John Henderson, 1811, Haydon Bridge – Incredible luck

My 3rd great grandfather John Henderson has had me running round in circles for about five years. The 1851 census told me he was born about 1812 in Cullercoats. I traced and followed several John Hendersons from the Tynemouth area without making the correct connection. Initially I was not observant enough to pick up on the conflicting birth place of Haydon Bridge shown in the 1871 census. After purchasing his death certificate I set off on the trail of a John Henderson baptized about 1811 in Haydon Bridge. Since the family were non-conformist I assumed that my problems in finding him meant that he was baptized in a Presbyterian or Methodist chapel somewhere in that area. After several years of banging my head against this brick wall I tried a new tack and took a closer look at his siblings. There was slow process there too, but finally I decided that Archibald Henderson baptized in Haydon Bridge could be his brother. This gave parents Archibald and Jane, so I set off in pursuit of other children who might share these parents. This lead me to two baptisms in Kirkwhelpington in 1813 for Ruth and John. My immediate reaction was that this ruled out this family as belonging to my John due to the date discrepancy. No further information was forthcoming online so I was stuck again. On my next visit to the Northumberland Archives I dug out the Kirkwhelpington records to view these baptisms on 19 December 1813 and I struck gold. The minister had made an annotation in the margin of the register which told me: “John born 1811 Haydon Bridge. How lucky can you get?

Happy New Year 2015

It has been a while since I have concentrated on my genealogical research or posted to my blog as life has been fairly busy. I am now planning to pick up the threads again and increase the level of activity. I hope that those of you who have left comments will bear with me as I work through them all and respond.

Obscure Ormstons

My Welsh cousin is looking for her Northumbrian Ormston ancestors but not having much luck.Looking at the census I see it is a more common surname than I initially thought. We have had a couple of days at Woodhorn and found some. Based on the information gathered so far we then tried several churchyards but had no success. No Ormston headstones at Lowick St. John, Kyloe St. Nicholas, Norham St. Cuthbert, St. Mary Belford, Beadnell St. Ebba, Bamburgh St. Aidan or North Sunderland.

If you are researching Ormston from Northumberland drop me a comment and I can put you in touch with my cousin.

Family history through the alphabet – J is for Judgement

J is for Judgement

There is more to family history than just collecting and collating facts, certificates and dusty old photographs. It also requires analysis, evaluation and judgement. Among the judgement calls to made are when is a piece of evidence good enough to rely on it and move on. One example being, when I found a William Cracket baptismal record in the right place and close to the ancicipated year could I accept this as great great grandfather William or did I need to keep looking in other nearby locations? That type of judgement cannot be made just on the basis of a single piece of evidence, but should also take into account other sources such as census records, marriage records and death records to reduce the possibility that this may have been another William. Just a short alphabet post for me this time round as I am off exercising some of that judgement trying to break through a couple of Northumbrian brick walls.

If you would like to know more about this alphabet challenge or read alphabet posts from other genealogy bloggers take a look at Family history through the alphabet.

Hectic holiday

Aside

I am so deep into research this week that I have not had time to write blog posts or follow up on comments. Two full days in the Northumberland Archives at Woodhorn and two full days of driving round the county looking at villages and farms where my ancestors lived and tramping through graveyards with the camera. I did plan to write about finds every evening, but time has flown by as I have my cousin staying with me and joining in the fun. Bear with me and I will catch up on responding to comments in the next few days.

July 8, 9, 10

These three days are busy ones in my family history calendar. I have already posted about a marriage on 8th July and two birthdays on 9th July. I can add to that with another birthday on the 8th, a wedding anniversary and 3 more birthdays on the 9th and a birthday on the 10th. Four of the birthdays falling in these three days are for living relatives so I will not be posting details. A happy birthday to all of you reading this and recognising yourselves :)