A granny-ism

I have spent the day in an office where the air conditioning seemed to be on strike. Since it was nearly 30C outside we were all starting to melt inside. This brought to mind something my granny Webb often said to us in the local dialect when we were “bairns”.

“Tekk ya jumpa off, a’m fair scumfished”.

It can be roughly translated to “Please remove your woollen outer garment, as I am feeling rather warm.” I never did manage to figure out how it would help her to cool down if I shed a layer of clothing, but I am sure there was logic in it somewhere :)

Norwegian Constitution Day

Norwegians dressed in bunad parading in front ...

Norwegians dressed in bunad parading in front of the royal family on May 17th. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

17 May is a public holiday in Norway to celebrate the signing of the Norwegian Constitution at Eidsvoll in 1814. A fantastic day when people dress up in their bunad (national costume, with local variations) and have parades and games. If you would like to know more about what folks get up to take a look at Norwegian Constitution Day.

This gives me an opportunity to mention that I actually have a handful of Norwegians in my family tree. The Hanson family of Lynemouth, Northumberland are “cousins” of my Granda Webb. Henry Hanson, born in 1879, was a Norwegian seaman who married Elizabeth Doleman in 1902. His father was also a Norwegian seaman named Hans August Hanson. I am still struggling to tie in the paper trail from the Dolemans and Hansons to my grandfather, but I remember being taken to visit the Hansons at Lynemouth when I was little and am sure they belong to us somehow.

New 2nd cousin-in-law

I have now found a new second cousin-in-law who I am hoping may be able to help me to figure out whether any of my living Spears or Smailes relatives have a treasure trove of documents from my Webb line hidden away in a cupboard. Maybe one step close to finding the clue that will knock down the brick wall behind Robert Webb and Edmund Webb.

70 years ago today

1942 – George Crackett & Peggy Webb

My Mam & Dad, George William Crackett & Margaret Jane Webb (George & Peggy) were married on 18 April 1942 at Amble Methodist Church. You can see from the attire that it was a wartime wedding, and the festivities were no doubt a little dampened by the loss of my Dad’s brother Syd just a couple of weeks earlier. The officiating minister at the wedding was great uncle Will (the Rev. William Robinson Turner) brother of my granny Crackett. Shortly after the wedding my Dad went off to serve in India for 3 years and my Mam returned to live with her parents in Radcliffe for the duration of the war.

Amble East Cemetery plot list

I found a plot list for Amble East Cemetery during my visit to the Northumberland Archives this week. So far I have tied in 13 of the names on the list to my tree and expect to tie in a lot more. Surnames are Crackett, Henderson, Smith, Stavers,Turner and Webb, but Murray and Robinson are also represented in the middle names. I already knew about 9 of the 13 from my trip there a couple of years ago to photograph headstones. The other 4 have given me new information. I have published a list of family members on my Amble East Cemetery page.

(This is my catch-up post for Wednesday 4th April when I missed my postaday)

Aggravating age adjustments

I expected to find the odd cosmetic adjustment to age somewhere in my tree, but I find that the most creative and irritating of all my age adjusters is great grandfather Robert Webb who either could not count or told big fibs. The few official documents I have managed to find for him indicate that he is the son of Edmund Webb and that he was born in Oldham, Lancashire in 1849, 1850, 1854, 1857 and 1861  Smile

For more information on this intriguing conundrum take a look at my Brick Wall page.

Disentangling Doleman

Much of today’s effort has been devoted to trying to tie down my connection to the Doleman family. My grandfather Jonathan Doleman Webb had several Doleman “cousins” in Amble in Northumberland, but I have been unable to work out exactly where the relationship lies. I cannot find any appropriate Webb-Doleman marriages to tie the connection to his paternal line or Davis-Doleman marriages to tie it to his maternal line. I have now traced the Amble Doleman line back to Bilston in Staffordshire in the hope that this may shed some light.

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.

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