209 years ago today

My 3x great grandmother, Margery Hall, was born 3 July 1803 at Elsdon in Northumberland. Margery is the 3rd daughter and 7th of the 10 children of Joseph Hall of Elsdon and Eleanor Thompson of Rothbury Parish. You can read more about her siblings on my Hall page. On 17 May I posted about Margery’s marriage to John Thornton.

Family history through the alphabet – H is for history

H is for History

I started out focussing on the family element of family history, but have now progressed to considering the history aspect too. With the exception of Romans and Vikings I was never particularly interested in history as a subject at school, so my knowledge of the history of the past two or three centuries is seriously lacking. As I have added new people to my tree I have tried to find out more about the historical context in which they lived their lives. This has given me much more insight into the transition from an agricultural society to the industrial age and also the timeline of events in the first World War. One of the most interesting pieces of historical research has been looking into where the Northumberland Fusiliers served in 1915 and 1916 to track the path of my great uncle Edmund Webb from enlistment at Amble to his death in battle at Flers-Courcelette.

Moving on from history to genealogy I can claim four H-names in my pedigree. All four come from my mother’s half of the tree.

H is for Hall

First in the alphabet comes Hall. My Hall ancestors lived at Elsdon in Northumberland and I have been lucky enough to find good sources of information about them.

H is for Hedley

Another of my pedigree H lines is Hedley. I have not found quite so many of them. They too have lived in the Elsdon area and I found them by following up the Hall line.

H is for Henderson

The closest of my H pedigree lines is Henderson, to be found in Amble and Cullercoats. My maternal grandmother was a Henderson.

H is for Hunter

My final pedigree H is Hunter. Yet another Elsdon connection found by tracking back up the Hall line.

If you would like to know more about this alphabet challenge or read other bloggers’ H-contributions take a look at Family history through the alphabet.

Another marriage for Gabriel Hall?

A new found contact yesterday has suggested that my 5x great grandfather Gabriel Hall may have had a previous wife before my 5x great grandmother Hannah Hunter in 1765. We are currently looking into whether the 1748 marriage between Gabriel Hall of Elsdon and Jane Hedley refers to the same Gabriel.

Double dating

No, I am not about to hit the town with a girlfriend and a couple of lads. The concept of double, or dual, dating in record keeping was introduced to deal with the period (different years in different countries) when scientists concluded that the calendar was out of synch with the lunar year and the change was made from Julian dating to Gregorian dating. The change involved disposing of 11 days and moving the start of the year from March to January thus causing the months to be renumbered. I have often wondered why September, October, November and December (7ber, 8ber, 9ber, 10ber) had numbers inconsistent with their place in the calendar year. Now I understand that this was based on their position calculated in the Julian calendar with March as month 1. One effect of the change in England was that people went to their beddy byes on Wednesday 2 Sep 1752 and woke up the next morning on Thursday 14 Sep 1752. Needless to say there were soon riotous mobs screaming to have the missing 11 days of their lives back. For the genealogist it creates some interesting challenges. Records in the mid 1700s can show both OS (old style) and NS (new style dates). This explains some of the problems I had interpreting the Elsdon records I read at Easter so I am going to have to QA my findings. I also need to look more closely into whether I have any errors in my genealogy database because England and Scotland implemented the change at different times. I learn something new every day that I work on this research. If you want to learn more about this calendar change yourself take a look at Chesterfield’s Act.

New 5x great grandparents Hall

I have now identified a new set of 5x great grandparents: Gabriel Hall and Hannah Hunter of West Todholes, Elsdon, Northumberland. They were married 12 December 1765, so I am now going to look for birth records in the 1740s. The reasoning behind my conclusion that Gabriel and Hannah belong in my tree can be found on my Hall page.

(This is my catch-up post for Friday 6th April when I missed my postaday)