Family history through the alphabet – F is for Fecund Forebears

F is for Fecund Forebears

My tree has many branches because large numbers of offspring appear to have been the norm among the mining, fishing and farming families of North-East England and Scotland. Three of my grandparents are from large families. Grandmother Ellenor Turner was the seventh child of ten. Grandmother Margaret Jane Henderson was the third child of seven. Grandfather George Crackett was the eighth child of ten. (Shown in the banner of my blog).

Taking it back one generation further the big families include: Cracket 8, Parkinson 5, Carr 5, Henderson 7, Thornton 11. Similar trends can be seen in the earlier generations too with most of the couples having somewhere between 5 and 10 children.

F is for findmypast

F is also for findmypast which is one of the resources I find most useful for my genealogy research. I find their transcriptions among the most reliable, although Cracket has on occasion been twisted to Crackel. So far I have just used the UK site, but expect I am soon going to have to take a look at both Ireland and Australia. I have not managed to figure out yet whether having a subscription for one country gives any discount opportunities for the other countries.

If you would like to know more about this alphabet challenge take a look at Family History through the Alphabet.

With a little help from my friends

I was planning to figure out where my Cullercoats ancestors might be buried before my next trip to Northumberland so I could plan a photo shoot. However,  a chance conversation with a friend who mentioned that there was a cemetery near Billy Mill roundabout that he passes on his way to his allotment triggered my curiosity and answered my question. It turns out, after he has investigated further, that  a section of Preston Cemetery has been set aside for headstones moved from Cullercoats. Does not sound very promising with respect to legibility, but there could be some little research gems hidden under the ivy. Among the names I will be looking for there are Henderson, Newton and Miller.

A late addition to this post: Forgot to mention before I hit the publish button that the post title not only reflects the topic, but was chosen because the friend who checked this out for me likes Joe Cocker.

245 years ago today

My 4x great grandparents, Adam Carr and Jane Nesbitt, were married on 6 June 1767 at Longbenton in Northumberland.

That makes this “xxx years ago today” post among my oldest events. Jane was a Longbenton lass and Adam was from Belford so I cannot help wondering what made him travel 47 miles south and marry a girl from there. Whatever the reason, I am glad he did :)

I wonder what they would have made of how far their descendants are scattered around the world. Doubt if they even knew where Norway is.

Grooming George the groom

George Crackett – Wedding portrait 1915

In my Editing Ellenor post I showed original and restored versions of a wedding portrait for my Granny Crackett (Ellenor Turner). I have also used the same restoration board on rootschat to ask for help with a restoration of her other half. The original photos were the size of a postage stamp. My granda’s photo had a badly damaged surface and was missing part of the left arm. Once again I have been impressed by the offers of help and quality of the restorations.

George Crackett – restored 1

I am undecided about which of two restorations I prefer so I am going to show both of them here (if I can figure out how to do that without the whole post looking very messy).

If you would like to see all of the restoration suggestions then take a look at Restoration – Wedding Portrait GC.

George Crackett – restored 2

Something which has surprised me about this is seeing that my granda was actually quite a good-looking young man. He also appears to the far right in the banner photo at the top of my blog. To see him as a boy and as the old man I knew take a look at my 26 May post 122 years ago today.

Drop me a comment to let me know which of the restorations gives the best rendition of the original.

Editing Ellenor

Ellenor Turner – Wedding portrait 1915

I have a postage stamp sized photo of my granny Ellenor Turner on her wedding day in 1915. This picture has suffered the ravages of time and after 97 years the emulsion is badly scarred. I was contemplating taking the photo to a professional photographer for restoration, but decided to investigate other options first. I was lucky enough to find a restoration thread on rootschat and having tried it out I am amazed by the results. The original is on the left.

Ellenor Turner – restored

In the restored version on the right it surprised me to see that my granny was actually quite a “bonny lass”. I selected this one as the restoration that was closest to the original features. If any of you are interested in seeing the alternative restorations, including a colour portrait, that were offered take a look at Restoration – Wedding portrait ET on rootschat.