Setting the scene

I find historical DVDs useful in giving me a feel for the environments in which my ancestors lived. I have started to list up some of the interesting DVD’s I have watched on my Publications used page. Topics for recent viewings related to my genealogy research include Border Reivers, Tyneside, The Somme, The Home Guard and North East England.

(This is a catch-up post for missing my postaday on Thursday 10th May, which brings me back up to date again.)

Yesterday was Limerick Day

Since yesterday was Limerick Day I thought I might try my hand at a little “poetry”:

NPE is the abbreviation for Non-Paternity Event.  The NPE referred to above is the illegitimate birth of my great grandfather George Murray Turner which brings into question my Turner pedigree line.

(Since I missed two days of posting last week, this counts as a catch-up post for Wednesday 9 May.)

71 years ago today

George Murray Turner and Sarah Ann Carr

My great granny Sarah Ann Turner née Sarah Ann Carr died in Amble, Northumberland on 13 May 1941. Sarah Ann is buried in the family plot in Amble East Cemetery along with her husband George Murray Turner, several of their children, her parents-in-law, a son-in-law and a grandson. Her residence at the time of her death is given as being in Rowlands Gill, where I believe she moved to be with her daughter Lily Smith, but the place of death is given as the home of another daughter, my grandmother Nellie Crackett, in Amble. None of the few photos we have of Sarah Ann show her with a smile on her face which is perhaps understandable looking at the tragedies she had to face. Two of her 10 children died in infancy and she lost a teenage daughter in a fire accident. This picture shows her together with great granda George. I have no idea where or when the photo was taken. They both lived to a good old age, but looked old even in earlier photos when they must have been in their 40s or 50s judging by the ages of others they are with. What really amazed me when I saw this photo is that if I had seen her out of context (without George) I might easily have assumed it was a photo of my granny, her daughter.

169 years ago today

My 3x great grandfather Robert Parkinson died 12 May 1843 at Walker in Northumberland. Robert was a pitman. Robert married my 3x great grandmother Mary Anne Reay in 1819 and they had 7 children that I know of. Their 4th child was my great great grandfather John Parkinson born in 1826 in Walker. The informant on Robert’s death certificate was a William Parkinson. I am guessing that this was his son William born in 1821.

My Parkinson line hits its brick wall with Robert’s birth somewhere around 1792. So if any of you out there has information about his birth or his parents I would be pleased to hear from you. Drop me a message in the comment box and I will get back to you.

88 years ago today

Edmund Webb – Amble West Cemetery – age 9 months

My Mam’s baby brother, Edmund Webb, died in Radcliffe in Northumberland on 11 May 1924. Edmund was only 9 months old when he died of broncho pneumonia. I remember my granny taking me to put flowers on two graves at Amble West Cemetery when I was little. One was her aunt, the other I believe to be that of her little boy. On my first photo shoot in the cemetery I had forgotten all about him, so I wasn’t even looking for him. I later sent my brother and nephew to follow my vague directions to find him, but they had no success. On a new trip this Easter I had a flash of inspiration and think I have found him. There is no name, but the “monument” fits very well with my childhood memories of place and size and follows the norm of older baby graves there being near the paths. So I hope this photo is of the right grave, but even if it isn’t, I think little Edmund still deserves a thought. There are no living relatives I can think of who knew him during his short life as his only surviving sister was born 6 years after his death.

My baby uncle Edmund shares his name with two others. My granda’s brother Edmund Webb (1897 to 1916) and my great great grandfather Edmund Webb who is one of my most frustrating brick walls. He was probably born around the 1830s, perhaps originates from Cornwall and then moved to Lancashire where he produced great granda Robert Webb who is also a mysterious chap. 2x great grandfather Edmund may have been a tin miner, a coal miner and a stonemason. If any of you out there have any ideas on how to pin him down I would be thrilled to hear from you. Drop me a comment and I will get back to you.

112 years ago today

My great great grandfather Thomas Carr died at Hirst in Northumberland on 7 May 1900. Thomas and his wife Ellen or Eleanor or Ellenor had 5 daughters. Their youngest daughter was my great grandmother Sarah Ann Carr born in 1860. I have had no luck in tracing a marriage record for Thomas and Ellen. The birth certificates for their girls have inconsistent spellings of their mother’s name so I am looking for all possible combinations:

  • Ellen Reid
  • Ellen Read
  • Ellen Reed
  • Eleanor Reid
  • Eleanor Read
  • Eleanor Reed
  • Ellenor Reid
  • Ellenor Read
  • Ellenor Reid

If any of you out there can shed any light on who she may have been drop me a comment and I will get back to you to discuss it.

149 years ago today

My 20 year old great great grandparents Randle Thornton and Mary Oliver, both resident at Barrington Colliery, were married 6 May 1863 at Morpeth Register Office in Northumberland. Their marriage certificate shows Randle to be a coal miner. Their fathers are John Thornton, farm labourer, and Andrew Oliver, coal miner. Witnesses were William Allison and Andrew Oliver. I have no idea yet whether William Allison was a relative or friend. The Andrew Oliver who signed as witness must have been Mary’s father as her brother Andrew was only 10 at the time.

Trying out the scheduled publishing functionality with this post, so I hope it appears on the right day.

Blavatar: Amble staiths

Coal staiths and fishing boats at Amble Harbour

My blog has existed for a year and a half with just the standard WordPress symbol identifying it. I decided not to have my own photo as a blavatar image since this is more about my past than about me. Until now I have been stuck for ideas as to what might be an appropriate picture, but tonight I had a flash of inspiration. I have a water colour of Amble harbour showing the coal staiths and fishing boats. Nothing could be more appropriate since it was coal mines and fish quays that brought my various ancestral lines together at Amble to produce me. The blavatar is a little too small to get the full effect, so here is a picture of the painting. This is one of many local Northumbrian scenes painted by my uncle.

NDFHS Parish Register Series

I spent yesterday evening socialising with a couple of old friends and since we gossiped till midnight I made no blog post. Making up for that today by publishing this extra catch-up post so I am still on my postaday target.

I find the NDFHS Parish Register Series useful in identifying which churchyards I want to visit for a photo shoot. My Publications page shows which monumental inscriptions in the series I have in my genealogy research library.