Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sharing Again

I have just been overwhelmed by the generosity of a fellow researcher.  Rob McNeill of NSW, a descendant of James DANIELS has been working hard on producing a second edition of his book about the descendants of James DANIEL(S).  I have helped a little, especially re the Edward HAWTON side of the line, and have been in fairly frequent contact with him over the time.  I also alerted him tot he fact that Nigel BUTTERFIELD had proved that James had an Indian family before being transported to Australia.  Rob was reluctant to accept Nigel's evidenece initially, but eventually saw it for what it was.  Trouble was, there had been a very long goose trail on another line for a long time, until the marriage of Sara Ana Young DANIELS to George McLENNAN was proved to be incorrect.  Naaturally Rob was wary of accepting this new evidence that came totally out of the blue.
Anyway, Rob's book finally rolled off the presses - ata a cost of $85 each!  I knew it would be pricey, but was expecting something like $40.  I had to tell Rob I couldn't justify that much at the momemt.  He then floored me by offering a complimentary copy to thank me for my help.  I didn't feel I had helped all tat much - not when you see the size of the book.  It must be 4" thick!  It is a good mix of pedigree and anecdotal stories, photos, certificates and  othe documents.  A mammoth task!
Anyone with an interest in the DANIELS descendants, including HAWTON, should consider this book as a terrific record of their family story.  Thanks Rob, for all your hard work, and especially for the copy of the book.  I appreciate both.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Sharing information

I'm all for sharing information.  BUT - I do like to be credited for my work.  My data is entered into Legacy Family Tree, and I use that program to create Descendant Reports for each main line, starting with the earliest ancestor.  I then upload those reports to my family history wiki "Branches and Twigs".  I have also, in the past, sent copies of the reports to fellow researchers.  I also have a tree on, but until about 12 months ago I only used Ancestry to search for relevant records.  However, I discovered that to use Ancestry's 'hints' you have to have a tree.  So I now have a tree, but it doesn't have anywhere near the same number of people as my legacy tree has, because I only add people to it when I find hints about them.  However, what I am finding is that images I have added to my legacy reports, and notes directly from my Legacy reports are finding their way onto other Ancestry Trees, and are therefore credited to the person who first adds them - not me.  I know the work is mine, because the wording is identical, or the picture is one I cropped.  Then, because it is a quick way to add people to my Ancestry Tree I add them from the other trees, and find that the pictures are attributed to someone else.  The other thing that bothers me, is that often those images (particularly) were given to me by someone else who is acknowledged in my Legacy Tree, but not when other people add it to their Ancestry trees.  The other day, I even found a whole email that I had sent to descendants of a particluar ancestor, alerting them to some startling new information about said ancestor.  Now, at least this was acknowledged as being from me, and in the email I had acknowledged the person who provided the new information - but I would have liked to have been asked if it was OK to publish what was essentially a personal email.
I've also seen scans of pages from commercially published books about some ancestors.  I question the ethics of that practice too.
I know I am guilty of not always acknowledging the source of some photos or certificate scans - mainly because when I first began researching, almost 30 years ago, I had no intention of publishing anything for a wider audience, I didn't know the significance of sources, and I didn't always note who sent me particular things.  But now I always make a note of where I obtained a picture or scan.
It is also difficult to know whether to cite ALL trees on Ancestry, for instance, from which I have obtained information.  For example, if I already had name and date of birth, but get date of death from an Ancestry tree and there are several trees with the same information - which one should I cite?  One, two, all??  I usually cite one or two trees that seem to crop up all the time for a particular family.  At least anyone reading my tree will know that the info came from the work of others.  Unfortunatley you can't tell who was the first to upload to Ancestry.
Then there is the question of whether I should keep my Ancestry tree private, so it is not available to all and sundry.  To date it has been public, but I am considering making it private - as one fellow researcher said, then if anyone is interested in exchanging info they have to make the effort to get in touch.  At least Ancestry still shows up links to Private trees when someone does a search.  But, if I had made my wiki site private I would never have been contacted by several fellow researchers who stumbled across its contents.  With wikispaces wikis you can make them private for a small yearly fee but that has the effect of hiding the contents from search engines also - so the only people who would see my reports is someone who already knows of their existence.  A real quandry.  To date I have solved the problem by offering to privatise anyone on a case by case basis.  Most people aren't concerned - I have a few fellow researchers who want their children privatised for example.
What do you think?  Is it OK to add things to Ancestry without seeking permission first?  The very nature of Ancestry invites people to add things from other trees to yourown, and I guess anything on a public tree is fair game.  I am really talking about adding info that has been taken from other shared resources, not Ancestry itself.

Friday, July 06, 2012

There's always something new to be found

Genealogy research is a never ending pursuit.  I doubt that anyone can say they have "finished".  They might have gone as far as they can go with currently available and accessible records, but there is always something new to be found.  Especially if you are researching many lines - both paternal and maternal as I am.  And, three basic families - my own, my first husband's and my second husband's.
My late first husband, and therefore my daughter, has an ancestor named James DANIELS.  Shortly before my husband died we discovered, thanks to the research of another descendant, that James had been transported to Australia from India.  India - because he was in the British Army in India and was involved in what was described to me as "an unfortunate incident" in which a man was shot.  Without further information I surmised that it might have been a duel.  Several years after arriving in Australia he married another convict by the name of Mary RILEY.
Over the years I have been corresponding with quite a few fellow researchers on the DANIELS' line.  It has not been without controversy.  To begin with, one daughter of James and Mary's son Edward was said by some researchers to have been married twice - within a few months.  Well, she married one man, and then had a child by another some months later, and eventually married the second man many years later, with one of their grown sons as best man! I'm not sure that the whole story of the supposed first marriage has been uncovered yet.
Then there was another daughter who was linked to a particular man, but the birth registration of the first child never quite jelled with the mother being the daughter of Edward and Sarah.  Eventually that "union" seemd to be discounted by most researchers.
Then there was Sarah Ana Young DANIELS, another grandaughter of James and Mary - who, according to a number of people, including direct descendants, was married to George MacLENNAN.  This was despite the fact that Sarah MacLENNAN's death certificate listed her mother as an Ann COLLIER, and her father as James DANIELS when it should have been Sarah Sophia MOORE and Edward DANIELS.  Now it transpires that Sarah's marriage certificate clearly states that her mother was Ann COLLIER and her father James.  This negates the belief that the death certificate information was in error.  Even the most reluctant of researchers has had to concede that a Sarah DANIELS did marry George MacLENNAN - just not "our" Sarah Ana Young DANIELS.  Strangely enough, the researcher who finally found the proof was the same researcher who provided a photo of Sarah DANIELS years ago, and had labelled it as "Sarah Ana Young DANIELS, my grandmother". Another descendant swears black and blue that Sarah Ana Young DANIELS is one and the same as Elizabeth Young DANIELS - I do not believe that there is any evidence for this being fact.  He is basing it on the fact that both girls have Young as a Christian name.
Now there is even more controversy!  Nigel, who lives in England, is descended from James DANIELS and his Indian family!!!  Nigel has labouriously studied original documents and LDS films to trace the military career of his ancestor James, and had discovered that he married a woman named Hannah, and had three daughters with her.  In doing so he had also discovered information about James' trial for Murder, in Madras.  No duel - he shot a policeman!  James was sentenced to death and Nigel had duly entered his death date as 1821.  End of story.  However, it wasn't until Nigel stumbled across my account of the descendants of James DANIELS on my Branches and Twigs wiki, that he realised I was talking about his 4 x great grandfather.  You see, what Nigel hadn't discovered was that James' death sentence was commuted to transportation for life.
Of course this caused a little consternation among some researchers who were sceptical about the two men being one and the same.  But Nigel had transcribed entries from the LDS films which show: "Born 24 Aug 1814; Baptised 3 December 1814 Elizabeth Daniells daughter of Corporal James and Hannah Daniells  of 80th Regiment" and
"Born 1 Feb 1820 ; Baptised 21 June 1821   Jane Catherine Daniels daughter of James Daniels Sergeant HM 69th and Hannah his wife."  The third daughter isn't so explicitly documented, but these two are enough to prove that the father is the same man who was sentenced to transportation to Australia.  James had TWO families.
Like I said, there is always something new to find - more skeletons to haul out of the closet.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Eureka! I've found her!!

Yes, after all my years of searching I have finally found the birth and baptism of my great great grandmother Caroline Jessie LORING, nee BUTLER.  I knew she was born around about 1830, I knew from her Marriage Certificate that her father was named James, and that he was a Carpenter.  Today, on I found a Baptism Register entry for a Caroline, daughter of James and Mary, James being a Carpenter!  Her date of birth is shown as 25th November 1832, and her Baptism was on 30th June 1837.  Perserverance DOES pay off.  I was sure I would find her one day.  Now I want to find the name of John LORING's first wife who had made him a widower before his marriage to Mary BECKHAM in 1800.  Now, who can I share my discovery with?

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Oops! Got that wrong!

Have just had an email from a lady pointing out a glaring mistake in my tree.  Well, it is glaring now that I look into it closely.  Many years ago, before using the computer and internet for my search (i.e. I did it the old fashioned way - trawling through microfiche, hopefully making contact with fellow researchers through lists in magazines and journals etc.) I made contact with several people who were researching the family of James DANIELS and his wife Mary RILEY, from the Hunter Valley region of NSW.  This was my late first husband's family.  A son, Edward DANIELS, married a Sarah Sophia MOORE - and it is from this union that my husband was descended.  One of the DANIELS / MOORE children was a Sarah Ana Young DANIELS and each researcher had her married to a George MacLENNAN.  Over the years I added to this line with relevant registration numbers, spouses and children etc.  One correspondent very kindly sent me a scan of a photograph of Sarah Ana Young MacLENNAN, nee DANIELS.
Surprise! Surprise!  I got an email from a lady this week, querying my inclusion of the marriage of Sarah Ana Young DANIELS to George MacLENNAN.  She is a descendant of the DANIELS / MacLENNAN marriage.  She included a copy of the Marriage Certificate, which clearly shows that the mother of the bride, Sarah Ann DANIELS, was Ann COLLIER, and the father of the bride was James DANIELS.  A copy of Sarah MacLENNAN's death registration which I received years ago shows that her parents were - James DANIELS and Ann COLLIER.  At the time I remember thinking the Ann COLLIER must have been a mistake.  I never noticed that the father should have been Edward, not James.  Nor apparently had any other researcher. My biggest surprise though, was that the woman who pointed out the error was the same woman from whom I'd received information and the photograph many years ago.
It is now quite clear that Sarah Ana Young DANIELS should never have been linked with George MacLENNAN.  She seems to have disappeared off the map though, as no-one has been able to locate anything other than her birth registration.
One researcher has another theory - that Sarah Ana Young DANIELS is actually Elizabeth Young DANIELS.  The only reference I can find for Elizabeth Young DANIEL is a marriage to George MITCHELL in Narrabri in 1877.  There is also a Death Registration for an Elizabeth Young MITCHELL in 1936 - with parents James and Sophia.  If she is of the same family her parents should be Edward and Sarah.  I suppose it IS possible that the parents have been incorrectly reported and that the informant got Edward confused with his father James, and gave the mother's seond name rather than her first.  It is certainly strange that both DANIEL(S) girls have the middle name of Young - it would suggest a connection, but exactly what is unknown.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Just Found Another Rellie!

Rees JONES, Mayor of Cardiff 1880
Wow!  I have just received an email from a descendant of my great grandfather.  I knew my great grandparents (William Luther JONES and Eliza DIXON) had four children, one being my grandmother Christina Ruby JONES.  I never knew Christina because she died in 1947, 6 years before I was born.  I did know her sister Edith Marion CHISHOLM, nee JONES, known as May.  When I was growing up we visited Aunty May and Uncle Tom quite often.  They lived at Warrandyte.  They had no children together, although Uncle Tom had a daughter from his first marriage.  We used to see Thelma occasionally too.  My great grandparents also had two sons - Cyril Rees, known as Rees, and Henry Herbert Rex, known as Harry.  Recently I have been in contact with a descendant of Rees.  Now I have been contacted by a descendant of Henry.  The lovely thing is that this lady, Val, has transcripts of letters written to William Luther JONES by his mother.  There are four letters!  They mention his wife Eliza, and the children.  On one occasion she sent £100 for Xmas presents for the children.  Given Willie's addiction to gambling I wonder if the children ever received those Christmas presents.  The letters mention a number of people I have come across in my research, but they also mention names I've never heard.  Who is "Doll" for instance?  Obviously someone in the family as she was to be consulted about how the house should be decorated, having similar tastes to Mary.  Thank you Val, for sharing this wonderful insight into my great great grandmother.  I am still none the wiser as to how Val has seen my work.  Her name isn't familiar as a contact from Ancestry, nor Genes Reunited.  I did ask her how she had seen my work, but she didn't enlighten me.  Apparently she has a small photocopy of a photo of Mary JONES, nee COOK.
Added 6.1.2012 - Val found my work through a Google Search - Yay for the Internet!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Advent Calendar - Christmas Eve

How did you, your family or your ancestors spend Christmas Eve?

There are a number of things about Christmas Eve that I remember vividly.  We always sang Christmas Carols around the Christmas Tree before we went to bed on Christmas Eve.  Of course there was also the obligatory shortbread and glass of milk left out for Santa, and a carrot for the reindeer.
As I got older we used to go to the local Carols by Candlelight service at the football ground.  This was always held on Christmas Eve.  It was good old-fashioned community singing, where everybody joined in with the (usually) Salvation Army choir and band.  As a teenager I remember that we went to the carols, then returned home and sat up with our neighbours and waited till midnight, then we opened our Christmas presents!
I also went to Midnight service at Church on many Christmas Eves.  This was always a special service which I really enjoyed.  My grandmother often took me to Midnight service at her Church.
Carols By Candlelight - Myer Music Bowl c 1980
Another annual event on Christmas Eve was the Carols By Candelight held at the Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne.  As far as I can remember we never went to the Music Bowl, but we always tried to watch it on television if we were at home, and especially when we were at my grandmothers.  She sang in a choir called "The Argus Singers", and they were part of a massed choir that sang at the Music Bowl Carols.  Again, it used to be a night of good comunity singing - now it is a showcase for modern day 'artists' who quite often massacre the traditional carols and / or sing 'new' Christmas songs that just don't have the same feel to them.