You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Grunsell’ category.

I’m over a week late with this one. I had a brief draft ready but hadn’t got round to posting it.

Thomas Grunsell was baptised on 27 May 1764 in Stoke Charity, Hampshire. He was the son of Thomas Gruncel and Mary Poor. He had an older sister, Sarah, and two younger brothers, William and Charles.

I don’t have much information on Thomas (it’s difficult as you get further back). He married Mary Chariot on 22 March 1792 in Micheldever, Hampshire.  Their first child, John, was baptised in August of that year, so Mary was another pregnant bride. Ten more children were born over the next 24 years: Mary (1794); Thomas (1796); Rebecca (1797); William (1798); Sarah (1801); Elizabeth (1803); James (1805); Henry (1810); Joshua (1815); and (I think) Charles (1816). All were born in Micheldever.

Thomas died just eight years after the birth of Charles and was buried on 18 February 1824.

Mary lived on to 1854 and was listed both in the 1841 and 1851 census with her son, James (agricultural labourer) and his family of wife and children. Living with the family in 1841 was James’ younger brother, Charles and in 1851, James’ younger brother Joshua, also an agricultural labourer).

Mary was buried in Micheldever on 3 April 1854.

 

Sources: familysearch; findmypast

Advertisements

The further back I go, the less information I have so some entries (like this one), will be rather brief.

John Grunsell (also spelled Grundsel, Grunsel, Gruncel, etc) was born in about 1792, baptised on 12 August, at Micheldever, Hampshire. His parents were Thomas Grunsell and Mary Chariot. He was the eldest of 11 children that I’m aware of (six brothers and four sisters).

He married Sarah Exel on 19 October 1822 in Overton, Hampshire. I don’t have any information on Sarah. The only baptism I could find was for a Sarah Exal born in Tadley, Hampshire, in November 1796, to David and Leah Exal.  According to the 1851 census “our” Sarah was born in Whitchurch. The names, David and Leah, don’t appear in children’s or grandchildren’s names either so it seems unlikely, but not impossible.

The couple had five children that I’m aware of, born in Overton from 1823 to 1836: Elizabeth (1823); George (1824); Thomas (1829); Henry (1832); and Mary (1836). Elizabeth died in 1836.

John was a journeyman tailor in 1841. The family were living in Southington (a tything in Overton parish). George is not with them and I have been unable to find him. (He wasn’t dead as he went on to marry in about 1847.)

Unfortunately, John died in 1848, buried on 26 May. He was only about 56. This was obviously bad news for Sarah who, in 1851, was listed as tailor’s widow and a pauper. With her is 18-year-old Henry, an agricultural labourer. Thomas, 21, appears to have been working as a shepherd in Sherborne St John. Among the other servants listed was George Miles, 18, farm hand. I suspect it was George’s sister, Mary, that Thomas married in 1852. The couple then sailed away to Australia in 1853. Mary also married in 1852 to Charles Kercher.

Sadly, Sarah died on 31 August 1857 in Overton. With their parents dead and Thomas in Australia, the rest of the children also migrated to Australia – Mary and her family in 1859, Thomas (now a widower) and family in 1866. I haven’t found when Henry emigrated – some time after his mother’s death perhaps.

 

Sources: findmypast; familysearch; http://www.myancestors.com.au/passenger-lists-and-immigration; Wikipedia

Joseph Beale, or Beal, was born in around 1806, baptised on 22 December of that year in Overton, Hampshire. His parents were John Beal and Sarah Barnett. He had eight siblings including five brothers.

Joseph was an agricultural labourer and married Frances, or Fanny, Kercher on 8 May 1830 two months after the birth of her/their son, Charles. As mentioned in the previous post, in 1841 the family, with seven children, were living in Bridge Street in Overton. Just down the road lived Joseph’s parents and two sisters.

The eighth child, Jane, was born in about 1842, then, sadly, Frances died in 1844.

Joseph was still an agricultural labourer (as were most of his neighbours) in 1851. The family were still living in Bridge Street next door to Joseph’s widowed father. Six of the children were still living with him between the ages of 9 and 18. Harriet, age 17, was a silk winder. The eldest, Charles, was living alone in Southington, working as a railroad labourer. Edmund, an agricultural labourer, appears to be visiting George and MaryAnn Roberts in West Street, Overton, near his uncle Charles (Kercher). Either that, or he died in 1850 (but no age is given).

Charles, now calling himself Charles Kercher rather than Beale, married in 1852 and emigrated to Australia in 1859 with his wife and young family. He disappears from the Beales’ lives.

For the rest of the children, some of the following is guesswork (where indicated by “might”).

In 1861, Joseph and his three youngest children were living in West Street. Joseph and son, Alfred, were agricultural labourers. Louisa (or Lucy) and Jane were a paper factory operators. The paper mill, between Overton and Whitchurch, was founded by Henry Portal in 1712 and won a contract to make banknote paper in 1724. It’s still in operation. With the closure of the silk mill (although there was still one in Whitchurch), the paper mill would have been a major employer of young girls.

I can’t find any sign of Edmund. George might have died in 1852 (again no age). I don’t know what happened to Harriet. Henry might have joined the army. I found a Henry Beale, of the right age and birth place, at Fort Gomer, Alverstoke (or Gosport), a private in the 11th regiment.

In 1871 Joseph, age 66, was still an agricultural labourer (and widower) in Overton, living with his youngest daughter, Jane, age 28, and one-year-old grandson, Thomas Beale, baseborn son of Jane. I can’t find Edmund, George, Harriet, or Henry.  I found an Alfred and Elizabeth Beale living in Overton in 1871 with a daughter, Jane, age 4. Alfred’s age is out by a couple of years but he is an agricultural labourer. His wife (a paper mill worker) was seven years older. With them are her mother and sister, Hannah and Jane Field (paupers). I found a marriage in 1866 for Alfred and Elizabeth Goodger. I suspect Goodger was Elizabeth’s married name from a previous marriage and, indeed, I found an Elizabeth Hannah Field marrying a George Goodger in 1853. This is all supposition for our Alfred, but highly likely.  Louisa Beale might have married William Wake, an agricultural labourer, in 1864. She and William appear in the 1871 census in Overton along with children Alice and William. Louisa was a paper mill worker (as before).

Jane Beale married Charles Gronsell (or Grunsell) in 1880. Was he the father of Thomas? Thomas was ten years old by then so it’s probably unlikely, and he kept the name Beale. Was Charles Gronsell related to Jane’s sister-in-law Mary Grunsell (married to Charles Kercher)? George Grunsell was christened on 4 May 1849, son of George Grunsell and Mary Ann Silver so there’s no direct link so far.

In 1881 Joseph was living with Charles and Jane (now Gronsell) and Thomas. They lived in High Street, Overton. Charles was a labourer and Joseph (now 74) was also still a labourer.

I can’t find a death date for Joseph, but it must have been between 1881 and 1891. I have 1889 noted down but my younger self did not note where this information came from. He lived to a good age regardless, despite the hard life he must have had.

 

Sources: Wikipedia; findmypast; familysearch

Charles Kercher was born in 1830 in Overton, Hampshire.  He was baptised on 14 March, the baseborn son of Frances Kercher.  Frances Kercher married Joseph Beale just two months later, so I can only assume he is the father.  We’ll never really know.

Overton is a large village to the west of Basingstoke.  The region has been inhabited for thousands of years but the village developed about the 10th century.  The river Test runs through it.  Alongside the river were corn, fulling and silk mills.  The region was primarily agricultural.

capture

Overton was involved in the Swing Riots.  In November 1830 there was rioting in the village as agricultural labourers demanded money, food and higher wages, so it was not an easy time.  Joseph Beale, a labourer, may well have been one of the rioters.

overtonmap

By 1841, Frances had had another six children, so she had seven children under the age of 12 by the time of the census.  Charles’ surname is listed as Beale, along with the other children (four boys and two girls).  The family lived next door to Frances’ brother, Charles, and his family in Bridge Street.  The street is full of agricultural labourers.

bridgest

Google streetview of Bridge Street

bridgestoverton1915

Bridge Street in 1915

Charles’ mother died in 1844, so Joseph was left to bring up six children (another had been born in 1842).  Charles appears to have kept the Beale surname and in 1851 was listed as a railroad labourer in Southington.  In the same area lived widow, Sarah Grunsell, with her youngest son.  Sarah Grunsell’s daughter, Mary, must have met Charles several times.

They married on 5 June 1852 at the parish church in Overton.

stmaryoverton

St Mary’s church, dating to the 12th century

Interestingly, on the marriage certificate, Charles now called himself Charles Kercher, but listed his father as Joseph Beale.  The witnesses are not family members.

Mary was heavily pregnant and gave birth to their first child, Elizabeth, in July 1852.  In 1854, a boy, Charles, was born, then in 1856 another boy, George.  George died as an infant.  In 1858 another boy, William, was born.

Mary’s brother, Thomas, had emigrated to Australia with his wife in 1853.  There must have been some correspondence, Thomas encouraging his sister and family to join them.  He paid £15 for their passage over.  So on 18 March 1859, Charles, Mary and their three children boarded the “Queen of England” at Liverpool and sailed for Sydney.  The passage took just under four months, but, sadly, William died on the journey.  He was one of four that died on the voyage.  The ship arrived in Sydney on 8 July 1859.

qoearrival

Thomas Grunsell was living in the Goulburn/Tirrannaville area, so that’s where the family headed.

capture

Charles and Mary’s next child, Arthur, was born in Goulburn, NSW in 1860.  The next five children (one girl, four boys) born between 1861 and 1870, were born in Tirannaville just to the south of Goulburn.  Charles became a gardener to Mrs Gibson at Tiranna House.

tirrannahouse1865

Tiranna House in 1865

I have no other information for Charles other than his tragic death on 25 March 1871.  He died of strychnine poisoning.  The verdict was suicide but there’s no evidence that he wished to kill himself.

smhchdth30march1871

Sydney Morning Herald, 30 March 1871

What’s weird is that it seems to have been the way to end one’s life in Tiranna:

ofinterest

ofinterestsmh

Sydney Morning Herald, 1859

Strychnine was used for pest control, but it’s a horrible way to die.

That left Mary with six children under 12 to care for.  Her two eldest were near enough to adults so could help out.  I turn to Mary next.

 

 

Sources: wikipedia; family archives; overtonparishcouncil.gov.uk; Google; overtonpictures.com; powerhousemuseum.com; Trove

I received an email from familysearch just yesterday, claiming that I had an American pioneer in the family.  Well, my first thought was that it was just a lure to get you to search records (ancestry’s marketing technique) and that they should get their facts right first, cos I wasn’t American.  So, despite going “pfft, yeah right” in my head, I clicked on the link and was presented with information about Frances Tibble and family.  Frances was among about 242 people in 30-odd wagons who travelled from Wyoming to Utah in 1868 with the “William S. Seeley” company, obviously a group of Mormons.

Turns out this is Frances Grunsell, the cousin of my paternal great-grandfather’s mother.  She married Thomas Tibble in Hampshire,  had four or five kids and they emigrated to the States in 1865.  Well, who knew?  I have distant Mormon relatives in Salt Lake city.  Funny.

I also worked on Anne Spriggs yesterday.  I found her marriage which said she was Mrs Spriggs, so I vainly looked for an earlier marriage, thinking this wasn’t her maiden name.  However, after some consultation with a Cornwall group on Facebook, I was told that Mrs in earlier times stood for mistress, which meant that she was of a higher class.  Again, who knew?  Considering that I already had her baptism, parents, etc, I was glad that I didn’t have to chuck all that away.  I’ve probably mentioned it before but previous research has taken Anne’s family back to about 1505.  I can’t, however, confirm many of the dates on the tree.  I’m not sure where they got the information from – from records that aren’t online or indexed, evidently.

So my “methodical” research has gone off on tangents lately.  Must focus again.

Just a week ago I signed up for a “free” trial with findmypast.co.uk and in that time, with just two days of research, I have filled in numerous gaps.  Their search engine is vastly superior to ancestry and familysearch.  They only display relevant results which makes a vast difference!  I don’t waste my time clicking on results which do not meet my search criteria.

I had a word file of particular details that I wanted for a range of different ancestors.  Slowly, I have made my way through them and crossed them out as I got a positive result.  I have noted the positive and negative results on my “research log”.

Last week I found the births or baptisms for Thomas Mudd, Elizabeth Potter (also her death), and clarified births, marriages and/or deaths for some of the Rose family.

Today I met with even more success, finding the baptism (and parents) of Mary Chariot and the marriage of those newly found parents, the marriage of John Beale’s parents, the burial of John Cornelius, the burial for Thomas Gruncel, the likely baptism and death of Sarah Kercher (nee Lee), and a baptism for Sarah Barnett.  For years I had been searching for the baptisms of Sarah Exel and Esther Webb, never having found anything remotely possible, but today I found a possible baptism for a Sarah Exall AND I found Esther (aka Hester) Webb!  That was the biggest prize, finding Esther.  Those records were probably sitting there all this time, buried in all the irrelevant results from stupid search engines.  Even when I know exactly what I’m looking for and that it exists, I always drew a blank on both ancestry and familysearch.  Findmypast also has British newspaper records with a good search engine so I have started to find little articles such as John Rose standing for council.

I recently received my DNA results from ancestry.  The ethnicity is not a surprise but ideally I need a subscription to view any matches.  I’m reluctant to give ancestry any money.  I’ve usually found them disappointing (see above comments re search results).  I think I’ll wait until my findmypast sub expires and then think about it.  I’m no hurry.  In the meantime, I have uploaded my results to Gedmatch but don’t really know what to do.  It’s all gibberish to me with its 31.6 cM 4th cousin match.  What is one supposed to do with that information?  Presumably the person you match has a tree with similar surnames?  Who knows?  I need a “DNA for genealogy” for dummies, with them spelling out exactly what to do.  The help I’ve received so far still doesn’t help.  When it comes to numbers, my brain freezes.

In the meantime, I’m happy enough continuing with the more traditional search on findmypast.

A few months ago I proclaimed on Facebook that I had found a distant relative who died at Gallipoli. Yesterday, I heard about a display that was going to be put up at work for ANZAC day and mention was made of family documents.  That evening I went to a book launch of “Roly the ANZAC donkey”.  Both incidences got me thinking about that declaration I made on Facebook.  Who was it? Once I got home, I searched my family tree, and any notes I could find, to discover who that soldier was that died at Gallipoli.  I hadn’t even mentioned it on this blog.  I knew it was a distant relative and memory told me it was a Powell or Jones.  However,  my search revealed nothing. I even dreamed about the problem.  I must have noted it somewhere.  How did I find the information out?  My dreams gave me the answer, sadly the wrong one, directing me to some files on the computer.  I’d already looked through those files. This morning I was determined to find the elusive soldier.  There was a Walter Powell, who, my notes tell me, died in WWI (stupidly I have no source for that information) but he wasn’t it.  The soldier must have died in 1915 or 1916. In desperation, this morning, I began to go alphabetically through my family tree, looking for death dates of 1915 or 1916.  Luckily, the answer was in the A’s – Asher!   Not Powell or Jones at all.  Bertram Asher was his name. With the name, I could then search online for anything about him.  I discovered he is mentioned on the Helles memorial and his middle name was Gower, his mother’s maiden name.  Finally!  I’m still not sure how I got the initial information – perhaps through another researcher’s family tree.  I found another, which confirmed information I had, and I was able to add birth and death dates.  As most of them were for dates of people who are not related, I copied them down without much detail.

I tried getting some more information on Walter Powell.  Familysearch.org is truly useless.  What information they used to have that was useful is now just junk.  A search for a marriage, for example, will come up with a list of names who, presumably, were present at the wedding, but not telling you who the actual spouse was.  Completely stupid.  Also, trying to find the marriage of Walter, I searched for Walter and the results listed the name as father of the bride or groom, ffs.  Changing it to John didn’t help.  Searching for the wife didn’t help.  Refining the search did nothing.  Absolutely useless. I might have to re-subscrible to ancestry.com to find out where John or Walter were living in 1911, the closest date to the war.  I did find a possible Walter Powell on a couple of sites, but as I don’t know his date or place of birth/residence, I can’t narrow it down.  The one I found seems unlikely because of the age.  Actually, ancestry.com was very useful just with the hints they offered.  The information was enough to know you had the right person.  Way more useful than familysearch, which is really a complete waste of time.

I’ve spent nearly all day on solving the problem and trying to solve an additional one and have put off the plans that I had intended for today.  I resigned myself to donating the day to genealogy. As a tribute to Bertram, I left a ‘commemoration’ on everymanremembered.org.  It’s a lovely site.  If you know someone killed in the war (or even if you don’t), do commemorate them there.

Postscript:  Purely through curiosity at the above website, I searched for casualties from Goulburn, and found my grandfather’s second cousin, Alexander John Grunsell, who died in France in 1918..

familysearch.org have changed their website and I’m not sure I like it.  It’s not intuitive, and you have to look all over the page to see the search button.  Pages are slower to load as well.

They seem to want people to sign up and start a tree and add photos.  I was reluctant at first but decided, in the end, that I would.  I thought it would make for easier searching, but no.  It forces you to enter some details twice, as well.  While entering details about one ancestor, including parents and spouse, you then get to the tree to find you have to enter parents and spouse again.  What a pain in the proverbial.

I did,  however, find some details on the Scottish side with a possible birth date and place for John Sutherland (taken from another member’s tree).  However, when I try to search for confirmation of those details, I can’t find any.  This is a common problem when trying to verify details on others’ trees.

I found another tree for Elizabeth Cornelius with details going back to 1700 and on various linked families to 1640.  Fascinating stuff if correct – all apparently based in Redruth, Cornwall.

Finally, I found some descendants of some Grunsells, but could not add these to my tribalpages website as it’s playing up, showing just a blank page – very frustrating.

I do like the fact that you can get proper birth or marriage details at familysearch (when you can find an entry), rather than just an index.  This is totally useless when the index lists only one name and a vague date.  There’s no way of verifying if it’s the right one if you can’t enter a spouse or parent’s name.  There are several Richard Jones dying in 1864 in Shropshire, for example.  There’s no way I can purchase death certificates for all of them – really stupid.

Anyway, very time-consuming, and I don’t really feel I’ve achieved much.

There are no more useful ‘tips’ on ancestry.com, so it’s just as well I’m cancelling the sub, but where to now?

I found a whole list online of Grunsell descendants in Australia, so I’ve duly filled those out on the online tree.  It took hours.

I saw a TV programme last night about Tony Robinson in Australia and he was talking about the gold rush from 1851 in Victoria.  I thought about the Stevens family, Edwin in particular, a miner, who emigrated from Cornwall.  As I wasn’t at home, I couldn’t check my files but I looked at my online tree and did not have details about when he and his wife migrated.  One of their children was born in Beechworth, Victoria in 1857 so it had to be before then.  I felt sure I had the details but didn’t have them on the tree.  Tut tut.

I went searching, initially in passenger lists (for NSW and Victoria), without success.  I then found a forum and someone’s wife’s great grandmother was Elizabeth Stevens of the same family.  They emigrated from Portsmouth on 6 March 1854 on the ship Trafalgar and landed at Port Adelaide on 28 June 1854.  No wonder I couldn’t find the passenger list – they came to South Australia.  Elizabeth, their daughter, was born at Spring Creek Beechworth on 16 January 1855.  Success!

I wish I had the time (and more inclination) to sort out my files and go through them systematically.