Monday, 30 June 2014

June's Interesting Genealogical Blog Finds...

Worldwide Genealogy - A Town Forgotten

An interesting tale of a town long gone, but yet significant in the places which still exist.

Ancestry Blog - Does This Make Angelina Jolie Kate Middleton's Fairy Godmother?

How are Elle Fanning and Kate Middleton related through royalty?

Worldwide Genealogy - Online Trees. Why Have One?

The pros to having an online tree.

Why we should all do a the volunteering we can fit around our busy schedules.

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter - Who Do You Think You Are? (UK version) Announces 10 New Guest Stars

Line up for the next WDYTYA series being shown this summer...

Of Trees & Ink - That's Not My Name

Interesting tale of another genealogist's ancestors who's name regularly changes.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

My ancestors lived at . . . Gill Bottom, Cowling

My great x4 grandfather, David Binns, was born in Cowling in West Yorkshire c1816.

In the 1851 census he is listed as living at Gill Bottom, Cowling, as a widower with his children, Ann, John (my great x3 grandfather), Sarah, Isabelah and Jane. I was intrigued and wanted to know where Gill Bottom was in Cowling. I decided to search for it on Google maps but accidentally clicked the search the web, so instead I got lots of images and web links. There was quite a lot of interesting stuff coming up...

I discovered that Gill Bottom was on Shop Lane in Cowling and that it is currently a Grade 2 listed building, it was listed in 1984. It was a c1800 farmhouse with 3 cottages.

There was a mill at Gill Bottom also known as the "weaving shop" which was sadly lost to a fire in November 1870.

I also found some images on the Cowling Web website, which I have included the direct links for the images below:
Beckside (Gill Bottom Cottages) 1961 - I wonder if it was one of the cottages on this photo in which my ancestor lived in 1851
Old Mill at Gill Bottom 1911
Gill Bottom, Cowling

Information from:
British Listed Buildings - Gill Bottom, Cowling
Moon-Rakers - Gill Bottom Mill Fire

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

A word of wisdom . . . BACKUP!

All family historians must ensure that they backup their family tree regularly . . .

. . . a few weeks ago, I had been busy all day working on my family tree using Family Tree Maker (FTM) 2010 on my MacBook. I was inspired and on a roll finding records, it was a really enjoyable day.

My new FTM for Mac
Later on some friends came around so I left my laptop playing some music but had not shut down FTM, so it had not saved up that days work. When I came back to my laptop later that evening I discovered the battery had died whilst it was playing music and my laptop had powered off itself. In turning my laptop back on and opening FTM it was telling me the file had corrupted . . . EEK!!!

Anyways to cut a long story short with a few tears en route, I thought that I had lost ALL my data (talking about 5 years worth of research possibly more!!). I rung FTM at Ancestry to see if they could offer any help or assistance . . . they couldn't as not only had the file corrupted but the FTM program on my laptop had also corrupted. Every time I opened a back-up file it was also corrupting that, but also my FTM had not been backing-up in a separate file every time it shut down even though the tick box was ticked that it should be doing that, so my now corrupted file was the only back-up I had for the last 2 years   :(

Thankfully my saving grace is that I backup my laptop regularly to an external hard drive :) so had a fairly recent copy of my research through a FTM back-up. I have had to buy a new version of FTM program as well, which arrived in today's post (including 6 months free membership to Ancestry).

I am hoping and praying that I will be able to use the non-corrupted files from my external hard-drive to download as much of my family tree onto the new FTM this weekend and get my head around the newest version of FTM for Mac . . . so here's to hoping it all goes smoothly in the transition from old to new and backed up data.

The moral to the story is back-up very regularly and never leave your laptop on playing music without it being plugged into a power source!!!!

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

The Book of Me, Written by You - Week 42 - Handwriting

Each week there are prompts which require answering.

Week 42 - Handwriting

I class my handwriting as neat, although I have noticed as I get older it does become more of a scrawl...but I put that down to too much writing at work.

Example of my great, great grandfather's handwriting
from Edward Davidson's notebook

It was always very clear and legible, but it has changed a lot over the years, when I look back at my school work it was always very neat especially in the first pages of the books. Now, if I am writing a lot at work and having to write fast it does become a bit of a scribble. I think my handwriting reflects both of my parents handwritings too, in different ways. 

I have always written using joined up writing, as we were taught to write in joined up writing from a very young age (although I remember friends from other schools who never did joined up writing). I have always and probably will always press down very hard when I am writing, so make quite an indent too.

Edward Davidson's signature on the 1911 census
I have two signatures, one which is neat and legible and one which I use at work which is a scribble for I have worked out I can sign my name more than 100 times a day sometimes, so it has to be a squiggle (and I get sick of signing my name on everything).

My great, great grandfather
Fred Poole's signature on the 1911 census 
I love looking at ancestral records in which my ancestors have signed their own names, I feel it gives me more of an insight into who my ancestors were. I wonder what my descendants will think about my handwriting down the years?

My great, great grandparents signatures on their wedding certificate alongside their witnesses and siblings.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Surname Saturday - Redwood

Surname Saturday is a regular blog post in which I will discuss the origins and geography of the surnames which appear in my own family tree.

This week's surname is REDWOOD

John & Jane Davidson (nee Redwood)
Variants: Readwood, Ridewood, Redewood, Reedwood, 

Redwood is a locational surname for a person who came from the villages of Redworth in Devon or Durham, or even a lost village by the name of "Redwood". It could also have derived from a person who lived near or close to a red wood.

The highest locational density of Redwood families in 1891 was in London with 17% and Devon and Somerset with 15%

My 3x great grandmother was a Redwood, she was called Jane Redwood and married, John Davidson. Jane was born in Herne, Kent and her family were from various towns along this stretch of the Kent coastline. Many of the men were mariners and worked at sea. (You can read more about Jane and her family at the The Davidson Family - Chapters 5-7)

Information from:
SurnameDB - Redwood
House of Names - Redwood
Ancestry Surname Distribution - Redwood

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

The Book of Me, Written by You - Week 41 - Blood Group

Each week there are prompts which require answering.

Week 41 - Blood Group

I am blood group B+ which surprised me as it is one of the rarer blood groups (8% of the population according to the stats on website), I thought I would have one of the commoner ones. 

I only know which blood group I am because when I travelled on my gap year to Brazil we were advised to find out then if we required medical treatment overseas we would know if it was required. I have since travelled a lot so it has always been useful to know.

I was also a regular blood donor and so they give you a keyring and card with your blood group on it when you sign up and give blood for the first time.

I would love to know what the other members of my family are, but at the moment I don't.

Reading this prompt made me do a bit more research on the internet about blood groups and I found this webpage which had lots of world maps showing the distribution of the different blood groups across the world, it is really interesting as my blood group B is most commonly found in Asia.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

My ancestor was . . . a husbandman

A Husbandman with his herd
(Image from:,
Painter: Paulus Potter (1625-1654),
1648, accessed 24th May 2014
A husbandman is a Middle English occupation for a free tenant farmer or small landowner. The dictionary definition is a person who cultivates the land or a farmer.

A husbandman was socially lower in status than a yeoman who was a farmer who owned no less than 100 acres of land.

My ancestor and 7x great grandfather, William Brown c1725 was from Cowling in Yorkshire and on the Kildwick Parish Church registers of the baptism of his daughter, Elizabeth, he is described as being a Husbandman.

Information from:
Wikipedia - Husbandman
Oxford Dictionaries - Husbandman
Wikipedia - Yeoman

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

The Book of Me, Written by You - Week 40 - Where do I think?

Each week there are prompts which require answering.

Week 40 - Where do I think?

I probably don't do enough thinking, I like to busy myself too much. But when I do think it is when I have a silent few minutes, which can happen when I'm :
  • in the bath or shower
  • spending some time reflecting with God, either at home in bed or in the living room or sometimes at church or a friends house
  • going for a walk and especially in the countryside
  • at work when it is quiet

I keep a journal of my thoughts but only write in it a few times a month and this is often when I am spending time with God.

I have to sometimes try very hard to create space and time to allow myself the chance to think, as I can become stressed or overwhelmed when I do not create this space and time.

When I am trying to make an decision and mull things over, it is often done out loud, as I am a verbal processor, but this is not always great for my husband and family as they get tired of hearing me going through every possible scenario out loud before coming to a conclusion myself.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Memorial to my grandfather on D-Day 70 years on

My grandfather 
My grandfather was only 18 years old when he joined the Green Howards during WW2. His first experience of combat (other than training) was 70 years ago today on D-Day.

I cannot even begin to imagine how he was feeling on that day as a young man, only just entering into his adult years with his whole life ahead of him, running into fierce battles to give us the freedom which we live under today. There must have been great fear and trepidation, as well as bad memories of the whole experience.

It was not an occasion that grandad would reminisce about, if we asked him he would answer some of the questions and tell us a little about the experience, but I would love to have been able to ask him today some more about his experiences as well as his thoughts and feelings at the time. As a child I never properly understood but wish I could now.

My grandfather was wounded in the shoulder during the D-Day landings and returned to the UK to recuperate, before being posted to Africa for the remainder of the war.

He was a part of the Green Howards who landed at Gold Beach on the 6th June 1944.

I wish I knew more to share, but I don't and can no longer ask him, but today I have been remembering all those young men who fought on the beaches of France for the future generations.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Death from a Splinter

I have been doing some more research on FMP newspapers whilst I have the months cheap subscription and accidentally discovered this newspaper report about my great grandfather's brother, Samuel Victor Poole (1899-1935).

Excerpt from The Yorkshire Post & Leeds Intelligencer on 20th September 1935
(Image accessed on on 24th May 2014)

My grandmother had told me many years ago that Samuel had passed away through septicemia from a splinter, but I had never really looked into this story further, but this newspaper article confirms the family story. It is nice to have evidence to back up family tales.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

The Book of Me, Written by You - Week 39 - Do you have a safe place?

Each week there are prompts which require answering.

Week 39 - Do you have a safe place?

Otley Chevin (Image by Ruth Hogan, April 2011)
Thinking through this post, I decided that I do not have a "safe place" as such, but I definitely gravitate to the countryside or local park when I need some space and time out.

I love being outdoors and the beauty of nature helps me to rest, relax and spend time reflecting. There a few places with great memories that I might gravitate to at certain times of year, for example:
  • We scattered my grandfather's ashes at Bolton Abbey, so I do love to visit and spend time remembering my grandfather and reflecting on the fun times we had together at Bolton Abbey as well as other places.
  • As a student, I would always go out for a bike ride alone along the Leeds-Liverpool Canal to de-stress and actively spend more time with my own thoughts.
  • The local park is a great place, right on my doorstep when I need some space and time for reflection, a time to get away from everything else.
  • Otley Chevin is another favourite place, with many, many, many memories of visits to my grandparents and again is a place I can go to reflect.
The most important thing for me is to be alone to spend time in my own "safe place" even without my husband around, I often just need to create a space in my head to reflect and struggle to do this with someone around.