195 years ago today

My 3rd great granduncle, Robert Ironside, was baptised on 2 July 1817 at New Deer in Aberdeenshire. Robert was the youngest of the 8 children of my 4x great grandparents John Ironside and Joanna Dow. The family lived at Bonnykelly. Robert’s older sister Margaret Ironside was my 3x great grandmother.

Family history through the alphabet – H is for history

H is for History

I started out focussing on the family element of family history, but have now progressed to considering the history aspect too. With the exception of Romans and Vikings I was never particularly interested in history as a subject at school, so my knowledge of the history of the past two or three centuries is seriously lacking. As I have added new people to my tree I have tried to find out more about the historical context in which they lived their lives. This has given me much more insight into the transition from an agricultural society to the industrial age and also the timeline of events in the first World War. One of the most interesting pieces of historical research has been looking into where the Northumberland Fusiliers served in 1915 and 1916 to track the path of my great uncle Edmund Webb from enlistment at Amble to his death in battle at Flers-Courcelette.

Moving on from history to genealogy I can claim four H-names in my pedigree. All four come from my mother’s half of the tree.

H is for Hall

First in the alphabet comes Hall. My Hall ancestors lived at Elsdon in Northumberland and I have been lucky enough to find good sources of information about them.

H is for Hedley

Another of my pedigree H lines is Hedley. I have not found quite so many of them. They too have lived in the Elsdon area and I found them by following up the Hall line.

H is for Henderson

The closest of my H pedigree lines is Henderson, to be found in Amble and Cullercoats. My maternal grandmother was a Henderson.

H is for Hunter

My final pedigree H is Hunter. Yet another Elsdon connection found by tracking back up the Hall line.

If you would like to know more about this alphabet challenge or read other bloggers’ H-contributions take a look at Family history through the alphabet.

199 years ago today

My 3rd great granduncle, Peter Ironside, was born on 28 June 1813 at New Deer in Aberdeenshire. Peter was the sixth of the 8 children of my 4x great grandparents John Ironside and Joanna Dow. Peter’s younger sister Margaret Ironside was my 3x great grandmother.

Family history through the alphabet – G is for Geography

G is for Geography

It was tempting just to hop right into G is for genealogy, but I decided to challenge myself more and go with G is for Geography. This is because my genealogy research has forced me to learn more about the geography of my own home country. My knowledge of some of the midland counties was very fuzzy so I have learned a lot as I have tracked my relatives from the mines of Northumberland back through mining areas in other counties to their agricultural roots. I have started to put together information about this geographical journey on my Places page.

G is for Garden

No, I am not about to change a lifetime habit and develop green fingers. Strange really that I have so little interest in gardening as both my grandas and my Dad were keen gardeners. Garden in this instance is the name of my 5x great grandmother, Isobel Garden who married George Ruddiman. Isobel was born sometime in the mid 1700s in Aberdeenshire.

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

105 years ago today

My great great grandfather Randle Thornton died on 17 June 1907 at Amble in Northumberland. Randle was a 64-year-old coal miner when he died of Bright’s disease, which I understand to be chronic nephritis (kidney problems) and cardiac hypertrophy.

Randle married Mary Oliver in 1842 and they had 11 children: 5 girls and 6 boys. So far I have only focussed on the fates of two of their girls. Two Thornton sisters married two Henderson brothers. One of these couples was my great grandparents Archibald Henderson and Margaret Jane Thornton. The other couple was Newton Henderson and Mary Phyllis Thornton who are give rise to my California Henderson connection.

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.