172 years ago today

Andrew Oliver and Margaret Watson - "of age"My 3x great grandparents, Andrew Oliver, resident of Choppington, and Margaret Watson, resident of Morpeth, were married 30 May 1840 at Morpeth parish church in Northumberland. Their marriage certificate shows Andrew’s profession as husbandman, but I know that later on he worked and died in the mines. Their fathers are Thomas Oliver and William Watson who are also shown as husbandmen. The certificate shows them both to be “of age” which was not very helpful.

151 years ago today

George Murray 1861 – illegitimate

My great grandfather, George Murray Turner, was born 27 May 1861 in Coldstream in Scotland. It took me quite a while to figure this out as I was initially off on the wrong trail with respect to name and place. I was looking for George Murray Turner with a birth year about 1862 in Northumberland. I realised I needed to think again after discovering that his mother Barbara Murray did not marry William Robinson Turner until 1864. This set me off on the trail of Barbara’s journeys from her birthplace at Alford in Aberdeenshire to her burial at Amble in Northumberland. In the 1861 census 20-year-old Barbara, who must have been heavily pregnant at the time, appears in the household of her father George Murray in Gas Lane, Coldstream. This gave me the clue I needed to search for my great granda as just George Murray in Coldstream records on ScotlandsPeople. The clip from the record shows an illegitimate boy George Murray born in Gas Lane. I wonder if my granny ever knew this about her father. It was never mentioned, so maybe it was the family secret.

122 years ago today

Granda George Crackett – taken in the yard at Church St.

My paternal grandfather George Crackett was born 26 May 1890 at Choppington in Northumberland. George’s parents Leonard Crackett and Mary née Parkinson baptized him in the Primitive Methodist Church on 18th June 1890. In 1915 he married Ellenor Turner of Amble, my grandmother, and they spent the whole of their married lives there. They had three children, my Dad George William, Sydney and Evelyn.

Crackett: Granda George and 3 of his sisters

This second photograph shows Granda George as a young lad with three of his six sisters (Elizabeth, Nellie, Bella, Dorothy Ann, Jane and Mamie). He also had 3 older brothers (Jack, Will and Len). I am guessing he may have been about 10 at the time the picture was taken.

My granda died in 1978 at the age of 88, having outlived granny by a couple of years. He was a keen gardener and man of few words. I remember when I was 11 having to do a little family tree as homework from school. I asked him what his mother’s name was and he answered “Mam”. Fortunately, my granny knew that her mother-in-law had been called Mary so I was not stuck with a complete blank.

A Cracket marriage in 1777

I have tried tackling my Crackett/Cracket line in both directions: Working backwards from me and working forwards from the oldest I can find in Northumberland. I still have a gap that I cannot close though. The oldest marriage I have found was in Lowick in 1777 between David Cracket and Jane Jackson (Jaxon), but I have not been able to prove yet that they belong to me.

School prizes put to use

I added two more books about Northumberland to my list of  Publications used this weekend. Both written by Nancy Ridley. These were form prizes from my time in Form IV and Form VI. Books that have barely been opened for 40 years. Who would have thought that they would turn out to be useful now for genealogy research. Interesting to see that as I received these books around the time of decimalisation they have the price shown in both old and new money. One was 30/- (£1.50) and the other 36/- (£1.80). I remember that both were considered to be expensive books at the time. Since I attended the Duchess’s Grammar School all prize books were signed and presented by the Duchess of Northumberland.

Family history through the alphabet – A is for Amble

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

I rarely jump into weekly blogging topics, but I found this one interesting and challenging so I decided to give it a try. I found this challenge on Genealogy and History News. The idea is to pick a topic each week following the alphabet. The challenge started last week, so I am going to post both A and B topics this week.

A is for Amble

Finding a topic for A was pretty much a no-brainer for me. It had to be Amble in Northumberland where it all started for me, although my arrival in the world was a couple of miles away at the local nursing home in Warkworth. I spent the first 18 years of my life in Amble and return regularly even though I no longer live in England. You can read more of my thoughts about Amble on my Places page.