My genealogy research diary. What changed, where, sometimes even why.
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Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Oct 30, 2007: More McGREGORs, and rabitting on..

More McGREGOR updates from the BRC clan from Noreen. It's getting close to time to do another WorldConnect Update as there have been rather a lot of updates over the last few weeks.
The search for living Michigan RUNCIMAN descendants for the DNA survey continues. Rang a likely looking candidate this morning (well he lived in the same State where I know Dr Ronald H had lived for a while), and had a lovely chat to a Sir Walter descendant who may be convinced to join in.
Contacted by a double descendant of the warreners (Nicholas WARE and Margaret King CREBER). Steve R's grandmother is a descendant from Nicholas' first marriage and his grandfather, William Monarch TURNER, from the 2nd marriage. WMT emigrated to Australia and joined the AIF only to be killed nr Gallipoli "of wounds at sea" according to an Anzacs web site.

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Oct, 29, 2007: BROOKING corrections, Canadian McGREGORs ++

Daniel McGREGOR is hereby brought back to life - at least for a while. The death in the BC index of the right age turns out not to be him. Noreen checked, and also supplied several other updates to the McGREGOR pile from the films, ta muchly.
With my findmypast voyager sub about to expire I've been chasing around looking for any likely emigration candidates in my database. Don't think I've found (m)any as yet, but in doing the checking I have managed to find several other bits and bobs, eg the Archibald FAIRBAIRN that I lost in 1891 and assumed was dead because he wasn't with his wife Isabella, nee DAVIDSON, and their children. Archibald, Isabella and dtr Isabella turn up in Glasgow (were in London), with several "visitors" that looked like they might actually be relations. Sure enough, one was dtr Elizabeth now married to a Thomas CRAWFORD, the other was Isabella's niece Johan DAVIDSON now married to a Joseph Ellis MORRIS.
Also some corrections to a BROOKING/ROWE area of my database. Found Doris Phyllis BROOKING on a ship to Canada in 1920 with her brothers and either her mother or father (listed as Mr I M BROOKING, engineer, counted in the Males column, but I M are Mum's initials and Dad was Walter Rowe BROOKING, was already in Canada).
Along with the emigration data I kept digging and have corrected Walter's death information. He appears to have died in St Paul, Ramsey, Minnesota in 1947, not the May 1959 Exeter Devon I had previously.
Rest of family also updated with a few items.

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Monday, 29 October 2007

Oct 28, 2007: SINTON snippets

Nothing like being forced to re-examine your data. All this activity for the dna surname projects is making me look at parts of my db that haven't been examined for quite some time, and exposing all sorts of gaps that can now be filled.
Some of the SINTON updates that will appear next WorldConnect db update will include some dates and places on the Northumberland descendants of Peter SINTON and Mary SCOTT, a descendant of whom (from Northland) has just contacted me. Good to hear from you Mark/Cherie.

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Saturday, 27 October 2007

Oct 27, 2007: RUNCIMAN, FAIRBAIRN & SINTON family pages

Set up a FAIRBAIRN page along the lines of the RUNCI(Wo)MeN page, and updated the SINTON pages to include the other Southdean lines, and started tidying up links on the familytree and World Families Network DNA Surname pages.

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Oct 26, 2007: New York New York?

Also chased around on the New York FAIRBAIRNs in readiness for contacting them re the dna survey. The ones I've previously been in contact with seem to have vanished. I have a gut feel that they really are a branch that belongs to my Walter and Agnes FAIRBAIRN, although they didn't follow the Scottish naming pattern (introducing several rather non Scottish sounding forenames), there are a number of Walters in the family and at least one Archibald, which is very promising. Included a few more of them in the latest update to my LornaPotential database on Rootsweb WorldConnect.
Also created a SINTON page along the lines of the HENDERSON and RUNCIMAN pages that already exist.

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Friday, 26 October 2007

Oct 25, 2007: FAIRBAIRN & not forgetting the mothers

Thought I'd better get one of the FAIRBAIRN families a bit more up to date given it is the first that will feature in the FAIRBAIRN surname dna project. Chart updated.
And as for my mtDNA, I found a Nordic & Celtic DNA project, interested in the assorted clans of Europe which seemed rather more relevant than any surname project for mtDNA. I predict a crash course in dna coming up.

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Thursday, 25 October 2007

Oct 24, 2007: And a FAIRBAIRN DNA surname project

When I start something I do tend to jump in boots and all. Check out a new page under Lornaslinks.
As you will see, there's also now a FAIRBAIRN surname dna project and when I've finished the admin involved, all 3 projects should have a related forum for result discussion etc at Forum pages of World Families.

It seems very unfair to me that the more immutable, incontrovertible mitochondrial dna doesn't lend itself to easy organisation into Surname projects. I am going to expand on my Tara, Oxford Ancestors test, but haven't figured out which group to best join, although I am rather tempted to join a CLINTON one, I suspect there's more affinity and likelihood of matches with a ROWE project.
All of which has rather sidetracked me from keeping up with the constant flow of wonderful emails from relations. Promise I'll get back to them soon.
Which I did. The summary DAWE chart has been updated.

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Oct 23, 2007: Michigan RUNCIMeN where are you?

Still trying to track down present day RUNCIMAN descendants of the Michigan families. Any of you reading this please check out the RUNCIMAN surname dna project to see why in particular I'm trying to find you!
Along with the RUNCIMAN project, I am also rather curious to see if the new DNA research can help link up some of the SINTON families. So, being a glutton for punishment, I've also set up a SINTON surname dna project and am looking for interested parties willing to participate.

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Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Oct 22, 2007: Win some, lose some

Another DAW(E) line down to present day. Amanda, the grddtr of Richard NORRISH, son of Alice DAW(E) and William NORRISH has contacted me.
The McADIE family tree has shrunk by one. Noel's eagle eyes spotted that I had a Raymond Robert son for Jessie BROTHERTON nee McADIE that he didn't have. My source was the bad writing on Jessie's death cert, re-examination could easily convince me it was actually the Reginald Robert I already had in the family, especially as I couldn't corroborate his existance via the Pioneer Index.
And back to Margaret HENDERSON's McGREGOR brood. Linda and Noreen have had a successful hunt thru the Manitoban and British Columbian indexes after Linda found James Donaldson McGREGOR in the Canadian Expeditionary Forces papers in the Canadian Archives. It looks like Noreen's husband's mysterious (great) uncle Dan has now been found, at last.

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Monday, 22 October 2007

Oct 21, 2007: Wairarapa explorations

Spent the day exploring the Wairarapa, primarily to see where Andrew William Alexander RICHARDSON had lived, trying to figure out why a blacksmith's lad from Owaka down South had ended up in the backblocks of the Wairarapa.
Visited the 4 places associated with him and his, Rua Roa, Akitio, Weber and Wimbledon.
These days, Rua Roa crossroads has a building proudly marked as the "Tamaki Co-Op Dairy Co. Ltd RuaRoa Branch", now a contractors headquarters; a community hall, re-opened in 1995; and a school established in 1908.
Akitio (pronounced by the locals A kee tee o) is right out at the coast. From Dannevirke it's a tarsealed road but the route we took was via the Waihi Falls which was windy and unsealed, but good. The settlement was a bit of a surprise to me. Obviously once prosperous despite it's isolation. Coastal shipping would have kept it supplied and the farm output delivered. Three very large homesteads still grace the town. All that remained of what was apparently a very shortlived sawmilling venture is a concrete block on the section next door to the one person I spoke to in town, she just happened to have written a book on the area (and could tell me a bit about Andrew's wife's family's likely descendants who still live in Wimbledon). When I voiced my puzzlement as to how come my South Island relative had ended up here, she said that a lot of people came north to work on the Herbertville rabbit proof fence.
Wimbledon, where Andrew had worked as a blacksmith for his wife's father (E MORGANS), boasted little more than a Tavern, unless we missed it.
Weber (pronounced Weeber) was the most substantial of the 4, but that's not saying much. Largish hotel and school, a church ...

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Friday, 19 October 2007

Oct 19, 2007: Houstoun we have lift off & shelling out on SHIELs

A SHIELL day. Shelled out heaps of shekels to Scotlands People today. Hard to stop once you start.
Amazing where I get diverted to when I start on RICHARDSONs. Having popped the earlier RICHARDSON family on the web yesterday I went back to review exactly what I did know and where I got it from. One thing led to another, and I seem to have spent most of the day checking and chasing the SHIELs of Jedburgh Parish, quite succesfully as I've finally solved the mystery of Houstoun. No we don't quite have lift off, but there really was a Houstoun/Houston in Jedburgh, aka Ulston. It's too small a place for google maps but is on my landranger 74.
I also found a wife for James, so no doubt he's happy. Even if he had one all along, I didn't know who she was, just hadn't made the time to look. Economy of surnames again, she's another SHIEL. Added several more children to the family, Margaret's siblings, several of whom had the same names, so either it was a very confusing household with 2 called Agnes, James, John and probably Robert, or there were at least 4 deaths.

Web pages updated as a result of all this activity as several more of my direct ancestors have now been included.

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Oct 18, 2007: RICHARDSONs from 1571 to 1680s?

Thought I'd found the descendant of James & Isabella of Michigan I'd been trying to trace, Dr Ronald H RUNCIMAN, ex of Hawaii. A letter came bouncing back from Hawaii several months ago but I then found a Californian address that looked promising. Went to ring him, but there's nothing in the whitepages other than several other locations, none of which have phone numbers attached. Guess he's either moved again or is trying to hide from me by not listing.

The descendants of William & Mary RUNCIMAN of Michigan that I've talked to & sent an email, haven't yet replied.

Unfortunately patience is not my strongpoint, particularly when I feel I'm on the verge of a breakthrough.
Better go back to chasing TURNBULLs and GRAHAMs around England for a while.
In the meantime I've revamped the web pages to pull the RUNCIMAN information together onto one page with relevant links.

I've also added a RICHARDSON chart for the generations above Robert (who appears on the RUNCIMAN chart), and included 3 of the earlier RICHARDSONs on the web: William of Caberstoune & Pringlestead, Walter and Robert. Which activity was prompted by contact from a Dr Donald RICHARDSON who contacted me wondering if there was a connection, given he had a Robert RICHARDSON with an Eckford connection.
Any connection will take a bit to uncover methinks because of the timeframe, but it would be rather interesting if so as he was Minister of Eckforde Parish to 1571, and Lord Treasurer for Mary Queen of Scots (Donald gives the same date range, can he be in two places at once?)

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Thursday, 18 October 2007

Oct 17, 2007: Bringing science to genealogy

DNA results here we come. I've set up a RUNCIMAN surname dna project, and the first kit is on order. All I need now are participants from the other two branches I'm trying to link but they're proving a bit elusive to trace.

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Oct 16, 2007: Kirklinton GRAHAMS & more METHERELL

Back to chasing TURNBULLs and GRAHAMs around England. Anne Marie (mentioned on the 8th Oct) has been back in touch.

I just knew my research on the family of John TURNBULL and Isabella/Easet GRAHAM wasn't wasted when I was investigating who their son Robert TURNBULL was a couple of years ago. At the time it looked like there was going to be a connection with my Walter and Robert TURNBULL, and there may well be but it is unlikely to be proven unless more records miraculously appear from somewhere.
I had John's wife Isabella (whom I thought was also called Easet as John appears on census data with firstly Isabella and then Easet and they are of an age with the same birthplace) as the dtr of William and Jane GRAHAM, with a possible id of Jane as Jane FERGUSON.
Anne Marie also believes so, but corrected me about Easet, pointing out that Isabella died relatively young and John went on to have yet more children with her sister Easet. Saves on in-laws I suppose.
Anyway, Anne Marie believes Isabella to be the dtr of William GRAHAM and Jane FERGUSON, and has William as son of the George GRAHAM who married Easet CARRUTHERS, then George as son of William married to Eleanor, this William believed to be the son of Edward and Dulcibella GRAHAM. Quite exciting that by combining info we appear to finally have made some connections between the GRAHAM families and I've found several researchers of those lines. Great synergy. Also tidies up my database somewhat as I hadn't identified many of them as being one and the person, so had many of them twice over, once with parents, t'other with their own family.

Another guestbook posting by Heather sounds like she may have some info that might finally sort out the Jane METHERELL mystery, ie how many were there and who did they both/all belong to?

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Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Oct 15, 2007: Wanton Walls to Michigan; Devon to Colorado

Some METHERELL snippets from a posting in my Guestbook by Heather A has tidied up a few more loose ends down the PEEK line.
And once again thrown a heap of evidence against the oft quoted statement that "our forbears didn't move around a lot".
I've followed some of the connected METHERELL families around from Devon to Cumberland to Pennsylvania to New York, back to Cumberland and back to Colorado.

I've also now spoken to (the wife of) a descendant of the William RUNCIMAN who went to Michigan around 1850, so have hopes of finding out a bit more about the States branch I hope to connect to the Wanton Walls lot one day.
In anticipation of which, I've added to the charts on the site by including the Michigan RUNCIMANs.

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Monday, 15 October 2007

Oct 14, 2007: web updated

A few snippets updated for assorted Borders families (FAIRBAIRN descendants).

And it's probably time there was a full web page update, including adding a TAYLOR chart which I see seems to have either gone awol, or never existed in the first place.

It looks unlikely that the RICHARDSON connection with John Logie BAIRD is a relation, just a complete coincidence of time and place in a small Northumberland town in the present day.

And I have my first taker for a dna survey of the RUNCIMAN family. All I have to do now is track down some present day Michigan descendants of both William and James and convince them as well. Could be quite exciting, or a complete let down in that the family stories may be either disproved, or more likely, unable to be proven, but I'd like to think that modern science can "prove" a relationship between the Wanton Walls and Michigan RUNCIMAN families, even if we don't know exactly where they fit.

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Sunday, 14 October 2007

Oct 12 & 13th, 2007: Caithness connections

Mostly BAIN, and TAYLOR updates. Another two for the price of one job. With family info that a sister of George Manson Henderson BAIN was a unmarried postmistress of Thurso, I decided to eliminate the sisters by checking for marriages where I didn't already have one. Found Jane/Jean Henderson BAIN had married James GUNN (1919 Halkirk), then looked at the cert. above it, only to find it was another BAIN, one Daniel William BAIN. Who didn't initially ring bells but turned out to be from a different BAIN family (the Harpsdale BAINs, George the stonemason who married into my TAYLOR family). I'd not traced this family much beyond 1881 until now. I've now found that one son, stone mason David, moved from Halkirk to Edinburgh, and dtr Violet helped keep the family surnames at a minimum by marrying a James MANSON (1909 Halkirk), not that he immediately looks connected to my Watten MANSONs.

Back to the Manitoba BAINs: still can't find Donald, James and George's emigration to Canada, followed by Alexander, but I now know Alexander can't have gone till after his 1923 marriage to Jane ROSIE, and that Donald said 1909 in the 1911 census. If I've found the right James in 1911 he thinks he came to Canada in 1911, which conflicts with family info that they came together, but with a fairly illegible birth month and year on the census I've really only got a near enough age and an occupation including CPR to go on.

James attestation papers show he married a Ruth Anna sometime before 1915, but the marriage doesn't appear in the Manitoba records that I've found.

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Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Oct 10, 2007: Matching Michigan and Borders RUNCIMEN?

Next lornahen webpage update will include a link to the geograph picture of Wanton Walls on the place pages. Which activity was prompted by an early morning phone call from George RUNCIMAN ex of Wanton Walls in response to a letter I'd written him. (It was a welcome call, but it was 5:30am, I hope I sounded coherent). I was trying to find out if there was any further information to be had about the Michigan link and the current whereabouts, if any, of the letters between the Michigan and the Wanton Walls RUNCIMEN back in the 1850s-1870s(?). George was convinced that they were related, and added a snippet, to be verified somehow, that the original Michigan lot had been transported following deer poaching in the Edgarhope forest (appears on maps as Edgarhope Wood, just north of Lauder).

Given my current interest in DNA testing and genealogy, wonder if any of the US lot and the Scottish lot would be interesting in comparing dna to "prove" this? A 37 marker test comparing 2 male line surname descendants showing identical or close dna matches apparently have a 50% chance of sharing common male ancestors within 2 generations, and 95% chance within 7 generations, this latter would cover current day family back to known ancestors on the Scottish side, and likely ancestors on the American side. I can spot several Scottish candidates, but Michigan line descendants look a bit thin on the ground unless I do some more research. The last known male descendant of William (still a RUNCIMAN) that I have records of died in 1981, and the last I have down from James isn't at the address I had for him any more.

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Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Oct 8, 2007: More HEIGHTs scaled

Quick response to a Rootsweb posting I made on the Digby, Nova Scotia message board. We now have details about Alden HEIGHT and Christine McGREGOR's 1910 Massachusetts marriage, but aren't really any further ahead with info on the supposed 1932 marriage to Minnie Dale FRANKLIN nee WILSON that cannot have happened then (Minnie was the informant for her then husband's death in 1936, James FRANKLIN). Odd that Alden appears to be married to a Bessie F in 1943, Minnie in 1942 and still to Christine in 1941 (New Hampshire directories via Ancestory).

Curiousity got the better of me however, so I took a punt that the HEIGHTs still living at a 40 yr old address in Hartford Noreen had were the ones at the end of this chain. Spoke to a grddaughter of Alden's who confirmed he'd married firstly Christina then Minnie, but in the brief conversation, nothing was known about any Bessie F. Hope to hear from her via email to "discuss" further.

And back to the GRAHAMs of Fauld. Annemarie a descendant of a William GRAHAM has been in touch. She thinks he's the son of the Dulcibella who married Edward (both GRAHAM) but lacked anything conclusive to link them, just the circumstantial evidence of h/stone proximity. Yet to check it out, but looks like another rellie as Dulcibella left her son William 1/- in her will.

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Sunday, 7 October 2007

Oct 7th, 2007: Buried civilisations

Tidy up day. Something I rarely seem to get round too is finishing each bit of research. Each new exciting find or contact interrupts the previous top of the pile. Years ago I read about someone's office desk being described as having buried civilisations at the bottom of the piles. I empathised.

HENDERSON/McGREGOR research interrupts today included a Guestbook message from one of the Argentinian RUNCIMANs who was looking for information on his gt grdfather Robert Inglis (Peel) RUNCIMAN.

The British Hospital in Buenos Aires wanted to commemorate him as an early benefactor and didn't have much information. In his searches the gt grdson found my web site and sent me a lovely thank you.

Also received a query about a GUNN/BAIN marriage, which turned out not to be in one in my tree, but which meant Bella GUNN caught my eye, with an unknown birth and marriage date. Bella turns out to be Isabella Johan GUNN, and I found their marriage, not Halkirk where expected, but registered a bit further north, in Orkney.

And then there was another message in my Guestbook, continuing a correspondence about George Manson Henderson BAIN who emigrated from Caithness to Manitoba. Brenda helpfully pointed me in the direction of the Manitoba Government BDM indexes. Obviously privacy conscious there as not many of my Manitoba people fitted into the timeframes the indexes covered (100 yrs ago for births, 80 for marriages and 70 for deaths) but nonetheless there are a few more of the people who are online in my WorldConnect databases with dates that are either now verified or corrected.
Darned if I can find any record of George's immigration either side of the pond however. He must have swum, sometime between 1901 and 1916.

Oh well, back to checking/filing HENDERSON/McGREGOR correspondence to see what updates I might have missed.

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Oct 6, 2007: HEIGHTS of HENDERSONs

The HENDERSON/McGREGOR research has reached new HEIGHTs today, along with CARLIN, COUSIN, RINTOUL, LIBRIZZI, and AVEDESIAN. Today's journey has taken Noreen, Linda and I to Canada and back to New Jersey, Connecticut with a detour or two to Massachusets and added those surnames into the tree (along with several more common names, such as WRIGHT, which are much harder to trace!).
Anyone with a stray Adam McGREGOR wanting a home? Possible last sighting 1871 Dunfermline with a LOW family who may or may not be relations via his mother. Born 1858, vanished into thin air after appearing at home with his family in 1861.
HENDERSON descendant chart updated again to keep pace with the research.

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Saturday, 6 October 2007

Oct 5, 2007: Aliens galore

Even more HENDERSON/McGREGOR updates. Noreen in BC has been talking to the rellies and gleaning some family stories, which has give us some great leads as to what happened to the assorted families. Timescales seem to be subject to the usual vagaries of memory, and one story places Daniel McGREGOR in Ontario, but this is proving hard to validate.
She was very surprised to find that one family also lived in BC.

The HENDERSON descendant chart has been updated as a temporary measure until I've finished this rash of updates and can update World Connect again.

Immigration records have been a great help in tracking down what happened to some of them. I just love the phrase that appears on the US Alien manifests, "nearest relative or friend in country whence alien came".

Surnames added into the HENDERSON tree as a result include: COUSIN, HAMILTON, TAYLOR, CAMERON, with associated places including Ontario, and British Columbia, but also New Jersey, and of course outer space for the aliens.

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Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Oct 1, 2007: Ditch hopping or is it pond swimming?

Yet more HENDERSON/McGREGOR findings, mostly on the JACK branch. No wonder they were a bit elusive in the USA census returns, ditch hopping seems to be the norm as a couple of families returned to Scotland, then back to the States. This included the elusive Robert JACK, who pops up in the Royal Navy, marrying back in Edinburgh in 1916, to a Scottish lass who had emigrated to the States back in 1910. They returned (to New York in 1920 thus missing the census that year) and show up in Florida in 1930 (which is where Linda found them and put me onto this trail).

Loved the will of one John SCOTT, bachelor of Piperdeanregg, Nicholforest. Wonder how his niece Barbara LITTLE and Rebecca ARMSTRONG, relationship unstated, got on sharing the cottage & garden? One got the front room and East half of the garden, the other the back room and the West half of the garden.

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Sep 30, 2007: Tasmanian tigers?

Some BYRNE updates received from a DAW(E) 4th cousin in Launceston (Tasmania), ta for making contact Tony, hope to hear more.

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