Ancestry.co.uk Blog » Ancestry Advocates http://blogs.ancestry.com/uk The official Ancestry.co.uk blog Mon, 18 Aug 2014 09:06:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.2 The bad weather continues… but I can focus on my tree.http://blogs.ancestry.com/uk/2013/04/12/the-cold-weather-continues-but-i-can-focus-on-my-tree/ http://blogs.ancestry.com/uk/2013/04/12/the-cold-weather-continues-but-i-can-focus-on-my-tree/#comments Fri, 12 Apr 2013 09:32:40 +0000 Emma http://blogs.ancestry.com/uk/?p=4263 The predicted bad weather will be a rare opportunity to explore new records about my London-based ancestors.  So many new records are now available for London on Ancestry.co.uk that a quick foray shows me I can add lots of data to what was previously exhausted research. To start things off nicely I have found a… Read more

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The predicted bad weather will be a rare opportunity to explore new records about my London-based ancestors.  So many new records are now available for London on Ancestry.co.uk that a quick foray shows me I can add lots of data to what was previously exhausted research.

To start things off nicely I have found a report scanned and attached to another member’s public tree. I must say how much I appreciate that other researchers are willing to share.

It’s an 1820 Old Bailey record about Isaac and Ann Madell who were living in Morning Lane, Hackney at the time.  It seems Isaac and Ann were victims of a burglary in March 1820. Ann Madell, testifying at the Old Bailey, said that when she returned home from work a watch that had been safe in a drawer at home was missing.  She later saw that same watch in a pawnbrokers in Barbican (oops).  Robert Huxson, the pawnbroker, had given 14 shillings for the watch to a John Stapleton.

Stapleton was found guilty of stealing the watch worth 20 shillings and a handkerchief worth 4 shillings and was transported for 7 years!  To verify the details I looked to the Criminal Registers and all seems correct. I am left feeling that the punishment was harsh in proportion to the crime!

Much of our research is down to collecting facts and dates, but it’s so interesting when you find the stories.  That’s what is great about some of the more niche collections on Ancestry.co.uk –  your ancestors suddenly become real characters.

It also transpires that Ann and Isaac didn’t actually tie the knot until October that year, when he was a widower aged 66 (a good old age in those times). But at the Old Bailey she testified as the wife of Isaac.

There were some Banns recorded in 1816 but I can’t imagine what delayed the marriage by 4 years. How nice though to think of him finding companionship late in life – I don’t know how old Ann was or how long they had together – hopefully I can find out more.

I should admit that I intended to look for new records related to my Thames Lighterman ancestors going back from Hallett and Maynard families. I’m not really sure how I got diverted to Madells but I will try to focus my attention because it looks like the bad weather is here to stay!

Lesley is a Human Resources Manager which seems apt for genealogy and has been researching her family history for 10 years.  Most of her ancestors were from inner and outer London.  Aside from the satisfaction of collecting/organising data, the challenge of investigation and the excitement of discovery she likes to know about how her ancestors lived.

 

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The Results….Easter Weekendhttp://blogs.ancestry.com/uk/2013/04/03/the-results-easter-weekend-2/ http://blogs.ancestry.com/uk/2013/04/03/the-results-easter-weekend-2/#comments Wed, 03 Apr 2013 14:46:49 +0000 Emma http://blogs.ancestry.com/uk/?p=4213 Last weekend,  I wrote about looking for a character in my tree that I was struggling with. I spent some much-needed time over the Bank Holiday researching him. As a reminder this is what I knew of him. Alexander Cumberbatche paid to become a Freeman of the City of Bristol on 17th May 1618. He… Read more

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Last weekend,  I wrote about looking for a character in my tree that I was struggling with. I spent some much-needed time over the Bank Holiday researching him.

As a reminder this is what I knew of him. Alexander Cumberbatche paid to become a Freeman of the City of Bristol on 17th May 1618. He was married and worked as a a horner –  someone who works with horn.

The difficulty was that Alexander wasn’t a forename that I could easily associate with any particular branch of the Cumberbatches. I hadn’t found his marriage in Cheshire or Bristol.

Hopefully these steps will give some insight into how I was able to find out more:

Here is the search criteria that helped. You’ll see I used an asterisk wildcard in the surname.

Scrolling down the results revealed

The striking coincidence is that these marriages occurred on 9 July 1614 and the bride’s name is Alice Hayes in all of the results. But why was she married in two places?

A quick review of both entries:

The entry says Anno d[omini] 1614 R[eign] Ja[mes] 12 [Twelfth year of the reign of James the First]

Alexander Cumberland unto Alice Hayes [July] 9

I figured that this would be one of those genealogical teasers. So I checked the other image:

This entry was transcribed as:

Name:   Alexander Cumper

Event Type:  Marriage

Event Date: 9 Jul 1614

Parish:  Arrow

Spouse’s Name:  Alice Hayes

But he names jumped out at me from the original record – it was Alexander Cumberbatche and Alice Hayes single p[er]sons. So I submitted a correction to make the surname Cumberbatche. Note in this old writing a letter that looks like an ‘r’ is a ‘c’. Compare the ‘c’ in Alice to the ‘c’ in ‘batch’ and see the ‘r’ at the end of Alexander and the ‘r’ in Cumber.

Where did the transcript ‘Cumper’ come from? This is easy to see if you separate the letters on different lines. Immediately below the ‘b’ in Cumber the high ascender for an old ‘s’ in ‘single’ on the line below interferes with the ‘b’ in Cumber. The transcriber read Cumper rather than Cumber and probably he or she could make no sense of the remainder of the surname ‘batch’.

So why were they married in two parishes on the same day? I turned to Google maps to discover where Arrow was compared to Alcester.

A quick check of The Phillimore Atlas & Index of Parish Registers confirmed that Arrow and Alcester were indeed separate and ancient parishes. However, they are adjacent to each other. Perhaps this marriage was recorded in both his and her parish registers.

His baptism

Feeling lucky, I searched for a baptism using the same criteria as before but adding Warwickshire as a place filter. But I had no luck with a surname CUM*. So I searched just for Alexander

After I confirmed that Alexander Chaumberline was a correct entry I carried on down the list.  I really have no idea what possessed me to click on Alexander Amberton, but here is what I found:

This is more difficult to read but it says:

[1586] Dec 3 Alexander the son of Nicholas

Cumberbach was christene[d] the third day of december

So Alexander Cumberbach was baptised 3 Dec 1586 in Nuneaton, Warwickshire and Nicholas Cumberbach was Alexander’s father. Now this Nicholas I know a little about! [Yes, I did submit a correction to Cumberbach]

The surname originates from a place in Cheshire called Comberbach. By the time it reaches Nuneaton in the Midlands it is recorded in parish registers as Cumberbach, Cumberland and Cumberbatche.

So thanks to the long weekend and a helpful Help and Advice article on how to decipher handwriting  I have been able to unlock more about the once elusive Alexander Cumberatche.

Bob Cumberbatch is researching every Cumberbatch from any time, any place or anywhere with the Guild of One Name Studies. He is a Committee member and Education Liaison Officer for the Guild, plus a member of the Society of Genealogists and a guest blogger for Ancestry.co.uk

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Righting a family history wrong…. in fifteen minutes.http://blogs.ancestry.com/uk/2013/03/23/righting-a-family-history-wrong-in-fifteen-minutes/ http://blogs.ancestry.com/uk/2013/03/23/righting-a-family-history-wrong-in-fifteen-minutes/#comments Sat, 23 Mar 2013 10:28:08 +0000 Emma http://blogs.ancestry.com/uk/?p=4165 I was nearing the end of my stint as an Ancestry Advocate on the stand at WDYTYA 2013, when a lady asked me to ‘help her find out where she had gone wrong’. … Let’s face it, we’ve all been there, haven’t we? She had obviously spent a great deal of time and money tracing… Read more

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I was nearing the end of my stint as an Ancestry Advocate on the stand at WDYTYA 2013, when a lady asked me to ‘help her find out where she had gone wrong’. … Let’s face it, we’ve all been there, haven’t we?

She had obviously spent a great deal of time and money tracing her ancestors. She had all the birth certificates and census printouts for the family and had taken the trouble to go and visit what she thought was her ‘ancestral village’. Imagine her disappointment when a local researcher told her that he had already researched the family and she was not a descendant of that particular person.

Together we tracked back through the certificates and census entries – we confirmed we were looking for a gentleman born in Lyme Regis, Dorset in 1795, I think it was. The person she had found, on the IGI (International Genealogical Index) had the right name and was baptised in the right year but in a different, albeit close, village in Dorset.

We only had 15 minutes and time was running out. But there, on the right-hand side of our screen, were the ‘Suggested Records’ – a list of extra records that related to our initial search. One in particular grabbed my attention, a baptism in Dorset.

With bated breath we clicked on the link – would we simply be back with the person she had already found? No, it was a baptism for the same name and year but this time in Lyme Regis and with different parents.

She was delighted and so was I. Of course there’s no guarantee that this is the right man – her first check is the burial records to ensure that he was not a victim of the high rates of infant mortality. But it’s a great start!

To ensure you don’t go wrong, check out the Help & Advice Centre’s Ten common research mistakes:

Authored by Gill Grocott.  Gill has been researching her family history for more than 10 years, having taken over from her mother. Her research has been almost exclusively in the British Isles, one of the many surprises she has received is to find out that she is almost 100% ‘made in England.’

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Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2013 – An Ancestry Advocate’s viewhttp://blogs.ancestry.com/uk/2013/03/08/who-do-you-think-you-are-live-2013-an-ancestry-advocates-view/ http://blogs.ancestry.com/uk/2013/03/08/who-do-you-think-you-are-live-2013-an-ancestry-advocates-view/#comments Fri, 08 Mar 2013 17:21:25 +0000 Emma http://blogs.ancestry.com/uk/?p=4154 For me and my fellow Ancestry Advocates, the thrill of discovery isn’t just connected to our own family trees. Many of us have also researched the trees of our spouses as well as friends and near neighbours. Some have even offered their research skills as a charity auction item for strangers! Whoever we are researching,… Read more

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For me and my fellow Ancestry Advocates, the thrill of discovery isn’t just connected to our own family trees. Many of us have also researched the trees of our spouses as well as friends and near neighbours. Some have even offered their research skills as a charity auction item for strangers! Whoever we are researching, the pleasure gained from the exploration is never diminished.

That’s why a high point in my year is the few hours as an Ancestry Advocate at WDYTYA? Live. Each year seems to get better. Maybe I’m more familiar with the Ancestry.co.uk site than I was the previous year, certainly each year there is more content on the site to unearth and this year there were more visitors wanting input from the Ancestry Advocates.

Their wait has to feel worth it; standing in a queue for half an hour to get access to the stand means that visitors have a burning need to get to the next stage in their family tree, to verify a hunch or a tiny piece of evidence. As Ancestry Advocates we must work hard not to disappoint.

The visitors I met this year were more focused on what they were looking for and where they had drawn a blank. All the Ancestry Advocates have encountered brick walls and we know how frustrating that can be. Uncle Ted died, he must have done, why can’t I find the record of his death in the index?

On the show stand we meet a few people who have been researching their family tree systematically and methodically for many years, but the majority of visitors who want help are comparative novices, who aren’t yet as obsessed as the rest of us! Little do they know how many late nights and missed meals are in their future, as they build their family tree from this new evidence.

New connections are only one aspect of the quest. Family historians also want to understand the events and social forces that affected the lives of their ancestors. They want to discover and tell a story; this is the compelling and satisfying experience. The 1851 Census shows that my 2nd-great-grand-aunt Louisa was a maid, yet by 1881 she is described as ‘living on own means’ – the family rumours are that she inherited from a mistress.

On the Ancestry.co.uk stand I helped a visitor find the outline details of the will left by his relative’s mistress in the National Probate Calendar; he will now visit the relevant Probate Registry and discover whether his ancestor inherited all or part of the huge wealth that was left in the will. Another strand of a visitor’s family story can be told, based on fact not just hearsay.

I wanted to spend all day with some of the people I met at the show; I knew that between us we would have uncovered many previously ‘missing’ records in just a few hours. Nevertheless it was immensely enjoyable just to spend 15 minutes with each visitor I met. It was also very pleasurable to be called a ‘genius’ when I found lost father, whose name has never turned up in the Death Index, in the 1911 Census along with a previously unknown brother, grandmother and unmarried mother.

Authored by Jill Pack.  Jill is now a BBC Pensioner.  She was born and lives in London where at least 5 generations on both sides of her family were also born – mainly in Hoxton, Hackney, Notting Dale and Paddington.  She has been researching her family tree for over 8 years and has completed two courses in Genealogy at Birkbeck College, University of London.

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