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Andrew Stevens was born in 1754, baptised on 31 March 1754 in St Ives, Cornwall. He was the son of John and Eleanor.  He had 12, perhaps 13 siblings, some of whom died as infants. Andrew’s father was a lawyer, and then mayor of St Ives. I can find no information of past mayors (even a list) of St Ives. The only website I could find listed mayors from the 19th century, as if mayors (or St Ives) didn’t exist before then. Even John Knill (a surname that crops up in the family) wasn’t mentioned. Disappointing.

St Ives is an old and well-known seaside town, known for its artists’ colony among other things. A civic history timeline can be found here.

StIves

Andrew married Honor Facey (whose mother was Gertrude Knill) on 6 March, 1781 in Werrington, Devon (now part of Cornwall).

The couple had six children that I know of. Lenora Penrose Stevens was baptised 4 January 1782 in St Ives. Her middle name was her paternal grandmother’s surname. Gertrude Knill Stevens (named after her maternal grandmother above) was baptised on 5 July 1783. The first son, Vivian Francis, was baptised 17 November 1784. Andrew had had two younger brothers called Vivian (one of them named Vivian Francis) both of whom died in infancy. George Facey Stevens was born next in about 1790 (his middle name being his mother’s surname). I don’t know if any children were born between 1784 and 1790. It seems likely, but I could find no baptisms during that period. There were two burials of young children in 1785 and 1787 in St Ives of a Mary and a William, aged 8 months and 3 years respectively, but no mention is made of the parents. Another five years passed before Emmeline Escott (or Eskourt) Stevens and Edwin are baptised on 25 August 1795 – twins? Again there are burials of infants in that five years but hard to say if Andrew and Honor had any more children apart from the six mentioned.

I have no further information about the life of Andrew. I don’t even know what he did. I have found no newspaper articles about his family, sadly, even though his father was a mayor.

Three of the children married in 1814. The youngest daughter, Emmeline, was the first to marry, to a naval man, George Hubert Rye, in January of that year. In April, her brother, George, married Honour Langdon. Then eldest sister, Lenora, married John Kernick in December.

George Rye had an interesting life. He was a midshipman in the Royal Navy and was involved in a few battles of the time (Copenhagen and Netherlands) before retiring in 1823 due to fever and becoming a commander of the coastguard of St Ives, capturing a French slave ship, and shooting a man in a “smuggling affray”.* He and Emmeline had five sons and a daughter: Hubert, Edward, Walter, George, Frederick, and then Emmeline on 5 January 1824. Sadly, mother and daughter died during or shortly after childbirth, both being buried on the same day on 7 January. It did say on the child’s private baptism record that her father was a lieutenant in the Royal Navy which seems to contradict the above information. Perhaps George retired shortly after the death of his wife and daughter to be there for his remaining children. This seems more likely.

Andrew was resident at Portreath in November 1830, when he died at the age of 76 from dropsy. He was buried in the parish of Illogan on 17 November.

Andrew’s wife, Honor, died just a couple of months later, being buried on 17 January 1831 in Illogan. Their daughter, spinster, Gertrude, married widower, George Rye, in December of that year. They had no further children.

 

Sources: familysearch; findmypast; Cornwall OPC database; Google; wikipedia; stives-town.info; *”The Genealogist”, 1877, archive.org/stream/genealogist;

Christopher Dart was born in around 1801 but I don’t know where. He was a miner in Cornwall and married there but Dart is an unusual surname for Cornwall, originating, instead, in neighbouring Devon. I have been unable to find a birth or baptism for a Christoper in Cornwall except for in Calstock, 1809, which seems a little late, but not impossible. One that seems more likely is a baptism in Tavistock, Devon (not far from Calstock) on 23 December 1800 to Thomas, a miner, and Loveday. However, there’s no way of knowing. I only found about six other Christopher Darts in Devon and pretty much none at all for the rest of Britain. I would have to systematically research each one in order to eliminate them.

Christopher married Elizabeth Cornelius on 27 October 1827 in Redruth, Cornwall. Their first child was named John Cornelius and was baptised on 30 June 1828. Next was Elizabeth Anne who was born in about December 1832, and was baptised on 29 August 1833. Sadly she died at age 10 months, of measles, and was buried on 1 September. Just over a year later, the second daughter was born and also called Elizabeth Ann. She was born in about November 1834 and baptised on 6 June 1835. Finally, in 1837, another son, James Johns, was born, baptised on 12 August.

Sadly, Christopher died just four months later on 3 December. Consumption was the cause of death. He didn’t live long enough to witness the death of his youngest son in 1838 at the age of one. Such tragedy to befall Elizabeth.

Since Christopher’s life was so short, and I have no information on him, I’ll turn to Elizabeth. She was born in about 1805, baptised on 19 September in Redruth. She was the daughter of John Cornelius and Ann Johns and had 10 siblings.

In 1841 she was living in Fore Street, Redruth, with her two surviving children in the same household as a probable brother, Martin and his family. Elizabeth was known as Betsy.

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Fore Street, Redruth

In 1851 Elizabeth was a greengrocer, living in Miners Row with her children. Her son, John, was a stone mason, as was his uncle living next door.

In 1861 Elizabeth was boarding in Fords Row with a woman six years her senior. She was still a greengrocer. I don’t know what happened to John. Daughter, Elizabeth, of course, had married and emigrated to Australia.

I have no further information on Elizabeth. I don’t know when she died. I have not been able to find any Elizabeth Darts in the 1871 census in Redruth. There is one in Bodmin which is quite far away – a pauper in an asylum, who died there during that decade.

Lots of further research needed.

 

Sources: findmypast; familysearch; Cornwall online parish registers; Old Cornwall in pictures Facebook page;

George Facey Stevens was born in 1790, baptised on 20 October in Illogan, Cornwall. He was the son of Andrew Stevens and Honor Facey. He had five siblings that I know of (two brothers and three sisters).

Illogan

I can’t find much of interest about Illogan. It was named after an obscure Cornish saint. The population in 1801 was 2895 (compared to 5404 in 2011, the population rising to 10304 in the 1970s before falling again), so never a large town, but a centre of mining.

George married Honour Langdon on 20 April 1814 in Illogan. Honor was born about 1792, possibly baptised on 22 October in Illogan, daughter of Nicholas and Elizabeth.

The couple had 11 children over 19 years. The first three were girls: Elanora Penrose (born about 1815, possibly named after George’s paternal grandmother), Mary (1821), and Elizabeth Langdon (1822). The family moved to Redruth at some stage where John Knill was born in about 1823 (probably named after George’s maternal grandmother), baptised on the same day as Lavinia Penrose (1823) who died the following year. Next were Ellen Francis (1826), William (1827), Edwin Vivian (1828), and another Lavinia born between 1829 and 1832. Finally there was Vivian (1830), then George Frederick (1834).

In 1841 the family were still living in Redruth. George was a parish clerk. All ten children were there, the three oldest boys working as copper miner and masons.

George had a short life, dying in 1844 at the age of 54. He was buried on 19 March.

In 1851 Honour was a widow living in Trevingay with six of her children and a granddaughter, Emma, age 8. Emma was possibly John’s daughter. I found a baptism for 1845, daughter of John and Martha in Redruth. Elizabeth was a dressmaker, Ellen a milliner, and Lavinia a tailoress. Edwin, Vivian and George were copper miners. Missing from the list were Elenora, Mary, John and William. I haven’t been able to find John or Elenora in the census. Searching for a Mary Stevens is nigh impossible for census, marriage, or death. Nor have I been able to find William.

Edwin married in 1854 and sailed to Australia with his wife, no doubt to try his hand at gold minning. I was told that John, Vivian, and George (all miners) also moved to Australia but I don’t know when. Any Australian descendants who can enlighten me, please get in touch!

Unfortunately, I don’t even know when Honour died. It’s a pain that the age at death is not given on the index so I could rule out some. She may have died in 1862. (The only other death I could find was Honour Maria in 1854.) How am I to know without an age?

So lots of missing information for this family.

Sources: findmypast; familysearch; genuki.org.uk; Google maps; Wikipedia; Cornwall OPC database; http://www.blaxland.com/ozships/

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Elizabeth Ann Dart was born about November 1834, and was baptised on 6 June 1835 in Redruth, Cornwall.  Her parents were Christopher Dart and Elizabeth Cornelius.

Elizabeth was one of only four children as her father (a miner) died young.  She had an older sister, also called Elizabeth Ann(e) who was born, but also died, in 1833.  Her other two siblings were brothers who I know little about.

By the 1841 census Elizabeth’s father had already died and only Elizabeth and one brother are listed with their widowed mother.  The youngest brother died in 1838.  The family were living in Fore Street in Redruth, a short, hilly road which appears to be the main shopping street of Redruth.  They appear to be living with 13 other people (it’s hard to tell in the 1841 census as there’s no head of household noted), among whom was Marten Cornelius, age 35, mason, and his wife, Grace, age 40, and family.  It’s likely Elizabeth senior was related to Marten (a brother?).

In 1851, Elizabeth Ann was living with her brother and mother in Miner’s Row, just around the corner from Fore Street.  Her brother was a stone mason and Elizabeth was a tailoress apprentice.  The street was full of miners and stone masons.

In 1854, Elizabeth was living in Ford’s Row in Redruth, just down the road from Miner’s Row.  She married Edwin Stevens at the parish church in Redruth on 20 February 1854.

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St Euny church, Redruth

The 1850s was the gold rush era in Australia, and Edwin, being a miner, joined hundreds of others who emigrated from Cornwall, with his new wife Elizabeth.

They boarded the barque “Trafalgar” at Plymouth, Devon, on 6 March 1854.  Also on board was one James Cornelius, age 19, and wife, from Redruth.  I have no idea if he was a relative.  I think the Cornelius family was a large one.  The passengers experienced some heavy weather.

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South Australian Register, 29 June 1854

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Steerage, South Australian Maritime Museum

However, the ship arrived safely at Port Adelaide on 28 June.

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Port Adelaide in 1846

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South Australian Register, 25 July 1854

Gold had been discovered at Spring Creek, Beechworth in 1852, so Edwin and Elizabeth must have headed that way almost immediately.  This was where their first child, Elizabeth, was born in January 1855.  Two years later, their son, Edwin, was born there in March 1857.

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Gold miners, about 1858

More tantalising evidence that related Cornelius’ could also have emigrated to Australia is this advertisement (one of three in 1858) in the Murray and Ovens Advertiser:

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The next son, John, was born in Indigo in 1862 but had died in Binalong the following year.

By 1863 the family had moved over the border into New South Wales and were living in the newly renamed Young in New South Wales (previously Lambing Flat).  By this time the infamous Lambing Flat riots were long over, although the issue still simmered and there were bushrangers in the area, led by John Gilbert and Ben Hall.

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The Golden Age, 1861

Elizabeth gave birth to another daughter, Ellen.  However, gold was on the way out, so the family moved on to Cadia, NSW where there was a copper mine, something Edwin was more familiar with.  The next two children were born there:  John Dart in January 1865, and Emma in June 1867.  They still didn’t settle, moving on to the mining region of Icely, where the last four children were born: Lavinia in December 1869; Alfred in July 1871; Mary Ann in May 1873; and Louisa Jane in February 1875.  In October of that year, Elizabeth’s daughter, Elizabeth, had married Lot Hammer.

Elizabeth had had 10 children, at least eight of whom grew to adulthood and married.  There is no further record of her.  The youngest child was just ten years old when Elizabeth died on 26 April 1885 in Orange, New South Wales.

 

Source:  cornwalls.co.uk/Redruth; Cornwall OPC database; Google; miningchurch.uk; Trove; theshipslist.com; wikimedia commons; guides.slv.vic.gov.au/gold/people; goldtrails.com.au; findmypast; family archives

Edwin Vivian Stevens was born in Redruth, Cornwall in 1828, baptised on 27 October of that year.  His parents were George Facey Stevens, a parish clerk, and Honour Langdon.  He was one of five boys out of a family of eleven children.  An older sister had died before he was born.

Redruth was a town in a tin and copper mining region.  In 1801 it had a population of close to 5,000.  Redruth’s boom period was said to be from the 1730s to the 1860s when the population had doubled to over 11,000, but then dropped when copper mining went into decline and a lot of miners emigrated.

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Marker indicates Trevingey

In 1841 the family of twelve were living in Trevingey, Redruth.  Edwin, at the tender age of 13, was listed as a miner, as was his older brother, John, age 15 (copper miner).  It must have been a tough life.  As you can see from the map, there were a lot of mines.  It would be hard to pinpoint which one they might have worked in.

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Below is a view from Camborne looking towards Redruth in 1890.  Not a pretty sight.

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By 1851, Edwin’s father had died.  Six of the children were still living with Honour in Trevingey, but the youngest was 16, so no great burden (by then anyway).  Two of Edwin’s brothers were no longer at home.  Edwin (age 22) and the remaining two brothers were listed as copper miners.  The sisters were involved in clothes-making.  Included in the 1851 census is Honour’s granddaughter, Emma Stephens, age 8.  I have not been able to find out who her parents were – the father either John or William (common names).

Edwin married Elizabeth Ann Dart on 20 February 1854 in Redruth.  About two weeks later they were headed for Australia.  Another researcher said that three of Edwin’s brothers also emigrated to Australia but I have been unable to find out when.  So it may be that John had already gone to Australia and invited Edwin to join him, or Edwin decided to join the many wanting to try their hand at finding gold in Australia’s south-east.  Either way, Edwin and Elizabeth left Plymouth on 6 March on board the “Trafalgar” and arrived at Port Adelaide on 28 June.

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Adelaide Times

From then I can only follow the couple’s movements from where the children were born.  The first, a daughter, was born in January 1855 at Spring Creek near Beechworth in Victoria, a long way from Adelaide.  A son was born in 1857 in Beechworth.  Beechworth was famed for its gold-mining.  Its heyday was shortlived, between 1852 and 1857.

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Marker indicates location of Beechworth

The family stuck around, the next child being born in Indigo in 1861.  Indigo appears to be a region which includes Beechworth, so hard to identify where exactly the boy was born (perhaps Indigo valley).  From there the family headed to Binalong, New South Wales, where the child died.

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Marker indicates location of Binalong, NSW

The following  year they were in Young, New South Wales, a day’s walk to the north-west of Binalong.  Here another daughter was born in 1863.  Gold had been discovered there in 1860, when it was known as Lambing Flat (known for the anti-Chinese riots).  It was renamed Young in 1863.

The family didn’t stop there.  They moved on to Cadia, New South Wales (about 20 km south of Orange), where a copper mine was opened.  The next two children were born there in 1865 and 1867.

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The next four children were born at Icely, another mining district close to Orange, from 1869 to 1875.

Edwin’s wife, Elizabeth, died 10 years later in 1885 at the age of 51.  Edwin remarried six years later, marrying Cecilia Dawson in Orange on 4 February 1891.  I have no information on her at all.

If Edwin and Elizabeth hadn’t had so many children (10 in total), I wouldn’t have been able to track their movements across the south-east of Australia from Adelaide to Orange.  The information is otherwise scant.

Edwin died in Orange on 29 November 1908, age 80 (although a brief death notice gave his age as 82) – a pretty good age for having worked in mines most of his life.

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National Advocate, 30 November 1908

 

Sources: Google maps; localhistories.org; findmypast; cornwallinfocus.co.uk; cornwallheritagetrust.org; Trove; theshipslist.com; wikipedia; bonzle.com;

I don’t know a great deal about my great-grandmother, Lavinia Stevens.

She was born on 13 December 1869 at Icely, New South Wales according to her birth certificate.  There doesn’t appear to be a town or village by that name, but a mine – the Icely copper mine as it was then.  (Her father, Edwin, was a miner.)  It’s near the town of Orange.  I’ve been unable to find any information about Icely as a “residence”.  Lavinia and her three younger siblings were born there.  Presumably the miners lived on site.  You can see the area is full of mines.  How many of them were in operation in the 1860-70s, I don’t know.

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Lavinia had nine siblings (five sisters, four brothers).  Her parents were Edwin Stevens and Elizabeth Dart (both from Cornwall).  I’ll write more on her Cornish miner father in another  post.

I know nothing about Lavinia’s early life, or how she met Edward Kercher.  By the time she married she was working as a fruiterer in Goulburn, possibly helping her brother, Edwin, in his business. Their mother had died in 1885.  Lavinia moved to Goulburn in 1888, perhaps joining her brother.

Edward and Lavinia married at the Wesleyan church in Goulburn, New South Wales, on 15 January 1895.  Lavinia was pregnant, giving birth to her first child five months later.

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Goulburn Evening Penny Post, 15 January 1895

“Miss Ritchie” may have been Edwin’s sister-in-law.  (Edwin married Rebecca Ritchie in 1888.)

Although Lavinia’s father was still alive (age 67), he evidently did not attend the wedding.  It’s quite some distance between Orange and Goulburn.  Edwin senior had by then remarried.

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After the marriage, Lavinia stopped working (as was often expected), and started the family.  Edward and Lavinia had six children altogether: Percy, Stanley, Myree, Lewis, Leila, and Allan, the last son being born in 1906.

According to my aunt, Lavinia was a great cook and housekeeper, if a bit bossy.  She was a large woman (as it appeared to a small granddaughter) who stuck religiously to a weekly roster: wash on Monday, iron on Tuesday, clean on Wednesday, afternoon tea for the daughters-in-law on Thursdays, and Friday or Saturday mornings for the sons.  After the wash she would go inside, wash her face, and put on Charmosan face “creme”.  (It was certainly well-advertised in the 30s, used by famous actresses such as Bette Davis, according to some advertisements.)

All the children married, most of them in the 1920s and then the youngest in 1930 and 1937.

Lavinia’s husband died in 1937.  In the 1936-37 electoral roll, Lavinia was living at 92 Bradley Street in Goulburn.  As far as I can make out from Google streetview, it’s this house.

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I have no other information on Lavinia, and sadly, no photos.  She died on 30 January 1943.

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Goulburn Evening Post, 2 February 1943

I don’t have a death certificate, but presumably she was ill, having died in hospital.

 

 

Sources: family archives; http://www.bonzle.com, Trove; Google; Joyce Stuart

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I joined the Guild of One Name Studies as there were about eight surnames I have in my tree that were registered surnames there and I thought it worth searching what they had (not that much, it turns out).  One of the names was Facey.  The only ancestor I have with that name is Hono(u)r Facey, who used her surname as the middle name of a paternal ancestor.  I didn’t have much information on her (just her marriage in Devon).  I hadn’t found her baptism or death on previous searches at findmypast.  Today I decided just to do a simple Google search and her name was mentioned in a detailed account of the Rye family.

Well, it turns out that a George Hubert Rye married Emmeline Escott (various spellings) Stevens, daughter of Andrew Stevens and Honor Facey.  I did not have Emmeline on my tree, so that was a bonus.  The website had details about George as a naval man, working on various ships, being involved with battles against the Dutch, slaver ships, and he shot a man in a “smuggling affray”.  Fascinating stuff!  George was one of many children born in Suffolk (and a detailed family history was given).  Emmeline died after giving birth to six or seven children and George married her sister, Gertrude (who was on my tree).  Six sons were listed, one of them marrying the daughter of George Daniel.

I headed over to findmypast and found the marriage of George to Emmeline in 1814, and also to Gertrude in 1831.  So Emmeline had died before 1831.  This gave me something to go on.  I found her death in 1824 in the same month as her two-day old daughter.  Presumably she died in childbirth or shortly after.  Sad.  Her birth date was estimated as 1796, so then I could find her baptism, which I did for 1795 in Illogan, Cornwall.

All this info and time spent, after what was supposed to be a short and simple search in the Guild of One Name Studies, which didn’t, of course, have anything on Honor Facey.

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 Mormans.

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.

It’s all very well saying I’ll detail my searches in a spreadsheet, but often I’m not at my home computer when I’m searching so I don’t have the spreadsheet to hand.  Often I’ll think of something “just to see” and veer off in a different direction, without any methodical follow-up.  It’s a mess.  Then I read past posts on this blog and often can’t remember what I found or how I got there.  It’s really bad.  It all takes time and focus, which is difficult when you have a short period (maybe an afternoon) in which to do it.  No wonder I end up doing the same searches all the time.

I was idling away and thought I’d do another search on Christopher Dart in Redruth.  I haven’t been able to find his birth in Cornwall.  Well, today I happened upon a forum with someone saying they suspected he came from Devon.  Ah!  Interesting.  But why the suspicion?  Is it because there are a lot of Darts in Devon?  Very possible.  With that in mind I did a search for Christopher Dart outside of Cornwall and the nearest I found to 1801 was one baptised 3 January 1799 in Hatherleigh, Devon, son of Roger and Herriot.  Hmm.  Children are often named after grandparents but there are no Rogers or Harriet(?)s in Christopher’s family.  There must be more than one Christoper Dart in the whole of Devon for that time, but it appears to be an uncommon first name, if the results are to be believed.

And this is where I make another complaint about search results.  It’s no wonder I draw complete blanks time after time on ancestry and familysearch.  Familysearch, in particular, is a nightmare.  For example, I might enter the name Joe Bloggs, with a date and place and perhaps even parents, and what happens?  I get a list of results with Joe Bloggs listed as the father at a christening for that period.  WTF?  So, I usually end up leaving the first name blank and trawl through heaps of results.  I once entered the father’s name as the name of the birth or christening I was looking for (when it was his son I was looking for) and only then did I get the correct father, and had to search through heaps of irrelevant results.  That’s another thing.  Why ask for a date range if you’re going to show me results 50 years later than what I wanted?  It pisses me off.

Ancestry is just as bad.  Why show me a load of totally irrelevant results?  If my person died in 1850, why are you showing me results for a person born in 1870?  WTF?  I get so irate.  It’s just wasting my time.

I’ve been thinking about the 52 ancestors in 52 weeks challenge.  It might help get me focussed, although I know it goes against the grain to focus on one person at a time – I want all the answers now, for everyone!  Naturally, for such a challenge, I do not want to wait until January – why wait for some arbitrary start time?  There are 52 weeks in a year regardless of when the year starts, so I thought of doing it from 1 July.  It probably would be a challenge as there would be other interests and events to distract me AND I’ve just sent off my DNA sample, so there’s that whole huge learning curve with DNA matches and trees, etc, but  I think I’ll do it anyway.  It could actually be a challenge to find 52 ancestors that I can write anything about, but it doesn’t have to be a lot.  I could also just write about my search for more information or focus on a sibling instead.  I’ve decided I need to know more about siblings and perhaps searching for them will uncover more.  Past searches have proved that right.

Anyway, I’ll start on Friday.