Family history through the alphabet – G is for Geography

G is for Geography

It was tempting just to hop right into G is for genealogy, but I decided to challenge myself more and go with G is for Geography. This is because my genealogy research has forced me to learn more about the geography of my own home country. My knowledge of some of the midland counties was very fuzzy so I have learned a lot as I have tracked my relatives from the mines of Northumberland back through mining areas in other counties to their agricultural roots. I have started to put together information about this geographical journey on my Places page.

G is for Garden

No, I am not about to change a lifetime habit and develop green fingers. Strange really that I have so little interest in gardening as both my grandas and my Dad were keen gardeners. Garden in this instance is the name of my 5x great grandmother, Isobel Garden who married George Ruddiman. Isobel was born sometime in the mid 1700s in Aberdeenshire.

If you would like to know more about this alphabet challenge take a look at Family History through the Alphabet.

105 years ago today

My great great grandfather Randle Thornton died on 17 June 1907 at Amble in Northumberland. Randle was a 64-year-old coal miner when he died of Bright’s disease, which I understand to be chronic nephritis (kidney problems) and cardiac hypertrophy.

Randle married Mary Oliver in 1842 and they had 11 children: 5 girls and 6 boys. So far I have only focussed on the fates of two of their girls. Two Thornton sisters married two Henderson brothers. One of these couples was my great grandparents Archibald Henderson and Margaret Jane Thornton. The other couple was Newton Henderson and Mary Phyllis Thornton who are give rise to my California Henderson connection.

Family history through the alphabet – F is for Fecund Forebears

F is for Fecund Forebears

My tree has many branches because large numbers of offspring appear to have been the norm among the mining, fishing and farming families of North-East England and Scotland. Three of my grandparents are from large families. Grandmother Ellenor Turner was the seventh child of ten. Grandmother Margaret Jane Henderson was the third child of seven. Grandfather George Crackett was the eighth child of ten. (Shown in the banner of my blog).

Taking it back one generation further the big families include: Cracket 8, Parkinson 5, Carr 5, Henderson 7, Thornton 11. Similar trends can be seen in the earlier generations too with most of the couples having somewhere between 5 and 10 children.

F is for findmypast

F is also for findmypast which is one of the resources I find most useful for my genealogy research. I find their transcriptions among the most reliable, although Cracket has on occasion been twisted to Crackel. So far I have just used the UK site, but expect I am soon going to have to take a look at both Ireland and Australia. I have not managed to figure out yet whether having a subscription for one country gives any discount opportunities for the other countries.

If you would like to know more about this alphabet challenge take a look at Family History through the Alphabet.

With a little help from my friends

I was planning to figure out where my Cullercoats ancestors might be buried before my next trip to Northumberland so I could plan a photo shoot. However,  a chance conversation with a friend who mentioned that there was a cemetery near Billy Mill roundabout that he passes on his way to his allotment triggered my curiosity and answered my question. It turns out, after he has investigated further, that  a section of Preston Cemetery has been set aside for headstones moved from Cullercoats. Does not sound very promising with respect to legibility, but there could be some little research gems hidden under the ivy. Among the names I will be looking for there are Henderson, Newton and Miller.

A late addition to this post: Forgot to mention before I hit the publish button that the post title not only reflects the topic, but was chosen because the friend who checked this out for me likes Joe Cocker.

245 years ago today

My 4x great grandparents, Adam Carr and Jane Nesbitt, were married on 6 June 1767 at Longbenton in Northumberland.

That makes this “xxx years ago today” post among my oldest events. Jane was a Longbenton lass and Adam was from Belford so I cannot help wondering what made him travel 47 miles south and marry a girl from there. Whatever the reason, I am glad he did :)

I wonder what they would have made of how far their descendants are scattered around the world. Doubt if they even knew where Norway is.