You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2017.

ancestry.com sucks. I signed up for a month and after not getting anywhere with the DNA results, decided just to search for stuff that I needed to using the records. It won’t let me, despite confirming that I’ve paid. Whenever I click on something to view the record it takes me to a subscription page.

I dislike ancestry. They promise so much and deliver fuck-all, and their results page leaves a lot to be desired. Like familysearch, why show me results that don’t fall into the parameters I specified. It’s a waste of time scrolling through irrelevant results.

Give me findmypast any day.

Edit: Well, it seems the sub I went for only included basic records (which appear to exclude parish records and anything before 1840), which are of no use to me, since I’ve exhausted pretty much all those records, so I asked to cancel, which they have done. I didn’t see any benefit in having a subscription for the DNA part of the site and dislike their search result display so goodbye ancestry.

Just a brief entry to express how disappointed I am. I had my DNA test done last year at ancestry and didn’t really do anything with it because I didn’t have a current sub. They wouldn’t show how people were related to you unless you paid up.  Well, I finally succumbed and paid for a month with ancestry and thought, right, what can you tell me, expecting to be able to contact lots of new genetically-related relatives to expand the tree. Well, the vast majority of them have no tree at all, and the rest have trees full of surnames which are completely different to everyone in my tree. How on earth would you figure out how you are related? So I paid my money and got precisely nothing out of it. The very first match did have a tree and the correct surname but they’re a beginner and had little information regarding our common surname. So I won’t get anything of interest from them either except for descendants.  Talk about hugely disappointing and, I felt, a waste of money.  As a resource for normal genealogical research I dislike ancestry, preferring findmypast, so that money could’ve gone back to findmypast to fill in gaps I’ve found during the past year. Huh.

Had to vent.

And finally, a year and a bit later, I reach the end of this challenge. It’s been really helpful for getting my head around what I have and what I don’t have. Anyway, for this final week I have included more than one ancestor: John Stevens and his parents (and beyond). I cannot claim to have undertaken all the research – much of the information (especially the earlier years) has come from another researcher, but where possible I have confirmed the dates.

John was born in about 1715 in St Ives, Cornwall. He was baptised on 24 March 1714/15 (pre-Gregorian calendar).  John was the son of Vivian Stevens and Anne Sprigg. He married El(e)anor Penrose (or Prouse, depending on which website you look at) by licence on 25 March 1738 in St Buryan to the south-west of St Ives. John was a lawyer, then mayor of St Ives and had 13, maybe 14 children:  John (1739); Anne (1740); Vivian (b. 1741, d. 1741); Francis (b. 1743, d. 1744); Francis (1744); Eleanor (1745); Mary (1747); Vivian Francis Penrose (b. 1749 but the long name didn’t prevent his early death in 1750); Elizabeth (1750); Jane (1752); Andrew (1754); and Thomas and Henry (1756). According to the other researcher there was also a Susannah born in 1758 but I have not been able to find a baptism.

John was listed as a lawyer or attorney up until about 1741 in the baptisms and burial of children, and then as a mayor from 1743. Unfortunately, later entries don’t give John’s’ occupation. Eleanor died in 1785, buried on 16 August in St Ives. John died in 1791, buried on 9 September in St Ives.

Vivian Stevens, John’s father, was baptised on 16 February 1685 in Towednack, Cornwall. His parents were Andrew and Elizabeth Stevens. He had two confirmed siblings – sisters, Ann and Margery. According to various records, Vivian was a merchant, collector and alderman.

Vivian married Anne Sprigg on 31 January 1711 in St Ives. They had five children that I know of, including John: Elizabeth (1712); (John); Andrew (1717); Anne (1720); and Catherine (1723) – children of “Mr” Vivian Stevens (and Anne).

Vivian died in 1735, buried on 16 October in St Ives. It was noted he was a “collector” – of what I wonder. I imagine it was some sort of profession such as collecting taxes. If he was born in 1685, that made him only 50 when he died.

Anne lived on to 1764, buried on 6 December in St Ives.  It is Anne’s family that is interesting, in that it can be traced back further. It’s often the female line on “Who Do You Think You Are?” that reveals fascinating history.

Anne’s parents were Thomas Sprigg and Ann Hammond. She was baptised on either the 10th or 16th December 1685 in St Ives (depending on whether the transcriber could read the second digit – if only I could see the original). Thomas Sprigg(e) married Ann on 20 November 1677 in St Ives.

Thomas was baptised on 30 November 1655, the eldest son of Robert Sprigg(s) (no mother mentioned, and I can’t find a marriage for Robert) as far as I know. Thomas had two sisters and a brother – Mary, Elizabeth, and John.

Now comes the stuff from yet another family researcher at ancestry that I can’t confirm, and so, at this point, is pure speculation. It would be great if I could find confirmation. Apparently Robert Sprigg (who died in 1667 in St Ives) was the son of Thomas Spriggs and Margery Anderton. I have not been able to find a baptism for Robert so can’t confirm or deny. Nor can I find a marriage for Thomas and Margery.

Thomas was apparently the son of John Sprigg and Pascoe James, but again I can’t find a baptism or marriage, so don’t know where this information came from. Thomas apparently died in 1663. I can confirm the baptism of John Sprigg on 26 November 1566 in Bodmin, Cornwall. Whether he’s a valid ancestor or not remains to be seen. He was the son of Robert Sprigg (and, apparently, Agnes Hendye). I did find a marriage of Robert and Agnes for 2 September 1565 in Bodmin.

Robert was, apparently, born in 1545 and died in 1596. He was the son of David Spriggs (who, apparently, was born in 1505 but that would make him 40 years old when Robert was born, or at least, baptised). David apparently died in 1559.

It would be amazing if it could all be confirmed, reaching back towards the end of the 15th century(!), but as I don’t know from where or how the information was obtained, it will have to stay theoretical. (You can’t trust anything on ancestry. One “researcher” had attached my Scottish grandmother to her family of totally unrelated people.)

So this brings me to the end of the challenge. It’s been tremendously helpful and made me realise how much I still have to find out – so many relatives, so little time, so little stuff online. I need to look at originals, especially since different transcribers give different dates, unable to read digits clearly.  (So lots of planning to do to enable me to visit the records.)

Naturally, I’ll continue to update this blog with other finds or observations.  Thanks for reading!

 

Sources: findmypast; familysearch; Cornwall OPC database; west-penwith.org.uk/ivesbur4.htm; sallenbach.net; wikipedia; http://www.ancestry.com.au/genealogy/records/john-sprigg_63672852

And today should have been my final entry but I’m still running a week late.

From Timothy Kercher to his father, Thomas.

Thomas was born in St Mary Bourne, Hampshire, in about 1753, baptised on 30 September. His parents were Thomas and Martha. I haven’t been able to find any siblings at all.

Thomas married Sarah Lee (sometimes written as Alee) in St Mary Bourne on 6 July 1777, exactly 240 years ago today. What a coincidence.

The couple had seven children that I know of, including Timothy. The first was Timothy’s older brother, William, born in January 1778, then Timothy in 1780.  Next was a girl, Martha, born about 1782, then a son, another Thomas, born in 1784. Then three daughters: Sarah (1787), Mary (1790) and Betsy (1794).

Well, I probably shouldn’t have chosen Thomas for this exercise because I know basically nothing and he lived a very short life, dying in January 1796, one year before little Betsy, at the age of 43.

Two years later he would have seen his eldest son, William, marry Ann Washbee (née Allen) in February 1799. Martha married William Goodyear in April 1803, followed by Timothy marrying Esther in November of that year. Sarah married Thomas Harries in October 1808. Mary married William Leigh in 1821.

William and Ann had four children before Ann died in June 1827. One year later William married widow, Sarah Garlick, in July 1828.

As for their mother, and Thomas’ wife, Sarah. She died in 1818. She was buried on 3 May in St Mary Bourne. She was born in about 1752 in St Mary Bourne, daughter of Richard Alee and Elizabeth Spring.

Such a short post. My next, final, one will be longer and will deal with John and Vivian Stevens reaching back into the 17th century.

As always, if anyone can add any information to the above, I would love to hear from you.

 

Sources: findmypast; familysearch; family archives