You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2016.

I received the death certificate for Thomas – died at age 80 in Northampton of “senile decay”.

I also received the birth certificate of his son, John, who was born in 1845.  Nice to have a firm date instead of “about 1846”.

Not knowing what to do next, I waited until I had membership of the state library to search their British newspaper database.  Unfortunately it’s not the same database as the British Newspaper Archive, which is brilliant.  The search engine for the library database isn’t great so I used the above archive website to search, got details, then tried to find the article on the library newspaper database.  They have a limited number of newspapers which don’t appear to include Suffolk newspapers or such newspapers as the Hampshire or Shropshire Chronicles.  Damn.  Welsh newspapers are useful but only for a handful of ancestors who lived in and around Rhyl.

In the newspapers I searched for Powell (Richard and his children), Kercher, Rose in Mendlesham, and Bromleys.  I found nothing of interest except for Richard P Powell listed as a wine merchant.  While searching for Richard P, I found his mother, Catherine, mentioned in a case of theft from a neighbour.  Luckily this was in a Welsh newspaper, so I retrieved it from the Welsh newspapers online website.

I tried to search for Charlotte and Fanny Bromley, wondering if they were related at all.  Charlotte had a sister but her name was Alice.  I did a search for them on familysearch and found Charlotte and Alice in census returns staying with their grandmother, Maria Deakin.  I figured that was their mother’s mother.  I then found them staying with Mary Meredith.  Husband, John, listed the girls as stepdaughters, so Mary must’ve been their mother, who remarried after the early death of Penry.  The girls also stayed with their uncle, Francis Bromley, who was a farmer.  That was all useful but I still didn’t find anything on Fanny Bromley (to find out who her parents were).

Funnily enough, I remembered there was a Deakin mentioned in my grandmother’s handwritten family tree, so went back and had a look at it… and talk about confusing.  There seem to be Bromleys and Deakins all over the place.  She had a Bromley married to a Deakin who then had Frank, Richard, Edward and Penry.  Well Penry and Frank (Frances) were brothers and a Richard Bromley turns up in the articles about Richard P Powell.  But for Penry, she had the offspring as Dick and Lilian, not Charlotte and Alice.  She also had a Deakin married to a Jones who in turn had Richard Jones, father of Catherine who married Richard Powell.  And Catherine had a brother, Richard, who apparently married a Sarah Bromley.  And if that wasn’t enough, my grandmother’s tree also had a Jones of Upton Magna who had a daughter who married an Edward Bromley (the same Edward as above?).  Oh dear!  I think my next move will be to try and find as much as possible on all the individuals mentioned to see how they tie up.



I haven’t been able to get much further on the Asher side.  I think I do the same searches all the time, and they all end up as blanks.  I need to keep a more detailed spreadsheet of my searches, so I know exactly what I searched for, where, and what the results were (if any).  I still haven’t got this right, still scrawling notes in a notebook (or two!), which I find difficult to read at a later date.

Since the last post, I used some free credits at Scotlandspeople again, but again drew blanks.  I really, really loathe the payment system there.  Why should I pay to view when what I’m viewing is probably not relevant?  For example, I would have to look through 13 John Sutherland death records between 1825 and 1848 to try to find the right one, or nine Archibald Sutherlands between 1861 and 1871.  It’s ridiculous.  If they had an annual payment, such as ancestry, then I could happily look through all of them, but to pay for each one – sorry but no.

I tried familysearch again for the death of Samaria Asher but only found a Mary.  Perhaps Samaria was pronounced Sameeria, Mary for short?  Her siblings had unusual names, such as Reuben and German – were her family Jewish?

I started on the Powell biographies while I wait for a death and birth certificate from GRO for Ashers.  Again I tried to fill in gaps, not really getting anywhere (see above about doing the same searches at the same places and still not finding anything).  I went onto British newspapers online, which at least give you something to go on for the results, even if you don’t click on them.  You can see if they’re relevant which is really useful.  I signed up and got three free searches (ie I could click on the result and view it).  I’ve used two.  I have to choose the last carefully.  I didn’t find a great deal but looked at results for the Condover Arms which an ancestor was innkeeper of before his death.  Apparently it was established in 1860.  My ancestor was there 10 years later, dying in 1870.  His wife took over for a while but then sold it a short while later.  The children were scattered.  Two were servants, one ended up in an orphanage.  I would love to find out more about the family, but I must create a proper spreadsheet for my findings.

I tried finding the baptism for Richard Powell, born about 1791 in Bromfield, but there’s nothing.  The closest I could find was a Richard Powell, baptised in 1792 in Clunbury (on one site) with an additional Richard baptised in 1792 in Chirbury (on another site).  Clunbury is closer but is it him?  This is the problem often.  I have nothing much to go on so can only guess if one is the right one.  Not knowing the parents names is a bugger.  Is he son of William and Mary or someone else?  Often they name their kids after parents but he didn’t name a son William.  No idea.

I’ve tried freereg for some baptisms but often draw a blank.  When it tells me there are no results for anyone with the surname Powell within a ten-year period in a parish, I know something’s wrong.  Even when I knew there was at least one, it didn’t find it.  What the hell?  So frustrating and so time-consuming!

I was just sorting out some files online and came across a note about an ancestor being a gardener to Mrs Gibson and that a William Westbrooke, judge, officiated.  No source, no explanation.  I get so angry with myself.  Thanks to Trove I could confirm that he was a gardener for Mrs Gibson at Tiranna, NSW, but no info on a William Westbrooke.  Was he a judge at a flower show?  Couldn’t find anything.

I also couldn’t find the source for death information that I had on my family tree, again not citing my sources.  I could go back in time and hit myself.  Idiot!  Lesson learned anyway.

So in a nutshell, nothing fresh to report.