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Halfway through this challenge, and I fear the entries will be shorter, as I have little information on many of the remaining ancestors.

For the sake of continuity, I will turn to Jean, or Jane, Wilson, who was born about 1825 in Glasgow, according to census returns.  I do not know who her parents were.  There are many options available.  Considering that one of Jean’s daughters had the middle name of Rankin, Jean’s mother might have had the surname of Rankin.  However, although there are a few Wilsons married to a Rankin between 1800 and 1809 (and I can’t find any marriages of couples with those surnames after that and before 1825), I can find no Jean or Jane as the daughter of such a union.  With a common name like Wilson, any research could be difficult.

In 1841 there are too many Jean or Jane Wilsons to be sure of finding the correct one, especially with no knowledge of the parents’ names.  Two years later she married Archibald Sutherland.

The first child born was Margaret, born on Christmas Eve, 1845.  In 1848, on 1 June, a son, John, was born, and then in 1850, George.  So, by the 1851 census the couple had three children.  On 16 August 1853, another girl, Jane, was born.  Then, tragically, in 1855, Margaret died.  I found her death listed in the Ayrshire archives #549:

SUTHERLAND, Margaret, female, 9.5 years old, born 18 Parkhouse Lane, Glasgow, 4 years in Glasgow.  Parents: Archibald SUTHERLAND, tailor (journeyman) and Jane SUTHERLAND nee WILSON. Died April 19, 1855 at 148 Drygate Street, Glasgow of Gastric Fever with Anasarca – ill 12 weeks as cert by John McKim, MD. Buried Necropolis, Glasgow as cert by Robert McIntyre, undertaker. Signed John SUTHERLAND, his X mark, grandfather.

I’m not sure what they mean by four years in Glasgow.  Perhaps the parents had just moved to Glasgow, although they were there in 1851 and in 1843, and both were born there.  Perhaps it was just a standard entry after a certain time…?

Three years later, on 27 February, 1858, Elizabeth Rankin was born.  She appears to be the only one with a middle name.  Finally, in 1859, 6 December, Christina was born.

However, in the 1861 census only John, George, Jane and Christina are listed.  Elizabeth died in the interim, and according to scotlandspeople, she died the same year she was born.

As mentioned in the previous post, Jane’s husband died in 1861, leaving Jane with four children between the ages of 2 and 13.

In 1871, Jane was living at the same address as in 1861 – 4 Weaver Street.  She is listed in the census return as a “winder”, still attached to the textile industry.  With her are George, age 20, and Christina, age 11.  I don’t know what happened to Jane.  She would have been about 18 and possibly working elsewhere, or she may have died.  John would have been 23 and may have married.

That’s all I have for Jane. I haven’t found her in the 1881 or 1891 census returns.  She may well  have died, in which case she died young also.  I have some research to do when I get some scotlandspeople credits.

Sources: scotlandspeople, familysearch, family archives

I have fallen behind and have not done family history research for some time.  I now turn to ancestors for whom I have scant information.  My ramblings may be a little confused, as I try to work things out as I write.

Archibald Sutherland was (possibly) born on 1 December 1822 in Glasgow.  He was the son of John Sutherland and Margaret Fisher.  He possibly had an older sister, Margaret, born in 1820, but no mother is listed and John is a common name.  I have no information on other possible siblings.  The source of birth, according to my records, was the IGI, but I have been unable to find it again (I probably found it in the days when I didn’t record sources accurately). A search on scotlandspeople only comes up with two Archibalds, neither of whom had John as their father.  I know his father was named John, as John is listed in two sources connected with Archibald, including the death certificate.  It’s extremely frustrating. The website, familysearch, is next to useless.

I cannot find Archibald in the 1841 census.  However, I can confirm that he married Jean (or Jane) Wilson on 28 April 1843 in Glasgow.

In 1851 and 1861 census returns, Archibald is listed as a journeyman tailor.  In 1851 the family were living at 132, Gallowgate.  In 1861 they were living at 258 High Street in Glasgow. However, the birth year equates to 1824 and in the 1861 census Archibald’s age is given as 37.

Archibald died young, at age 38 in 1861, according to the death certificate.  By December, the family appear to have moved to 4 Weaver Street in Glasgow, where Archibald died.  The death was registered on 3rd December 1861.  So three sources give his birth year as 1824.  Archibald’s birthday must have fallen between the time of the census and the time of his death to account for the age of 37 becoming 38 in the same year so the birth year may have been 1823.

A brief entry.  It is frustrating that I cannot confirm Archibald’s birth or find him in the 1841 census.  When I have some credits on scotlandspeople I will delve deeper, but even searching for names beginning with A, didn’t come up with a suitable result.

 

Sources: scotlandspeople; family archives; findmypast

I’m afraid I have even less information about George’s wife, Jessie (or Janet) Allison.

Jessie was born Janet Simpson Allison on 21 April 1856 at Perth, Perthshire, to George Allison, plumber, and Georgina Patullo (an unusual surname of ancient Scottish origin, it seems).  Jessie was the second child of eight, which included two boys.  While Jessie was born in Perth, the rest of her siblings were born in either Edinburgh or Glasgow.  Were her parents (or her mother) visiting relatives in Perth at the time of Jessie’s birth?  (But both parents were born in Edinburgh.) At some stage the family moved from Edinburgh to Paisley in Renfrewshire (Jessie’s brother was born there in 1859) and then had moved to Glasgow between then and 1861.

In 1861 the family of five were living at 9 William Street in Glasgow.  Nothing remains of what used to be there.  Some huge ugly building straddles the road now.  By 1871 three more children had been born and they were living at the same place.  Jessie and her older sister, Mary, were callender workers (they pressed cloth between heavy rollers) while their younger brother, George, was a baker’s message boy (at the age of 11).

In 1876 Jessie married George Sutherland at 109 Dale Street in Glasgow.  By this time, Jessie’s mother had died, but, strangely, her mother’s name is put down as Jane, maiden surname Wilson on the marriage certificate, but that was George Sutherland’s mother’s name.  Whoever wrote it down has put Jane Wilson for the mothers of both George and Jessie.

By the 1881 census, therefore, the family had split up.  Jessie’s father was a widower boarding with the Strang family; Jessie’s older sister, Mary, had married John Cowie and was living with in-laws, two young sons, and her sister, Georgina ; Jessie and George were living at 86 Hospital Street with a young daughter and Jessie’s two younger brothers.  I’ve been unable to find Jessie’s other three sisters.  Perhaps they died.  One at least, is supposed to have married, but I have been unable to find the marriage record.  That same year, Jessie’s second daughter was born.

By 1891, as mentioned in the previous post, Jessie had four children and they lived in George Street Glasgow.  By 1901 there were six children and they were living in Parson Street.  In 1911 they had moved to Taylor Street.  [Edit: It appears I haven’t mentioned the children’s names and dates of birth particularly. They were: Georgina (1880); Jessie (1881); Margaret (1884); George Archibald (1888); Jeanie (1890); Lizzie (1893); and Effie (1896).]

Since scotlandspeople changed their website to allow free searches, I have been able to find the death of Jessie in 1929 at the age of 73.  At some stage I will find out exactly when.

As I said before, there are many gaps.  I wish I could fill them.

Sources: family archives; familysearch; findmypast

The Scottish side of my family is mostly a closed book to me.  I haven’t done a lot of research in this area, thanks to the monopoly that is scotlandspeople and their payment plans.  I intensely dislike having to pay to look at search results (especially when you don’t know if what you’re looking at is relevant).

Anyway, I’ll outline what I do have in this and some future posts.

George Sutherland was born on 9 November 1850 in Glasgow.  It seems I don’t have a birth certificate so how do I know this?  I obtained the information some years ago before realising the importance of recording resources.  I have it recorded elsewhere, however, that I got it from the IGI but I can’t find anything in my file saying this.  A search on familysearch and findmypast reveal nothing at all.  Thanks, scotlandspeople – thanks for making it impossible to verify or search for Scottish ancestors without paying you.

Regardless, according to census returns, George was born about that time.  He was the son of Archibald Sutherland and Jane Wilson.  According to my information he had a brother and four sisters, at least one of whom died young.

At the time of the 1851 census the family of five were living at 132 Gallowgate in Glasgow.  Any old buildings from that time are long since gone.  George’s father was a tailor.

In 1861 the family of six were living at 258 High Street.  The black-fronted shop below is not numbered, but sits between 260 and 252.  (I don’t know how old these buildings are though.)

highst

I found this article in the Glasgow Morning Journal.

glasgowmorningjnl14dec1863

14 December 1863

The Sutherland family may have been neighbours.

By the following census in 1871, George’s father was dead.  His widow, Jane, was now head of the household with George and the youngest, Christina.  Jane was just 47 and worked as a winder (someone who winds thread onto the spindles used in shuttles).  George was a cloth lapper (someone who took the cloth from the carding machine and readied it for the next process).  They were now living at 4 Weaver Street (also long gone – the buildings on Weaver Street were cleared after the First World War).

George married Jessie Allison on 24 March 1876 at 109 Dale Street in Glasgow (also long gone).  He was still a cloth lapper (journeyman).  George’s residence at the time was 14 Maitland Street (no longer there) and Jessie lived at 16 Renfrew Street (you guessed it – gone).  So much of Glasgow history has been demolished, and what it’s been replaced with is no prettier.

The couple’s first child (as far as I know) was a daughter, Georgina, born in 1880.  Before the birth of their second daughter, Jessie, in 1881 another census was taken.  The family were living at 86 Hospital Street.  George’s two brothers-in-law were there too.

In 1891 the family of six (with four children under 10) were living in George Street, Glasgow, George still a cloth lapper.  The eldest, Georgina, is no longer with them.  She probably died, unless she was visiting relatives, but I’ve been unable to find her in the census returns, or to find a death record.

By 1901 the family had increased to eight, the children ranging in age from 19 to 6 years old.  They were living at 94 Parson Street.  You can see my earlier post with regard to where they lived then and in 1911.

In 1920, George’s fourth daughter, Jean, left for Australia to get married.  By this time, George had stopped being a cloth lapper and was a warehouseman at the age of 70.

I’m afraid I have no further information on George.  I don’t even know when he died.  I haven’t been able to find a record at all.  There are a lot of gaps.

Postscript: Since writing the above, scotlandspeople has changed their website, making it possible to do a search without paying.  I have confirmed George’s birth date but have been unable to find a death.

 

Sources: family archives; findmypast; Google; http://www.worldthroughthelens.com/family-history/old-occupations.php; http://www.theglasgowstory.com/image/?inum=TGSE00385

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I saw that scotlandspeople had 20 free credits.  This time I was more organised and searched for specific things.  I had enough credits for three searches.

The first was for the death of Archibald Sutherland.  I chose him, as his name is more unusual than John or George.  He died before the 1871 census but was listed in the 1861 census so he died between those times.  I found one for December 1861 which listed his father as John (deceased) and Margaret Fisher.  Hmm.  Pause for thought here.  I had the mother as Mary Mathay.  Younger idiot self had not noted where I found that information.  A search in my paper files revealed that I got the information from the IGI.  Evidently it was the only birth I could find for Archibald Sutherland.  Ironically I can’t find that same info on familysearch today.  My tree needs amending.  The informant was Archibald’s wife, Jane.

Having found that, I searched for John Sutherland’s marriage to Margaret Fisher and found that for 1820.  Unfortunately, there’s no information about their parents.

I had enough credits for one more search.  A search for the death of Jane Sutherland resulted in 5 pages of results (so 5 credits), so instead I searched for the birth of Jessie Allison in Perth.  One result for Janet Allison.  I had a look and the parents were the same as what I had.  Janet at birth, but evidently known as Jessie.  1856 corresponded with my estimate of 1857.  Result.  That left me with one credit.  I will have to wait until the next freebies.

Good result.  Slowly, with any luck, I will be able to knock off a few gaps, little by little.

 

And now to my last grandparent, Jean (or Jeanie) Wilson Sutherland, born in Glasgow on 20 February 1890, the eldest of my grandparents and the longest-living!

Between 1870 and 1914, Glasgow was one of the richest and finest cities in Europe, thanks to the industrial revolution and heavy engineering such as shipbuilding, etc.  However, there was also extreme poverty.

Jean’s parents were George Sutherland and Jessie Simpson Allison.  She had five sisters and one brother, all born in Glasgow.  At the time of Jean’s birth, the family was living at 26 George Street.  Apparently this address was a tenement block which housed several families.  In 1891 the family was still living in George Street (except for one of the children who I can’t find and who may have died).  Jean’s father was a cloth lapper.  According to various websites, a cloth lapper: cleaned cotton fibres before sheets fed into carding machines; moved the yarn from the carding machine to the next process in weaving; worked in textile finishing, folding or doubling the cloth repeatedly upon itself ready for packing – probably all three.

The family had moved on to 94 Parson Street by 1901 (the street where architect George Rennie Mackintosh was born in 1868).  Most of the street has disappeared.  All that’s left of it is mostly occupied by Martyr’s school, built in 1895.  As a matter of interest, in 1904 a man caused the death of his wife at 64 Parson Street by pushing her against a table during an argument.

Ten years later, in 1911, Jean’s family were living at 83 Taylor Street, which also housed more than one family.  A death of a neighbour followed them there as well, as a storeman, who resided in Taylor Street, was found dead at his workplace.  (Just beneath that report is an article on the death rate in Glasgow which was 16.5 per 1000.)

Jean’s father was still a cloth lapper and he, and two of his daughters (including Jean), worked at the calender works (Maggie and Jean were warehouse girls).  A calender worker was someone who operated a machine to press cloth between two large rollers.

WilsonSt

According to Google street view this is 83 Wilson Street now.

89WilsonSt1938

This was 89 Wilson Street in 1938, a provision warehouse

There was a calender works in Frederick Lane, about 3 or 4 blocks north of Wilson Street and just off George Street/George Square, so I’m guessing this is where they worked.

FrederickLanecalenderworks

The family moved yet again to Taylor Street to another block of flats.

TaylorSt1967

Taylor Street in 1967

Jean now worked in a shop in Sauchiehall Street.  I remember the street name being mentioned numerous times so she must have enjoyed working there.

 

Sauchiehall-Street-Lyric-Theatre-Glasgow-1

Mid-20s view of Sauchiehall Street

According to my aunt, Jean had an active social life, with friends being invited to the house for parties, and her sister, Effie, would sing.  (It reminds me of Billy Connolly’s accounts of the singing at home.)  Jeanie and her friends belonged to a “rambler’s club” and would go for long walks and picnics.  Holidays were spent in Rothesay, Oban, Saltcoats and Ardrossan.

War broke out and I’m assuming the family continued living in Taylor Street.  Some interesting background information on Glasgow in the lead-up to the war can be read here.  It was towards the end of the war that Jean met Percy Kercher, an Australian soldier.  My aunt says that they met when he arrived at their home(?) with the friend of one of Jean’s sisters.  They must have continued seeing each other, as after Percy’s return to Australia, he asked her to marry him.  Percy must have first written to Jean’s father.  I am lucky enough to have a copy of George’s reply.

83 1/2 Taylor St  25/2/20 Glasgow

Dear Percy

Just a few lines to thank you for the nice letter Mrs Sutherland and I received this morning.  It was no great surprise to us to hear from you as Jean is always talking about you we feel as  if we know you well and we regret very much we had not the pleasure of meeting you when you were in Glasgow your time being so limited. Well you ask for our dear daughter Jean to come out to you in Australia. We give our consent and our blessing we are also sure you will do your best to make her happy. It has given us great pleasure to hear you have been a good son and we believe a good son always makes a good husband. As for Jean she has been a dear loving daughter and we feel sure she will make a wise loving little wife. So when the happy event comes off we will pray that God’s blessing may rest on your union and that you and Jean may be long spared to each other with health and every happiness. As to your dear mother being a second mother to Jean I feel quite sure about that according to what I have heard about her and I feel sure Jean will be loving daughter to her. Now Jean is busy preparing for her journey and although we will feel the parting very much still we know she is going where loving hearts are waiting to receive her. Remember us to Father Mother and all the family trusting that you and them are keeping well.  With best wishes

Sincerely yours

Geo and Jessie Sutherland

Letter

My aunt tells me that Jean left for Australia on the “Wahine” about April 1920.  Unfortunately, I can find no passenger list or details of the departure or arrival.  (Google searches naturally come up with the much later shipping disaster in Wellington harbour.)  At first she lived with her in-laws in their house in Goulburn.  She and Percy got married on 15 June 1920.

Goulburnevpenpost17jun1920

Goulburn Evening Penny Post, 17 Jun 1920

They then moved to a federation house in George Street in Goulburn. I have another copy of a letter from Jean’s father, addressed to them both, no date.

My dear son and daughter

A few lines from the old chap to say that I was very pleased to hear that Jean had a good time going out to her new home and the fine welcome she received on her arrival. I cannot express the joy it gives Mother and myself to know that you both get on so well together. My hearts desire and prayer is that both be long spared to each others happiness. I hope you wont be disappointed by me not writing often as I write once in a blue moon not the (blue mountains) where you enjoyed yourselves so much. I don’t see the joke do you. I am very lazy, but Jessie is very good she writes every week and gives you all the news. Although I don’t write much, it gives me great pleasure to hear from you. Now let me take this opportunity to thank you for the papers you send. Do you mind when you used to pull me up and dance round the kitchen. I think it was Jazz you called it. I hope you won’t torment Percy Jean as you did me when you took a turn for fun. Whit dae ye think no sae bad for a start and aw tae yer ain sel. During the fair holidays we had no house taken at the coasts so George being on holiday we took some trips together and enjoyed ourselves. A.I. The first day we went on the motor to Newton Mearns it was very good the next day we had the car to Killermont and walked through Bearoden, Garcaddens to Dalmuir and took the car home a good long walk. We had also a fine day when we trained to Mulguy or Milngavie we went as far as Strathblane and back. But the best day of all was when we trained to Balloch. We walked through Glasgows new Park to the Bonnie Banks of Lochlomond it was very nice and we enjoyed a short time there. I had fully a week in September at Largs where Jessie & Maggie were with Mother having a holiday it is fine and bracing and it done us a lot of good. You know James King in the packing hall well he has a brother in Fairley a hairdresser so I walked there and went into the shop for a shave he knew me and very kindly pressed me to stay and have dinner with them which I did and enjoyed it as I had a long time to wait for a train. We all had a motor drive to Wenyss Bay and we had a very jolly time. Now excuse the mistakes I have had to tear up 4 or 5 pages with missing out words. I think I will stop now hoping this finds you all in the best of health as it leaves us.

From yours loving

Father & Mother

xxxx for yer ain Sel

xxxx the rest for free distribution

Da

I love how it mentions Jean dancing, obviously enjoying jazz.

Percy built a house in Ruby Street on land purchased from his father, which they then moved to.  My aunt was born a year after the wedding, followed by my father in 1923, and another son in 1928.

I’m afraid I have very little information on Jean’s earlier life in Australia.  She never did return to Scotland, but a sister did visit when my aunt was young.  Jean was proud of being Scottish, loved the bagpipes, and loved the song “My ain folk”.  She would sing Scottish songs to her children.  My aunt tells me that she grew up speaking with a Scottish accent.  Her mother, Jean, never lost her strong Glaswegian accent.  I remember she was an avid reader of “The people’s friend”, and watched soap operas.  I envied my cousins having much more contact with their grandparents while I, in New Zealand, barely knew them.  I should ask them about their memories of Jean.

Jean and Percy moved to Westmead, a suburb west of Parramatta in Sydney sometime between 1940 and 1949.  Percy died in 1963 but Jean continued living at the house until an advanced age.

Jeanie1961

Jean at 1 Napier Street, Westmead in 1961

It became clear to the family that Jean was starting to forget things and had auditory hallucinations.  I remember on one visit that she had put cooked chicken in a cupboard instead of the fridge and complained about a man next door singing loudly, when there was no sound at all.  It worried my father, who could only visit occasionally for short times from New Zealand.

Eventually, Jean was moved to a nursing home in Grafton, near to my aunt’s house.  She was reluctant to go but evidently got used to it after a while.  The staff were fond of her.  I think I lost touch about then (we used to correspond at least annually), as she was not up to it.

Jean died on 23 January 1984, just a month before her 94th birthday.  She had got very thin and at the end refused any liquids.  My aunt wrote to my father with details of the funeral.  It was a very hot day in Grafton.  One of my cousins played “My ain folk” and “Loch Lomond” on the clarinet.  There were red roses tied with the Black Watch tartan.  She was buried at the lawn cemetery.

 

 

Sources: “Victorian Glasgow“; Dundee Evening Post, 5 May 1904; “Strange death in Glasgow”, The Scotsman, 4 May 1904; “Glasgow storeman’s death”, The Scotsman, 16 May 1911; Census occupations; Canmore catalogue; Mitchell library; Joyce Stuart; Glasgow history; Trove newspapers


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I’ve never subscribed to scotlandspeople.gov.uk. I find the fees too expensive. Having to pay to view searches is just profiteering – not helpful at all.

Anyway, I found out about some free credits, valid until the end of April.  As I will be away, I decided to use the credits today.  It was only 20 free credits – not much to do anything with.

I hadn’t realised that my Java wasn’t up to date, so I wasted 2 credits by trying to view something which wouldn’t display because Java was out of date.  However, after installing the latest version, I couldn’t get back to the display of the document without “paying” another 2 credits.  Fuck that.  This left with with a shortfall which I could’ve done with later.

I searched for the death of a Sutherland without result, before realising that I’d searched the wrong collection.  There only seemed to be Catholic burials or burials before 1854, neither of which were relevant.  Also, it seemed you had to know the parish the death was in.  How was I to know?

I turned my attention to census returns.  I searched 1911 census (5 credits to view the document).  I found the right family and noted down the details.  I also tried 1841 census without result, then 1851, 1861 and 1871 census returns.  Unfortunately I wasted 1 credit each time to view results.  I viewed the 1871 census which was stupid because I pretty much had those results from an earlier search on ancestry.com.  At least I was able to view the document instead of just a summary.

I didn’t have enough credits to view anything more so just did searches for the birth of John Sutherland, born 1793.   I wasn’t sure if he was born in Lanarkshire but he was married in Glasgow, so took a shot and limited to Lanarkshire, otherwise fearing too many results for the whole of Scotland.  There were two results, one for 1793 and one for 1795, both born in Glasgow.  I took a screenshot of the results, but I wonder if it’s the first one.  Parents were James Sutherland and Janet Campbell.  How am I to know?  Why isn’t he in the 1841 census so I could check birth place?  I should have looked for him in the 1851 census.

Oh well, credits used up.  I wish I knew someone who had a subscription but I still think it’s unfair to pay to view results.  Why can’t they have the same payment system as ancestry.com?  I’d gladly pay then.

I get lost in all the branches and forget where I’ve got to and what I’ve attempted to find out.

My ancestry sub expired 3 months ago but I bought a one month sub to access the Australian records (as well as British).  I’ve just about caught up with finding addresses, etc for the Australian relatives.

I have a goal of tidying up my paper records and will go through each family folder and make mini bios and review what I’ve got for the main people (eg birth certificate, death certificate, etc.).  This will hopefully get things clear in my head and give me an idea of what I need to continue.  I started on the smallest folder, the Scottish side, and started making a spreadsheet of different people and what I had.  I can see this will run into chaos with the larger families so I will have to stick to the main ancestors.

Today I wanted to get further back on my maternal side, through the maternal line.  I’m stuck at Anne Phillips, born about 1794 in Shropshire.  Nevertheless I’ve just spent hours on ancestry and familysearch, trying to find her or her brother, as well as fill gaps in the Jones family – no small feat for such a common name.  My grandmother had written that Richard Jones’ father was Humphrey Jones and his mother was someone with the surname of Deakin.  I have had no luck after several attempts at finding them.  According to census returns and a death notice, Richard was born about 1790 in Pontesbury.  The only Richards I can find about that time and place have parents called Richard and Sarah (the most likely), and John and Elizabeth.  Other Richards born around that time were born in Condover.

Now, one of the children of the above Richard had the possible middle name of Wall (the trouble is, I don’t know where I got this from – a census?).  The surname of Sarah (the parents Richard and Sarah above) was Wall.  This then, seems the likely candidate.  Another reason to possibly accept this couple as the correct one is that there is a family tradition on my mother’s side of giving the mother’s surname as a middle name to the eldest child.

I wish I could ask my grandmother more about this Humphrey and his wife with the possible surname of Deakin, but alas, I can’t and I shall never know.  There are no records online that match.  I’ve had the same problem with her other branch in which she writes down possible parents which don’t match records.  Sigh.  My grandmother died before I was born so I could never have asked her and my great aunt didn’t know when I showed her the handwritten tree.

I can’t believe how much time has passed trying to find clues.  The parents of Anne Phillips, and her brother, John (gleaned from census returns) remain a mystery.

Joining county family tree societies is no help at all – they’re all geared towards people who live in England, not someone on the other side of the world.  I’ll just have to save up all my mysteries (and money) for a physical search in England itself.

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 visited Ancestry.com today and started looking at the hints, etc.  I looked at census returns for Richard Jones and saved a couple, learning the approximate birth date of three children.  I compared trees with others.  I know the death dates of Richard and Anne by the memorial cards I have.  I tried looking for them but couldn’t, and got worried.  They were not in the plastic sleeve of the relevant family folder.  Later in the day, after searching everywhere, I had another concerted look in the bag of ringbinders and found the envelope in a buff folder!  I was so relieved!  Anyway, one of the family trees I saw had Richard’s date of birth about 20-30 years after mine but I know mine is right.  The date for his wife was right but it made her about 17 years older than him so they had hold of the wrong Richard.

It’s so time-consuming looking at everything and then trying to piece together a life story.  I thought I had started biographies on my netbook but when I went to add some information I got from my cousins about my grandmother, there was nothing!  I distinctly remembered typing it all out but it wasn’t there.  I must have done that on the old laptop.  It’s possible I have the info on a flash drive – must check.

Once the computer was free again I visited Ancestry again and found a message from a cousin’s offspring (not sure if they’re male or female) saying that his grandmother, my aunt, died in August last year.  So sad.  She was a lovely lady, the first wife of my uncle who I only found out last year had died in 2008.

I’m adding details to my online family tree but that leaves all the paperwork out of date.  It’s easier to update an online tree but I must keep the paperwork up to date.  I also discovered I do not have the wedding certificate of my paternal grandparents.   Must get a copy off my cousin.

I went through the loose photos from two separate boxes and sorted them into families and eras.  There are a few duplicates (and even triplicates in some cases).  Unfortunately, as my scanner no longer works thanks to no driver for Windows 7 64 bit, I can’t scan any.  It looks like I’ll have to buy a new scanner.  I’ve tried taking photos of photos but they don’t come out as well.