1st occurrence in my family history: 5th Generation (Great Great Grandmother, Sarah Hollingsworth [Hughson])
Spelling variations of this family name include: Hewison, Heweson, Howeson, Howeston, Howstoun, Huison and many more.
The first spelling was as the given name Hugo meaning “heart or mind”, and as such this spelling appears in the famous English Domesday Book of the year 1086. Perhaps not surprisingly given a meaning of heart or mind, the personal name was highly popular, and by the 12th century was to be found in almost every European country. The surname is recorded in the same period, (see below), the first of all the such hereditary surname recordings being found in England. This was the country which first adopted both surnames and register recordings as we know them today.
These early recordings include such examples as Richard Hue of the city of Worcester,in the year 1275, and Henricus Housson in the poll tax register of Yorkshire in 1379. In Germany in the year 1402, one Willi Hugo is recorded as being a burger of Ravensburg, whilst English church recordings include William Hughson, who was christened on October 1606 at St. Giles, Cripplegate, London, and Racque Hugo, a French Huguenot, who was a witness Threadneedle Street French Church, London, on March 6th 1639.
The first known recording of the family name is shown to be that of Rogerus Hugo, which was dated 1185, in the rolls of the Knight Templars of England. This was during the reign of King Henry 11, known as “The Builder of Churches”, 1154 - 1189.
In the United Kingdom today there are 501 people with the surname Hughson, this places it as the 8836th most common. For every 1million people 11 are called Hughson!
I was 4, and on my way to my grandparents with my mum, we used to walk it seeing as it was only 15 minutes away. I remember the local shop we walked past used to have several large boulders in front of it (I think it was meant to be artistic), and I thought ‘that looks like something awesome to climb on’, so I leapt on to the first boulder, and amidst shouts from my mum to “GET OFF YOU’LL HURT YOURSELF”, I immediately lunged for the next one…I slipped, and fell head first in to the third boulder.
After that my next memory from the day was lying face up in a hospital, with a curved needle coming straight towards my face. I needed 4 stitches, and still have the scar in the middle of my forehead 25 years later!
1st occurrence in my family history: 4th Generation (Great Grandmother, Annie Everitt [Pover])
This interesting name has three possible origins, the first is an anglicized variant of the Olde French ‘Pohier’ - a medieval locational word meaning ‘the man from Picardy’. The second is from the Olde French ‘Pouvre’ - a sardonic nickname for a poor man, but probably referring to the opposite! The third is also French ‘Poer’ and means ‘power’ - again a nickname surname, and one found in the Munster Province of Ireland. The many spellings include Poor, Poore, Powers, Poher, Puiher etc. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter le Poher. which was dated 1162 The Pipe Rolls of Lincoln. during the reign of King Henry 11 The Builder 1154 - 1189.
First found in Gloucestershire where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the census rolls taken by the ancient Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.
I took the plunge and created my own website to collect all my Family History, on here you’ll find pages dedicated to each branch of my ancestry, there’s discussions about individuals on my tree, profile pages for some, timelines for others, photos, videos, and much more. I’ll also include hints and tips to try and help you in your own research.
Last week I ordered my first copy of a certificate from the Liverpool Register Office, I found the required one on http://www.lancashirebmd.org.uk/ followed the links, and downloaded a copy of the form. Excitedly completing all the information, and then asking my parents to pay via cheque as I don’t own a cheque book any more, and refuse to put all my card details on a form that’s going to be posted, so thank you to my mum and dad for helping me out.
The form was completed, paid for, and posted. All that was left to do was…wait.
I thought it would take a few weeks before I got a response, so imagine my surprise when my wife handed me an envelope with my own handwriting on it on Saturday, just 8 days after posting. I carefully opened the letter, taking extra care not to damage anything inside, and let the slip of paper fall into my quivering hand (excitement).
There it was, a wonder to behold, the birth certificate of my Great Grandfather, Richard Hughson Hollingsworth.
The certificate is now scanned, saved, and put away with the rest of my paper evidence from ancestors, what happens next is yet to be fully discovered, do I search the address, look for more clues to his life, or move backwards to his parents. The future is exciting and undecided, but one thing I do know is that whatever happens from now on with my research my 1st certificate will always be that of my Great Grandfather.
1st occurrence in my family history: 4th Generation (Great Grandmother, Florence Rose [Wright])
Spelling variations of this family name include: Wrighte, Wraight, Wraighte, Wreight, Wrate, and patronymics Wrightson and Wrixon
It is occupational and was used to describe a maker of machinery or objects, mostly in wood. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th century word ‘wyrhta’ meaning a craftsman, itself from the verb ‘wyrcan’, meaning to work or construct as in wheelwright, cartwright, millwright and wainwright. When ‘wyrhta’ was used on its own, it often referred to a builder of windmills or watermills.
Perhaps not surprisingly this is one of the first occupational surnames to be recorded, and early examples include Robert Wricht of Shropshire in 1274 and Thomas le Wrighte of Derbyshire in 1327. Later examples of the surname recording include Joan Wright and Richard Trevesse who were married on May 29th 1552, at the church of St. Lawrence Jewry, in the city of London, whilst one of the earliest settlers in the New England colonies of America was Jeffery Wright, aged 18 years. He left from the Port of London aboard the ship “Truelove” bound for the Bermuda Island in June 1635. Probably the best known bearers of the name are the Wright brothers, Wilbur (1867 - 1912), and his brother Orville (1871 - 1948), the U.S. aviation pioneers, who designed and flew the first powered aircraft (1903).
The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Patere le Writh. This was dated 1214, in the tax rolls known as the “Feet of Fines” for the county of Sussex.
Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to “develop” often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
In the United Kingdom today there are 125574 people with the surname Wright, this places it as the 13th most common. For every 1million people 2734 are called Wright!
1st occurrence in my family history: 4th Generation (Great Grandmother, Gladys Howey [Gray])
Spelling variations of this family name include: Grey, Groy, Croy, Graye, and others
This ancient Anglo-Scottish surname has at least two possible origins. The first was Old English and a nickname or personal name for a man with grey hair or beard, from the pre 7th century word “graeg”, meaning grey.Although the name means the same in Scotland and Ireland,name holders there took their name from the early Gaelic word “riabhach” which also means brindled or grey.
The second separate origin is French and locational. As such it is from the village of Graye in Calvados, Normandy, and was introduced into the British Isles after the famous Conquest of 1066. The village was called from the Roman personal name “Gratus” meaning welcome, with the suffix “acum,” a settlement.
Early recordings of the surname include Baldwin Grai, in the Pipe Rolls of Berkshire in 1173, and Henry de Gray, in the Pipe Rolls of Nottinghamshire, dated 1196. Other examples include Henry Gray and Jone Darby married at St. Margaret’s, Westminster, on November 30th 1539 and Catherine MacGray, christened at Endell Street lying in hospital, city of London on March 17th 1763. Thomas Gray (1716 - 1771), the poet, was most well known for his “Elegy in a Country Churchyard”, published in 1751.
The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Anschitill Grai. This was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book of Oxfordshire, during the reign of King William 1st, known as “The Conqueror”, 1066 - 1087. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as Poll Tax.
Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to “develop” often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
In the United Kingdom today there are 62144 people with the surname Gray, this places it as the 67th most common. For every 1million people 1353 are called Gray!
I was looking for an app that allowed me to tag a gps location of my choosing, potentially take a photo, and leave a description of the place. Say hello to ‘Pin Drop’, this little gem of an app does all of the above.
I’m currently using it to tag burial sites of my ancestors, the app allows you assign a colour to each ‘drop’ and for burials I decided to use the colour black.
My next job after burials is going to be tagging the places where my ancestors lived, where born, married, and worked. I’ll do this using living relatives information, marriage documents, census reports, etc. I’m hoping that one day I’ll end up with a history map of my ancestry.
1st occurrence in my family history: 4th Generation (Great Grandmother, Mary Ellen Hollingsworth [Burns])
Spelling variations of this family name include: Burnes, Burness, Burn, and others
This interesting surname is of early medieval English origin, and is a locational name from Burnhouse in Scotland. The placename derives from the Middle English “burn”, stream, and “house”, house. During the Middle Ages, when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often used their former village or hamlet name as a means of identification, resulting in a wide distribution of the name in the surrounding areas.
The surname is first recorded in Yorkshire in the early 13th Century (see below), over three hundred years before it is found in Scotland. David Burnis is listed as being a follower of the earl of Cassilis in 1526. In the modern idiom the surname can be found as Burness, Burnes and Burns. On June 5th 1608, Bessie Burnes married Charles Bryson in Edinburgh, Midlothian, and on September 28th 1760, Gilbert, son of William and Agnes Burness was christened at Alloway, Ayr.
A Coat of Arms granted to the family is a gold shield, and on a blue fess, between two black spur rowels in chief and a black hunting horn stringed in base, a gold water bouget, the Crest being a demi-Pegasus, winged gold. The Motto, “Perseverantia vincit”, translates as, “Perseverance Conquers”. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Brenhus, which was dated 1208, in the “Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire”, during the reign of King John, known as “Lackland”, 1199 - 1216.
Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to “develop” often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
In the United Kingdom today there are 34568 people with the surname Burns, this places it as the 134th most common. For every 1million people 753 are called Burns!
On Friday I went to the dead centre of Liverpool, Allerton Cemetery (sorry I couldn’t resist). I went after my visit to the Liverpool library, in search of two graves, my great grandfather Herbert Rose, and my great grandmother Mary Hollingsworth.
The library had given me the plot maps for the cemetery and I set off in search of Section 29. Once I had found it, I had the grave map too, and thought ‘this is easy, I’ll be at the graveside in no time’. How wrong I was, all the graves stopped before I got anywhere near the number I needed.
So I decided to look for the other grave in section 20, but once again I ran out of numbers. I had so far doesn’t about 45 minutes walking around, completely lost and confused. Only one thing for it, go to the cemetery office!
The man in the office was nothing like I had imagined he would be, cracking jokes, openly helpful, and knowledgeable too. He quickly realised the error of my ways, it wasn’t 29 but 2G, and section 20 was CE (Church of England) 20, not RC (Roman Catholic) 20. He went away, got me two better grave maps, told me more information about the burial including the time, and set me off in the right direction.
With the new/correct information finding Herbert Rose’s grave was easy, I found it was shared with 4 other members of the family, my great grandmother Florence, and a few others all related. I was gobsmacked that I was stood at my great grandparents grave, it was an amazing moment, full of emotion.
With this new found confidence I set off in search if my great grandmother Mary Hollingsworth’s grave, this took a little longer, I walked around trying to find the grave but couldn’t find the row it was on, I could find the two either side but not the one I wanted…and then I realised.
My great grandmothers row wasn’t visible because it was in a public grave, therefore it was in between rows of tombstones, in effect my great grandmothers grave was directly under my feet. I was saddened by this realisation, thinking that she had passed away and there wasn’t enough money to give her a proper burial, and not only that but there wasn’t even a plaque flat on the turf where she lay, it was just grass.
So there you have it, my day went through excitement, confusion, humour, excitement again, jubilation, more confusion, and sadness; a real roller-coaster of emotions!
Have you had any success in searching for ancestors graves? Send me a tweet if you want to discuss it further @kollies
Yesterday I lost my cherry in terms of Microfile research in a records archive, I went with my parents (who very kindly offered to come and help me) to the Liverpool Library, in particular the records of local history section. I didn’t know what to expect before I got there, of course I’d seen the record offices on WDYTYA and Heir Hunters but still couln’t imagine me doing that sort of thing.
Before I left home I made sure I had the tools I thought I’d need:
Relevant records I already had
A list of what records I wanted to search
I had decided that if I just went there and thought I’ll have a look in the burial records (the purpose of my visit was to locate the graves of my ancestors) I would get lost pretty quickly and not end up with very much information, probably making the experience uncomfortable, and causing me to be reluctant to visit again anytime soon. So, I made a list of things I wanted to do, I used a website called www.workflowy.com a new website I’d found that fitted my needs (more on this site in another post). With my list consisting of:
Plot & Grave number
Any of the information I already knew I had filled in to give me quick pointers to what I should research.
When I got to the library I explained to the man that I had previously emailed in, and was advised no appointment was necessary for using the Microfile machine, but that I had absolutely no idea how the system worked, etc. He was very nice, showing me where the records where kept, how to use the index book to locate the relevant microfile, how to operate the Printer/Reader, and offering anymore assistance if required.
I had decided the easiest way for me to to find where my ancestors (mostly Great Grandparents) where buried, was first by looking through the obituary section of the local paper, The Liverpool Echo, for the days following their death. My thinking being that most people use this section not only to post the death and their remembrance, but to update people as to where the service was going to be held and on what date. I had quite a bit of success with this, finding two ancestors details of service, and all my ancestors obituaries that I searched for.
Next, I looked through the index book for Allerton cemetery (both of the references I found where in this cemetery), picked up the relevant Microfilm, and searched through the pages until I found the entrance for my ancestor. Brilliant!
I quickly finished off my research, packed everything away, paid for my printouts 19 in total, at 30p each, and headed off back to my car…Next stop, Allerton Cemetery!
1st occurrence in my family history: 3rd Generation (Grandmother, Mona Rose [Everitt])
Spelling variations of this family name include: Everett, Everatt, Everet, and many more
This interesting and long-established surname is of early medieval English origin, and derives from the Old German male given name “Eburhard” or “Everhard”, a compound of the elements “eber”, wild boar, and “hard”, hardy, brave, strong. Introduced into England by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066, the name is particularly well recorded in East Anglia, an area of dense Norman and Breton settlement. “Ebrard” and “Eurardus” (without surname) appear in the Domesday Book of 1086 for Norfolk and Cambridgeshire.
The surname was first recorded at the beginning of the 13th Century. The step between Everard and the later forms, Everett and Everitt, is Everad, as in Geoffrey Everad noted in the “Chartulary of Ramsey Abbey”, Norfolk, dated 1300. Recordings of the surname from English Church Registers include: the marriage of Sarah Everett to Cornelius Fisher at Dilham, Norfolk, on July 25th 1565, and the marriage of Elizabeth Everitt to John Heyward at All Saints, Fulbourn, Cambridgeshire, on April 4th 1572. A notable bearer of the name was Allen Edward Everitt, secretary of the Royal Society of Artists of Birmingham, 1858 - 1882.
The Everitt Coat of Arms is a silver shield with a fesse between three red estoiles, the Crest being a demi lady holding in the dexter hand a balance and scales, equally poised proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Everard, which was dated 1204, in the “Pipe Rolls of Bedfordshire”, during the reign of King John, known as “Lackland”, 1199 - 1216. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to “develop” often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
In the United Kingdom today there are 4024 people with the surname Everitt, this places it as the 1556th most common. For every 1million people 88 are called Everitt!
I would never have thought when I first searched my grandfathers name on the Internet the impact it would have on my life. as you’ve probably gathered by now I’m slightly addicted to genealogy, so much so that it’s become an integral part of my trip to and from work. I find that instead of listening to music, I get a much calmer and economical (important with petrol being over £1.30 nowadays) journey if I listen to a genealogy podcast.
Before this I had never really *got* podcasts, sure I’d listened to the odd one from Radio 1, or a random one I’d downloaded from iTunes. But I’d never really subscribed to anything before, that was until I found a couple of genealogy podcasts.
1. Geneabloggers Radio: this is a weekly web based radio show, hosted by Thomas Macentee every Friday night. The subjects vary from week to week, but the theme is always consistent. It’s a talk show, with 2-3 guests per week, some general genealogy hints and tips, recent genealogy news, and a very interactive chat board (although I’ve never seen this love due to the time difference, I’m led to believe it’s awesome, and have no reason to disagree). Although the radio show is broadcast at 3am GMT, it is available by the time I wake up on Saturday morning, and fits in nicely with my daily drive.
2. The National Archives: based around the National Archives in the UK, each podcast has a set theme or story, where the speaker (different each time) will discuss an area of their own expertise. The information is always excellent, however the recording quality can leave a lot to be desired. Still it gets a regular listen from me.
3. Geni: bitesize chunks of genealogy, normally with the guest Thomas Macentee. Every episode covers an area of research e.g. Collaborative genealogy, and always findings off with how the website www.geni.com incorporates this feature. Whilst it sounds like a 15 minute advert, it’s definitely not delivered that way, and is one of the best podcasts I listen to due to it being in snippet format.
4. Genealogy Gems: Hosted by Lisa Louise Cooke, a great podcast covering a multitude of genealogy areas. I look forward to the next release as soon as I’ve finished listening to the current one.
Do you have a favourite genealogy podcast? Give ne a shout on twitter to discuss further @kollies
1st occurrence in my family history: 3rd generation (grandmother, Constance Howey).
Spelling variations of this family name include: Howie, Howe, Howey, Howy and others.
In the United Kingdom today there are 608 people with the surname Howey, this makes it the 7711th most common. Therefore, for every 1million people 13 of them have the surname Howey!
Recorded as Howie and Howey, this famous Scottish name is locational. It derives from an estate known a “The lands of How” in the county of Ayrshire, although the precise location is now lost. The name therefore is a member of the ever growing list of surnames of the British Isles that originate from lost medieval sites. It is claimed that the origin is from the Ancient British-Strathclyde ‘hoh’, a word which pre-dates written history, and describes a hollow or deep valley, from which also developed the surname How or Howe. The name as Howie or Howey is probably a diminutive meaning Little How, the suffix ‘ie’ or ‘y’ being a popular Scottish and North of England endearment.
The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Howye. This was dated 1526, when he was appointed Sergeant at Arms of the town of Brechin, during the reign of King James V of Scotland, 1513 -1542. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as Poll Tax.
If you haven’t already heard, Google has launched a new social network, it takes the best of all the other ones e.g. facebook, twitter, etc, and combiners them in to one. in the first month it had over 10 million users, and that was even with it being an invite only Beta.
Its a great place to be, you can share certain things with specific people if you want by posting it to the relevant circle e.g. Genealogist, work buddies, family, [insert favourite sport] team, etc; or if you’re happy too, you can share things publicly for everyone to see.
Why not add me, we can chat about whatever you want
Working a full time job I find it difficult to research effectively all the time, I’ll listen to a genealogy podcast on my journey to and from work, constantly churning over new ideas about how to progress, technology to use, websites to visit, and much more.
However, by the time I’ve finished my day some of the ideas I earlier had I’ve forgotten, either in full or the important reason I wanted to research a particular area.
Another area where I struggle is due to the above I’ll start one area of research, but by the time I get around to researching again I’ll forget where I was up to, and lose the momentum I had the day(s) before.
So I need to break the mould, the question is how? I think I need a research log, I’ve heard about other more experienced genealogist’s using these, and how they’ve helped them keep everything in order. This would also appeal to my obsession with lists. Two birds, one stone.
How do you make time to do your research?
Feel free to send me a tweet to @kollies about your own family history research.
With today’s emphasis on social networking, forums are becoming a place confined to the yesteryear of the Internet (along with AOL, MySpace, etc).
In the Genealogy world however they are booming!
I joined a site called Rootschat (www.rootschat.com), this is an obline forum where you can ask for advice, help with brick walls, photo dating and restoration, amongst many other things.
I’ve only posted a few things on there, but every-time I have it’s been answered, and answered very well. People will help you find out that one clue you’ve missed, like my Great Grandfather living a couple of doors away from his parents in 1901; or giving me viral information in relation to my wife’s paternal name (Lesbirel), which in turn helps me go back a dew more ancestors. I’ve even ha some success in uploading poor quality images, and asking for people to restore them.
Above all the forum is a fantastic place to be, very helpful, lots of tips and hints, and mostly…downright useful. So what are you waiting for, get over to rootschat today!
Feel free to send me a tweet to @kollies about your own family history research.
1st occurrence in my family history: 2nd Generation (mother, Wendy Hollingsworth [Rose])
Spelling variations of this family name include: Rose, Roose, Ròs (Gaelic), Ròis (Gaelic) and others.
Researchers have been unable to trace the origin of this Clan to before 1155, as the Clan apparently took no part in the ancient rebellion of the Moray Clans and therefore was not recorded as being transported by Malcolm IV (as many of their neighbors were). However, the answer may lie with a knight named Ros, of Ros, near Caen, who accompanied William the Conqueror and was given lands in 1069 in Kent, England by the half brother of the Conqueror, Odo, Bishop of Bayeux. Those territories were either enlarged or acquired by a marriage to the heiress Mary Bosco. The Boscos were a noble Norman family. During that period of unrest many noble families moved northwards in the train of Margaret, King Malcolm Ceanmore’s second wife, to escape the ponderous rule of William. Because of the tightly knit family connections of the Rose and the Bosco families, the origin seems quite certain.
Rose was first found in Nairn, in Kilravock County, Scotland. The family settled in this area in 1282, when Hugh Rose of Geddes married Mary, daughter of Sir Andrew de Bosco. Mary Bosco was the heiress of the Bissets of Lovat. Hugh Rose was the son of the Hugh Rose of Geddes who witnessed a Charter in Beauly prior to 1219 and is the first recorded Chief of the Clan. Hugh of Kilravock (the son) was one of the few who did not submit to King Edward I of England in 1296. His son, William, captured Invernairn Castle for Robert the Bruce in 1306.
In the United Kingdom today there are 32803 people with the surname Rose, this places it as the 143rd most common. For every 1million people 714 are called Rose!
As a child I used to visit the local library all the time, once every 3 weeks with school on a Tuesday afternoon, and various times with my mum to pick up a new book to delve in to for a couple of weeks.
During my sixth form years I used the library for research, not all the time but when I couldn’t find what I needed in my schools library, or easily available online (this was before broadband, Wikipedia, google, etc).
After this my use of libraries diminished, if I needed something for work I’d use my home PC, blackberry, or later my iPhone. I never thought libraries would exist anymore in any capacity other than for the storage of old books, I imagined they’d be stuck in an era that time was quickly forgetting, a time of bleached hair, popper tracksuit pants, and the spice girls.
So, when I started my genealogy research and found out I could access the major genealogy websites for free at my local library, I thought ‘why not see if it’s still open?’.
I was amazed at the changes that had occurred, long gone was the security gate stopping people coming and going without being signed in/out, also the mangy old carpets had been replaced with fresh new ones, and the main difference was the PC’s, they where everywhere.
The PC’s allowed free Internet access providing you where a member (also free), and if you went down to the Ground floor (weird setup) the library was full of old local records, microfilm, and a few PC’s. All this was bundled together with a librarian who was passionate about genealogy, asking questions about my own research, and sharing tips about how to breakthrough those early stumbling blocks I had come across. Printouts where 10p a page, and the library also allowed USB sticks to be inserted so you could save the research straight on to it, and yes this was also free! I was converted, I suddenly saw the library as a fresh, new, exciting place to be, and since have spent several hours every day off on the ground floor, researching.
So I would like to close by saying…get down to your local library, they’re definitely not dead!
These are the two questions I found myself facing quite early on in my research. After a couple of weeks of using Ancestry to store my tree, I realised that I was about to start storing some quite personal documents from my families history, e.g. Birth certificates of living relatives, etc. Obviously I wanted people’s data to be secure, and I wanted it to be linked to the relevant person on the tree.
So, I decided to look into a desktop software application for storing it, I had recently purchased a few genealogy magazines and included in them was a cd which had various resources on it, one of which was MyHeritage, a great programme for hosting the data stored on my harddrive. To build my tree I started off by exporting my Ancestry tree in Gedcom format, and simply importing it in to MyHeritage; this programme allows me to build my family tree offline, put photos & documents in there (& tag them), create reports, and much more.
However, I also decided to keep my online tree with Ancestry, the only difference being that now the majority of my documents, etc, is stored offline, with the online version showing the people in my tree and 1 contact style photo (purely for aesthetics).
NB: MyHeritage also allows publishing of your family tree to an online site, however as I was using the free version I would be restricted to 250 people, therefore I use Ancestry.co.uk instead
You’ll hear it whenever you speak to any family historian be it amateur or professional, one of the first thing you need to do is speak to your family, start with the oldest, and work through the other members who you think may add some depth to your research.
I started off by speaking with my Grandma, she’s 86, and has been a massive influence on my life. I wanted to speak with her for a few reasons.
First off, my grandad died when I was 13 and whilst I remember him I will never know the man she loved, how they met, or anything from life before I was born, unless I asked.
Secondly, I wanted to find out about my Grandmas life, growing up as a young girl in Liverpool, during the war, working in the Baby hospital in Woolton, meeting my grandad, my mum & uncle as kids, and just generally to listen to the stories of a time gone by.
Lastly, I really wanted to find out more about my Grandmas parents (I knew them both, but they passed away before I was 10), grandparents and other ancestors who are no longer with us. In particular I wanted to quiz my grandma about the alleged relation JMW Turner (more on this in a separate post).
So I went around one Saturday afternoon, armed with a notebook, and that was it. The time spent with my Grandma was fantastic, she revelled in telling me stories, showing photos, and sharing documents. I got enough information in those few hours to keep me busy for the next few weeks with research and organising.
I followed on from this with interviews of other members of my family e.g. Nan, parents, etc, and will continue to do so. I intend on going back with a voice recorder at some point and asking more specific questions, I’m tempted to do this above anything else due to the enjoyment I get out of it, and how great it would be in 100 years when were all gone, for a descendant to stumble across their GG grandparents voice!
Feel free to comment, or send me a tweet to @kollies about your own family history research.
1st occurrence in my family history: 1st Generation (me, Keith Hollingsworth)
Many variations of the name Hollingsworth have been found, including Hollingsworth, Hollinsworth, Hollingworth and many more.
The name Hollingsworth has a long Anglo-Saxon heritage. The name comes from when a family lived as inhabitants by holly bushes. The surname Hollingsworth originally derived from the Old English word hollins.
Hollingsworth was first found in Cheshire (It is a habitational name from places in Cheshire and Lancashire called Hollingworth) where a family seat was held from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.
In the United Kingdom today there are 3075 people with the surname Hollingsworth, this places it as the 2024th most common. For every 1million people, 67 are called Hollingsworth!
Motto: Disce ferenda pati
Motto Translation: Learn to endure what must be borne.
An email was sent around in work asking for peoples stories about how technology had improved their lives, so I replied not expecting anything to come from it, explaining my story through my family tree (see the previous blog posts). Explaining that before technology was so easily accessible genealogy would take up most of my spare time, by ‘doing things the old way’ and visiting record offices, libraries, cemetaries, etc. Now it must be said here that I really enjoy getting stuck in to a ‘real’ record in a dingy office, however the point I was trying to make was how much time and money can be saved, especially in the early days like I was and still am.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, I was selected to appear in a video for the upcoming conference in Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre,which would be shown in front of approx 2000 people.
So a crew of 4 people came up to my hometown, and proceeded with the filming. The filming was unreal, it took place in my house, my furntiture was moved around countless times, the lighting was setup, I had a wire on, and I was treated like a star for the day. At one point they filmed me outside, this was hilarious as it took about 15 takes, all the neighbours curtains where twitching by the end of it, I reckong they where disappointed when they realised it was just little old me and not Peter Andre or some other celeb.
Heres a quick picture of the setup in my house
Before you click the video, its important to know that it’s not just a video about me or my research, or even only genealogy; its a video about technology improving/changing peoples lives. Anyway, enjoy…
Facebook is massive nowadays, and has more than 750 million active users on it’s site. So naturally with me already using Twitter I wanted to see how I could incorporate this into my research.
I decided the one area Facebook succeeded over Twitter was it’s ‘Groups’ function, these are pages that you set up, and can invite people to discuss something in more detail, it can be anything you want (providing it’s online with Facebook’s T’s & C’s).
I decided the best way to get the most out of the groups was to set them up with the heading of my Great Grandparents surnames e.g. Hollingsworth, Howey, Rose, etc; and then I invited anyone who I was friends with that was related to that line of my family tree into the group, with the first ‘status’ inviting people to share (see pic for example).
I’ve had little success in some of the groups and in others it’s grown to be a great place to chat about our ancestors. The group that stands out the most is the ‘Rose’ group. There are 20 members, and everyone is getting involved, there’s photo, stories, and fact sharing going on daily. It’s a real success story for how Facebook can be used for genealogy.
Have you used social networking in your family history research? Feel free to comment, or send me a tweet to @kollies to discuss this further if you want?
Twitter, for those of you don’t know, is a micro-blogging site. Which in turn means that you can post a comment to the web to update people who follow you with “What’s Happening?”, the only real restriction is that you’re limited to 140 characters. Feel free to read more about Twitter here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter or you can join via this link https://twitter.com/signup if you haven’t already done so.
I joined Twitter in July 2008, and regularly ‘tweet’ about all manner of things going on in my life, however up to this point I had never realised just how useful Twitter could be. I started off ny just mentioning to my followers (about 500 people) that I was researching my family tree, and if anyone could give me any advice, or had any family info/photos that they could share, for them to get in touch.
The response wasn’t overwhelming, but what I did get was contact from a relative who I had never met before, living in France, but who had already started the genealogy journey a few years previous. The person in question is called Cheryl, and since that initial contact about our family history I’ve come to regard her as a close family member. Cheryl was able to share photo’s, stories, tips, and much much more with me, we quickly moved from Twitter to email, so our communication could be more in depth, and files started being passed back and forth (mostly Cheryl sending the to me).
Other members of my family started talking to me on Twitter about how my research was going, sharing the odd story, and photo where they could. However their knowledge was as of yet pretty untapped, and you’ll find out more about that in my next post about Facebook.