Thursday, 31 July 2014

July's Interesting Genealogical Blog Finds...

This month I have read lots of really interesting blog post which I felt were worth while sharing with all my readers...

GeneaBloggers - Data Backup Day - What About Backing Up Your Blog?

Some really great advise about the importance of backing up your information.

FindMyPast - Findmypast & Wall to Wall introduce Who Do You Think You Are? Story!

This sounds like a really exciting adventure and website, once it's up and running... watch this space!?

Worldwide Genealogy - Just "Google" It

It's amazing what you can find about your ancestors through a random "Google" search.

The British GENES Blog - Deaf & Dumb in Glasgow

Sometimes, thinking outside the box and following new leads can lead us to the correct result.

GeneaBloggers - Genealogy Blog Tip: Obituary Posts

Practical blog post about Obituary finds from your research...

Worldwide Genealogy - Killing Them Off

How can killing off your ancestors help with your research?

The Armchair Genealogist - Reviving Your Tired Family History Blog

Refreshing ideas to relaunch your blogs

Young & Savvy Genealogists - My AncestryDNA Review: A Cautionary Tale

What do you expect from DNA genealogy?

Saturday, 19 July 2014

My ancestor was . . . a currier

Men's Brown Derby Leather Shoes
(Image from:,  accessed 8th July 2014)

A currier was involved in the process of leather making. They dress, finish and colour the tanned hide to make it strong, flexible and waterproof. After the currying the leather is ready for saddlery, bridlery, shoemaking and glovemaking.

Initially when I saw my ancestor, Lawrence Shuttleworth, was a currier I thought that it was a misspelling for a courier, until I googled it and my eyes were opened to what a currier actually was. It makes sense that he was currier as his father and grandfather were both shoemakers. Lawrence Shuttleworth who was named after his paternal grandfather was born in 1829 in Cross Hills, West Yorkshire. He moved to Keighley where he met his wife Sarah Ann Russell and they were married in Keighley in 1854.

Information from:
Wikipedia - Currier

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

The Book of Me, Written by You - Week 45 - Comics & Annuals

Each week there are prompts which require answering.

Week 45 - Comics & Annuals

As a child, I don't remember being into Christmas Annuals or comics much but this is what I used to see around me...

  • Beano comic with Dennis the Menace which my brother used to buy, but I would also occasionally read too. I loved Dennis the Menace!
  • Blue Peter annuals, I was may be bought 1/2 of these but I also collected old ones from various people, charity shops and car boots, so I had quite a few at some point.
  • Guinness Book of Records I had 2 the 1995 and 2000, which I read over and over to see what crazy things people could do to break records.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

My ancestor was . . . a dock worker

A dock worker is a generic occupation for a person who worked on the docks, yet there were many different occupations and roles at the docks, in which case your ancestor may have been:

  • Loading and unloading boats AKA a Stevedore, which is derived from the Spanish estibador and/or Portuguese estivador meaning a man who stuffs or loads boats.
  • Lumpers - a docker who unloads fish at a dock
  • Railway workers
  • Carpenters - building or repairing ships
  • Engineers
  • Fitters - a person who assembles parts to manufacture a mechanical device
  • Blacksmiths
  • Wagon drivers
  • Grooms
  • Dockside police - I presume would have policed what came in and out of the ports and docks
  • Harbour officials
  • Watermen who worked on barges
  • Lightermen operated lighters which are a type of flat-bottomed barge
  • Roadsters
  • Rope makers
  • Lifting gear operators
  • Crane drivers
  • Chain makers
  • Sack manufacturers
  • Boiler makers - in the ship building industry
  • Colliers - a person who produced charcoal or mined for coal
  • Coal whippers - unloaded coal from transport ships

Dockers would be strong men who required great physical strength and there would be a great social atmosphere, yet dockers were prone to accidents as well as exposure to hazardous substances.

I have a few generations of dockers, mainly boiler makers in my family tree. My great grandfather, Walter Davidson was a dock labourer in the docks at Hull until World War II when he and the family relocated to north Leeds, West Yorkshire when he got a job at Kirkstall Forge. Walter's brother, Uncle Ted, father, Edward and grandfather, John were all boiler makers who worked at the docks in Hull and the East End of London. John's step-father, Michael Lester was also a boiler maker. You can read more about my Davidson ancestors at The Davidson Family.

Information from:

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

The Book of Me, Written by You - Week 44 - Hairstyles

Each week there are prompts which require answering.

Week 44 - Hairstyles

Ok, so this is very much a photo sharing prompt!

My hair is naturally blonde, although I frequently am asked if it is dyed. Now, it is starting to show that it is not dyed with the white hairs appearing through. The once golden look might becoming tinged with silver  :(

Let's start with the early years...

Aged 2.5 years

Yes, I had the craziest, thickest afro, white, stick-out a lot hair.

Thankfully it has now tamed a lot!!!! This was the latest hair cut I had a year ago... 


...but I have not had it cut since so now it is again quite long and straggly, and probably lives in a pony tail more often than not at the moment.

But most of life it has been long and very straight...

Summer 2008

2002 ish

...apart from the days which I curl it for special occasions...

My wedding 2011

Summer 2011

...or had it permed during my student days...


...or braided it in Africa...


 ...but most of the time it looks like this...

2006 ish

...tied back out of the way or in pig tails.

Brasil 2008

Saturday, 5 July 2014

REMEMBERING . . . Private Harold Vernon Poole

Private Harold Vernon Poole - West Yorkshire Regiment #24181

My great grandfather, Harold Vernon Poole, was born in Shipley, West Yorkshire on 11th June 1894.

Copy of his birth certificate owned by Ruth Hogan

His parents were Frederick Slater Poole (1860-1948) and Grace Ellen nee Binns (1869-1917), he was the first child of their marriage which took place in summer 1893 in North Bierley registration district, West Yorkshire.

Frederick had been married and widowed previously, so there were 3 older half-siblings, Grace Alexandra (1883-?), James Alfred (1885-1959) and Mary Hannah AKA Polly (1888-?) who lived with the family.

In 1899, Harold became an older brother to Samuel Victor Poole (1899-1935) also born in Shipley, West Yorkshire.

By the 1901 census, the family had moved to Skipton in North Yorkshire, where Frederick was working as an engineer on the railways.

1901 census excerpt of the Poole family in Skipton, North Yorkshire
 Image from:, accessed 25th May 2014

Again by the time of the next census in 1911 the family had relocated again and this time to Rose Avenue, Horsforth, West Yorkshire and now Frederick is working as a Road Steam Roller Engineman Driver. Harold is 16 years old and is working as a Mule Peaceiner.

1911 census page for the Poole family at Rose Avenue, Horsforth
Image from:, accessed 25th May 2014

On 28th July 1914, war broke out with Germany and at the ripe age of 18 years old, Harold was old enough to join the army, but he did not enlist until 30th December 1915.

Certificate of Transfer to the Army Reserve owned by Ruth Hogan

Certificate of Discharge owned by Ruth Hogan

He was in the West Yorkshire Regiment and went to fight in France but I am still trying to discover which Battalion he was in. He was gassed and did not have really good health for the rest of his life due to the effects of the fighting on his life, but other than this passed down information I know very little about his fighting days.

His mother, Grace Ellen, who he was very fond of passed away in Yorkshire whilst he was away fighting in France on 31st July 1917. His father would marry again quickly to Delilah Shackleton on 27th April 1918 at All Saints Church in Bradford, although he was still living at Rose Avenue, Horsforth.

On 26th September 1918, Harold married Alice Thompson (1895-1973) of Horsforth, Yorkshire. They were wed at St Margaret's Church in Horsforth. I wonder whether Harold was home on leave for this as it was not yet the end of the war and he was not transferred to the army reserve until nearly a year later on 4th August 1918 and it would be nearly 10 years later when he was finally discharged on 28th May 1926.

Photo of Harold Poole and his wife
My grandmother told me rumours that at some point after returning from war, Harold had a disagreement with his father, Frederick, which would never be resolved. I often wonder if it was something to do with the death of his mother and sudden marriage to another lady, which all probably happened whilst Harold was away fighting in the war. Delilah AKA Lily was described as being a "tarter" by another of Frederick's grandchildren.

Harold & Alice's first child was not born until 25th November 1924, when Alice gave birth to Aileen Poole, although we seem to think there was an earlier boy child or pregnancy in which the child died or was possibly still born. Later they would have another girl, Mary Verona Poole born in 1929. 

My grandmother would tell me that her father, Harold, had little to do with his father, Frederick due to the fact that he had never given him a grandson, but whether these rumours about their relationship was true who now knows.  My grandmother lived on street very close to that of her grandfather, Frederick, but she would never have recognised her grandfather if she had passed him in the street.

Harold passed away in 1954 shortly after the birth of his second grandson at the age of 59 years.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

The Book of Me, Written by You - Week 43 - Emigration, Migration & Immigration

Each week there are prompts which require answering.

Week 43 - Emigration, Migration & Immigration

Travels in New Zealand 2012
Emigration - is the act of leaving one's country or region to permanently settle in another.
Migration - is the movement of people from one place to another with the intention of settling in a new location.
Immigration - is the movement of people into another country or region, to which they are not native in order to settle there, especially permanently.

I would probably say that I have never emigrated, migrated or immigrated to another country, but I have definitely emigrated to the white rose county of Yorkshire from the red rose county of Yorkshire. Some would say I was an immigrant to Yorkshire.

Enjoying a Brasilian life on the beach
I have definitely lived in other countries though although I would not say I have emigrated. I spent my gap year in Brasil, which is where I lived for 6 months. I loved my time in Brasil and it was such a character building period of my life. I am still in contact 10 years on with my friends out there. I do not know whether I could emigrate to Brasil as I would miss my English family too much but I would definitely love to return to catch up with friends. There is an emotional connection to this country in my heart now and I think there always will be a love for that place. (Ruth's Favourite Things - Brasil)

I have also spent 3 months in both Malawi, Africa and New Zealand at various points in my past. I loved those trips and they also have special places in my heart for various reasons but I do not have that same connection with those places as I do with Brasil. (Ruth's Favourite Things - Malawi & New Zealand)

Bradford - my home today
I have lived in the city of Bradford, West Yorkshire now for nearly 10 years and I knew from the start this was the place I wanted to move to for university. I cannot tell you why but there was certainly a strong pull here. Since living here and researching my family history I have discovered lots of my ancestors were from Bradford and my great, great aunt Grace Midgley nee Poole even lived a few streets from where I currently live now. I wonder if the historical link from the past was the pull even though I did not know it at the time?

I have a few ancestors in my family tree who emigrated:
  • Grace Midgley, my great, great aunt emigrated to live with her son in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) at the age of 75 years old in 1958
  • John Thompson AKA Jack, my great, great uncle emigrated to Australia in 1921 aged 20 years old to start a new life. He married and settled there, we believe his descendants are still there today.
  • My younger brother currently lives overseas in mainland Europe, where he has married a lovely German lady, so I can probably say he has emigrated.

I think that most of my ancestors loved the UK and were very settled in their northern counties, as most of my ancestral research is in the counties of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

Information from: