Archive for the ‘General’ Category

What’s up Doc?

Posted: January 7, 2012 in Ancestry, Baldwin, FamilySearch, General

Well, firstly not much but did I grab your attention?  If so, keep reading….

I haven’t written a blog since my last entry back in May when I announced that I was going to Gallipoli for Anzac day, well now it’s down to 3 months and 9 days until I fly out.  I’m basically thinking about nothing else.

I didn’t do much research during 2011, just little bits and pieces here and there. I sometimes just wasn’t that interested and haven’t had a lot of time. As I work full time and I only have Sunday’s to research, all I’ve wanted to do is just relax.

I have RSS Google reader so I have been reading lots of blogs. I find I only read the ones that really capture me at the start. In particular News Items and anything that people write about in terms of the research they are doing, what they found and how they went about it. I tend to be reading more Irish & UK blogs more than anything.

This is just a small sample of the blogs that I have read.

Research Update

I did do some work between the Christmas and New Year break, where I found myself basically spending a great deal of time on AncestryUK.  I started searching for some information on my paternal RICHER line. As my father never knew his father, (Frederick George Richer)  I wanted to see if I could find some additional information on the service records for his brothers. I already knew that both Fred and his brother Alfred arrived in Australia around 1913. Alfred’s wife and two children arrived in Brisbane in 1915.  By the time war broke out Fred was in Melbourne and he enlisted in the AIF Field Artillery Brigade 2, Battery 4 in August 1914 whereas Alfred was still in Brisbane and went back to England as an Imperial Reservists. (Middlesex Regiment – Number: 457027) and they both returned to Australia in 1919.

From this I then turned my attention to their older brother James.  By fluke I found a photo of James on one of the Ancestry trees. James married Annie Loader in 1915 and immigrated to Canada in 1919. Now I have something that I can show my dad what his father ‘might have looked like’.

I also spent a lot of time doing other searches for both my Richerl Scutcher and Baldwin families, updating events, timelines, adding census records to my Ancestry trees.  I also found my GGG Grandparents marriage on Family Search, which I had not been able to find previously.

I knew their names from the baptism record of my ancestor John Baldwin, which shows:

“John Baldwin son of Samuel and Mary his wife, late Warren, baptised 21st April 1804”

By putting in Samuel Baldwin as the person I was looking for, including the place as Suffolk and a date range, I received no results. It was only when I put Mary Warren in the marriage came up as follows:

Groom’s Name: Samuel Boldwin
Bride’s Name: Mary Warren
Marriage Date: 19 Mar 1804
Marriage Place: Polstead,Suffolk,England
Indexing Project (Batch) Number: M06302-1
System Origin: England-ODM
Source Film Number: 919627

I would have thought that even putting the surname in as Baldwin, the search function would still have been able to pick up the different spellings.  I know for other surnames, it picks it up, but not for this particular instance.

Books that I plan to read in the next couple of months.  I’m interested in reading anything about WW1, particularly, either Gallipoli or the Western Front

I’m currently reading “Over the Top”.

Bye for now…


Well, today I have finally done something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.  I have booked a trip to Gallipoli for the Anzac Day Service in 2012.  I have been searching for a tour to go on and looking at various options I have finally decided on Mat McLachlan’s Battlefied tours.  Now all I have to do is save, save and save.

I have always had an interest in Gallipoli and the Anzac spirit but since finding out who my paternal grandfather was back in 2002 (my father’ never knew him, as he died when my father was 9 months old and my grandmother was reluctant to talk about him) and finding his WW1 sevice record showed that he had served in Gallipolli, and again in France before being sent back to England for the remainder of the war.

Frederick was born in Essex in 1884 and was living with his mother and brother in 1911. When war broke out Frederick was living in Melbourne and enlisted in the AIF on the 18th August 1914 and joined the 2nd Field Artillery Brigade 4th Battery and left on the HMAT Shropshire on the 20th October 1914, he returned to Australia on the Orantes on the 21st February 1920.

Bye for now..

New Page add – Current Research

Posted: January 2, 2011 in General

I have added a new page to my blog – Current Research and Activities which shows a list of my current research or other activities, such as general genealogy housekeeping. 

A seperate page will be added to show the completed research and I’ll write an blog entry as I progress.

This time last year I did not have any real plans for my research. I only made two goals for the year and one was to get fit again, especially after the previous 12 months of inactivity due to illness.

My other goal was to spend more time doing my family history, whatever or wherever that took me. I have to say that both goals have been achieved with I’d say much success. I am 100% fitter and happier than before (doing ‘Bootcamp’ 3 nights a week helps!!!) and my one fitness goal for 2011 is to run in the 4km Mother’s Day Classic which helps support Breast Cancer Research. My Sister had Breast Cancer and is now what they say, in remission.

As for my family history, I did not have anything in particular I wanted to achieve but this is a list of what I did do:

  • Started this blog in May 2010
  • Kept up to date with my website – 
  • Using Irish Family History Foundation new search function I was able to track down the baptism & marriage records of my Quirk family in Kilkenny Ireland.
  • Decided to give AncestryUK a go, as I figured without it, my UK research just wouldn’t be going anywhere.
  • Made two family connections, one with my Baker family and the other with my Harris family, who were both able to provide some additional information.
  • Scanned all of my photos to my computer.
  • Trawled through on a regular basis and found a number of newspaper articles on various ancestors.
  • Completed two online Genealogy Courses from Pharos Tutors
  • Commenced a One Place Study on Boxford, Suffolk. I have already compiled the 1841 census for Boxford.
  • Purchased a number of programs/data to help with my research, including: National Burial Index England & Wales, – Third Edition, Suffolk Marriage Index 1813-1837, Suffolk Burial Index 1538-1900, Sudbury Suffolk Marriage Licences 1684-1839, Phillimores Suffolk Marriage Registers Vol 1 -4, South Australian National Directory 1867-1868, Deaths from South Australian Government Gazettes 1845-1941
  • Attended the History & Genealogy Expo Sydney 2010, in September
  • Found the Chelsea Pensioner Record for my Ancestor John Baldwin
  • Worked on my Quirke, Baker, Baldwin, Harris, Richer & Scutcher Families.
  • And a whole lot of other research

For 2011, I intend to:

  • I have now scanned all of my photos, including all of the photos that my grandmother who passed away in September had. She left behind 8 photo albums and there were quite a few photos taken in the 1950’s and 60’s. There were also a couple of photos her father, her uncle and cousins. They are all now on my computer. Next step is to attach the photos to the individuals in my database.
  • Create an actual research task list of things I want to achieve this year of my direct ancestors. To include the names of people, what research needs to be done, and where to find it. Legacy does have a good ‘research task list’, but I need something that is right there in front of me, and maybe a good old excel spread sheet might do the trick.
  • Continue to write this blog at least every fortnight
  • Play around with Evernote. Today I downloaded and installed Evernote as I was looking for something to record my never ending notes of research that I am currently undertaking, instead of writing it down on a piece of paper as I am going along, (and not finding it again). I have read some reviews on a few other genealogy blogs, so it will be interesting to see if I use the program or revert back to my old ways. I don’t want to use it to attach actual records or documents as when I do find something, such as a document I find on Ancestry, I immediately download it and save it to the appropriate surname folder, but need something instead to record:  a. Those bits of information that I am not ready to record into my Legacy Database. b. Those bits of information that I need to do further research on
  • Complete more online courses from Pharos Tutors, in particular “All About Parish Registers
  • I want to do the Certificate in Genealogical Research from the Society of Australian Genealogists, so need to decide by March 2011, whether to start it this year or next year.
  • Continue to save enough money to go to Gallipoli in 2012. 
  • Pass more information on to my parents as I continue my research. I have been doing my family history for over 20 years but haven’t really discussed the things I have found out. Only little bits and pieces every now and again. I want to put all that I currently have into a viewable report for them to both read.
  • Whatever else that I find interesting

I saw two quotes in today’s paper that I found interesting –

“The key to life is to accept all challenges” – Bette Davis

 “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing” – Walt Disney

Have an enjoyable 2011 in all that you do……

Last week I was sent an invitation by a ‘distant’ cousin to his my website. We are related through our common ancestor, my GGG grandmother. I am connected through her first marriage and he is connected through her second marriage. I logged in and the first thing I noticed that there were quite a number of people in the ‘database’. Many of these names I was able to see were of ‘living’ people and all of the personal data, photos could be accessed. Not one person’s details that was shown to still be living were hidden. I ignored this at the time and didn’t think too much else about it, and thought that I would comment about seeing these details at a later time seeing that I had other more important family issues to deal with.

Today I find out that I am no longer a member of the site. Why? Because yesterday I took a closer look and I actually found my mother, my two uncles and some details of some other of my close living relatives on the site. I have never given this person any information about my immediate family.

Whenever I exchange information with someone, I always provide a gedcom file that only goes to my great grandparents.  I sent an email to the site owner yesterday with the following:

“I have removed all details relating to living people that are directly connected to me from your site. I don’t understand how you would have this information as I never provide details about living persons on my family tree to ANYONE. When I exchange data with someone, I only provide a gedcom file down to my great grandparents, so I am again unsure how you have information on the 3 next generations. Can you let me know who provided this information to you? Also, when other people provide me data, sometimes they provide details on all generations even for those that are living (like you did,). My policy is that I normally do NOT upload the information on the living people given to me to my legacy family tree database and if I do, I then mark them as both living and their details as being private and not available for publication. Please show me the courtesy of not publishing the details of my living relatives on your website as I do for you”

Was I wrong in doing this? Apparently yes, as the response I got this morning was:  ‘my website is a private site open only to family members and they don’t object!!!!”.

I’m sorry but I do object. I object to having details about my immediate family available to be seen by people I don’t know and are technically not related to my family and if they are, then they are very distant. Just like I object to seeing the private details of people I don’t know. And I still question how he obtained the details of my mother, my uncles and other members. I’ll be honest I am not sure who he would have received these details from.

On My Hertiage, a  private site, means that “– The Family Site and Family Tree will be accessible only to site members and webmasters”.

I actually feel sick in the stomach to think that this person has gone as far as removing me from accessing the site seeing that I have objected to having private details available to all members of the site.  The concern here is that one, I have been removed from being a member of the site, due to my objections, but also that there appears to be a glaring security and privacy issue with My and I had hoped the site owner would have understood this.

I have done a Google search and have tried to find some information on the privacy settings on the My Heritage website but this is all I could find and a comment at the bottom says:

“About privacy, you should also keep in mind that on heritage data of living people (first names, birth dates, etc) is always private! So even if your site is set to public, guests will see instead of the first name and no further data”.

The above is not the case in relation to the site that I was given access to. Details about people who I do not know, were visible, such as their birth dates, marriage dates, photos, comments. Even as a private site and being member should not give a person the right to view these details about living relatives that they do not know just becuase they are a member of the site.

Going to the community page, and finding that I can access and view data and photos of a number of people from around the world is another concern. If the claim on the front of their website is true, that My is free private and secure, than I should not be able to see these details at all.

So what do I do now? Do I send a complaint to My heritage or just live in hope that the site owner actually is going to show me the courtesy of not publishing data about the details of my family who are still living?

My Grandmother – a treasure

Posted: September 29, 2010 in General

Sometimes life throws you a curve ball.  Sometimes you know the curve ball is coming but it still hits you hard.

Last Sunday I spent 3 hours with my Grandmother. It was just the two of us talking and spending time together.  I asked her about her mother and father.  I already knew their names but talking to her and getting my Nanna to talk about them as people and who they were was special.   My Great Grandmother was Daisy Harris.   Daisy died when my grandmother was 13 in 1932 and Nanna said that even though she did not have a photo of her, ‘I still remember her long black hair as if she was standing here in front of me’.  My Great Grandfather, Ernest Mitchell was a character.  I already knew that he was the trainer of the 1921 North Shore Bears SFL (AFL) winning team but she said that her and her sister used to go to North Sydney Oval with their father, just so they could get to eat the oranges he took to the team.  He also performed in a number of plays in the 1920’s and 1930’s in Sydney.  My Grandmother said that he played the ‘Black Fella’ in Uncle Tom’s Cabin. I already knew that he had been in Uncle Tom’s Cabin but to have acutally been the star of the play, that I didn’t know.  He also played Captain Milton in another play, which I think is ‘Currency Cash’.  Ernest did not use his real name when performing but had stage name, which my grandmother couldn’t remember.  When I left, I said goodbye, told her I loved her.

Today sadly, my grandmother passed away at the grand age of 92 years. I will no longer get the chance to talk to her again but I’m glad I spent that time with her on Sunday. I will treasure those 3 hours every day of my life.  I am sure she is now with her sister and their sitting down having a cup of tea and having an old chin wag just like they used to.

In Search of the Birth of William George Baker

This is the first post of a series that I intend to write to show my research into finding the UK birth record of my GG Grandfather William George Baker.

William George Baker married Sarah Baldwin in Woolwich Kent in 1863. They came to New South Wales with their young son, William George, on the ship ‘Trebolgan’ in 1865.

On a number of records found here, William’s birth appears to be between 1836 and 1840 and his parents were Samuel & Sarah Baker.

On the shipping records, his age is listed as 27 years old. This makes his birth year to be around 1838. His native place reads Sudbury Suffolk. His parents are listed as Samuel & Sarah, with his mother living at Woolwich England. He is also shown to have ‘an Uncle George King’ living in the colony. I’m have not yet found any record of George King nor have I found a shipping record that matches to a George King coming from Suffolk. I did find a marriage between a Samuel Baker and a Sarah King in 1831 at Boxford, Suffolk. (M13246-1).

On the birth certificate of his son Albert Samuel, in 1870, William was 31, making his birth year to be 1839.

On the birth certificate of his daughter Emma, who was born in 1874, William was listed as 37, making his birth year to be 1837 and born at Bures, Suffolk, England.

On the birth certificate of his son Ernest, born in 1876 he is again shown as being 37, making his birth year to be 1839 and he was born at Bures, Sudbury, Suffolk, England.

On William’s death certificate, his age is listed as 45 born in Sudbury Suffolk. This makes his birth year to be around 1836. His parents are listed as Samuel Baker & Sarah Sampson. (The Sampson, I believe is incorrect or maybe Sarah remarried).

Anything is possible considering the different ages he is across the various documents. He could have been born as early as 1835 but I’m sure he was born in Bures (or surrounding districts) Suffolk.

I have over the years checked parish, civil & census records on FindMyPast, Free BDM, Ancestry UK and as yet not found a definite match.

With the changes on FindMyPast and the ability to now be able to in more detail on the Birth Indexes, I performed a search on William Baker born between 1837 and 1841 and this produced 13 results, 2 of which I can discount due to the child’s middle names, so that leaves the following. The advanced search would be better if you were able to include the names of both sets of parents.

BAKER William Wangford Suffolk 1837
BAKER William Blything Suffolk 1838
BAKER William Hoxne Suffolk 1838
BAKER William Bosmere Suffolk 1838
BAKER William Plomesgate Suffolk 1839
BAKER William Cosford Suffolk 1839
BAKER William Woodbridge Suffolk 1840
BAKER William Woodbridge Suffolk 1840
BAKER William Hartismere Suffolk 1840
BAKER William Hartismere Suffolk 1841
BAKER William Wangford Suffolk 1841

A search using just ‘George Baker’ brings up 9 records, of which one ‘Henry George Baker’ born at Sudbury, Suffolk in 1841 could be a possible relative.

Checking the 1841,1851,1861 UK census finds no record of the family in Suffolk.

Following the discussion on Genealogy Leftovers and 10 things I can’t live without, the below is my list of 10 things related to Genealogy I couldn’t live without.

1.      My Entire book & software collection – all Genealogy, Family History & Australian History related –

2.      Legacy Family Tree – Deluxe Edition  – it has all of my research and data

3.      NSW State Records office:  both at Kingswood and the online indexes

4.      My PC: It’s the first thing I turn on every day. Will also include my External Hard drives here as they both have backups of all of my data.

5.      The Internet:  Without it, I wouldn’t be able to do some of my overseas research, especially on my Irish Connections and whilst on the subject of the ‘internet’, these are my top 3 sites that I use for my English & Irish research:

6.      Genealogy Blogs:  I love the idea of blogging and am enjoying reading other people’s blogs.

7.      My Netbook:  I use this to take with me to the library or State Records, so that I can review information and record anything I find.

8.      Every one of my birth, death and marriage certificates I have obtained over the years which has helped (or hindered) my research.

9.      Trove – one search – a wealth of information – especially the Australian Newspapers 1803-1954 section.  It’s been great finding different newspaper articles on my ancestors.

10.  My Job – cause without it, I wouldn’t be able to fund all of my research…(though I wouldn’t mind not having it)…

What are your 10 things genealogy related that you can’t live without?

I have been trying to determine when my ancestors William & Mary Thomas died

William Thomas

The only possible death record in SA that I have been able to find that matches to William is this:

Surname: THOMAS
Given Names: William
Date: 1882-08-30
Sex: M
Age: 73y
Status: N
Relative: (not recorded)
Residence: Wallaroo Mines
Death Place: Wallaroo Mines
District Code: Dal

Note: I’m not sure what the N against Status means.  I’ll have to try and find out what it means. Maybe that’s a clue in itself.

Today I received a ‘transcript’ of the death which follows:

  • William Thomas 73y a miner,
  • Died 30 August 1882 of senile decay at his residence at Wallaroo Mine
  • Informant R S Haddy:
  • Undertaker at Kadina
  • Registered by D W Sands at Kadina
  • Entered in District Registry Office 19 Sept 1882 by John Clark  District Registrar

The age of this William and the area fits to mine, but seeing that there were a number of William Thomas’s in the Wallaroo area, I have to wait and see if I can find some other piece of information to determine if this is the right one or not.

Mary Thomas

An entry found in the Adelaide Advertiser, shows the following. I’m yet to determine if this is the wife of my William.

“Adelaide advertiser 14/09/04. The friends of the late Mrs. MARY THOMAS, Relict of the late William Thomas, late of Wallaroo Mines, are respectfully informed that Her funeral will leave, the residence of their DAUGHTER (Mrs. H Vivian, Pulteney Street). on THURSDAY, at 1 p.m., for West Terrace cemetry”

I’ve been advised that the daughter’s first name was Jane and that her husband was Henry Vivian.

William and Mary’s children were:

  • Mary  (1833) – listed in the 1841 UK census, aged 8.  Not listed with the family in 1851, but she may have married by that stage.
  • Jane (1834) – in UK 1841 Census, age 5,(making her birth year to be 1836)  but in the 1851 census she is listed as being 17 (making her birth year to be 1834)
  • Elizabeth (1837) – married John Easterbrook
  • William (1840) – married Asneath Dunn
  • John (1842) –
  • Richard (1844) – married May Nankervill
  • Edward (1846) – married Jane Clark
  • Grace (1849) – married Richard Mitchell
  • James (1853) –

Other information on William Thomas:

William was born around 1809 in Cornwall, England.  He is listed as being 30 in the 1841 UK Census. In the 1851 UK Census, he is listed as being 42 and born ‘Sithney, Cornwall’.  The shipping record shows that William was born at Camborne, Cornwall.

William Thomas and his wife Mary came to Australia with their children on board the ship Utopia, which arrived at Port Adelaide, South Australia 9th July 1858

Thomas William 48 Miner 1596/3 Camborne, Cornwall With Family
Mary 46
Richard 13
Edward 11
Grace 8
James 5

Their eldest two sons were listed as ‘single’ men on the shipping records

Thomas John 16 1593/2 Camborne, Cornwall With parents
Thomas William 18 1596/3 Camborne, Cornwall With parents

Elizabeth Thomas (daughter of William & Mary) also arrived on the ship Utopia but with her husband John Easterbrook

Easterbrook John 23 Copper Miner Redruth, Cornwall
Elizabeth (Thomas) 24

What I need to do next:

  • Determine the following information in relation to Jane Thomas (the daughter of my William & Mary)
    • Who did she marry?
    • Did she come out to Australia?
    • If she did come to Australia, did she marry  before or after her arrival?
    • Check for the surname of the Jane Nankervill that arrived on the ‘Gilmore’ in 1857 with her husband James. The Nankervill family is connected to the Thomas family by way of Richard Thomas (born 1844) who married Mary Nankervill.
    • Check Shipping list of Henry Vivian who arrived in SA in 1864.
    • Check the NLA website for any reference to William & Mary Thomas.  Some of the SA papers are not yet online. (articles are listed as ‘coming soon’).
    • I note the following death in 1907 for ‘Henry Vivian’
      • VIVIAN.-On the 6th September, at Wakefield Street Henry, dearly beloved husband of Jane Vivian, late fitter Islington workshops and Kadina, aged 66 years 9 months.

I thought I would share a list of some of the resources that I have at home, such as books & software that I have collected over the years.

Click the link below or go to the top menu and click on ‘My Resources at Home’.