I’m aiming to write and post a little bit each day about the family history research I’m doing, and what I find, during a week staying in Edinburgh. But for personal privacy, the posting of these travels on AFamilyHistoryBlog will be delayed by a few days, and will not necessarily be in day by day order! Some of these posts may be given later tweaks, with added photos, etc.
On Saturday morning I attended a class at the Scottish Genealogy Society’s family history library in Edinburgh. The subject was “Kirk Session Records”, led by Bruce Bishop. I found this very interesting and informative, and learnt a lot about the Scottish Kirk, how it functioned, what kind of records were (and weren’t) kept, and the limitations of those records. It was very useful in understanding how to make good use of these records in family history research.
During the afternoon I used the Edinburgh Central Library, to look at the OPR microfilm for Kirknewton parish – looking for the WALKER family at Overtown. I made some notes and printed off some images from the records, but I didn’t identify anything particularly new there!
During the last week I’ve been looking at the HART family (on the SWAIN side of my family tree), who come from the area around Castle Church, and Seighford, near Stafford. I began by reviewing some records that I got from FindMyPast.com during their weekend of free access last month. Then, when I started searching for more information on-line, I found 5 family trees on different websites, which all appear to cover the same HART family. But each tree is a bit different!
Some of those differences are due to different focuses, on different lines or branches of the family (which is fine). But some of the differences are clear contradictions; giving different parents, or spouses, or dates of death, etc.! So I’m not sure which tree to most believe!
Here are links to two individual profiles in each tree, to start comparing;
(These two profiles are each very similar in all five trees. But as you explore out from them, into the wider family you’ll begin to see the differences! Some of the difference is in the scope of each tree, which is fine. But some are clear discrepancies, which probably stem from different assumptions being made by different people about the evidence from available records, or from people having access to different sets of records/sources.)
I’ve made attempts to contact/e-mail several people who appear to be responsible for these trees or the details that they contain, in the hope of getting more details and a better understanding of the trees, and the sources of their information. But so far I have only had an initial reply from one person, and I’m hoping to hear more about the sources of their information.
Due to this lack of contact, I thought that I should write about it here; about what I know and where I think the links are; to provide “cousin bait” in the hope the some people who are in the know about these trees will find this post and make contact to provide more information and confirm (or dismiss) the connection that I think I’ve made!
A common source for several of these on-line trees appears to be a book titled “Abraham and Lucy Hart; their lives”, by Joyce E. Neill, published in New Zealand in 1981 (75 pages), which I would be interested to know more about. What does it say and what are its sources?
All I can do for now is post what I know, and where I think the link is, in the hope that someone will see this and be able to fill in my uncertainties by contacting me.
Most of the information that I have, comes from my Great Uncle, David SWAIN. He has previously sent me the following details about his paternal grandmother (my 2x Gt-grandmother [ii]), Ellen HART (1846 – 1938);
Ellen was born on the 25th of August 1846 in the Parish of Silkmore- Castle Church Staffordshire. Her Father Charles HART was a well known Coachman her mother Ann (nee WARD). Ellen married James Christopher SWAIN on the 6th march 1870. At this time she was living at Green Hill Worcester.
As my memory serves she was quite a small lady and I am sure was the strength of her family as James appeared to spend much time away on business. She had nine children over a period of 14 years from Allen in 1871 to Nellie in 1885; five boys and four girls.
In 1901 census (James died in 1900), she and her family were living at 6 Avon Street Leicester, and the 1911 census shows she and six of her children were living at 315 East Park Road leicester.
When we visited her she lived with her son Arthur Harry in his house ‘Darvel’ 129 Letchworth Road, Western Park, Leicester. How long she had lived there I do not know.
Ellen died at this address, on the 10th march 1938, aged 91, and was buried in the family vault in the Welford Road cemetery, Leicester, on the 14th march.
When I searched on FindMyPast last month, I found a census record from 1851, for the young Ellen HART and her family, living at “Rising Brook”, in Castle Church. It shows;
Charles HART, head (Ellen’s father), age 48, a farm labourer, born (cir.1802-03) in Seighford, Staff. (I believe the 1861 census gives his occupation as a “Coachman”. But FindMyPast appears not to have indexed the 1861 census correctly, to find him! )
Anne HART, wife (Ellen’s mother), age 41, born (cir.1809-10) in Stafford.
Mary WARD, mother-in-law (Ellen’s maternal grandmother), age 75, in receipt of Parish Relief, born (cir.1775-76) in Bushbury, Staffordshire (now in Wolverhampton).
John WARD, father-in-law (Ellen’s maternal grandfather), age 74, formerly a Cordwainer (shoemaker), born (cir.1776-77) in Bushbury, Staffordshire.
John HART, son (Ellen’s brother), age 18, a Cordwainer (shoemaker), born (cir.1832-33) in Stafford.
Martin HART, son (Ellen’s brother), age 15, a Labourer’s son, born (cir.1835-36) in Castle Church.
Ellen HART, son (Ellen herself), age 4, a Labourer’s dau., born (cir.1846-47) in Castle Church.
On the following census page, two “niece”s (Ellen’s cousins) are also named;
Anne PADMORE, niece (Ellen’s cousin), age 8, a Cordwainer’s daughter, born (cir.1842-43) in Stafford.
Emma PADMORE, niece (Ellen’s cousin), age 1, a Cordwainer’s daughter, born (cir.1849-50) in Stafford.
I also found an 1881 census record, which I believe is for the same Charles HART (Ellen’s father), at 4 Copes Buildings, Stafford. The Copes Buildings lay between Eastgate Street and South Walls, in Stafford. The area was demolished in 1964, and a Police Station now occupies the site. See www.search.StaffsPastTrack.org.uk .
Charles is a widow, aged 78, and brother of Matilda PARKER (his older sister), who is also a widow, age 81, born (cir.1799-1800) in Seighford, Staffordshire. Also in this household is Matilda’s granddaughter, also called Matilda PARKER, age 16, a machinist, born (cir.1864-65) in Stafford.
There are death records (which I have yet to confirm), of the right ages, for “Anne HART” in 1869, and “Charles HART” in 1885.
With these census records, I then went looking on FindMyPast for marriage records. I found the records for Charles HART and Anne WARD, married at St Mary’s, Stafford, on 27th December 1830, and (I think) for Anne’s parents; John WARD and Mary DANFORD, married at St Mary’s, Stafford, on 27th January 1800.
I also turned to www.freereg.org.uk to help me identify records. Here I believe I’ve identified Anne’s birth record;
Ann WARD; b.16/11/1809, chr. 19/11/1809, at St Mary’s, Stafford.
I’ve identified a number of children christened at St Mary’s, Stafford, to parents “John and Mary WARD”. But I’m not sure that they’re all the same family! There appear to have been more than one “John and Mary WARD” in the parish at the time! From about 1812, the “father’s occupation” is recorded in the transcribed register. One entry records the father’s occupation as a “farmer”, 2 as a “labourer”, and 2 as a “shoemaker”. It is likely (but by no means certain) that these are 3 (or more) different families! With the earlier records it is impossible to tell!
Thomas WARD; b.26/8/1801, chr. 6/9/1801.
William WARD; b.3/5/1804, chr. 6/5/1804.
Ann WARD; b.16/11/1809, chr. 19/11/1809.
Edward WARD; chr. 21/4/1813, reg.no.59 . (father’s occupation; farmer)
Abraham WARD; chr. 9/7/1815, reg.no.474 . (father’s occupation; shoemaker). Abraham was buried; 8/2/1816 – 7mths – at St Chad’s, Stafford.
John WARD; chr. 22/12/1815, reg.no.548. (father’s occupation; labourer)
Francis WARD (M); chr. 4/6/1817, reg.no.819. (father’s occupation; shoemaker)
William WARD; chr. 3/3/1819, reg.no.1153. (father’s occupation; labourer)
When I turned to the HART side, I found on www.freereg.org.uk records of 14 children christened to “Thomas & Elizabeth HART”, at St.Chad’s, in Seighford, dated between 1796 and 1811, including Charles HART, chr. 24/1/1803, and Matilda HART, chr. 3/4/1801. Initially I wondered if this was really possible! So many births, so close to each other (many are 13 month, or less, apart!). Maybe there were two couples with the same name in the village (two cousins called Thomas HART, living in the village, would not be unexpected!). But the HART family trees that I’ve now found on-line appear to confirm that this one couple had a total of 18 children between 1796 and 1814.
After the FindMyPast free weekend, I put these records aside for a while, until last week when I began to look at them again. This led to me doing some more general web searches for the HART family, which is when I began to find the on-line family trees that I mentioned at the start of this post. One tree identifies the maiden name of Charles HART’s mother as “Elizabeth CAPENHURST”. All identify Charles’ paternal grandparents as John HART and Hannah MARTIN.
Some of these trees go back another two generations. But they don’t all agree on the details of who the earlier generations were! At least 3 trees cite a book titled “Abraham and Lucy Hart; their lives”, by Joyce E. Neill, published in New Zealand in 1981 (75 pages), as one of their sources. Abraham appears to be a younger brother of my ancestor Charles HART, and is one of two brothers who, after marrying in England, emigrated to New Zealand and, it would seem, had large families out there.
If you’re reading this and know more about this HART family, and about the sources which any or all of these on-line trees are based on, I would be interested to know. I want to understand what evidence these trees are based on before I fully recognise any of them as part of my family tree. Please leave a comment below, or use the Contact Page to get in touch.
After reading about the WIGHAM family (on the WALTON side of my family tree), and discovering how good the Quakers records are, that are now freely available on-line, and a seaming propensity of the Quakers in the 1800’s to publish books about their family histories, I decided to do some web searches to see what else I could turn up in other parts of my ancestry.
On the ELLIOTT side of my family are the FRYs; a Quaker family, well known for chocolate making and prison reform. The FRY family is very well recorded, and has long been the longest traced line of my ancestry that I know of, going back to my 13x Gt-Grandparents. Several other (perhaps notable) Quaker families married into the FRY line, of whom I have some details, but also an impression that there is a lot more available to find. Among these are CLARENCE, of Sampford, in Essex, and STORRS, of Chesterfield, Derbyshire.
So a few weeks ago, after doing a few Google searches trying different surnames, places, and different combinations of them, I found a book about the STORRS family; THE STORRS FAMILY; Genealogical and other Memoranda, by Charles STORRS, published privately in New York, USA, in 1886. So I’ve been reading this over the last couple of weeks and trying to draw some trees from it!
In my family tree, I have details a couple of generations of the STORRS of Chesterfield. Two sisters; Mary and Martha STORRS, married two FRY brothers; John and Richard FRY, in the 1720’s. I had some details for Mary and Martha STORRS’s parents and grandparents, but no further back! This book; THE STORRS FAMILY; Genealogical and other Memoranda, pushes the details I have back another 4 generations to my 13x Gt-Grandparents, making it as long as the FRY line.
The book begins with a look at the origins of the STORRS family name, and a rather tenuous look at a STORRS family from Lancashire, with connections to Aristocracy, based on details that the author obtained from the College of Arms, in London, in 1879! There seems to be no clear evidence for a connection between this family and the STORRS who are the subject of the rest of the book!
From page 19, a proper family tree begins to emerge, interwoven with the author’s story of his journeys to discover the information. The author identifies the STORRS family as originating from Sutton cum Lound; 3 miles north of Retford, in Nottinghamshire. Charles STORRS (the descendant of Samuel STORRS; an emigrant to America) had been in touch with various members of the STORRS and FRY families in Britain, and describes a visit that he made to Sutton cum Lound in 1867. He had subsequently obtained copies of the wills of a succession of STORRS family members, from a Dr John SYKES, M.D. of Doncaster, the earliest being one by a William STORRS of Sutton cum Lound, dated 1557.
What follows is my attempt to summarise the genealogy of the STORRS family, as described in the book, focusing on my direct ancestral line. Much of this comes straight from the book, but with some comments of my own. I try to distinguish between the “facts” derived directly from the transcribed wills, the assumptions/interpretations of the book’s author, Charles STORRS, and my own assumptions/interpretations. My own assumptions, and those of Charles STORRS, should be treated with caution!
The will of William STORRS [xiii](1), “of Lound of the parish of Sutton” was dated 3rd August 1557, and was proved at York on 6th October 1557. It names his wife, Dorothe, and 5 children; 2 sons;
and 3 daughters;
William’s will also mentions a Thomas STIRROPP (associated with his daughter, Elizabeth); John and William STIRROPP, and Robert HAWMONDE as witnesses, and John, Thomas, and X’ofer (? Christopher?) RAYNE as “supervisors” of his will.
The will of Robert STORRS [xii](2) “of Lounde in the parish of Sutton and in the County of Nottingham, Husbandman” was dated 16th May 1588, and was proved at York on 5th February 1588-9. It appears that Robert had been married twice (this is the suggestion of the book’s author, Charles STORRS; though it is not entirely clear from the transcribed will!). The son of the first wife was Cordall STORRS [xi](3). The book’s author suggests that the name “Cordall” may have come from his mother’s maiden surname, being “an old surname in Devonshire”.
Robert’s will goes on to name his (2nd) wife as Mabbell, and her 4 children;
It also mentions John and Thomas HAMOND as “supervisors” of his will, and Thomas STIRROPE, Thomas PYE, and John WILKINSON as witnesses.
The will of Cordall STORRS [xi](3) “of Lound in the county of Nottingham” was dated 23rd February 1615-16, and proved at York on 10th October 1616. Cordall names his wife Isabell(a), his mother, Mabel (presumably his step-mother!), his brothers, Robert and John, and sisters, Dorothy and Anne. He names the following children:
Cordall also names two uncles; John and Nicholas HAMOND, making them supervisors of his will. From this comes an assumption that his (step-)mother’s maiden name may have been HAMOND. Also mentioned are Robarte and Thomas HAMOND, and “Thomas STIRROPP of Lincoln, Gent.”
The next will is that of Robert STORRS [xi](4), (half-)brother of Cordall (3), “of Lound in the parish of Sutton upon Lound in the county of Nottingham, Yeoman”, dated 12th July 1658, and proved at York, 29 March 1662. He was buried in Sutton on 23rd Dec. 1661. He appears to have been a bachelor as he names no descendants of his own. He mentions his deceased brother Cordall STORRS (3), his nephew Thomas (5), son of Cordall, and Thomas’s children; Thomas, Cordall (7) (who Robert makes his executor), Samuel, Joseph, Elizabeth and Mary.
Also named in this list are a Robert, and Sara STORRS, who do not fit with the baptism records for the children of Thomas STORRS (5) (see below)! The book’s author suggests that Sara may be the daughter of William STORRS (6). But by my reading of this will, I wonder if these are grandchildren of Thomas (5), by his son, Thomas!
Robert also names the children of a Thomas HAMOND (deceased) as; Jervis HAMOND, Marie HAMOND, and Elizabeth SCOTT (I suspect these were his cousins, or the children of a cousin!), and the unnamed “children of William REYNES”.
No will of Thomas Storrs [x](5) has been found. He was baptised on 25th April 1605, in the parish of Sutton cum Lound, and married Mary —— . Their children were baptised in the parish church of Sutton as follows:
Thomas; bapt. 27th Jan. 1632-3.
Cordall (7); bapt. 21st Sept. 1635.
George; bapt. 29th April 1638; d. April 1653.
Samuel; bapt. 7th Dec. 1640; the emigrant to America.
Joseph; bapt. 20th Aug. 1643.
Elizabeth; bapt. 8th Feb. 1648-9.
Mary; bapt. 2nd Nov. 1650
William STORRS [x](6) was baptised on 24th Feb. 1610. His will, dated 29th March 1643, was proved at York on 17th October 1643. He died aged just thirty-three. In his will, William “of Sutton upon Lound in the county of Nottingham, Yeoman” makes his wife, Mary, executrix, and names his mother as “Isabell Greene, widow”, which makes it appear that she married a second time. He names his children;
William mentions the children of his brother, Thomas (5) (unnamed, except for Cordall (7).), those of his sister, Mary, who was bapt. 20th Dec. 1607 (her children are also unnamed), and his uncle, John STORRS (brother of Robert (4).). William makes his “uncle John STORRS”, and a Robert CRUMWELL “supvisors” of his will.
The will of Cordall STORRS [ix](7), son of Thomas (5), “of Lound in the parish of Sutton in the county of Nottingham, Yeoman”, is dated 1st November 1698, and was proved at York, 10th April 1699. In it he mentions his wife, Anne, whom he makes executrix; his three sons;
and his daughters;
Dorothy (m. MARRIOTT).
Mary (m. PERKINS).
He also mentions “two grandchildren, daughters of Dorothy MARRIOTT”.
The book’s author, Charles STORRS, suggests that Cordall STORRS (7) “was married twice”, citing a record from the Sutton parish registers of a marriage on 9th July 1655, “between Cordall STORRS, Yeoman, and Elizabeth CRUMWELL, spinster”. A “Robert CROMWELL” (or CRUMWELL) was a witness to Cordall’s will, along with a James MASON, and Thomas PYE. One other name that appears in Cordall’s will is his “Brother Henry HEADLEY, Gent”. I wonder if this is a brother of Cordall’s wife, Anne! But its not clear.
There is a stone in the floor of the aisle of St Bartholomew’s Church, in Sutton cum Lound, to the memory of this Cordall STORRS who died in 1698, aged 63, and to his wife, Anne, who died on 4th July 1711.
William STORRS [ix](8), the eldest son of William (6) and his wife, Mary, was baptised on 30th June 1638. He joined the Society of Friends (Quakers) and settled at Chesterfield. “The family which he founded was well known, his descendants having intermarried with many distinguished families among the Society of Friends”. The book’s author, Charles STORRS, writes that he has “received genealogical charts from several of these descendants, in some of which he (William (8)) is named as “Storrs of Lound”.”.
One family tree (which I copy below), is printed in Charles STORRS’ book, showing William STORRS (8), and four generations of his descendants. My 5x Gt-grandfather, Henry FRY is in the bottom left-hand corner of this tree.
Please click on the image below to view at full resolution.
William STORRS [ix](8) married Sarah SYKES (born in 1638), the daughter of William SYKES, “Lord of the Manor of Leeds in Yorkshire, Mayor of that town”, and his wife, Grace JENKINSON. George Poulson’s “History of Holderness, Part II”, page 92 is cited as a reference for more details about the SYKES family line. I’ve found several other publications that also describe the SYKES family line. See;
The children of William STORRS and Sarah SYKES were;
Joseph (9), b. 1670
John, b. 1671
Esther, b. 1673
Sarah, b. 1675
Caleb, b. 1680
Joshua, b. 1683
Mary, b. 1686
William and Sarah’s eldest son, Joseph STORRS [viii](9), married in 1702, to Katharine FROST, daughter of Henry FROST of Bridlington, Yorkshire. The book cites records kept by the Quakers, and by the FRY family, which tell something of the lives and ministry of Joseph and Katharine.
Two of Joseph and Katharine’s daughters, Mary and Martha, married brothers, John and Richard FRY.
John and Mary’s eldest son, Joseph FRY, became a type-founder and chocolate maker based in Bristol. For the remainder of my family line, you can see my ELLIOTT tree page.
The book, THE STORRS FAMILY Genealogy goes on to talk a little about some other branches of the STORRS family in Britain, before focusing particularly on the descendants of Samuel STORRS (a son of Thomas Storrs (5)) who emigrated to America.
I would be interested to hear from anyone who knows more about the people named above; particularly regarding the nature of some of the relationships which are unclear from the details available here. Please leave a comment below, or use the Contact Page to get in touch.
A few weekends ago I spent quite some time on FindMyPast, trying to make best use of their weekend of free access to birth, marriage, death, and census records. I posted on Facebook about it at the time. I downloaded and saved a lot of images from censuses and parish registers. But most of what I found was only to confirm details I already had. There were no big new finds. But there were a few small tweaks to some details that I previously had!
These “tweaks” made me look back at what I’ve previously included on the pages of aFamilyHistoryBlog, and I realised that I needed to do a big update to some of the material that I’ve shared here; to incorporate all of the new things that I’ve found over the last year or two, and an accumulation of other small tweaks. So I’ve been busy working on that over the last 2 or 3 weeks, and I’ve just finished updating the main details of my Family Trees pages.
I have also been rewriting my Surnames of Interest list, tweaking dates, adding details of some individuals with each surname, and expanding the list to include many more surnames – like those where I only know of one or two generations of the family with that surname.
You can see aFamilyHistoryBlog – SURNAMES of Interest page, or look below for a copy of my February 2017 version of the list. You might also be interested to look back to my previous “Names of Interest” posts to compare. See; January 2016, and January 2014. There will be some further refinements made the the SURNAMES page, adding hyperlinks to tagged names, etc.
Note; I have not yet touched the “locations” of interest in this Feb 2017 update. It is another thing that I need to look at!
I have also created 8 sub-pages; one for the surnames of interest in each of the 8 branches of my family tree that I present on this blog (from each of my Great Grandparents);
BARKER. [HUTCHISON]; from Kirkcaldy, Fife (FIF); 1650 – 1800. Two BARKER sisters married two brothers in the OLIPHANT family (see OLIPHANT and BARKER family papers). Mary BARKER [v] (1733 – 1775), m. 1763 – to William OLIPHANT. Christian BARKER [v] (1741 – 1777), m. 1776 – to Henry OLIPHANT. [FP] [TR]
BARR. [WALTON]; Renfrewshire (REW); 1700 – 1850. Mary BARR [v] (Y? – Y?), m. James HENDERSON. Son John HENDERSON [iv], b. 1797, Houston, REW. [TR]
BARRON.(or BARON) [WALKER]; from Corstorphine, Mid Lothian (MLN); 1650 – 1800. Elizabeth BARRON [v], b. ???, d. ???, m. 1728, in Corstorphine (MLN)/Kirkliston (WLN) – to William WALKER. The BARRONs lived at “Clay-Walls” (or Kershall) near Gogar in Corstorphine parish, Mid Lothian, during the 1700s. They may be related to the BARONs of Preston (near Linlithgow), who’s details you can find HERE. [FP][PCR]
BASSETT. [EYRE]; from Gloucestershire (GLS); 1800 – 1900. Elizabeth BASSETT [iii], b.1829, d.???, m.1848 – to John BUCKNALL (1822 – 1887). [TR]
BAXTER. [TWITE]; from Sibsey, Lincolnshire (LIN); 1750 – 1900. Sarah BAXTER [iv] was born in Sibsey, circa 1789-90 (ref. Censuses), d. 1878. She married Joseph MAWER in 1822. But because there were two “Sarah BAXTER”s christened at the right date in Sibsey, I’m not sure which is her, or who her parents were! [PCR]
BELL. (or BETT / BUTT / BEATT). [HUTCHISON]; from Kirkcaldy, Fife (FIF); 1700 – 1800. The surname BELL (and spelling variations) relate to several different individuals from the same geographical area, who all married into the OLIPHANT and BARKER families. It is not clear whether these individuals all come from the same “BELL” family, or from several unrelated families with the same/similar surnames! Janet BELL (or BUTT) [vi] (Y? – Y?) m. Robert OLIPHANT (cir.1696 – 1772), and Christian BELL (or BETT) [vi] (Y? – Y?) m.1733, George BARKER (1704 – Y?). [FP] [TR]
BETT. [HUTCHISON]; from Kirkcaldy, Fife (FIF); 1700 – 1800. See note on “BELL”, above. Isabel BETT (or BEATT) [v] (Y? – Y?), m. 1773, in Kirkcaldy – to John HUTCHISON (or HUTCHESON). [TR] [PCR]
BINNIE. [HUTCHISON]; from Cramond, Mid Lothian (MLN); 1700 – 1800. Robert BINNIE [v] (Y? – Y?), m. 1768, at Cramond, MLN – to Janet GEDDES. Their daughter, Joanna BINNIE [iv] (1782, Cramond – Y?), m. 1804 – to Alexander HUTCHISON. [TR] [PCR]
BLACK. [CADZOW]; from Carnwath, Lanark (LKS); 1750 – 1900. David BLACK [iii], b.cir. 1802, Carnwath, LKS, d. ???, m. Agnes MANN. Their daughter, Helen BLACK [ii], b. 1838, Carluke, Lanark, d. 1923, m. 1862, at Livingston, WLN – to James CADZOW of Lesmahagow. [TR][PCR]
BROWN. [ELLIOTT]; from ??? Croydon, Hertfordshire (HRT); 1750 – 1900. Mary BROWN [iii], b.?, d.cir. 1869, m. John (Jack) ELLIOTT. Their son, Joseph John ELLIOTT [ii], b. 1835, in Croydon, HRT, m. Lucy Elizabeth FRY. [TR] [PP]
BUCK. [ELLIOTT]; from Exeter, Devon (DEV); 1700 – 1900. Elizabeth BUCK [iv] (1775, Exeter – 1852, Exeter), m. 1801, – to Richard CLARENCE. Their daughter, Caroline Mary CLARENCE [iii] (1809, Bermondsey, LND – 1874), m. 1837, in Gurnsey – to Edmund FRY. [TR]
BUCKNALL. [EYRE]; from Stroud, Gloucestershire (GLS); 1700 – 1900. The BUCKNALL family is traced back to Samuel BUCKNALL [v] (1763 – 1821), m. 1790 – to Ann CLISSOLD (1765 – 1827). Margaret BUCKNALL [ii] (1857, Rodborough, Stroud, GLS – 1935, Upper Norwood, London), m. 1880 – to Alfred James EYRE. [TR]
CADZOW. (or CAGOW / KADZOW); from Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire (LKS); 1700 – 1900. William CAIGOW [vi], b.?, d.?, m. Janet WILSON. Their son, William CAGOW [v], b. 1760, Carnwarth, LKS, d. 1858, Hallhill, Lesmahagow, m. Jean MANUEL. Download a CADZOW ancestor “pedigree” file (.pdf) HERE. [TR]
CLARENCE. [ELLIOTT]; from Sampford, Essex (ESS); 1700 – 1900. The CLARENCE family is traced back to about 1500, around Great Sampford, in Essex. Caroline Mary CLARENCE [iii] (1809, Bermondsey, LND – 1874), m. 1837, in Gurnsey – to Edmund FRY. See; http://studymore.org.uk/quasho.htm#Fryfamily . [TR] [PP]
CLISSOLD. [EYRE]; from Stroud, Gloucestershire (GLS); 1700 – 1850. Stephen CLISSOLD [vi] (Y? – Y?), m. Mary WATT (???? – 1789). Their daughter Ann CLISSOLD [v] (1765 – 1827), m. 1790 – to Samuel BUCKNALL (1763 – 1821). [TR]
DAVIE. [WALKER]; from West Lothian (WLN) / Lanarkshire (LKS); 1650 – 1750. Marion DAVIE married Thomas JOHNSTON (a farmer at East Mains of Ballencrieff, near Bathgate, West Lothian), and had 3 children, born in 1723, 1724, and 1728. It has been suggested in documents about the JOHNSTON family, that Marion DAVIE was related to the Covenanter, James DAVIE, who was killed while attending a conventicle at Blackdub, in about 1673, by a party of dragoons, and was buried in the secluded old churchyard of Bathgate, where there is a stone to his memory. I have no documentation as yet to verify this claim. See; https://afamilyhistoryblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/22/mair-and-johnston-part1/ [PP] [TR] [TBC]
DOUNS. [WALKER]; from Uphall, West Lothian (WLN); 1750 – 1850. Barbara DOUNS [iv], b.?, d.?, m. George NEIL. Their daughter, Isobel NEIL [iii], b. 1788, Uphall, WLN, d. 1860, m. 1816 – to John WALKER. [FP][PCR]
ELLIOTT. (or ELLETT); from Croydon, Hertfordshire (HRT); 1750 – 1900. John (Jack) ELLIOTT [iii], b. 1793, d. 1864, m. Mary BROWN. Their son, Joseph John ELLIOTT [ii], b. 1835, in Croydon, HRT, m. 1864, in Brighton – to Lucy Elizabeth FRY. Download an ELLIOTT ancestor “pedigree” file (.pdf) HERE. [TR] [PP]
EYRE.; from Lambeth/Sydenham, London (LND / KEN); 1800 – 1900. Edward EYRE [iv], b. 1800, d.?. His son, Alfred George EYRE [iii], b. 1832, d.?, m. Emily SMITH. Their son, Alfred James EYRE [ii] (1853 – 1919) was Organist at the Crystal Palace, and Master of Music at St John’s Church, Upper Norwood. Download an EYRE ancestor “pedigree” file (.pdf) HERE. [TR] [PP]
FLINT. [WALKER]; from West Lothian (WLN); 1700 – 1800. John FLINT [vi], b.?, d.?, m. Marian MURKEL. Their daughter, Janet FLINT [v], b. 1739, d. 1817, m. 1766, at Kirkliston / Mid Calder (WLN) – to James WALKER. [FP][PCR][MI]
FRY. [ELLIOTT]; from Bristol / Wiltshire (WIL); All dates. A well known family of Quakers originating from Sutton Benger in Wiltshire, who became chocolate makers and type-founders in Bristol. Also related by marriage to Elizabeth FRY (nee GURNEY), the famous campaigner for prison reform in the early 1800′s. See; http://studymore.org.uk/quasho.htm#Fryfamily . Lucy Elizabeth FRY [ii], b. 1844, Plymouth, DEV, d. 1931, m. 1864, in Brighton – to Joseph John ELLIOTT. [TR] [PP]
GANDY. [WALTON]; from Fallowfield, Lancashire (LAN); pre 1850. Mary GANDY [iv], (Y? – Y?), m. ??? – to John WALTON, of Longsight Hall, Fallowfield, Manchester [TBC] [TR]
GEDDES. [HUTCHISON]; Mid Lothian (MLN); 1700 – 1800. Janet GEDDES [v] (Y? – Y?), m. 1768, at Cramond, MLN – to Robert BINNIE. Their daughter, Joanna BINNIE [iv] (1782, Cramond – Y?), m. 1804 – to Alexander HUTCHISON. [TR] [PCR]
GREEN. [TWITE]; from Boston, Lincolnshire / Lewisham/Holborn, London (LIN/LND); 1800 – 1900. Susannah GREEN [iii], b.cir.1825, Boston (LIN), d. 1893, m. 1851, in Lewisham (LND) – to George TWITE. Susannah’s father, Thomas GREEN [iv] was a wheelwright from Boston (LIN). [TR][PCR]
HART. (or HEART) [SWAIN]; from Staffordshire (STS); 1800 – 1900. Ellen HART [ii] (or HEART), b. 1846, Castle Church, Stafford (STS), d. 1938, Western Park, Leicester (LEI), m. 1870, at Whittington, Worcester (WOR) – to James Christopher SWAIN. [TR]
HENDERSON. [CADZOW]; from Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire (LKS); 1700 – 1900. Elizabeth HENDERSON, b. ???, d. 1795, m. William MUIR. Their daughter, Margaret MUIR, b. 1795, d. 1857, m. 1816, at Dalserf (LKS) – to William KADZOW (CADZOW). (n.b. as of January 2017, all tags for “HENDERSON” on aFamilyHistoryBlog relate to those on the WALTON branch of Matt’s family, who are not related to those on the CADZOW branch!). [TR]
HENDERSON. [WALTON]; from Paisley, Renfrewshire (REW); 1700 – 1900. Helen Urie HENDERSON [ii], (1859, Paisley, REW – 1945), m. 1890 – to Edward Arthur WALTON. (n.b. these are not related to the “HENDERSON”s on the CADZOW branch of Matt’s family!). [TR]
HUTCHISON.; from Kirkcaldy, Fife (FIF); 1700 – 1900. John HUTCHISON (or HUTCHESON) [v] (Y? – Y?), m. 1773, in Kirkcaldy – to Isabel BETT (or BEATT). Robert HUTCHISON [iii] (1806 – 1883) was a wheat & grain merchant in Kirkcaldy. Download a HUTCHISON ancestor “pedigree” file (.pdf) HERE. [FP][TR][PCR]
JAMES. [SWAIN]; from Birmingham, (Staffordshire/Warwickshire?) (STS / WAR); 1750 – 1900. Ann JAMES [iv], m. 1813, at St Martin, Birmingham (WAR) – to Christopher JOHNSON.
JOHNSON. [SWAIN]; from Birmingham, (Staffordshire/Warwickshire?) (STS / WAR); 1750 – 1900. Isabella JOHNSON [iii], b.cir. 1817, Birmingham?, d. 1882, Stafford, m. 1837, at St Martin, Birmingham (WAR) – to James SWAIN. [TR]
JOHNSTON [WALKER]; from Bathgate, West Lothian (WLN); 1650 – 1900. The earliest generations (traced back to 1692) were farmers at East Mains of Ballencrieff, Dykeside, and Nethermuir, near Bathgate. Subsequent generations of the JOHNSTON family were involved in banking in Bathgate, and in printing & publishing in Falkirk. I have a printed family tree “of the JOHNSTON family, Bathgate” – compiled by Alexander A. CUTHBERT. I believe this tree dates from about 1906 (the last date on the tree). See this tree on the blog page, HERE. [FP] [TR] [PCR] [PP] [MI]
KADZOW. (see CADZOW)
KEY. [HUTCHISON]; from West Lothian (WLN); 1800 – 1900. John KEY [iii], (Y? – Y?), m. 1845 – to Sarah WHITE (or WHYTE). Their daughter, Sarah “Hannah” KEY [ii] (1850 – 1938), m. Henry William HUTCHISON. [TR]
KING. [EYRE]; from Gloucestershire (GLS); 1750 – 1900. Mary KING [iv] (???? – 1874), m. 1822 – to Edwin BUCKNALL (1791 – 1869). [TR]
MANN. [CADZOW]; from Carnwath, Lanark (LKS); 1750 – 1900. Agnes MANN [iii], b.cir. 1803, Carnwath, LKS, d. ???, m. David BLACK. Their daughter, Helen BLACK [ii], b. 1838, Carluke, Lanark, d. 1923, m. 1862, at Livingston, WLN – to James CADZOW of Lesmahagow. [TR][PCR]
MANUEL. [CADZOW]; from Lanark (LKS); 1700 – 1850. Jean MANUEL [iv], b. ?, d. ?, m. William CAGOW (or CADZOW). Children born in 1786 and 1788, in Lesmahagow, LKS. [TR]
MAWER [TWITE]; lived at Sibsey, Lincolnshire (LIN); 1750 – 1900. Census records identify Joseph MAWER [iv] as a “wheelwright” and “carpenter” who was born circa 1800, at Walsoken, Wisbech, on the Lincolnshire/Norfolk border. But he appears to have lived most of his life in Sibsey, and I suspect that he had earlier family ties to this village. He married Sarah BAXTER, in Sibsey, in 1822. She was about 10 years older than him! Joseph died in 1883. Their granddaughter, Annie MAWER [ii] married Charles TWITE. [TR][PCR]
MUIR. [CADZOW]; from Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire (LKS); 1700 – 1850. William MUIR [iv], b. 1750, d. 1796, m. Elizabeth HENDERSON. Their daughter, Margaret MUIR [iii], b. 1795, d. 1857, m. 1816, at Dalserf (LKS) – to William KADZOW (CADZOW). [TR]
MURKEL. [WALKER]; from West Lothian (WLN); 1700 – 1800. Marian MURKEL [v], b.?, d.?, m. John FLINT. Their daughter, Janet FLINT [iv], b. 1739, d. 1817, m. 1766, at Kirkliston / Mid Calder (WLN) – to James WALKER. [FP][PCR][MI]
NEIL. [WALKER]; from Uphall, West Lothian (WLN); 1750 – 1850. George NEIL [iv], b.?, d.?, m. Barbara DOUNS. Their daughter, Isobel NEIL [iii], b. 1788, Uphall, WLN, d. 1860, m. 1816 – to John WALKER. [FP][PCR]
OLIPHANT. [HUTCHISON] from Kirkcaldy, Fife (FIF); 1600 – 1900. Mary OLIPHANT [iii] (1808 – 1852), m. 1837, in Kirkcaldy – to Robert HUTCHISON. Mary OLIPHANT’s parents were 1st Cousins x2 – sharing the same 4 grandparents; Robert OLIPHANT [vi] (cir.1696 – 1772) m. Janet BELL (Y? – Y?), and George BARKER [vi] (1704 – Y?) m.1733, Christian BELL (Y? – Y?). I have posted onto aFamilyHistoryBlog, details of a collection of original OLIPHANT and BARKER family papers – wills, etc. [FP] [TR]
PATRICK. [HUTCHISON] from Kirkcaldy, Fife (FIF); 1650 – 1750. Lucras (or Lucretia) PATRICK [vii], (Y? – Y?) m.1691 – to John BARKER. [TR]
PORTSMOUTH. [ELLIOTT] from Basingstoke, Berkshire (BRK) / Shoreditch, London (LND); 1700 – 1800. Anna PORTSMOUTH [vi] (1732, Basingstoke, BKS – 1803, Bristol), m. 1755, to Joseph FRY, type-founder, printer, and chocolate maker, based in Bristol. See; http://studymore.org.uk/quasho.htm#Fryfamily . [TR] [PP]
RUSSELL. [HUTCHISON]; from Kirkcaldy, Fife (FIF); 1650 – 1750. Jannet RUSSELL [vii] (Y? – Y?), m. James OLIPHANT. Children born circa 1696 – 1710. [TR]
SCOTT. [WALTON]; from Renfrewshire (REW); 1700 – 1850. Elizabeth SCOT [v], (Y? – Y?), m. 1790, at Paisley, REW – to John URIE. Their daughter, Helen URIE [iv], (1798, Ferguslie, REW – 1878, Pollockshields), m. 1818, at High Paisley – to John HENDERSON. [TR]
SMITH. [EYRE]; from London (LND); 1800 – 1900. Emily SMITH [iii] (Y? – Y?), m. Alfred George EYRE. Their son, Alfred James EYRE [ii] (1853 – 1919) was Organist at the Crystal Palace, and Master of Music at St John’s Church, Upper Norwood. (Unconnected to the two SMITH families in the WALKER branch – below).
SWAIN.; from Bristol (WIL) / Birmingham / Staffordshire (STS) / Leicester (LEI); 1750 – 1900. The SWAIN family lived in various locations around the English Midlands. Many of them were involved in Shoe and Boot making. From the latter 1800’s the direct family were settled around Leicester. Earlier generations had connections to the Stafford and Worcester (WOR) areas. James SWAIN [iii], b.cir. 1800 – 1801, Bristol (WIL), d. 1883, Stafford (STS), m. 1837, at St Martin, Birmingham (WAR) – to Isabella JOHNSON. Download a SWAIN ancestor “pedigree” file (.pdf) HERE. [TR]
TABRUM. [ELLIOTT]; from Sampford, Essex (ESS); 1650 – 1800. Ann TABRUM [v] (1717, Old Sampford, ESS – ????), m. 1740 – to John CLARENCE. [TR]
THOMAS. [TWITE]; from Carew, Pembrokeshire (PEM); 1750 – 1850. Mary Ann THOMAS [iv], b.cir. 1796, Carew, Pembrokeshire (PEM), d. 1872, Edmonton, Middlesex (MDX), m. 1819 at Walcot, Bath, Somerset (SOM) – to Joseph TWITE. [TR][PCR]
TWITE.; from Bath, Somerset (SOM), then London (LND); 1750 – 1850. Joseph TWITE [iv] was a shoemaker, b. 1781, d. 1845, at Philip Street, Bath, m. 1819 at Walcot, Bath, Somerset (SOM) – to Mary Ann THOMAS. Their son, George TWITE [iii], b. 1824, became a Butcher at 46 Fetter Lane, Holborn, LND. Download a TWITE ancestor “pedigree” file (.pdf) HERE. [TR][PCR]
URIE. [WALTON]; from Renfrewshire (REW); 1700 – 1900. John URIE [v], (Y? – Y?), m. 1790, at Paisley, REW – to Elizabeth SCOT. Their daughter, Helen URIE [iv], (1798, Ferguslie, REW – 1878, Pollockshields), m. 1818, at High Paisley – to John HENDERSON, who was Provost of Paisley; 1841 – 1844. [TR]
WALKER.; from Kirkliston, West Lothian (WLN); 1650 – 1900. The WALKER family lived and farmed in Kirkliston parish, West Lothian. The first records place them at “Puncheonlaw“, N.E. of Kirkliston village, towards Carlowrie, from 1728. In 1745 they moved S.W. to Hiddlefaulds(or Hiddlefolds). They also had connections at this time to Overtoun farm (or Overton), in Kirknewton, Mid Lothian. During the 1800s they combined the farm at Hiddlefaulds with its neighbour, Kilpunt(or Kilpont), which the family moved to in the 1840s. From here the family moved down to Hertfordshire in 1898. William WALKER [v], b.cir. 1694, d. 1768, m. 1728, in Corstorphine (MLN)/Kirkliston (WLN) – to Elizabeth BARRON.
I am working on a series of blog posts about various old WALKER family papers. Download a WALKER ancestor “pedigree” file (.pdf) HERE. [FP][PCR][MI]
WALTON.; from Fallowfield, Lancashire (LAN); pre 1850. John WALTON [iv], of Longsight Hall, Fallowfield, Manchester, married Mary GANDY (dates unknown!) [TBC]. Their son, Jackson WALTON [iii] (1809 – 1873), moved to Aberdeen and then Glasgow. Download a WALTON ancestor “pedigree”file (.pdf) HERE. (details to be checked. Some vague details, and differing sources which may be contradictory!). [MI] [TR] [PP]
WARD. [SWAIN]; from Staffordshire (STS); 1800 – 1900. Ann WARD [iii], m. 1830 at St Mary’s Church, Stafford (STS) – to Charles HART (or HEART). [TR]
WATT. [EYRE]; from Gloucestershire (GLS); 1700 – 1800. Mary WATT (???? – 1789), m. Stephen CLISSOLD (Y? – Y?). Their daughter Ann CLISSOLD (1765 – 1827), m. 1790 – to Samuel BUCKNALL (1763 – 1821). [TR]
WHITE. (or WHYTE). [HUTCHISON]; from West Lothian (WLN); 1800 – 1900. Sarah WHITE (or WHYTE) [iii], (Y? – Y?), m. 1845 – to John KEY. Their daughter, Sarah “Hannah” KEY [ii] (1850 – 1938), m. Henry William HUTCHISON. [TR]
Counties are abbreviated using the Chapman codes. All locations should be read as being located within the British Isles, unless another country is clearly stated. I have set the “dates of interest” quite broad, to try and cover one or more generations on either side of those that I already know of.
[i] [ii] [iii] [iv] [v] [vi] [vii] [viii] – represents the generation of my family tree that the person named belongs to, counting backwards. [i] = my Great Grandparents. [v] = my 5x Gt Grandparents.
At the end of each entry is a note about the kinds of sources that I have for that branch family;
[FP] = Family Papers, original documents, etc. I generally have high confidence in the accuracy of information from such original sources!
John Wigham, and his wife, Elizabeth (nee DONWIDDY, or DUNWODE) appear to have had amazing Christian faith. Parts of the book read like prayers, praising the Lord for all the things that He had done in and through their lives, and encouraging their children (and descendants) to walk in His path. I think that the strongest of these are in letters, from John, to his daughter-in-law, Barbara Wigham, in April 1800 (pp. 88-90.) and to his son, Amos Wigham, in January 1813 (pp. 107 – 108).
It was also interesting to see letters that John WIGHAM wrote to Elizabeth FRY (nee GURNEY, the prison reformer) who was the wife of a cousin on the opposite side of my family tree (see pp.101-106). This is the first time that I’ve seen records of people from opposite sides of my family tree (in the distant past) communicating with each other!
Page 90 gives a good summery of John Wigham’s life to date, which he ends by saying “I write these memorandums, that when I am gone, my children may be encouraged, by seeing and knowing how He [the Lord] has supported me.” .
The best summaries of their lives are given by John Wigham’s final testimony, dated September 1828 (pp. 121-126), and by the testimonies given by the Aberdeen Monthly Meeting of the Quakers, about John (pp. vii-xiv), and his wife, Elizabeth (pp. 123-126).
Having read the “Memoirs … of John Wigham”, I went on to read “Some Account of the Rise of the Society of Friends in Cornwood in Northumberland”, published in 1848, which says more about the wider WIGHAM family. (Note – that in both books, “Cornwood” appears to be a mis-spelling of “Coanwood“, near Haltwhistle, in Northumberland). It tells of how John Wigham’s grandfather, Cuthbert WIGHAM, became a Quaker in about 1734, and subsequently gave some land next to his house in Coanwood, for a Friends Meeting House, which was built in 1760.
There is a lot more information (on several websites) about the Coanwood Friends Meeting House. See;
The book goes on to tell of a number of Cuthbert WIGHAM’s children and grandchildren, and their spouses, particularly in relation to their involvements within the Society of Friends. It provides quite a good sense of the WIGHAM family tree.
I have not, myself, ever looked very closely before into the family history of the Quaker parts of my family tree! I’ve long known that the Quakers do have very good family history records, evidenced by the fact that, to date, the FRYs (and related families) are the branch of my family tree that I know to be traced furthest back – both in time, and in generations.
Finding this material about the WIGHAM family, in the books mentioned above, and in a number of other sources, has opened my eyes to just how good these Quaker records are, and to how much of it is now freely available on-line – as well as where to go to find the stuff that isn’t yet on-line. There is clearly a lot more material there that I can dig into further, in the future.
A couple of generations remain whose details I have not yet fully checked out, between the WIGHAMs and the family that I know about through direct family knowledge! But from what I’ve seen, I’m pretty sure that they do all genuinely link up. Benjamin Buck (whose family history website led me to the above books) has been able to put me in touch with John Gray, who had written to my Granddad nearly 20 years ago with a tree of the HENDERSON family [see my sources to the WALTON family tree.]. The HENDERSONs are one of those additional links, and John Gray has been able to send me some additional pages of his HENDERSON family tree, with notes, which also add some more names, dates, and details that I didn’t have before.
I just want to say “thank you”, again, to John Little and Benjamin Buck , for their family history websites, which led me to all the materials noted above (and more).
Following my last post, I’ve been looking at details about the WIGHAM family, on a website by Benjamin Beck, who John Little cites as the source for “much of the information” on his site(which I linked to last time). And despite my doubts, I have had a reply from John Little!
I found Benjamin Beck’s family history website wonderfully detailed, although a little difficult to get into at first, without a basic overview/chart of the family trees. But his site is certainly one of the best family history websites that I’ve seen in terms of citing its sources. I wish that more were like that. I aspire to be as good as that, and his site gives me some ideas for areas that I might develop on afamilyhistoryblog.
Following a link to one of Ben’s sources about the WIGHAM family, I’ve just started reading the “Memoirs of the Life, Gospel Labours, and Religious Experience of John Wigham”, published in 1842 (3 years after his death). There are two digitised copies of the book available on-line.
John WIGHAM was evidently a prominent member of the “Society of Friends” (or “Quakers”) in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s, and his Memoirs express a strong Christian faith. I’m enjoying reading his memoirs, and the spirit-filled faith that he writes about.
In e-mail messages we’ve exchanged, Ben Beck has suggested that I may find the Quaker Family History Society of interest. This is certainly something that I’ll be looking at, as I also have well-known Quakers on the opposite side of my family; the FRYs. (See my ELLIOTT tree).
Based on the WIGHAM family tree, from John Little’s website, John WIGHAM appears to be my 6x Gt-grandfather, on my Granddad’s maternal line (see genealogy below). I have yet to check all the in-between links (which I will be doing). But Benjamin Buck’s site (in particular) is so good in its detail, and in citing all of the source records for his information, that I’m in little doubt about its authenticity.
This is a branch of my family that I, myself, have not yet done very much research into.
What I know about Helen Urie Henderson and her descendants comes largely from family knowledge within my immediate extended family. I have some details of Jemima Smeal, James Henderson and their family (and the names of Jemima’s parents) from a family tree and letters sent to my Granddad by a John Gray, dated 1997. See my WALTON family tree.
All earlier details I have only found in the last few days via John Little’s and Benjamin Buck’s websites. So I still want to go through these details for myself to check that they all fit together.
Thank you, to John Little, and Benjamin Buck, for your websites.
A couple of weeks ago I began to have a fresh look for what I could find out about my JOHNSTON ancestors, from Bathgate in West Lothian, in the WALKER branch of my family tree. Now I want to write up about the new things I’ve found.
In “Part 1”, I’ve posted a transcription of an amazing newspaper article, from the “Falkirk Herald”, on Saturday, 15th August 1925; page 11 – which I found a few days ago, via the British Newspaper Archive. The article is full of biographical information about two of my direct ancestors; Thomas JOHNSTON (my 4x Gt-Grandfather), and his father-in-law, Patrick MAIR (my 5x Gt-Grandfather).
“Part 2” is my chance to say what set me off on this, and what I’ve found; to make some more comments about the newspaper article in “Part 1”, and mention some other things that I’ve found.
I begin in September 2016, when I was contacted through AFamilyHistoryBlog by “Nevada Bob” who had been photographing gravestones in Bathgate, for the website FindAGrave.com. Bob asked me if a particular grave was of interest to me in my family history research. That grave wasn’t! But Bob suggested that I keep an eye on the Find A Grave website for anything of interest, as he added more of his photos.
A couple of weeks ago I had another look on the Find A Grave website and saw a photo and transcription, which Bob had added, that very clearly is of interest to me – see HERE. So I got back in touch with Bob, via e-mail, about it. This is the gravestone of John JOHNSTON, his wife – Margaret YOUNG, and 3 of their children. There was some brief (and understandable) confusion, with Bob mistaking a photo that I’ve posted of Margaret JOHNSTON, to be of her mother – Margaret YOUNG, who is named on the tombstone. But that was soon clarified.
Due to this, I was spurred into doing some fresh internet searches looking for anything new that I could find about the Johnston family. I started looking for gravestone records, comparing 2 websites; Find A Grave.com, and BillionGraves.com(which I’ve been using recently, and rather like). The two sites were quite similar, and I found nothing particularly new on either one. You might find that a grave is on one website, but not on another, or has been transcribed slightly differently, or that one site has a better photo than another! So its worth using the different sites.
When searching for the JOHNSTONs had yielded very little new information, I looked back further, and began searching for John JOHNSTON’s maternal Grandfather “Patrick MAIR”, who was a printer and publisher in Falkirk, and his brother “Thomas MAIR”, a “merchant”/banker in Bathgate. I knew almost nothing about them beyond what little is on the old “Genealogical chart of the JOHNSTON family”, which I’ve previously posted about.
I soon found two particular sources of information on-line, that gave me lots of new details about Patrick MAIR and his descendants. One is the Falkirk Community Trust, which operates the Falkirk Archives. They hold a collection of legal papers about Patrick, and Thomas MAIR, and some of Patrick’s descendants – mainly the RANKINEs, through one of Patrick’s daughters; Isabel(la). The Falkirk Archives’ description of the “Mair and Rankine family papers” says quite a lot about Patrick MAIR and his family, and the archives’ “finding aid (no.33)” (PDF file) also give a brief description of each document that the archive holds about the family. Both of these pieces are interesting to read through.
The second source was some old newspaper articles from the “Falkirk Herald”, available through the British Newspaper Archive. The Falkirk Herald was the first newspaper to be owned by the Johnston Press; the printing business established by Patrick MAIR and Thomas JOHNSTON, and continued by some of Thomas’ descendants. I have found articles of interest, about Patrick MAIR, and Thomas JOHNSTON, printed on 3 different occasions in the Falkirk Herald.
The earliest article is a relatively short biography of Patrick MAIR, printed on Wednesday 7th April 1909. I’m interested that this seems to be very close to the time when the “Genealogical chart of the JOHNSTON family”, that I have, was produced. Might this chart, or the chart’s author – Alexander Cuthbert, have informed the article? (No author is credited with the newspaper article!). Although one big discrepancy is that where the chart says that Patrick died in “1796”, the newspaper article states that he “retired from business in 1797”, and died “on 20th February, 1805”. I think that the newspaper article has more authority on this!
This 1909 article says that “the works which came from the press of Patrick Mair were very numerous, and it is hoped that at some future time a list of these will be obtained for publication.” The next article that I’ve found lists some of these works. But I have not yet found any indication of a comprehensive list having been produced. Perhaps it’s never been done! But if anyone knows otherwise, I would be interested to hear. If so please leave a comment below, or use the Contact Page to get in touch.
The second occasion where I’ve found an article is in an issue of the Falkirk Herald, marking the newspaper’s “eightieth anniversary”, on Saturday, 15th August 1925. It is the text of this article that I have posted in “Part 1”. It contains all the details from the 1909 article and more. This article then goes on to tell of Thomas JOHNSTON’s succession to Patrick’s printing and publishing business, and beyond, to tell of two of Thomas’ sons.
The third occasion, marking the Falkirk Herald’s “ninetieth anniversary”, on Saturday, 10th August 1935, appears to be an almost exact repeat of the “eightieth anniversary” article.
Being a “Real Christian” myself (to use the end of the title from the 1783 publication – the 1st known work from Patrick’s Falkirk Press), I was intrigued to discover in these articles the list of clearly “Christian” titles that Patrick published. I would like to find out more about some of these publications. It appears that there is quite a strong spiritual heritage, seeing just how many of Patrick’s descendants went into church ministry! I count 3 great-grandchildren – 2 named in the article, and 1 on my JOHNSTON Genealogical Chart. But Patrick’s son-in-law, Thomas JOHNSTON appears to have gone off-track – joining the non-Christian, Masonic Lodge! There are many sites which explain why, from a “Real Christian” perspective, Christianity and Freemasonry are incompatible; here are a couple of examples; www.EMFJ.org & www.Ephesians5-11.org. Also a Wikipedia article about the positions taken towards Freemasonry by various church denominations (and cults).
I would be very interested to find out more about Thomas JOHNSTON’s “progenitors”; the DAVIE family. Is there a real connection to the Covenanter, James DAVIE? I suspect the problem in proving it may be a lack of Covenanter records (equivalent to the English non-conformists)! I know from the Genealogical Chart that Thomas JOHNSTON’s paternal grandmother was a Marion DAVIE. I have no dates for Marion, except for the birth of her children between 1723 and 1728. From that we could infer that Marion was born around 1700. James DAVIE was killed in 1673, which suggests to me that perhaps he was the same generation as Marion’s grandparents! If you know anything more about this DAVIE family, please leave a comment below, or use the Contact Page to get in touch.
I’ve mentioned lots of generations of my family above, and I realise that it could be confusing! So I’ll finish with a couple of overlapping genealogy lists, which cover all those mentioned. Those mentioned above are in Bold text below. The number “0x” is the number of Great-grandparents back in my tree; so “3x” is my 3 times Great-grandparent(s). Or you can look at my WALKER tree page.
6x – Thomas JOHNSTON, m. Marion DAVIE.
5x – John JOHNSTON, b.1723, m. Margaret WEIR.
4x – Thomas JOHNSTON, b.1755, d.1831, m.1785, Margaret MAIR, b.1767, d.1838.
3x – John JOHNSTON, b.1786, d. 1872, m. Margaret YOUNG, d.1878.
2x – Margaret JOHNSTON, b.cir.1818, d.1890, m.1847, James WALKER, b.1818, d.1881.
5x – Patrick MAIR, b.1738, d.1805, m.1863, Jean AITKEN b.cir.1726 , d.1819.
4x – Margaret MAIR, b.1767, d.1838, m.1785, Thomas JOHNSTON, b.1755, d.1831.
3x – John JOHNSTON, b.1786, d. 1872, m. Margaret YOUNG, d.1878.
This is one in a series of blog posts about some old papers of the WALKER family, from Kirkliston, West Lothian, Scotland. You can see a list of these papers HERE.
Having mentioned him, and included his photo, in a previous piece, I want to post a bit more about this 2x Gt-Uncle, John Johnston WALKER. To my present knowledge, at least on the WALKER side of my family, John is the closest relative to my direct ancestry (i.e. a son/daughter, brother/sister, uncle/aunt) to have emigrated from the British Isles.
What little I know about him is mostly contained in the WALKER family history, first written by my Granddad (John’s nephew) in the 1950’s. I copy the little section written about John, here;
John Johnston Walker was born 21st January 1848. He went to New Zealand in 1869 [aged 21] and was manager of a large Sheep Station at Edendale until 1877, when he decided to start on his own, and took up a virgin block of land on the Otamakapua Block. In 1891 he went to Feilding to have treatment for a severe attack of fever and was treated by a Doctor Charlton without success, and died on 19th November 1891. On his retirement from the sheep station, where he was most popular, he was presented with a very handsome gold watch and chain.
I’m not 100% sure about the locations mentioned, particularly “Edendale”, of which I can find 3 identified places with that name, around New Zealand! (Search for “Edendale”, HERE)
On a trip to New Zealand in 2013, my uncle, David, visited Feilding and took the following photos (note; these are scans of the prints I have from him);
Hotel in Feilding town centre
Entrance to Feilding Cemetery
Gravestone of John Johnston WALKER
Colse-up of John Johnston WALKER’s gravestone
The gravestone at Feilding cemetery reads;
“In Memory of
John J. Walker,
born at Kilpunt, Linlithgowshire,
Died at Feilding, N.Z., 19th Nov. 1891,
Aged 44 Years”
John’s death is also recorded on a gravestone in Kirkliston churchyard, West Lothian, Scotland, along with his parents, infant brother, and 3 of his sisters.
I have found just one document about John Johnston WALKER among the WALKER family papers; a letter home from him, responding to news of his father’s death in 1881. (See below for transcription and notes).
Page 1; Transcription of Page 1 (right side);
Lyndhurst* July 15th 1881 My Dear Mother, I am in receipt of ~ Tom’s letter conveying the ~ sad news of my Father’s death. ~ It is certainly a very solemn ~ [invitation] we have received ~ from Him with whom we ~ have to do. I feel the loss ~ very much for your sake ~ & for mine but we must ~ bow ourselves submissively ~ before Almighty God and ~ say ‘Thy will be done’.
Regarding the estate of ~ my late Father, I do not ^[think] it ~ would be prudent to advise ~ you, as I lack a knowledge ~ of circumstances. One thing ~
Page 1 (left side);
and that is ? would Kilpunt ~ be worth keeping seeing so ~ much money has been lost ~ by farming it of late years. ~ So far as I am concerned ~[treat] me as if I was not, at ~ the same time if I can help ~ you in any way depend upon ~ me. I too have lost [heavily] ~ at farming. two years ago – ~ £800 went. but what of ~ that.
If Tom is inclined to farm the ~old place so as to keep the ~ family together let him do ~ so. But before [signing] any ~ lease, don’t forget to be pre~pared against foreign com~petition.
Now Tom*, I as your elder ~ brother would kindly advise
Page 2; Transcription of Page 2 (left side);
to look well to our Mother’s ~ ## comfort & happiness & ~ also to that of our sisters. ~ Don’t go hunting, or pleasure ~ seeking, but seldom: remem~ber we must try to discharge ~ our late Father’s debts, for ~ I think it is a duty of ours ~ if we com by [God’s] help ~ perform.
Some one here sent word ~ I was ill. He was mistaken ~ I kindly bid you ad[..] ~ [m…le_] Am writing in ~ haste to post for mail_
Yours Aff-ly J. Walker P.S. Will write next mail for sure___ put in [p…ite] for me
Page 2 (right side);
address as formerly-
*Notes; I’m not sure of the location given at the top of the letter! There is a “Lyndhurst” west of Christchurch, on the east side of South Island. (See NZ Topo Map ).
* “Tom” – was John’s youngest brother; Thomas George WALKER (my Great-Grandfather).
Searching the internet, I have found two other documents of interest;
This morning there died at Buckingham Palace, (Mr Worsfold’s boardinghouse). a settler named John Johnston Walker, who was one of the first selectors on the Otamakapua Block. Some months ago he came to Feilding for medical treatment as he was suffering from fever. Dr Charlton was unremitting in his attention and managed to cure his patient so far, but Mr Walker suffered a relapse, and lung disease rapidly developed. From the beginning Dr Charlton held ont no hopes of recovery, and the deceased was quite prepared for the fatal termination of his complaint. Mr and Mrs Worsfold showed every possible kindness and provided all that was necessary to insure the most perfect comfort of the invalid. The funeral will take place tomorrow at 10:30 am.
Second; in just the last few days (Dec. 2016) I’ve found details of John Johnston WALKER’s Will in New Zealand’s Probate records, available through FamilySearch.org. (I am unsure of FamilySearch’s copyright policy, so I won’t copy the images here! But I will add links to the page images – please click on the numbers – and I type up my own transcription of the text);
A This is the last Will and Testament of me ~ John Johnston Walker of Otamakapua in the ~ Provincial District of Wellington and Colony of ~ New Zealand. Farmer. I appoint Ernest Albert ~ Barton of Feilding in the Provincial District of ~ Wellington, Bank Agent (hereafter called “my ~ Trustee”) to be the Executer and Trustee of this ~ my will. I give devise and bequeath the ~ whole of my Real and personal property of ~ whatsoever nature or kind and wheresoever ~ situate including amongst other things my ~ interest in a perpetual Lease, moneys at the ~ Bank on deposit and open account into my ~ Trustee Upon trust that my Trustee shall sell ~ call in and convert into money the same or such ~ part thereof as shall not consist of money and ~ shall with and out of the monies produced by ~ such sale calling in and conversion and with ~ and out of such part of my personal Estate as ~ shall consist of money pay my funeral and ~ testamentary expenses and debts and shall stand ~ possessed of the residue of the said monies in ~ [burial] for my Uncle Thomas Johnston* of No.25 ~ Athol Gardens*, Glasgow, Scotland absolutely.
In Witness whereof I have to this my last Will ~ and Testament – set my hand this twenty fourth ~ day of September one Thousand Eight hundred ~ and ninety one.
Signed by the above named John ~ Johnston Walker as his last Will ~ and Testimony in the presence of ~ us both being present at the ~ same time who at his request ~ in his presence and in the ~ presence of Each other have ~ here[unto] subscribed our names ~ as witnesses.
This is the paper [w…] marked “a” referred [to] in the ~ Affidavit of Ernest Albert Barton […] this 29th day of ~ December 1891 Before me ~ […(signature)…] ~ A Solicitor of the Supreme Court of New Zealand.
In addition to the Will, there are 7 further images of related Supreme Court documents, which are worth a look at, but which I won’t transcribe here because they seem to yield few additional details of note!
I would be interested to find more details about John Johnston WALKER; like where he lived/travelled in New Zealand, and the passenger records for when he moved out there in 1869 (which I’ve started having a little look for, but not yet found anything!).
If you know of anything more about John Johnston WALKER, that you could direct me towards, then please leave a comment below, or use the Contact Page to get in touch. Thanks.
It’s very easy to make false assumptions; but harder to get the real facts.
I’d like to tell a cautionary tale from my own research.
First some context; on occasions I’ve found other people’s family trees posted in various locations on the web, which appear to have connections to mine. They claim to have connections to the same ancestors. But there are some differences! Some “extra details” that are a surprise to me, or some clear discrepancies! So I try to contact the person who has posted the tree; to try and get more details and find out what their sources are; to see if it really does fit with my tree and whether there are new details that I can add to my tree.
Too often I’ve either had no response, or they are unable to explain the sources of their information. And too often people appear to have relied only on details obtained from the transcriptions of Parish registers (like the IGI), and to have assumed that the same “name” appearing in several places in the Parish register all relate to the same “Person”.
I want to explain, from an example in my own research experience, why I believe that this particular approach is highly unreliable! And why I believe that more evidence is normally required!
It must be said that there is a scale to the reliability of this approach. If you’re dealing with particularly rare or unusual names then there may be a reasonable degree of reliability to this approach. But more often than not you’ll be dealing with relatively common names (both forenames and surnames), and here this approach is totally unreliable!
Remember also that in the past people rarely moved very far, unlike they do today. So it was very common to find extended families living geographically close together, and to find cousins or second cousins, or uncles/aunts & nephews/nieces, who shared the same names, living in the same parish. So, unless you can study the original text for un-transcribed details (which might confirm a continuity between different records), you can’t rely on a name that appears in the records on several occasions being a reference to the same person on each occasion. But also people did sometimes move, and the person you’re looking for may be married in a completely different parish to where they were christened.
In my recent posts about Walker family papers, I have mentioned 2 examples (William Walker, b.1739, and Elizabeth Walker, b.1769) where trees posted by other people appear to have made assumptions from the Parish registers that the same “name” appearing in different places in the registers is the same “person”. But these associations seem to me to be at odds with the evidence that I have found in the original family papers that I have!
I have another example from the same family where I appear to have made the same kind of error! This demonstrates the unreliability of this approach, when there is no other evidence to support the assumptions being made!
When I uploaded my GEDCOM to FindMyPast (in Jan. 2016), I noticed that I had “Isabell Walker” (b. 23rd Aug 1729 in Kirkliston, West Lothian) recorded as marrying William Glass in May 1760. The “Walkers in Scotland” website lists the IGI transcriptions for the marriage like this;
16750 – Isobel WALKER, William GLASS, marr, 4 May 1760, Edinburgh Parish Edinburgh, Midlothian, 993527
16751 – Isobel WALKER, William GLASS, marr, 2 May 1760, Kirkliston West, Lothian, 1066630
The similarity of these 2 records means that they are almost certainly recording the same couple, registering their marriage in the parishes where each of them lived. This appears to be the only record for the marriage of an “Isobel Walker” (or similar name) recorded in the Kirkliston parish records. So at some point I appear to have associated this marriage with the Isabell Walker b. 23rd Aug 1729 in Kirkliston, to William Walker & Elizabeth Barron. I’m not sure if this came from seeing this association being made in someone else’s tree! But more likely, it’s an association that I had made myself!
I know that I’ve not found any evidence for this association from among the family papers that I have, or from any other sources. So seeing it again through the FindMyPast Family Tree Builder made me question what evidence I had for it. Nothing except the transcribed Parish registers, it seems, which I don’t think is sufficient!
So last week I started searching on-line to see if I could find any more evidence that would prove (or disprove) this association. If I couldn’t find more evidence, then I intended to delete this association from my tree, as unreliable! But it would be important to keep a separate note of it being a possibility, for future reference and further research.
As it was, I soon found evidence that this association was completely false; that the “Isobel Walker” who married “William Glass” in 1760, could not be the daughter of William Walker & Elizabeth Barron, b. 1729. The first thing I found, from Google Books, was; “The General Correspondence of James Boswell, 1766-1769: 1768-1769”; a transcription of letters, published by Edinburgh University Press in 1997. On page 92, an editors’ end-note about one of James Boswell’s letters says the following;
“ Lady Jane’s serving-maids were Isobel or Isabella (‘Tibby’) Walker and Euphemia (‘Effy’) Caw. Walker (b. 1719), a naitive of Leith, re- mained in the service of Lady Jane until Lady Jane’s death. She later (c. 1759-62) became servant to William Hogg of Edinburgh and c. 1762 married William Glass, gardener at Newliston (Douglas memorial, pp. 130-31, 142; Hamilton Proof, p. 48).”
(“Lady Jane” was; Lady Jane Douglas, married to Sir John Stewart)
This indicates that the “Isobel Walker” who married William Glass was 10 years older than the daughter of William Walker & Elizabeth Barron. None of the described life events of this Isobel Walker appear to match with what I would expect to find for the Isabell Walker in my family tree! I wanted to find out more! I wanted to check out what the source of this note; the “Douglas memorial” actually said!
After a bit of web-searching, trying slightly varying terms, I found 2 contemporary records, digitised on Google Books, which mention the Isobel Walker who married William Glass;
The Memorial for Archibald Douglas contains numerous mentions of “Tibby Walker”, or “Ifobel Walker” (the “s” being replaced with an “f” – it was common in old handwriting to sometimes write an “s” like an “f”. This practice has been copied in the original print, and in the modern, digital transcription.). She is also identified in parts of the text as “Isabella Glass”, and “Mrs Glafs”.
It takes a while to read through these references and their contexts. There are 2 or 3 points where the text indicates that Isobel was “about the age of twenty-nine” (in 1748), and that she “was further advanced in years” than her colleague, Effy Caw, whose birth-date is identified in one place as “1st February 1727”. All this proves to me that this “Isobel Walker” (who married William Glass) is too old to be the “Isabell Walker” in my family tree, who was born in August 1729.
The point of this post is to show how easy it is to make false assumptions. It was unreliable for me to assume (without other evidence) that a name appearing more than once in the records of a parish related to the same person on each occasion. It may, more often, not be the case. I have tried this approach and proven it to be potentially faulty! But it seems to me that too many people take this kind of approach, or at least fail to provide sufficient details of any other evidence that they may have to support such assumptions.
The trouble I have is that when someone posts, publishes, or shares a family tree which contains this kind of assumption, these assumptions become “pseudo-facts” which people using the tree further down the line will treat as real, proven information.
Take the Johnston family tree (published circa 1909). I have treated it all as fact. Looking at the tree, without other evidence to hand, you have no way of knowing if it all has evidence to prove it, or if any of it is based on assumptions (like those I’ve describe above) which may turn out to be false (if you could find the genuine evidence)! I do have other evidence which supports significant parts of the Johnston tree.
Likewise the genealogy of the “Barons of Preston” in “Some Old Families”, by Hardy Bertram McCall (published in 1890); you would probably take it on faith to be accurate! But due to the evidence that I have found in my family documents, I have some questions and doubts about that genealogy (expressed in my notes HERE).
I want my trees to be as accurate as possible; based on evidence rather than assumptions; facts rather than theories. I’m happy to discuss assumptions and theories (mine and other people’s), as you can already see from some of my blog posts. But I want to be really clear about what has evidence and what is assumed. I want to try and avoid including assumptions, that lack clear evidence, in any formal trees or genealogy reports that I post to this blog or publish anywhere else.
I hope that others will also want to be as clear in distinguishing between evidence and assumptions, and in providing reasonable evidence for their information.
As I previously mentioned in a “Names of Interest update“, I have written an article about creating AFamilyHistoryBlog for my local Family History Society’s newsletter. The Spring 2016 newsletter featuring my article has just been published, and I’m copying the article to the blog for others to read. The article is (in part) edited from the text on my Intro/Welcome page.
Here it is;
CREATING A FAMILY HISTORY BLOG
by Matt Walker
I’m in my 30’s and have always been interested in my family history. Over perhaps 15 years or so I have been gathering together a lot of research, trees, etc, done by many other people, and have from time to time done research of my own, to verify that done by others, and to add to it where I can.
In January 2014, I was looking back through some of my own family history notes, and through some very old family documents, and I thought that it would be a great idea to create a website about my family history. I have created several blog based websites in recent years, both for myself and for community groups/projects that I’m involved with. So I knew that it would be technically easy for me to setup the basic website.
A “blog” is a “web-log”; a kind of on-line journal. There are several services that will allow anyone with an e-mail to create a free blog, with space to “post” your journal entries, and the ability to create static web pages; e.g. a personal profile, or a welcome page. Among the popular services is “Blogger”, owned by Google – if you already have a Google account for e-mail or YouTube, then you can easy start a “Blogger” blog. Another great service is “WordPress.com”.
My primary motivation for creating a website is to share more widely the details of these old family documents (dating back as far as the early 1700’s). My concern is that if these documents are held in just one small part of the family, then how will other people in the wider family (with a shared ancestry and a shared interest in documents about their ancestors) get to know or hear about such documents, or about the family details that they can contain – details like evidence for family relationships which may be difficult to demonstrate purely from other available records. These documents and the details they contain could remain unknown to many people who would be interested in researching these family histories.
By creating a website I can share scanned images and transcriptions of these family documents for others to find on-line, helping them with their family research, and demonstrating the sources of my information – which sometimes lead me to conclusions that differ from those of others on-line who often appear to have relied only on records like parish registers!
I began my blog as a private, password protected site, because I wanted to build up some content and play with the layout and format before showing it to other people. With blogging services you can often choose and change between a large range of site design “templates”, which you can then customise to varying extents. I also wanted to consult my close family about it before going more public. So it’s only after about 2 years that I’m ready to make my website more public.
I deliberately chose a generic name for my site; “A Family History Blog”, because my intention is to include material about all the different branches of my family tree. Other people might be focused on a particular branch or surname, so might wish to use that name in their blog’s title. I was fortunate to get the name I had thought of. You could try to register a variety of different website names and find them all to be taken already! So you’ll probably need something very original!
I hope that my website can become a very collaborative one, with some of my relatives adding details of the information that they have, and the research that they’ve done into our shared ancestors. It is possible with most blogging services to add multiple authors/accounts to a blog, allowing each one to add articles/“posts” to the site, while one account remains overall administrator.
I would advise anyone else thinking of starting their own family history website to think about what your aims are for doing so. This will help to inform what services you use, and the style, layout and content of your site. Also have a look at the numerous other personal family history websites that are out there. As I began my site, I discovered www.GeneaBloggers.com which has a list of over 3,000 genealogy and family history-related blogs. It’s well worth looking through some of these to get a sense of the kind of site that you could create. In due course I plan to submit my site for addition to the GeneaBloggers list.
Please have a look at my blog. I would welcome the thoughts/comments of more experienced family history researchers about my site and approach. I would also be happy to speak in my local area, to individuals or small groups, to advise about the practical/technical side of how you can create your own family history website.