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At a loss as to what to search for next, while I have a sub at findmypast, I turned my attention to Christopher Dart, born around 1800, probably in Devon. Very few Christopher Darts were born around that time. I had a list of about five, one born in Calstock, Cornwall, and the rest in Devon.

I detailed everything I knew about all the Christophers, including their parents, their siblings, locations, etc. I looked at census returns to try and track down any Christophers and/or their siblings. I was able to eliminate two Christophers, as they appeared in the 1841 census, “my” Christopher having died before then.

I found no Christopher Darts in the census for Cornwall, and no other Christophers in census returns for Devon apart from the two eliminated. So I still couldn’t eliminate three of them. Two of them died in 1838 and 1841 respectively, in Okehampton and Newton Abbot, so that appears to mean that the remaining Christopher out of the five, is “the one”.  I’m still rather confused though.

I tend to favour the Christopher born in Tavistock as it was a mining district and this Christopher’s father was a miner. However, it seems the two brothers, John and Thomas, were agricultural labourers. I would guess that Christopher followed in his father’s footsteps and sought mining in Cornwall where he met his wife. I haven’t found much about mining in Devon or whether miners there sought work in Cornwall. I suppose so. Miners went where there was mining.

I wish I could say with certainty though. Names don’t help. Christopher’s surviving children were named John and Elizabeth. The Christopher in Tavistock had a brother called John and a sister, Ann. It might have been Elizabeth Ann, (the name of his daughter) as there was an Elizabeth who married a William Jago in 1837. A Thomas Dart Jago, age 7, was visiting his uncle, John Dart, in 1851. It’s probably the closest I’ll ever get to knowing.


I was in despair when I thought I was locked out of my blog account forever. WordPress had logged me out and my browser-saved password didn’t work. I had closed the email account associated with this blog account but luckily I could open it up again and get WordPress to send me a password link. I finally got access to update this blog again. What a relief.

I had not done anything – any research or follow-up regarding any family history for some months. But the need is there again, as I want to plan a trip to the UK to visit ancestral villages and do some research. Anyway, back into it.

My brother had done his DNA test with ancestry and was disappointed with the results. I am trying to get him to upload the data to GEDmatch. Ancestry have re-evaluated the ethnicity estimates, with less than satisfying results, now lumping in Northwest Europe with Britain which is effectively useless. Before, I had about 42% British and 25% Western Europe. Now it’s 74% Britain and Northwest Europe. Dumb.

I had done a LivingDNA test also, and had been very disappointed in the equally vague results but I logged in again to see if it was any more detailed. It appeared so. There was a breakdown which put Devon at the top of the British counties (and only 2% Scandinavian compared with 6% at ancestry). The Devon connection seems to affirm my theory that Christopher Dart, the Cornish miner, was born in Devon. I must try again to find his birth details.

Through GEDmatch I discovered a relative through my maternal grandfather’s mother’s line, so I have her family’s DNA too. I’ve never really felt anything for that side of the family. (It’s funny how some branches hold more interest than others.)

I also revisited myheritage where I had uploaded my DNA data. Their ethnicity estimate is really really vague, but they have useful connections with others whose DNA you share. I was able to see any common surnames and even trees of distant cousins without having to pay. Thus, I found a Powell connection, which I am delighted with. The son of my mother’s second cousin shares some DNA with me. I have always felt more for the Powell and Jones side of the family than any other. Interestingly, according to LivingDNA, I only have 5.4% and 1.4% South and North Welsh respectively. South surprised me. I had always thought the family were North Wales but there is obviously some migration there.

For the past few days I have been browsing rather aimlessly, looking for information on the Phillips/Rogers line (the source of my mitochondrial DNA) trying to get back further. No luck so far.

Somehow I got on to the family of William Wall, the brother of my great-great-great-great grandmother. I found his will and purchased it but the handwriting is difficult to read. I did discover his wife’s name, however, and could look for a marriage record. He married Margaret Perkin. One of the executors of the will was someone with the middle name of Perkin, so perhaps her nephew? The family had a tradition of using the mother’s maiden name as a middle name.

I looked back at my grandmother’s handwritten tree for the William Wall Jones family (William Wall Jones was the great nephew of William Wall). They lived at Condover Grange in Shropshire.I wanted to compare her tree with what I had since found, and what was still missing.

Gwen had entered three children: Percy, William and Edith or Gertie. I had found five children: Hannah Maria, William Wall, Sarah Anne, Agnes Edith, and Percy.

Gwen had Edith/Gertie marrying someone with the surname of Holt. The daughter of this Holt married a schoolmaster with the surname of Dixon and their son being Jeffrey Dixon, a clergyman. I found that it was Hannah Marie who married a John Hoult. Their daughter, Gertrude Hoult (probably the source of Gwen’s confusion) married Geoffrey Dixon, a schoolmaster, and later a clergyman. It was wonderful to see some of her notes confirmed or clarified. I was delighted to find them.

Gwen had William junior marrying someone with the surname of Reynolds (“aunt of Cissie”). Unfortunately, I don’t know who Cissie is. I found that William had married a Jane Stanyer.

Gwen had William’s children listed as Dakin, Edith Ward, and Gertie. The children I found were Edith May, Florence Mary, and Gertrude Wall. I’m not sure if Dakin was meant to be a first name or a female marrying a Dakin. I’ve found nothing yet.

Gwen had written that Percy died in Australia, but I cannot find records for his emigration to Australia or his death record.

So, there are still gaps but they’re closing, slowly.

Yesterday, I continued to search aimlessly, trying to fill more gaps but it’s a rather haphazard approach. I think I shall move onto planning a trip and note down exactly what I want to see and do.