Friday, 30 September 2011

Follow Friday: (W)rapture

I particularly loved one post this week.  It illustrated how the commonplace and ordinary can become, simply by dint of time, out of the ordinary and rather marvellous.  Many thanks to Diane from Nuts From the Family Tree for sharing the story and her cousin Steve.

As usual, I am not going to recount the story - let Diane and Steve tell you.  Be warned - you may never discard a note or a gum wrapper again - it could become part of your family's heritage!  Visit Nuts From the Family Tree for the whole story.



Ancestry.com 15th Anniversary Sweepstakes

Ancestry.com Anniversary Sweepstakes

Ancestry.com 15th Anniversary Sweepstakes

To celebrate their 15th Anniversary on 1st October 2011,  Ancestry.com are offering daily prizes for 15 days plus a chance to win their Grand Prize - going behind the scenes of WDYTYA? with Lisa Kudrow.  If you want a chance to win, the link above should take you to the draw - good luck!
Friday, 23 September 2011

Follow Friday: Sit Up Straight and Pay Attention!

I found a new blog this week, via Redgage actually, and as I am a teacher couldn't resist sharing this post.  It is from the Oregon Art Guy's blog and is a test from 1895 for eighth grade students.  We tend to think of our ancestors as being less educated, particularly as they left school at a younger age than we did.  After reading this test I can only assume that they packed an awful lot in to their schooling!  Not only would my Year 8 classes fail, but I would too.  Here is the Oregon Art Guy Blog.

Let me know how you get on!
Thursday, 22 September 2011

Those Places Thursday: Bristol in 1920s

Bristol is my home town and  the home town of many of my ancestors.  This is "The Centre" - I spent many hours waiting here for buses to take me up to school on Cheltenham Road - happy days!  Hope you enjoy the video, courtesy of Youtube.



Sunday, 18 September 2011

A discount code for Genes Reunited (UK)

Over on my blog The Cousin Hunter I have shared the good news that the jolly nice people at Genes Reunited have sent a discount code for their Platinum membership.  Naturally, I couldn't leave you all out!  Sadly it's only good for the UK - I know that cuts most of you out - and must be used by 3 October 2011.  Hope it's of some use to at least one of you!


"Get 10% off at Genes Reunited"

Sunday's Obituary: Flt Lt James Martin

James Martin died on this day in 1948.  He had been born on 30 December 1902 in Dundee, Scotland.  He was the son of Robert and Elizabeth Martin.  James left Scotland to join the Royal Air Force and by 1932 he was married and settled down with a growing family.  He served throughout the Second World War and his wife Ivy and his five children must have been delighted that he survived.  After the war he remained in the RAF.  On 18 September 1948 James took his last flight, at RAF Manston in Kent.  I have written about the tragic events of that day before (it was not just a tragedy for the Martin family and the RAF lost not just one aircraft that day, but three, in unrelated accidents). Here is the link to the Airshow Tragedy at Manston, Kent, 1948.
Sunday, 11 September 2011

Black Sheep Sunday: Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary!

I was running through in my head the various occupations of my ancestors a few days ago and it occurred to me that in the Brown/Warren branches of the family there is a preponderance of policemen.  My great-great grandfather William Henry Mann Brown and my great-great-grandfather John Warren were both constables for a time, as was John Warren's father, Joseph.  Both William and John had sons who were policemen: Henry Brown, my great-grandfather, and Joseph Warren his brother-in-law.  How very upstanding, if not a tad boring.  But hold on!  Something has arrested (sorry, couldn't help myself) my attention - Miss Mary Jane Warren - you naughty girl!

Mary Jane Warren was the eldest daughter of John Warren and the sister of my great-grandmother Ellen Warren.  She was therefore the granddaughter, daughter, sister and sister-in-law of police officers.  It would seem that this was not enough to keep her on the straight and narrow.  No, Mary Jane went bad.

I know because I found her listed on the 1871 Census as an inmate of the Park Row Asylum in Bristol (not to be confused with the nearby Blind Asylum).  At first I imagined that she was a lunatic, but further investigations revealed that this asylum was founded in 1854 and was for "for hopeful discharged female prisoners and hopeful destitute girls not prosecuted" .  Mary Jane's occupation, like the other inmates, is given as "domestic servant". 


The mystery is, what is a "hopeful" woman or girl, prosecuted or not.  I presume it may mean one who is truly sorry for whatever (probably petty) crime she may have committed and who has hope of some redemption.  I cannot find out what Mary Jane did to deserve her incarceration, but it seems that she put her past behind her for I believe she married a couple of years later, at the age of 21, to Joseph Lancaster.  The couple lived in North Somerset and had a very large family, presumably to the relief of all her relatives in blue.
Thursday, 8 September 2011

Thrifty Thursday: Free Trials Work!

Back in August I wrote a quick post with a link to an article which I had written on Hubpages.  The article was Can you Grow a Family Tree for Free?  The article put forward my ideas for saving some money on your family history research, and that's what they were, my ideas - I didn't have any proof that they would really work.  However, a couple of days ago my husband's first cousin put a triumphant post on Facebook, and now I have my proof!  Here's what happened.

In my article I suggested that you should contact your family for information and, failing them having anything useful, to search for "lost" cousins.  Beverley didn't need to go much further than me, fortunately.  I had researched her father's side of the family as a Christmas present for his sister, my mother-in-law.  So, with one email, Bev had a ready made family tree, one branch of which went back to the 17th Century.  As Bev is interested in family history herself, she decided that she wanted to add to the tree, particularly on her mother's side.  So, clever girl, she did what I had suggested in my article - she signed up for a free trial.

Bev chose the Ancestry 14 Day FREE trial and, having prepared herself beforehand, she has spent the last two weeks at her keyboard.  Her proud Facebook boast (and quite justifiable too) was that she now has in excess of 800 names on the family tree and has got back to the 16th Century on some lines.  Wow!  Of course, she will need to put the information on to her own software, she won't be able to store it on Ancestry, but otherwise, a good use of a two week free period.  I'm really pleased for her, although somewhat apprehensive of how much I may have to be adding to my husband's tree (who, incidentally, has no interest whatsoever in his family history - grrrrrr).

You do need to give Ancestry your credit card details to sign up and take care to unsubscribe before the trial period is up.  With that in mind, I can't see that you can fail to win!


120x60: I’m, your Nan
Friday, 2 September 2011

Follow Friday: Lists and Photos

God bless the people this week whose blogs were simple to digest - I seem to have a million and one things to do (all self-imposed, so don't even think of wasting any pity on me) and their posts have been an easy to swallow diversion.  Not that I am suggesting that they were simple to compose, they are just easy on the eye.

First of all Greta at Greta's Genealogy Blog with a great list of things she doesn't care about in genealogy.  I bet we can all add an "amen" at the end of her list.  I won't spoil it by telling you what she lists, I'll just say that I'm with her all the way on # 1 & 2, # 10 would be terrible, but having thought about it, I actually would be amazed and pleased if #5 happened (I live in the UK, remember!).

Over at Nuts from the Family Tree there is a great collection of photographs to go with a Labor Day theme.  My favourite is the barber - I love those tinted photos.

On  non-genealogy topics, Through Streets Broad and Narrow has a simply sumptuous 1950s advert this week - if only I could look like that!  And as ever, Trixie at That's Just Stupid What You Said, keeps me in stitches - unlike her I don't have a Zac Ephron crush, but looking at those pictures, I could be guilty of an inappropriate fleeting thought!

A New Blog

One of the best and most exciting parts of my family history journey has not been into the past, but into the present - finding "lost" cousins.  It is such a buzz to find a cousin, particularly when you hit it off - even if you don't, you usually find out a little bit of information that's useful!  So, with this in mind, I have started a new blog - The Cousin Hunter.

Some of my motivation is purely selfish - to help me find my own cousins.  As I explain (quite badly, I fear) in my opening post, I am slowly getting to grips with what the search engines like - and they like Blogger.  So, if I mention the names of the families I am looking for, they rank highly with the search engines and so I am visible to cousins who might be looking for me.

I would also like the new blog to act as a resource eventually, with advice and perhaps a message board or forum.  However, it is early days and for now it is just a few pages of mainly personal information.  I hope it will progress though, particularly the "Successfully Found" page!
Thursday, 1 September 2011

Thrifty Thursday: Ancestry UK Freebie

You may well have had the email or seen the adverts, but in case you didn't, Ancestry UK are allowing free access to their immigration records for eight days - 29th August to 5th September.  This means that you will get the benefit of Worldwide Membership for that time.  Check out Ancestry for yourself - I've even managed to put in a posh search box!


 300x250: Free Immigration Records




Can I also recommend Ancestry's occupation records.  The recently released Railworker Records have proved a treasure trove for me, providing one great-great grandfather's date of birth, date of retirement, and his promotion records.  His son didn't fair so well - he was sacked for absence without permission, which I notice ties in with the date of his son's birth - clearly he decided to take  paternity leave before it was even invented.  Also found a nice record of a payment to a great-uncle for his help in fire watching during World War Two.
 

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