My genealogy research diary. What changed, where, sometimes even why.
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Saturday, 19 September 2009

19th: Time for another update - or two

My WorldConnect database LornaHenderson has been updated to include recent activity.

Mainly this has been on Quebec FAIRBAIRNs and the HUDSONs, thanks mainly to Adeline who contacted me questioning the reported HUDSON/FAIRBAIRN links which most sources show as two sets of siblings marrying siblings.
I think we both ended up satisfied that the family records looked correct, and that her HUDSONs were a different set, despite family stories from descendants of the FAIRBAIRN/HUDSON lot.
As a result of the activity, several Quebec FAIRBAIRN marriages were also checked off, and assorted related census data checked, including a couple of quite modern ones which show a FAIRBAIRN/TAYLOR marriage where the TAYLOR side of the equation has a link to Thurso which rather piqued my interest, given my TAYLOR connections from Caithness (not yet investigated, but if anyone knows anything more about a William TAYLOR from Thurso who may have emigrated to Quebec and can elucidate, do get in touch).

Another rash of activity was prompted by Alan of Christchurch contacting me about Daniel Hodge SKEWES, brother of his ancestor.
This made me realise that I'd never finished processing the Bere Ferrers headstone photos I'd taken back in 2006, so several of the METTERS family this Daniel married into have also been updated (ongoing). He also answered my un-investigated question on how come Daniel's son Samuel was a Samuel Dawe SKEWES, although as yet, neither of us know anything about the DAWE connection beyond Alan advising me that Samuel's mother was an Anne DAWE who died aged 32.
One of the connected family that I'm not having much joy in finding is John COURTIS son of John and Mary (TOLL) COURTIS, (who both died young their headstone in Bere Ferrers shows them both dying on 28th February, one in 1863 the other in 1866). Eldest known son is John Humphrey or Humphries COURTIS, who disappears after the 1861 census, but may be the John H COURTIS in Lewisham, London with a wife Nellie, "living on means" and born Tavistock.
Certainly some of his siblings are enumerated as born Tavistock once they've moved away from Devon (sister Mary Ann CHEAL nee COURTIS)

And after many years of using but avoiding trusting my data to them beyond the above RootsWeb World Connect databases, I've given in, despite their terms and conditions of what they can do with your data.
(I got the pip with their OneWorldTree which merged in ridiculous data and made it look like mine, at least now it looks like any merging will be only at my request!).
So, I've uploaded a very basic tree of my direct ancestors and their siblings, and as I research assorted relations, am adding to it with the attached census and BMD data, or whatever I find on ancestry.
As a result the tree is very much a subset of my total data (as are all my online trees, some more than others), but newly added information will be attached to source images.
It may not always be clear how the research connects to the ancestors as I may not have got round to linking them up with the connecting people however!

OneGreatFamily continues to be updated with more completely and more regularly and contains slightly more people than the WorldConnect db, with all their BMD data but no attached sources as I still love their merging of families into one huge tree, although some of the outer edges can be a bit suspect most of the merges I've checked off do look quite kosher, and have provided several good leads.

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Friday, 17 April 2009

17th: Addenda - BAINs for a change

Met up with one of my NZ BAIN "cousins" today for the first time. Apart from it being good to actually meet, it was also rather interesting to find out how we were connected to his wife via a different branch of Caithness BAINs.
A couple of years ago they had met one of her relations at Spittal. Donald had mentioned blacksmiths and McBEATH connections, so I assumed it would be the South Calder BAINs, and so it turned out. John BAIN (1799-1882) who married Helen McBEATH, whose family connect several times over to my/our BAINs in the GRAY and TAYLOR families. Further details on those that connect to my forest can be found on my WorldConnect db LornaHenderson.

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Tuesday, 31 March 2009

30th: McDONALD sorted

Bobby asked if I thought the niece, Margaret McDONALD, shown living with William TAYLOR and Janet GRAY in 1841 and 1851 at Sibster, Halkirk might be the dtr of William McDONALD and Margaret GUNN.
That was indeed where I had also thought she might belong, but had never investigated further to see if there was any link to our Isabella McDONALD, first wife of said William TAYLOR.
So much more information is now more readily available, so I set off to solve the mystery.
We were both wrong, as were the census records. Niece indeed! She was William's grandchild, illegitimate dtr of Christina (housemaid) with a George McDONALD, (merchant). No wonder I'd not found her in subsequent census returns before this, she died aged 29 in 1859. Another mystery solved, and a bit of the database straightened out. That particular family have real trouble naming their relationships correctly!

Found a Sth African site that had some useful information on it ( Didn't find anything on my FAIRBAIRNs, but did find a bit more out about the family of the newspaper FAIRBAIRN there. Some of the family are on OneGreatFamily
and show John as being born Ledgerwood, BEW 1794, which raised my interest a tad. Any male FAIRBAIRN descendants out there interested in joining the FAIRBAIRN dna project?

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Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Sep 8, 2008: What defines a "cousin"?

Earliest known ancestor for Walter is a John FAIRBAIRN, his son was John A Sr, married to Charity SMITHSON.
Clarissa is a descendant of David & Jane (WILLIAMSON) FAIRBAIRN, David being brother of William (marr. Jean WANLESS) FAIRBAIRN (see FAIRBAIRN Surname DNA project for link to Archibald (marr. Alison CROSSER) FAIRBAIRN).
Census data shows Walter as "cousin" to Clarissa's father David, but also David as "cousin" to Walter's father William George.
Yesterday I stumbled upon a reference to papers donated to the University of North Dakota by a Lawrence D FAIRBAIRN, born Montana and decided to investigate. He turned out to be the son of Angus U(rquhart?) FAIRBAIRN, and therefore a descendant of David and Jane (WILLIAMSON) FAIRBAIRNs. Further web searches led me to assorted Eatonville papers of Washington State that reported the daily goings on of the community, including that Mr and Mrs John A FAIRBAIRN of Hoquiam had been visiting, John being stated as cousin of Angus.
No surprise there, John and the above Walter being related, as were Angus and Clarissa.
But when I added a search of my previous correspondence about Hoquiam into the mix, I was reminded that a couple of years ago Joe and I had swapped info on the family of John in Hoquiam, and Joe had said that his grandfather Albert's 1938 obit stated that John A in Hoquiam was his cousin. Albert had emigrated from Liverpool to Hoquiam early 1900s, his line works back to a Robert who married an Elizabeth TAYLOR in Newcastle on Tyne 1811 but came from Sunderland himself.
Given Robert's son John is demonstrably in England until 1851 at least, he isn't a candidate for the John A family.
So "cousins" is obviously a loosely defined term by current usage, and presents an interesting puzzle to solve.
FAIRBAIRN web page updated to include a descendant chart for the Cousins of the Cousins.
Once again, any dna project takers?

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Friday, 22 August 2008

Aug 21, 2008: All those buses coming along at once

Updates from contacts on several fronts in the last few days. Just like buses, nothing for ages on a branch, then along come several contacts all at once.
David & I have been talking FINLAYSON dna (a FINLAYSON Surname DNA project has now been set up if anyone is interested).
Then along comes Jocelyn asking about my William TAYLOR/Isabella FINLAYSON. We were last in contact in 1999. This time I got more serious, and although I still haven't quite convinced myself that her Henderson TAYLOR is the son of William and Isabella, it does look quite likely.
However, in the process, I reviewed what else I had on William, and finally convinced myself that yes, he was the son of William TAYLOR and Janet SMITH of Wester Watten, AND that Jean (who married David McBEATH), was indeed his sister. TAYLOR chart updated.

Then today there were two separate contacts with regard to Devon CREBER connections.
Katherine pointed out that Mary TOOP, dtr of Robert John Newcombe TOOP and Mary Ann SPRY, had married Philip BLOWEY, son of Frederick BLOWEY and his cousin Laura Marina BLOWEY. Two of Philip's brothers married two of my SPRY relations, and Robert TOOP's uncle married one of my DAWE relations.
In the process of checking around this info I also found that Mary's step sister Margaret King TOOP had married a John C W ROWE (1919, registered Tavistock). Wonder if he'll turn out to be another rellie?
Whatever of the many charts all this was on have been updated too.

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Saturday, 3 May 2008

May 3, 2008: SINTON & TAYLOR updates

Jane TELFER/TELFORD nee SINTON has now been included on my web pages.

More info received from Peter, the descendant of Leslie Bowman CADELL & Agnes Taylor LYONS, which has brought that line down to the present.

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Saturday, 26 April 2008

Apr 25, 2008: Matching FAIRBAIRNs

Full 67 marker results for all three participants have now been received for the FAIRBAIRN Surname DNA project.
Earl and Roy match 67/67, with Martin a genetic distance (GD) of 3 away. Check out the Discussion page for how I currently interpret this.

Had a chat to the newfound (Australian) 5th cousin down the Caithness TAYLOR line. Should be able to fill in those gaps very soon.

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Sunday, 13 April 2008

Apr 12, 2008: GRAHAMs and TAYLORs

Finally beginning to catch breath. How come when you go away on a holiday, no matter how briefly, you have to work twice as hard beforehand and 3 times as hard afterwards to make up for the absence?

Mostly been working on checking off the family of David GRAHAM and Jane GRAHAM, David looking highly likely to be the one shown in the 1851 census as grandson of Stephen GRAHAM in English St, Longtown.

Have also been contacted by a grandson of one of my Caithness TAYLOR twigs, Agnes Taylor LYONS. Updates to follow.

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Thursday, 24 January 2008

Jan 23, 2008; There had to be an Alison

Having been found by the descendants of the newfound (to me) dtr Isabella, to Peter SINTON and Janet DONALDSON, and having done a lot of digging around to find as many of the descendants as wanted to be found, I then went digging to find other researchers of the new names added into the tree: ROBSON, MABON, HILSON, TURNBULL, BRODIE, THOMSON, INGLIS, SCOTT, MIDDLEMIST, GRAHAM, TAYLOR, RENWICK, HUNTER, WAUGH.
On the Borders FHS site, the Surname interests came up trumps for TURNBULL and MABON. At the time I found the TURNBULL researcher and looked at the web page, I wasn't sure it was the same family, but a bit more digging, and bingo. A couple of Isabella's great grdchildren had emigrated to Canada after WWI.
For MABON I picked one researcher for no better reason other than she had a NZ address. Such decisions can be fateful.
This evening, I received a pedigree chart from Amanda, and completely forgot about checking MABONs further, as she was a FAIRBAIRN relation of mine from a daughter I didn't have, for Walter FAIRBAIRN and Agnes ROBESON/ROBISON/ROBERTSON, but I knew had to exist somewhere. In a family with several sons and daughters I was missing a son named after the mother's father, and a dtr named after the father's mother, but am no longer missing the latter. The former may well still be the John in New York with father Walter of Roxburgh, SCT, but DNA participants are yet to be found to aid this conjecture.
Figured out who Mary BUCKHOLM is (but not what happened to her after 1871), but the rest of the grandchildren of Richard and Isabella ROBSON are yet to be "fitted in".

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Sunday, 25 November 2007

Nov 25, 2007: Counting down from 11

6 down, 5 to find. Robert found a couple more of the 11 children of Robert TAYLOR & Isabella Armstrong McGREGOR on his last visit to NRH, along with a few of the spice and a couple of grandchildren.

Oliver JOHNSTON's death remains unfound however.

And a welcome surprise in my Guestbook posted on the 23rd. Another line of SINTONs appear to be in NZ, a grandson of Christina Mary SINTON has left me a message.

And also a message from one of the Australian McADIE relations.
No rest for the wicked, or genealogically minded anyway.

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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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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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