I can now go 8 generations back on my direct maternal line. All of the ladies listed here were born in Northumberland, England. As you can see they did not apply much imagination to naming their daughters. I am grateful my mother decided there had been enough Margarets and Marys by the time they got to me.
My mtDNA haplogroup is U5a1b1*. The asterisk indicates that there are not enough people tested who share the exact mutations to be able to assign the next level. The last three on the list are shown with “unknown confidence” as I do not yet have DNA evidence to confirm my paper trail.
My family history event for January 8th is the birth of my great great grandfather Randle Thornton at Broomley Hall, Township of Blackallerton, Northumberland in 1843 (173 years ago). District: Castle Ward, Sub-District: Stamfordham. Parents: John Thornton, farm hind and Margery Thornton, formerly Hall.
When I started on this journey I knew little about my Thornton line except that my maternal granny, Margaret Jane Henderson, was given the same Christian names as her mother Margaret Jane Thornton. I have subsequently tracked down another 6 generations of Thorntons back to 7th great grandfather Henry Thornton, born in the late 1600s. They lived in and around Hartburn, Northumberland.I have confirmed from the baptism of Robert Thornton, born 1703, that his father was a Henry Thornton. If I am correct in my theory that Henry married Jane Read, then this is going to open up some interesting lines going back from Henry and Jane to Civil War times and beyond. I still have some more digging to do to prove that this theory about Henry and Jane is correct before I add the new finds to my tree and publish them here.
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 now added three more generations to my direct maternal line. Got stuck for a couple of years at Margaret Watson as the name was so common, but have now pinned her down. So far my maternal line is confined to Northumberland, but I expect it may cross the border to Scotland or hop over to Ireland if I can get further back. This is what I have at present, taking me back 8 generations to 6th great grandmother Margaret Brewhouse.
Margaret Jane Webb, 1921 -1999, born Radcliffe, Northumberland
Margaret Jane Henderson, 1899 – 1982, born Amble, Northumberland
Margaret Jane Thornton, 1871 – 1912, born Choppington, Northumberland
Mary Oliver, 1842 – 1911, born Netherton, Bedlington, Northumberland
Margaret Watson, 1818 – 1895, born Ulgham, Northumberland
Mary Hutchinson, 1791 – ?, born Felton, Northumberland
Mary Brown, 1769 – ?, born Felton, Northumberland
Margaret Brewhouse, bef 1747, probably somewhere around Felton, Northumberland, but could be from further North or from Scotland.
As you can see, my ancient grannies did not have much imagination in choosing Christian names for their girls. Thankful that my Mam decided to break the mould and I did not end up as the fourth in a row of Margaret Janes.
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.