Calendar Comments – January 17th

LC-MP restore 5I have several family history events for January 17th. The most significant is the the marriage of my great grandparents:

1874: 141 years ago today my great grandparents, Leonard Crackett (Cracket) and Mary Parkinson, married at Morpeth in Northumberland. The banner picture at the top of my blog shows Len and Mary and their 10  children who all reached adulthood.

1900: My first cousin twice removed, James Edward Doleman Simmons, was born at Amble in Northumberland.

1916: Nora Graham, the wife of my first cousin twice removed Edmond Hanson, was born.

1794: 221 years ago today my 4th great uncle, Thomas Bainbridge, was born in Longbenton, Northumberland. Thomas was baptized two days later on 19th January.

Calendar Comments – January 15th

My family history event for 15th January is the marriage of Jane Cracket and William Jordison in 1862 at Newcastle-upon-Tyne. I am still researching whether or not Jane belongs in my tree. She is the daughter of John Cracket and Elizabeth Dixon and was baptized in Tynemouth in 1832. Family Christian names would suggest there is a connection, but I have not yet figured out who John’s parents were.

Calendar Comments – January 14th

My family history event for January 14th is:

  • 1827 – Baptism of Mary Cracket on 14th January 1827 at Lowick, Northumberland. Mary’s parents were James Cracket and Elizabeth Henderson. I am still trying to figure out how this little branch attaches to my tree, but they have the right name, timeframe and location to be a strong possibility for relatives.
I also have three more recent events on January 14th, two Cracketts and one from a Turner collateral line in the USA.

Barrington Colliery

In the latter half of the 1700s my Cracket / Crackett relatives were agricultural labourers in the Lowick, Kyloe, Shoreswood and Norham area of North Northumberland. With the opening of pits around that area many of them moved into the mines. It is interesting to see that as old pits closed and new pits opened they migrated south en masse to the Chevington, Barrington, Bedlington and Choppington collieries. My granda George Crackett (1890-1978) grew up in the hamlet of Choppington Colliery. 12042782_1664016537218452_3407140090025408738_n

This undated photo is of Barrington Colliery. I do not have a full overview of which of my Cracketts may have worked there, but one who most likely did is my granda’s uncle George, born 1833 at Cornhill-on-Tweed. In the 1871 census this George Crackett is living in the hamlet of Barrington Colliery and has the occupation coal miner. (Thanks to Geoff on the facebook group: Sixtownships History Group for allowing me to borrow his photo.)

Looking at a problem with fresh eyes

20150901_205116I treated myself to a new pair of specs a couple of week ago. Perhaps they will give me some new insight into this little conundrum. I am trying to find proof of whether my theory about a Gowans connection is correct. This death certificate is for William Gowans, aged 74, who died of typhus fever at Alnwick on 12 June 1841. His death was witnessed by Eleanor Gowans. I am trying to figure out whether William was my 4th great grandfather. This hinges on whether or not my probable 3rd great grandfather William Cracket married an Isabella Gowans. If that theory is correct, then the next question to work on is whether William was her father. Paper trail for these folks in the border lands is a bit thin and so far there is nothing substantial popping up in DNA matches to say yea or nay.

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.