Monday, December 29, 2008

Any more gravestone photos out there?

If you have a photo of a gravestone at All Saints Church and haven't emailed it to me yet, please do so. The Memorial Inscriptions section of the website will be going live in a couple of days.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas everyone!

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas break! I'm now on holiday for three weeks so will have plenty of time to tidy up various projects (although I am going to try to minimize time spent on the computer, we'll see how long that lasts!)

Not sure how many other people out there were similarly invited, but I've had access to the 1911 census for the last few days as part of their testing process before their website goes live in 2009. This census is interesting as there is a separate page for each household, filled out and signed by the head of the household, and the married women were also required to state how long they'd been married, and how many living and dead children they have from that marriage. When I logged on to see what I could find they only had a few counties available (not Buckinghamshire which has since been added - although there is no way I'd be able to afford to collate all the Wing entries), but they did have the London/Middlesex area so I was able to find three households of interest. One was my most immediate Wing connection, William Pollard then aged 9, and most excitingly his stepfather lists his occupation as manager for a horse dealer - so that's a baby step towards verifying that he did indeed work with the Rothschilds' horses. Another surprise was finding a visitor with them, a professional boxer from Dublin!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Yoohoo across the pond!

If there's anyone else out there descended from any of the Wing families who travelled to Australia on the Thetis in 1848, please do get in touch! Or, indeed, anyone descended from any convicts from Wing who were sent to Australia.....

A few of you have popped up lately, so it would be nice to hear from anyone else.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Memorial inscriptions

At the moment I'm gathering together the photos I took of the gravestones for my own family surnames when I visited Wing in 2005. These will be going online along with a transcription of the inscription itself (as these may be a little hard to read once the size and resolution of the photo has been adjusted for the web).

If you have photos (or even just notes of the inscription) of gravestones or memorials at All Saints Church, please do email them to me, and I can then set up a page for that surname. The larger the size and resolution, the easier it will be for me to manipulate behind the scenes to read particular words, so email them along as is without any processing and I'll do all the tweaking at my end.

The photographer or provider will of course be credited on each photo.

And if anyone living in the immediate area would like to pop by the churchyard and take a look at a couple of gravestones where my photos are unfortunately obscured by leaves and the like, please email me and I'll give you the details.

Monday, December 01, 2008

December update

If you're in the UK or somewhere else in the Northern Hemisphere, you'll be looking for something to fill your long winter evenings. I have prepared a bumper update for you this month so you can really get stuck into your genealogical research! Remember that each individual page on the website can be accessed directly via the sitemap - have you missed something interesting?

Big stuff:
* Burials for the period 1813 to 1845 have been added. The website now has a complete run of burial transcriptions from Oct 1783 to May 1909.
* I'm very excited to announce that the Buckinghamshire Record Society has given me permission to reproduce the 1798 Posse Comitatus for Wing. I've wanted to include this list of men on the website ever since I started the one-place-study, and now it's available.

Little stuff:
* There's a dozen or so new military men, including several serving in World War 1
* Some Methodist tweaks - I've illustrated the Methodist Roll page with an extract for the HEADY family, added Joseph WOOLHEAD to the Methodist page, and added a link to where the Wesleyan Metropolitan Register can now be found online (index + scans)
* Corrections to the Links and For Sale pages for some information that has changed
* I was getting tired of the monochromatic look, so we've gone green for the festive season.

Happy hunting!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

More random newspaper articles

I was wading through the Australian newspapers archive beta (, and to cut a long story ended up discovering the equivalent here in NZ ( where I have today learnt about the Waddesdon alms cow. Yes, an alms cow - if you want a free drink of milk, no problem in Waddesdon!

Two obvious questions spring to mind:
* great story, but why couldn't Wing also have had an alms cow?
* does it strike anyone else as slightly bizarre that I have discovered the existence of said cow from a 1906 edition of Wellington's Evening Post?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Hunting accident

It's funny the random things you come across.......I was just doing a websearch to see if I could find anything useful about Leopold de Rothschild's racing activities (as distinct from the foxhunting at Ascott), and came across a newspaper report from January 1899 reporting that Leo had broken his nose when a treebranch hit him across the face while he was out hunting near Windsor.

This was in the New York Times archives, of all places!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Wave your hand

How many of you are subscribed to one or more of the excellent Rootsweb mailing lists? There's more than one list covering Buckinghamshire (and plenty for other counties and surnames of course), and even if you feel you can't keep up with the volume of emails they are archived on line for you to search or browse at your leisure.

If you're on one of these lists, it's a good idea to wave your hand if someone else pops up researching the same surname in a similar area as you, just in case they know something that might be relevant. Recently I did just that, and it helped uncover a potential error in my own tree where I'd attributed Brightwell's HOLLYMAN's first bride Elizabeth HESTER to a particular baptism in Long Crendon (where the marriage took place in 1786), but it turns out that particular baby Elizabeth may have already married someone else in a neighbouring village. While I'd ruled out any earlier marriages for her in Long Crendon and thus identified her as a likely candidate, I hadn't looked elsewhere.

I'm sure we all know that just because some is "of Long Crendon" doesn't mean they were born there, but if you do find a suitable baptism of someone of the right name and right timeframe in the right place, remember to always remain open to the possiblity that it's still not the right person. Someone out there might just have evidence to the contrary or an alternative theory that's equally possible.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Wing War Memorial

I received some excellent news today. The renovations to the Wing War Memorial are about to begin. I know those of you that have visited All Saints Church and seen the memorial in the churchyard in recent years have been saddened by the damage time has done to it, and will be happy to see it restored. (If you would like to contribute some funds toward this, please let me know and I can put you in touch with the appropriate people).

In other news, I now have the December 2008 issue of Family Tree Magazine, which mentioned the Wing One Place Study in its article about researching in Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire - thanks, Family Tree Magazine! The entire issue was full of interesting articles so I do recommend that you pick up a copy.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Remembrance Day

Perhaps you'd like to take a moment today to check my list of Wing men serving in World War I, and let me know if your ancestor or relative from Wing should be on there but isn't? There's also links from that page to those serving in WWII or at other times.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Election fever

Yesterday it was general election time here in New Zealand. Not quite as much razzmatazz as this week's US presidential election, thankfully, nor was there a several-hour-long wait to vote!

I know how much fun visitors to NZ have trying to pronounce placenames, so I'm sure you'll all be delighted to learn that Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga is the new Member of Parliament for the electorate I live in, Maungakieie. (Sam is Samoan rather than Maori)

Isn't it nice to live in a time and place where all adults have the right to vote?

Friday, November 07, 2008

Family Tree Magazine and The National Archives Podcast Series

I understand that the Wing One Place Study website was mentioned in an article in the December 2008 issue of Family Tree Magazine. A big hello to any new visitors that find me that way! I hope you find the site both useful and interesting, and please do email me to let me know which families in Wing you are connected to.

The mag won't have arrived here in NZ yet - I will have to trot down to the specialist magazine shop to find out whether that particular publication generally comes into the country via airfreight, otherwise I won't see it for months, if at all!

A few posts ago I mentioned that you need to be careful if looking at the WO364 series of army records at Ancestry, as the first page it displays isn't necessary the first page of that soldier's record. I've been catching up on The National Archives podcasts, and I see that tip was also mentioned in their discussion about that series (which was of course digitized from the originals they hold). If you haven't discovered those podcasts yet, head on over to check them out - they're also available via iTunes if that's easier for you than downloading the files manually or using another podcatcher.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

November update

This month I have another batch of baptisms for you! These new records cover from 1837 (including a couple at the end of 1836) to half way through 1870. The 1214 baptisms bring the total number of baptisms on the website up to 2014, with the period 1813 to May 1870 now covered.

As I've mentioned before in this blog, while this baptism register is included as an extracted batch in the IGI there are too many omissions in the IGI version to make it reliable. There's also more information on each original entry than you will find in the IGI, most noteably father's occupation and abode, but also sometimes other snippets like birth day and time! If you've relied on the IGI to provide some of the entries in your Wing family trees and haven't yet looked at the original parish registers, please consider taking the time to review my baptism transcriptions - if nothing else, you will have confirmed the information you have on hand, and there's a fair chance you'll gain some useful new information or some new entries as well.

Other things that have been updated this month:
* a new brickmaker, George RUST, has been located
* a new trial witness, William LATHWELL, has been added to the crime page
* a new marriage stray, for Jesse BOLTON and Emma SMITH, has been provided
* three new BOLTONs serving in WW1 have been added (thanks to Janice for the tipoff on her grandfather's record in the National Roll, which led me to the other two)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Holiday weekend

It's been a long weekend here in NZ, and I've spent some of it actually spending time with my own, non-Wing, tree. Investigating siblings has proved interesting - it turns out that my COLES great-grandfather had three surviving older brothers who apparently married three RANDALL sisters! At least, they married three girls with the surname Randall all born in Wareham Dorset....

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

WO364 - WW1 army pension claims

I've been downloading some more army records for the men of Wing. If you too have been looking at these records on Ancestry, note that the number of images listed for each record is invariably wrong, and the first page you see when you click into the documents themselves may not actually be the first page, so always check back through the previous couple of pages, just in case.

Just think, if I hadn't already learned that trick I would have missed those syphilis case sheets for our Wing soldier (who shall remain nameless to preserve his modesty)!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Same names, different couple

It always pays to gather as much information as possible to avoid making incorrect assumptions. This is a bit easier in the 19th century as you generally have multiple census years to look at, but a bit harder if you are looking earlier. A researcher emailed me a while back about the marriage of William DIMMOCK and Sarah POLLARD in 1815, as he is descended from William and Sarah. This confused me for a bit, as I had thought I had identified exactly who this Sarah Pollard marrying was (one of my direct ancestors), but she was clearly too old to be giving birth in the period immediately after this marriage, yet there was a William and Sarah Dimmock baptising children then. It turns out that there was two William and Sarah Dimmocks in Wing in the 1810s to 1840s - one older couple who married in Wing, and another younger couple who most likely married a year or two earlier (they baptised two children in 1814) but not in Wing!

So it turns out Brian and I aren't related - on this branch at least, I'm sure we all know what Wing trees look like. If you are a DIMMOCK researcher and know who the mystery Sarah (not a Pollard) was, please email me as I'm sure he'd would love to find out.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Right, I'm well and truly outnumbered by WOLLASTON researchers now!

George and Alice POLLARD of Wing had two children - Mary Ann and Andrew. Mary Ann, who left Wing and married Frederick WOLLASTON, had 6 children while Andrew had 13 (of which only two died without children, I think), but there seems to be more genealogists out there descended from Mary Ann than from Andrew.

Is there anyone else out there descended from either side (bonus points if you're from Andrew's side like me though!) who wants to email me?

(PS - Jill and Robbie, if you're out there please let me know your current email addresses as the ones I have on file just bounced)

Saturday, October 04, 2008


I've had two BRANDON descendents email me in the last month. Is there anyone else out there who'd like to chime in?

Incidentally, my own Brandon claim is my 3xg-grandfather Andrew POLLARD who is a servant in Joseph Brandon's household in 1861 and no doubt learnt his blacksmith trade from him. If anyone could come up with an apprenticeship record or anything else relevant to this it would make my day!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

October update

Last month was the 1891 census, but this month we jump back in time several hundred years. There's some new pages in the Pre-1546 section, including entries from the Records of the Chancery, Records of the Exchequer, and a Very Brief Historical Background blurb has been added.

Another new addition is the final key page of the Non-conformist section, the Catholics of Wing.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Australian newspapers

The National Library of Australia has begun digitizing their old newspapers and making them available online - and there's nothing I like more than new online databases to explore! So far it's just their initial beta release, but I've struck gold already on the Wing front. If you are connected to the HOUNSLOW or MOORING families there's a very nice human interest story regarding the repayment of a debt in The Courier from Hobart in 1854 - searching for Wing plus Hounslow should bring it up.

The optical character recognition is a little dodgy at this stage. Promisingly, they have a "Help Fix This Text" feature, so I have fixed up the glitches in that Wing story.

I'll be keeping an eye on this to see what more Wing stories might come out of the woodwork as the project is rolled out. Check it out here.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Stood up

The mystery of which film has arrived in at my local LDS family history centre will have to wait until next week. There must have been a mixup or problem because no-one arrived to run the family history centre this evening, so after waiting 20 minutes I gave up and went home.

I should probably devote this unexpected spare time to my own family research. I may however just blob on the couch for a bit and see what, if anything, I fancy doing....

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Slow month

What's everyone else been up to research-wise? I haven't been up to a lot myself yet this month, between being busy at work and being busy in the garden with spring planting I've barely had a chance to think about genealogy. Those of you up north are presumably farewelling summer and planning to get stuck into your research over the coming months?

Late last month I ordered some films at the local LDS and they rang today to say one was in, so I do have some Wing-related research to do tomorrow evening. Exactly what it is still a surprise as I forgot to ask which film of the three it was!

Sunday, September 07, 2008


I'm currently looking at the HOUNSLOW and DIMMOCK families to see what I can see to help out a couple of researchers who have contacted me. If you have connections to these families, now might be a good time to email me?

And apologies in advance if I'm a bit slow in responding over the next couple of weeks - I'm expecting to be very busy at work including being away on a conference for a few days.

Monday, September 01, 2008

September update

At last it's here - my transcription of the 1891 census for Wing! I hope you find it useful.

I've also updated the "For Sale" page. This lists resources (that include a comprehensive listing for Wing) available for sale from commercial enterprises. There are no new resources I'm aware of, but there has been the periodic movement in your range of options for purchasing census scans, transcriptions and indices.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Well, I'm patiently waiting until the 1st September so I can upload the 1891 census transcription - yes indeed it is definitely all ready to go!

I also sat down and made a list of all the half-finished webpages lurking on my computer, then prioritised them so I know exactly what else will likely get finished off this year. But it's a secret, so I can't tell you :)

I can tell you another old alternative spelling for Wing I came across though - Waengh! Unfortunately the deed it comes from is undated.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Census update

The 1891 census has now been fully transcribed, checked and corrected. So it will definitely be converted to HTML and uploaded to the website as part of the September update.

In other news, you may be aware that the LDS have been working on a revised version of their Family Search website, which can be viewed at I'm going to try and reserve full judgement on it until I've had more of a chance to experiment with it, but I will say that standard Firefox keyboard shortcuts don't seem to work in it, and some things seem like a great leap backwards. For example, they have partnered with Find My Past to obtain their index for the 1861 census however the FamilySearch version has less search fields available - that said, the fields in the free search results are also slightly different on each site so, if your finances won't stretch to getting a copy of the census page itself, using the two searches in conjunction will get you more information than either site alone.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Oooh, farms in Wing!

(I will now drag myself back to the previously scheduled census task)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

1891 census update

Everything's ticking along nicely - I've now checked and corrected all the entries from the first enumeration district, which makes up 27 pages of the total 62.

Enumerator George CLEAVER has some interesting spellings - "Violet" is consistently recorded as "Voilet", Florence and Florance are used interchangeably, and the charwomen are invariably down as "chair woman". There's some other interesting things to look into, like George SMITH, Eliza CUTLER and Betsy FOUNTAINE who are all in their 20s, from Woodford "North Hants", and within a few pages of each other - I wonder if they are siblings? I've also located another brickmaker, Frederick WAKEMAN from Middlesex, although he's listed as a visitor so it's not clear whether he might have been working at the Littleworth brickyard or not.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Wing wives and postcards

Another five pages checked in the 1891 census, which makes 10 out of 62 done. Time to pick up the pace! Five or six a day for the next ten days will see the checking complete, so that's the pace I need to aim for in order to be ready for the September update.

In one of the pages I checked today, the enumerator had accidentally written "Wing" instead of "Wife" for Elizabeth ROSE's status. I know how he feels.....

And in other news, I received today a postcard I'd purchased on Ebay - it's a nice colour one of All Saints Church in the early 1900s showing the old gate and fence (since replaced with the lychgate memorial to Rev Tatham). But the message on the back was just as interesting! Posted in 1910, it reads:

"Dear F [Miss F East of Camberley Surrey] - Just a line to let you know that I have got a job: after three weeks at "Ascott" Leighton Buzzard Bucks L De Rothchild. Yours truly W Morgan".

Anyone recognise these MORGAN and EAST correspondents? And does anyone have any Wing postcards to or from their family members in their collection?

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


All blog posts have now been labelled with topics, names, or whatever else seemed relevant. You'll see a new labels bar listing all these over on the right hand side of your screen, or you can click on a label on the bottom of any post to search for other posts with the same label. This should prove to be a very useful feature.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Admitting defeat

You knew this was going to happen, didn't you?

The 1891 census will not be ready for the August update. I've checked five pages out of the 35, but there's no way I'll have time to check the remainder, plus convert it to html, by 1 August. So there won't be an August update - that way, I'll feel so guilty I'll go full steam ahead and try and get it done as soon as possible.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Had a d'oh moment this morning.....I've just realised that Blogger has tags/categories for its posts, except it calls them Labels! So over the next few days I'll be going back through my posts and adding surname and topic labels to them, plus figuring out how to tweak the blog layout to get a Label Bar so you can access things quickly.

Naturally I'll be checking the 1891 census transcription at the same time. I've printed it out, and checked the first page - only 34 more pages to go. You may note that this presents somewhat of a deadline problem looking forward to 1 August.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Mystery birthplaces number 3

First up is governess Janett A West, from "Bearmstow North Hants" - any ideas? Reference is piece 1277 ED 1 folio 17 pg 27.

Next is groom Thomas Farder from "New Caylton Salop" - even dropping the New I can't find anything in Shropshire vaguely like that except Caynham, and Thomas is nowhere to be found on earlier census records. Reference is piece 1277 ED 1 folio 13 pg 19.

And that concludes all the mystery placenames - now on to checking the other difficult-to-read entries I had flagged, before the final printout and recheck of all entries.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mystery birthplace number 2

I've worked my way through and sorted out all the birthplaces in the 35 pages of entries in Wing's second enumeration district except a couple which are shown below (the census reference is piece 1266 folio 32 pg 23).

The first one is above Scotland and belongs to 21-year-old Mary Milne who works in the kitchens at Ascott House. It looks like Single Borne Surrey to me but I can't find anything like that - has anyone heard of this or has any suggestions?

I'd also been puzzling over the one the other side of Scotland, but Henry Loose is still working at Ascott in 1901 and gave his birthplace then as Gunthorpe Norfolk, which does exist - unlike Gualhope Lincoln which is what it looks like in 1891.

Perhaps the enumerator, or whoever was in charge of rounding up the domestic staff's details at Ascott, had gotten completely frazzled by this point!

Incidentally, this site makes interesting reading -
Victorian Domestic Servants - I would guess the housekeeper at Ascott probably had the job of completing the census forms on behalf of her staff.

Monday, July 14, 2008

1891 census - progress so far

I've been very slack unfortunately - progress seems like too strong a word! And it's already half way through the month, so it may be another month before you see the 1891 census up online. I shall blame the seed catalogues - in the last couple of weeks the new year's seed catalogues have been released so we can spend our winter evenings picking what to grow once spring hits. It's taking me a while to narrow down the tomato selection!

In other news, I've finally managed to get my hands on my own copy of the book Wing As It Was. This features postcards and photographs of Wing and its inhabitants in the late 1800s and early 1900s (there's an index to the names in the book on the website). It's long since out of print, and it's only the second copy I've seen pop up on Ebay in the last three years, so I'm very happy to be the lucky winner this time round.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Mystery birthplace number 1 - solved?

Exhibit 1 above is the birthplace of one Henry GREEN in the 1891 census, piece 1266 ED2 folio 27 pg 13. In the 1871 and 1881 census he gives his birthplace simply as Northampton, but by 1891 he's obviously decided to be a little more specific as to where in Northamptonshire he was born.

I think I've probably solved this one, there is a "Courteenhall" in Northamptonshire and as it turns out Henry was in Wing by 1861 and gave his birthplace as "Courten Hall" that year. Perhaps in 1891 this is a case of a glitch popping up when the enumerator transferred the details from the household sheets to the final census pages? It certainly looks like "sh" in the middle there to me!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Oh so cold

We've been having some fairly rubbish weather in NZ over the last month. Barely a day has gone by without heavy rain, or a thunderstorm, or hail, or even a mini-tornado here in Auckland (luckily those are extremely mini and only damage one or two houses each time). It's just too cold to spend any time sitting at the computer when I'm at home so the 1891 census has been sadly neglected over the last week. However I did get some birthplaces nutted out so that's progress!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

July update

The names of some further men serving in WW1 (DENCHFIELD, EGGLETON, FAULKNER, FINCHAM, GATES, HARRIS, HARWOOD, HORNE and HORSFALL) have been added to the military section this month.

Looking ahead to the August update, I'm going to ask for your help. The 1891 census for Wing has been transcribed, it just needs checking, correcting and converting to HTML to upload. Where do you come in? If you're reading this, please schedule in your diaries to email me on some random day during July and ask how I'm going. I'm hoping that if I'm reminded all month that people are watching me it'll actually happen! I'll also be blogging any difficult-to-read birthplace locations that I'm puzzling over, so if you are familiar with placenames in counties outside of Bucks (or other countries - there's an international flavour to the live-in staff at Ascott) please keep checking back here as you just might be able to help me resolve some of them.

Monday, June 30, 2008

One Place Studies

Ever fancied undertaking your own one-place-study? I can highly recommend it as a rewarding activity, so if there's a village that's dear to your heart and ancestral research, why not adopt it? I'd be happy to help with advice and suggestions, so if you're toying with the idea just email me for a chat about it.

Big congratulations go to Sue, who's decided to take on Beachampton - hurray for another Buckinghamshire one place study!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Times Online

In my last post, I was using the Times Online index available from Thomson Gale via my library membership.

Now The Times themselves have just made their archives available online
Times Archive
You do have to give them a reasonable number of details to register, but it does appear to be free at the moment so if there's a particular historical event or person you're interested in you might want to pop over and see what you can find.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Recording where you've been

It is a truth universally acknowledged that genealogists should record the resources they've consulted, and exactly who/what/when/how they were searching for, even if there was only a negative result.

For example, people undertaking a one-place-study who have painstakingly trawled through several years worth of the Times Online Index, drilling down into all the results just in case there's something relevant even though most of the time it's a false alarm, should have recorded the search terms they were using and exactly which year they had gotten up to. Furthermore, they should not then lose the piece of paper and/or electronic file upon which they'd scribbled this incredibly useful information.


Tuesday, June 03, 2008


On Ebay there's currently an "acknowledgement of deed by a married woman", specifically a document signed in 1861 by a Caroline Sophia SUMMERFIELD, wife of Arthur, regarding a property in Wing. Other names on the deed are Mary Faulkner, John Archer, Henry Charles Adams, George Capes & Charles Evans.

I won't be able to buy it, but if someone else out there does get it I'd love to know the specifics of which property it was and how the other names tie in (tenants?). Mary FAULKNER and Henry Charles ADAMS both lived at Burcott in the 1861 census, the other names don't ring a bell. So if the lucky buyer does read this blog post, please leave a comment with the details!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

June update

Some new will transcripts this month, thanks to Ros - check out the VEERE and WOODMAN wills if you have connections to the following Wing families:


Mary Woodman was kind enough to leave £2 10s to the poor of Wing upon her death in 1758!

I've also updated the links page to add the SHURROCK one name study.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Online books - update

A while back, I wrote about Google Books and Live Search Books. Microsoft announced last week that they are ending the Live Search Books Project (apparently the existing books they have scanned will still be available via the main Live Search - but no word on whether this will be restricted to US visitors or not, as the Books feature had been). Sad news for those of us who love books and love coming across hidden gems online - has anyone found anything interesting books online lately?

Thursday, May 15, 2008


I haven't had any emails (well, non-spam emails, I have plenty of spam) for a few weeks now. I think this is probably the universe trying to tell me that I should be finishing all the existing lookups and little research projects that I've started for people lately...........I just haven't felt like staring at my computer screen so nothing's getting done!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Dream families

Ever dream you're doing genealogy research?

This morning, right before my alarm went off, I was puzzling over an 1841 census entry for a HIGGS family. I remember that the father had been recently widowed, and the family could have been a little bit posh as the adult son had not one but two middle names! There's no HIGGS amongst my own ancestors, nor in Wing, so it seems my sleeping brain is actually making up people now!

I do have a HIGGINS ancestor though, perhaps it's a sign I should start looking at the Aston Sandford records to see what I can see......

Thursday, May 01, 2008

May update

The military pages have been reworked - I have split these into multiple pages (WW1, WW2 and all other servicemen), added some entries, and expanded some entries. If you know of anyone I've missed, please email me and let me know their details.

In particular, if you have any more information on these men from the War Memorial, please let me know:
Alfred BLEW (WW2)
John BULL (WW2)
John HORN (WW2)
Harold RANDALL (WW1)
Samuel SMITH (WW1)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Harold RANDALL and Samuel SMITH

Harold RANDALL and Samuel SMITH both appear on the War Memorial, but I don't have any further information on either man. Does anyone out there know anything more about their service details?


Here in NZ it is ANZAC Day, the equivalent of the UK's Remembrance Day. I'll be finalising the military pages ready for the May update, and continuing to read Juliet Gardiner's "Wartime - Britain 1939 to 1945". For anyone who didn't live through it, this book is a fat but engrossing read and I recommend it.

I may even make some ANZAC biscuits to nibble on while I read.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Crying over spilt milk

I guess it's more blood than milk though - I've been going through the WO363 War Office records reading the WWI records of some of the Wing men. As with other records, there's always a sense of amazement that the records survive at all so you can learn these intimate snippets about someone's life. Some things that brought a tear to the eye:

Thomas CAPP, so keen to do his bit he'd signed up during the Boer War, then later done some Territorial service, then signed up again in WW1, spending 9 months in France even though he was 49 at the time.

Horace John CLARK, a driver with the Royal Engineers who was disciplined after being so tired at the end of one day he had neglected to clean his harness (and then lied to his commanding officer about it)

The letter from Esther BANDY requesting that the medals awarded to her late son Albert BANDY be publicly presented to her.

It is a shame that loss of life from such conflicts continues today. My condolences to the families of the two RAF men who were killed serving in Afghanistan a few days ago, and perhaps we should honour the dead by urging the powers-that-be to ensure that everything possible is being done to minimise the risk of injury to those who serve.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Keeping track

I think I need a better system for keeping track of Wing-related enquiries. I keep intending to look further into a particular family or topic, then get sidetracked by a different enquiry and before I know it I have a collection of half-finished documents and I can't remember where I was up to, what I was trying to achieve, and who I was going to "report back" to!

If you're waiting patiently for me to get back to you on something, it might be an idea to send me a quick email to remind me :)

Saturday, April 12, 2008


If you have ancestors or connections who may have served with the Australian forces in WW1, be sure to check the Australian War Memorial databases.
Australian War Memorial

I have just been reading Private Sydney FOUNTAINE's Red Cross file. He was initially missing and there is a lot of correspondence from Mrs Leopold de ROTHSCHILD's staff enquiring on the Fountaine family's behalf trying to establish what happened to him. He was eventually confirmed killed in action.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ancestry/Rootsweb message boards

If you seeking inspiration, why not check out the Ancestry/Rootsweb message boards? These are one and the same (Rootsweb is a free genealogical site hosted and controlled by the same parent company as Ancestry, which is a paid site for the most part), but can be accessed for free via either site. There are message boards for most surnames as well as locations. As they've been established for such a long time be sure to use the search function to increase your chances of spotting anything relevant.

I've recently made contact with a fellow reseacher for my CRUTCH line there (not a Wing line for once!) as well as volunteering to admin the CRUTCH board - not an onerous task given that until this month there'd been three messages in six years!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April update

The 1863 directory for Duttons has been transcribed, and the entries incorporated into the consolidated index of directory names.

Some minor things:
* Another bankrupt in the miscellany
* A DIMMOCK, GOODMAN and PRINCE charged with being lazy, more or less, in 1679 on the Crimes page
* Spellings has been updated for Radwell variants
* The link to the online version of the Feet of Fines document from the Buckinghamshire Record Society has been located and corrected

I do have some more things ready to go but I'm expecting a very busy April offline so I'm going to hold those back for the May update just in case I don't find any spare time before then!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Tabbed browsing hint

I didn't find Samuel Smith of Wing in the Commonwealth Graves Commission website, but I was reminded of a handy web browser feature and also found a super-handy add on for Firefox.

Like me, you probably spend time searching in genealogical databases. Once you've loaded in your search criteria the list of results pop up, but these generally only give you a summary of the results. Quite often you have to drill down into every result to get the full information in order to see if it is the person you are looking for - for example on the CWCG website you will see their service details on the results screen, but not the contents of the Additional Info field which might give you next of kin or residence.

Most browsers nowadays (Firefox, Safari, even Internet Explorer v7) have tabbed browsing. If you hold down the Ctrl key while clicking on the link, your browser will open the link in a new tab behind the one you are in - this is a quick way to get lots of links opening in the background as you can Ctrl-click your way down the list of results. Once they're open, you can go to the first tab, check for the info you're trying to find, then use Ctrl-W to close that tab if it's not the one you were looking for.

Even easier for Firefox users is the Snap Link add-on - this uses the right mouse button to draw a rectangle over all the links in one go, which then all open in new tabs. This has just saved me heaps of time!

TAYLOR in World War 1

Abandoned the hundreds of SMITH entries, but it turns out George TAYLOR is a needle in a haystack as well!

[updated: Thankfully the lovely folks at had a George Taylor with a birthplace of Wing, so I didn't have to go through all the G Taylors over at CWGC.]

SMITH in World War 1

I'm working on updates to the military pages, trying to expand the WW1 entries with further details on each man. Names like Oscar RIMINGTON are easy to identify in the Commonwealth Graves Commission website, others like Samuel SMITH are somewhat more challenging! While I'm ploughing through the several hundred alternatives in case Wing is mentioned in the next of kin (which is the only way I can definitively identify that's our guy), does anyone happen to be connected to the Smiths of Wing?

Friday, March 28, 2008

Swamped in spam

Anyone else getting noticeably more spam over the last couple of weeks? I usually check my email twice a day including checking and clearing out the spam folder each time, but now I'm starting to find each time it's more than a screens-worth, so I must be getting at least 100 spam emails a day landing in Outlook. That's too many to flick through looking for misdirected legitimate emails, so hopefully none of your emails are getting lost in the deluge.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

New look for the blog

I couldn't take the brown of the old layout anymore! I don't know how long this one will stick though....

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Calling all newbies

One of the Canadian magazine publishers is about to launch a new magazine aimed at newbies to genealogy - its a good mix of generic articles and pointers to specific resources including UK ones. I know this because they've made a sample issue available to download in PDF form. If you're a newbie, you could do worse than spend some time over the upcoming Easter weekend reading some of the articles!

Discovering Family History

Hope you find something of use in it :)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Unsavoury allegations

Have been browsing some historical newspaper reports this morning, and am saddened to report that there appears to have been another immoral clergyman in Wing besides the forger Dr William DODD who was hanged in 1777. Curate William EYRE, who was in Wing some forty years after Dodd, apparently had a liking for young girls who he would adopt out of the workhouse and then turf out some years later once they'd become pregnant.

Friday, March 07, 2008

The giant map

I spent the evening making a 3 foot by 3 foot map of Wing - how was your evening?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

All roads lead to Bucks - part two

And yet again, another of my lines leads me to Bucks......

There I was, innocently researching my TRAFFORD line in the Oxfordshire Family History Society transcriptions of the parish registers for Finmere. Easy as it turns out, the most recent entry is my great-grandmother Amelia Trafford's baptism in 1872, then jump back through her father George and his father John (who was the parish clerk and sexton) to arrive at his father John who was the patriarch of the whole small clan in Finmere thanks to his three marriages, the last of which gave me my Parish Clerk John.

Checking the census records, I discover that Patriarch John's third wife Susan(nah) EVERETT was, naturally, from Bucks - Adstock this time which is a new one for me. Patriarch John inconveniently died before the 1851 census but was still around in 1841, and was NOT born in Oxfordshire - anyone want to bet he was also from Bucks?

And did I mention their son Parish Clerk John married a girl who was living in Haddenham Bucks at the time?

Saturday, March 01, 2008

March update

Welcome to March - it's raining here (much needed) and I think I'll head off to the library to do some Oxfordshire research today (they have a full set of the Oxfordshire Family History Society parish register transcriptions fiche, very handy).

It's a small update for the website this month - just a new entry in the Gazetteers.

It would have been a large update as I've been overhauling the military section and it was ready to go......but then a few more Very Exciting Databases were released so I thought I would check those out for any Wing-related entries first. So watch out for that military update in April.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Genealogical courtesy

If you have found information relevant to your family on the internet that another genealogist has researched and kindly made freely available, then

a) it's only right to acknowledge them as a source if you are republishing their information, and

b) why not email them to say hi, I see we have common ancestors, nice to meet you and thank you for making that information available.

On the odd occasion (for example, just now) when I have come across someone republishing my own family information (some of which is so specific I know it can only be traced back to me), it does make me wonder why that person never thought to email me. I don't have a problem with the information being out there, after all I did make it available in the first place, but it seems just a tad impolite, does it not?

Thursday, February 21, 2008


I've been doing a bit of digging into Wing brickmaker Lawrence FAULKNER's origins. I was trying to link him back to the earlier Faulkners circa 1800 - while I don't know that there is a connection, I've at least figured out who he was, maybe!

He was a bit of a mystery as he's living with his grandparents George and Jane CHAPPEL in 1881, then just with widowed Jane in 1891 and 1901 (by which stage he's 24). I couldn't find a baptism for him in Wing, or a direct link between the Faulkners and Chappels.

However I suspect he is the Laurance Boyd Faulkner whose birth is in the GRO registers in the September 1876 quarter. From there it is a short hop to further suspect he may be the son of Lawrence Boyd Faulkner and Mary Ann B CHAMBERLAIN who married somewhere in the Birmingham registration district a couple of years earlier. And there is a marriage between a George Chappel and a Jane Chamberlain in the Leighton Buzzard district in 1871. All supposition at this stage of course, but it looks promising!

The question that has me pondering now, is why was Lawrence jnr living with his grandmother? Lawrence snr and wife Mary Ann are still alive and well and living in Walsall Staffordshire in the 1881, 1891 and 1901 census (which also advise that Mary Ann was born in Leighton Buzzard while Lawrence was a Londoner), and the couple have further sons who are at home with them.

If there's anyone out there connected to this family, I'd love to hear from you.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Request for Directories

Now that the 1935 directory has been uploaded to the website, I'd been planning to let you know that I'd transcribed all the directories I have access to. So, if you come across any others, please feel free to send me a copy of the Wing entry!

However, before I even had a chance to post that request a message on the Oxfordshire-L Rootsweb mailing list alerted me to the 1863 Dutton Allen & Co directory of Oxf, Berks & Bucks which is available on Google Books. So expect to see that Wing entry sometime soon........

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

1891 census - update

Today I finished transcribing the 1891 census for Wing - that's 1799 people.

Sadly there's still a while to go before it makes it to the website as it now has to be checked, but a milestone none the less!

Friday, February 01, 2008

February update

To make up for the fact there wasn't a January update, it's a bumper one this time - I've cleaned up a lot of outstanding filing and added all those snippets to the website:

First up is a good overhaul of the "Commercial Records" page necessitated by the various takeovers and closures in the genealogical publishing industry.

There's been some 17th century action, with new additions to the non-conformist page plus new will extracts for Richard Honor from 1664 and Elizabeth Lathwell from 1663.

Three marriage strays from the Waddesdon parish registers in the early 1800s have been added.

Some new finds on Google Books and the London Gazette have been added to the Miscellany page, the Adams murder page, the strawplaiting and brickmaking pages.

Jumping forward to the 20th century, the 1935 Kellys directory has been added.

And lastly, there's a new graphic greeting you on the front page. This is a vintage postcard from the early 1900s which I thought was eminently suitable for the home page.

Remember you can press Ctrl-F5 in your browser to refresh the home page if it's still showing as December - enjoy!

Friday, January 18, 2008

India Families resource

If you have ancestors who spent time in India for any reason, you may like to look at for any family events that may be recorded in the India Office Records. This index so far covers about 10% of their biographical sources.

Clive finally solved a long-standing question mark by finding our George POLLARD's first marriage there in 1819 whilst George was serving with the 14th Foot Regiment. Hurrah! But when did wife Sophia die?

We're also now wondering if the Andrew Pollard listed there as also serving with the 14th Foot when he and his wife died in 1819 might actually be George's older brother. One question mark is replaced with more, par for the course with genealogical research!

If you think you have found any more Wing-born people in that database (sadly they don't list birthplaces so I can't run a global search looking for any) please let me know.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Solved the niggling feeling

The OFHS journal and renewal form arrived in the mail a couple of days ago - so niggling feeling is now solved!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Niggling feeling

I had a pile of things to do that I didn't get around to doing before the holidays. I have a niggling feeling that one of those was the Oxfordshire Family History Society renewal which certainly should be due now, but I have no idea if they mentioned it in the December journal (assuming they have even sent the December journal yet), or if they sent a separate notification by mail or email, or if I imagined receiving a notification, or if I am just losing my mind! I also have a niggling feeling I had the exact same problem with the OFHS renewal last year.....

Any thoughts? I'd like to think I'm too young to be losing my mind, so I think I'll blame the heat.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Back in business

I have now been able to successfully restore the Wing One Place Study website back to its December status. If you notice any problems, please email me to let me know.

After all the IT glitches of the last couple of weeks I don't think I have the energy for a January update, so stay tuned at the beginning of February.

Lastly, if you haven't already done so you may like to bookmark this blog separately, as if there are problems with the main site I can let you know via this one. And you won't be able to reach this blog if you are depending on the link from the front page on the main site to get here!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Good news, bad news

The good news is my broadband has been fixed, so I can now see the outside world again - hello world!

The bad news is there are still some glitches that my website hosting company needs to iron out before I can fix up the website, so keep your fingers crossed. Email seems to be working properly though.

In my offline time, I've been harvesting courgettes and wondering exactly what to do with them, made mint jelly, pesto, some marinade, and lime cordial. Oh, and gave the pantry its annual spring clean!

Sunday, January 06, 2008


We have arrived home to discover our internet connection is on the blink, so it may be several days until I can get access to get the website fully fixed up. In light of this, there probably won't be any new material for January.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Website status

Well, the good news is the website is back. The bad news is the home page is all the way back to September rather than December, so the updates for the last three months are missing, and several older pages are also missing or back to very old versions. I won't be able to fix this up until Sunday.

I also suspect any email sent to me has gone MIA, but I won't know that for sure until Sunday either, so please hold off on emailing or re-emailing me.

Happy New Year everyone!

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