Letter W challenge

As many of you know, my father’s side of the tree is holding me back. I am trying to find proof using DNA matches but it is hard to do unless they are a first or second cousin. As I don’t know surnames going back more generations, it is very tricky to prove.

What’s in a name?

My paternal grandfather is either William Alan WYATT or Alan William WYATT. Born between 1900 and 1905 in either England or Sydney or Georges Bay, Tasmania. I have no sources to prove the actual birth. It is believed he married 3 times; twice in Tasmania and again in NSW where we think he died.

My paternal great grandmother on my grandmother’s side is registered at birth as Nellie SOMERS in 1889. I have also found other siblings being born with the surname SOMERS but no father mentioned on the registrations. Using FamilySearch I have found baptisms where the surname is now CLARK(E).

1889 – Nellie Somers – daughter of Thomas Somers and Alice O’Keefe – Georges Bay

1893 – Kate Clarke – daughter of West Clarke and Alice Somers formerly O’Keefe – Gould’s Country

1895 – William Henry – son of Alice Somers – Lottah – no father mentioned on birth reg.

1897 – Jessie May – daughter of Alice Somers – no father mentioned on birth reg. – baptised Clark in St Helens

1898 – Joseph Edward – son of Alice Somers – Lottah – no father mentioned on birth reg. – baptised Clark in St Helens

1899 – Charles Archibald – son of Alice Somers – Campbell Town – no father mentioned on birth reg.

Someone on FamilySearch says Alice O’Keefe married Thomas Somers in 1882 and had 4 children before she then married Wes. Clark and had six more children. I still don’t have proof of marriages as they are not mentioned on the Tasmanian Names Index. Looks like I need to visit the Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office to check out the baptisms in St Helens which is Georges Bay area.

ReadersPlease leave a comment about my post or something beginning with W that relates to your family history or your research.

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Letter U challenge

Understanding

Completing the different units for the Diploma of Family History has certainly helped in my understanding of how to research well, how to present that research in an interesting way and how to organize the information I find during my research.

I am starting to better understand some of the DNA data. I am putting together a list of Kit numbers, high cMs and low MCRA that have a relationship to my father as he is the person in my family who I have least about. I would love to find someone within three or four generations to link into his side of the tree. I don’t know who his father was and I only know about two generations back on his mother’s side.

If I find someone close in generations and with a high cM then I will contact them to see where he might fit. I have started sending messages via Ancestry for the close member matches there relating to my father.

Terms

cM – centiMorgan – a measurement used with DNA – the higher the cM, the more DNA you have in common with that person

MCRA – Most Common Recent Ancestor – this is shown as roughly how many generations you are away from the other person – the lower the score the better.

Readers: Please leave a comment about my post or something beginning with U that relates to your family history or your research.

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Letter F challenge

In the early days of the colonies of Australia, there were three groups of people arriving – convicts, military and

Typical free settler hut

Free Settlers

The first free settlers came in 1793 and were Thomas Rose and his family on the ship Bellona. The government in Britain was trying to promote Australia as a place to go for keen and experienced farmers.

The first free settlers in Tasmania arrived with Lieutenant Governor Collins in 1804. The Maritime Museum had a display about early migration into Tasmania and one of my troublesome free settlers was mentioned on it.

Unlike the convicts, the government did not collect or keep good records of these early free settlers. Maybe they were mentioned by name on shipping lists or in personal papers of the people they worked for or if they got into trouble then there were in the government gazettes.

Often the shipping records would only mention the county they were from in England so it makes it difficult to try and find them back in the old country especially if they have a common surname.

My free settlers are:

John DAVEY – John was born in Devon, England. He was brought out to Tasmania as a servant to George Meredith on the East Coast of Tasmania.  He arrived in Hobart Town on 13 February 1855 on board ‘Wanderer‘.  John was occasionally mentioned in the ‘Meredith papers’ which are housed in the State Library Archives in Hobart.  He was recorded last at ‘Cambria‘ in January 1857.  His wages at this time were 7 pounds and 10 shillings per quarter.  Source: Meredith papers NS 123/1/69 TAHO – Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office  In the 1851 English Census there were over 50 possible John Davey born around 1834. I have narrowed it to a possible 7.

William SMITH – Lots of posts I have written about this ancestor who arrived in Tasmania sometime in the 1850’s from the Navigator Islands (Samoa) and was given the name William Smith. What is his Samoan name?

David DIXON – David and his wife Mary (nee PICKERING) arrived on 30 August 1841 on the ship ‘Andromeda’ with their young daughter Elizabeth. He was age 24 and a farm servant. The family arrived as bounty immigrants applied for by Mr Stevenson at Curramore property near Cressy.  Source CB7/9/1/1/ page 15 – TAHO

William CHANDLER – worked at a nursery at Enfield near London before coming to Australia with another family in the sailing ship Fortitude on 15 February 1855. They settled at Monavale in the midlands where he was the estates gardener. He was then employed as gardener at Government House but left to establish a garden south of Granton. After his marriage he returned to Government House as Head Gardener then before retirement worked at the Grange Taroona. (Mercury 23 July 1985)

Caroline BRYANT – arrived on the La Hogue which was a steamer, then on the Tasmania finally arriving in Hobart  19 Jan 1856 with her mother Charlotte Bryant (nee BULL).

William WYATT – my grandfather who I know nothing about except he married my grandmother and had my father. He then deserted the family and we think headed to New S0uth Wales.

Readers: Please leave a comment about my post or something beginning with F that relates to your family history or your research.

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Letter D challenge

1558 Ainscough Origins

Boobelle via Compfight

Direct Line or Descendants

When you began your family history research, what did you start with? Did you begin with yourself and go back one generation at a time following your direct line only? Or did you also look at the descendants of those direct lines?

I know when I began I started just with names, dates and places and going back as far as I could – in fact I got back to 1604 with one line in Bedfordshire, England. I made connections with other researchers by using the Rootsweb emailing lists and also contacting others mentioned in the IGI (International Genealogical Index) and the IGRD (International Genealogical Research Directory). I exchanged information through RAOGK (Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness) where I would do some research in Tasmania for a person in another county of England and they would do research for me in their county.

But nowadays technology has really allowed me to do a lot more research with original records online. Less having to visit an actual archives, at least for the basics of BDM records. But it is fantastic to see so many Historical Societies having a presence online. This now allows me to connect with locals in the areas where my ancestors lived. My family history blog has also created connections with family members I knew nothing about.

By researching the descendants I have found out more about their life as a family and the community they lived in. Trove and other newspaper reports have put flesh on the bones of my family rather than just a list of names, dates and places.

Surnames in my direct line include:

  • WYATT – unknown where born
  • ENGLAND – Rotherham, York, ENG
  • SMITH – Recherche Bay, Tasmania AUS but originally Samoan and given surname Smith
  • DAVEY – Devon, ENG – free settler and down to 7 possible people
  • TEDMAN – London, ENG – waterman
  • CHANDLER – London, ENG – gardeners in Tasmania and at Government House in the 1860’s
  • COLGRAVE –  Thurleigh, Bedfordshire, ENG – back to 1604
  • SOMMERS – Portland, Tasmania, AUS
  • JACKSON – Donegal, Ireland
  • DIXON – London, ENG
  • BOYD – Maker, Cornwall, ENG
  • WATKINS – Hull, Yorkshire, ENG
  • HEARN – Edgeware, London, ENG
  • BRYANT – Rotherhithe, London, ENG
  • BULL – London, ENG
  • SWAIN – Maidstone, Kent, ENG

Readers: Please leave a comment about my post or something beginning with D that relates to your family history or your research.

letter D

Hard to trace Wyatt family

My father’s side of the tree is the most difficult to find. This is what I know about his father at the moment.

Even though William Alan WYATT is my grandfather, he is one of my genealogical brickwalls.

I have two certificates relating to him both giving different dates and places of birth.

According to the Denison Electoral Roll for 1929, William was living at 160 Goulburn St and was a labourer. Also living at this address were Ellen Sarah AVERY, Keith Henry AVERY and Oscar Clyde Goldsmith AVERY.

William was in the Royal Australian Naval Reserve and according to his certificate of service with them, he was born 27 June, 1905 in London, England. When he joined up on 3 February 1930, he was living at 3 Allison Street, Hobart with his wife, Jean Violet WARD. He was a steward, could swim and was Church of England in religion. His description was 5’8″ with dark hair, grey eyes and a fresh complexion.

He spent only 27 hours in drill training at the naval depot in Hobart, he was of very good character but his ability was inferior. After 30 June 1931 he was not assessed and his 3 year engagement expired in February 1933.

Living at 3 Allison Street in 1929 were Ann Ellen, Beryl Kate, Ernest Edward, James Alexander and Jean Violet WARD. By the time of the electoral roll in 1931, Alan William WYATT (reversal of name) was living here also and he was now a steward.

Marriage certificate to my grandmother Irene Ellen Gertrude SMITH in Hobart at Holy Trinity Church on April 11, 1932 states his age at last birthday being 30 and his occupation as a steward. He was a widower, his wife dying in 1931 and he had two living children. He was born in Sydney, New South Wales. His parents were Alan George WYATT (a licensed victualler) and Florence Emily Wyatt (nee EVANS).

So from the marriage certificate one could safely assume William was born in Sydney 1901 or 1902.

So there is my brickwall: which year was he born and where?

Until information is available about births in the 20th century I won’t be able to follow this through.