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.
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.
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.
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.
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 :)
My granda, Jonathan Doleman Webb, was born 9 July 1899 at Radcliffe in Northumberland. I never heard anyone call him Jonathan. It was always Jont or Jonty. Jonty was an intelligent man, but growing up in a mining family in the early 1900s he had little opportunity for education and spent his working life down the pit. This photo shows him ready for work. Take a look at the kneepads for crawling through the pit and the carbide lamp hanging from his pocket. I scanned it in situ in the album because the caption underneath is written by my granny. I remember this bike. He used to call it “Sputnik”.
He never talked much about his childhood and now, knowing what my genealogy research has taught me, I realise it must have been a tough one. His Dad Robert Webb was a pitman, and from the few family tales that have survived was clearly not an easy man to live with. Jonty was only two and a half when his Mam, Mary Davis, died of surgical shock after suffering a brain tumour for 8 months. I can only assume that big sister Annetta, who was about 9 at the time, had to roll up her sleeves and help out with toddler Jonty and four year old Edmund. Five years later their Dad married a widow Isabella Sharp and by the time of the 1911 census father, stepmother and the two boys were together but Annetta had left home to live with other relatives. At 14 Jonty started his working life down the pit which continued until he retired from Hauxley Colliery. I suppose I can be thankful that his young age and his occupation in the mines spared him from WWI in which he lost his big brother Edmund.