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.

May month

Since it is the end of the month I have updated the starring system on my surname list that indicates the newest names. Stars have been removed from the names added in April. A single star now highlights names added in May. All new names that I add in June will have double stars until the next month end. Here is a summary of the names that were new to my genealogy database in May:

Pedigree: Hedley     Other: Cunningham, Garland, Unwin

At the beginning of my I set myself some targets. Looking back on my achievements this month I will have to admit that I have done very little of what I had planned. I have made reasonable progress with tying in more Cracket/Crackett lines but am not finished processing everything I have on scraps of paper. I have also bashed away more at the Webb brick wall, but it hasn’t crumbled yet. By letting myself get sidetracked from the plan I have actually been successful on other fronts. I have gathered a lot of interesting information with respect to my great uncle Edmund Webb’s service in WW1. I have found a number of interesting newspaper articles on several subjects. I have obtained restored versions of a couple of important photographs and I have begun to write a series of alphabet articles. Generally a successful month even though the activities diversified from the plan.

Family history through the alphabet – C is for Calendar

Family History Through the Alphabet – Picture from Genealogy and History News

C is for Calendar

Surprised you there didn’t I? I bet you all expected me to take the easy option here and go with C is for Crackett. Well of course it is, but before I move on to my family name and the other three C’s in my pedigree I want to take a look at C is for Calendar. I picked up blogging again at the end of February, then during March and April I started thinking more about the dates of events. To begin with I just looked at what may have been happening on a specific date when I was short of inspiration for other topics. Then I realised that it could be fun to take a closer look at what was going on each day in my family history. This lead to my series of posts entitled “xxx years ago today”. These posts have inspired me to try to find out background information about the individuals who have an anniversary so that I can tell you more than just names and dates. Setting up my plan for these calendar event posts has revealed several dates with a lot going on. I wrote a few days ago about the date coincidences in the deaths of my great great granny Barbara Murray Turner, her father George Murray and his sister Barbara Murray Rennie. The busiest day in my family history calendar so far is 9 July which has five birthdays (1873, 1899, 1926, 1949, 1957) and a wedding (1947). Then when we get to November I will be telling you about my granny Crackett giving birth on her own birthday. So far I have 218 days in the year with identified family events, but I will not be blogging about all of them as some relate to living members of the family. 86 of those days have more than one event.

C is for Crackett or Cracket

C is for Crackett, my family name, which developed from Cracket by adding an extra T in the mid 1800s. I currently have over 600 Cracket/Crackett persons in my genealogy database and am now working on verifying vital records and tying together the various branches. If you are a Crackett somewhere out there in the big wide world then drop me a comment and let us see if we can figure out our connection.

C is for Carr

Another C in my pedigree is Carr, starting with great granny Sarah Ann Carr who was born in 1860 at Seaton Delaval in Northumberland.

C is for Corbett

C is also for Corbett. So far I only have great great granny Ann Corbett, who may have been Sarah Ann Corbett. Unfortunately I know little about her yet.

C is for Chator

C is also for Chator. My 5x great grandmother Susannah Chator, born in the early 1700s, is the only one of these I have found so far.

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

Family history through the alphabet – B is for Birth and Baptism

Family History Through the Alphabet – Picture from Genealogy and History News

B is for Birth and Baptism

For this week’s alphabet challenge I am taking a moment to reflect on the pitfalls that any new genealogist runs into when researching birth dates. It took me a while to realise that I would have a better chance of finding a birth record if I started at the other end of life and was armed with information from death, marriage and census records first. I also made a few mistaken assumptions about birth years from reading baptismal records. I have since learned that having three children baptised on the same day did not necessarily mean triplets. Several of my ancestors waited a couple of years before they wandered over the hills to the church and baptised their children. Another little challenge which some of my family presented me with was the question of where to look for baptismal records as they were non-conformists. I have one set of Cracket ancestors whose childrens’ baptisms are spread over traditional baptism in the local parish church, dissenter records, Presbyterian and Methodist. This year I have also come across another interesting challenge in interpreting birth and baptism dates. This is the dual dating system which operated at the time of the official change from Julian to Gregorian calendar. I wrote about this in my  Double dating post on 24 April 2012.

B is for Bainbridge

In my pedigree B is for Bainbridge starting with great great granny Eleanor Bainbridge born about 1828 or 1829 at Walker in Northumberland.

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

May modus operandi

Most of my genealogy research so far has been structured according what grabs my interest on a particular day and what mood I am in. The Easter break was the first time I tried to set myself some more structured plans. Although I did not manage everything on the list it did help me to not wander too far off track, so I am going to do the same for May. Focus areas this month (unless of course I get sidetracked onto something much more fun to follow up) are:

  • Register all of the Murray, Winning and Lemcke information that I have been working on with my Aberdeenshire cousin and follow up other interesting leads he feeds to me. Will probably take the whole month doing a few each day to get up to date.
  • 1st week: Tie together in my tree on Ancestry the families of my 2x great grandfather William Cracket and his siblings Adam, David, Margaret, Mark and Jane
  • 2nd week: Sift through the Oliver and Thornton notes I made at Woodhorn at Easter
  • 3rd week: Bang my head against that Webb brick wall again. Maybe some day it might crumble when I look at it from a different angle
  • 4th week: Feel I am on a roll with my Halls of Elsdon so I might see where Gabriel & Hannah take me next
  • 5th week: See what is behind Ancestry’s shaking leaves on my Carr line

April achievements

As April enters its last weekend I took time out from digging to reflect on what fruit this month’s activities have born. Thanks to the Easter break this has been a good month for my genealogy research. Among my April achievements are:

  • Birth record for 2x great grandfather William Cracket after 2 years of searching
  • 3x great grandparents William Cracket and Isabel (Isabella) possibly Gowans
  • Possible 4x great grandparents William Gowans and Isabella Thompson
  • 4x great grandparents Gabriel Hall and Hannah Hunter (and a lead on a possible earlier wife for Gabriel)
  • New contacts established with researchers that are now collaborating with me on Cracket, Hall and Webb

All in all an acceptable April accomplishment. I wonder if May with its bank holidays will prove as successful.

Cracket: Counties 1841 – 1911

On my Crackett/Cracket page I have set up an overview of the migratory patterns for Cracket from 1841 to 1911. Bear with me until I figure out how to make the table look tidier by getting rid of some of the “air” between rows. I nearly lost the whole thing by recovering a wrong autosave, so I am not going to play with it any more tonight in case I delete it by mistake and have to start again :) Maybe I need to refresh my memory of html. Understood it about 10 years ago when I used to publish frontpage articles to knowledge bases.

Theory about possible Gowans line

I have been testing out the hypothesis that since she had a son named Mark Gowans Cracket my 3x great grandmother Isabel (Isabella) Cracket may have had the maiden name Gowans and have come up with the possibility that her parents may have been William Gowans and Isabell Thompson married at Eglingham, Northumberland in 1792. I would welcome comments that either confirm or disprove this theory which you can find in more detail on my Brick Walls page under the heading “Theory about 3x great granny Cracket : need advice / confirmation”

Children of William & Isabel Cracket

I have now identified 6 children for my 3x great grandparents William Cracket and Isabel (Isabella). Places in Northumberland for their baptism and birth include Lowick, Kyloe and Rock. Since one of the children has the middle name Gowans this gives a possible lead to follow in tracing Isabel. More information can be found on my Crackett / Cracket page.

(This is the catch-up post for Friday 13th April when I missed my postaday. I am not caught up for all the days I missed due to the Easter period and hope to keep up the tempo of posting daily from now on.)