Friday, January 22, 2010

Allotments at Waddesdon Manor

I'm back to work now after the holidays so haven't had much time for genealogy (or random web surfing) over the last couple of weeks. However I did come across this - if you've got a young family and fancy an allotment at Waddesdon Manor, five are up for grabs. See here for the details. Wouldn't it be nice to see this at Ascott House as well? Growing your own food is a lovely insight into the life of the generations that came before us.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

On my next trip

I don't have any immediate plans (or means) to visit England again, but I certainly will one day. And now I have somewhere I definitely have to visit on that trip!

Another find in the Ancestry London Metropolitan Archives marriage database was the marriage entry for my 2xgreat-grandparents Edmund Worledge WHITE and Ann POULTER in 1871 - coincidentally the marriage took place on the same day as my parent's wedding, 99 years later. This certificate gave me official confirmation of Ann's surname and father's name and occupation, so I could now locate Ann in the earlier census records. In 1851, the family is at "Reeds" in Farnham Surrey where father James is a farmer of nine acres (there's a second farmer also at Reeds farming a further six acres). I googled this address and came up with.....

Rural Life Centre, Farnham - yes, there's now a rural life museum on the land that my great-great-grandfather farmed! Worth a visit, yes?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Happy 101 Award

A big thank you to Linda on the Flipside and Thomas of Destination: Austin Family for nominating me as one of their 10 blogs for the Happy 101 Award.

This meme has you naming 10 things that make you happy, along with 10 blogs that make you happy! At that rate the geneablogging sphere must already be well and truly covered off, so I'll just do the first bit.

1. I'm very happy that my William WILLSON was a shoemaker. Also that none of the other dozens of William WIL(L)SONS in the 1841 English census that were in Lincolnshire and born in Lincolnshire, or in Middlesex and not born in Middlesex, of the right age bracket, were not shoemakers. So very happy. Finding only one matching candidate was long odds indeed!

2. Ancestry scanning and making available the parish registers held by the London Metropolitan Archives have made me very happy too, given that the only other way to access them is via personal visit which isn't very practical from New Zealand.

3. The entertaining podcasts available via iTunes (and elsewhere of course) - current favourites are Carpool (Robert Llewellyn chatting to interesting people while he gives them a lift in an eco-friendly car) and Rhod Gilbert's Best Bits (Welsh comedian and his flatmate talking about everything and nothing)

4. My amazing partner makes me happy every day (6,134 days and counting)

5. Turning on my computer this morning and having my Vista gadgets tell me it's zero degrees in my grandad's spot in the UK and two degrees in my brother's spot in the UK - an improvement over the -9 (celsius) of a few days ago, and I love that technology brings me closer to them.

6. My netbook - it's been almost a year and we're still in love.

7. The joy of jam making - the strawberry crop in my garden this summer is large enough I can make jam, and it's great fun!

8. I still have one week of summer holiday left. One whole week! (less the day I have to work, granted, but that's because I have to process some payrolls for some of our clients and getting paid will make those people happy).

9. The Ingenious Edgar Jones by Elizabeth Garner - the best of the stash of library books I took out for the holidays. If Victorian Oxford and beautifully descriptive writing sounds like your thing, check it out.

10. A good spot of blog surfing - starting on one blog, checking out something interesting on their blogroll (or blogs the author follows), and meandering your way from blog to blog until you find something awesome, like (warning, adult language) (which is today's Blogger Blog of Note so I guess everyone knows about it now)

I hope that you all have plenty of things making you happy at the moment - 2010 is going to be a great year.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A whole new world

As I mentioned in a previous post, I've been working on my WILLSON line who were London-based. I'm back another generation now - well, technically I "cheated" and rushed ahead as I haven't ordered the birth certificate that would 100% confirm the mother's maiden name, but I'm 99% sure - isn't it handy when surnames pop up as middle names? It's also handy when an occupation isn't just "ag lab" for once!

This next generation is a couple who married in St Andrew Holborn in 1847 - and lo, they are both from Lincolnshire according to census records. This is a whole new county I've never had reason to research before, a rare occurrence indeed. It seems like each new line I pursue invariably ends up in counties I already know well, like Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, but now I get to go east to the Fens!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Post-1858 wills index

Some interesting news today - the US geneabloggers invited to Ancestry's Blogger Day are reporting that Ancestry are currently scanning the UK post-1858 wills index. This is great news, as even if you don't go ahead and order the full will from the Probate Service (which is a painful process if you are overseas) there is a fair amount of information about the person and the will in the index entry itself, like date of death, address, name of whom probate was granted to, and the value of the assets.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Let it snow

Is it snowing in Wing? Send photos!

If you're marooned inside, make yourself a cuppa and settle down to some quality genealogy time. I've spend a lot of time over the last two days (I'm on summer holidays here, will refrain from posting photos of myself in the sun with a tall fruity drink) searching through Ancestry's databases from the London Metropolitan Archives in search of my London-based families. While these records are far from complete (always check using the Browse feature to see if the parishes you are after are even included, and if so, what years) I've had quite good luck on my WILLSON family. They had eleven children (or so I thought), and I have found baptisms for five of them including my great-grandmother, but sadly not her older sister who was my great-step-grandmother. I also found another three children I didn't know about including one son by the name of Ethelbert Lionel Horatio WILLSON!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Saturday, January 02, 2010


I've taken the blog back to its retro look now Christmas is over. I've also given my profile shot a wee makeover, courtesy of (thanks to Sheri Fenley, The Educated Genealogist, for alerting me to this) - and they even had a martini glass as one of the options!

As a Trekker I also had to check out Star Trek Yourself - my current Louise Brooks haircut only needs minor modifications to become the classic Vulcan bowlcut as it turns out.

Friday, January 01, 2010

January update

Hi everyone - hope you had a great Christmas and New Year's, and are looking forward to a rewarding and successful genealogical decade.

This month I have added some more WW1 military men from the WO 363 series of documents. The men are three PITCHFORD brothers, a PRENTICE, a REYNOLDS, a RICE, a RICKARD, a ROADNIGHT, a SAMUELS, a SAWYER, a TIMMS and a WILLIS. I've also noted that a couple of the men already listed also have records in the WO 363 series, namely Henry SMITH and Frederick WOOLHEAD.

Some of these men were non-conformist - Charles RICE, Alfred William ROADNIGHT and Herbert James SAMUELS were all Methodist, and Joseph Harold RICKARD married Emily Louisa WOOLHEAD in the Union Chapel.

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