Always learning, well mainly …

In my relatively short career I’ve had a fairly easy time, of it.  Yes I’ve come across the old puzzle – why have half of Hannah Gill’s children got Roadhouse as their surname and the other half got Gill?  This became increasingly confusing because alternatively they were Gill and Roadhouse.

Well that was easy to sort out!  Hannah’s husband Joseph Roadhouse was at times ‘absent’ and Hannah seems to have had another fella on the side William Gill!  Then Joseph just seems to fallen off the face of the earth and can I heck as like find him after the death of William Gill – I’m sure they are not the same person.  Are they?

That’s why I love blogging as I’m writing I’m thinking of other avenues which I’ve not considered before, always learning.

It was thanks to a very helpful vicar who seems to have taken great joy in annotating the margins of his parish registers that the above Roadhouse/Gill saga was explained without the need for some serious imaginative thinking.

I have got one puzzle that I have absolutely no idea how to resolve, so would welcome any helpful suggestions that you, web world may have to offer.  My direct ancestor Peter Dillon was born in Dublin in approximately 1809 and at some point before he was 45 travelled to England.  The first time I find him in England is when he marries his second wife Annis Wallace in 1854 in Kendal.  So for a start somewhere out there in the past, Peter has a wife and possibly other children, we are his ‘second’ family.

Now my Great Aunt Nan said in her fabulous video that he came over from Ireland for work but where did he go?  Who did he work for?  His occupation was carpenter so he was skilled, did he work for a large family, where does Scotland come into it, because I’m sure Nan mentions Scotland – I really must get that video put onto DVD.

In next to no time Peter and Annis moved down south and settled in Plumstead, Kent.  I have all the official records from then on, but I just cannot find him before 1854 – what do I do?

I’ve posted on rootsweb for any help that can be suggested by the wonderful Dublin researchers but so far nothing.

I searched until I could think of no other avenue – the good old web; ancestry and findmypast but to no avail – it’s the same with Joseph R.

Help can someone please help?  My learning curve has stopped and I’m stuck with nowhere to go!



18 September, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Family History. 2 comments.

Wordless Wednesday

To start myself off in the world of family history blogging, I joined the good people at Geneabloggers.   There are themes for each day to help us bloggers with posts; so I thought I’d join in today.  The main focus of Wordless Wednesday is to post a photo or an image.

So without further ado – the photo I’ve chosen this foggy Wednesday is of my Great Grandmother Gertrude Harrison (1875 to 1948) with her Grandfather (my 3 x Great Grandfather) Henry Harrison (1828 to 1890).


8 September, 2010. Tags: , , , . Family History. Leave a comment.

Lost and found

Sometimes when travelling along the family history path we find people we didn’t know existed; children that we haven’t found in census returns because they were born and died during the 10 year gap; there are those that we only find because we are trawling the GRO indexes and others whom we discover through photographs.

I have one of the latter; her name was Winifred Mary Dillon and she would have been my great great aunt.  Winnie was the fourth child of Sydney Wallace Dillon and Catherine Emma Heasman and was born on the 7 September 1907 in Woolwich, London and died aged 6 on the 15 November 1913 in Hebden Bride, Yorkshire.

I first heard about Winnie from Bill Heasman who is my first cousin 3 x removed (impressive eh?) who very kindly sent me some photos a few years ago.  I had never heard of Winnie and here she looking out at me; posing for the camera with her doll outside a rather nice looking house in Woolwich.

Bill told me that he had a letter from Winnie’s sister ‘Nan’ in which she described one of her visits to Woolwich, “I remember being at Auntie Dolly’s house.  I had gone up to London with my Mum for Grandfather Heasman’s funeral.  I think I was eight (not sure) and sister Win would be five.  She lived with A[unt] Doll as you know.’

It appeared from this first hand account that Winnie did not live with her family but with her mother’s sister, Dolly (Mary Jane).  “Why?”  I wondered,  Syd and Kate’s other children all lived at home?

I looked further into Dolly and her husband Sam’s background and discovered that sadly they did not have any children of their own, was Winnie their ‘surrogate’ child? Winnie’s relationship to Dolly and Sam on the 1911 census was ‘niece’ so its certain they had not officially adopted her.  Or, was it that Syd and Kate just couldn’t afford another child and it was decided that Dolly and Sam could give her a better future?  We’ll never know.

Unfortunately Sam died in a road accident in February 1912 – I don’t know if it was at this point that Winnie went to live with her family in Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire or if she was only visiting in November 1913 when she died of Tuberculosis Meningitis.  What can be said for certain is that Dolly was present at her death and was the one who informed the Registrar on the 17 November.

Whilst I’ve been writing this blog I’ve realised that I cannot finish it fully; there are details and facts that need to be discovered.

Can I find more information about how and under what circumstances Samuel Hill died? It must have been quite an unusual accident in 1912; did it make the local papers?  Was there an inquest?

Where is Winnie buried?   It must be in Hebden Bridge but where?  There are so many places it could be, for me the final resting place of someone is one of the mos important details.

The quest goes on, the never-ending search for the details of our ancestor’s lives.


7 September, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Family History. Leave a comment.

So proud

Just a quick update on Tom’s photographic career

He has won third place in the Chad Newspaper’s Young Photographer of the Year 2010 competition.

Well done Tom and may you have many more success.

6 September, 2010. Family History. 2 comments.

Kids …

Kids they make can make you laugh, they can make you cry and heavens knows if it wasn’t for them then family history would certainly be well, none existent!!!

I find that I’m not like other Mums I don’t constantly gush about my children’s achievements but, well, yesterday I just couldn’t help it.

I don’t normally read the local paper whilst sat at my desk; but my colleague asked if I’d like to have a quick look before it went into the black hole of the staff room.   My only reason for normally flicking through the Chad is to check out the obituaries and weddings; but then I saw it.

My eldest son Tom has recently entered the Chad Young Photographer of the Year competition and there it was, his picture short listed!  I was absolutely over the moon!

I tried to contact Tom but as I was informed by my youngest son he was still in bed … tut! Teenagers how do they manage to sleep for so long?

I went around showing my colleagues and would have gone out and shown the entire district if I’d had time, now I’m sharing it with you.

It is an achievement in itself to be short listed, if he goes on to win then that’s the icing on the cake, but for me the boost to his inner belief is more valuable.

Well done Tom, long may your success continue.

Just in case you’d like see it well here it is:

2 September, 2010. Family History. Leave a comment.

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