Day 2 RootsTech 2022

A relaxing day yesterday, just watching a few sessions as I know I will be able to view most of them over the next year. So now to start day 2 at 10am my time in Tasmania.

Went to the Main Stage but all sessions had finished already. Then looked at the live sessions for today and have already missed 9 out of the 10 I wanted to see. Glad these will be recorded so I can watch later on.

So looks like my plan for today is to look at some series and other sessions I have ticked and added to my playlist. I have also been watching twitter to see what other sessions are being recommended by other genealogists I follow.

Bessi / Pixabay

Is Everyone Here by Jana Greenalgh 

Loved the introduction to this series. Common saying by mums of large families “Is everyone here?” Jana suggests ways to fill in those gaps in your family tree where you might have found some children but maybe not all of them. This is mainly for English families.

  • An individual’s story includes all their relationships.
  • Search broad family including step families.
  • Check out signatures on records.
  • Prior to 1900 families were generally big. Demographic statistics for population and infant mortality found here.
  • Before 1900 most married women had children every 1-3 years so check your tree for gaps that might show children missing
  • Ask questions about why there might be a gap – change church, dad in gaol, dad a mariner, stillbirth etc

Find your family in every census

  • Keep a spreadsheet or chart from 1841-1921 and mark off relevant censuses you find each member of the family in
  • Remember children grow and leave home or are apprentices or servants in other homes of get married
  • If not in a census, maybe emigration
  • Also use 1939 register
  • In 1911 census , you find how many children a woman had – how many alive and how many dead

Use civil registration records to help fill gaps

  • Use indexes on GRO website gives more info than other indexes on Ancestry etc – register for free and order certificates from here as well
  • Use birth and death indexes – good for those children who died young

Church records mainly Church of England prior to 1837 when civil registration began

  • From mid 1500s, two copies of christenings, marriages and burials are found in parish registers or Bishops transcripts
  • Inscriptions on gravestones, where they are buried, maybe other members buried nearby
  • If you can find the images, it can be better than indexes – they often have extra information in margins
  • Also look in neighbouring parishes and towns
  • In small towns, create lists with same surname – often they are related

Probate records

  • Wills, admons (didn’t leave a will), estate duty
  • From 1858, check at gov.uk or in Ancestry
  • Before 1858, you need to check county probate records which can be found on family search wiki – findmypast and the genealogist also have the images
  • In small town keep record of all with same surname

 

ElasticComputeFarm / Pixabay

Escaping the Famine – Irish settlement in Canada by Melanie McComb @ShamrockGen

This session really interested me as those readers who follow my blog, know of my frustrations with my Irish Jackson family. After three members of the family, William senior, William Junior and Rebecca as well as another relative Jane Steel, were sentenced to transportation, another member of the family Anne Jackson, who had dobbed them in for stealing, asked for help to get away from Ireland.

While I was travelling in Ireland I did some research on Anne and found her with two other children Mary Ann and Robert going to Canada on the recommendation of the magistrate who had sentenced the Jacksons.

Melanie’s session included the history of Irish Immigration to Canada and many of the reasons why this happened. She also discusses the voyages across the Atlantic from Ireland to Canada. Once in Canadian waters, there was quarantine to go through at various points along the coast.

Before 1865, no formal passenger lists but some shipping companies kept lists. This is where I found Ann and her children on the J.J.Cooke list arriving on the ship Superior in 1847. These records are now on Ancestry.

Melanie also mentions a collection of records coming into New England through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick for the years 1841-1849. It includes more than just immigration records.

Grosse Ile quarantine station has a database that can be checked through the Libraries and Archives of Canada. Another database they have is for any immigrants prior to 1865.

Melanie then went into other ways to build your Irish family in Canada:

  • Using census to looking for parent(s) born in Ireland but children born in Canada. Different information found in each census will help you work out when someone came to Canada and maybe where they came from in Ireland.
  • Church records – some found online, others still on microfilm and found in registers at particular churches.
  • Land records also might help build your family tree in Canada – province level first then county level
  • Newspapers also give lots of information including goods belonging to dead people and how to claim them. Also check out obituaries and articles in area near where your Irish family settled.
  • Gravestones might also have town and parish in Ireland mentioned on them.

Readers: What was your takeaway from day 2 at RootsTech 2022?

Can you help solve these brickwalls?

Couleur / Pixabay

Tonight’s twitterchat for #ANZAncestryTime was about helping to solve brickwalls.

Many participants had written blogposts or biographies on wikitree including the information known about their person who is a brickwall.

Other participants gave us details so we could help solve them

Sharn: I have traced my Campbell ancestors back to Neil Campbell and Christian Buchanan who had children 1761-1773 in Callender Perthshire but I can’t find a marriage or their births

Margaret: It is my father’s family that is so difficult. For his maternal gmother wikitree.com/wiki/McKinnon-…, we know her father is John. We assume her mother is Isabella from Naming Pattern, possibly Jamison. NO PROOF.

Alex: I had a go at crafting a more focused research question this afternoon. Here it is. Where and when did Robert Forfar die. He married Lucy Swait on 30 Jan 1842 at St James Westminster London UK and had a son George born 23 Oct 1848 and baptised Bannockburn? Lucy Forfar nee Swait died a widow in 1866. I surmise that Robert died some time between 1861 and 1866 as he was paying for George to go to school in Ealing in 1861. Did he die in England? Did he die in Scotland? Did he die somewhere else entirely? Robert was described as a mason on George’s marriage certificate. His family were weavers in Scotland. Forfar as a name presents a whole bunch of problems – spelling and that it is a place name as well. I need to keep rigorous records of my searches.

Kerri-Anne: I’m grateful for how much I know but I’d like to find out more information on my convicts in England Scotland Ireland – Thomas Power Jean MacDonald James Bradley Sarah Barnes Mary Parker Charles Watson Waters Ann Daley Richard Hicks Margaret Howe

Sharn: My g g g grandmother was Mary Williams said to be born in Singleton NSW c 1840 to parents named as Joseph Williams and Mary Kelly. I can’t find this couple or Mary’s birth

Sharn: Would really love to know what became of my g g g uncle Lawrence Frayne, convict who left a wonderful diary from his time on Norfolk Island after he received a Cert of Freedom in 1846

Margaret: I found most of the family for my 2xggfather William Dickson – again DNA matches and lots of research. Now I have to find his parents’ siblings – and his wife – and their missing children.

Hilary: I partially broke a brickwall when I discovered who my 3xgt grandmother married then found a DNA match with her descendants from that marriage My ancestor was illegitimate so I need to confirm the father with another DNA match

KerrieAnne: I am trying to find the origins of my direct maternal line ancestry from Ann MacLean to Robertson and further back – mt dna suggests Viking origins which is no surprise as she was from the Isle of Skye in the Inner Hebrides

Tara: I think of them as learning opportunities and, as 3/4 of my ancestry is Irish, I’ve multiple 19C brick walls. The other 1/4 are English/Welsh origins and I can take most lines back quite far although my Welsh 3GGM is a challenge of her own

Jennifer: My 2x great grandparents John Taylor & Martha Lloyd are my brickwall. They arrived in Aust betw September 1841 and October 1842. They don’t appear on any passenger list. I’ve searched Taylor, Tailor, Tyler

KerrieAnne: Brickwalls – my husband’s direct paternal line challenge – finding Edward Tiearney & Catherine Colligan in Ireland before their emigration to US. Done ydna & got a good match but no real progress to go further back in Connacht Ireland, probably around Carracastle

Claire: my brickwall is probably not solvable. Can’t find marriage of 2x g-grandparents who had 2 kids in 1880s Dublin. No death of man recorded but dead by 1901. I’ve checked every marriage of right names countrywide church/civil & every death in Dublin from year before last kid born to 1901. Not helped by names involved: Reilly/Murphy

Sharn: I would love to know more about the family of my two convict brothers Michael and Lawrence Frayne both born in Dublin c 1809 and 1821 with children between

Suggestions of where to look for information

  • Prison hulks for convicts
  • Scottish kirk session on Scottish Indexes
  • Colonial Secretary letters
  • Occupation records such as Masons
  • National library of Ireland parish registers
  • Census records
  • Newspaper and archives for British and Irish

Try more than one site for your records – GRO, FreeBMD, ScotlandsPeople. With a missing name, I look for another person – then you find the name is mistranscribed, and that’s why it hasn’t come up on the index.

I really think spelling is key. My New Year’s resolution is to write up lists of spelling variations for each surname I am researching and make sure my searches cover all and any more I find.

A tip for breaking down brick walls is to re-examine any certificates or other documents you have. You never know what you might have missed in the past

look at the names of witnesses as sometimes their surnames might be a clue to a real surname after a name change

From Judy

I can’t join #ANZAncestryTime but my Brick Wall tips are (1) Research all relatives; (2) Try neglected sources (bit.ly/3GkDiLv); (3) ’13 Tips to Try’ (tidd.ly/3I1yiwT); (4) ‘Break Through the 1837 Brick Wall’ (tidd.ly/3rHona5).