Saturday, November 8, 2008

Research Day Two - Salt Lake City

The second day of Research in Salt Lake City began much like the first with us rushing down to breakfast so that we would be over at the Library by 8:00 a.m. to begin as soon as the library opened. Monday being Family Day the Library closed at 5:00 p.m. but today the Library would be open until 8:00 p.m. (usually 9:00 p.m. ). This time straight in to work and I went once again to the British Floor (B2) . I hadn't completed my Monday wish list but had made a very good start.

Today I continued to look at Devon as I still wanted to look at a couple of books that I had found. This I completed quickly as the books are quite straightforward to find filed on the modified Dewey system which suits their library. I then moved on to Somerset where again I have a lot of fiche already for the area and a lot of other records but wanted to see the original microfilming of the book on one of my families - Siderfin. This family had been heavily involved in Somerset in the 1600s and 1700s with a gradual moving away in the 1800s and by the 1900s it was quite difficult to find that surname in Somerset. The microfilm was excellent and I had a fresh new copy of the family tree so carefully produced by James Saunders in 1910. My copy of it was somewhat blurred on the folds. It satisfied me that I had interpreted it correctly thought and after a few photographs I moved on to making images of the protestation returns (I have the transcription but it is most interesting seeing the original returns).

Lunch time arrived and we headed off for our usual walk and hearty lunch returning by 2:00 p.m. to the British Floor (B2). Tuesday was supposed to be a Hampshire/Dorset/Wiltshire day and so I began with Hampshire. Again I have a lot of fiche for the areas of Hampshire in which I am interested. My families, bless them, stayed in virtually the same area from the late 1400s to the early 1900s. I was fortunate to have a driving trip in this area in the spring and having done so feel most familiar now with the small villages that they lived in during this time period although we did not do any travelling in Andover where I would have found their earliest roots. While we were in Hampshire though we were lucky to visit all of the Churches that they attended, and I found the house where my grandfather and his siblings were born and raised plus his father was also born and raised in that same house. A lucky find certainly but I did know that it existed still in 1940 from letters that went back and forth. A search on Google had revealed that their were still houses in that area and the visual showed that these houses were ancient enough to have been there in the 1820s on.

Back to research at the Library and at this point I wanted to look at any Church records that I didn't have and the Poor Rate was available for Andover. I know that my family were drapers in Andover with some being on the land. I photographed those records as I scanned them and there are family names there so that is to pursue. Interestingly, I missed posting to my blog yesterday because I started transcribing from my images and had a most successful day transcribing the Tax Assessments for one of my Devon villages. I also found Manorial Records for the various places in which my people lived in Hampshire.

We decided to work right through until closing before we had dinner so I next moved to Dorset where I haven't been able to purchase any parish records. I am the online parish clerk for Winterborne Clenstone - one of my ancestor's parishes and actually have acquired a number of records for Dorset other than parish records. The census reveals a great deal about this small village of usually less than 100 people. The population was stable with about 1/3 of the people being different in each census through the 1800s as agricultural labourers moved about the Winterborne Valley. Again we visited this area in the spring and it is quite beautiful with few people about which is perhaps the way it always was. One of my ancestors at Turnworth had a family of twelve children and we did visit this beautiful village and the Church where my 2x great grandfather's brother was Parish Clerk for 30 years (neatly recorded on his tombstone actually). I also found the tombstone there for my 2x great grandparents who lived in this small village. Although they were married at Winterborne Stickland they lived their entire married life in the small village of Turnworth where their story is one of sadness and joy. They had eleven children including two sets of twins but only three of these children survived to adulthood including my great grandmother was who the eldest. How my greatgrandmother moved from Turnworth to Upper Clatford where she married my great grandfather is somewhat of a mystery although there was another Knight family in Upper Clatford and at some point I shall trace that family and see if there was a connection.

We have lovely pictures of the many little villages that we visited in the Winterborne Valley and includes the Winterborne itself - a beautiful little stream that winds through the countryside. The Poor Law Rate is available for most of these villages and perhaps I shall be lucky and find some bits of information on them to help me to give a more living face to these ancestors although I am a bit lucky in that my grandfather shared his stories of visiting this area as a youngster of ten years when a large birthday party was held for his great grandfather of 85 years in 1885. The entire family journeyed to Turnworth to celebrate and visiting the village one wonders where they all stayed as he always said there was about 500 of them. I thought perhaps he was just like me thinking a group much larger than it was but as I researched this family (and it is huge) I now think that likely there were 500 there. My 3x great grandfather and his wife had seven children and three of these children married siblings in the Knight family and they had enormous families. My own line had had misfortunes with children dying young but such was not the case for the other two sets of siblings plus his other four children had had large families. My line didn't emigrate although my 3x great grandfather's siblings of whom there were six had had three of these family lines emigrate to Canada and Australia. But easily by 1885 there would have been 500 to celebrate.

The closing time was beginning to be apparent. The library announced it was time to go and purchase anything that you wished to do before closing. Then the warning about computers shutting down and finally the library lights came on announcing the end of day two which had again been a highly successful review of the records and another 700 images to add to my grouping. I was careful whilst taking images to record the details about each film so that I would easily be able to separate each group of images. Of all the images that I took roughly 1/4 of them are headers to help me to group each set for useful transcription later. This is a very essential task as the amount of material that is available to you at the Library is absolutely enormous and the rows and rows of microfilm drawers were barely used by me in spite of looking at 175 different items in my six days.

Dinner this evening was at our hotel and the restaurant there is excellent. We had had a heavy noon meal and so I opted for Chili in a bread bowl which was quite excellent and then a couple of hours looking at tomorrow's work. Today I had not caught up to my schedule but had made a good dent in it. I still had Wiltshire records to look at and would start with them in the morning. Wednesday was meant to be Cumberland and Yorkshire where my ancestors had for the most part stayed in their respective areas and then suddenly packed themselves up and emigrated to Canada in 1818 and c 1832 respectively (Cumberland in 1818 and Yorkshire in 1832).

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