18th February 2016

Photography

I took the above photograph using Ilford Delta Professional 400 film, loaded in the Bronica SQ-A, fitted with a PS 150mm f/4 lens.  I developed the film in Kodak D-76 t 1:1.

I've fallen into such a bad state with my photography.  I feel as though I have lost my ability to take interesting photos any more.  I've hardly touched medium format for a while.  When I do photograph, it's mainly using 35mm film compacts.  I do have a couple of cassettes of Rollei Retro 400S to develop some time.  Mainly shot on a recent day trip to York.  I don't expect any of my shots to be particularly magic though.

Running with dogs

The running is going well.  I still struggle to stop the lurcher from pissing at every tree, lamppost, hedge, but our times have improved something closer to my old running times.  My weight loss haltered for a while - stuck at the 11 stone 8 pounds mark for too long.  However, weight loss is not my object so much as health and fitness.  Still, I was pleased when I stood on the scales today and saw 11 stone 5 pounds.  Cool.  That's a healthy BMI of 24.  It was a very unhealthy 29 back in November.

The blender is cool.  I'm glad that I went for the 1200 W monster.  It chews and spits everything in it's path.  I've found it handy not only for making smoothies, but equally, healthy quick soups.  I simply load it with whatever vegetables are at hand, add some stock - and blend it just like a smoothie - but then I put it into a pan and cook it for a little while on the stove.

Genealogy

My paper ancestry continues to expand, thanks mainly to searchable indexes online.  I now have no less than thirty of my thirty two G.G.G grandparents named.  The only two that are still missing on the fan chart are unlikely to ever surface, as in both cases, the ancestors were illegitimate.  I think that I've done well since recovering my old .gedcom file from the Internet. How many people can name thirty of their great great great grandparents?  Five generations back no less.

One challenge was breaking through an old block with my great great grandmother Ann Smith of Attleborough, Norfolk.  Years ago, I hit a block.  I knew her 1835 birth date from her headstone in Attleborough.  I knew that her maiden name was Peach - not a local name.  I knew on 19th Century censuses that she stated her place of birth to be Eaton, Lincolnshire.  That was a bit odd for my Norfolk ancestors.  I had found her on one census, living in the same household as a Sarah Peach that appeared old enough to be her mother, or maybe an aunt.  Only that Sarah Peach was a washer woman that had been born in Hockwold, Norfolk.

A recent search online, bit by bit, placed all of the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together.  Sarah was the mother of Ann.  Sarah Peach was one of my G.G.G grandparents.  But Peach was her married name.  Despite being described on censuses as unmarried, she had briefly been married in the East Midlands.  Something happened to that marriage.  She was born in Hockwold, Norfolk in 1812, and christened as Sarah Riches.   Her parents were Benjamin Riches, a labourer who himself had been born c.1779 at Old Buckenham, Norfolk, and Elizabeth Riches (nee Snelling) who had been born at Banham, Norfolk.  Something later took Sarah Riches out of Norfolk, all the way to the Lincolnshire area.  In 1835 at Holywell in the East Midlands, she married a David Peach. Five months later, their daughter Ann Peach was born not at Eaton in Lincolnshire, but at Etton in what is now Cambridgeshire.  I never see David Peach again.  Instead, Sarah and her daughter Ann turned up six years later in Attleborough, Norfolk, living there with her parents who had moved there from nearby Hockham. 

Ann went on to marry my great great grandfather in 1857.  They settled in Attleborough, where they went on to run a builders business, a beerhouse, and a builders supply yard - all from the Grapes in the town.

Her mother Sarah didn't disappear.  She never married again, but she did give birth to two more children.  She worked throughout as a char woman or laundress in Attleborough.

Another mystery solved, and another pair of G.G.G grandparents into the bag.

Now when I eventually get my DNA results from 23andMe (33 days so far), I'll have a good idea of where that autosomal DNA came from.

Gramps software

I'm a big fan of Open Source.  I do run Linux on my netbook, but I do use Microsoft 7 64 bit on a desktop for various reasons.  When I need some software, I like to see what Open Source software is available first.  I needed a program to open that .gedcom, and downloaded GRAMPS both onto my Linux netbook, and onto my Windows PC.

What a cracking program!  The controls and depth of the database can be a little intimidating.  I can see that it is one of those applications that needs a bit of skill.  However, so much depth to it, so many ways of logging sources, citations, places, and relationships.  Brilliant software, who needs to buy an end user license?  More on Gramps here.

Ancestry - progress via free online records

My direct ancestry fan chart looked a little bit too uneven (the above chart is the improved chart, after the following research).  I had compiled no ancestry for one of my great grandparents - my father's maternal grandmother, Emily Smith (nee Barber).  All that I knew of her origin, was that although she married and settled with my great grandfather, in Norwich, that she was born in 1859 in the South Norfolk village of Hedenham.  For some reason, perhaps a lack of resources back then (I conducted most of my family history 20 - 15 years ago pre-Internet), I had never traced any further back on her line.  My Ancestry Fan Chart highlighted this Gap of data.

I haven't really got the time to travel over to Norfolk Record Office at the moment, but I did have the recent opportunity to spend several hours online.  Internet Genealogy can be a bit pricey though.  Someone has to gain access to records, digitalise them, index them.  This service is provided by a number of commercial website companies, but of course, they have paid subscriptions.  I guess that if I was to start genealogy afresh, that I might be tempted to invest in an annual subscription with one of those companies.  If I didn't live in the country of my ancestry, then even more so.  As it is, I'm lucky, as the vast majority of my ancestry over the past three or four hundred years appears to be quite local, so that I can easily visit local archives and church yards.

So how did I get on with my Free Internet Genealogy Experiment with great grandmother Emily Smith (nee Barber)?

Conclusion - the story that I uncovered

This is a story of three generations of rural working class families, in South Norfolk, and just over the border in NE Suffolk.

On the 16th September, 1794, John Ellis married Elizabeth Beckett at the parish of Tasburgh in South Norfolk.  They were G.G.G.G grandparents of myself.  Tasburgh is a small village that straddles an old Roman road.  The couple then settled in the neighbouring parish of Saxlingham-Nethergate.  Their first two children, John, and Elizabeth, were baptised there.

Sometime around 1796, they moved slightly to the south, to the parish of Hempnall, Norfolk.  They settled there for may years, and Elizabeth gave birth to a further nine children by 1818, at Hempnall.  One of those was my G.G.G grandfather, James Ellis, who was born on the 16th April 1812, and was baptised shortly after at the parish church of Hempnall. At least one of the baptisms recorded that the father, John Ellis, was employed as a labourer - as with most rural working class men, he was an agricultural labourer.

G.G.G grandfather James Ellis, grew up to marry a woman named Esther.  They eventually settled in Esther's parish of birth - a few miles to the east of Hempnall, in the village of Hedenham, Norfolk.  However, at first, they may have spent some time even further east, in the village of Ditchingham, Norfolk.  They first had two daughters, including my G.G grandmother, Maria Ellis, who was baptised at Hedenham on 29th September 1834.  But in 1838, they had a son named Benjamin, who was baptised at nearby Ditchingham.  All later children - six of them, between 1841 and 1850, were born at Hedenham again.  During both the 1841 and 1851 censuses, the Ellis family were recorded as living in Hedenham.  James was recorded as working as an agricultural labourer in 1851, as was his twelve year old son Benjamin.

Now let's just step away from the Ellis family for a moment, and look at another ancestral family, the Barbers, living at this time, just over the county border to the south, in a little hamlet of South Elmham, named St Michaels.

G.G.G grandparents Robert and Mary Ann Barber, were both born in the county of Suffolk sometime around 1794.  They were raising a family in St Michaels, Suffolk.  Between 1818, and 1841, I found records of at least eight of their children, all born in St Michaels, S.Elmham.  One of them was my G.G grandfather George Barber, who was born in 1830.  During the 1841 census, eleven year old George was living with his parents and siblings in St Michaels.

Then something went wrong.  Perhaps the father, Robert Barber, died.  Perhaps they fell into extreme poverty, or even an illness struck the family.  With very little welfare, such events were often a tragedy to 19th Century rural working class families.  After 1841, the family disappear.  I lose trace of Robert and Mary Ann Barber.  Instead, in 1851, I find my twenty year old G.G grandfather, George Barber, is humiliated as an inmate of Shipmeadow Workhouse - the Union workhouse of the Wangford Poor Law Union.  Meanwhile, his thirteen year old younger brother, and nine year old younger sister are recorded as lodging with the Wigg family household in St Michaels.

Back over with the Ellis's, also in 1851, my G.G grandmother Maria Ellis was recorded as working as a live in servant in a household of the Buck family in Hedenham, Norfolk.

Seven years later, in 1858, George Barber married Maria Ellis, somewhere in the Wangford district of Suffolk.

G.G Grandparents George and Maria Barber (nee Ellis) settled in the brides home parish of Hedenham, Norfolk, where between 1858 and 1868, they reared four daughters, including my great grandmother Emily Barber, who was born at Hedenham in 1859.  George's occupation was recorded again, as agricultural labourer.

During the 1861 census, the family are living at Old Gravel Pit, in Woodton, Norfolk - close to Hedenham.  Emily was aged one.

During the 1871 census, Emily, age now eleven, had a recorded occupation - Crow Keeper, which I understand to mean that she earned money for scaring birds from the fields.

However, by 1881, Emily had left her family, and had moved to the City.  She was now recorded as living at The Chantry, St Stephens, Norwich where she worked as a domestic servant for a John Rayner (a solicitor's clerk), and his family.  Emily most likely met my great grandfather Frederick Smith in Norwich, where they married sometime between 1881 and 1884, and proceeded to raise their own family, including my paternal grandmother, Doris Smith.

Methods

So how did I piece that together from free online research?  I added three generations to Emily's line, and extended that section of my ancestry fan chart without even leaving home, or paying a penny.  I made a story, I found probable tragedy, encountered some large families, identified their class, added new locations to my ancestry, such as Tasburgh - and even my first ever discovered ancestors from over the county border into Suffolk.  I found that my great grandmother (I'll borrow a photograph to scan later) Emily Smith, earned money as a girl, working as a Crow Keeper!

The main source was Family Search, the genealogical website hosted by the Church of the Latter Day Saints.  This is a cracking free website.  On it I could find and search a database of UK censuses from between 1841 and 1911.  This enabled me for example, to locate a few ancestors locations when otherwise they would have been missing.  The website also has an impressive database of transcribed parish registers and Bishops transcripts.  In some cases, the original documents were also available as digitilised images.  The search facility for all of their documents took a little getting use to, in order to get the best out of it, but what a free service!

Another useful website was FreeBMD.  This database was critical in tracing and confirming the marriage of George Barber to Maria Ellis in 1858. Although it only gives access to the indexes of state birth, marriages, and deaths, that along with correlations through the search facility of FamilySearch.org gave me enough information for that event.

Finally, in a search like this - you have to use Google Maps, in order to get a picture of where your ancestors lived, use Street View to see them, and the maps to see exactly where the parishes are in relation to each other.


An intelligent food blender (apparently)

Okay I took the plunge and bought a smart food blender today.  I did buy a cheap blender several months ago, but you know what?  It had no balls.  If I'm going to take blending seriously, I needed a 1200 watt bad boy.  What inspired me?  I have to confess, it was watching Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead on Netflix.  Inspiring, more then anything else, it reinforced what I have been reading in Gut by Julia Giulia Enders (2015).  I have been doing great with my healthy eating plan since last November, but I could do with eating a little more veg, and a little less fruit.  I hope that the blender makes that more feasible.


A Day at the Record Office

I took the above photograph of Besthorpe church graveyard, a few weeks ago on Rollei Retro 400S film, that was loaded in an Olympus XA2 camera, then developed in Ilford LC29 chemistry.

Well that was fun.  Five hours in a stuffy archive centre, wheeling through microfilms, with not much to show for it other than sore eyes.

I'm still concentrating solely on that mtDNA line - my strict maternal line.  I had got back to my G.G.G Grandmother, Sarah Daynes (nee Quantrill).  She stated on several censuses that she was born around 1827 at Wymondham, Norfolk.  She most likely was the thirteen year old family servant, Sarah Quantrill, employed during the 1841 census in the Long household at Wymondham.  It looks like she had to look after forty year old James Long, a farmer, and several of his children, some a similar age to her.  She went on to marry Reuben Daynes at Besthorpe, Norfolk on the 26th April 1849.  She appears to have remained at Besthorpe for most if not all of her remaining life.  Turnpike Road Cottages, to be precise, which I believe to be close to Morley and Wymondham.  Her husband Reuben, was a labourer, still employed in at the age of seventy.  He lived to a good old age, although by the age of 78, he was forced to turn to parish relief.  They were still living at Turnpike cottages in 1901.

So, we know by census that mtDNA G.G.G Grannie Sarah was born circa 1827, at Wymondham, and that her father was a labourer named Robert Quantrill.  I slowly scanned through the Wymondham baptism registers from 1813 until nearly the late 1830s.  Wymondham had a lot of babies.  Surely, by reason of thought, I should find the baptism of Sarah, and perhaps some siblings?  That would be the normal next step.

Nope, nada.  I wasted hours.  Although I know that there are splashes of the Quantrell/Quantrill/Quantrele surname around mid Norfolk (Bunwell and sometimes Norwich crop up on searches), it didn't crop up much in the Wymondham parish registers.  Which can also be a good thing.However, in this case, I found a mere five of them, and none particularly helpful.

  • One daughter of a Richard Kett and Sarah (nee Quantrill) in 1822
  • One daughter of a William Quantrele and his wife Ann (nee Blake) in 1824
  • Two daughters in 1826 and 1827 of a John Starling and his wife Maria (nee Quantril).

So where the hell were their children, or at least mtDNA Sarah, baptised?  I can immediately think of three top options to research, but they are not easy:

  • Nonconformist.  I have a hunch though, that they were not.
  • A nearby parish - but so many possibilities!  I could be looking for months or years.
  • Something happened to the family, such as moving far away for years, or death / break up - hence Sarah working as a servant at thirteen years of age.

Then, just before I had to go and walk a mile to move the car before I got a ticket, I quickly glanced through the Wymondham Marriage Register, and I found:

Robert Quantrill bachelor of this parish & Mary Page of this parish by banns 12th October 1818.

G.G.G mtDNA Grannie Sarah, born nine years after that marriage, claimed that she was born in Wymondham, and also claimed that her father was a Robert Quantrill.  They fit, it is so tempting, that I have provisionally claimed Mary Quantrill (nee Page) to be my next generation back, my G.G.G.G mtDNA Grannie.  However, it's not good paper genealogy.  Really I need to verify her as a direct ancestor.  I could have the wrong couple, or it could have been the right Robert Quantrill (the only Robert Quantrill so far spotted in Wymondham), but an earlier marriage.  I at least need to see Sarah named as the daughter of a Robert & Mary Quantrill, born of them around 1827, perhaps in Wymondham or nearby.  This would be pre-state birth registration, and before anything I can find on a census.  I can't find her or any siblings in the Wymondham baptism registers, so where next?  I need her baptism.

On the positive, I'm making some progress.  Before my recent campaign, all of my mother's recorded ancestors had been very much East or Broadland Norfolk.  That is where her autosomal DNA would largely originate for I suspect, many centuries.  Quite interesting, because the Far East of East Anglia is where some researchers such as Stephen Oppenheimer, have suggested the strongest genetic evidence of Anglo-Saxon admixture.  Place-name evidence there also strongly suggests Danish Viking  settlement.  The shores of East Anglia were the places where immigrants were most likely to beach.  I have also previously read that the sea levels dropped very slightly around the eighth century AD, making areas such as Norfolk Flegg, easier to drain for settlement by immigrants from across the North Sea.

And yet, my mtDNA line skips away from that Eastern fringe, into South Norfolk.  I didn't expect that.  In Besthorpe, it is only a parish away from some of my father's autosomal ancestors at Attleborough, and not so far away from his mtDNA at Hedenham in South Norfolk.  My parents grew up in very different districts of Norfolk, at least thirty miles apart, with the City of Norwich in between.  Yet follow the genes back, and you can start to see how earlier admixture between their ancestors could well have taken place within the past five hundred years.  The recent POBI (People of the British Isles) genetic survey (2015) suggested that despite admixture from many waves of immigration going back over thousands of years, that the present day English are very homogeneous.  The same survey also said that the patterns of the old Anglo-Saxon kingdoms still show on their genetic map.

I've only followed the mtDNA line back five or six generations so far.  However, I can't help noticing that it is swirling around South and East Norfolk.  It is more mobile than many of the autosomal lines.  Perhaps women were more likely to move over the past few centuries to new parishes, to their husbands?

I say swirling - I have got back so far to Wymondham.  That is the same South Norfolk market town that my parents retired to.  I even lived there for a while.  My mother, my sister, my niece, who all share my mtDNA, still live there.  Yet no-one was aware that we had ancestors there in the town.


I am a Left Libertarian

I took the above photo at a G20 protest in London in 2009, of the forward intelligence team .  I was using a Pentax K110D and Pentax--M 50mm 1.7 lens.

I haven't discussed my politics at all in this blog, and I feel as though I'm avoiding the issue.  Actually, to be honest, I have.  Openly discussing politics can be both confrontational, and in polite society, rude.  People that talk politics can be seen as overtly opinionated.  And yet, to have no political stance, nor views, could be seen as ignorant.  Many years ago, I was a licensed shortwave radio ham.  My licence actually specified that I was not allowed to discuss neither religion, nor politics.  Conversations were all too frequently technical, and boring, but other than competition for frequency space, you'd rarely hear any confrontation between operators.

However, I created this blog, not for popularity, but as a journal to record whatever goes through my head, be it interests in film photography, nutrition, prehistory, or even political events.  So here goes.

The Two Wings

All too often, a political stance is measured along one axis, from extreme left (either Anarchism or Communism), through to extreme right (Fascism).  All of those mainstream politicians here in the so-called Western liberal democracies or representative democracies, jostle for what they call the middle ground.  In most such nation-states, two or three mainstream political parties take it in turns to take power.  Their political ideology is regarded to be to the left, or to the right, of the other.

A radical critic (that's me), might suggest that in truth, both parties are conservative, and interested in maintaining the status quo.  Both work with Capital, and avoid upsetting the Markets too much with their policies.  The one on the Left makes Capitalism more acceptable, by redistributing some wealth in the form of tax to welfare.  When taxes increase too much, the party on the Right comes to power, and cuts the welfare back, making it all more efficient.  When they've perhaps gone a little too far, the party of the Left returns to power, and so on it goes.  In the Sailing World, this process would be called beating - a ship zig zags to work the wind, but maintains it's underlying course.  Neither political party ever actually changes the underlying course of society.  Between them, they preserve the status quo.

They remind me a little bit of the Red and Blue teams of athletes that once competed across the old Roman Empire, keeping the masses happy and entertained.  Some things don't really change, perhaps that is why I love history.

But I'm already wandering away from the subject.  Many analysts have, for many years, realised that there isn't really a lot of meaning to the traditional Left/Right political axis.  The two traditional extreme ends - Communism and Fascism, have in practice, had a lot in common.  Both have for example, been authoritarian.  This has lead many political thinkers to ask what exactly Left and Right wings actually represent.

Welcome to the Political Compass

By Traced by User:Stannered - en:Image:Political chart.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1814738

In the case of the above compass, Left usually signifies a support for common or public economic ownership, and Right signifies a support for the Free Market of private enterprise.

For much of my Life, growing up and living in the West, I like many, was under the impression that Liberalism and democracy, came hand in hand with a Capitalism, while Authoritarianism came hand in hand with State Communism.  I believe that a lot of people still think this way.  But it simply is not true.

Look around at how the World has changed since the collapse of State Communism.  The successful models are a hybrid of varying degrees of authoritarian state, that control and permit free markets.  Singapore, China, dare I suggest the Russian Federation?  Even here in the West - look how our post 9/11 states try to increase their authority ("we have to because of the threat of terrorism"), whilst moving their economies further to free market principles, and away from social democracy.

So we need to forget the old single-axis Left/Right model, and instead, we need to plot our stances using a multi-axis political compass.  Mine fits somewhere in the Libertarian Left quarter.  Exactly where, I couldn't say.  Apparently I share this section with the likes of Ghandi.


How I see the World

The future appears to be Authoritarian, and Capitalist.  A world where everyone is free to work (or suffer unemployment), pay taxes, and above all,  consume.  They are free the consume the latest upgrade, the latest solid state technology, the latest cars, smart phones, Internet TV subscriptions, and they may even be free to travel.  For the majority, perhaps this new social contract is fine.  As near to Utopia as we can get.  However, a minority of people might not only be freethinkers, but would like to engage in democracy.  They might publish criticisms of governments and politicians.  They might join free trade unions, protest, perhaps even take part in direct actions.  For these people, the minority perhaps, the future is grim.  It is a dystopia.  They will be spied on, harassed at work, their internet activities and phone traffic scrutinised, they may even be imprisoned, or worse.

This is the model that appears to be working across the global economy.  A world where you are free to buy an Xbox One or an Iphone #, but you must behave, and you must not oppose.

We of course have plenty to keep us on the right track.  Perpetual wars in distant lands.  The increasing threat of terrorism.  The Big Game plays out, in so many ways similar to the perpetual wars of George Orwell's warning, Nineteen Eighty Four.  No money for welfare, but money to pour into bombs to be dropped onto far away lands.  Dropping bombs to stop terrorism.  That really works.  I'm pretty sure that if Iran, the West, the Syrians themselves, Turkey, and Russia, really wanted to resolve the civil war there, and destroy ISIS, they could.  All that they needed to do was to talk together and to make concessions.  Instead, Oceania, East Asia, and Eurasia, will continue with their Big Game.  I think that Eurasia are the next to play the bad guy.

I remember the Soviet convoys moving into Afghanistan.  I remember the support given to Islamic fundamentalist militias by the West - weaponry, intelligence, and big cash.  The Afghan warlords were freedom fighters.  Ten years of death.  Then years later, we have always been at war with Eastasia.  The Afghan and Arab Jihadists are the threat to each and everyone of us.  We were never at war with Eurasia.  Excuse me.  Unless you have never read Orwell's 1984, you will not understand my ranting.

The lies that they tell us during these wars.  Should I mention that charade when the Americans arrived in Baghdad?  The carefully orchestrated covering of the fallen statue of Saddam Hussein, with the flag from the Twin Towers?  As though that particular despot had anything to do with 9/11!  A despot that had been supported by the West during his own long hideous war with Shia Iran.

I guess that if you tell enough lies, they become a truth.  Orwell understood that very well.  After all, he had served in the British wartime propaganda machine.  The future is grim.

1st February 2016

Photography

The above photograph was captured on my favourite little Olympus XA2, loaded with Rollei retro 400S film.  I have been really concentrating the past three months on compact camera 35mm b/w photography.  On one hand, I use the Yashica T2 AF compact, loaded with Kodak Tmax 400, that I then develop in Kodak Tmax developer; on the other hand, I use the XA2 loaded with Rollei Retro 400S, that I usually develop in Ilford LC29.

The Tmax camera produces smooth, clean, "nice" b/w negatives.  The Retro 400S camera produces high contrast, rough and ready negatives, that often suffer from underexposed / under developed - but above all, high contrast and grainy.  On the latest couple of films, I've been setting the XA2 exposure one stop up to ISO 200, and I've added a minute to developing time.  They look better.  However, it is because Retro 400S looks so odd and high contrast that attracts me to it.  It makes interesting images.  The film (as I understand), was initially produced for aviation aerial photography, and has near infrared range - for better cloud and mist penetration.  Even with no infra red filter, it produces some interesting infra red-like results.  I like it so much, I recently bought a ten pack.

Running with dogs

I've just completing my 23rd run in the campaign.  Last month, with the dogs, I ran over 60 miles.  Go our canicross team.  I feel pretty confident at keeping it up.  I have let the strength training go, but I'll pick that up again when I feel ready.  Nutrition plans, I've been pretty good.  Okay, I slip a little from time to time, but I have eaten one hell of a lot of vegetables and fruit over the past three months.  Weight loss really slowed down after losing a stone and a half.  I'm lucky to lose a pound a week.  Still, I'm not going to let it put me off.  This is a long term thing, not just a weight loss diet.

The below image is from Rollei Retro 400S in the XA2.

Ancestry

 Right at the moment I'm feeling a little concerned and annoyed with 23andMe.com.  I don't think that they are really looking after their European or outside-of-the-USA customers as well as they should be if they are serious about our markets.  All information, updates, and shipping appear to be two class - USA, and Others.  I'll let this journal know how it goes, and to be fair, it is early days.

On the paper maternal genealogy chase, I have today received from the GRO, a copy of the marriage certificate between my great great great grandparents, Reuben Daynes, and Sarah Quantrill, on the 26th April 1848, at Besthorpe parish church.  Reuben's father is confirmed as Reuben Daynes (senior).  It tells me that Reuben Dayne senior was actually a publican.  Sarah's father was a Robert Quantrill, a labourer.

In my search for my mtDNA line, I must return to the Norfolk Record Office next, and search for a family of Quantrill's, headed by a Robert Quantrill.  On more than one census, Sarah claimed that she was born at Wymondham, Norfolk, around 1827.  I'll first look for baptisms of any Quantrill children in Wymondham or Besthorpe, around 1815 - 1840.  I have seen what may have been my Sarah, staying with a family of Long's in Wymondham, age 13, in the 1841 census.

The above photo, taken on the Yashica T2/Tmax 400 film, is of my mother, my surviving mtDNA donor, standing next to (not the donkeys) a headstone for a William Quantrell.  I don't yet know if he was a relative, but this is at Besthorpe church last week, and this William was several years older than my Sarah.  He could potentially be an older brother of Sarah, and therefore my G.G.G.G uncle.  If he indeed is, then his bones in that graveyard would contain the same lineage of mtDNA as myself and my mother here.



A pug, and my b/w film photography

The Flickr Explore algorithm and it's fans appear to like this photograph today.  A pug in the town.  Pugs are apparently very in at the moment.  I captured this last week on Kodak Tmax 400 film, loaded into my Yashica T2.  I developed it in Kodak Tmax developer.  I'm not too sure that I like that developer, perhaps I should increase developing time, I like a little more contrast on my negatives.

I haven't actually discussed my photography much in this new blog have I?  I feel as though I did that enough on my previous blog, The Tight Fisted Photographer.  However of course I haven't any intention of walking away from b/w film photography.

My B/W Film Photography

Just for the sake of any future voyeurs who stumble onto this journal.  I'm living in 2016, the Age of Digital, the Binary Age.  I don't have any problems with that, obviously I am embracing it in the form of this web-blog and in sharing my images on Flickr.  I have a smartphone, and I even use a Go Pro from time to time.  I was actually a pretty early fan of fully digital photography.  I'd even say that although I spent the first forty years of my life, living during the great Age of Film, that it was with fully digital cameras, that I became more enthusiastic about photography, and for example, learned to experiment much more with exposure methods, composition, and the technology itself.

Yet, unless I need a quick, easy, colourful and technical image, I rarely bother with digital cameras anymore.  Why?  They no longer scratch my itch so to speak.  I enjoy the technology, and the process, of hybrid film photography.  Not only that, but I've come to appreciate, even to love, the results, the photographs, the argent tones of b/w film photography - even those that have been digitally scanned from negatives or prints.  I want to record the rest of my life, and my world experience, onto the silver salts of b/w negative film.

It goes against the grain (there's a pun there), but I don't like where photography is going.  I don't like the mainstream of what goes up on Flickr or in photography club exhibitions.  So much gloss, shiny, sharp, magazine inspired, technically perfect, but boring dross (in my eyes).  So much emphasis on post process software.  HDR makes my eyes bleed.  Thankfully, not all photography enthusiasts have been seduced by the gear markets.  You can still find some great images there, many of them shot on film.

No.  as long as I can buy b/w film, I'll stick to the salts of silver.  It is a matter of personal taste.


The above photograph I took on Ilford FP4+ film, exposed in my Bronica SQ-A with the PS 150mm f/4 lens attached.  This guy appears to be embracing digital photography, but it looks as though He is trying to use the LCD as an optical viewfinder.  He was concentrating so hard, he never even noticed me creep up to him and steal this candid.  I love this photo.