The quarter of my tree that has proven easiest to follow through on paper trail is from my maternal grandmother, Margaret Jane Henderson (1899-1982), born in Amble. Perhaps this is because she was the one who knew most about her own ancestors so she gave me lots of good clues when I had to prepare a family tree at school when I was eleven.
In the composite picture of my 4 grandparents on the right hand panel of the blog she is at the bottom left.
Here is a snippet showing the first few generations. It is the only section of my tree where I can get to 4th great grandparents with no gaps, and as you can see from the little black arrows I can go even further on 9 lines.
If any of these couples belong to you to then please drop me a line as that means we are cousins.
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.
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
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.
I have now identified a new set of 5x great grandparents: Gabriel Hall and Hannah Hunter of West Todholes, Elsdon, Northumberland. They were married 12 December 1765, so I am now going to look for birth records in the 1740s. The reasoning behind my conclusion that Gabriel and Hannah belong in my tree can be found on my Hall page.
(This is my catch-up post for Friday 6th April when I missed my postaday)
My ancestral calendar includes these events in the first two weeks of April:
Apr 1: 102 years since the death of Anna Elvina Winning née Lemcke who died in Aberdeen aged 39 on 1 April 1910. Anna Elvina Lemcke was my 2nd cousin 3 times removed. Her death record shows cause of death as uncertain.
Apr 4: 153 years since the death of Margery Thornton née Hall who died aged 55 at Barrington Colliery in Northumberland on 4 April 1859. Margery died of apoplexy after suffering gastritis for 2 weeks.
Apr 7: 70 years since the death of my uncle Sydney Crackett who died at Beverley Base Hospital in Yorkshire aged 24 on 7 April 1942. Syd was a dispatch rider in WWII and was killed in a motor cycle accident.
In planning my Easter holiday I listed up 8 items to follow up at the Northumberland Archives or NDFHS. After three trips to Woodhorn I can now report that I have worked on 5 of the listed items, but only one of them can now be crossed off as complete. On the plus side I have eliminated some options from my other enquiries and I discovered that some of the records I was reviewing to answer the questions had additional information that was useful, so I spent more time on those records rather than hopping over to the next question.
The one item I have successfully cleared from the list is checking that I had documented the correct father for 3x great grandmother Margery Hall born 1803 in Elsdon, Northumberland. I had conflicting information from two different transcription sources giving her father as Joseph and John. I have now reviewed the microfilm of the church records and confirmed that her parents were Joseph Hall of Elsdon and Eleanor Thompson of Rothbury parish.