I get lost in all the branches and forget where I’ve got to and what I’ve attempted to find out.

My ancestry sub expired 3 months ago but I bought a one month sub to access the Australian records (as well as British).  I’ve just about caught up with finding addresses, etc for the Australian relatives.

I have a goal of tidying up my paper records and will go through each family folder and make mini bios and review what I’ve got for the main people (eg birth certificate, death certificate, etc.).  This will hopefully get things clear in my head and give me an idea of what I need to continue.  I started on the smallest folder, the Scottish side, and started making a spreadsheet of different people and what I had.  I can see this will run into chaos with the larger families so I will have to stick to the main ancestors.

Today I wanted to get further back on my maternal side, through the maternal line.  I’m stuck at Anne Phillips, born about 1794 in Shropshire.  Nevertheless I’ve just spent hours on ancestry and familysearch, trying to find her or her brother, as well as fill gaps in the Jones family – no small feat for such a common name.  My grandmother had written that Richard Jones’ father was Humphrey Jones and his mother was someone with the surname of Deakin.  I have had no luck after several attempts at finding them.  According to census returns and a death notice, Richard was born about 1790 in Pontesbury.  The only Richards I can find about that time and place have parents called Richard and Sarah (the most likely), and John and Elizabeth.  Other Richards born around that time were born in Condover.

Now, one of the children of the above Richard had the possible middle name of Wall (the trouble is, I don’t know where I got this from – a census?).  The surname of Sarah (the parents Richard and Sarah above) was Wall.  This then, seems the likely candidate.  Another reason to possibly accept this couple as the correct one is that there is a family tradition on my mother’s side of giving the mother’s surname as a middle name to the eldest child.

I wish I could ask my grandmother more about this Humphrey and his wife with the possible surname of Deakin, but alas, I can’t and I shall never know.  There are no records online that match.  I’ve had the same problem with her other branch in which she writes down possible parents which don’t match records.  Sigh.  My grandmother died before I was born so I could never have asked her and my great aunt didn’t know when I showed her the handwritten tree.

I can’t believe how much time has passed trying to find clues.  The parents of Anne Phillips, and her brother, John (gleaned from census returns) remain a mystery.

Joining county family tree societies is no help at all – they’re all geared towards people who live in England, not someone on the other side of the world.  I’ll just have to save up all my mysteries (and money) for a physical search in England itself.

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