Geoff’ Genealogy Update 28 April 2008
Since my last blog entry I’ve been as busy as ever. Lots of new information has come to light, partly through new contacts made via Geoffs Genealogy and partly through contacts made via the Genes Reunited website.
My Culshaw research has been sadly neglected for a few years now, which is a shame, because I have made some wonderful friends in Lancashire during my work on this line, and also thoroughly enjoyed carrying out the research in places like Preston, Leyland and Ormskirk.
The truth is, I’m stuck, and have been for some years!
If anybody can tell me who were the parents of John Culshaw, born c1760, probably at Burscough, I’ll be very grateful. I have searched as many Lancashire Wills as I have been able to, looked at some of the estate papers for the Earl of Derby’s estate, and looked at as many parish registers as seem relevant, but the problem really is that there was more than one John Culshaw who came into the world at about that time, in the Ormskirk area, and I can’t say which one was my ancestor.
Anyway, I made contact with Valerie, a Culshaw researcher who is registered with Genes Reunited. It turns out that Culshaw is not her main research interest, and her Culshaws are on the line I call the “Catholic Culshaws”. This is to distinguish them from my forebears, some of whom were catholics, but most of whom were not.
The “Catholic Culshaws” have long attracted our interest because their lives seem to run parallel to my forebears. On the 1841 census for Farington the two households were living very near to one another, and they continued to live close to one another for most of the nineteenth century. Our belief has always been that there is very likely to be a link between the two families, but we have not yet found it. If there was a link, it must be pre 1760.
Anyway, it was good to exchange trees with Valerie, and to make one another aware of our respective interests. Who knows, one day we may be able to link up our trees!
Another Genes Reunited contact was on the Hewitt line. In his Hawkridge tree Arthur has a certain Charlotte Hewitt, born Ardwick, Manchester in 1858. She was a sister of my great grandfather – Arthur Thomas Hewitt (1852-1915). I knew she had married a certain George Pratt in 1878 and that he had died before the date of the 1881 census, in April 1881. What I didn’t know was that she then married John Frederick Hawkridge (b 1851 at Derby) with whom she produced four children. This intelligence set me off researching this clan, and I traced the births of their children and also the available relevant census entries (1891 & 1901). I also traced some army service papers re one of the sons of John and Charlotte – Thomas Hawkridge (b 1890).
Arthur lives in the USA, and has a most impressive Hawkridge pedigree.
These examples point up the benefit that can be gained from websites such as Genes Reunited. I don’t keep up my membership long term, preferring to pay for a short term membership every now and again, but there is no doubt that the network of researchers on GR has grown a lot since I was last a member, a few years ago.
Among recent visitors to Geoffs Genealogy was Ronnie, my recently acquired contact in the USA. He is descended on the Clements line. Emily Jeans Clements features in the Bankes pedigree because she married Robert Hanham Collyer as a 16 year old girl in London in 1864. He was aged 50 at the time, and already married! After the couple had produced two children Emily evidently realised that her spouse’s first wife was still alive, and sued for divorce – a very rare event in 1873. Anyway, the marriage was annulled in London. Robert Hanham Collyer said at the hearing that he had not heard from his wife for many years, and had believed her dead. I assume that this explanation was accepted by the court, because he was not imprisoned for bigamy. My last sighting of Emily in the records was on the 1881 census, when she was living at Camberwell, Surrey, with her two children, aged 15 & 14. I don’t know what became of her after that. Her daughter, another Emily, married William Sleigh (I wrote about this marriage in this blog a year ago). I don’t know what happened to the son – Robert L Collyer, who was born in France c1867.
Ronnie is descended from one of Emily’s siblings, and has provided me with a wealth of material about the Clements family, including some lovely photographs. Obviously, the Clements line is not of direct relevance to the Banks pedigree, but I’m always delighted to receive information such as this, as apart from its intrinsic interest, it helps to put the characters who married into the Bankes descendants’ lines into their context.
Thank you Ronnie.
As if all that were not enough I’ve also had very enjoyable contact with Bankes descendants who are descended on the Welsh line from Joseph Rand, half brother of Bankes. I’ve long taken a great interest in the Welsh line, for a number of reasons. Firstly, Jan & I visit Carmarthenshire quite often, so are able to use the relevant local records quite easily. Secondly, this branch of the pedigree has within it a lot of very interesting people. On the whole they were quite prosperous people, so they have left behind them a decent quantity of records. Finally, my interest has been kept up by the fact that I have had the pleasure of meeting some of the people descended on the Welsh branch – and very pleasant people they have proved.
It has long been my aim to add a section on these Welsh Bankes descendants to Geoffs Genealogy, but as yet that ambition remains unfulfilled. So much to do, and so little time in which to do it. Still, hope springs eternal …..
- This page was last updated on Monday April 28th, 2008.
Geoffs Genealogy Update 30 January 2008
Since I last made an entry on this blog the focus of my activity has been preparing the March edition of the Shropshire Family History Society Journal. It is now just about completed.
I wonder how many of the people who read this blog are members of a family history society. I’ve mentioned this old chestnut before, in previous postings. In my opinion it is well worth joining at least one society. In addition to Shropshire FHS I also belong to East of London FHS, as I have research interests in that part of London.
SocietyMembership enables you to avail yourself of the knowledge and expertise of your fellow members in many different ways. It may also bring you in touch with other people with similar research interests to you. If you belong to a society that is local to you you will be able to attend its regular meetings (usually monthly), meet people and listen to a talk on a family history related topic. Furthermore, family history society members all over the country have produced a great many indexes to the nominal records that we use in our research, and made them available in various forms. Without them, your research would undoubtedly be much more difficult.
As if that were not sufficient, many societies run coach trips to record offices that may be difficult for you to get to under your own steam. In my case, the Shropshire FHS runs trips to The National Archives. True, you have to get up early to make the trip, but once that ordeal is behind you you can look forward to a pleasant ride to Kew, followed by about six hours of research and a sleep on the way home! What could be better?
The next such trip is in May, and I shall soon be reserving my place on it.
Apart from working on the SFHS journal, in the past couple of weeks Pat and I have carried out a bit more Guyatt research, and resolved a couple more conundrums. I’ve had some more contact with a lady who is a distant cousin of Jan on her Maliphant line, and exchanged a couple of emails with an researcher whose interests encompass the Collyers and Sleighs.
Both of our sons have celebrated their birthdays in the past ten days. In the case of Alex it was his 21st, so we went out to a local hotel for a lovely family meal.
As if that were not enough, on a sodden Saturday a couple of weeks ago Jan and I went to Shrewsbury Music Hall to enjoy our first concert of the year. Swansea City Opera are a small, touring company, and we’ve seen them perform twice previously. This time they performed Mozart’s The Magic Flute, and it truly was a very good show. It always amazes me what a good sound this company’s musicians produce from the half a dozen instruments that they bring on tour, and the singing was of a very good standard. All in all, a very good evening – and a packed house as well!
Our next musical outing will be in March, when we go to Birmingham to see Welsh National Opera perform Falstaff. Bryn Terfel is scheduled to perform the title role, and as both Jan and I love all things Terfel we simply can’t wait for this outing! We pray that the great man doesn’t lose his voice on the day!
That’s about all I’ve got to say tonight, so I’ll sign off for another couple of weeks.
Happy hunting to you all!
- This page was last updated on Wednesday January 30th, 2008.
Geoffs Genealogy Website Updates – 13 January 2008
Last Sunday Helen and I put a series of updates on to the Geoffs Genealogywebsite, as the latest stage of our ongoing updating process. Over the past few weeks I have been through all the pages of text on the site and amended them so that they are up to date as of now. In most cases this has involved the correction of a few errors (typos mainly), the addition of an odd sentence or paragraph of text, the changing or addition of a date here and there, and appropriate additions to the references pages.
In the case of the webpage Arthur Ackland Hunt – Artist the changes made are quite significant. Firstly, courtesy of Richard Bradley, I am able to share with you two wonderful photographs – of Arthur Ackland Hunt and his wife – Emma Sarah Blagg.In addition to this, I have added a newspaper report of the marriage of Arthur and Emma in 1879, an image of one of the Blagg family homes in Cheadle, and a short section of information about the Blagg family.
As readers of this blog will know, I am in the process of gleaning information about the Blaggs from the Cheadle parish registers, and I hope that eventually I shall be able to expand my coverage of this family.
On the Thomas Hunt, Doctor page the main addition is a superb image of the doctor himself, which I only received last week. Again, my thanks to Richard Bradley for allowing me to share this picture with you.
I have added quite a large number of websites to the Geoffs Genealogy Links page, and hope that you will find them to be useful and informative. I try to include a wide variety of relevant links – some well known and others not so well known – and also confine myself to sites that I consider to be reliable sources of information.
I have tried to bring the Geoffs Genealogy tree completely up to date, but not quite made it, I’m afraid. If you have sent me some material and you can’t find it there I apologise. I shall be beavering away over the next few months, trying to correct any such omissions. I have to say, however, that I have added a great deal of information to the tree, and I hope that visitors to the site will find it even more interesting than previously.
Among the areas of the Geoffs Genealogy Tree that I have expanded significantly in the last year are the following:
My thanks to Brenda for sharing her information with me. Thanks to her the Archer section of the tree is greatly expanded, and includes information on the line down from Thomas Archer (1786-c1866) the brother of Nathan Archer, my ancestor.
Charles Heppell married my great aunt – Alice Victoria Smith – in 1891 at Shoreditch, and thus the Heppells became part of my family tree. I was greatly surprised when I started to look into the Heppell family history and found that they came from Sunderland in the North East of England. There is much still to be discovered on this line of research, but I have made a fair start, I think.
My mother’s uncle Jim was James Archer Smith (1877-1957), who I knew had married a lady named Ophelia. That was as much as I knew up to a year ago, but after digging into Ophelia’s life story I find that she was born Ophelia Eliza Florence Worthy in 1865. She married a certain William Henry Kerr in 1882 at Bethnal Green, had seven Kerr children, and was widowed sometime between 1896 and 1901. She then married mum’s uncle Jim and died in 1928 at Hoxton. I have no idea whether or not mum knew all that; I found the reserach quite fascinating, and wrote about it on my blog during the period February – March 2007.
Next I need to inveestigate James Archer Smith’s second marriage, but for now I’ve added theinformation about Ophelia to the tree.
My thanks to Chris Marshall for sharing with me her information about her line of descent from Benjamin Culshaw (b 1828) and his spouse Barbara Blackwell (b 1828). This has added a great deal to my Culshaw family tree. I still have more of Chris’s information to add, as she has sent me some material relating to her Heaps ancestors. Hopefully I’ll manage this during 2008.
Early in 2007 I was contacted by a Sleigh descendant of Robert Hanham Collyer(1814-1891) and his wife Emily Jeans Clements (born c1847), and the tree now includes some information on this line.
I spent some time during 2007 researching the Da Costa family, using civil registration indexes and censuses. I made great progress, and have therefore been able to add quite a lot of information to this brance of the pedigree. In case you are wondering, around the turn of the 18th-19th centuries two of the daughters of William Hunt (b 1763) married two Da Costa brothers. I now know that one of them – Antonio Da Costa – was the Brazilian Vice Consul during the mid nineteenth century.
Thanks to Ted George in Australia I have been able to add quite a lot to our knowledge of this clan, and that is reflected in the tree. Ted’s forebear – Albert George Benzoni –
dropped the “Benzoni” and adopted “George” as the family surname, hence Ted’s surname. I mention this in case you wonder why I show the surname of some of the people on the tree as “Benzoni/George”.
This was my genealogical highlight of 2007, and was the subject of a number of entries on my blog. This time last year I was completely stuck on my Guyatt research, and had been so stuck for about ten years. Now I’m again stuck – but not at the same point! I’m eagerly seeking the next breakthrough, and hoping that it is not another ten years away! Visitors to the Guyatt section of the tree will find much that is new there. What I now need to know is the birthplace of my John Guyatt, born about 1784 and maried to Hannah Wright in 1817 at High Wycombe. Any offers?
My grateful thanks to my cousin, Pat, for all her help in sorting out the various conundrums that came to light in researching William Freeman Guyatt and his family. We finally got to the bottom of it all, and uncovered some wonderful material. I shall be working towards incorporating it into Geoffs Genealogy as soon as I can.
Whilst researching the Guyatts I was also able to develop the Smedley family history a little. Much remains to be done on this, but the new information is included in the tree, and I hope that we shall learn more before too long.
And more besides
In addition to the above I have added much to many other areas of the Bankes pedigree, using online records – mainly census returns and civil registration indexes. This is a stage in my ongoing effort to “dot the Is and cross the Ts” as much as possible, and I shall continue with this work during 2008. My approach to this is a bit random – I just tend to pick on an individual on the tree and see what I can find.
I think that more or less covers the latest batch of updates. I hope you will find something of interest in Geoffs Genealogy. If so, please let me know, and if you think you may be able to help add to our knowledge I shall be highly delighted to hear from you.
- This page was last updated on Tuesday January 15th, 2008.
Geoffs Genealogy Update 29 January 2007
Another busy week on the treeing front. I was delighted to receive some more information about the Collyer line – descendants of Robert Hanham Collyer. Also, I have been continuing with my self-appointed task of adding to our pedigree, using information from censuses.
I have explored the line down from John Price (d 1944) as far as I can, taking the Bathurst line down to 1901. Roll on the 1911 census!
The Welsh descendants of Joseph Rand are always interesting, and I have uncovered a few census entries re Mary Ann Davies (b Llangollen, c1824). She married William Sleigh and they had one child – Amy Banks Sleigh (b 1862).
My other peice of work this week entailed a visit to my local LDS family history centre and a look at a microfilm containing the burials at Monkwearmouth, Sunderland. There I found some valuable entries re the Heppell line. Heppell was the maiden name of my mum’s cousin, and her forebears migrated from Sunderland to London by 1841. Fascinating.
Jan has received some new information from a new contact who is a Maddox descendant, bringing one branch of that family down to the present day.
None of this material will appear on Geoffs Genealogy for some months, so if you are interested in any of this information do drop me a line.
See you next week!
- This page was last updated on Monday January 29th, 2007.
Geoffs Genealogy Update
One of the wonderful things about genealogy sources being available online is the opportunity they give us to resolve conundrums and develop research without leaving the room! This week I’ve been looking at the Sleigh descendants of Robert Hanham Collyer and finding out what became of Susannah Rosetta Whitcombe and her child. She was the mother of the child of John Price (d 1844). It turns out that she married a man named Hostage and lived on until 1883.
If anybody is interested in these subjects please drop me an email or add to the blog. It will be quite a while before I get this material on Geoffs Genealogy.
- This page was last updated on Monday January 22nd, 2007.