Putting names to faces

How I wish that my ancestors had been more diligent about identifying people and dates on photographs. Looking at my four grandparents and how they tackled naming of the photos they left behind of their parents and siblings I have the following results:

  • Crackett – my granda never gave a thought to this sort of thing so what information I do have is gleaned from others, mainly from my father’s cousin who helped to identify a huge heap of photos and gave me some amazing insights.
  • Turner – my granny had no time for naming photos either, but fortunately there were a few in her pile that were received from other family members and had been annotated. We have about 50 Turner photos that are now the subject of guesswork.
  • Webb – no photos of my granda’s family exist to name. I strongly suspect that my granny consigned what he did have (if any) to the bin at some stage. I wonder if anyone anywhere will ever be able to fill the gap.
  • Henderson – even here there are big gaps in putting names to ancestral pictures, but my granny did send photos of her children and grandchildren to relatives around the world with captions on them so subsequent generations are well documented.

A good example of the challenges that all this causes is the photo at the top of my blog. I have all 12 names, but not all of them can be tied in to the right individual. More about that another day.

81 years ago today

My great grandmother Mary Crackett, née Mary Parkinson, died 81 years ago today (19 March 1931) in Radcliffe, Northumberland. She was born 26 March 1852 and was just a week short of her 79th birthday when she died of senile decay. One of her living grandchildren remembers her as a rather stern woman which would seem to be consistent with photos of her later in life. Mary is the matriarch in the centre of the large family which is pictured in the banner of my blog.

Mary’s daughter-in-law Emily Crackett, née Emily Thompson shares the same death date 18 years later. Emily died in 1949 at age 75.

Razed rows in Radcliffe

Next on my list of Places is the pit village of Radcliffe in Northumberland. The rows of colliery housing were razed to the ground in 1971 when the opencast moved in. What was once a tight knit community of about 700 souls is now just a handful of houses. My Webb line lived in Radcliffe for many years and it has also been home to relatives named Crackett, Tweddle, Smith, Gair and Smailes.

Research database statistics

After a couple of years of wondering how to produce a table in my blog I have finally realized that the solution is to link up Windows Live Writer to WordPress. If this proves successful then I will be able to improve the readability of several pages. Testing out the table functionality with some statistics about my research database: Continue reading

Monument photos

Wonder if I can add a little content every day in 2011. My first attempt missed Jan 1, by just a few minutes. Have started to experiment with the media library and how to caption photos by uploading a couple of photos from my cemetery visits at Easter. My Monument page under the Research menu tells you about which cemeteries I have visited. Photos posted today are the Turner family plot in Amble East Cemetery and the grave of my uncle Syd Crackett in Amble West Cemetery.

What is on my home page?

I have used my home page to tell you why I decided to blog about my past and introduce you to my great grandparents’ large family which gave me some interesting leads when I first started my research. I also include some navigational tips.

In the side panel you will find an RSS feed, a link to international genealogy blogs (Geneabloggers), monthly archives and a list of pages.

Top rated posts and most used tags which are shown at the bottom of the page are a bit thin at the moment as I only have two readers, but should become more useful as interst grows.

Creating my blog

Had a relaxing Sunday afternoon figuring out how to configure a blog with WordPress. Still have a lot to learn about how to make it easy to navigate. Decided on some basic elements and experimented with publishing text and photos and building a menu. Having realised that just giving access to the tree does not generate interest, I have given some thought to what my readers (if I should be so lucky as to have any) might want to know. Not going to spread the link to my family until I have added in some concrete info to key pages. My first attempt at posting a photo was the wedding photo for my parents George Crackett and Peggy Webb.

Digging up the ancients

Why I am blogging about the past

I dipped my toes into genealogy a few years ago with little success. Then a question from my Welsh cousin triggered my interest again earlier this year. Spent my Easter holidays squelching around damp chilly Northumbrian cemteries with my camera and playing with the microfilm readers at Woodhorn Archives. At the end of the week I was totally hooked.

Now find I need an effective method of sharing my finds with the rest of the clan without losing control of my mailbox. Have 6 months of intriguing research to structure and have not seriously blogged before, so bear with me as I try to figure out what to put where for maximum readability.

My main areas of research are the Crackett, Webb, Turner and Henderson families of Amble, Northumberland, but even after 6 months I have a long list of other surnames that appear in my pedigree.