Old Parish Registers

Mary Hutchinson baptismSome of you have asked me why it takes so long to find ancestors a few centuries ago. Just to give you an indication of the challenges in reading records, here is one of the more legible: Baptism of my 4th great grandmother Mary Hutchinson at Felton on 13 Nov 1791. Her parents were Joseph Hutchinson and his wife Mary. Joseph and Mary lived at Felton Moor and I subsequently discovered that her name was Mary Brown.

The past few weeks

Views and visitorsI started to kick myself into daily posting again after my summer holidays. It has been interesting to see the effect that my increased writing activity has had on my readers. A big thanks to all of you who follow my posts. I hope you find something of interest as you browse through my meandering thoughts and random ramblings. I have lots more floating around in my head that I plan to publish. Just need to structure my ideas, pick out photos and “put pen to paper” or hit the appropriate keys on the keyboard.

4 new topics on DNA plus paper

I have added four new topics to my page DNA plus paper:Shared DNA Lyn and Hal

  • DNA % shared with my aunt (with links to a useful calculator and other tools)
  • mtDNA Haplogroup
  • Step 5 at 23andme
  • Progress at 23andme

You can access them from the link in this post or from the menu line of Digging up the Ancients.

Corbet Complications and Davis Doubts

Mary base CorbetMy great great grandparents, George Davis and Sarah Ann Corbett, have kept me out of mischief for years trying to get to the bottom of their interesting tales. It now looks as though I may be about to meet another Davis/Corbet combination that is going to tie me in knots. This current idea is still very much at the exploratory stage as I have not ruled out all other possibilities.

My 3rd great grandfather, John Davis, baptized four children in Madeley, Shropshire. The baptismal records indicate that their mother was called Mary. There are a few possible marriages between a John Davis and a Mary, but one of those looking most likely is in 1821 at Much Wenlock. Unfortunately, the indexes just give her name as Mary C and there is no image available online.

If this is correct, then one of the promising possibilities for a Mary C born in Much Wenlock is a Mary Corbet. I am now looking to see if I can prove this connection from other sources. However, if I do manage to prove it, then I will be facing yet another brick wall, as her baptismal record from February 1799 states: “Mary (base) daughter of Anne Corbet”.

Thornton theories

When I started on this journey I knew little about my Thornton line except that my maternal granny, Margaret Jane Henderson, was given the same Christian names as her mother Margaret Jane Thornton. I have subsequently tracked down another 6 generations of Thorntons back to 7th great grandfather Henry Thornton, born in the late 1600s. They lived in and around Hartburn, Northumberland.My Thornton tree part 1My Thornton tree part 2I have confirmed from the baptism of Robert Thornton, born 1703, that his father was a Henry Thornton. If I am correct in my theory that Henry married Jane Read, then this is going to open up some interesting lines going back from Henry and Jane to Civil War times and beyond. I still have some more digging to do to prove that this theory about Henry and Jane is correct before I add the new finds to my tree and publish them here.


The new me

NeanderthalThe first part of my DNA results from 23andme.com came through today. Still waiting for the ancestry and relatives analysis, but among the curious pieces of information they have shared with me so far is my Neanderthal percentage. Had to laugh at the way they present it. Those of you who are old enough may well remember that song:

I’m a Neanderthal man, You’re a Neanderthal girl, …….”

If that memory eludes you, then I can at least point out that the lyrics were a trifle repetitive. Having trouble posting the link, but you can easily look it up on Youtube if you want to amuse yourself with the inanity of what we listened to in the 70s :)