tag:paulbrooker.posthaven.com,2013:/posts Journals of a Time Traveller 2019-11-28T16:58:51Z Paul Brooker tag:paulbrooker.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1437730 2019-07-27T08:13:06Z 2019-07-27T08:13:06Z Day 28

Aylsham

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Paul Brooker
tag:paulbrooker.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1434884 2019-07-20T14:39:25Z 2019-09-09T11:20:18Z Day 21

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Paul Brooker
tag:paulbrooker.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1433858 2019-07-18T08:52:21Z 2019-07-18T08:52:21Z Day 19

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Paul Brooker
tag:paulbrooker.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1433269 2019-07-16T17:59:51Z 2019-07-16T18:19:55Z Day 17

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Paul Brooker
tag:paulbrooker.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1432654 2019-07-15T09:26:42Z 2019-07-15T09:26:42Z Day 15

A bed and a declaration.



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Paul Brooker
tag:paulbrooker.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1432653 2019-07-15T09:23:38Z 2019-07-15T09:24:32Z Day 14

Happisburgh.



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Paul Brooker
tag:paulbrooker.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1431730 2019-07-12T17:22:45Z 2019-07-12T17:22:45Z Day 13. Fight back

After Turkish Barber and new clothes:

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Paul Brooker
tag:paulbrooker.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1431065 2019-07-10T20:53:07Z 2019-07-10T20:53:07Z Day 11

Back to work.

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Paul Brooker
tag:paulbrooker.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1429601 2019-07-09T17:51:56Z 2019-07-09T17:51:56Z Day 10

A brighter day. Progress. Not a bad birthday. Not considering.


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Paul Brooker
tag:paulbrooker.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1428897 2019-07-07T22:02:54Z 2019-07-07T22:02:54Z Day 8

A bad day.

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Paul Brooker
tag:paulbrooker.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1428373 2019-07-06T08:06:23Z 2019-07-07T22:59:31Z Day 7

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Paul Brooker
tag:paulbrooker.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1427114 2019-07-03T00:00:20Z 2019-07-24T19:01:54Z Day 3


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Paul Brooker
tag:paulbrooker.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1424458 2019-06-25T21:51:13Z 2019-07-04T03:48:43Z David Peach - our Tasmanian Convict Ancestor

See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.  Not actually the Justitia, but the Discovery Prison Hulk also at Woolwich around about the same period.

It's time that I updated what I know about my 3rd great grandfather, David Peach.  What I have discovered about his life, since I last posted My transported great great great grandfather, some three years ago.

My Transported Ancestor, David Peach

David was baptised on the 11th February 1807, at the church of St Peter at Maxey, near to Peterborough, along the western edge of the East English Fens.


He was the son of John Peach, a shepherd and probable drover - himself baptised at St Peters, some 37 years earlier, and Ann Peach (née Sandall), originally from Thurlby, Lincolnshire.  It was a shepherd and droving family.  The Stamford area of the East Midlands was ideally suited for drovers to pick up livestock from the hills of Wales and Northern Britain, then to take them to the pastures of East Anglia, and perhaps later, to drive them down to the meat markets of London.  There were still few railways.  The traditional method of moving livestock across Britain was to employ some of Britain's "cowboys" - the drovers.  Shepherds and cattlemen, that with nothing more than their feet, and a few dogs, would walk the livestock across Britain.


David had at least three younger siblings born at Maxey between 1807 and 1812, including Mary Ann, Robert, and Hannah.  Hannah died age 12 months.

David followed his father's footsteps.  He became a shepherd and a drover.  I know that his family were sometimes driving livestock into the East Anglian County of Norfolk.  Here, much later, in the 1851 census are some of his relatives, captured staying in a mid-Norfolk inn:


It's not making too much of an assumption to suggest that on one such drove into East Anglia, around 1834, David met a Norfolk girl by the name of Sarah Riches - my 3rd great grandmother.  Sarah was from the Brecks village of Great Hockham, in South West Norfolk, not too far from the market town of Attleborough.  She was four years younger than David.  Her father was Benjamin Riches, a farm labourer that was born in Old Buckenham, Norfolk in 1779, and Elizabeth Riches (née Snelling), originally from the Norfolk village of Tibenham.  Elizabeth had eight siblings, a fairly large agricultural family.

Maybe Sarah was swept off of her feet by the stranger from across the Fens.  I'm guessing that she ran away with him, perhaps walking all the way back to the Maxey and Stamford area of the East Midlands.

On 31st March 1835, a pregnant Sarah, married David, at the little church of St Wilfrid at Holywell in Lincolnshire.


In late July that year, my 2nd great grandmother, Ann Peach was born to Sarah and David.  She was baptised at St Stephen, in the village of Etton to the north of modern Peterborough.  David now had a young family to support.

Then, in 1837, it all went very wrong.  Disaster struck the young family.

The thing about drovers, was that they were often trusted with driving livestock, worth far more than they could dream of earning.  These were very tough times for the poor to live in.  Land had been enclosed.  Many farm labourers had been replaced by the thresher machines during the Agricultural Revolution.  Indeed, riots had taken place across the South East countryside during 1830, as rural paupers took inspiration from revolutionary France.  Workhouses had replaced outdoor parish relief to paupers.  As the British Empire grew richer, even the English poor became poorer.

So perhaps, David felt some desperation on the 13th March 1837, when he apparently stole two oxen from a farmer named Thomas Congreve at Deeping Fen.  He was caught with the two bullocks 24 miles away, between Wisbech and Kings Lynn, following a tip off from someone that drank with him at an inn at Crowland.


David was in deep trouble.  He was tried at Lincoln Assizes.  He was found guilty on the 27th September 1837, and sentenced to transportation for Life.

David was moved to a prison hulk ship named The Justitia, that was moored in the Thames at Woolwich Warren:  These Thames Prison Hulks were notorious for their unsavoury living conditions.  The Justitia had been originally launched many years earlier as an East Indiaman named the Admiral Rainier.  It had been converted into a gun ship, an gun store ship, then finally, the old hulk was moored at the Woolwich Warren, and used to hold convicts in preparation for their transportation.


However, thankfully our 30 year old ancestor wasn't held in that hulk too long.  He was moved down river to the Neptune moored at Kent.  On the 4th October 1837, he boarded the Neptune for transportation to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania).  This was a 644 ton merchant ship built in 1815.  According to her Wikipedia entry"On her first convict voyage, under the command of William Ferris and surgeon Joseph Steret, she departed Sheerness on the 7 October 1837 and arrived in Hobart on 18 January 1838.[3] She transported 200 male convicts, three of whom died en route.

Hobart town in 1841.  From the Tasmanian Archive on Flickr.  No known copyright restrictions.

A number of Australian convict records record David as arriving at Hobart in Tasmania, on the Neptune in January 1838.


A few years later, David - now a convict in Tasmania, ran into further trouble.  He stole a sheep.  Perhaps in desperation, he shared his slaughtered sheep with other convicts.  I guess, a shepherd, it came natural.  But he was caught.  And he was made an example of:


On the 9th April 1840, David was sentenced to a harsh seven years of hard labour, in chains, in the notorious penal colony of Port Arthur.  This was a horrible place.  A hard labour punishment colony on a Tasmanian peninsular, demarcated by rows of chained guard dogs.  Even in later existence, Port Arthur retained it's reputation as a prison.  David really had earned the next best punishment that the British Empire could offer to hanging.  Stealing two cattle in the East English Fens.  Now, whilst a convict in Tasmania, stealing a sheep and slaughtering it.  Seven years of hell:


But what was happening back in England to his Wife Sarah, and young daughter Ann?  There was little sympathy for the families of convicted and transported men.  It was hard times as it was.  The wife of such a man, could not legally marry again, nor divorce.  She was sentenced to Life of shame.  The awful irony, was that the transported convicts themselves, were allowed to remarry.

I think that Sarah and Ann somehow made it back home to Norfolk.  They would have had nothing but shame and disgrace in the Stamford area.  Did they walk all the way back?

Sarah and Ann were certainly back by 1839.  Sarah had a second son that she named "David Wilson Peach", apparently at Attleborough, Norfolk. She appears to have returned to her parent's household at Great Hockham, Norfolk on the 1841 census.  For some reason, her infant son is not recorded there, although her five year old daughter Ann is.  Her parents, although no doubt a struggling agricultural working class family, had taken them in.

You can only imagine Sarah's grief.  She'd most likely never hear of her husband again.  The sentence was harsher on his family.

Back in Tasmania, did David survive the chains of Port Arthur?

Yes, he did.  We have two solid evidences.

He appears to have moved north, to the Tasmanian district of Cornwall, to a place south of Launceston, called Longford.  I think that he survived as a shepherd and sheep shearer.

In 1846, David won the almighty prize sum of two Australian pounds in a sheep shearing competition in Launceston, Northern Tasmania.  It was first prize.  He'd come out of Port Arthur as a survivor, and as a highly skilled sheep shearer.  From a young drover in Eastern England.

Then in 1851, unfortunately, we lose our very last glimpse of our convict ancestor.  He was granted a conditional ticket of leave - freedom to roam Australia, but not to return to England.


He then disappears...

Maybe the Australian Gold Rush of New South Wales, where another David Peach starts to enter records in the 1880s, perhaps a son or grandson?  I'd love one day to find out where he wandered.  He was a drover.  drovers wander and walk, and walk.  I don't believe that his story ended in Longford, Tasmania, in 1851.  If anyone that can help ever reads this story - please contact me.

Meanwhile ... his wife and daughter back in Norfolk, England ...

Sarah couldn't remarry, as a widow would.  She was back in Attleborough, Norfolk.  Never to hear from David.  Or did she?  The Prison Hulk records, if they could be trusted, suggested that David was literate.  That would seem unlikely with regards to his class and the period, and at his marriage, he didn't sign - but neither with an X as did Sarah.  And there were family connections to be made.  Perhaps, when he swept Sarah off her feet, he didn't meet many or any of her family.  But how much of him did they know?  The Family gave sanctuary to Sarah and Ann.  They cared, or felt a responsibility.

The Launceston Immigration Aid Society 1855 - 1862

A group of congregationalists and anti-transportationists in Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) and Victoria formed this society, with the aim of attracting respectable and hard working new settlers to Van Diemen's Land, through a bounty resettlement scheme.  My father's ancestor David Peach, was a transported convict in Van Diemen's Land at this time, serving a life sentence after being found guilty at the Lincoln Assizes, of stealing two steers.  This new scheme hoped to attract "men and women who would leaven the labouring classes and become part of a stock that would supply the ever-increasing wants of a new and fertile country".  The Society focused on the rural labouring classes of East Anglia.

The Reverend Benjamin Drake sailed from Victoria to Eastern England in order to interview and select suitable migrants for the scheme.  Drake visited South-West Norfolk.  There he encountered members of my ancestral family from father's side.

My father's family board the Whirlwind

The Riches family had moved to Great Hockham, Norfolk, from the nearby parish of Old Buckenham.  Benjamin Riches was an agricultural labourer, born at Old Buckenham in 1779.  His wife Elizabeth Riches (nee Snelling) had given birth to at least nine children at Great Hockham between 1805 and 1825.

Drake must have interviewed some of their offspring at Hockham.  He offered a bounty resettlement package to Benjamin's son, my 4th great uncle, Henry Riches, his wife Harriet Riches (nee Hubbard), and to their three young sons, George, John, and Henry Riches.  They accepted.  Not only that, but an offer was made to Henry's older sister Maria Hudson (nee Riches), and to her family.  The two families, that most likely had never seen a ship, or had travelled more than a few miles, made their way from Norfolk to Plymouth over the 1854 Christmas holidays.  There they were to board a fast clipper ship called the Whirlwind.  The clipper embarked from Plymouth on the 4th January 1855, and made a fast 86 day passsage, and arrived at Launceston, Van Diemen's Land on the 5th April.  It wasn't all plain sailing however.  Read this, it doesn't sound good:

The emigrants have passed through a fearful ordeal. An accident to the rudder compelled the commander to put into Portsmouth, where the necessary repair could have been effected in a few hours, had not the use of the empty government dock been denied by the official personage in charge who eats the salt of that nation whose funds furnished the accommodation.

Scarletina broke out: its victims were removed to an inhospitable hulk, for which the British government charged a high price, forgetful of the first duties of humanity; inclement weather aggravated the disease, which assumed a serious type, and carried off a number of victims. Twenty- three died on the passage, and although the survivors are healthy and robust, the loss of relatives and friends casts a shade of sorrow on the enterprise. We deeply sympathise with the bereaved, and the painful circumstances in which Mr. Drake has been placed must evoke the kindest feelings of his friends. His was no mercenary mission, and though he may not calculate on the gratitude of those he has sought to benefit by a removal from comparative penury to immediate plenty and ultimate affluence, he has earned their respect, and will secure the esteem of the colonists. His position has been one of great responsibility, much risk, incessant anxiety, and no profit. When years have elapsed, he may expect adequate acknowledgment from those he has served, and not till then.

The captain, too, has had his trials: his crew have been in a state of insubordination in consequence of the proper and rigidly enforced rules that excluded the seamen from intercourse with the emigrants, and the sailors have, at the conclusion of the voyage, struck. The misguided men will soon learn that here their misconduct will not be countenanced—that punishment will visit the refractory—that extravagant pay no longer prevails, and that the gold-diggers, on the average, do not make ordinary wages.

We trust the hopes of the emigrants have not been unduly elated, and that they will be prepared to accommodate themselves, as thousands more affluent have done before them, to the exigencies of a new country. The farm labourer and mechanic will not be carried off by force at any wage they may demand: the unmarried females will not be surrounded by sighing lovers, solicitous to make then brides. Australia is a land where privations must be endured, and hard work encountered. At the end of the vista, which is not long, there is settlement and independence to the industrious, the economical, and sober. Every young woman will find a husband in process of time, but before she obtain a good one she must show by her behaviour she deserves him. Everything will be new to the emigrants; they must be surprised at nothing, and become quickly reconciled to the condition of the colony. If they display those qualifications of temper and aptitude which make people uselul they will be appreciated, and experience consideration and kindness from their employers, who will in general promote their welfare to the utmost. We repeat, hard work, frugality, and sobriety for a time will inevitably lead to independence; but those who seek the latter by the shortest line must be prepared to "rough it" for a season.

LAUNCESTON EXAMINER, Tuesday, April 3, 1855.

What intrigues me is that they had a relative already in Tasmania.  They must have known about him.  He was David Peach, Henry and Maria's brother-in-law.  David was married to their sister Sarah Peach (nee Riches).  He may have been on the other side of the island.  He had been transported to Holbart, then moved to Port Arthur, some 17 years earlier.  Did they ever meet?  He had been pardoned four years before the Riches arrived, but not granted Leave.  It was a Life sentence.  Did he manage to communicate with his wife, and daughter that he had left behind?  Did they get word of him back to their sister Sarah?

Two years after her husband was transported away, my 3rd great grandmother Sarah, now living in Attleborough, Norfolk, gave birth to a son.  She named him David Wilson Peach.  I'd hazard to guess that a Mr Wilson was the biological father.  However, she named him after her husband - David Peach.  She was trapped.  She could not remarry (although ironically the transported convicts could).  She worked hard the remainder of her life as a washer woman in Attleborough.

My mother's family board the Solway

Several years after the Whirlwind sailed from Plymouth, more of my family entered another ship under the same scheme.  My mother's family mainly lived at this time in the area of East Norfolk.  However, somehow, two sisters ended up working in service in South West Norfolk.  A family friend?  A trade fair?  They were both born to Thomas and Mary Ann Jarmy, who were parents-in-law of a fourth uncle of mine.  The Jarmy family lived for a while in Salhouse, Norfolk.  Although located in the Norfolk Broads, to the north east of the City of Norwich, two daughters gained employment in service in households in South West Norfolk.  In 1861, Mary Jarmy was a 25 year old cook at the local vicarage in Hockham.  Her younger sister Emily Jarmy, lived a few miles away, working as a 15 year old house servant in the household a butcher in East Harling, called Fred Jolly.

In 1861, settlers from local labouring families were selected, although Drake himself was not involved this time.  However, Hockham had clearly become known to the Society, as one of their East Anglian recruiting spots.  Mary, working in the vicarage was in the perfect place, at the right time.  My guess is that she messaged her little sister in nearby East Harling.  The recruiters wanted settlers that were "respectable and really useful persons - as far as it is possible to judge".  I believe that the father of the two sisters, Thomas Jarmy, a shepherd born 1812 in Salhouse, Norfolk, may have been imprisoned twice for larcony.  If this was the case, I'd guess that the sisters were careful to hide this past.

The Solway sailed the two sisters into Melbourne harbour on the 7th March 1862, and then they quickly boarded The Black Swan, which arrived at Launceston, Tasmania, a few days later.  En route, it appears that Mary had a friendship with Robert Mickleborough from Old Buckenham, Norfolk.  They were to marry in 1862.

Links / Sources

http://www.ayton.id.au/wiki/doku.php?id=genealogy:tasemigrantsbyship

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~austashs/immig/title.htm

http://belindacohen.tripod.com/woolnoughfamily/id9.html

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~austashs/immig/imgships_w.htm

Meanwhile in 2019, I, a 3rd great grandson of David peach, walks and walks.

Here are some of my photos from my 2017 walks.  Perhaps some of these landscapes may not have been too dissimilar to the green lanes and landscapes that they knew (albeit without the huge open fields).

So maybe, just maybe, there is a link there.  The guy that just loves to walk through the East Anglian countryside all day, and those drovers of the Nineteenth Century.  The desire to walk and to explore.



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Paul Brooker
tag:paulbrooker.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1399570 2019-04-19T03:14:42Z 2019-04-19T03:15:15Z 16th Century Norfolk Ancestors

William Freeman, bap. Attleborough, Norfolk 1581. 10th great grandfather.


Allen Lampkin, bap. North Creake, Norfolk 1573.  11th great grandfather.


Samuel Sayer.  bap. Pulham St Mary, Norfolk 1581. 10th great grandfather.


Agnes Warde, bap. Ridlington, Norfolk 1581. 11th great grandmother

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Paul Brooker
tag:paulbrooker.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1395414 2019-04-08T21:56:00Z 2019-04-17T15:40:53Z Y Haplogroup L-SK1414 Distribution


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Paul Brooker
tag:paulbrooker.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1378872 2019-02-26T17:20:01Z 2019-04-17T15:43:12Z The Sleeve Tattoo Project - Progress.

Black and grey realism work by Ross Lee of Ink Addiction tattoo studio in Norwich.  This is a partial phase of a full sleeve project on my right arm and shoulder.  Hopefully complete by Autumn 2019. If you can't see it - then you're not a NW European prehistorian.  It's a British landscape scene, with boulder rocks in the foreground.  On those rocks are a series of carvings pecked into rock, during the Later Neolithic and Earlier Bronze Age.  They consist of a class of Rock Art markings known as cups and rings, or cup and ring markings.

No-one really knows what they symbolised.  I can't think of a more worthy tattoo for a time traveller.

My right arm will eventually be covered with a series of panels displaying cup and ring marks in British landscapes.]]>
Paul Brooker
tag:paulbrooker.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1375029 2019-02-16T22:05:52Z 2019-11-28T16:58:51Z Ancestors at Postwick, Norfolk. Illegitimacy and suicide.

Postwick All Saints.

I had to recently confess to another researcher, that I had made an association, between two generations, based only on circumstancial evidence.  I had the below image, a marriage between two of my 4th great grandparents at Postwick All Saints in 1825:

William Rose, singleman, groom, of Bradeston, with Elizabeth Wilkinson singlewoman, of Postwick.  Bradeston was a parish nearby, between Brundall, Blofield, and Lingwood.  Today, it only consists as a hall farm, and as a church, the church of St Michael's and All Angels:

But as for Elizabeth Wilkinson's origins, I couldn't find her baptism online.  However, between Ancestry.co.uk, Findmypast.co.uk and FreeReg.org.uk, I did discover that there was a Sarah Wilkinson living in Postwick, that had four daughters baptised there (illegitimate) between 1806 and 1816.  Census records suggested that Elizabeth would have been born at Postwick, around 1803.  I hadn't seen a lot of Wilkinsons in the area, so I dared to make the assumption, that she was an earlier daughter of Sarah Wilkinson.  Naughty I know, but I just felt it so likely.

But then when challenged for the source, I felt that embarrasment of taking a short cut.  The problem with Online Genealogy is that it's easy to assume that all records are there.  They are not, not even for Norfolk, that has a good online presence in parish records and transcripts.  So it was time to get off the computer, and take a look.  I did this yesterday.

First two stops were at Postwick and Bradeston churches, to take the photographs for this post, and to get the feeling for them.  I was pleased that the marriage recorded that William Rose was of Bradeston, because my William Rose was of Brundall.  It's only a half of a mile from Bradeston, indeed, it has been absorbed as a deserted parish, into Brundall.  It supported that I had the correct William & Elizabeth Rose, the recorded parents of my 3rd great grandfather Robert Rose, who was baptised at Lingwood in 1829.

Then I drove a few miles to the Norfolk County Archive at County Hall.  I soon located the correct microfilm.  It covered baptisms leading up to 1813.  Perfect.  Within five minutes, I located the baptism of my 4th great grandmother at Postwick: " Elizabeth, daughter of Sarah Wilkinson, was born & bapt' February 19th 1803 ":

There she was, and I was correct, she was an earlier daughter of Sarah Wilkinson.  Not only that, but further along the roll revealed another two daughters of Sarah.  In all, she had six daughters born at Postwick, between 1803 and 1816, all illegitimately.  I've seen a single parent family like this before, but on my father's side in Swanton Morley, Mid Norfolk.  The full story we will probably never know, and it would be wrong to judge.  Very often poor young women suffered from terrible brutality.  Sometimes, this may have matured into a level of independence.  She may have even had partners, or a long term lover.  We don't know.  Illegitimacy was far from rare in 19th Century Norfolk amongst the rural poor.  But when you see a family like this, you do wonder, at the hardship that the family most likely went through.

On my Ancestry tree, the family now look like this:

Yes, it appears that the mother, Sarah Wilkinson herself was born nearby at Great Plumstead, illegitimate.

While I was looking through the roll of microfilm for Postwick Parish Registers, I spotted more names from my tree.  Children being baptised of a William Key and his wife Sarah (née Wymer).  William and Sarah Key were again, 4th great grandparents of mine.  Actually, I descend from both the earlier mentioned Rose's, and the Wymers twice over - but further back on their lines.  A lot of people in early 19th Century Norfolk were distant or even close cousins.  I'm afraid that it was true, at least for the rural poor.  I'm descended on my mother's side from a Henry & Mary Rose (née Gorll), and a Jacob & Elizabeth Wymer (née Moll), both couples at least twice over.  Pedigree folding appears on that side of my tree, in the record.

Looking through the microfilm in the Archive Centre, I recorded three previously unknown children of William and Sarah Key (née Wymer) baptised at Postwick All Saints.  I hadn't encountered them online.  They were all later births than those that I had previously found online.  This lead me to a sad thought.  You see, William Key, my 4th great grandfather, took his own life when some of those children were still quite young:

I mentioned his story in an earlier post.  His body was fished out of the River Wensum in 1803.  The inquest gave a verdict of insanity and suicide.  On the way home, I wondered about what happened to those younger children.  My 3rd great grandfather, William Key (II) was in his mid twenties, and on his second marriage, after his first wife passed away.  But what about his younger siblings, such as Abraham Key - born in 1779, he would have been only six years old when his father drowned.

When I got home, I took a look.  This is where Online Genealogy does work - because not only had Abraham survived, but he had moved away from Norfolk, as so many of the rural poor did during the 19th century.  He married Ann Goldsmith from Hassingham, and they moved south, to 19th century Southwark, London:

He survived and went on to have sons in London.

But briefly back to Postwick (pronounced locally as Pozzick) for a moment:

I love baptism fonts.  You can touch them, and now that your ancestors passed by them, centuries ago.  Perfect touchstones for time travellers.    My 4th great grandfather, William Key, was baptised here on 27th Aug 1778.  My 4th great grandmother, Elizabeth Wilkinson, was baptised here on 19th February 1803.  I photographed it, and touched the stone in thought of them, on 15th February 2019.

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Paul Brooker
tag:paulbrooker.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1374663 2019-02-15T20:21:00Z 2019-02-15T21:22:58Z Elizabeth Wilkinson backup

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Paul Brooker
tag:paulbrooker.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1365520 2019-01-21T17:26:48Z 2019-01-21T17:30:42Z An ancestor with a drink problem Newspaper archives are one of my favourite genealogical resources.  Asides from scrolling through microfilm at local studies libraries, I also subscribe the the British Newspaper Archive at Findmypast.co.uk and I've used it to add a lot of meat to the bones.  However ... these reports, especially when pertaining to my poor ancestors, were as often as not, generated when they had gotten themselves into a little mischief or trouble.  Sometimes as victims, sometimes as guilty parties.

This one, on my mother's side.

15th September 1803.  Postwick, Norfolk.




I believe that poor guy, William Key, who's body was found in the river, was my 5th great grandfather, William Key.  It says "drowned himself".  He had married Sarah Wymer in 1778 (a very Norfolk surname, that appears a few times in my tree), and they had four children, one born in 1799.  I wonder what happened?  Non compos mentis.  Insane.  At least that was how they saw it in 1803.

Their descendants never moved far from the River Yare or that tributary, the Wensum.  That river flows through the family history.  Their grown son, William Key (II), had moved down the Yare a few miles, and lived in the village of Freethorpe.  He had married Susanna Flint in 1801.  However, Susanna (née Flint) died shortly after, and a few years later, William, a widower at age 24, stood in nearby Strumpshaw church, where he married would you believe, another Susanna, Susannah Briggs.  These sort of events can so confuse genealogists.  In a short time, he had married two Susannahs.  Easily missed.

By Susannah (née Briggs), he had five children.  Their mother's family must have held some sort of importance to them, as three of them had Briggs as a second forename. Both William, and Susannah's fathers - as most men were in Norfolk, worked as agricultural labourers, farm hands if you like.  As was also indeed, their first son, my 3rd great grandfather, William Key (III).  William the Third, married my 3rd great grandmother, Mary Waters at Freethorpe Church here in Norfolk, in 1823.



They had several children in Freethorpe, including in 1848, my 2nd great grandfather, George Key - and this is where my story is heading.

George married Sarah Ann Goffen at Freethorpe Church in 1870.  Sarah's family were involved in the Wherry trade along the River Yare.  Wherries were a particular Norfolk style of sailing boat, used for tranporting goods and people, along the waterways known as the Norfolk Broads:



Her father and his brothers were either wherrymen / watermen, boat carpenters, riverside innkeepers, or ran lime yards next to the river a couple of miles away at Reedham.  Her father was pretty much all of them, especially an inn keeper, and a carpenter.  Perhaps he introduced his daughter Sarah to George in the boatyard - as young George was a journeyman carpenter.

Here's a photo that includes Sarah - the little old lady right in the centre of my grandparent's wedding in 1932, behind bride and groom:




George and Sarah went on to have five children born at Freethorpe, including my great grandmother Florence Key.  In family lore, I knew nothing about her husband, my 2nd great grandfather George Key.  Then the British Newspaper Archives opened up an insight.  But perhaps it wasn't the best insight into George's character.

It appears that he had a drink problem.  So bad, that he kept being arrested by the local policeman:



Oh dear.  He's only been married to Sarah for eight years.  They have two daughters and a third on the way.  Charged with drunkeness on the highway, and fined 5 shillings with 11 shillings costs.  That must have hurt the family.  Was it a one off?

The following January:



Oh no!  I feel so sorry for my 2nd great grandmother.  Not only was her husband a drunk, but also a wife abuser.  But I'm proud that she had him charged for the "threatening language" that he used against her.  The little woman had guts.  She had three young kids to care for.  George was bound over for six months.  He had to stay good.

Maybe he did stay good for a while.  But not for ever.

1897:



Now he's nicked table cloths from a pub!  He gets a massive three quid fine, and a month's hard labour in prison.  He was on remand.  He hasn't been a good boy.  Poor Sarah.

Finally, 1899:



Twelve previous convictions for being out on the lash!  He never reformed.  He had a drink problem throughout his adult life.  He's now up to recieving punishments of a fine and 14 days of hard labour in the nick.

George passed away in 1912.  In this case, no family lore reached me.  Nothing indicated on the usual birth, death, marriages, certificates, etc.
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Paul Brooker
tag:paulbrooker.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1365503 2019-01-21T16:26:44Z 2019-03-04T21:46:18Z Newspaper Articles pertaining to George Key



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Paul Brooker
tag:paulbrooker.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1361324 2019-01-08T10:12:21Z 2019-01-08T10:12:22Z York

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Paul Brooker
tag:paulbrooker.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1349975 2018-12-03T17:21:31Z 2018-12-03T19:37:24Z The Buzzard

Photo above by Tom Lee at Flickr

The first wild buzzard that I ever saw was on Dartmoor.  That must have been during the 1980s.  A little later, I saw them in Scotland.  There were no buzzards in East Anglia when I was a kid.  The Victorian gamekeeper had shot and gin trapped them to extinction in SE England.

Move on to the 21st century, and you can see buzzards all over East Anglia.  Over fields, woodlands, even marshes.  They came back, and they came back in force.


My last post about biophillia wouldn't be complete without mentioning the buzzard.  I've seen and heard several individuals on a single day's hike across Norfolk.  You hear or see them, often in pairs, gliding along the headlands of fields, before settling in a copse of trees.  You witness a pair, and just as their calls start to fade, you hear more ahead.  I've found their feathers.  I've had several close encounters.  Magical moments, where I've spotted their silent flight from a spot only metres away.  Every time is magic 


The above woodlands provide one example, during a hike, along the Wherryman's Way, on a hot summers day earlier this year.  As I approached in the day's heat, I could hear buzzards in those trees, either side of the narrow path.


As I pass through, I see large brown wings launching from branches.  I can't describe the feeling that these sightings give me, except that it's as close to anything that this atheist experiences to spiritual.

A buzzard above the Wherryman's Way in Norfolk, being mobbed by a hobby.

I've seen them launch from nearby foliage, as I cross the footbridge over a stream.  I've seen one sitting on a dead rabbit in a field.  I've seen one land on the road in front of our car, before launching up again, providing a magical spectacle.  I've seen them among the back headed gulls following a plough for worms and bugs.  I've seen many of them being mobbed on the wing by rooks and carrion crows, that clearly regard them as a threat to the rookery.  I've seen them soaring over medieval churches, on fence posts by busy roads, over marshes, flying over the suburbs of Norwich, on the ground in horse paddocks.

Now red kites, another raptor that has returned to East Anglia, are a wonderful sight.  But for myself, it's the common buzzard.


Buzzard over the Boadica Way, Norfolk.
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Paul Brooker
tag:paulbrooker.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1349960 2018-12-03T16:44:26Z 2018-12-03T16:47:07Z Biophillia and other things

Waterloo Plantation, Hainford.

An attraction to woodlands.

I've not posted much recently, because I've spent my online time doing other things, including reviving a blog dedicated to bikejoring and other dog activities.  I'd abandoned it eight years ago, and forgotten all about it.  The Bikejoring Blog.

I don't really have any news on population genetics or genetic genealogy, except to say, that I'm growing bored with some aspects of it, and have lost a lot of faith in general DNA testing for ancestry.

On documentary genealogy, yes I still pursue from time to time, and I'm sure that I'll be posting more family history and discoveries soon.  I'm still that time traveller.  In archaeology - I need to plan and book a place on a dig next year.

I've spent a lot of time training and playing with my pup, Byker:

Indeed exercising the dogs appear to take up an awful lot of my time these days.

When I was age, around 10 - 11 years, I would often visit a private commercial woodland near to where I then lived in Thorpe St Andrews.  It was rich in bird-life.  I'd see nuthatches, great spotted woodpeckers, treecreepers, long tailed titmice, and blackcaps.  The forester would catch me and politely turf me out.  He'd explain to me, that he knew that my pursuits were innocent enough - but it would be opening the gates to other kids, including those with lighters and matches.

The photo at the top of this photo was taken in Waterloo Plantation, Hainford.  When I was age 13 - 15 years, during the 1970s, I lived nearby.  And again for a while age 18 - 24 years.  Only a small patch of woodland, but I'd always be attracted to it.  Dog walking, bird watching, hunting rabbits with ferrets, hunting insects to feed avairy birds, collecting moss and lichen to decorate my bird's show cages. 

Later, for several years, I lived in the Thetford area.  I'd use the surrounding forest so much.  Dog walking, deer spotting, bikejoring, canicross, archaeological surveying, mushroom foraging, and offroad cycling.

I recognised back then, that I was a biophilliac.  I don't state that as a matter of fact, or as some sort of special gift, or hocus pocus.  Just a fact.  I seem to get something a little bit more than other people do, from being out in what might be described as Nature.  In contact with dogs.  Alert to wild-life.  Surrounded by greenery and perhaps a bit of wilderness. On my own, sure, sometimes.  It's something that I acknowledge about myself.  It is one of the drives behind my hikes.  It's no accident that I've been attracted to woodlands all of my life.  It brings me calm.  I seem to need it.  My meditation. Time in the woods, forests, fields, marshes, or walking ancient green lanes.  It's as though I sometimes need a top up to keep me sane.  I think that reflects in my photography, that has become far more about how I feel, than about the art, or popularity that I once sought through the medium of black and white film.  Now I see more in colour.

Horsford Woods.

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Paul Brooker
tag:paulbrooker.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1332685 2018-10-15T21:40:05Z 2018-10-15T21:43:53Z The Sleeve Tattoo - first phase.

My latest tattoo.  Black and grey realism work by Ross Lee of Ink Addiction tattoo studio in Norwich.  This is the first phase of a full sleeve project on my right arm and shoulder.  Hopefully complete by Summer 2019. If you can't see it - then you're not a NW European prehistorian.  It's a British landscape scene, with boulder rocks in the foreground.  On those rocks are a series of carvings pecked into rock, during the Later Neolithic and Earlier Bronze Age.  They consist of a class of Rock Art markings known as cups and rings, or cup and ring markings.

No-one really knows what they symbolised.  I can't think of a more worthy tattoo for a time traveller.

My right arm will eventually be covered with a series of panels displaying cup and ring marks in British landscapes.

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Paul Brooker
tag:paulbrooker.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1329945 2018-10-07T16:15:38Z 2018-10-07T16:34:13Z Genetic Genealogy Updated October 2018

My current (2018-10-07) Pedigree chart by recorded genealogy:

Verified by DNA matches:


The yellow shaded areas are on my father's side - but contentious, small segment matches (6 cM and 8 cM), through my paternnal line great grandfather, that I'm investigating.


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Paul Brooker
tag:paulbrooker.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1327167 2018-10-01T23:19:30Z 2018-10-01T23:45:28Z Three Generations of the Curtis Family of Norfolk

Above, Samuel William "Fiddler" Curtis, born in 1852 at Hassingham, Norfolk, the grandson of William Curtis (senior).

My 5th great grandparents, John Curtis, and Ann Annison, were married at Hassingham, Norfolk in 1801.  I have so far been unable to trace where either of this couple originated, or their parents, but there were already Curtis and Annison families in that part of Norfolk prior, and I currently have no reason to think that they had moved into the area from elsewhere.  I just lack their baptism records.  Maybe one day I'll find them.

Hassingham in it's landscape in 1797.

Over the following eleven years, Ann Curtis (née Annison) had five children baptised at the Hassingham parish church of St Mary's, including a John, Richard, Theodosia, William, and finally in 1812, a Priscilla Curtis.

St Mary's of Hassingham.

William Curtis (I)

Their third son, William Curtis, was born at Hassingham during the winter of 1807/1808, and baptised in February at St Mary's.   His father, John may have rented a tract of land, to farm himself, or he may have relied on selling his labour to other farmers.  He may have done both.  The rural poor had lost all of their ancient rights, with the enclosures, but they were free to sell their labour and skills to whoever.  However, as the Agricultural Revolution gained pace - so the market for their labour was reducing, with the gradual introduction of new machinery and agricultural processes.

In 1827, William Curtis married my 4th great grandmother, Mary Ann Rose, at nearby Strumpshaw.  They were both marked down as of being of that parish, both were single, both were illiterate.  An interesting twist for myself looking at that marriage register, is that their witnesses were Mary Ann's sister, Rebecca Rose, and her fiancé, John Shorten.  I only posted about their life a week ago "From Norfolk Labourer to Yankee Gunner".  That couple were to marry in the next entry of that Strumpshaw Marriage Register, in November.  They ended up as farmers in Illinois, USA, with five of their sons serving in the Unionist Army in the American Civil War.  I keep seeing this theme in my Family History.  My direct ancestors were the ones that usually stayed - often never moving far from their village of birth.  But many of their siblings didn't stay.  I'll come back to this theme later in this post.

Between 1828, and 1850, the couple were to have a total of at least eight children, all baptised at nearby Buckenham church: Anne Amelia Curtis (1828), my 3rd great grandfather, William Curtis (the junior, 1830), Henry Curtis (1833), Alfred Curtis (1836), George Curtis (1838), Priscilla Curtis (1841), Sarah Curtis (1848), and Henry Curtis (1849).  A lot of mouths to feed.  How was William supporting these children?  If I look at the 1841 census, I find the family, as it was then, located at Buckenham (Ferry), Norfolk.  William was a 34 year old agricultural labourer.  These had been hard times for agricultural labourers in Norfolk.  Machinery and new agricultural techniques continued to replace much of the traditional labour.  Workhouses had been constructed - and Poor Laws were halting any provision of parish relief for the poor, outside of the workhouse - where inmates would be segrated from their families, and punished for being poor.  The small farmers, once the brothers of the free labourers, were increasingly associating more with other figures of the rural establishment - the squires, the land owners, and the parsons.  They often sat on the poor law union boards, determined to punish the poor.  The Established Church just watched on - and the rural poor were turning to Methodism, and other Non-conformist chapels.

In 1830, the countryside erupted in violence - as labourers swarmed the countryside, attacking workhouses, farms, and in particular, the new threshing machines that were replacing much of their labour.  They often did this under the name of a mythical Captain Swing, and hence this period of machine breaking and rioting was known as the Swing Riots.  Another of my ancestors, on my father's side, was gaoled for leading a local Swing riot, at Attleborough.  It was a period in which many local establishment figures were seriously concerned - the fear of Revolution was still in the air from France - indeed, French spies were often conjured up as being at the root of the problem - rather than their treatment of the rural poor.

It passed.  But things did not improve for the East Anglian rural working class.

In the 1851 census, William, his wife Mary Ann, and their eldest children, were all recorded iin Buckenham as being agricultural labourers.  Only there was now a ninth child.  Richard Curtis.  But he wasn't born at Buckenham Ferry, nor even in the County of Norfolk.  He was born in 1850 at Firsby, Lincolnshire.  This may infer that the family (if not just Mary Ann), had between 1841, and 1851, moved for a a period, to the Skegness area of East Lincolnshire.  People were on the move.  The rural poor were being squeezed out of East Anglia by the unemployment, poverty, and the workhouse.  Perhaps William found more profitable labour in Lincolnshire for a while.  Perhaps his skills with horses, or perhaps - like others he was attracted by the Fen drainage schemes, working as a digger - maybe like other that I've seen - it was work laying the railways?  Firsby railway station opened for business in 1848.  The railways were a part of a phenomena of migration that occurred across Norfolk during the Mid to Late 19th Century - they brought work, often attracted labourers away - and eventually carried many Norfolk families away to the Industrial North, to London, or to sea ports for migration elsewhere.

But by the 1851 census - they were back in their ancestral lands - back in Buckenham, Norfolk, by the River Yare, as though nothing had happened - except for that place of birth for young Richard.

Move on another ten years - the family are not in Buckenham in 1861.  I cannot find William at all.  However, I do find his wife Mary Ann Curtis, with some of their children, living in the Rows at Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.  Mary Ann records her occupation as charwoman - a woman that worked hard, washing clothes and linen for a living.  Their daughter Priscilla Curtis, is recorded as a silk weaver:

I wonder where was William?  He could be at sea, or working away, sending money home.  Too old for the military.  I can't find anything on him in Criminal Records.  What I do find, in the British Newspaper archives, are some references to a cork cutter by the name of William Curtis, living in Great Yarmouth, dating to 1858 and 1864:

Was this our William Curtis (senior)?  Above he was working on Charlotte Street (since renamed Howard Street), Great Yarmouth.  In 1864, he was addressed to the Church Plain, Great Yarmouth.  If it was our William, perhaps he was living with Mary Ann and the children - but was away on business, or perhaps some other work (fishing?), on the night of the census.

William and Mary Ann Curtis, age 61 and 62 years of age, appear to have settled in the Yarmouth and Gorleston area.  On the 1871, William and Mary Ann Curtis were addressed on "the footpath to Burgh".  William recorded his occupation as a marsh man.  Marshmen were responsible for the livestock kept on the marshes - horses, cattle, and sometimes sheep, fattening on the rich drained marsh grasses.  He would have tended to cattle and other livestock along the southern edge of Breydon Water - an enclosed sea estuary, with the ruins of an old Roman shore-fort called Burgh Castle, on the higher ground immediately above the marshes.  I posted an article of Burgh Castle here.

The view over the marshes from Burgh Castle.

Another ten years later, William Curtis (the senior), and his wife Mary, are now living in Litchfield Place, Southtown, Gorleston.  Age 72, he now lists his occupation, for the very last time, as a Steam Engine Driver.  Now that was a surprise.

William passed away in Gorleston, in March 1888.  He was eighty years old.


William Curtis (II)

I mentioned above, that my 3rd great grandfather, William Curtis (the junior), was born at Buckenham, and baptised at Strumpshaw, Norfolk, in 1830.

William Curtis married Georgianna Larke, at Hassingham Church (photo further above) on the 11th February 1852.  They appear to have lived in the village of Hassingham, Norfolk for several decades.  No evidence this time of flits to Lincolnshire, or down river to Yarmouth.  This generation stayed put.  Georgianna was descended from two parish clerks for nearby Cantley.

Georgianna gave birth to at least nine children at Hassingham: my 2nd great grandfather (pictured at the top of this post) Samuel William Curtis (1852), Theodosia Curtis (1854), Priscilla Curtis (1856), Alfred George Curtis (1858), Sarah Ann Curtis (1861), Mary Curtis (1863), Walter Curtis (1865), Eliza Curtis (1867), and finally, Henry Curtis (1870).

Nothing unusual in their 1861 census record - Will was a 30 year old agricultural labourer with his family living in the parish of Hassingham:

Ten years later in 1871 - living at Hospital Cottages in Hassingham, still all as would be expected:

Another ten years later, William, Georgianna, and their sons and daughters Walter, Eliza, and Henry Curtis, are living on Church Road.  No change, William is an agricultural labourer.  Nothing on record happens to this family.  They are the stereotype of the Norfolk rural working class family.  William's 72 year old father was by now a steam engine driver living at Gorleston.

Move on to 1891.  Not a lot of change.  Except that they are living on Hassingham Road (High) and only their daughter Mary remains with them in the household.  Mary is recorded as an assistant teacher.

1893.  I have a record from the British Newspaper Records that looks like our William Curtis (II).  A farmer named John Draper at Burlingham St Edmund, accuses him in court of cheating him of a toll fee.  He had accused William - described as a teamman (a person that has skills at working a team of horses), of fraud.  Draper suggested that he paid Curtis to take two wagons and several horses to Yarmouth via the new toll road - but that he in reality took them via the old roads and pocketed the toll fee that he had been given.  The only witness backed up Will's account - and the case was dismissed:

However, I suspect that William's reputation was tarnished by this case - and there were few employer farmers in the area.  He survived this.  Maybe his personality and reputation was strong enough for other farmers to trust him.  In 1901, he was living at Broad Farm, Hassingham.  Yes, he was now a 70 year old agricultural worker.

He still had labour to sell.  His beloved wife Georgianna died at Hassingham on the 1st April 1911 age 79.  A few months later, the 1911 census record's Williams status.  Age 80, he is still recorded as a working, employed, agricultural labourer.  Now a widower, he had two of his daughters living with him.  Mary who was single and age 45 (a teacher?), and Sarah, now under a married name - Sarah Stephenson.  She had moved many miles away - but as we will see in the next generation with her sister Theodosia, not everything had gone well.  In the wake of her mother's death, she was back home with her elderly father William.

William continued on.  The Curtis's keep doing this - they had longetivity for a number of generations.  He died at nearby Lingwood, age 96 in 1926.  A grandson, J.P. Curtis, registered his death.  Cause, senility and haematemesis. 


Theodosia and Sarah Ann Curtis - sisters.

As I noted above, two of William (II) and Georgianna's daughters, were named Theodosia Curtis (born 1854), and Sarah Ann Curtis (born 1861) at Hassingham, Norfolk.  They had an elder brother named Samuel William Curtis - pictured right at the beginning of this post.  He was my 2nd great grandfather.  This makes Theodosia and Sarah Ann - my 3rd great aunts.

Theodosia met a fisherman at Yarmouth.  Maybe she was visiting on a market day.  The boys working in the fishing fleet must have been exciting - they risked their life's out at sea, they didn't just work the land - they would sail out.  His name was John Mitchell.  In 1874, Theodosia married John.

They had a son:

He was baptised at Yarmouth in November 1877.  It appears that like many Yarmouth fisherman wifes, Theodosia lived in the Yarmouth Rows.  Her grandmother Mary Curtis, had lived there no more than ten years earlier - and with her grandfather, now lived nearby in Gorleston.

Something happened.  You get that sometimes in genealogy.  a family appears smashed up, removed from records.  I'm going to make a guess.  A lot of fishermen were relocating from East Coast harbours like Great Yarmouth, to Kingston Upon Hull, Yorkshire.  My guess is that they moved there as a family between Nov 1877 and 1889.  I don't know what happened to their child.  He disappears.  But so does his father, John Mitchell.  He dies.  I can't find them on either the 1871 or 1881 censuses.  In future, Theodosia, now living in Hull, Yorkshire, declares herself as a widow.  Pushed to guess, I'm going to say that John was lost at sea.  It was a hazardous living then.

On the 1st March 1890 at Hull, Yorkshire, the widow Theodosia Mitchell, married a James Petersen, son of a Christiansen Petersen, an officer.  I'm going to guess that these Scandinavian names may be Norwegian.  James Petersen, like her late husband, is recorded as a fisherman.  I have one record of him - that marriage to Theodosia - then he also disappears.

But .. before I continue on Theodosia, let me move back in time to Hassingham in Norfolk, and to her little sister Sarah Ann Curtis.  

In 1881, 20 year old Sarah, was working as a servant in a Yarmouth household.  Was she still in contact with Theodosia - I think so.  

Like her sister, she moved up to Kingston Upon Hull, in the East Riding of Yorkshire.


The Great Unwritten Migration from Norfolk to Sculcoates, Hull, Yorkshire.

Okay, maybe a slight exaggeration - but I keep seeing Hull in the East Riding of Yorkshire - particularly it's district of Sculcoates, in my Family Tree - as a place that a number of siblings of my direct Norfolk ancestors, moved to.  Both on my mother's, and my father's side.  I feel that this is a history that someone needs to write.  It seems that the establishing of the railways, with stations both in Norfolk, and in Kingston Upon Hull in Yorkshire, facilitated a migration event that is unwritten.  The squeeze was being put onto the Norfolk poor.  Hull offered higher wages, expanding fishing and ship building industries, and a higher living standard.  The word spread through the Norfolk countryside.  It can't just be my family!


Back to Sarah.  In late 1890, Sarah Ann Curtis married Albert Edward Stephenson at Sculcoates, East Riding of Yorkshire.  Somehow she had also ended up in Hull - and my best guess is her closeness to her sister Theodosia.  Her groom was, again, a Hull fisherman.  Perhaps he knew Theodosia?

During the 1891 England & Wales national census, I find this:

The two sisters from Hassingham, Norfolk were living next door to each other in Hull.  That brings them together.  Things didn't go well though for Sarah.  Her husband had some severe financial problems.  Perhaps gambling?  He ends up in Wakefield Prison in Yorkshire, guilty of debt, no less than three times between 1896 and 1907:

No wonder perhaps, that Sarah was keen to be with her father in 1911.

Back to Theodosia.  Her second husband, the fisherman, James Petersen, also just vanishes from record.  Abandonment, lost at sea, I don't know, but for the second time, she starts declaring that she is a widow.

In 1896, the widow Theodosia Petersen (née Mitchell, née Curtis), married a George Theakston at Sculcoates, Yorkshire.  George wasn't a fisherman.  He was a carter and van driver.  Perhaps that saved his life - for he was Theodosia's third and final spouse.  In the 1901 Census, they were living at 60 frances Street, West Sculcoates, Hull, Yorkshire.  They had a daughter called Evelyn:

Theodosia Theakston survived long enough to be recorded onto the 1939 Register at the oset of WW II:

She finally passed away at Hull in 1942, age 87.

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Paul Brooker
tag:paulbrooker.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1325220 2018-09-25T21:11:08Z 2018-09-26T20:44:39Z The Baxter-Hudson Enigma

My great great grandfather, William Bennett Baxter.  Born 8th January 1846 at Gressenhall Union Workhouse, Norfolk.

I'm creating this post in order to try to make sense of a family history that has a confusing, sometimes conflicting series of evidences.  I'll start with the order of discovery.

I learned nearly 30 years ago, that my paternal grandfather's maternal grandfather was named William Bennett Baxter.  He was named as such on my great grandparent's marriage certificate.  I met aunts that remembered a few accounts of him.  My grandmother had the above photo of him.  My late grandfather, Reginald Brooker, had been raised by his grandparent's, the Baxters, in the wake of his parent's marital breakdown.

The next step in discovery, was when I bought copies of his marriage and birth certificates from the GRO in London.  They told me that he was the illegitimate son of an Eliza Baxter, born in 1846 in the workhouse at Gressenhall, Norfolk.  I've made many visits to Gressenhall Rural-Life Museum since then - set in the old buildings of that workhouse.  Eliza would have been punished for being a single mother in need of relief.  She would have been marked out, made to wear a yellow jacket of shame.  His marriage register record at Swanton Morley, Norfolk, also suggested that his father was a labourer, named William Bennett.  I know that on marriages, illegitimate born people often claimed an imagined or faked father, to avoid what was then, a shameful thing.  But his full name would support that his biological father was indeed, named William Bennett.  It might be a coincidence, but there was a young miller in the area at the time named William Bennett.  It's just difficult to prove - although perhaps one day, another DNA match?

I couldn't find any references to 3rd great grandmother Eliza Baxter - for many years.  I eventually lost interest in genealogy.  When I returned to it, three years ago, Internet Online Genealogy, and even Genetic Genealogy had emerged.  Indeed, I'm looking into this now, because I have a DNA Match in South Africa, that I suspect, relates to myself with shared ancestry somewhere around the Baxter Line.  I'm writing this partly for her.

Online Genealogy has allowed me to greatly extend my family tree, and often, to fill it with actual stories - which as some of my recent posts suggest - I love to do.

More Recent Discoveries - the Censuses 1861/1851

I found his mother, I believe that I found Eliza Baxter.  I thought maybe she died soon after 1846 - the poverty, or perhaps married someone, took a new name - left her son behind.  I was wrong.  At least I think that I was.  How did I miss her?  In 1861, she was still in Swanton Morley:

Eliza Baxter, an unmarried servant in a household headed by a Robert Hudson.  Wait a minute, below her are a William Baxter age 15 years of age (born circa 1846 - that HAS TO BE our William Bennett Baxter), and he has a little sister, a Faith Baxter age 12 years.  My great grandmother - William's daughter, was born later in 1885 as Faith Eliza Baxter.  She was named after her aunt here, and her grandmother.  Although Eliza is an unmarried servant, quite clearly, they are her children.  Surprised that Robert Hudson is okay with that.  wait a minute, William and Faith are recorded in the census as grandchildren of the householder, Robert Hudson.  Ah, so they are family.  Eliza isn't just a servant there.  William - as I explained above, might have had a biological father named William Bennett.  But here, William is recorded as a grandson of Robert Hudson.  Which son of Robert, is claiming to be the father of William and Faith Baxter?  The only contender in the household there in 1861 is Robert's son, John Hudson.  A 42  year old labourer.  Even if he wasn't the biological father of William - it looks as though he may have had a relationship with Eliza, he may even have been the biological father of Faith, but the record in the census keeps it all respectable.  It says Eliza is an unmarried servant.

But turn the page of that 1861 census - and there are more grandchildren of Robert Hudson in that household:

Two granddaughters born at Swanton Morley of John Hudson called Faith in the same house?  One Faith Baxter born circa 1849, the other Faith Hudson born circa 1855?  Confusion.

You'll see these people appear to keep changing surname, age, and place of birth.  In genealogy, that normally suggests that you are tracing more than one individual - making genealogical mistakes.  But you'll see, there is a common thread uniting these people, suggesting contradictory evidence.

In that 1861 census, Eliza is recorded as being born at Runhall around 1823.  However, who was talking to the census enumerator?  Our Eliza was born in 1820 at East Dereham.  Not an awful distance from Runhall - but the first contradiction.  As for William - he is perfect, and the name of his sister fits the family history perfectly.

Let's go back in the census.  I appear to find the family 10 years earlier, but with contradictions.  Let's go to the 1851 census.

This HAS to be them ten years earlier.  A John & Elizabeth Hudson, with children William and Faith Hudson.  The entry is actually outside of Norfolk, over in the Fens at Ramsey, Cambridgeshire.  John is recorded as working as an excavator, without much doubt - working on a Fen drainage system.  Hang on - here he claims Leicester as being his place of birth!  Is this the same John Hudson as in 1861 - because he recorded Swanton Morley as his place of birth, where he then lived with his father.  Elizabeth (Eliza?) claims Hardington, Norfolk as her place of birth, and that she was born circa 1822.  I don't believe that there is a Hardington in Norfolk.  You might think that this is the wrong family.  But, William "Hudson" was born around 1846 at Swanton Morley, Norfolk.  Perfect for our William Bennett Baxter - Faith fits perfect as well born circa 1849 for Faith Baxter rather than the six year old Faith Hudson in the 1861 census. I have no idea where her claimed birthplace of Grassland, Norfolk is.  How could there be another family with so many correlations in 1851 that matches in our family in 1861?

I at this point, should state a doppelganger couple.  There was a contemporary John & Eliza Hudson at Necton in Norfolk.  But the bride was named Eliza Ollett, and no children called William or certainly Faith.  I'm aware of their existence.

When I think it over, I'm reasonably happy that this 1851 family residing at Ramsey, are the same as the family residing with Robert Hudson at Swanton Morley, in 1861.  But I can't explain the contradictions.  If I accept them - then William Bennett Baxter, my 2nd great grandfather, was the same person as William Hudson, born Swanton Morley (neighbouring Gressenhall Workhouse), in 1846.  He had a younger sister born circa 1849, named Faith Baxter or Faith Hudson.  John Hudson was perhaps her biological father.

Do you see the contradicting evidences?  They continue.

Faith Hudson-Baxter

Faith was baptised as Faith Hudson at Swanton Morley church, in Norfolk, on Christmas Eve, 1848.  That suits Faith Baxter better than the six year old Faith Hudson in 1861.  Her parents are recorded as John & Eliza Hudson.

I can't find their marriage records.  John Hudson is stated as a labourer:

I don't find a baptism or a birth certificate for a brother in 1846 called William Hudson, but I have a copy of a birth certificate for William Bennett Baxter.  Let's face it - they are the same person, born 8th January 1846 at Gressenhall Union workhouse, near to Swanton Morley in Norfolk.  I don't believe that John and Faith were married.  Not an uncommon situation in the 19th century working classes - nor for this area of Norfolk I suspect.  I've seen local rectors complaining about the situation (what they referred to the sad state of concubinism in the district) of their lack of parental marriage, or didn't care.  He baptised Faith.

There's more - more contradictions.

I believe that my 3rd great aunt Faith Hudson-Baxter married a William Codling at Litcham, Norfolk in 1866.  If it was her, she recorded a John Baxter as her father.  But that could have been the normal cover up to explain the surname that she was now using.  After all, in 1861, she was called Faith Baxter, granddaughter of Robert Hudson.

I haven't yet found her in the 1871 Census.

But in the 1881 Census?  Would you believe it:

Is this really her?  In Sculcoates, Yorkshire (where I know a lot of Norfolk people moved to) not as Faith Codling, but as Faith BAXTER, widow, born circa 1849 in Swanton Morley?  Not many Faiths born in that village then.  She is a widow but she has reverted to the surname Baxter?

The Marriage - that never happened.

Months before that critical 1861 census that this puzzle began with, on the 29th December 1860, the marriage banns of John Hudson and Eliza Baxter were finally read out for the third and final time:

But they didn't appear to marry.

No ensuing marriage record at Swanton Morley church.

Instead, four months later, on the 7th April 1861, we get that record where Eliza Baxter is a servant in the household of Robert Hudson in Swanton Morley.  John is there as well.  The marriage doesn't appear to have taken place.

Instead...

John Hudson appears to die sometime between November 1861 and January 1862.  Eliza disappears from record.  William Bennett Baxter - he goes on to marry my 2nd great grandmother Harriet Barber who had also been born in Gressenhall workhouse - as were their first two daughters.  Their last child was my great grandmother, Faith Eliza Baxter, born at East Dereham in 1885:

She had an older brother named Robert Baxter, born at Swanton Morley in 1873:

He served in the Norfolk Regiment in the Boer War in South Africa, as well as later, British India.  He might have nothing to do with it - but he may be our link to that South African match?

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Paul Brooker
tag:paulbrooker.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1323399 2018-09-20T13:00:03Z 2018-09-20T23:07:13Z From Norfolk Labourer to Yankee Gunner

Irstead Church, Norfolk.  The last recorded parish of the Shorten family in England

Union artillery.  American Civil War.

I could call this post "What My Norfolk-English Family did in the American Civil War".

Thomas Shorten marries Rebecca Rose

3rd January, 1838, Thomas Shorten, a local 20 year old, poor agricultural labourer, married 19 year old Rebecca Rose in her home parish of Strumpshaw in Norfolk, England.  Thomas himself was born nearby in the small parish of Southwood, where incidentally, my mother was born some 140 years later.  We don't move far in our family line.

Rebecca was the 4th great aunt of my mother.  Through my mother, I myself am descended not only from Rebecca's parents, John and Martha Rose (nee Rowland), but also from her uncle and aunt Henry and Margaret Rose (nee Ling).  I am descended from Rebecca's grandparents, Henry and Mary Rose (nee Gorll) of Loddon, Norfolk - twice over.

These were incredibly tough times for the agricultural working classes in East Anglia.  Enclosure had disenfranchised them from their ancestral land.  The land had become privatised.  The threshing machine and other new technologies then made even their labour surplus to requirement.  Poverty was made a crime through the Poor Laws.  My family line were the ones that stayed here - but as I research my family history, so I come across time after time, how many of their siblings and cousins were forced to leave East Anglia, to seek a new life in London, the North of England, or abroad in places such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, or the USA.

This is the story of one of those families.

Looking for work - Barton Turf

The couple moved from Strumpshaw some fourteen miles north, to a similar Broadland water side landscape at Barton Turf - a small and old  parish adjacent to Barton Broad and to the River Ant in Norfolk.  Maybe Thomas had found precious employment there at a labour fair, or at a market.  There at Barton, it appears that Rebecca gave birth to at least four children between 1843 and 1849 - Rebecca, Thomas, George, and Sarah Ann.  Thomas supported his young family as best as he could - selling his labours and skills to local farmers.  Their children were baptised, not always immediately, at the local Anglican church, the medieval church of St Michael & all Angels.

Irstead Staithe

The growing family appear to have made a small move to the next parish of Irstead - south of Barton Broad.  They lived on the Low Road which I believe was near to the rectory and church at Irstead Staithe, alongside the small River Ant.  The photo of Irstead Church at the top of this post was taken late into the 19th Century from across that river.  A lovely medieval thatched roofed Norfolk church dedicated to St Michael.  Perhaps the family moved along that river on the sailing vessels that passed along, mastered by watermen or a little later, by the wherrymen of Norfolk fame.

At Irstead, Rebecca gave birth to at least four more sons between 1849 and 1854: Henry, Alfred, Robert, and John Shorten.  By the end of that period, they had to feed and to support a total of eight children.  The pressure must have been immense.  They most likely lived in a squalid tied cottage, with no running water.  The children would have been expected to contribute to income or house work as soon as they were old enough.  Boys were expected to earn money in simple agricultural work from around the age of six.

Emigration to New York and the USA

Around 1855 the entire family sailed from England to New York.  I have most of them on passenger lists arriving at New York.  Most of them on one voyage, paid with bonded labour.

New York Passenger List (for some reason the children here were being accompanied by a Mary - although this may have been their mother Rebecca Shorten?).

The family appear then to move westwards across New York State, to the township of Ridgeway in Niagara County.  They were now an East Anglian-American family.

In the 1860 US Census, Thomas and Rebecca, age 51 and 52, are living in the town of Hartland, Niagara, New York.  They have with them George, age 21, Sarah Ann, age 18, Henry, age 16, Frederick (Alfred), age 12, and John, age 7 - all recorded as born in England.  There is also a baby in the household - Priscilla, born in New York.

The American Civil War 1861-1865

Five years after the family arrived in the USA, the election of Abraham Lincoln, and threats to the slave economy of the Southern States, lead to the secession of a new Confederacy from the USA.  The Lincoln government reacted with force.

The Shorten family in Niagara County were not slow to come to the aid of the Unionist Government.  They were now "Yankees".  Their eldest son Thomas, age 24, enrolled in the Union army first - as soon as news reached Niagara - he joined the 28th Infantry Regiment of the New York Volunteers on the 11th May 1861.

His younger brothers followed in 1862.  George Shorten, age 23, Henry Shorten, age 18, and William Shorten, age 17 - all joined the same 25th independent battery, New York Volunteers Light Artillery in the August of that year.  Four sons of Thomas and Rebecca were now fighting on the Union side in the American Civil War - four Norfolk sons.  They grew up in sleepy quiet Irstead, Norfolk, next to the little River Ant.  Now here they were, engaged in a terrible modern war thousands of miles away.  Their Norfolk accents must have still been noticeable.  But their patriotism to their new country undeniable.

All four brothers would have seen substantial action throughout the following years of the Civil War.  In the 28th Infantry of the New York Volunteers, Thomas Shorten (Junior) would have witnessed a number of conflicts with the Confederates during his four years of active service in the Unionist infantry:

His three younger brothers, George, Henry, and William Shorten spent the War together in the same battery of the New York Volunteers Light Artillery:

The death toll of the American Civil War is estimated at 620,000.  The Shorten family were incredibly lucky.  All four brothers came back alive and apparently with no serious physical injuries.  With the victory, they were discharged from their army duties in July 1865.  They could all go home.  Thomas (Junior) after more than four years service, was mustered in South Dakota.  His three brothers all still together in the Light Artillery were discharged in New York State:

Their parents Thomas (senior) and Rebecca were living in Hartland, Niagara County, New York State at the end of the Civil War.  The brothers returned there.  However, five years later, the US 1870 Census records that Thomas (senior) and Rebecca Shorten, now in their early sixties, had moved far to the west, to their own farm in Clinton County, Illinois.  Their youngest sons, Alfred and John still with them.  The poor labourer from Southwood parish had moved a long way.

As for their older sons, I lose track of George after he appears at Hartland, County Niagara in 1865 - but Henry, and William all marry, and go on to father children in New York State.  Thomas (junior) appears in the 1890 Civil War Veterans census in South Dakota, where he had been mustered.

That's what my family did in the American Civil war.

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Paul Brooker
tag:paulbrooker.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1321025 2018-09-12T16:51:20Z 2018-11-06T20:35:30Z 7th Great Grandparents.

All of my recorded 7th Great Grandparents that I currently have on my tree lived here in South East England.  They were born in Southern and Eastern England between 1650 and 1740.  How many of my 7th great-grandparents can I currently name?

  1. John Brooker.  b. 1691 Hagbourne, Berks.
  2. Ursula Brooker (née Deadman).  b. 1690 Hagbourne, Berks.
  3. Thomas Gardiner b. 1689 Oxford, Oxon.
  4. Frances Gardiner (née ?) lived Hagbourne, Berks.
  5. Claridge Gregory. b. 1696 Drayton St Peter, Oxon.
  6. Mary Gregory (née Adams) b. Banbury, Oxon.
  7. Thomas Lock b. 1705 Witney, Oxon.
  8. Hannah Lock  (née ?) lived Eynsham, Oxon.
  9. Sylvanus Seymour b. 1694 West Wycombe, Bucks.
  10. Sarah Seymour (née ?) lived Lewknor, Oxon.
  11. Robert Croxford b. 1704 Aston Rowant, Oxon.
  12. Ann Croxford (née North) b. 1712 Sydenham, Oxon.
  13. Robert Godfrey b. 1703 West Hanney, Berks.
  14. Frances Godfrey (née Collins)  b. 1709 West Hanney, Berks.
  15. William Collins lived West Hanney, Berks.
  16. William Edney b. 1681 Witney, Oxon.
  17. Catharine Edney (née Hobbs) lived Oxford, Oxon.
  18. William Lawrence lived Deddington, Oxon.
  19. Mary Lawrence (née ?) lived Deddington, Oxon.
  20. Matthew Cruchfield lived Ipsden, Oxon.
  21. Elizabeth Cruchfield (née ?) lived Ipsden, Oxon.
  22. John Durran lived Steeple Aston, Oxon.
  23. Mary Durran (née ?) lived Steeple Aston, Oxon.
  24. Robert Baxter lived North Elmham, Norfolk.
  25. Anne Baxter (neé Shackle) lived North Elmham, Norfolk.
  26. Richard Upcroft lived East Dereham, Norfolk.
  27. Mary Upcroft (née Rummer) b. 1694 East Dereham, Norfolk.
  28. Grime Liddlelow lived at Welborne, Norfolk
  29. Frances Liddlelow (née Harper) lived Welborne, Norfolk.
  30. John Barber lived Frettenham, Norfolk.
  31. Mary Barber (née ?) lived Frettenham, Norfolk.
  32. Solomon Harris b. 1702 Swanton Morley, Norfolk.
  33. Mary Harris (née Ayers) lived Swanton Morley, Norfolk.
  34. Allen Bradfield b. 1719 Castle Acre, Norfolk.
  35. Rachel Bradfield (née Rosier) b. 1709 Watton, Norfolk.
  36. John Smith married 1686 at Deopham, Norfolk.
  37. Mary Smith (née Majoram) lived at Depham, Norfolk.
  38. Thomas Freeman b. Attleborough, Norfolk.
  39. Elizabeth Freeman (née ?) lived Attleborough, Norfolk.
  40. Robert Rippon b. 1671 Ufford, Northants.
  41. Mary Rippon (neé Bradshaw) b. Oundle, Northants.
  42. Christopher Saunderson lived Maxey, Northants.
  43. Alice Saunderson (née ?) lived Maxey, Northants.
  44. Robert Sandall b. Haconby, Lincs.
  45. Anne Sandall (née ?) lived Morton near Bourne, Lincs.
  46. Robert Merring lived Morton near Bourne, Lincs.
  47. Alice Merring (née Rogers) lived Morton near Bourne, Lincs.
  48. Robert Harrison b. 1672 Old Buckenham, Norfolk.
  49. Martha Harrison (née Wick) lived Old Buckenham, Norfolk.
  50. John Websdal b. 1701 Tibenham, Norfolk.
  51. Mary Websdal (née ?) lived Tibenham, Norfolk.
  52. Cornelius Brothers b. 1687 Wilby, Norfolk.
  53. Maria Brothers (née ?) lived Wilby, Norfolk.
  54. William Housegoe married 1683 at Ditchingham, Norfolk
  55. Margaret Housegoe (née Frances) lived Ditchingham, Norfolk.
  56. Richard Ellis b. 1677 Ditchingham, Norfolk.
  57. Ann Ellis (née Ashwell) lived Thurlton, Norfolk.
  58. Samuel Goodrum lived Bressingham, Norfolk.
  59. Barbary Goodrum (née ?) lived Bressingham, Norfolk.
  60. Richard Sayer b. 1675 Pulham St Mary, Norfolk.
  61. Mary Sayer (née ?) lived Pulham St Mary, Norfolk.
  62. John Hammond lived Pulham St Mary, Norfolk.
  63. Robert Barham lived Rockland All Saints, Norfolk.
  64. Sarah Barham (née Rockland All Saints, Norfolk.
  65. Thomas Disdale married 1733 Snetterton, Norfolk.
  66. Susan Disdale (née Waller) b. 1710 Wramplingham, Norfolk.
  67. William Gaul lived Loddon, Norfolk.  Descended from twice.
  68. Mary Gaul (née ?) lived Loddon, Norfolk.  Descended from twice.
  69. John Rowland b. 1724 Lingwood, Norfolk.
  70. Sarah Rowland (née Dawes) b. Cantley, Norfolk.  Where my grandmother always lived when I would visit her in my childhood.
  71. William Symonds lived Stokesby, Norfolk.
  72. Sarah Symonds (née Rix) b. 1725 Stokesby, Norfolk.
  73. John Larke b. 1668 Little Plumstead, Norfolk.
  74. Anne Larke (née Porter) b. 1681 Loddon, Norfolk.
  75. William Ginby lived Salhouse, Norfolk.
  76. Susan Ginby (née ?) lived Salhouse, Norfolk.
  77. William Gaul lived Loddon, Norfolk - Descended from twice.
  78. Mary Gaul (née ?) lived Loddon, Norfolk - Descended from twice.
  79. Henry Wilkinson  married 1746 Filby, Norfolk.
  80. Mary Wilkinson (née Cousins) lived Hemblington, Norfolk.
  81. John Norton b. 1696 Ashby, Norfolk
  82. Susannah Norton (née Breeze) lived Bramerton, Norfolk.
  83. Robert Wymer b. 1694 Norwich, Norfolk - Descended from twice.
  84. Ann Wymer (née Sarles) lived Norwich, Norfolk.
  85. John Briggs b. Hedenham, Norfolk.
  86. Mary Briggs (née ?) lived Earsham, Norfolk.
  87. Robert Yallop lived Strumpshaw, Norfolk.
  88. Susan Yallop (née ?) lived Strumpshaw, Norfolk.
  89. Alexander Goffen b. 1647 Catfield, Norfolk.
  90. Mary Goffen (née ?) lived Ormesby, Norfolk.
  91. John Maye lived Little Plumstead, Norfolk.
  92. Judah Maye (née ?) lived Little Plumstead, Norfolk.
  93. Richard Gibbs b. 1686 Potter Heigham, Norfolk.
  94. Ann Gibbs (née ?) lived Hickling, Norfolk. 
  95. Nicholas Shrieve b. 1700 Stokesby, Norfolk.
  96. Mary Shrieve (née ?) lived Upton with Fishley, Norfolk.
  97. John Tovell b. 1702 Linstead Magna, Suffolk.
  98. Ann Tovell (née Spauldin) lived South Elmham, Suffolk.
  99. Daniel Brown lived Chediston, Suffolk.
  100. John Lawne b. 1663 Ranworth, Norfolk.
  101. Mary Lawne (née ?) lived Brooke, Norfolk.
  102. Peter Mallett lived Limpenhoe, Norfolk.
  103. Elizabeth Mallett (née Biggs) lived Limpenhoe, Norfolk.
  104. Francis Griffen b. 1672 Limpenhoe, Norfolk
  105. Mary Griffen (née ?) lived Limpenhoe, Norfolk.
  106. Robert Wymer b. 1696 Norwich, Norfolk - Descended from twice.
  107. Ann Wymer (nee Sarles) lived in Norwich, Norfolk - Descended from twice.
  108. Abraham Moll b. Edingthorpe, Norfolk.
  109. Elizabeth Moll (née Holser) lived Ranworth, Norfolk.
  110. Job Johnson b. 1690 Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.
  111. Mary Johnson (née ?) lived Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.
  112. Charles Thacker lived at Hainford, Norfolk.
  113. Mary Thacker (née Neville) lived at Hainford, Norfolk.
  114. Andrew Gunton b. 1713 Woodbastwick, Norfolk.
  115. Elizabeth Gunton (née Witchingham) lived at Woodbastwick, Norfolk.
  116. Anthony Doughty b. 1710 East Dereham, Norfolk.
  117. Catherine Doughty (née Whitmore) lived Swanton Morley, Norfolk.
  118. William Goodman lived Westfield, Norfolk.
  119. Mary Goodman (née ?) lived Westfield, Norfolk.
  120. Isaac Daynes lived at Hethersett, Norfolk.
  121. Martha Daynes (née ?) lived at Hethersett, Norfolk.
  122. William Moore b. 1683 at Hingham, Norfolk.
  123. Elizabeth Moore lived at Wymondham, Norfolk.
  124. Samuel Blasey b. 1700 Wymondham, Norfolk.
  125. Bridget Blasey (née Lord) lived at Wymondham, Norfolk.
  126. Francis Quantrill lived Wymondham, Norfolk.
  127. Sarah Quantrill (née Mendham) b. East Carlton, Norfolk.
  128. Thomas Page b.1690 Attleborough, Norfolk.
  129. Maria Page (née Hynds) b. 1707 Attleborough, Norfolk.

We all have 512 biological slots on Generation 10 (7th great-grandparents).  So my 129 recorded 7th great grandparents represent only 25% of the actual entire generation.  Additionally there will be a level of inaccuracy.  Genealogical mistakes, poorly recorded details, non parental events, etc.  At Generation 6 for example, I can feel reasonably happy that I have compiled an accurate family tree - supported by a wide range of sources, such as BMD certificates, parish records, wills, censuses, military records, criminal records, poor law union records, newspaper reports, etc.  Even biological confirmation can be achieved at Generations 5 - 6, with photographed likenesses, family tales, and now especially by DNA Matching services - Genetic Genealogy.  However, back at Generation 9 and earlier, pretty much that all that can be sourced are poorly preserved, poorly scripted, parish registers.  And far from all of them survive.  Additionally, I'll admit that in some cases, these records have been resourced through transcripts, that are often incorrect.  Genetic Genealogy can in some cases verify ancestry at Generations 9/10, and certainly at Generation 9 I believe that I have found common DNA segments between my family and other testers that verify a trail.  However, it's purely random.  The absence of shared segments does not disprove shared descent at this range.

Therefore I argue that in the case of English records, when you trace poor ancestors back beyond the Mid 18th Century - that you need to reduce expectations of accuracy, of truth.  You have to rely on less and less reliable records.

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Paul Brooker
tag:paulbrooker.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1315949 2018-08-28T13:08:26Z 2018-10-07T03:18:58Z Working out my current Y DNA Haplogroup designation

For personal note  as of 2018-08-28.

L +M20 +M22 +M317 +SK1412 +SK1414 (or FGC51074) +FGC51041 (or Y31947) +FGC51036

L-SK1414 = L1b2c

SK1414/FGC51074 age estimate current 9,300 years bp.

L-FGC51041 is a verified terminal

FGC51041/Y31947 age estimate current 6,000 years ago but only 2 samples on Ytree.

L-FGC51036 on terminal on FT-DNA

L-Y31947 is terminal on yFull

115 novel SNPs


I need to watch what happens to new submission YF14938 on Y Tree L


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Paul Brooker