Friday, October 21, 2011

Pincombe - Pinkham one-name study update

The past couple of days I have been updating my excel spread on the Pincombe-Pinkham family. I had only extracted up to 1911 from the FreeBMD website and I have now extracted up to the early 1950s which is the furtherest that Free BMD has proceded with their transcription. It is absolutely fascinating to be able to see all the births, marriages and deaths right up to the present for UK records. It never ceases to amaze me as Canadian records are very restrictive. However, that is only the simplest database of the records. To see more you must purchase the record from the General Record Office.

Just to record numbers - I have before reducing because of double keying 425 Pincombe marriages and 291 Pinkham marriages, 614 Pincombe births and 407 Pinkham births, 420 Pincombe deaths and 256 Pinkham deaths. Given the frequency quoted yesterday I had expected to see the ratio of Pincombe:Pinkham records approximately 6:4 and that is roughtly what we are seeing.

I found it most interesting from the time that I took up the Pincombe one-name study that the two original researchers both carried the surname Pinkham and yet they referred to it as the Pincombe study. The actual original spelling of the surname does appear to have been Pencombe but I have not seen it in any Devon records spelled that way since the mid 1500s. Pincombe and Pyncombe definitely predominated the records through the 1500s and 1600s with the 1700s showing the first appearances of the alternate spelling of Pinkham.

I have matched up about 2/3rds of the marriages with their correct spouse and I am now in the process of matching up children with the correct parents using the census. I had put that aside a couple of years ago to work on entering in the large charts from the earlier researchers into Legacy. This has been a slow moving task as I was so incredibly successful in tracing my family back that I became distracted by my other lines and discussions with other researchers. I have now reached a point in many of the lines where I can not really do a lot more without seeing original records in England (or purchasing them/finding them on FindMyPast and Ancestry) and I am returning to my one-name studies with the occasional foray into my other lines. Blake and Pincombe are my parent's surnames and so my one-name studies are in memory of their memories. Some of the memories are shared memories but my father and his parents didn't come to Canada until he was already  nine years old and so he has memories of people and times from Hampshire; my mother was born in Canada as was her father and his mother and from her I have my few tales of Canadian ancestry. I have in fact only five groups of emigrant ancestors - the Thomas Routledge and Elizabeth Routledge (with their nine children, son in law and two grandchildren) came first in 1818 (both were surnamed Routledge), then Robert Gray arrived in 1832, William Robert Pincombe and his parents John Pincombe and Elizabeth Rew and his four siblings arrived via the Port of New York to the same area in 1851, long hiatus and my maternal grandmother Ellen Rosina Buller arrived in 1908 and finally in 1913 my father Ernest Edward George Blake and his parents Samuel George Blake and Edith Bessie Taylor (aka Ada Bessie Cotteril Rawlings). My history in Canada is short; my history in England is long but I have only their memories although three visits there has now given me a number of memories of my own.

I suspect that I saw more of England than any of my grandparents (three were born and raised to adulthood in England), I saw Scotland, I saw Wales (although I rather think that some of my lines visited there as well). However, they did come by boat across the ocean which I have never done but do mean to do at least once in my lifetime.

When I first went to Europe; to Rome to be exact and the Vatican City to be even more precise as that was my reason for going I stood on the steps of St Peters and wondered if any of my ancestors in modern times had done that. It was my first conscious thought of my ancestors as other than silent figures of the past that actually occupied a good deal of the conversation that I had with my parents as a child growing up. For I was constantly enriched with knowledge about my ancestors on a fairly daily basis as they remembered stories told to them by their own parents, grandparents and in my father's and grandfather's case their great grandparents.

It makes for interesting telling actually to be able to remember stories that my grandfather told me that he had heard from his great grandfather who was born in 1800. My grandfather was a vivid storyteller and when he described Turnworth to me (I was that kind of a child; always one question followed an answer as I delved in to see what I could see that my grandfather already could see). Indeed I think some of the trees in the graveyard were there when he was there. There was also a hidden graveyard as he called it - the other section of the graveyard was in a close behind the main churchyard around the church. Seeing that brought the memory back to me. But his great grandfather was a Methodist preacher back when Methodists were still part of the Church of England. Charles Butt lived and died an Anglican but in between along with being an agricultural labourer on Glebe land he was a Methodist preacher. He did travel about somewhat according to what he told his grandson (my grandfather) and in those days it was mostly on foot. The land of Dorset so exquisitely described by my grandfather was true to form when we were there. The long low valleys shrouded in mist but oh so green; the crisp fresh scent of the air and the fields - all around you are farmer's fields full of grain with all that delightful smell in the spring (it was spring when we were there).

I digress as I am prone to do and I must return to my studies.

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