us to our records, and if you would like any information from us please let me know and we will try to help you. It would probably be best if you contact me via one of the links on the Geoffs Genealogy website, and I’ll reply using my email address.

      Yes, sadly it is true that there are a lot of gaps in the dates on our Sayer tree. A work in progress, to be sure. We need to address that sometime. Hopefully before too long.

      All the best


  6. Colin Hose says:

    Hi Geoff, a lot more research on John Hose reveals that his best friend was the Lord Mayor of London and that he had dealings with Benjamin Franklin with reference to the stamp act, also one of his apprentices was a certain William Chamberlain great grandfather x4 of Neville Chamberlain PM, do you have any further news on John Hose with ref to his mother and father Ann & Thomas Hose, a grazier from Edwalton?
    Colin Hose

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