Kollies Genealogy

My first certificate

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.

What’s in a surname: Wright

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!

Sources:

http://www.britishsurnames.co.uk/surnames/WRIGHT

http://www.surnamedb.com/Surname/Wright#ixzz1UvPmJUzp

Photo Friday: our wedding day, May 10 2008

Photo Friday: our wedding day, May 10 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Me as a baby with my parents

Wordless Wednesday: Me as a baby with my parents

Tombstone Tuesday: Mary Ellen Hollingsworth [Burns], my Great Grandmother, lies in an unmarked public grave in Allerton Cemetery, Liverpool, England

Tombstone Tuesday: Mary Ellen Hollingsworth [Burns], my Great Grandmother, lies in an unmarked public grave in Allerton Cemetery, Liverpool, England

Mobile Monday: Genius Scan+ -PDF Scanner

I downloaded this the other day after it went ‘free of charge’ on the app store.  I use something similar on Android in work, but had yet to find a free version of software that did the same thing on iOS.

Why is it so useful I hear you ask? It allows you to take a photo(s) with your iPhone (nothing new), and save the photos as a PDF file straight into Dropbox, evermore, etc.  It’s vital for those times when you think ‘I’ll just nip the shops’ and end up in a record office or library with no way digitising that record you’ve stumbled upon after weeks/months/years (delete as appropriate) of researching.

I think it’s fantastic, and will be regularly using it from now on.

PS. where were you in the 80’s?  I was in Runcorn, Cheshire, UK.  Enjoying my first 9 years of life!

Itunes link: 
http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/genius-scan-pdf-scanner/id401818935?mt=8

Mobile Monday: Genius Scan+ -PDF Scanner

I downloaded this the other day after it went ‘free of charge’ on the app store. I use something similar on Android in work, but had yet to find a free version of software that did the same thing on iOS.

Why is it so useful I hear you ask? It allows you to take a photo(s) with your iPhone (nothing new), and save the photos as a PDF file straight into Dropbox, evermore, etc. It’s vital for those times when you think ‘I’ll just nip the shops’ and end up in a record office or library with no way digitising that record you’ve stumbled upon after weeks/months/years (delete as appropriate) of researching.

I think it’s fantastic, and will be regularly using it from now on.

PS. where were you in the 80’s? I was in Runcorn, Cheshire, UK. Enjoying my first 9 years of life!

Itunes link:
http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/genius-scan-pdf-scanner/id401818935?mt=8

This is a video of Liverpool between 1896 and 1955 I found on YouTube, I’ve got loads of ancestors from this era in Liverpool, so took great interest in this.  Its amazing to see the way people lived, and even to think that there is video footage from the 19th century!!!

What’s in a surname: Gray

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!


Sources:

http://www.surnamedb.com/Surname/gray#ixzz1UvILmTJx

http://www.surnamedb.com/Surname/gray

http://www.britishsurnames.co.uk/surnames/GRAY

Photo Friday: My niece, Felicity.  Early 2011

Photo Friday: My niece, Felicity. Early 2011

My Great Grandfather was also a British Home Child too

Wordless Wednesday: Mary Ellen Hollingsworth [Burns] my Great Grandmother

Wordless Wednesday: Mary Ellen Hollingsworth [Burns] my Great Grandmother

Mobile Monday: Pin Drop (iOS)

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.

I’m really excited by this!

Link to the app: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/pin-drop/id425356789?mt=8

What’s in a surname: Burns

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!


Sources:

http://www.houseofnames.com/burns-family-crest

http://www.surnamedb.com/Surname/Burns#ixzz1UvFo1LN9

http://www.britishsurnames.co.uk/surnames/BURNS

Allerton Cemetery - A roller-coaster of emotion

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

Thankful Thursday: A new branch to the tree

Today is a fantastic day for me, I get to share something that I’ve known about for a few months now with the world.

Sarah and I, are having a baby.

Today was our 12 week scan, and I’m delighted to report that the Sonographer confirmed everything looked “perfect”.

I’m so happy I could burst, and can’t wait for the next one so we can potentially find out the sex (this is still being debated as to whether we want to know or it to be a surprise).

I’m going to have to start thinking about adding a new branch to my family tree.