Dec 2010

30th: Keeping it in the family *2
A last ditch attempt to see if I could any WIGHT descendants willing to join the WIGHT Surname DNA project before the good discounts run out at the end of the month (year) saw me seeing if I could update the family of this George WIGHT, whom, back then in 2005, I could not find beyond 1891.
Still can't find him in 1901, but have found his wife and children, all in Southampton, and think I can spot likely death registrations, in Southampton, for George and Helen/Ellen Ann WIGHT in 1904 and 1905 respectively.

The keeping it in the family references of the title apply to:
1) his grandson Harold Leslie WIGHT because he seems to have married both a Doris N and an Eileen Mary HAYNES, relationship unknown, but both from Southampton, and of an age to be siblings (born 1908 and 1911 respectively).
2) George's son Robert and Robert's son George - were found as crew on the same ship to New York in 1920, Robert as 45, Ship's cook, George as 20, Asst Cook;

So, George's coffee house in 1891 must have sparked off a family business or two.
Son Robert has a restaurant in Southampton in 1901, dtr Jennie has married a Manager of a cocoa shop by 1901.
By 1911 Robert is no longer running a restaurant as he is shown as a ship's cook (mercantile).
Think I also spotted the said Harold as an entree cook on another voyage to New York.

With the WIGHT DNA project now having at least two Borders lines represented, it would be good to get my Border WIGHTs into the project, along with the other WIGHT tree that is heavily inter-twined, that of John & Ann (MIDDLEMAS) WIGHT - or any others for that matter.
Some outline trees are available on the Patriarchs page of the project.

Apart from the above, I'm still plugging away at resolving the "orphans" before I do the next update to my WorldConnect db LornaHenderson, that and working thru some DAW updates Val sent a while ago, together with trying to piece together the likely trees from the latest Fairbairn DNA project results (should be some more interesting ones of those coming up about February as three more trees should be represented by then, and one more branch of the RUNCIMANs).

28th: Where "matches" (don't) lead
Bless her cotton pickin socks.
I've just been notified of a match on MyHeritage, where the matching set were my HENDERSON 2greats, so of instant interest.

A quick response to my "why are you interested in James and Amelia" provided the information that her husband was a fourth generation down from them, via a Hulda JOHNSON which was a bit puzzling.

My immediate thought was that this was a descendant of my James' sister Margaret given the location of the tree owner seemed to be Pennsylvania (well it's sort of close to LA where some JOHNSON descendants were).

However, inspection of her tree showed that she had married James and Amelia's son John (born 1854 Carnwath, Lanarkshire, died 1925 Oamaru, New Zealand, and not known to have travelled after having arrived here in 1874) off to her Rosetta HENDERSON (born 1841 Pennsylvania), giving them a daughter Hulda Sophia HENRICKSEN born in Sweden in 1863 - when John would only be 9, let alone in a completely different country.

The positive bit of this however was that it did make me do something about the likely misidentified photo that appears to be circulating the web (which the above tree had in it, attaching the woman in the photo to both Amelia HENDERSON nee MILLAR and to her mother Margaret nee CRYSTAL!!).
It was given to me quite some years ago by the PHILLIPS branch as a photo of a somewhat younger James and Amelia HENDERSON than the golden wedding photo which graces my homepage.
Discussion with Clive back in 2005 determined that in their family the photo was identified as George and Marion (SMITH) YOUNGSON instead. He's likely correct given the clothes and age of the couple. I'll pop it on the web with commentary sometime soon (like all the other "sometime soon" things).
The woman most definitely looks like most of the HENDERSON women in the older photos, whichever one she actually is.

24th: Calverts of Cumberland
In my true (dis)organised style, I strayed back into one of my Cumberland families today, which will result in some small updates sometime soon to my WorldConnect db LornaHenderson.
William CALVERT showed up as a(n incorrect) match to another on OneGreatFamily, so I thought it was time to identify him a bit more accurately to avoid a repeat.
In the process I learnt where Torpenhow and Blennerhasset were, and helped another chap with his William CALVERT, given ancestry told me that he'd claimed the same entry on the 1881 census as I did for William, the problem being that the census entry showed him as single and younger than his married chap born the same place but several years earlier.
My connection to this chap is actually his wife Martha Maria SCAIFE.

17th: We're all connected really
One of those wonderful coincidences that I love about this hobby.
An email from a (4th) cousin from the WIGHT/RICHARDSON part of my tree, living in Edinburgh, greeted me this morning to point out that his mtDNA "Jasmine" (J) appears to have a fellow Jasmine descendant with Fairbairn ancestry, living in Wyoming.
Given that mtDNA matches fairly seldom result in anything useful within genealogical timeframes, I was treating that as of rather passing mild interest, until I spotted who the person was.
Her brother is represented in the FAIRBAIRN Surname DNA project (F-20) so the FAIRBAIRN is not his mtDNA connection.
Regardless of that, his ancestry is from the same area of Fife as my cousin's, and we have in the past corresponded about these FAIRBAIRNs and their IRELAND connections.
As to whether or not they'll find a match in their respective maternal trees, I do not know, but it does seem a wonderful coincidence that these two "met" and share me as a common contact.

9th: Fewer "orphans"
Still plugging away at those who would show up as "orphans" in my LornaHenderson tree on WorldConnect (not yet updated).
The exercise of checking why does of course lead me into all sorts of little updates as I realise I can now find families in the 1911 English census, figure out who on earth that grandchild or niece with x or y in a census actually was etc etc.

Had a bit of a chuckle at one mistranscription on FindmyPast for a servant with the TOOP family at Place Barton, Buckland (Yelverton) - wonder how busy a House driver on a farm would be? My reading of the image makes it a much more likely horse driver.

2nd: WIGHTs
The fledgling WIGHT DNA project may soon be able to report two Scottish Borders/Lothians lineages, as we now have a new member, one from a family tracking back to Longformacus. Wish I could find a willing participant for my own lot.
Has to be a direct male line WIGHT for these sorts of tests - non invasive, no blood, can be completely anonymous if you wish.
Check out the project diary, and get in touch if you think you are eligible and/or can help - preferably before the discounts finish at the end of December!

1st: Start of summer
It's the official start of summer here, and for once the weather knows it. We've been having wonderfully hot, sunny, windless days - no doubt we'll pay the price later with water shortages but for now, enjoyment is all.

So what am I doing sitting inside? Checking (it's too hot out there).
Fool that I am I decided to run an extra check against the data I upload to Rootsweb WorldConnect (ie BDM data on all my relations and their connected people of interest).
Checking for strays, ie those who had become disconnected to their families.
Some are easily fixed by marking their partner for output, others are meaning ongoing research, eg how was Charles Frederick William ANDREWS a grandson to Ambrose Willcock ANDREWS?
This time round I've cracked it by finally finding the family in the 1861 census where they had been hiding in Bristol, under initials instead of forenames, and along the way also identified the "visitor" Charles aged 2 with John and Maria ANDREWS in Tavistock in 1851. He was actually nephew to John.

This activity does mean that I get to re-visit parts of the database that haven't had much attention for quite some time, but also means the WorldConnect db update will be delayed until I've sorted more than the first one on the list of some 115 people!

Heard from Tim in France. Between us we've now solved each other's mysterious Alexander Ewing RUNCIMAN.
I didn't know where the family had disappeared to for the 1871 census, he didn't know who the 17 yr old chap documented as arriving in Sth Africa was.
Haven't yet rechecked to see if I can now find the rest of the family in 1871, but Alexander is now known to have already left Scotland, and obviously not straight for Argentina where he ended up.

Nov 2010

27th: Ipplepen updates

The DAW(E) twigs will eventually be updated on both the main DAW(E) descendant chart, and my basic all BDM database LornaHenderson on WorldConnect, thanks to Arthur from Ipplepen who found the latter and realised I was connected to a family member whose funeral he had just attended.
I quickly forwarded the email to a much closer relation, just in case she didn't know, and found that a) her email address was no longer valid, and b) (once contact had been restored courtesy of skype) that she had been at the same funeral and was way ahead of me with the news. As a result of looking at the family concerned, there are of course other updates that will follow in due course as more i-s get dotted and t-s crossed, and Val is back in contact.

25th: Power of co-operation
One of the mysteries in my extended RICHARDSON tree has just been solved (not that I'd spent much time on it of late).
The death of William McCulloch son of James Russell RICHARDSON and Bessie McCULLOCH had eluded my initial searches.
Not surprising really, as my assumption was that he had died in Oamaru, or at least NZ.

A fellow researcher recently spent some time tracking me down (didn't take her long, although our mutual contact had forgotten my name, she remembered enough about me for it to only take one phone call to someone likely to be able to place me).

The first gem from our conversation was the she had found the death of the above William mentioned in an index of deaths (held at the North Otago Museum) reported in Oamaru papers - at age 17 of a bus accident in Sydney 14 Apr 1889, s/o James.

And so it proved. Having pointed her to Trove (the National Library of Australia's newspapers can be found there) I received an excited phone call this morning telling me that she had beaten me to some information (it's not a contest really you know ).

There, reported in The Mercury (Hobart) of 18th April was this report (I've corrected the OCR):
"An accident, resulting in the death of a youth named William Richardson, aged 16 years, happened on Saturday. Deceased was riding on the outside of an omnibus, when the harness on one of the horses became disarranged, and while the driver was in the act of adjusting it the animal becoming frightened backed the vehicle under a verandah, with the result that Richardson was crushed between it and one of the posts. He was removed to the Prince Alfred Hospital, where he lingered until shortly after noon to-day."

The link to this being our William is aided by the NSW death index showing a death registration Newtown, NSW to William with parents James and Bessie.

Wonder why he was in Sydney at age 17?
This is shortly after when his aunt was mentioning his father in her will as being in Australia (written Sep 1888), but he had been in NZ for a considerable time before that, and the Oamaru papers certainly thought so.
(James died in Oamaru in 1902 in tragic circumstance - perhaps the early death of his son contributed to that).

Cannot, yet, find any mention in our own NZ PapersPast, but did get sidetracked into what else was news of the time and found this accident reported in The Grey River Argus, of SATURDAY, MAY 18, 1889:
An extraordinary accident happened to a man who was driving along the Bayswater road, in the suburbs of Brisbane. He was in a spring cart with a number of hives of bees, when by some means he upset one of the hives. The bees attacked the horse, causing it to bolt. After galloping some distance the horse fell and fractured its for a leg. The bees swarmed upon the animal and soon stung it to death. So dense and vicious were the bees that traffic on the road was suspended for a considerable time.
Along with reports for "Arrangements for hoisting people to the top of Eiffel's Tower"
.. which will be raised to its thousand feet by March 31st"
they "are to consist of two lifts to carry fifty to one hundred persons each to the first platform. Two others will ascend from the ground floor to the second platform, 112 metres high in a minute. They will stop at the first platform, to take up or leave passengers. The complete ascent will take four minutes, and it will be possible to take to the top 750 visitors an hour. "

Wonder if the stats still hold?
19th: Web updates/ interesting sites
Must be surfacing from the non genie stuff that has been swamping me most of this year.
Think I've brought most of my web pages up to date, fixing several broken links etc (but probably not all).

Have rationalised the FAIRBAIRN and RUNCIMAN project diaries into one each per surname instead of one each for their respective DNA and One Name Study projects - see FairbairnsAll and RuncimansAll for the current versions - all history has been migrated, but the older DNA and One Name Study blogs remain in place given there may be links to existing posts.

Harry has provided a couple of interesting web sites:
The War Graves Photographic Project
Addressing History, this latter being particularly interesting if your people of interest are likely to have made it into a Directory in Edinburgh.
As their blurb states, it "combines data from digitised historical Scottish Post Office Directories (PODs) with contemporaneous historical maps"

15th: Minor updates to web
Reloaded my main family tree pages.
You'll have to search fairly hard for the changes, none are the published people with pages of their own, so the recent changes index doesn't have any new entries.
However several charts will now have new twigs on them and one or two added names as partners have been identified etc.
eg William Fairside HAMLEY's wife has been confirmed as Florence Mabel THYNNE, and will show up on the ROWE chart;
a couple of present day COMBELLACKs now appear in their rightful place at the end of the DAWE chart etc etc.
Made time to get more of my recent updates up to date on OneGreatFamily as well.
Everything to end of July is now there, my own families, and the FAIRBAIRN and RUNCIMAN investigations which result in at least 3 generations of family trees.

But, as is usual these days, most of my current investigations will be reported under the dna blogs, or the one name study pages - see links at top left.
It's quite interesting seeing which family lines pop up unexpectedly on the other side of the world.
Have now placed an Agnes FAIRBAIRN (married a John CRIGHTON) that I came across recently marrying in Balmain, Sydney in 1876.
My initial thought was that she may have been one of the sisters of Robert FAIRBAIRN, the Resident Magistrate of Freemantle, grdson of the Robert and Janet (AINSLIE) FAIRBAIRN I've been investigating (and have now popped a summary on the dna Patriarch's page - as reported in the Fairbairn dna blog).
Don't yet know if any others of the family emigrated, but her marriage notice in the paper shows her to be the second daughter of the late Thomas FAIRBAIRN, M.D. of Edinburgh.

14th: OCR
Don't you just love spell checkers and OCR text?
I'm working my way through the National Library of Australia's newspapers piecing together the family of the aforementioned Robert and Janet (AINSLIE) FAIRBAIRN, (and distentangling their grandson George from the George A of the Marrickville baker FAIRBAIRNs that several people seem to have confused the family with) and came across this death notice which says in part:

... my wife Vera Fairbairn who derailed this life ...

I've corrected it to the rather more prosaic "departed this life" that it actually reads.
10th: Fantastic news from NAS
Chris Patton's blog pointed me to the News section of the National Archives of Scotland - announcing that digital images of the Kirk Sessions, and other Church court records, are planned to go online next year sometime.
In the meantime, if you just happen to be in the Aberdeen or Orkney archives you can get a sneak preview.

8th: What happens when you run an audit?
Thought it time to run an audit against my database, primarily to figure out if I had any pictures and sources not where they were meant to be.
One that proved to be misplaced was a headstone photograph for Daniel and Mary Ann (LIPSON) SKEWES at Bere Ferrers.
Which made me realise I had him in my database twice, and hadn't fully confirmed whether or not there was a third wife shortly before he died, nor when he and Mary Ann had married (no LIPSON/SKEWES marriage obvious).
The latter was easily solved - now has a heap of Devon records indexed, and there was Daniel's marriage to Mary Ann in the right timeframe, but she was a JOHNS instead of LIPSON. She had married an Andrew JOHNS back in 1818. Couldn't easily spot his death.
Jury still out on the 3rd marriage though.

3rd: Coincidence time again
Last week - investigating a Greenlaw Headstone featuring Isabella FAIRBAIRN as second wife of a George SUTHERLAND, merchant of Greenlaw - finding that her parents were a Robert FAIRBAIRN and Janet AINSLIE.
Nothing much else available to be readily found on Robert and Janet.
Today - using the introductory 24 hour free access offer to, finding a Robert FAIRBAIRN, resident magistrate in Freemantle, Western Australia, son of a John FAIRBAIRN of Berwickshire, who emigrated in 1839 as part of the Australind Colonisation Company who settled, or it seems, tried to settle, Bunbury, Western Australia. John and family moved from there to the Murray, and thence, with 2 of their sons and 3 daughters, on to New South Wales, where I eventually found his death notice - died 1872 in his 72nd year, youngest son of a Robert FAIRBAIRN, Esq. of East Gordon, Berwickshire.
The daughter left behind in Western Australia just happened to be a Jane Ainslie FAIRBAIRN, and the only other fact I'd gleaned last week was that Robert and Janet (AINSLIE) had a son John baptised in Gordon in 1800.
Youngest son does rather imply that there are more to be found somewhere, and I've not identified the sons that went to NSW with the family as yet, nor confirmed that an Agnes FAIRBAIRN I found married to a John CRIGHTON is one of the daughters who went to Sydney (I can find his death, their son Philip's birth, and marriage (to Florence THYNNE), and some information on Philip and Florence's son John Fairbairn CRIGHTON, but there my search ended - can anyone place Agnes in the FAIRBAIRN families?).
(Subsequently found to be the dtr of Thomas & Helen (KINNIBURG) FAIRBAIRN)

Oct 2010

31st: Does it still exist? While researching the TAYLORs that inter-relate with the FAIRBAIRNs of Greenlaw etc, I found this lovely little story about a memorial stone in the Threeburnford (Channelkirk, Berwickshire) stables.
The story comes from a History of Channelkirk, written in 1900 by a Reverend Archibald ALLAN, found on Google books.

A stone ... in the shape of a horse-shoe, with the arch at the top and the open part resting on a flat band at the foot. Part of the top of the stone is worn or broken off, as the block has been removed to different parts of the farm during its existence, and has had adventures.

On the legs of the "shoe" are two inscriptions.
When facing the stone, that on the left hand reads, "Behold a sower went forth to sow, Matt. 13 and 3. One soweth and another reapeth;" and that on the right reads, "Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy, Hosea 10 and 12."
In the central space is the worn figure of a man with a sowing sheet.

On the right-hand corner of the flat-band or plinth, at the foot, there has been a date, but it is now too much obliterated to be discernable. Some have affirmed it to be 1734, but others, with more likelihood, believe it to be far older.

The legend connected with it is religious, of course, and characteristically Scotch, in that it sets forth the profanity of working on Sabbath.
The farmer of Threeburnford, at some remote date (days and names all being rubbed out for ever), was anxious to sow his pease, and taking advantage of a fine Sabbath morning suitable for his purpose, "went forth to sow," sorely against the will and warnings of his "better half" He persisted, however, and sowed his field, though not "in righteousness."
And, as a consequence, the judgment fell in the usual form.
A thunderstorm swept across the moors in wrath, " cramming all the blast before it ; in its breast the thunderbolt," which slew at one fell blow the poor over-busy farmer.
And so, what he sowed another reaped.

There is no reason to doubt the tradition. It is enamelled into the local folklore, and it is here verified in stone. The stone is evidently a memorial one, similar to many which were set up in all the " kirkyairds " of the country at one time. But the stone, homely in its sculpture, and carefully hewn, we may be sure, on the steading, during many earnest hours, could not be set up in the churchyard, for obvious reasons. The farmer could not be buried there. It would have been sacrilege; and more so, if the stone points to a period before the Reformation, which it reasonably enough may. He was accursed of God. No consecrated ground could tolerate his corpse. He would consequently be buried where they found him, or about the steading somewhere. The stone would originally be set up over his remains, and during the changes of building on the farm it would also change its locality with them. The " preaching " of the stone bears strong confirmation of the truth of the legend. The texts, or part texts, have been carefully selected to emphasise the disaster." Behold a sower went forth to sow" is the latter part of Matthew xiii. 3; while "one soweth and another reapeth " is the latter part of John iv. 37. The legend could not possibly have a more weighty comment, while the words "Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy," from Hosea x. 12, first clause, prove the long search that had been undertaken to find words appropriate enough to clinch the terrible facts. For the farmer had not sown in righteousness, and reaped far other
(the scan of the book is missing about 6 pages at this point)

My interest in the property was one John TAYLOR of Threeburnford, who bought the property in May 1841, entailing it on his son and heirs. By 1900 it was still owned by a TAYLOR, probably a descendant of John's brother Joseph, although being farmed by a BELL family. Not that John farmed it either, he was tenant at Kirktonhill at the time.
Do the stables, and therefore the stone, still exist at Threeburnford?
Anyone likely to be passing with a camera?
25th: How many POVOAS wives? An explosive mix
Cousin Harry shared a certificate with me as he thought I'd be interested in the FAIRBAIRN on it (as well as one of our mutual WIGHTs). After processing it I checked the third birth on the page and realised that is was for another of our WIGHT relations, the birth of Elizabeth Jane WHITSON, dtr of Elizabeth WIGHT.
I already knew that her mother had died in childbirth with Elizabeth, and that she was brought up by her aunt, Margaret SOUTAR nee WIGHT, and went by the surname SOUTAR as a result.
However, I'd never figured out what happened to her after her marriage to David McLaren PAUL, so thought it time to have another look around. I still cannot, as yet, find Elizabeth's death, but have now found David's, which was a bit of a surprise.
The informant for his death (in Glasgow) being his "sister-in-law" Helen E L BROWN of Edinburgh. This was the same Helen who was witness to David's marriage to Elizaabeth WHITSON or SOUTAR, her sister by adoption. Which all seemed fit and proper, and understandable enough. Then I further investigated the scribble for David's wives and realised that the second, which I'd skipped over on first reading, was an Ivy Elsie POVOAS or SOUTAR.
Way too much of a coincidence that Ivy Elsie was a POVOAS, as Helen E L BROWN nee SOUTARs brother Charles William SOUTAR had married a Helen POVOAS, or so his death notice in the Scotsman had told me.
I'd never found hide nor hair of the existence of a Helen POVOAS, anywhere, although there was at least one family of them in Hackney, but no Helen.
Spurred on by this, and the more general availability of records on the internet these days, I have now found Charles' marriage to Ivy Elsie POVOAS (Manchester, 1927).
So Helen BROWN nee SOUTAR was sister-in-law twice over.
Interested to note that David McLaren PAUL's occupation of technical chemist (as per his 1916 marriage cert.) was translated somewhat more fully in the now available 1911 census.
It gives him as a technical chemist, but adds he was a worker for "explosives manufact."

8th: Scots arise!
I've just happened across confirmation of a baptism in an unusual source.
Can't say I've ever thought of searching a collection entitled "England and Wales Christening Records 1530-1906" (available on for a Scottish birth or baptism.
When did Fala and Soutra move south?
I do admit that it went one better than the IGI extracted record as this "English" entry included both birth and baptism dates.
The entry popped up as a hint when inputting James TAYLOR of Catcune, Borthwick, MLN into my FAIRBAIRN research tree on ancesty.
I'd been searching to see who was at Catcune in 1851, given that in 1841 James TAYLOR's brother-in-law James FAIRBAIRN, father of the Rev James FAIRBAIRN of Newhaven, was still hanging on in there at age 76, and living there then.

Sep 2010

26th: Enthusiasm vs accuracy
Contact from an enthusiastic, I presume, "newbie" to this wonderful hobby reminded me of the wisdom enshrined in the GPS.
No not one of those marvellous devices telling you where you are and how to get to where you should be instead, but the Genealogical Proof Standard.
To quote the Board of Certification of Genealogists (American)

"Proof is a fundamental concept in genealogy. In order to merit confidence, each conclusion about an ancestor must have sufficient credibility to be accepted as "proved." Acceptable conclusions, therefore, meet the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS).
The GPS consists of five elements:

* a reasonably exhaustive search;
* complete and accurate source citations;
* analysis and correlation of the collected information;
* resolution of any conflicting evidence; and
* a soundly reasoned, coherently written conclusion.

Perhaps it is too much to ask of an enthusiastic newcomer happily copying data from trees found on the web and claiming relationships to people found there on the flimsiest of "evidence", but even the newest of newcomers should be able to distinguish between the possible and the impossible and do some basic checking, even if it is of other trees.

This little lecture being prompted from someone claiming to be my 7th cousin via the DAWs, stating that the relationship was from her Sampsons back to Philip, and down to my Isaac.
As I've never found any proof of a relationship between the Sampson DAWs of Buckland Monachorum, and my Isaac of Lumburn Mill/Tavistock, I asked what her evidence was for the connection.
None was forthcoming, but as one of the links quoted was for a John DAW b 1742 being married to Sarah MOORE, I smelt a rat in the "conclusions" being drawn.
John and Sarah (MOORE) DAW, are only possible parents for my Isaac (as outlined with doubts, on Isaac's page), and happen to have married in 1744.
A tad precocious for a 1742 birth.
A bit of digging on the other names mentioned led me reasonably quickly to my conclusion that her family was that of Joseph and Jenny (DAWE) DAWE who had family at Meavy before moving to the big smoke of London/Surrey.
That Joseph is highly UNlikely to be the Joseph son of Joseph and grandson of Sampson of Buckland Monachorum as his dates don't match, and most census data gives his birthplace as Cornwall, not that I've definitively identified where in Cornwall as yet (I presume somewhere close to the boundary with Devon as the 1861 census says Berehatton(?), Devon, the rest say Beer, Cornwall).
Regardless of the mis-links, it was an interesting exercise, as all of these families have many connections to mine, and one day, who knows, someone might pop out of the woodwork with all the missing links, with accurate source citations, and dates that gel.

It was also quite interesting seeing what others had for the same "families".
Just looking at two of the culprit trees with John (married to Sarah MOORE) shown as the son of Joseph and Elizabeth (CROSSMAN) DAW of Buckland Monachorum.
Several have John b 1742 marrying Sarah MOORE and Elizabeth REED, but with no dates for Sarah, although most do seem to have Isaac as their son and born 1769/70, so technically possible, if you ignore his siblings born 1745 +.

Another has John b. 1730, marrying Sarah MOORE in 1744, and Elizabeth REED in 1799, and dying in 1814.
Not absolutely impossible, but unlikely to be marrying at 14.

But if you look at the same tree from Sarah's viewpoint, she is shown as marrying two John DAWEs, one 1730-1813, the other 1724-1778, both "marriages" producing an Isaac of about the right dates.
For the record, I believe the 1742 John, son of Joseph and Elizabeth (CROSSMAN) married twice, firstly to my Elizabeth KING, and secondly to Elizabeth REED, with a son from this last marriage marrying Mary ANDREWS, another of my Devon relations.

All in all, quite an entertaining diversion from the real life stuff keeping me from this hobby rather too much at the moment.

13th: Legerwood family
Stewart popped out of the woodwork to talk FAIRBAIRNs.
Although we aren't directly related, unless we eventually find out that these are connected genetically to my FAIRBAIRNs, we do share an interest in the same tree.
His and mine intersect at Helen Martin FAIRBAIRN (dtr of the Rev Andrew Martin FAIRBAIRN) who married Sir Russell SCOTT, one of my RICHARDSON descendants. (Sir Russell appeared briefly in Wikipedia under the Home Office link, but when I last checked, clicking on his link took me to Russell SCOTT aka Blinky the Clown!)
Check out the Fairbairn DNA Project Patriarchs page for a brief outline pedigree.
Locally there is another connection.
At one of our Scottish Interest Group sessions some time ago I mentioned my interest in FAIRBAIRNs, and afterwards Joan popped up saying she had some in her tree, would I be interested in finding out which ones.
Turned out she was the x greats granddtr of Helen Martin FAIRBAIRN's grandparents.

9th: Relationships clarified & yet more connections
Reading old newspapers, as one does, I stumbled upon a different obituary for the Rev John FAIRBAIRN of Greenlaw than that I had previously seen. This one was in The Free Church of Scotland Monthly (Edinburgh, Scotland), 1 Jun 1895, and contained a new interesting little snippet for my FAIRBAIRN research: "Along with his more distinguished brother Dr Patrick FAIRBAIRN, Principal of the Free Church College Glasgow, he spent his youth at Hallyburton, ... while his two cousins Dr James FAIRBAIRN of Newhaven, and Dr John PURVES of Jedburgh, had their homes at farms a few miles further west in the same district."
I've been tripping over the Newhaven James often enough in the past but had never managed to place him in any of my known FAIRBAIRN trees, his death cert showing his parents as James FAIRBAIRN and Elizabeth TAYLOR, with the only other known (to me) family being an unmarried sister Eliza.
Knowing that the Rev John's grandparents were a James and Elizabeth (PURVES) FAIRBAIRN, and quickly finding out that Dr John PURVES was the son of Peter PURVES and Margaret FAIRBAIRN, with Margaret looking highly likely to be a dtr of James and Elizabeth (PURVES) FAIRBAIRN, I've now placed the Newhaven James as brother of Margaret and the Rev John's father John (marr. to Jessie JOHNSTON).
The informant for the Newhaven James' 1874 death was his cousin, a Peter someone of Ferry Rd.
I had initially taken a stab at the squiggle being THOMSON, but have subsequently confirmed that it is actually Peter Chas PURVES, who was living in Ferry Rd in 1881, Peter Charles being the son of the Jedburgh Dr John PURVES above, and being yet another minister in the family - presumably ministering to my own FAIRBAIRNs at Morebattle, given he was the Free Church minister there in the 1861 and 1871 censuses.
7th:Longevity helps
Although a lot of my research these days is chasing direct male line FAIRBAIRNs and RUNCIMANs for dna project representatives for wanted lines, I don't necessarily overlook the females of the species.
We have to have our uses after all.
The benefit in finding out who a Jane FAIRBAIRN, aged 83, born Kelso, lodging in the same boarding house in North Berwick as a George H FAIRBAIRN, 47 born Edinburgh, was in adding additional weight to the paper trail for the family of both Andrew & Margaret (HENDERSON) FAIRBAIRN, and his nephew John (marr. Sarah MORRIS), Jane being Andrew & Margaret's daughter (died 1874 North Berwick).
The FAIRBAIRN DNA Project is still looking for representatives for the lines mentioned here.

4th: A recent exchange with Microsoft Support
Had a call back from MicroSoft "anxious" to close a call I had already indicated via email that could be closed, given that they couldn't understand what I'd told them, namely that their instructions could not be carried out because I couldn't access where I needed to be to initiate them.
(which part of "I cannot access a command prompt to do any of that" do you not understand?")
I mentioned that I had solved the immediate problem caused by their dratted security patch myself, but now had outstanding subsequent issues, such as every time I started a MSoft Office program it insisted on configuring itself, as if opening for the first time.
He promised to log that separately, and arranged that someone would call me at 11am the following day, NZ time.
11am came and went, as did all of the day, without my phone ringing.
6:58pm NZ time an email arrived:
Hi Lorna,

My name is [xyx] from Microsoft Technical Support.

This is a follow up email in regards to your case [nnnn]. I've tried to contact you via telephone, however was unsuccessful. We would be happy to continue to assist you if necessary.

If you have any feedback regarding Microsoft support, I would be glad to
hear from you. Otherwise, you can email
on any other feedback.

Thank you for contacting Microsoft Technical Support.


(names and numbers changed to protect the guilty)

My response:
thank you for your bog standard email.
My phone has not been in use all day, and I have been at home.
You were scheduled to ring about 11am. I waited. .....
(with a list of the further issues that were now manifesting themselves, having solved the reconfiguring problem by uninstalling and reinstalling MSOffice, and yet again, upgrading it to SP2 - my network provider must love my additional bandwidth use at the moment).
Yours, a still very annoyed MSoft customer.

His, immediate, response (which implicitly says he hadn't called me at 11am):
Hi Lorna,

Apologies for not being able to call you this morning. The person who was supposed to call you called in sick today and it was just now that the case was endorsed to me. This is the phone number that we have in your records: +61 nnnn, and also the one I called but I only got your machine. If this is the wrong number, please let me know so I can update your records and be able to provide support to you.


My response:
+64 (nnnn) might help. I'm in NZ and there is nothing on my answer machine, but presumably on someone in Australia's.
(and given that someone had already called me the day before, why ever did it have an Australia country code?)
So, all in all, not a jot of useful help from Microsoft.
Several more issues have since manifested themselves, and mostly, gradually, been fixed.
All of this is keeping me from the fun things in life such as researching my own family tree, the FAIRBAIRN and RUNCIMAN One Name and DNA studies, and writing the course I'm about to give in a fortnight's time.
But I suppose it does have it's fun, ironic side.

Aug 2010

30th: Never enough backups; New sources
Nothing like a computer problem to make you realise you never have enough backups, or enough of the right bits of the system. The computer repair (see 13th, %^&#$ Microsoft security patch "installed" on the 4th) continues apace, but did involve a repair of my Win XP Pro operating system, which resulted in a(n ongoing) reload of my software, although MOST of the settings remained intact and the data is fine.
Could take some time as yet.
Meanwhile, over on the laptop where my genealogy remains intact....

Assorted recent contacts include a branch of the RICHARDSONs in Australia - the WOONTONs, so some updates will ensue in due course.
It also occurred to me that it was time to do an update to OneGreatFamily with whatever I'd changed since last time, which seems to be back about March.
In the process of reviewing what I was about to upload I did of course spot that several more updates were also likely, given the inclusion of a heap of Cheshire records on FamilySearch (which link is only to the Parish registers, other useful indexes exist), and the England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations),1861-1941 on ancestry.
The former allowed me to firm up several dates for the family of Walter Maes TURNBULL & Rosetta COURT, as well as identifying their third child, whose presence was known from the 1911 census, but no further details (a Lionel Maes TURNBULL).
The latter, filmed indexes to probates, are a welcome addition to the data now available online, showing death dates and places, along with dates/places for administrations granted to whom (and estate values).
I've already had some unexpected finds in there - several Scottish probates, granted in London, where I would not have thought of looking.

And then today an email out of the blue providing details from the death cert. of Catherine BAIN, whose 1904 death cert, apparently said she had died Fuarry, Kirkwall, at least according to the chap who transcribed it for me.
Obviously not a local. I'm now informed that it actually reads the Quarry, Halkirk - which is a tad more understandable!

20th: Cornwall Parish Registers
The Lost Cousins newsletter alerted me to some of the recent additions to Family Search pilot - digitized, but unindexed, parish registers for Cornwall.
To view you have to go into Browse collections, but they are most definitely worth a look.
The marriages for St Germans go up to 1978, with a note from the Registrar saying the register was now closed, by order of the Registrar General.
No wonder the GRO put up their prices, what with the London records on Ancestry and Family Search access.
Quite interesting really. When I bought microfiche of several Devon parish registers, although the marriages continued beyond 1837 in several cases, those fiche weren't available for purchase.

(I continue to add any 1911 English Census families I research into Lost Cousins, one day I hope to actually find a "cousin"!)

18th: Archie older than thought
With all this HENDERSON activity at the moment I took the opportunity to pop a bit more of the family onto my ancestry tree as I checked for some records.
And up popped some of those wonderful hints.
Found someone with Archie, son of William & Marion (AITKEN) HENDERSON in their tree. No wonder I could never verify his birth around 1920, he didn't belong to William's second marriage after all, being born in 1905 instead. Lisa is thrilled to bits to find she has a heap of NZ cousins, and we will no doubt swap more info in due course.

16th: Short commons
So far, descendants of the newfound John HENDERSON appear to be in short supply.
The tree now includes these surnames: GIBSON, BINNIE, SCHOTTIN, VROMAN, KOWLITZ, BARROWS, CLEGHORN, HIGGINSON and REID, with only the SCHOTTIN currently looking like it might make it down to living descendants able to provide memories of these families.
Places include: Galt (Waterloo Co, ONT); Hamilton (Wentworth Co, ONT); Dundas (Wentworth Co, ONT); Buffalo (Erie Co, NY).
Some families I simply cannot currently find, eg Isabella, widow of Robert GIBSON and dtr of John and Isabella (BERRY) HENDERSON. The three children I know about were born in the States, probably Buffalo, but by 1891 they were back in Hamilton, Ontario, and van
ish after 1901. So if anyone knows what happened to Annie and her children Annie, Archibald and Robert GIBSON I'd love to hear from you.

My WorldConnect db LornaHenderson has had a long overdue update so now includes these families, and my web pages updated with John's new information.

15th: FOUND HIM!!
OK, so the William HENDERSON blacksmith I followed around Ontario and back to Scotland the other day was a red herring.
Today made up for that.
The mysterious Isabella HENDERSON, whom I nearly entirely overlooked because the HENDERSON wasn't very clearly written, living with her (as I now know) cousin William McGREGOR in Galt, Ontario, has solved a genealogical life-long mystery for me, some 30 years on.
What happened to my great great grandfather's brother John (or William for that matter)?
Their sister Margaret was found back in 2006, and redoubled efforts back then failed to find John or William.
However, the answer is that he high tailed it to Ontario from Cadder, Lanarkshire about 1855 with, it appears, most of his family, and followed the family blacksmithing trade.
And I only found his daughter Isabella by complete accident, she is enumerated twice, once with William, and once at home with her parents, also in Galt in 1861.
I've updated the HENDERSON descendant chart with the family I've managed to add to the tree in the last few hours.
Interesting to note that John and Isabella also had a set of twins.
I don't yet know what wife Isabella's surname was as they appear not to have favoured the established church for baptisms, or Tillicoultry, Clackmananshire isn't on the IGI, nor in the OPRs, yet in Canada they are always enumerated as Presbyterian.
Those with ancestry access can follow my trail of source documents for John, including both his 31 March 1901 death cert, AND his entry with his daughter in the 24 Apr 1901 census - didn't he do well.

14th: Back to the FAIRBAIRNs
Given the recent DNA results show that the family of James & Agnes (LINDSAY) FAIRBAIRN belongs in Lineage 1 (as does my Archibald FAIRBAIRN), and their closeness to the modal for all of the matching FAIRBAIRNs, the neverending story has been updated to include an overview of their family tree, and a few links for those wishing to follow this story through.

14th: Who is Sylvia (Isabella)?
After I thought I'd done enough for the day on bringing William McGREGOR's family a bit more up to date, I remembered that I'd spotted a William HENDERSON, blacksmith, living nearby in one of the Waterloo, Ontario censuses.
Unfortunately, he wasn't a wonderful lead into a hitherto unresearched branch of my blacksmith HENDERSONs from the Bridge of Allan (unresearched because to date other than my James, and William's Margaret, they are resisting attempts at being found). His parents turned out to be Hugh HENDERSON, shoemaker, and Marion GILLIES, of Kilmarnock, Ayrshire. But in finding which census it was, and rechecking it, I also resolved a little niggle at the back of my mind in that William's household was enumerated as 1 male and 1 female, and I'd not noted the female member of the household, other than noting whoever she was, she wasn't a McGREGOR.
Closer inspection of the squiggle made her an Isabella HENDERSON, aged 18, unmarried, born Scotland, and living in Galt, Waterloo Co, Ontario in 1861.
So she is the next mission.
I've reloaded William McGREGOR's page, to show her in the household.

13th: Not so Black Friday
It really is the time for the McGREGOR branch of the HENDERSONs to be updated.
Must be something in the air. Three contacts in as many weeks on different twigs of Margaret HENDERSON's descendants.
The latest appears to be a descendant of Charlotte BETT.
In checking where I'd got to for this line, I noticed that William, son of Margaret HENDERSON, who had emigrated to Canada in the 1850s, could probably have more information found for him these days.
And so it proved.
I thought I was merely going to be adding a census or two and ended up finding and documenting a first wife, two children, and some descendants as well. Check out William's updated page. (William, son of William married a Helen DRONE, their dtr Charlotte Jean married a James Elsner CRONIN, but as yet I've not figured out what happened to William's sister Mary, nor Jean's sister Elizabeth Swinton McGREGOR).

In addition to all the above, the RUNCIMAN DNA project has turned up trumps. The preliminary results mentioned back on the 6th did indeed end up being an excellent match at 67 markers as well.
On the strength of that I've updated my RUNCIMAN surname page to include some of the descendants of Thomas and Alison (GRIEVE) RUNCIMAN as well.
By no means all, just some I've documented in passing.

All I need now is for my computer to be fixed! I'm somewhat hampered at the moment as I was silly enough to download a supposedly 'critical' microsoft security patch, KB2286198.
More fool me. My desktop went into a boot loop which I'm still fighting.
There's always a silver lining though, as a result I was forced to resolve a couple of things I'd not bothered about on my laptop, and at the end of the fix, I will end up with a backup server on a spare older slow machine, which task has been on the to-do list for rather too long.

11th: G(ee) Whiz
The FAMILTON dna results for the descendant of Robert and Mary (McDOUGALL) FAMILTON are indeed for a predicted haplogroup of G.
Would be really good to get a direct male line descendant of a FAMILTON or HAMILTON from William and Bessie (WILSON) FAMILTON.
Any takers?

In addition, the fledgling FAMILTON Surname DNA project results are also beginning to arrive. Only 12 markers so far, but interestingly enough, a 12/12 match is being reported with a HAMILTON who knows nothing of any Scottish ancestry, but can trace the line back to a John HAMILTON born Ireland and died Sth Carolina (no timeframe supplied). However the family researcher indicates this is a G Haplogroup and as our results don't yet give a haplogroup, we are unsure if this will hold up when further results are available.
Watch the FAMILTON Surname DNA Project Diary for updates.

7th: WATTs where?
If you are patient enough things turn up eventually.
Back about 4 years Linda pointed me to a post on a Black Watch web site that was about one of our HENDERSON/McGREGOR descendants. However as the post was dated 1998, it was likely that the email was inactive, and so it proved.
Today however, the poster found my WorldConnect db LornaHenderson and left a post-it against his father's entry, and sent me an email.
Contact has been made.
With the hints received so far, further digging has added a few more dates and confirmed birth places to the family of James WATT and Jane D JOHNSON of Dunfermline, then Montreal, and their immigration records have been found.

DNA results are beginning to filter in from the activity generated by the last Family Tree DNA sale, and with excellent results.
The two RUNCIMAN participants have both turned out as a match to my RUNCIMAN line (somewhere! it is too early to tell how closely at only 25 markers so far).
Likewise the recruited FAIRBAIRN has also, thankfully, matched the rest of the Scottish Borders Lineage 1.
See the Supplmentary pages for these projects for further information.

July 2010

With yet another ELLIOTT match popping up in the FAIRBAIRN DNA project, it was time to explore further.
No conclusions have been reached, but anyone interested in whether or not these ELLIOTT families from mid/late 1700s Pennsylvania, Georgia, and North Carolina are actually FAIRBAIRNs, or vice versa, may be interested in the new link exploring this that has been added to the FAIRBAIRN Surname DNA project supplementary pages.

Anyone with data to aid solving this puzzle is welcome to contact me!

16th: 2/7d for a death cert.
No, don't all rush for the bargain, I am talking of a claim in a military service record for the amount owing to a chap producing a requested death certificate for the army back in 1921.
Measuring Worth calculates for me that the equivalent today is anything from L4.25 (using the retail price index) through to L36.70 (using the share of GDB), and L18.60 using average earnings between 1921 and 2009.
So on the retail price index version, the current L9 per certificate would appear to be rather exorbitant (however grateful I am to be able to order them up from the far side of the world), but a bargain on the average earnings calculations.

13th: FamilyTree pages updated
Over the last few days several contacts have spurred me into action on further updates to my own tree (as opposed to dna and one name study projects, the former mostly currently awaiting results from the latest sale).
Marion rang to see whether or not I'd made any progress on tracking down living descendants of Thomas Storror HULL and Ada Trimble DAVEY, one of our ROWE descendants. Checking on where I'd got to (the last lead was a possibe son for their daughter Ada Nora HULL and Leonard RAY - but that came to naught), I noticed that since then, the 1911 census is more readily available.
That resulted in a couple more children for Thomas and Ada, and a marriage for one of them, Donovan Sydney HULL, but no children immediately obvious in the English indexes, so yet another dead end.
That led me to checking a few more of Ada's siblings in 1911. None of them look like they've any living descendants, although we would love to be proven wrong.

Then Linda popped up with another researcher of one of our Margaret HENDERSON's descendants, Susan JONES nee HUTTON. Bit hard tracking JONES in Wales without help.
This led me to having another go at identifying and tracing more of (one of) the William Meikle WATTs. Good to confirm from the 1911 census that I'd got two of this one's sons correct - and have now added a daughter Margaret into the mix, and identified which of the two brides on the same Prestwich marriage register page in 1903 was his - Eliza HALL, obligingly living at home with her father and her three children (as the expected widow, William Meikle WATT having died 1910). They now show up on the HENDERSON chart.

End result: updated family tree pages, and it must be about time I put some time into re-publishing my WorldConnect database, LornaHenderson.

But in the meantime I've been having fun linking up my tree on the NZGDB to several of the other Taranaki families represented there.
Check out the combined chart that results - registration is free.
Site may be subject to some teething problems, eg the charts I refer to are under development, work fine on my laptop but have a few problems on my desktop. Robert is investigating.
The principal is similar to One Great Family, a combined tree, but for the latter, the combination is automatic, but on NZGDB reloads of updates of your own data automatically update your data, but you have to manually link to other's trees - eg several of the "marry-ins" in my Taranaki data appear in several trees, one of which is considered an authority, so I consciously did not upload the parents with my data, and have now started checking for duplications and linking the people concerned to the other tree.
NZGDB also allows you to grant update permission to fellow researchers or relations so that you are all working on the one set of data.

9th: FUGE to Illinois
A FUGE of Cornwall researcher popped out of the woodwork this week with a post in my Guestbook re two of my lot she had found in Illinois. This does rather explain my abortive attempts at finding them in England beyond 1871.
I'd obviously not tried very hard, although my notes do say I'd tried Australia.
Samuel, and his brother John Edwin both pop up in Chicago. As a result, given I appear not to have looked at this extended Bere Ferrers family (descendants of Hugh HAMLEY and Elizabeth, daughter of Matthias ROWE and Sarah DUNKIN, via their dtr Mary Elizabeth HAMLEY who married William FUGE) since before the 1911 became more readily available, next update my WorldConnect db LornaHenderson will have rather more details on the CORROCK family.

8th: From Meikle Pinkerton to East Barns
My post the other day re Meikle Pinkerton elicited a prompt response from one of my RUNCIMAN cousins, chiding me for not simply asking him where it was!
I've prompted teenage memories of cycling from Edinburgh to visit his Uncle Bob (RICHARDSON) at East Barns, nearby to the Pinkertons. Which led me to checking what I knew about East Barns, and sure enough, that was also the haunt of several (apparently different) families of RUNCIMANs over time.
One set were descendants of the Meikle Pinkerton RUNCIMAN family and living at East Barns in 1871, another the RUNCIMAN family that have a heap of descendants in New Zealand and were there in 1861.
The farm is reported as having been swallowed up by a cement works these days.

5th: Meikle Pinkerton
With my research on yet another branch of RUNCIMANs from Dunbar, that of Alexander RUNCIMAN and Janet HENDRIE and family, the place Mi(c)kle Pinkerton popped up in the OPRs.
My very preliminary attempts at finding such a wonderful placename didn't led me to it, and I put that thought to one side.
Reading the WDYTYA mag popped up several sites useful for place names and I decided to try again, just using Pinkerton.
The Scottish place-Name Society didn't help, but looked interesting.
However, Scotland's Places came up trumps, and armed with a more modern spelling of Meikle Pinkerton, Geograph did as well.
There's a wonderful old Doocot there, and on google street view, views of the farm and area that you can pan around, complete with a couple in the parking area waving to the camera.

1st: Just noticed on FamilySearch
Noticed recently that Family Search Record Search Pilot now has Scottish Births and Baptisms 1564-1950
Much better than the IGI with its mixture of extracted and submitted data, and stopping at 1875 for extractions.
I've no idea how complete the data is, but I've successfully found some 1880s data I was looking for.

June 2010

29th: Back to Swordale, ROC and SINTONs
I'm back fossicking around Ross & Cromarty again.
Prompted this time by a posting the other day against my prior posting re the John SINTON and Catherine CROSS family mentioned back in Feb 2009.
I've also now followed another apparent 1851 SINTON family, from Roxburghshire but living in Lochbroom, around for a while, before, this time, convincing myself that they were misindexed in 1851 as SINTON and are really LINTONs.
John and Catherine however remain firmly as SINTON with a few more details now being found.
Those with ancestry access can see where I've got too adding sources to the family as I've included John on my tree there until such time the rest of my published data catches up with this branch of the SINTONs.
Farrell, the poster of the comment, is a descendant from John and Catherine's daughter Janet/Jessie via her son John GRAHAM (b. 1867 Swordale).

27th: Another Runciman line
No idea as yet if there's any connection to the Crail/North Berwick line of William, and hence to my Wanton Walls RUNCIMAN families, but an update to the One Name Study pages has been done to include some details on Alexander & Janet (HENDRIE) RUNCIMAN and family of Dunbar, or at least as I currently see them.
Can't actually remember what started me on them, but Harry provided some info that had been shared with him some years ago, and I had a good dig around.
More to come later on what is increasingly looking like the growing family of Thomas RUNCIMAN & Jane/Jean/Christina SIMPSON that looks as if it fits into this line.
The DNA project would love to get some representatives from this line to see what might show up on who is related (more closely?) to whom. (Discounts apply until 30th Jun).

20th: Watch this space in a couple of months
With the Family Tree DNA summer sale under way activity of late has mostly been on finding those elusive candidates to represent assorted lines in their respective dna projects while the kits are cheaper.
Success so far with a couple of RUNCIMANs on a new line, ditto one FAIRBAIRN, and the first participant for the FAMILTON project.
With a bit of luck and a tail wind over the remaining five days of the sale there might be a few more recruits to help piece together the jigsaws.
All projects welcome new participants, and now is a good time to be in.

1st: Delayed by bad weather!
Anyone waiting expectantly for a new post (well I do assume at least some people read this) may have a while to wait.
I'm in consolidation mode - both in rationalising my computing to eventually, I hope, simplify how I do assorted things. However that has meant a complete change to how I work with my emails and assorted email addresses and hosts, and buying a new laptop (a Mac, yet to arrive, but that's probably going to be an interesting new experience for this previously completely pc based computnik).
So that's all time away from research.
I'm also slowly working thru checking back over assorted things, primarily my updates to OneGreatFamily both to see that they've been connected up correctly, and to see if anyone else is working on the same families.

And I've committed myself to giving a course for the local WEA on comparisons of assorted genie packages in Sept, so that needs research....
The list goes on.

All that aside, a recent new contact will mean updates to a branch of the CREBER/WARE family as Hugh has provided a husband for Jane dtr of Richard CREBER and Elizabeth WARE, which involves connecting up assorted links, including a few stray STUTTAFORD/CREBERs that I had in my database suspecting there was a connection, and now seeing what it is.  Despite a move to London and back to Somerset (parents from Devon), she married a CREBER rellie.

May 2010

22nd: Triumph of hope over experience?
Recently one of my FAMILTONs was on the same page as a FAIRBAIRN I was chasing around the Earlston records. Which got me thinking about the FAMILTONs again.
Are the Earlston weavers related to the Ancrum weavers? And do the Northumberland ones fit in or not? So I've set up yet another dna project.
Not sure if this one will fly or not, but there are several modern day families still with the name around, mainly, as far as I can tell, in Northumberland, New Zealand and the States, but none in the Scottish phone book.
I know that my particular line did change to HAMILTON, during the course of one 1753 deed, and seem to have stuck with that surname for successive generations.
Any takers?

Over view of the assorted links, which have been set up with the same structure as most of my other DNA projects can be found on the introduction of the project at the DNA Projects Portal.

21st: Main web pages updated
About time I did a republish of my main web pages (Big Brother) given it's a month and a half since the last update.
Don't think any new people have been included, but several existing people have either had new information added, or their exisitng page tweaked. In general, the FAIRBAIRNs are there because of new information, probably either London records, or 1911 census lookups. The FAMILTON/RUNCIMANs are merely tweaks to how the information is displayed.
All are listed uner 21 May on the Recent Changes index.
One tweak was to alter the place index legends to G and B from G and L, as the former Live Earth has been Bing for a while.
If you've not visited any of the little information icons on the place index, nor explored street views on google, I thoroughly recommend doing so.  Great fun driving yourself around an amazing number of filmed locations and doing 360 degree panning shots simply by sitting at home at your computer using the arrow keys!

14th: William found, and possibly James
Some work on the FAIRBAIRN entries in the Washington State vital records found me the missing death entry for William, son of David FAIRBAIRN and Jane HERD (HURD to them).  Which led me to updating some of the descendants of David and Jane, and finding another researcher on descendants of Mary FAIRCHILD dtr of Archibald FAIRBAIRN and Catherine KEMPS (Archibald being the son of David's brother James).
I think I've probably also found James son of Archibald FAIRBAIRN and Margaret GRAHAM, living in Stillwater, Minnesota by 1880, and by 1930 in Thurston Co, Washington State. In which case he could explain how John (married Sarah DAUGHTERTY) was living there, John being Archibald's brother, I think (see DNA project).
See Fairbairn DNA project blog for research on a family from Tonbridge in Kent I believe belong to James FAIRBAIRN of Maxton, then Spencerville, Ontario.

5th: More Walters, and yet more FAIRBAIRNs.

The activity on a Walter led me to trip over one of my own Walters, and reminded me that they lived in London for a time.
With the increased availability of London records on Ancestry, it was time to go digging to see if I could now find a few more baptisms, marriages etc.
Which I did, very successfully.
The families of Walter FAIRBAIRN & Elizabeth CHAPPELL and his brother Archibald (married Isabella DAVIDSON) have now had some missing data filled in.

I'm no closer to solving the 1881 census mystery of supposed "son" James to Archibald however.
(1881 Maplin St, Mile End Old Town, James is given as 21, joiner, so to Archibald, who is himself only 33).
So, if anyone has a James joiner they'd like to place in 1881, or a 2 yr old.....

As usual, WorldConnect database LornaHenderson will be updated in due course.

3rd: Still on FAIRBAIRNs
Tied up a few loose ends in my FAIRBAIRN database today.

Sidetracked onto a separate Yorkshire family, a Walter, and got curious as to any possible connection to either mine, or the Yorkshire confectioner Thomas (see 1st May), or to mine, given Walter is a name common amongst my lot.

Instead of leading in either of these directions it lead me to connect up several loose ends and tie the family back to Alexander, son of John FAIRBAIRN & Grizel JOHNSTONE of Oldhamstocks (which family is not yet represented in the FAIRBAIRN Surnmae DNA project should any potential candidates out there read this and be interested in seeing if there is any connection to the existing tested families).

1st: FAIRBURN (Surrey) back to FAIRBAIRN Great Stainton, Durham via Yorkshire
Intervening time since last post was mostly on FAIRBAIRN chasing as I tried to work the line of John FAIRBURN back to the Borders family he had told me he connected too some years ago.
John had died back in Dec 2008, a month before I decided to re-contact him after a gap of several years - note to self, keep up with the contacts before the threads get broken.
I'd got stuck at his grandfather Fred born c 1865 in Leeds, having a bit of trouble sorting out the options.
Rootsweb FAIRBAIRN Message Board post Who were Fred, George and Harry?, refers.
With English BDM certs about to go up in price my curiousity had overcome my wallet and I ordered Fred's marriage cert. and am now back to Fred's grandparents, George and Mary FAIRBAIRN who lived at Kirkby Malzeard in North Yorkshire, with George born abt 1784, at Great Stainton, Durham, so I'm not quite joining up the dots yet, and nor have I found what I hoped for initially, a candidate for the line in the FAIRBAIRN Surname DNA Project, all lines appearing to have either died, or daughtered, out.
The intervening generation was a Thomas married to Mary Jane BAIRSTOW (Halifax, 1858).
Anyone recognise these names as their ancestors?

Apr 2010

28th:"John Armstrong" = Margaret FAIRBAIRN
The 1894 baptism entry for "John Armstrong" daughter of Walter FAIRBAIRN and Grace ARMSTRONG, is one of the more curious baptism entries I've seen (image on the blog version of this).

In my FAIRBAIRN One Name Study digging, I happened to notice an indexed entry for a John Armstrong FAIRBAIRN born or baptised in Dumfries 11 Feb 1849, to Walter FAIRBAIRN and Grace ARMSTRONG, and thought, ohhhh, one I didn't have in their family.
Before succumbing in paying SctPeople for it, I had a quick look at my database and was a bit puzzled as the dates just didn't work.
Walter and Grace married May 1848, 1st child after their marriage that I had was Agnes, born 3 Feb 1850, or so a baptism entry on a page headed 1855 births stated.
Before their marriage were the first Margaret, aged 3 in the 1851 census, and a William aged 5 in the same census.
So, whether John Armstrong FAIRBAIRN was born, or baptised in 1849 he was going to be a tight fit.
Reading the entry raised even more questions.
Why would a daughter be named "John Armstrong" (quotes from the entry itself)?
Anyway, the dates indicated that this has to be the birth/baptism entry for the first Margaret, who died aged 4.

This activity led to several other updates on their extended family with the 1911 census now more readily available, and a few birth/marriage/death date gaps filled.

27th:Activities of late have mostly been on the RUNCIMANs, with some small analyses done on a couple more parishes for the One Name Study, and a lot of digging to make connections between families, namely those I think may all connect at Thomas and Jean (SIMPSON) RUNCIMAN.
It does rather pay to keep checking back against past research, as I've found I had a piece of that puzzle tucked away in my database from some time ago, an occupation for the John who married Marion/May/Mary WEATHERLY, which implies to me that I was worrying needlessly about the change of occupation for the family from taylors to hinds/farm stewards/ag labs etc.

22nd:Megsmire updates:
Thanks to George, a descendant of Walter TURNBULL & Mary TELFORD, I now have copies of several wonderful snippets from his recent visit to the Carlisle Record Office and hope to see if my theories about where his Walter TURNBULL "fits" (refer recent post re Megsmire) hold up to scrutiny.
I've only had a chance for a quick squizz so far, but it's looking good, (and there are one or two other fascinating leads to follow up on).

11th: Rev Archibald TURNBULL
A helpful lady on the Rootsweb India list pointed out that the family had some baptisms on the IGI (which I'd not thought to check, thinking that the dates were too recent, given that Scottish extracted records mostly stop at 1875).
That netted baptisms for all bar Mary of the known children, and added an 1896 Betty into the family.
Then another web search netted an article about the Turnbull School in Darjeeling, which was built in memory of the Rev. Archibald TURNBULL in 1906 after his death (1905).
The article also includes a photo, reproduced on my GenBlog, with the implication that it was taken at the opening of the Scotch Kirk (St Columba's) in Darjeeling, 15th May 1894

9th: Where things (continue to) lead
Having updated some of the related TURNBULLs that connect to my tree, I strayed onto another TURNBULL line, that of Archibald TURNBULL of Minto, who married Agnes WILSON, one of my SINTON tree descendants.
The only census data I'd ever checked for them was 1881 when it first came out on cd.
Updates nowhere near finished, but what a fascinating family, and a wonderful happenstance.
Given there were 14 children, could take some time to work thru what updates should now be more readily available to be found.

Thought eldest son Archibald might not have lasted beyond 1871 when I couldn't find him in 1881. But a family that certainly looked like it would be his popped out of the woodwork for 1891 - from farmer's son to "Minister of the Established Church - Foreign Ministry", and an absence in 1881 probably explained by the birthplaces of the children - Indies, East in 1891, India in 1901.
One of which census records I was lucky to find as he left for India 5 days later!

The marriage cert. for his second marriage, to Catherine Agnes FERGUSON nee WEMYSS proved I had the right chap, so I kept digging.
And happened upon the burial of his son Archibald McDiarmid TURNBULL in Calcutta.
He appears to have gone from a 17 yr old "artist-painter" in 1901 boarding in Glasgow Govan, to tea planter in India - with a video being made (for reasons as yet unknown) of a search for his burial record in the records of the Scottish Church of St Andrew in Calcutta with enough of the found record shakily legible.
Talk about happenstance!
WIGHT and SINTON descendant charts have had a preliminary update, Rootsweb db LornaHenderson updates will follow in due course.

7th: Where things lead
Started catching up on processing the transcripts from NRH that Robert so kindly sends every so often.
This one was a 1936 FAIRBAIRN/HALL marriage I was trying to slot into his correct FAIRBAIRN tree. In the process of that I corrected one of my FAIRBAIRN trees convincing myself that the informant for their son Robert's death (his son David) got his grandmother's name wrong (given as Elizabeth WATSON, instead of Margaret **see below).
That sorted, I turned my attention to the 1936 bride, whose father was given as Robert Oliver HALL.
With names like that it was a fair bet that that their just might be a connection to one or other of my Southdean trees - and how.
Robert turned out to be the brother of Isabella and Margaret, both of whom I already knew had married into my tree, one to a WIGHT line, the other to a SINTON line. All are children of James HALL and Alison OLIVER, with James having a brother Thomas who also married into my SINTON tree.
A wonderful set of connections.

But wait, there's more.
Keying all of this into my ancestry tree as I found the related census records etc up popped a family tree match down the WIGHT line.
I had never gotten back to John James TURNBULL (or many of his siblings) to figure out their fate beyond 1881, and there was Morag's tree. So an email was sent and I now have a newfound cousin in Canada, who replied promptly, and has given me some updates on her farflung branch.

** and even more.
Checking back to my database as I wrote the above, I realised that although I had corrected Robert's mother to Margaret WATSON, I had not noticed that I already had others of the correct family in my database already. Robert had a brother James whose son James married in Quebec (1860 to Catherine PIDGEON). When time permits an outline tree will probably be included in the Wanted! pages of the Fairbairn DNA project to see if there are any additional connections.

6th: Ignore the supposed recent changes listed in that index for the 6th April are merely background database tidy ups, no new information.

3rd: Still rather busy on real life, but making a tad more time for little discoveries.

Checked my GenesReunited hot matches for the first time in ages recently and found several new connections, if not relations. One from Shona led me back to my SINTON tree, adding in a Thomas STRATTON as the husband of Agnes LAURENCE and providing two children.
This of course prompted me to do a quick check around to see what else might be available on the surrounding family since I last looked some years ago.
Family now mostly brought up to 1901, with a few of the spice added, and an all too common death from typhoid found (Euphemia, who had married boiler maker master David ANDERSON and was living in Camlachie, Glasgow).

My main web pages SINTONs of Southdean descendant chart has been updated, as have the charts and page associated with Francis Douglas SINTON, one of the William and Isabella (SCOTT) SINTONs, whose mother was one of my WIGHTs. Interestingly enough, his wife Margaret Alice RUNCIMAN has also recently popped back into research view as I was looking at her RUNCIMAN tree the other day trying to sort out who where her grandfather Thomas (married Alison CURRIE) belonged (before I realised my SINTON connection to the tree).
My conclusion, unproven, was that Thomas was the son of John RUNCIMAN and May WEATHERLY, given that Margaret's mum was a Margery Weatherly RUNCIMAN, and there's a Thomas born to a couple of that name in the right timeframe and place.

Mar 2010

19th: More RUNCIMANs
With the DNA project showing that the William of Crail line is a good match to my Earlston/Wanton Walls RUNCIMAN line, I'm beginning to check up on some of the NZ branches of the former.
One web search brought up this from the Presbyterian archives: Photographs 1861-1870:
Green Island Parish, Dunedin
First Office-Bearers, Green Island.
Montage Of First Office-Bearers Of Green Island Presbyterian Church, Elected In 1862; Incl ; - Richard Runciman; James Runciman; James Neill; John Johnson; David Howden; David Andrew; William Martin; John Blair. c.1870 Ref: P-S11-22
Which I'm sure I've seen before, when I was researching the HOWDENs who married into my HENDERSON tree!
Richard is father of James RUNCIMAN, and the grandson of William of Crail. David HOWDEN is the father of the James who married Isabella HENDERSON.
Think this comes into small world territory.

18th: Michigan RUNCIMANs
A descendant of the other branch of Michigan RUNCIMANs has popped out of the woodwork, so there have been some updates published on the chart for James and Isabella (CARTER) RUNCIMAN - more to come.

17th: Megsmire
Back in 1994 I was fortunate enough to be able to visit Nichol Forest in Cumberland, where my TURNBULL ancestors (great grandmother Ellen TURNBULL and her parents) came from, and to research them in the Carlisle Record Office.
While there I noted any likely looking information that may at some stage connect, even if I didn't know exactly how, where or when at the time.
One such was the 1842 will of Walter of Megsmire (which place I visited, or at least where I decided it probably was from census data). It was a very detailed will, and sexist (but of its time), dividing his moss up into sixths, with each of five sons getting one sixth but three daughters sharing the remaining sixth.
Walter survived to appear in the 1841 census as a 75 year old, but that didn't lead me to match him up to the known Nichol Forest families.
Yesterday however George, a descendant, provided me with a copy of Walter's 1842 death cert, which gave his age as 80, and an added impetus to try again, given that between then and now much more research on TURNBULL baptisms had occurred. I now believe Walter to be the son of James TURNBULL & Betty BELL, and baptised in 1762 (at Canonbie). This makes George and I 7th cousins, which has taken us at least 9 years of (very) intermittent correspondence trying to prove our relationship via the TURNBULLs.

With both yesterday's news re Lester LESLIE aka Jack WALSH, and this TURNBULL reshuffle, my webpages have been updated, and the next batch of changes included in my WorldConnect database LornaHenderson (Walter has been shifted from LornaPotential, which has also had an update, as has the data I contribute to OneGreatFamily, which can include other families unrelated to me, but of relevance to the FAIRBAIRN and RUNCIMAN DNA projects and One Name Studies - FAIRBAIRN, RUNCIMAN).
I even had a rush of blood to my head and also gave the much less often updated Rootsweb pages a refresh. They don't contain as much supplementary information as my main pages, but will hopefully still exist long after I've ceased paying for my own domain name.

16th: Fromelles and the power of mtDNA
For all my work on Surname dna projects, which by their very nature concentrate on the Y chromosome and direct male lineages, mtDNA has really paid off in the extended DAWE family.
Back in Feb 2009, Anne, the wife one of my (many) DAWE relations, contacted me as I she had been contacted by Tim Lycett of the Fromelles project asking about a Leslie LEISTER aka Jack W(alsh) WHITEMAN. (the link probably still shows Leslie as the son of his adopted parents, his uncle and aunt Robert Watson Donald LEISTER and Elizabeth WAY)

Tim believed, after extensive research, that his Fromelles database mystery Jack WALSH was probably Leslie LEISTER, the son of Sarah Jane Way born after her husband Robert Henry Whiteman had died and shortly before she married John Young in 1894.

The Fromelles project needed mtDNA candidates that should prove a match to Leslie aka Jack, of which we had at least one genealogist in the family immediately identified (who agreed).
In the time between then and now Leslie aka Jack's short life (he died aged 22 in 1916) has been further researched, and closer relatives tracked down, with Anne keeping us all posted on progress.

Today, emails have been flying with notification that despite the great odds against any of the bodies in the mass grave at Fromelles being able to ever be identified, Leslie's has (one of 75 identified so far).
We have a mtDNA match with direct female line descendants of Sarah DAWE (daughter of William Smith DAWE and Mary WAY). Quoting Tim in an email to us all:
"I have to say that finding out Leslie (aka Jack) has been identified has provided me with the greatest sense of satisfaction of all.

Virtually everyone in 'officialdom' had given up hope due to the fact that he was adopted and given a new name but we were determined to do our best. It took months of hard slog and lateral thinking to sort it out and with the wonderful assistance from yourselves, we have finally been able to give him back his identity."

Leslie LEISTER aka Jack Walsh WHITEMAN, (13 Aug 1894 - 20 Jul 1916) R.I.P.

13th:Can resist everything but tempatation (and wine and chocolate and..)
Couldn't resist also updating the front end to my RUNCIMAN families as a result of yesterday's findings.
William of Crail has been included as well as a descendant chart of some of his family (by no means complete).
12th: An interesting day
Life is still interfering far too much and stopping me from indulging in my genealogy obsession, but today I couldn't resist any longer. A full set of new RUNCIMAN DNA results were available, with a 12/12 match to the next set due - which was fully expected, given the paper trails, but always a relief to have confirmed, with no blips down the generations.
However, the real excitement of this was that this family line has vindicated the effort I put into helping a group of researchers from the line of William of Crail, even though I didn't really think there was any connection to my lot (the weavers of Earlston, and farmers of Wanton Walls). They have turned out to be an excellent match - so farmers and fisher folk DO sometimes mix and match after all, despite my quite long held theory over several family lines and many generations.
The icing on this particular cake will be to finally find a willing representative amongst the descendants of Thomas and Alison (GRIEVE) RUNCIMAN to (dis)prove my current theory that William of Crail is Thomas' brother. Any takers? There must be some out there somewhere willing to help.

And then to cap all of that, I also noticed that partial results were in for the confirmed representative for the line of Archibald and Alison (CROSSER) FAIRBAIRN, and again, thankfully, it looks like there have been no blips down the generations AND they are showing a good match so far, as expected to Lineage 1 "clump 1".

5th: In the absence of substantial research
Been too busy with real life of late but felt I had to pass on this interestingly odd snippet from one of our esteemed newspapers.

We have an Arts Festival on at the moment, one of the Fringe items is based on a family book of Scottish songs c 1800s, with the artist reported as having a connection with Scotland because her great grandparents were cotton farmers there.
My idea of the Scottish climate has just altered dramatically!!

Feb 2010

19th: Long time coming
It's been a while, but every time I set too checking my updates were ready for the web, I got sidetracked, so next time there were even more to check.
The task got too big.
Now, however, three months later, it is done.
The recent changes index shows the people affected who actually have a page of their own, but the descendancy charts will also include whichever people I've found since the last update, back in mid November. Most will have been mentioned in passing here on this blog, but not necessarily.

The latest contact has been from another descendant of the William McADIE who married Sarah ABBOTT trying to convince me that this William is the William of an age and birthplace, son of George McADIE and Elizabeth ROSIE.
I'm not altogether sure why I'm resisting this quite so strenuously as it does seem a likely match BUT there are still at least two other William's not yet sufficiently ruled out of contention, the naming pattern doesn't quite "fit", and if we've all found the only 1851 census contender for the chap marrying Sarah (or the son of George and Elizabeth for that matter), his occupation doesn't gel with the rest of the family and his own later occupation.
Whichever way it goes, I've ended up putting what I know about both of them on the web. Check out William and William.

16th: Long overdue updates
I normally manage to update my WorldConnect database LornaHenderson about once a month, but things just keep rolling in, so the update slipped out to two months.
There now.
Checking of the related updates for my own family tree web pages however, has taken a backseat as I'm having too much fun with the Fairbairn DNA project and the Runciman One Name Study (ONS) (and some real life intervening).

11th: Foulden, Berwickshire
Gave up on trying to find an Andrew RUNCIMAN on ancestry's 1841 census transcripts the other day.
He had to be somewhere, but I could NOT find him.
Went to Scotlands People, and yes, there was a chap of the right age in Foulden, Berwickshire in the search results.
Even armed with this new info, I still couldn't find him on ancestry, so paid out my shillings for the SPeople copy.
Out of curiousity and armed with all the people on the page, back to ancestry.
Spot checks, nary a one of them anywhere, and Foulden didn't appear in the list of parishes available.
So I logged it with ancestry.
Some year, it may arrive, their response:
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. This databases should be complete, so it appears that this parish may be missing from our records. I have reported this to our content team to look into and correct when possible. Feedback from you, our valued customer, helps us correct errors and improve the website. Your patience and efforts to assist us in this matter are appreciated.

Please understand that fixes to errors on Ancestry are posted firstly in the order of those which affect the greatest number of users, and thereafter in the order in which they are reported. For this reason, fixes for some errors may take longer than others to be posted. We appreciate your patience.


7th: From bigamy to ... make up your own mind
What an innocuous start to a conversation.
Hello Lorna

Could we talk about Oswald?
I can't find him on your Lornahen website Regards from Veronika

As he was on the far reaches of my WINES, all I knew about him was that he existed, hence my reply:
Hi Veronika,

You can't find him on LornaHen for two reasons, one I only write up and publish people on that site that I know something about and I don't know anything about him other than he existed, and two, the other place he may appear there would be in a descendant chart but I've never done one for the WINES, they're just too prolific!

Are you related to Oswald? Can you remedy the fact that I know little about him and his branch of the tree?


Which led to:
Subject: Re: Oswald Dixon ancestry

Hello Lorna

Sure can...

Oswald Henry Dixon, born 1884 Gundagai in 1913, married my Marguerite Alice Wakeford, born 1885, Newtown, NSW died 22 Jun 1917, The Rock, NSW Her parents :
George Wakeford and Ellen/Eleanor Smyth

I'm led to believe that they had one daughter, before...

The Sydney Morning Herald... Saturday 30 June 1917, page 14 ALLEGED WIFE MURDER. WAGGA, Friday.

I've not yet dragged myself away from the RUNICMAN One Name Study, and latest set of FAIRBAIRN DNA results, but here's a link to one of the articles for those interested in the spicier side of family history to be going on with.

Veronika's summary:
He prepared the capsule purporting to contain liquorice powder, and gave it to his wife
And he is reported as having an affair with a young girl who works in the Bank

And at the end of it all, he got his wife's inheritance
He got rewarded for poisoning her!

5th: What's the word for a serial bigamist?
(other than cad and bounder and several other stronger terms I suppose).

The answer appears to be two words, you call him "Robert FAIRBAIRN".
Sue (of Clapham nurserymen fame) and I have strayed onto a cooper Robert instead of her nurserymen FAIRBAIRNs for a while, having found this chap in passing:
There's a Robert born abt 1817 in St Giles, London.
We've figured out that his first wife Elizabeth Stedman OSBORN(E) had died in 1849 and that he had remarried a Frances YELVERTON nee HUBBARD in 1852.
I may or may not have mentioned the trail for an Elizabeth aged 3 with what looked like a sister Elizabeth aged 6 that I eventually rationalised as being the Alexina who was baptised as such with her sister Elizabeth on the same day, but born in the right timeframes to identify the 3 yr old as Alexina.
I figured the enumerator had been told she was Lexie, heard it as Lizzie, and wrote Elizabeth (by 1871 she's Alesandra, and the only likely matching birth reg. we can find is indexed as Alexander)
Anyway, by 1861 she is recorded in the census as Angelina, living with step mum Frances and older sister Elizabeth, with Robert nowhere to be found (yet), and Frances giving her occupation as "supported by husband", and showing as married.
Frances continues thru 1871 as "married" with both (step) dtrs with her, and by 1881 is an imbecile, widowed, in the infirmary workhouse. Then in 1881 up pops a cooper Robert of the right age and birth place, married to a much younger Jane, with three children, Louisa, Frank and Eliza, aged 13, 4 and 1
But none of them anywhere to be found in 1871. (and we cannot find Jane/Louisa with or without a FAIRBAIRN surname in 1871)
Two people researching this latter tree believed their Robert and Jane had indeed been married before, but to an Elizabeth CASTLE, which neither Sue nor I can corroborate.
We thought we were onto the trail of a bigamist, or at least a two-timer, as we could not find a marriage to Jane.

Sue thought she'd cracked it, sending me a simple email saying:
"could be why we can't find him in 1871", with a link.
The link was to the criminal registers, with the source showing a Robert FAIRBAIRN, imprisoned for 3 mos for bigamy days before the 1871 census.
On the surface, case solved.
(The Old Bailey Proceedings actually call him Robert FAIRBURN).
Far from it and what an interesting journey that turned out to be and all.
I went to the newspapers. The 19th Century British newspaper collection came up trumps with two separate reports.
One going on about a Richard Fairbairn and bigamy sentences saying it was right that he got the lighter sentence of the two bigamists tried that day as his "wife" knowingly married him, whereas the other chap had deceived his wife.
I could identify that the bigamous marriage was likely the marriage of a Robert to Ann Jane MOORE, the other pair of that marriage page being identified elsewhere, in qtr 1 of 1871. Turns out it was complete coincidence that I found the right one, as I was specifically looking for a Robert/Jane marriage.
The report said he first married in 1864 - which would fit a date for an 1868ish Louisa born to Jane and our cooper. BUT, the 1864 marriage turns out to be a Richard Robert FAIRBAIRN marrying Mary Elizabeth DOYLE, which you've probably guessed by now, was "known to us".
She was the first wife of father of Richard Robert FAIRBAIRN, the Worcester politician of the 1890s, and one of the lines of the Clapham nurserymen.
Full circle I think you can call that.
But wait, there's more.
This chap was a lighterman, and obviously a budding politician in his own right, as earlier in the year newspaper reports show an R FAIRBAIRN representing 8000 lighterman pushing for the Admiralty to get some law thru parliament. But that little bit of history aside, this newly proven bigamist was already identified as a bigamist as I'd much earlier found his marriage in Canada in 1875 when he says he's a widower.
He brings the Canadian wife back to London between 1876, birth of first dtr Ann Jane Agnes FAIRBAIRN in Toronto, and 1881 when first wife divorces him, and he's living with the rest of his new family in Bermondsey.
If I'd found the other newspaper report first, a Lloyd's Weekly Register report of the Old Bailey trials which gave dates and first wife's forenames, the journey may have been shorter, but I suspect I'd have missed a step or two of discovery along the way. So, there's such a thing as serial bigamy!
Fancy calling your first child by your second bigamist marriage the name of your 1st bigamist wife!!
We still haven't proved that the Robert / Jane that started this lot is definitely one and the same cooper Robert we're looking for.

4th: When is an exact search not an exact search?
A friend was trying to direct me to something she had found on ancestry, and I simply could not see what she was seeing. Given I believed she wasn't telling me porkies, we went through our respective settings.
I nearly always use the "exact matches only" setting, with wild cards if need be, she didn't.
I don't see that it should have mattered as I had typed, accurately, and later rechecked by doing a copy/paste of the exact name from the results, but still, the chap only came up when "exact matches only" was unticked!

3rd: Non conformists
Been reading a bit about the Non Conformists of late, given that so many of the Scots who moved south can be found in their records.
Some links:
Dr William's Library
The Surman Index
Some indexes to registers are available for free searching at (but pay to view images - thanks Sue, for pointing me to this one).

Adam SCOTT appears in the Surman index, so I had a bit of an update for his family.
I knew he'd died between 1901 and 1924, and now also that Marion was a widow in 1911, but hadn't bothered tracking down his death given his name is a bit too common. The Surman index gives his date of death as 14 Sep 1908, so I thought it likely that he was the 1908 registration indexed in the District of Blackburn - but that chap is indexed as 39.
At the moment, I'm assuming it's a mistranscription for 59, even though the image of the index does show 39.
Can't yet figure out what happened to children Sydney and Margaret E after 1901. One day.
1911 did add another descendant into the tree, a dtr Jean Evelyn for Bertram & Christian Pettigrew WAGSTAFF in Ealing.

2nd: FAIRBAIRN approved
The FAIRBAIRN One Name Study has now also been registered to me with the Guild (See the Guild of One Name Studies aka GOONS, for what this entails).

A set of basic introductory web pages are now in existence, and probably bear a remarkable similarity, apart from content obviously, to those for RUNCIMAN.

Links to both have been added to the list of web sites on the lhs of this blog.
Both have their related project diaries, so if you think I've been a bit dilatory posting anything here, simply look around my other projects/blogs, chances are extremely high that I have not been neglecting genealogy.

Jan 2010

31st: In for a penny, in for a pound
Given where my research has been leading over the last couple of years or so with the dna projects, I've decided to bite the bullet and try to get a bit more methodical, probably an impossible task for someone as easily distracted as I am by the next shiny email that arrives in my inbox.
Anyway, I have applied for, and been granted, registration of the RUNCIMAN surname as an official One Name Study (See the Guild of One Name Studies aka GOONS, for what this entails).
Discussions are in train with the existing registered owner for FAIRBAIRN, as she currently has it as variant on her FAIRBURN, but there's no doubt ample scope for both of us. Only one person can be registered for a surname, so it firstly has to be removed as an alias from her study to be able to be registered to me.

Off to a grand start for RUNCIMAN as a set of basic introductory web pages are now in existence.
All of this was primarily prompted by Ros popping out of the woodwork again linking up her Fife/East Lothian RUNCIMAN family tree to the latest recruit (back in December) in the DNA project, thus reviving her interest in RUNCIMAN research as well.

The activities required for the DNA projects, and for One Name Studies are very complementary, so let's hope I can stay focused, but not completely neglect my own family, which is already well overdue a replublish of my web pages, and Rootsweb databases.

26th: Interesting reading
Some interesting sites brought to my attention (from a list of Unusual Websites" included with Ancestors Magazine): Oh well, back to my own version of reality...

25th: Rounding up Runcimans
An excited Ros emailed me after a long hiatus today, long term RUNCIMAN friends had turned out to be related, and thought that their brother was "doing something with DNA and was into family history". So she quickly sent the brother info I had previously sent her on the RUNCIMAN dna project, and an email to me to let me know, hoping I could get him into the project.
Been there, done that, awaiting the t-shirt (kit results), he was R-7 of the RUNCIMAN blog back in December.
Downstream effect however is a break from researching London FAIRBAIRNs and a quick peek at their respective RUNCIMAN trees to see how they were connected, and whether there was any possibility they'd connect with my Earlston lot. Looks unlikely on the surface, but who knows what may happen in this world of genealogical happenstance.
As part of my digging I could see that there was a connection to Crail in Fife, and of course, cousin Harry is an expert on such things, so I thought he'd have the actual headstone transcription being referred to.
Sure enough, and after much digging in several old boxes of research, also unearthed several other interesting bits of data he'd extracted back in the 1980s when he came across an unexpected RUNCIMAN family in Crail, RUNCIMAN being one of our shared ancestral names. Ros is delighted, Harry exhausted, Lorna in catch up mode, but a summary of the family will eventually make it to the RUNCIMAN DNA Patriarchs page.

23rd: Foundlings
Reading the Prologue to Stella Tillyard's "Aristocrats" made me chuckle about the poor genealogists descended from those first admissions to the Foundling Hospital in Hatton Garden in 1741 (assuming of course any of them survived, both physically and in recorded history).
They were all apparently baptised in the names of assorted sponsors and their families, eg Caroline Lennox, daughter of the Duke of Richmond.
Could cause some hopefully very momentary confusion if the names were recognised.

21st: SUTHERLAND Treasure Trove
My "Originals" sub site has been updated to include the beginnings of the publication of a treasure trove of family memorabilia received courtesy of a very kind lady in Melbourne.
She had been clearing a relative's house and found a large number of items belonging to a family she did not recognise as hers. Having determined that they really were no connection to her, she did some web searching for anyone researching the family, that of Alexander Bain SUTHERLAND and his sister Jessie.
(It is believed that her relative was a friend of Sandy's and that he had helped clear his house after his death, and Sandy had obviously done the same for his sister Jessie).
Her search found my web pages. So I now have a wonderful box full of family bits and pieces that most certainly bring the family of John and Jane (McKENZIE) SUTHERLAND to life rather more than previously.
I had already benefitted in my research on this family by having a friendly genealogist in the Shetlands contacting people who may have known, or known of them, so I was already one step ahead of the bare names, dates and places, but this is magic.
Heaps of postcards, some letters, some official documents, many photos (of course, most unnamed, but several look identifiable).
With only a very few of the documents scanned and examined for clues, I have already been able to pinpoint which of the many Jessie SUTHERLANDs heading for Australia she was (having her passport certainly helped, although I'm not so sure Jessie SUTHERLAND would have approved of the use of her passport photo, I know that I would hate to have mine published!), found the death of Jessie's uncle, John McKENZIE, son of James & Janet (BAIN) McKENZIE), identified the wife of Matthew Williamson SUTHERLAND, and finally determined which of them was the schoolteacher.
The Shetlands memory banks were sure that one of the family was a teacher, and assorted people assigned this occupation to different siblings.
It was Jamie, there's a letter from him to Sandy dated Nov 1947, from the Mertoun Schoolhouse, St Boswells, Roxburghshire. It will all take quite some time to sort through.
Many of the postcards are from all over the place. Looks like Jessie collected them, and people obliged by sending one from wherever they were.
I've already spotted one of Cockingford, down in Devon, which can hardly have had a connection to this family, but most certainly does connect to my Dawe family!
And one of a train stuck in a huge snow drift in Thurso - wonder if the current winter is similar?

20th: Some people make genealogy hard
I do so hate it when I cannot find someone who has to exist.
Last sightings were a marriage in Ontario, Canada in Peterborough 1893, followed by the births of two daughters, Edith and Gertrude, and death of wife Sarah (1899).
His name was supposedly Harry FAIRBAIRN, and he (they) should have appeared in either the Ontario deaths, or 1901 and subsequent 1911 census records.
No joy. Casting the net wider to outside Ontario, and even into the States still didn't come up with any likely candidates.
So I worked backwards to figure out which FAIRBAIRN family he belonged too, and quickly found that he was more usually known to his family as James Henry, and enumerated variously as Jas H, or James H with the surname as FAIRBAIRN or FAIRBURN. This latter is easily overcome by doing exact searches using wildcards, eg FAIRB*, but the forename variants are a little harder to cope with.
For the 1901 Ontario census I eventually resorted to simply leaving the name blank but putting in a birth year with +/- 5 years, and the township where I thought he would be, and scanning the entire 400 names for anything that could conceivably be a mis-indexed FAIRBAIRN. Still no joy.
By now I'd found that he had remarried (1899), as James Henry, to a widow Amelia COUTTS nee HUNTER, so it really seemed unlikely that he would be missing from both the 1901 and the Ontario deaths. But nothing anywhere in Canada to an Amelia with husband James or Jas or Henry or Harry, nor in the States.
I don't give up easily, so decided to try the known children. Gertrude had died at age 1, so it had to be Edith.
She did eventually provide the missing link I required. At age 17, in 1911, she had married in Renfrew Co, Ontario, "with parental consent", and gave her place of residence as Port Huron, Michigan, and her parents as Harry FAIRBAIRN and (incorrectly) Amelia HUNTER. Working from the known to the unknown, always a good maxim, 1910 Michigan census finally provided what I'd been looking for, but even then only by putting in Edith with father Harry born Canada in the right timeframe, no surname. They were indexed as RAIBOURN. By 1920 Harry is indexed as "H FOUNTAIN", but as they still had son Percival aka Percy who was with them in 1910, with them in 1920, they were more easily found.

Even son Percival/Percy, supposedly born Ontario, I had missed in the birth registers first time through. His mother had been indexed as Ammelin, and father recorded as Henry J. And was he Percival? No, John P.
Those we chase around the records don't make it easy for us, nor do the transcribers.
How many forename variations? Jas, James, Henry, Harry, H, Henry J Coupled with FAIRBAIRN, FAIRBOURN, RAIBOURN, FOUNTAIN, FAIRBURN as indexed surnames, which makes strking the right combination of both names a bit of a challenge.
And after all that I probably still wont find a dna candidate for the line of Andrew FAIRBAIRN and Elizabeth HAGERMAN in the FAIRBAIRN Surname DNA project, but it sure wont be from lack of trying!

18th: if they can't get it right...
I was browsing the Scotlands People feature on Famous Scots and noticed it had the will of Sir William Fairbairn.
Yes it was the will of a William Fairbairn who died about the same time (1873), but that of the Edinburgh surveyor, married to Agnes Hamilton DODDS, and brother of the Free Church Minister of Allanton, and most definitely not that of Sir William, engineer, born Kelso 1789, living in Surrey at the time he died in 1874.

Check out the Fairbairn DNA project for the outline pedigrees of the people mentioned.

11th: Where things lead
One of the Message Alerts that Rootsweb sends out for message boards I have registered an interest in mentioned an IVISON.
I thought that name sounded a bit familiar, and given it is also a little unusual, I went searching in my database to see why I thought I had someone of that name.
Well, only one.
Last year I had pieced together a theoretical family for one of my WIGHTs based on one of the children being Isabella Ivison WIGHT, as I'd found a possible marriage for John Adam Thomas WIGHT to an Elizabeth PERCIVAL, whose mother was an Isabel IVISON. (see blog filtered for IVISON)
I later confirmed they were indeed the right family.
Spurred on by this more recent reminder of the name, and with more information now available, I spent a while checking the ancestry indexes for births, deaths, and marriages 1916 thru 2005 and have updated the family a bit more.
Couldn't find them anywhere in England in 1911 however under any search criteria I could think of. Which was a little surprising as they do seem to have stayed around Northumberland.
Next WorldConnect update will have a few more twigs on that part of the WIGHT tree.

8th: WARE branch updated
Thanks to Nick providing an outline descendant chart for Gertrude TURNER (dtr of William TURNER and Mary Ann WARE), I spent a happy time checking it off and adding dates and places, where I could. Surnames added into that branch of the tree include: SHARRATT, NORTON, PEPPER, HIGGINBOTHAM, BRASNETT, McCAUSLAND, LOVELESS, ATKINSON, ASHMAN and HOPE, none of which feature elsewhere, so no new inter-connections for this Devon family that moved to London.

The results of our endeavours will appear on WorldConnect in due course, and are already in my ancestry tree LornaHen, included there as I found the source records.

4th: Gateshead to Manitoba, DODDS reviewed
Although I've not renewed my sub to MyHeritage (well it was free for five years from the old GenCircles and now will cost), the tree is still sitting there, searchable.
A side effect of this is that people may still send me emails about matches, but I wont be able to reply (unless they include an email address).
One such arrived today, a Katie asking about her 3*great grandparents William DODDS and Agnes Robertson DAVIDSON of Gateshead.
Up to now I'd not advanced all the family as far as 1901, but spurred on by the knowledge that at least one branch must have produced several more generations, I had another look today.
Still don't know where Katie fits, but do appear to have found that dtr Rosina Hunter DODDS married an ELLIOTT, a descendant of whom has a tree on ancestry; and that the John (who had married a Sarah someone by 1901) and family had all hopped off to Manitoba by 1903.
I've also resurrected father William, he can't be the one of the right age in the death index in 1902 as he's a widower in the 1911 census with son James.
So, Katie, I hope you find this eventually, and contact me from my website as I'd love to know where you do fit into the family.

1st: PURDIE mystery solved
I'd previously given up trying to find Margaret PURDIE nee FAIRBAIRN and family in 1841, although I had eventually found hubby Charles gamekeeping in Buckinghamshire.
Got a bit more stubborn today, having found that in the 1871 census daughter Cecilia thought she was born in Ipswich, Suffolk, so thought they might be there.
No wonder I was having trouble. The Wherstead Suffolk census shows Margaret saying she was 40 instead of 48, and they had been indexed as PURDUE born Ireland, instead of Scotland, even Cecilia, who was shown as Acilia, 5 born Scotland, not England.
It did add a daughter Elizabeth into the family, but didn't solve the mystery of the Williams in the family.

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