Saturday, May 14, 2005

Tracing Your Medical Ancestors

Royal College of General Practitioners
Lyn Nunn wrote:
I have found some really good information here

Thanks for the URL. In itself very interesting, and it contains some
good leads.

One has a wonderful impression of Brunel just about breathing his last
whilst the Archbishop and guests get on with the important business of

Reminds me of the time I went to a clinic manned by nurses about an
infection I had in my foot. The one I saw was so intrigued she called in
the other three. All bent their heads over it saying the equivalent of
"Coo, never seen that before". Finally they told me to get myself off to
the nearest casualty department, as there would be no doctor at the
clinic 'till late afternoon.

On arrival I was seen by a doctor who looked somewhat doubtfully at the
red lines beginning to make their way up my leg, and he yelled for a
large dose of antibiotic to jab in. I rather tentatively asked if it was
near wooden leg time and got the reply, "No, nearing wooden box time". I
always like to know just how things stand!

Yours Aye
Andrew Sellon

I can’t accept your invitation, for my house is full of country cousins,
I wish they were once removed. .

Rev. Sydney Smith 1771-1854, Canon of
St. Paul's.

from Google Groups : soc.genealogy.britain which I visit at least once a day

Friday, May 13, 2005

Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness

Genealogy Research Tool

Successful genealogical research is based upon people helping people. Our volunteers unselfishly provide information available in their area to those who live far away.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

WHAT TRIGGERED YOUR INTEREST in GENEALOGY? - Ancestry Daily New, 12 May 2005


"WHY WE SEARCH," by Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak

Some weeks ago, I requested that readers take a moment to complete a
brief survey on one of my websites. As of this writing, 2,283 of you
did so (thanks!). In an earlier article

I shared some of the amazing responses to a question about the
extreme measures some of us have taken in pursuit of our roots.
There's still more to discuss on this entertaining topic, but I'll
save that for another day.

Today I thought I would focus on the meat of the survey, which is
motivation. What is it that inspires us to start the quest and what
keeps us engaged year after year? This is what I hoped to learn, and
thanks to the many of you who kindly took the survey, I can share
some insight on this intriguing subject.

I like to include at least one element of demographics in each
survey, and this time I included age. Specifically, I asked how old
respondents were when they first heard the siren's call of genealogy
and how old they were now. While the majority of respondents were in
the 51-70 age bracket now, what jumped out at me is how young so many
of us started. Forty-four percent started their research before the
age of 40.

I suspect we're seeing the beginning of a trend. While genealogy is
still especially popular among the retired (after all, it takes
time!), I see signs of more and more folks joining the hunt at a
younger age. Scouting badges, homework assignments, and the
burgeoning scrapbooking hobby are just a few of the potential
triggers that can rope us in during our teens, twenties, and
thirties. It would be interesting to repeat this same survey in a
year or two to see whether there's any evidence to support this
notion that we're starting to skew younger. But let's turn now to

I offered eleven pre-set responses to this question, plus the usual
catch-all: other. It's a good thing I included "other" because that
was the second most popular response! In declining order, here's how
you answered:

--- Unexpected discovery that piqued your curiosity (e.g., old photo
album, collection of letters, story about an ancestor, etc.): 26.95%
--- Other: 26.3%
--- Death of a loved one: 11.29%
--- Request for help by a relative known to you: 8.86%
--- Special event (e.g., parents' 50th wedding anniversary, family
reunion, etc.): 5.51%
--- School or scouting project (your own or your child's,
grandchild's, niece's, nephew's, etc.): 4.13%
--- Contact by a relative previously unknown to you: 3.87%
--- Visit to the old country or ancestral hometown: 3.64%
--- Vanity search on Internet (that is, searching your name and
discovering something): 3.11%
--- Religion: 2.96%
--- Desire to join a particular society or organization (e.g., DAR):
--- Adoption (casual or formal) in the family: 1.67%

It's clear that most of us get started more or less accidentally, and
natural curiosity is a contributing cause for many. And while it's
sad to see the death of a loved one in third place, it's not
surprising. I'm actually pleased to see that only about one in ten of
us start our search for this reason--and I would be delighted to see
this figure diminish further in future surveys.

But what I really wanted to know is what reasons were hiding in the
"other" category. When I inspected the comments, I found a secondary
tier of motivations claimed by clusters of respondents. See if any of
these resonate with you:

--- Always interested - can't remember a starting point
--- Gift of a computer and/or genealogy software
--- TV programs, especially Alex Haley's "Roots"
--- Relative's storytelling (with great-aunts heavily represented!)
--- Carrying on relative's quest (usually a parent, aunt, sister, or
--- Major health scare or other medical cause
--- Historical events, especially 9/11, but also the Bicentennial,
liberation of Lithuania, etc.
--- Out of the blue (e.g., "No explanation. Maybe those ghosts were
talking to me.")
--- First child or grandchild
--- Knowing nothing about one side of the family (most often, a
father who had died young or left the family)
--- Escapism from early adolescence children
--- Moving close to a Family History Center or other research
--- Ellis Island (articles about, finding an ancestor in the
database, etc.)
--- Mother and father were orphans
--- Dysfunctional family
--- Time to do it
--- Military brat with no hometown or roots
--- To prove a family tradition
--- Dual citizenship

As just a sampling, here are some of the remarks that I found
especially poignant, startling, or otherwise compelling:

--- My mother developed Alzheimer's disease, and I suddenly realized
all her personal history, not just her own story, but those of her
ancestors, was quickly fading away.

--- Had a miracle baby at 41, but found out I had uterine cancer one
year later. Wanted to leave him a sense of me and my ancestors.

--- A coin. My grandmother whispered, "This was the year I was born!"
I was hooked.

--- My mother was 97 years old and she made two requests for some
knowledge before she passed away: 1) try to find some answers to the
KIA/MIA status of my brother during WWII, and 2) some information
about her mother's family (her mother died when she was very young).

--- I dreamed of my grandfather and he wanted me to search his family

--- When my uncle died, found Civil War headstone of my great-
grandfather in his yard.

--- I was 69 when I found out by accident that I was adopted.

Fortunately, I did a better job dreaming up possible responses to the
follow-up question about what keeps us hooked now. This time, "other"
found itself essentially in a three-way tie for last.

--- The thrill of the hunt/the challenge of mystery-
solving/curiosity: 21.03%
--- Leaving a legacy (for yourself and/or for the benefit of future
generations): 18.59%
--- Honoring/paying tribute to ancestors/The desire to "know" them:
--- Connecting with relatives, both close and distant: 13.19%
--- Fit with my other interests (e.g., history, travel, etc.): 8.6%
--- Self-discovery: 7.21%
--- Creative outlet for researching, writing, etc.: 6.69%
--- Social outlet (e.g., genealogical societies): 2.41%
--- Other: 1.4%
--- Finding famous/illustrious roots: 1.38%
--- Religion: 1.37%

I don't think there are any significant surprises here, but the top
response reveals a fact that's obvious to all of us, but invisible to
those who "don't get it"--genealogy is fun! We may get started for
any of a number of reasons, but it's the detective game aspect that
keeps many of us addicted. And beyond that, I'm pleased to find
myself in the company of folks with such noble reasons for our
honorable pursuit! Thanks again to all of you who completed this
survey. I'll be sure to let you know when I've developed another one
(suggestions on topics and questions welcome!).

(Copyright 1998-2005,,
Inc. and its subsidiaries.), the "Ancestry Daily News"

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Gloucestershire Family History Society

GFHS Home Page
some of my ancestors were in Gloucestershire which is a county I have hardly resarched at all.


Bennett Family Genealogy

If you are researching in UK you will find the Freeware Parish Locator Program useful.
The current version is 2.6#009 - November 2004.

The database which was originally created by Gerald Lawson now contains over 15000 parishes and includes many corrections.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Old Letters from Denmark

Old Letters from Denmark - Letter #1: "As I am closing this letter, somebody came and told us that they heard that the boat you went over there on was lost, but we know better. We can tell them right to their faces that it was a lie, but it has been all over town. Don't let it be so long before you write again. This is all the news for this time."

Monday, May 09, 2005

Ripping yarn of a chains plot "Pat Woolley of Derwent Close, Pensnett, and originally from Chapel Street, Brierley Hill, has uncovered a fascinating family story to do with relations on her mother's side - the Nocks of Brierley Hill.
It all came about because an American lady was looking for information on those Nocks who emigrated to the United States in 1903. She is Gladys Runkel of Jonestown, Pennsylvania, who is now 80 years old.

A prosperous Titus Nock and his wife Harriet living in America
Gladys is the grand-daughter of a Titus Nock, while Pat is descended from a Ben Nock. They are still trying to work out the exact relationship between the two men but in doing so they have brought to the fore a story that would have remained hidden without their investigations. " By Dr Carl Chinn no less !

The Workhouse

The Workhouse
beggars and vagrant poor are not a new poblem

In 1388 in England, the Statute of Cambridge (12 Rich.II c.7) introduced regulations restricting the movements of all labourers and beggars.

from these excellent pages Links part of Home Page of Bitton Families

so just been past Add your URL to Google to help them
Our crawler, Googlebot, will be able to find the rest.
I hope !

Sunday, May 08, 2005

WorldConnect Suggestions

WorldConnect Suggestions see the link in the side bar WorldConnect

I have made three sites and am developing a fourth
with about 4500 references to LAPHAM surname
about 2000 census results and 1,776 Birth, Marriage, & Death Records results increasing all the time
then there is my family archive and trade directoies and newspapers - and that is UK only.

today I am entering the 1891 England Census with 418 names not including typos !

so not much time for blogging
151 marriages and 671 individuals entered so far using FTM 2005 from which I will export a typo

My most successful effort is in Danish for a friend
RootsWeb's WorldConnect Project: Slægtssider for Hedvig Pitzner-Jørgensen who sent me a gedcom - Entries: 3093
and a text which I segmented and copy pasted into some of the notes
EG Axel Octav Julius Meyer and on the frepages Axel Meyer

My own RootsWeb's WorldConnect Project: Watkins Lapham Kristoffersen Riley April 2005 is very much warts and all with a lot of rough notes in the texts - Entries: 1789

newer RootsWeb's WorldConnect Project: Watkins Lapham Kristoffersen Riley 2005 - Entries: 2062

linked to Homepage of Hugh Watkins

RootsWeb: Registry of RootsWeb Sites: "RootsWeb houses tens of thousands of websites for the genealogy community. "
requesting Web Space on RootsWeb