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 have several large families with 10 plus offspring in my tree, but I am now looking into what may turn out to be 15 children. The will of my 5th great grandfather Henry Miller of Whitley makes reference to his daughter Hannah Brown “the wife of Robert Brown of Southwark in the County of Durham Blacksmith”. Further investigation suggests that Robert Brown may actually have been born at Southwick.
Robert and Hannah married 13 October 1800 at Tynemouth in Northumberland and appear to have a flock of children baptized at Bishopwearmouth and St. Peter’s Monkwearmouth in Durham. Some of the transcriptions on my Brown search on familysearch.org can be confirmed as belonging to my tree since they give the mother’s maiden name as Miller, but others do not specify. I also know that there were a couple of other marriages for a Robert Brown to a Hannah in the same area and timeframe. I have therefore ruled out children baptized in Stanhope.
My next task is going to be to look at other sources to confirm whether all of these children belong to my relatives: John 1801, Elizabeth 1802, Jane born 1804 bapt 1807, Margaret 1805, Ann 1808, Robert 1807, Robert born 1808 bapt 1811, Elizabeth 1811, Hannah 1811, Mary 1813, Henry 1815, Isabella 1817, Hannah 1818, Sarah 1821, John 1825. If my theory is correct, then I also have some infant death records to chase up as some of the names have been recycled. Hannah Miller was born in 1779, so she would have been 46 when she popped out the last one if they are all hers. This little bunch of Browns should keep me out of mischief for a while.
During my summer holidays I visited the Cullercoats Family History Research Group to see if they could help me with my Henderson, Miller, Newton and Oliver families from that area.
They are a very hospitable group of folks. They have local information and photos organised both by surname and by street. Worth a drop-in if you have Cullercoats ancestors. They are open on Monday afternoons and evenings at the Community Centre on Belle Vue Street.
I was planning to figure out where my Cullercoats ancestors might be buried before my next trip to Northumberland so I could plan a photo shoot. However, a chance conversation with a friend who mentioned that there was a cemetery near Billy Mill roundabout that he passes on his way to his allotment triggered my curiosity and answered my question. It turns out, after he has investigated further, that a section of Preston Cemetery has been set aside for headstones moved from Cullercoats. Does not sound very promising with respect to legibility, but there could be some little research gems hidden under the ivy. Among the names I will be looking for there are Henderson, Newton and Miller.
A late addition to this post: Forgot to mention before I hit the publish button that the post title not only reflects the topic, but was chosen because the friend who checked this out for me likes Joe Cocker.