End of line ancestors

I have added a new page “End of line Ancestors” under My Family. I have now 61 ancestral lines under research which is a big step forward from the half dozen I had when I first started. During the next few days I will be adding a brief profile to each of the names giving a synopsis of facts and theories about each individual in the hope that it may attract interest from other researchers who have stumbled across or are unting for the same people.

Surname list update

My surname list was well overdue an update to bring it into line with my published tree. I have added 85 new names. Those which are direct line ancestors are: Brewhouse, Brown, Farside, Gowans, Harmsworth, Hutchinson, Johnson, Laidler, Mason, Milne, Moreis, Mories, Nichol, Piery, Pullen, Turnbull and Wilson.

Maternal Margarets and Marys

I have now added three more generations to my direct maternal line. Got stuck for a couple of years at Margaret Watson as the name was so common, but have now pinned her down. So far my maternal line is confined to Northumberland, but I expect it may cross the border to Scotland or hop over to Ireland if I can get further back. This is what I have at present, taking me back 8 generations to 6th great grandmother Margaret Brewhouse.
  • Margaret Jane Webb, 1921 -1999, born Radcliffe, Northumberland
  • Margaret Jane Henderson, 1899 – 1982, born Amble, Northumberland
  • Margaret Jane Thornton, 1871 – 1912, born Choppington, Northumberland
  • Mary Oliver, 1842 – 1911, born Netherton, Bedlington, Northumberland
  • Margaret Watson, 1818 – 1895, born Ulgham, Northumberland
  • Mary Hutchinson, 1791 – ?, born Felton, Northumberland
  • Mary Brown, 1769 – ?, born Felton, Northumberland
  • Margaret Brewhouse, bef 1747, probably somewhere around Felton, Northumberland, but could be from further North or from Scotland.
As you can see, my ancient grannies did not have much imagination in choosing Christian names for their girls. Thankful that my Mam decided to break the mould and I did not end up as the fourth in a row of Margaret Janes.

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?

113 years ago today

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.

130 years ago yesterday

Oops, missed the day. Should have posted this yesterday. My great grandparents, George Murray Turner of Amble and Sarah Ann Carr of Radcliffe, were married 8 July 1882. The ceremony took place in the Wesleyan Chapel at Alnwick in Northumberland by certificate. The certificate shows them both as age 21 which is in accordance with the information I have on their birth dates. Sarah was born in October 1860 and George in May 1861. Their fathers are recorded as William Robinson Turner, shoemaker, and Thomas Carr, miner. However, I now know George to be the illegitimate son of Barbara Murray who married William Robinson Turner in 1864. The witnesses to George and Sarah’s marriage were Sarah Elizabeth Rogers and Leonard Watson. I currently have no idea whether these were friends or relatives.

Family history through the alphabet – I is for Investigative Initiative

I is for Investigative Initiative

One of the things I have learned from my genealogy research is that if you get stuck then try again from a different angle. I use several different online sources and often find that something which may not be indexed on one will turn up on another. I have also learned that it is wise not to be too restrictive on search terms. A wider search can often throw up something that will be filtered out if the search criteria are too narrow. It can also give interesting collateral information about other family members than the object of the search.

I is for Ironside

I is also for Ironside, one of my Scottish pedigree lines which starts with 3x great grandmother Margaret Ironside. Margaret was born in 1816 at New Deer in Aberdeenshire.

If you would like to know more about this alphabet challenge or read I-contributions from other bloggers take a look at Family History Through the Alphabet.