Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Results of Research at Salt Lake City - 11 Nov 2008

I have a feeling that this title will gradually change to English Research from Canada and the date which is the name of my blog. But I will carry on with what I am doing with my information that I garnered at Salt Lake City from the Family History Library.

Today I continued to transcribe the Protestation Returns of the South Molton Hundred of Devon. I have two other complete Hundreds to transcribe plus a few other miscellaneous parishes where my one name study members could be found in 1641-42. That fits in with my one name study of this family which is progressing. I inherited the study from two people who had worked on it from the late 1960s to the late 1990s. They both felt the need to give it up and were most happy to pass it on. I actually wasn't the original recipient but he too, after a couple of years, found that he simply didn't have time to work on it as he had other lines he wanted to investigate.

I tend to be a glutton for work and so I took it on from him. There are 12 large charts each occupying half of a metre square sheet. I have entered four of these large charts into Legacy and I continue apace doing so. One of the items that slows me down is that I have the original parish registers on fiche for a number of these places and I was (and continue to) checking each entry with the register where I had the information (or at least the IGI). All of these charts were prepared (hands on) with people in the various areas where this family moved during the 1800s and late 1700s. One of the original people was in the United States and he had a good handle on his family there. He had actually contacted my uncle in the late 1960s for information but my uncle was not willing to do that. I can remember the conversation with my mother on that (his only sibling) and whether she wanted to write to this person. They both decided not to become involved which was a shame really as I didn't get to correspond with him until just five years ago and he has lost some of his earlier enthusiasm. The other person in charge of the One Name Study lived in England and I never did correspond with him but the other gentleman who took it over did do so and passed the correspondence to me by the marvels of a CD across the Atlantic. Marvelous inventions all of these especially the world wide web.

So today I continue to transcribe Protestation Returns but reading my email I had a request from an individual in England looking for one of his ancestors in Bishops Nympton. I looked it up on my transcription of this register (400 pages from 1556 to 1812) and the IGI had transcribed one particular name as Agnis but that didn't work for what I was seeing on the microfilm and I had transcribed it as M_ry and indeed he was looking for a Mary in this time frame so worked very well. These distractions from my intended work are quite welcomed as I am the online parish clerk for Bishops Nympton.

Today I think I shall complete the transcription of North Molton and South Molton for the Protestation Returns which is a lot of names. I have quite a few family lines from this particular area in Devon and the opportunity to actually produce a list of all these individuals sorted by hundred and then by parish was exceedingly tempting as I am back into this time frame with a number of the lines. What started with just the one family at Bishops Nympton has grown by leaps and bonds.

The other item I am continuing with is the transcription of the Land Tax Assessments of the Twitchen Parish having completed Bishops Nympton.

How did I get into Genealogy is perhaps an interesting topic? My husband has been doing genealogy for over 45 years. I have watched him, read census for him, read land records for him and walked through hundreds of graveyards searching for his ancestors in the past 43 years. Never once did a quiver of interest in my own family arise through all of this exploration. I helped with the OGS table for the branch that we belong to at a number of Seminars/Conferences through the years but again no interest in actually doing all of that with my own family.

Two items occurred within about one year of each other that resulted in my taking on this pursuit of ancestors. I did it in my own unique way as well in that I took 42 courses from the National Institute for Genealogical Studies which is a certificate course offered through the Faculty of Information Studies at the University of Toronto and is an online course (with some testing through the media of the telephone interview).

The first item that occurred was my daughter and I flying off to Rome in November 2001 which was an adventure in itself. On our way back we had decided to stop in London (UK) for a couple of days. I had never been in England before that and on arriving I had this incredible feeling of being "home." Our Hotel was very close to the British Museum and we saw a great deal in just that short time period. As we walked back from the Underground to our Hotel I had this incredible desire to walk past towards another street and did actually do so before we left England. For another year or so I watched as my husband continued to work away on his many ancestral lines that all ended on the American side of the Atlantic - most lines going back into the 1620s, 1630s and 1640s. American research, I must say, is very difficult and you pretty much need to go to the areas and have a look around and we continued to do that.

A second item occurred in 2003 which was my fourth cousin (I didn't know the exact relationship at this time) writing to ask me to do the profile on one of my emigrant lines (I have five actually as I mentioned earlier with three ancestors born here). Coincidentally my eldest daughter was doing her PhD in the same geographic area he wanted me to write about. I decided I couldn't do it without taking some sort of a course on how to do genealogy and this profile wasn't due for two years. So I signed up for one course on Methodology which, after just one month, turned into an entire years worth of courses and just a couple of months after that I had signed myself up for the next four years taking courses (I graduated in May 2007 with a certificate in Genealogy in English and Canadian sources - double certificate actually).

Surprisingly, I had quite a bit of information at hand as my mother felt that the one person who would take care of all the material that she herself had collected (I think she eventually wished she had contacted the individual looking at family history) was my husband and he had put it all away thinking that when I retired I might just take an interest! Even he was amazed at the gusto with which I went at my courses working hours and hours every week on each lesson and using my family as an example to put into practice all the tools. I soon had everyone back to my 2x great grandparents with the aid of material that my mother had accumulated. Going to the 3x was not overly difficult as I simply purchased records from England but a few places do not sell the records and for those I had to be very inventive - I joined Genes Reunited and met many many cousins on line including for the areas that I needed real records and I became a Free BMD transcriber.

But back to the feeling of being at home. As I researched my family, I discovered that just around the block from our hotel in England had lived my 2x great grandfather and he had a pork butcher shop there. Intuition, serendipity or whatever you want to call it - my ancestors were making themselves felt in my life.

Tomorrow perhaps a discussion on the value of One Name Studies as I belong to the Guild of One Name Studies.

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