28 Leslie Row, Radcliffe, Northumberland

granny-and-granda-webb.jpgA question from my Canadian 1C1R about her father’s origins triggered me to dig out this wonderful photo of my grandparents standing in the yard of their house in the colliery village of Radcliffe. Looking across the road from where they are standing they would see the communal water standpipe, the coalhouse, the outdoor “netty”, the midden and their garden. The picture was taken by brother at some stage after he left home, so I am guessing it can be dated close to the end of the 1960s. Radcliffe village was demolished in 1971 to make way for opencast coal mining. The whole community were moved to a new council estate in the neighbouring town of Amble.

The people in the picture are

  • My granda: Jonathan Doleman Webb, 1899 – 1981. Jonty was born in Stobswood and worked at Hauxley pit. His hobby was his garden and in particular growing prize leeks.
  • My granny: Margaret Jane Henderson, 1899 – 1982. Meggie was born in Amble and is related to the Henderson fishermen. She was very houseproud and could often be seen with a paintbrush in her hand, sprucing up her home.

Looking at a problem with fresh eyes

20150901_205116I treated myself to a new pair of specs a couple of week ago. Perhaps they will give me some new insight into this little conundrum. I am trying to find proof of whether my theory about a Gowans connection is correct. This death certificate is for William Gowans, aged 74, who died of typhus fever at Alnwick on 12 June 1841. His death was witnessed by Eleanor Gowans. I am trying to figure out whether William was my 4th great grandfather. This hinges on whether or not my probable 3rd great grandfather William Cracket married an Isabella Gowans. If that theory is correct, then the next question to work on is whether William was her father. Paper trail for these folks in the border lands is a bit thin and so far there is nothing substantial popping up in DNA matches to say yea or nay.

Where to find my tree

TreeThe master version of my tree has been developed on my laptop using FTM (Family Tree Maker). I synchronise it regularly with my public tree on Ancestry: Crackett-Webb-Turner-Henderson. I also have versions of my tree on My Heritage, thegenealogist.com, genesreunited and a couple of other sites, but these versions are a little out of date.

If you are interested in my family, drop me a line and I will send you an invitation to view my tree on Ancestry. You do not need to have a subscription. It is possible to establish a free guest account if you want to view an existing tree.

Updated ancestor list to 8th generation (Ahnentafel)

My list of direct ancestors under My Family was lagging a little behind my research. I have added 34 new people to the list tonight, plus a few “halves” where I only know a grandmother’s first name or have recently discovered her last name. This update just includes names so far. I will add in the dates later. I have now completed up to generation 8, which is 5th great grandparents. Will hopefully get on to the next few generations later this evening. The list is in Ahnentafel format where the ancestor’s position in the tree is numerically defined.

Using DNA to confirm paper trail findings

Just added a new menu section, DNA plus paper,  to the blog so that I can start to document my experiences with DNA testing. I am now beginning to see the benefits of having invested in a test and have a couple of cases where analysing matches has given me additional assurance that my paper trail research is correct. Very helpful in one case where I was not 100% certain that I was following the right line. I will be adding individual posts about these success stories.