Double dating

No, I am not about to hit the town with a girlfriend and a couple of lads. The concept of double, or dual, dating in record keeping was introduced to deal with the period (different years in different countries) when scientists concluded that the calendar was out of synch with the lunar year and the change was made from Julian dating to Gregorian dating. The change involved disposing of 11 days and moving the start of the year from March to January thus causing the months to be renumbered. I have often wondered why September, October, November and December (7ber, 8ber, 9ber, 10ber) had numbers inconsistent with their place in the calendar year. Now I understand that this was based on their position calculated in the Julian calendar with March as month 1. One effect of the change in England was that people went to their beddy byes on Wednesday 2 Sep 1752 and woke up the next morning on Thursday 14 Sep 1752. Needless to say there were soon riotous mobs screaming to have the missing 11 days of their lives back. For the genealogist it creates some interesting challenges. Records in the mid 1700s can show both OS (old style) and NS (new style dates). This explains some of the problems I had interpreting the Elsdon records I read at Easter so I am going to have to QA my findings. I also need to look more closely into whether I have any errors in my genealogy database because England and Scotland implemented the change at different times. I learn something new every day that I work on this research. If you want to learn more about this calendar change yourself take a look at Chesterfield’s Act.

Putting names to faces

How I wish that my ancestors had been more diligent about identifying people and dates on photographs. Looking at my four grandparents and how they tackled naming of the photos they left behind of their parents and siblings I have the following results:

  • Crackett – my granda never gave a thought to this sort of thing so what information I do have is gleaned from others, mainly from my father’s cousin who helped to identify a huge heap of photos and gave me some amazing insights.
  • Turner – my granny had no time for naming photos either, but fortunately there were a few in her pile that were received from other family members and had been annotated. We have about 50 Turner photos that are now the subject of guesswork.
  • Webb – no photos of my granda’s family exist to name. I strongly suspect that my granny consigned what he did have (if any) to the bin at some stage. I wonder if anyone anywhere will ever be able to fill the gap.
  • Henderson – even here there are big gaps in putting names to ancestral pictures, but my granny did send photos of her children and grandchildren to relatives around the world with captions on them so subsequent generations are well documented.

A good example of the challenges that all this causes is the photo at the top of my blog. I have all 12 names, but not all of them can be tied in to the right individual. More about that another day.

Power of search and collaboration

About an hour ago I posted to my genealogy blog about a distant relative with an unusual occupation. A few minutes later I sent a question about this occupation to the mailing list of the NDFHS. Amazing to see that I have now had several hits on my blog from search engines looking for this occupation. Assume that this is a result of people on the mailing list trying to help me. Amazed that the search engines find me and even more amazed at the enthusiastic collaboration that the NDFHS mailing list generates.

Elsdon parish transcripts

A useful link for anyone researching Elsdon in Northumberland is The Register of Baptisms, Marriages & Burials solemnized in the Ancient Parish Church of Elsdon in the County of Northumberland from A.D. 1672 to AD. 1812, Transcribed by the Reverend Thomas Stephens, Vicar of Horsley, Redesdale. This has helped me with my Hall research.