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.
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.)
I 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.
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.
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 – 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.
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.
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