My genealogy research diary. What changed, where, sometimes even why.
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Saturday, 28 February 2009

28th: Addenda - a bit of Hope

While casting around for any additional Archibald FAIRBAIRN info I may have missed that might shed light on whether or not I had the likely correct father for the Archibald FAIRBAIRN who married Jane BLAKEY 1841 Tynemouth, NBL, I happened on the family of Jane HOPE again.
Several months back when Betsy and I were in a flurry of catch up activity on the fate of the descendants of Archibald FAIRBAIRN and Alison CROSSER, we found an Archibald and Robert FAIRBAIRN living with Robert FAIRBAIRN in Richmond, Lennox & Addington, Ontario in 1851, and of an age to be his grandchildren.
At the time it looked like they might be the children of a Jane wife of John HOPE who showed up in the New York census of 1850 with an Isabella C HOPE, presumed to be a dtr, and a Robert and Archibald FAIRBAIRN.
Back then we hadn't found any further believable information on the family other than it looked like Isabella had married in Ontario to a Daniel shown as FOSTER on his marriage cert, but with parents named FOOTE.
Today I stumbled upon the death of this assumed grandchild Archibald in Napanee, Lennox & Addington, indexed as FAILAW. It was only thanks to the LDS Record Search Pilot that I found him as they had an index to the Ontario deaths, and had him as FAIRBURN instead.
Although the entry is pretty unclear, I could make FAIRBAIRN out of it with a tail wind and a bit of luck - but mostly because the informant was given as "mother of the deceased, Jane HOPE, of Napanee".
I also found Isabella this time round. Previously I'd been searching under her married name of FOSTER, and/or FOOT(E) to no avail.
Mum's Scottish upbringing about women keeping their own names held, as her death was indexed on ancestry as Catherine Gabell HOPE, again, informant, "mother of the deceased, Jane HOPE, of Napanee", with Catherine's occupation shown as wife of Daniel FOOTE. (The actual entry looks more like Catherine Isabella HOPE to me.)
Poor Jane, she lost two adult children within the space of a few short months, both to consumption, and registered them both on the same day, several months later.
I've not found Daniel FOSTER/FOOTE's death as yet.
All in all, this did rather reinforce my supposition that Jane is actually Jane FAIRBAIRN, dtr of Robert and Kate FAIRBAIRN of Napanee, particularly with the newfound reversal of Isabella's name to put the Catherine first, as that would make Jane's first dtr a Catherine/Kate after her mother.
Robert is supposed to have a dtr Jane according to the Scottish Emigration to Canada pre-Confederation information, but it is somewhat unclear as to whether this Jane is her, or the wife of an as yet unidentified FAIRBAIRN son of Robert and Kate's, given that it looks like she had two FAIRBAIRN sons prior to her marriage to John HOPE.
On balance, I've decided she is the dtr Jane, and next WorldConnect db updates she will show as such. It is possible that Robert might be the son of David FAIRBAIRN and Jane HERD, Jane HOPE's nephew, but we'll likely never prove that.
In the meantime I've updated the descendant chart for Archibald and Alison (CROSSER) FAIRBAIRN.
Still to prove however, is that Robert really is a son of Archibald and Alison - any male FAIRBAIRN descendants out there for the dna project?

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28th: Another Archibald, or is he?

The marriage cert. for Archibald FAIRBAIRN and Jane BLAKEY turned up today.
It shows Archibald's father as yet another Archibald FAIRBAIRN, a gardener.
There's an Archibald of exactly the right age, son of Archibald FAIRBAIRN and Janet SCOTT, born St Boswells, 1813.
I don't have father Archibald's occupation as a gardener however, more normally he shows up as the ubiquitous ag. lab., occasionally farm steward, and in 1841 when the presumed son Archibald married, the father shows as an ag lab at Greenwells Glenburney at Melrose.
As a descendant of Archibald and Jane FAIRBAIRN is in the dna project, if this hunch is correct, Doug (F-14) should be a very good match to Martin (F-1) our first project participant.
If he isn't, then I guess we need to keep digging to find distant cousins of both Martin and Doug to confirm their line's dna signature, or find another Archibald of the right age and place.
Anyone have any other Archibald/Archibald father/son pairs where the son was born Scotland around 1813?

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Friday, 27 February 2009

26th: Jessie claimed

Rightly or wrongly I've decided that the Jessie SINTON of Southdean who married Donald McFADEN is highly likely to be the daughter of James SINTON and Barbary OLIVER.
I'm possibly inventing history here, but given that Barbary died in 1809, a few short years after her marriage in 1804 and Jessie's age consistently implies she was born about 1810, that just possibly, Barbary died in childbirth.
The place names connected with Jessie and Donald whilst still in Scotland also lead me to believe there is a close connection to these SINTONs.
Anyway, I've updated the SINTON chart to reflect this. It was bugging me way too much having Jessie floating around without parents when there just had to be a connection.

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Tuesday, 24 February 2009

24th: Back to Melrose FAIRBAIRNs

Again, check the FAIRBAIRN DNA Project Diary for the latest pedigree loaded, and the theory behind how they might connect to the lineage of Robert and Agnes (LANDRETH) FAIRBAIRN.
Would be good to prove that connection.

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Monday, 23 February 2009

23rd: Another FAIRBAIRN blacksmith; ANDREWS sidetrack

Check the Fairbairn DNA project diary for the links/details re the newly loaded pedigree - that of the family of Archibald and Jane (BLAKEY) FAIRBAIRN who emigrated from Northumberland to Ontario. One son, Archibald, moved to Parry Sound, another lived Orangeville, Wellington Co/Dufferin Co. Another, Robert, a miller, moved to Vegreville, Alberta, with descendants moving back to Ontario.

Archibald was a blacksmith, and the majority of the few available records, say he was born Scotland;
Probably complete coincidence, but the family of one other of the DNA project members were also in Orangeville, Dufferin Co at one stage.

I have now absolutely no idea where I was researching during the digging on the above, or who I was looking at, that led me to check for some updated details for the family of Abraham ANDREWS of Martock (then St Lukes, Middlesex), but next WorldConnect update there should be some more confirmed dates and places for the family.

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22nd: Lost for words?

While digging around in Ontario Fairbairns today (getting ready to publish the lineage of our latest recruit in the FAIRBAIRN dna project), I had to chuckle at a note on a birth certificate. Jenet FAIRBAIRN was born Jul 1883 (Oakville, Halton Co, dtr of Archiblad FAIRBAIRN and Mary Jane CAVANA) but the birth wasn't registered until March the following year, and was annotated:
"neglected to register owing to selection of a name for the child".
Don't know why they bothered giving an excuse, they only seem to have registered two of the family of at least 7 children.

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Saturday, 21 February 2009

21st: Rosie update

Thanks to Helen, a 4th cousin in BC, the BAIN/ROSIE family has had a few snippets added. I took the opportunity to remove a stray David that had snuck into the family from another researcher as I cannot, as yet, find any corroboration he belonged to George ROSIE and Isabella BAIN.
Most of the updates will be behind the scenes into the realms of the living, and
thus not online.
In the process I received a cute picture of the 2 yr old Lucas, 7th great grandson of John BAIN, who shared his fair hair and blue eyes.

My WorldConnect database LornaHenderson has been reloaded.
This update was for any snippets on the above BAIN/ROSIEs, but also to bring the family of Donald McFADEN and Jessie SINTON across from my db LornaPotential into the rellies, even if we're unlikely to prove where she connects.

The BAIN and SINTON descendant charts have also been refreshed.

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20th: Swapping ROX for ROC?

I'm growing a theory here. When James, son of Peter and Janet (Donaldson) SINTON died in 1855 his death cert implied that his son John was aged 45 and still alive. Over the years I've only really found one remotely likely candidate, in Ontario, and wasn't very thrilled that he'd be him at all.
Today I stumbled across a slightly too young John in Ross & Cromarty, a shepherd (right occupation for a farmer's son), who occasionally decided to say he was born in Bowden, ROX (well, ancestry says Bomden, ROX, and in one census Bowden, SEL). I've not checked the original to reassure myself that the FINTON, and SENTER names the family has been indexed as are really SINTON, but was intrigued enough by this chap to chase him thru the records to see where it lead.
He died in 1881 and his death cert. does indeed say his parents were a James SINTON and Margaret. However, I cannot turn his mother's maiden name into WILKIE. Nearest interpretation is GILLES, and even that isn't certain.

Anyone out there researching the family of John SINTON and Catherine CROSS of Kiltearn, Ross and Cromarty? Over the years the family were at: Leadgown, Contin Parish; Swordale, Kiltearn Parish; Boath, Alness; Associated surnames so far are ROSS and McKAY, with one daughter (a Rachel, a name significant in the family of James and Margaret) moving to Dores, Inverness; a son John moving to Bonar, Sutherland and the fates of the rest of the family yet to be discovered.

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Wednesday, 18 February 2009

18th: ROBSONs (mis)remembered?

Looking at the ROBSON connection, if any, between Isabella Sinton and her sister Margaret:
Margaret had her brother-in-law George Robson living with her and her husband Thomas Robson; George's death cert shows his parents as George Robson, carter, and Margaret m.s. Pertis, the informant being George's nephew, Richard Robson of Maisondieu.
Isabella's husband was Richard Robson, and they lived at Maisondieu.
This Richard Snr's death cert shows his parents as Thomas Robson, blacksmith and Margaret m.s. Pertis (the informant was Richard and Isabella's eldest son Thomas).
Am I looking for one woman with two husbands or simply two Robson brothers who cannot remember their grandfather's name and occupation?
If I go for the 2 out of 3 aint bad rule, I found that Margaret's husband Thomas also survived into civil registration and his dth cert shows his parents as Thomas Robson, blacksmith and Peggy m.s. Pertis, with Margaret being the informant.
Wonder if Pertis is actually Porteous?

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17th: Where things can lead...

I've been catching up on the family of Donald McFADEN and Jessie SINTON, and trying to figure out if I could find any clues as to where Jessie fitted into the Southdean SINTONs. My guess is as daughter of James SINTON and Barbary OLIVER, given the Oliver names in the children, but against this id is that there are no Barbara's in the known family, even if the second son is indeed James.
In the process, I decided to re-check James' baptism for any further clues. Nothing I hadn't already explored, BUT the next entry caught my attention rather more this time.
It was for the baptism of a John, son of a John DONALDSON & Elizabeth SMITH.
Given the SINTON activity, and that I'd never really explored anything at all about Peter SINTON's wife Janet DONALDSON, I decided to follow this family around to see where it might lead. Nowhere in particular, although I did find that John Snr was the son of a John DONALDSON and Margaret DEANS. They are probably not of an age to be Janet DONALDSON's parents (possibly John is a brother, or more likely a nephew), but it did lead me to my breakthrough for the day.
I looked at the gaps in the children of Peter SINTON and Janet DONALDSON, and thought I'd see if there might be a Margaret surviving into civil registration.
There was. One Margaret ROBSON nee SINTON. Haven't yet checked if there's any relationship between Margaret's husband, Thomas ROBSON, carrier of Jedburgh, and Margaret's sister Isabella's husband Richard ROBSON, but have expanded the SINTON tree somewhat by tracking Thomas and Margaret's family down to 1901.
Newly connected names: HERBERTSON, BAIRD, LITSTER, GIBSON; Places include Jedburgh and Kinross, with a spell in Kelvin. I've only found one daughter, Jessie ROBSON, who had two illegitimate children, a James DOUGLAS and a Margaret HERBERTSON. She also seems to have married a John BAIRD but I've no idea what happened to him, just that she reverted to using his surname and saying she was married in two census returns, but her death cert states she was single. The 1852 marriage entry for a John BAIRD and Jessie ROBSON doesn't have any real clues that it is the right Jessie, and they were certainly never together in a census.

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Monday, 16 February 2009

15th: More twigs for David and Jane (HERD) FAIRBAIRN

Finally found proof that the HAMLIN family I'd been following around census records in Wisconsin was indeed the family of one of my FAIRBAIRN's. I'd not yet traced all of David and Jane (HERD) FAIRBAIRN's children and grandchildren. Their daughter Mary married a Walter LILLY and it is their dtr Jane I've been tracing and eventually found proof that the Jane F HAMLIN of an age to be her, was indeed nee LILLY. Many thanks to the kind person who transcribed the 1924 biography of her son James Harvey HAMLIN which appeared in a "History of Lincoln, Oneida, and Vilas Counties, Wisconsin", published in 1924.
I've not yet finished with the available records, but have updated the FAIRBAIRN descendant chart to show where I've got to on the newly included family. Added surnames include: HAMLIN, WENZEL, TARR, CLINE, and LEESE, so far; places Wisconsin (Lincoln Co, Oneida Co, Vilas Co) and Washington (Douglas Co, Chelan Co). As yet, I've not noticed anyone else researching this family.

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Saturday, 14 February 2009

14th: Check the original!!

The importance of checking the primary source was driven home (again) today.
A few days ago I mentioned a contact via Rootschat re the SINTON/McFADEN family whom I believe connect, somehow, to my Southdean SINTONs.
When following up on this connection, I realised that we had different wives for James McFADEN, I had Elizabeth LEADBITTER, Bev had Elizabeth ATKINSON.
Mine had come from matching up James with an 1860 Newcastle bride Elizabeth at the same volume and folio number (10b/152) on FreeBMD, Bev's from researching her ATKINSON family connections.
First up, my (slightly) closer inspection showed an Elizabeth ATKINSON marriage in 1860 in Northumberland, but to a John MARSHALL, and in Tynemouth, not Newcastle, this from ancestry's marriages 1538-1940.
I then checked FreeBMD and noticed that there was an Elizabeth ATKINSON marriage in 1860 Newcastle, but volume/folio of 10b/150, whereas I had James as 10b/152.
Thankfully I didn't rest there. Baptisms of Elizabeth ATKINSON and LEADBITTER were both on the IGI, the former matching by year and place to the Elizabeth wife of James in the 1871 census, whereas Elizabeth LEADBITTER was older and of Hexham, not Corsenside.
A further search of FreeBMD finally revealed that there were two entries for James McFADEN in 1860 qtr 1, and an inspection of the original image attached to the 10b/152 entry showed it had been incorrectly transcribed from 10b/150. A correction has been lodged, and my LornaPotential db entry has now attached James to his correct wife.
Would still love to hear from anyone who knows how Jessie SINTON may fit into the Southdean SINTON famlies.

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13th: Caithness gets some overdue attention

The flurry of activity on the Caithness GRAY family as a result of Bobby finding and sharing his updated info on Ann SINCLAIR nee GRAY shows that several notes to myself several years ago to investigate whether or not Catherine GRAY's sisters married x and y have been proved to be valid hunches.
We've done a lot of digging and swapping our finds over the last couple of days.
Another sister also survived well into civil registration times, living to age 93, Barbara GRAY, married James McGREGOR, lived at Baderyrie, Latheron.
That leaves the fates of sisters Elizabeth and Isobel GRAY to be determined.
For some time I'd wondered if Isobel was the one who married John SUTHERLAND, but that isn't the case. However, investigation of this did lead me to correct what I had on that family on my WorldConnect database LornaPotential, which will show these updates shortly (her parents weren't Alexander GRAY and Margaret SUTHERLAND, but David GRAY and Christian BAIN);
Newly connected surnames for my GRAY family now include: GUNN, more SINCLAIRs, MUNRO, BAIKIE, McLAREN; Places are: Thurso; Mid Clyth; Stemster; Lybster; Duffus (Moray); Charlestown (Little Dunkeld, Perthshire);
Mysteries: What happened to Mary SINCLAIR and Alexander GUNN, married 1860 Lybster, appear in 1861 census at Mid Clyth, then vanish.

Also did some work on the Tongside GRAY families, whom I'm sure do connect in somehow, if only I knew how/where: Alexander & Margaret (SUTHERLAND) GRAY, who lived next to my William & Isabella (MANSON) GRAY, as did their respective descendants over the years.

Both Rootsweb WorldConnect databases are in the process of being updated, so use these links to access them until the indexing catches up over the next 2-3 days: LornaHenderson, LornaPotential.

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Friday, 13 February 2009

12th: Deceased dtr explained

The over-zealous enumerator in the census entry mentioned yesterday is probably explained by a careless transcriber.
The mother, head of the household, is described as deceased shoemaker's wife, so there's probably a missing " for ditto in the "deceased daughter" being enumerated.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

11th: Seen it all now

I don't yet know how accurate the Ancestry Census transcription I've just seen is, but I've just found a Janet SINCLAIR enumerated with an occupation of "deceased daughter"!
This being part of the investigations into the newfound GRAY twigs that Bobby put me onto. I don't think she's the Janet I'm looking for however.
The family being researched is that of Ann, dtr of Donald GRAY and Janet SUTHERLAND, and sister of the Catherine GRAY who married John BAIN, married a James SINCLAIR. Bobby found her 1857 death certificate and I'm fossicking to see what else I can find.
So far the extended family includes McGREGORs, and another SINCLAIR family.

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10th: Revival of interest in BAINs

A descendant of Elizabeth BAIN's husband James SUTHERLAND's first wife has found my web pages, and suddenly discovered he has a whole heap of BAIN relations as well as the SUTHERLAND ones he knew about.
Good to hear from you Tim.

Found a conversation on Rootschat which I'd missed, re Jessie SINTON and Donald McFADEN. I'm fully convinced that Jessie is one of my Southdean SINTONs, but am at a loss to see exactly where she would fit. Good to "meet" you Bev.

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Monday, 9 February 2009

9th: The kindness of others

Something I've always loved about this hobby is the thoughtfulness and kindness found within the genealogical community, with most people sharing their finds and helping out.
Today this was exemplified by two emails which arrived in my inbox overnight from one of the lovely people who belong to Find A Grave (wonderful site where you may often be able to find headstones in far distant cemeteries).
He had photographed the headstone of George E & Eda M (CRAWFORD) HENDERSON, and then gone on to do some research about them, found my WorldConnect db and brought the headstone photo to my attention. Not only that, but suggested that I also look in the same cemetery, Mountain View Memorial Park, Barstow, San Bernardino Co, California, for their son George C HENDERSON. He hadn't submitted the latter's headstone photo, but the lovely people who had, also had his obituary listed, which has enabled me to track down at least some of the descendants on Facebook. Don't yet know if they are at all interested in their HENDERSON ancestry, time will tell.

Another recent story is that of the far flung impact of a casual comment after a committee meeting last week.
One member mentioned that his family solicitor was a FAIRBAIRN, and he'd mentioned to him that he knew someone (me) heavily into researching FAIRBAIRNs.
At this point in the story I was privately a bit dismissive as very few of the FAIRBAIRNs in New Zealand appear to come from the Scottish Borders families that I'm researching most heavily. He then mentioned that the chap concerned had been born in Samoa. Likelihood of connection didn't rise at this point, but I did remember that many years ago I'd squirreled away some information about a James FAIRBAIRN of Glasgow who had been a policeman in Samoa. Again, no known connection, just information that may well come to be of use later. And so it turned out.
I pulled out the information and re-examined it for further clues, "just in case".
Sure enough, this was the solicitor's father, and I found sufficient information to identify James' birth in Govan in 1901, shortly after the Scottish census for that year. By now you'll have guessed there's a point to this story. No, at the time I'd squirrelled away the information I had no known interest whatsoever in Glaswegian policeman. But time moves on. Descendants of the family of James and Mary Bell/Mabel (THOMSON) FAIRBAIRN had moved to Glasgow, and yes, this James was one of them.
I've been searching all over the world for this family, found descendants in Washington State, Brisbane, Leicester, knew some had emigrated to Canada, and only recently had found one of them in Saskatchewan in the 1916 census on the FamilySearch Record pilot (which resource seems to have vanished now, so timing was everything there). But no-one ever knew any had come to NZ, let alone were living in my next door town.
Alf and I have now met, and he has provided some more leads for families in the States, and we've swapped our known information. Now I have to work to co-opt him into the FAIRBAIRN dna project to determine whether or not, and if so, how closely, our respective Eckford families may be related.

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Sunday, 8 February 2009

8th: What have I been up to?

Not really sure what all I've changed since the last posting. Looking at the "Recent Changes" index from a rebuild of my Big Brother website I can see a clutch of Henderson updates, most of which aren't really visible changes, apart from Archibald, whose baptism entry gave me a new place to play with, Craigmill, which is now included on the map of Hatch Match and Despatch Events on the Henderson page.
As I say in his blurb, I'd noted in the past that there was a Robert HENDERSON, Smith at Craigmill, which may or may not be significant as to Archibald's grandfather's forbears. The two Craigmill HENDERSON smiths are rather separated by time however.

Reasonably sure that the changes shown for 31 Jan and 5 Feb were cosmetic rather than real, but those shown for 7th & 8th Feb are real updates.

Behind the scenes Bobby has provided some updates to the BAIN family which are being investigated and will be reflected in WorldConnect db LornaHenderson updates in due course.

The FAIRBAIRN page has had a minor tweak or two, including the descendant chart of James and Mary Bell/Mabel (THOMSON) FAIRBAIRN being brought onto this site instead of pointing off to my WorldConnect db LornaPotential, in the hope that one day (soon?) we may be able to prove a relationship between James and my family of Archibald and Alison (CROSSER) FAIRBAIRN, given that both were involved with the Gateshaw Secession Church at Morebattle and lived for at time in Eckford Parish.

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