Tuesday, March 5, 2013

WDYTYA - Who Do You Think You Are 2013 Conference in London, UK

My husband and I attended the WDYTYA 2013 Conference in London, UK the weekend before last. Marvelous time that we had at the Conference which included our helping out at the Guild of One Name Studies Table on the Friday and Saturday (Sunday wasn't quite so busy and they had plenty of helpers so we carried on with our looking around instead of helping). Whilst at the table I was visited by Blake researchers from London, UK which was really a wonderful happening. They had joined the Blake yDNA project earlier and said they would drop by so really pleased. Unfortunately I was doing mapping of surnames at the time so couldn't chat with them for more than a hello.

We did visit all the tables that we had planned on visiting. Edward acquired a book of early maps for his Norfolk area where his 2x great grandmother Mary Anne Abbs was born and raised. Mary Ann was about 14 years of age when her family emigrated from Aylmerton Norfolk to East Gwillimbury Ontario. She married John Link (record known to exist but not located) and they had nine children with the last being Alfred Link  born circa 1861 and Mary Ann buried at Falkland before July 1862 when John Link remarried. His great grandfather William Henry Link would have been just 10 to 11 years of age when his mother died. Amazingly the children were all boys and my husband has traced down most of the children.

I was equally fortunate in finding material to purchase that rather interested me. There were a few CDs that I wanted and a book on Hampshire Villages published by the Hampshire County Federation of Women's Institutes published in 2002. Still on our agenda in the future is a more intense visit to Hampshire and this book has charming short stories on the Villages that my ancestors from Hampshire lived in. The Wiltshire Family History Society had a number of published Baptisms/Burials available and I acquired the publications for Woodford, Milston and South Newton where my Rawlings, Dove, Lywood and other related families lived. Devon had a lot of material but surprisingly I have purchased a lot through the years so did not make any purchases there which rather surprised me! Mostly we just had a really good look around and chatted with people at the various Family History Society tables. We also visited the ISOGG table where I had meant to give a few hours of time but that didn't materialize. I kept getting lured away to other tables. Our last day we did attend a few lectures which were most interesting and  we would go again. The next time to attend more lectures. These onsite researchers can provide a depth to time periods that I hadn't really considered. I listened to one on early London researching that quite inspired me to follow through on my idea to try to find Christopher Buller at the LMA which I had planned to do.

We did meet up with my fourth cousin Edward Baker, his wife Marie and their daughter Joane at the Victoria and Albert Museum. We spent a lively two hours chatting about families but I appear to be the expert on Christopher Buller and his wife Mary Beard and really couldn't add anything at that time that I hadn't already shared with them. It was nice to meet with them though. He didn't look a bit like my Buller family but not surprising. I rather think he looks like the Horlock family that the Buller line he descends from married into.

On the Tuesday and Thursday of last week we went to the National Archives and spent the entire day there each of those days. We were able to view nearly thirty mediaeval documents and image them for future study. Some were for Edward's family lines plus he did some work for the 100th/99th Regiment of Foot. For myself I was looking primarily for Blake and Pincombe documents plus a couple of Rowcliffe documents to try to help me link that line back in the 1600s. By the end of this year I will be working principally on the Blake and Pincombe one name studies and the ancestry of our son in law which is French Canadian.

On the Wednesday we went to the London Metropolitan Archives (LMA). We could have walked there from our hotel but took the bus and then walked back visiting the Society of Genealogist's Library as well. I joined the Society of Genealogists at WDYTYA as I had planned to do. At the LMA I had just one object in mind which was to review the microfilm for St Olave Southwark for the time period 1758 to 1769. The burial registration/death date included gave an age for Christopher which placed his date of birth circa 1763. This Parish Register is not yet up on Ancestry. I thought perhaps it was difficult to read but actually was quite straightforward. I suspect it will be forthcoming. I did not find a baptism for Christopher Buller but did find a couple of Buller families baptizing their children in this time period at St Olave. One was the Henry Buller family and another the William Buller family. There wasn't a Christopher. Christopher as a forename did appear in the register but not very often perhaps as much as once or twice per year with occasional three to four times. That was my only pursuit at the LMA as the history of the Beard family back into the early 1600s does appear to be fairly straightforward. We moved on to the Society of Genealogists Library where I wished to view the material that had been stored there for the Pincombe/Pinkham one name study that preceded my taking it on. I was rewarded handsomely with a set of typewritten abstracts of wills for the Pincombe/Pinkham family produced prior to the bombing of the Exeter Record Office in WWII. I now have a more likely date for the death of my 4x great grandfather John Pincombe as a couple of John Pincombe died in the time period. Plus I have the abstract of his will which provided details that I could only surmise from his children's wills but now have concrete evidence albeit a transcript of an abstract but nonetheless more than I had before. I spent a short time reviewing the holdings of the Society and then we moved on to continue our walk towards the Temple Church which we also wanted to visit and were successful in doing so. I found that I had tears in my eyes viewing the devastation that was wrought on the  Church during the bombing of London in WWII. It is amazing that so much of London did survive the bombing but sad that so much was lost. It just seems so totally unfair that future generations of British Islanders lost so much of their history during the conflict of WWII.

On the Friday, Saturday and Sunday we passed up our original timetable which was somewhat more ambitious with visits to various sites. I think we probably enjoyed that just as much as going to visit all the sites. Our minds were becomingly increasingly full of information and it was pleasant just to enjoy visiting items that we had passed up on our previous stays in London. We spent Sunday in Trafalgar Square looking around and as I stood at the foot of the National Gallery looking at Saint Martin in the Fields Church I thought about what it might have looked like when my Henry Christopher Buller and his wife Anne Welch attended Church here with their children which did not include my Edwin Denner Buller as he was born on their return to Birmingham in 1850. They do appear to have gone back and forth a great deal although quite a bit of the 1840s was spent in London where Henry ran a Pork Butcher shop.

Our trip home yesterday was long considering the day became 29 hours but we were greeted with no fresh snow and our laneway neatly plowed by our son in law. Now to get into all the images which we took at The National Archives. My fingers itch to get at the Blake Wills but will finish the Buller wills first and then proceed through the other hundred or so of my families before starting on the new set which is almost totally Blake. Once completed then I shall continue with the parish register work and the Civil Registration chart that I am working on Eventually I do hope to take the Blake families back from the Civil Registration and Census to the Parish Registers. It is an ambitious project and I will need to acquire many parish registers to accomplish it. I already have a lot of them plus they are coming up on Family Search as they scan their enormous collection.

Our next trip to the British Isles will be to look at the countryside of southern England and visit the Record Offices also East Anglia for Edward's Abbs families and his early dissenters came from these areas as well around London. Then up into the Midlands for a visit to the newly created Birmingham Library and then trips into Yorkshire and Cumberland. It is a massive undertaking that may be two trips but along the way we want to cruise the Rhine coming up from the Palatinate as Edward's ancestors did in the early 1700s and see the Battlefields of France/Belgium where so many of our Canadian soldiers gave their lives for the freedoms that we enjoy today. To do that in 2014 would be our desire as the commemoration of the war of 1914-1918 begins.

We also want to do some research in France looking for the birthplaces of the ancestors of our son in law. So I can see at least three more trips back and possibly four to look at the genealogical history of our families. Edward would love to visit the area in Germany (Mecklenberg-Strelitz) where his Schultz/Niemann/Dusing/Passow/Staffeld/Germer/Hagemann ancestors lived. His great grandparents Johann Friedrick Wilhelm Schultz (born 18 Mar 1833 at Schoenbeck, Brohm) and Wilhelmine Fredericka Johanna (aka Rachel) Niemann (born 15 Dec 1835 at Staven) were emigrants to North America.

Still on London time as it would be 10:38 a.m. but will probably get a couple more hours of sleep since it is only 5:38 a.m. here in Ottawa.

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