A Kiwi in search of her Irish, English & Scottish tribes

Month: January 2011 (Page 2 of 2)

On the hunt for Jane

As mentioned in an earlier post, I lost track of my Florey household from the 1841 census until Henry Richard Florey turns up with wife and kid in 1871. Where did the others go? And where was Henry during those 30 years?

Since I’ve found what I think is Jane Florey’s baptism, I’m starting with her. In the 1841 census her age is listed as 19. If the baptism record is hers, her actual age was 16. So, within the realms of possibility. No occupation is listed.

I’ve found a possible marriage for her in Maidstone, which is not far from Wateringbury, in 18461. I did a search through the 1851 census on Ancestry to see if I could figure out who she married out of the four men listed on the same page in the register, with not much luck. The contenders are:

  • Thomas Hickmott
  • Alfred Pope
  • William Reeves
  • George Town

Interestingly enough, one of the other brides in the register was a Mary Ann Florey. I wonder if she is related to Jane? Anyway, yesterday I ordered Jane’s marriage certificate from the GRO. Hopefully that will confirm her father’s name, as well as her husband’s.

I found a couple of marriages for William Florey as well, but there is a second William Florey who was born in Maidstone around the same time as my William, so need to do a little more research before I start ordering certificates.

  1. “England & Wales, FreeBMD Index: 1837-1983, ” database, FreeBMD (http://freebmd.rootsweb.com/cgi/search.pl : accessed 11 Jan 2011), marriage entry for Jane Elizabeth Florey; citing June [quarter] 1846, Maidstone, vol 5: 405.
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Gaffaney Family, Arowhenua ~ Wordless Wednesday

Michael Gaffaney & Family, "Belper", Arowhenua, South Canterbury, New Zealand

Michael Gaffaney & Family, "Belper", Arowhenua, South Canterbury, New Zealand

Wordless Wednesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

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Formulating a research plan (of sorts)

In February we’re off to New Zealand for a three week holiday. In 2007 we left with our two kids to come and live in England for 18 months. Four years and one baby later, we’re going back to catch up with family and enjoy a Kiwi summer! Of course, I hope to do a bit of genealogy research while I’m there, but not too much or hubby and the kids will get grumpy. So, a little bit of looking up dead people, and a lot of chatting to live people. With a runaround a cemetery or two for the kids.

Right now I’m going through Archway with my main New Zealand surnames, and seeing what probate records I will be able to order and view. I’ll only be able to get to the Wellington and Auckland Archives offices, and I won’t be able to spend days in them, so have to organise my time carefully. Happily, the hotel I booked us into for a couple nights near Auckland airport, is extremely close to the Auckland Archives! Who knew?? (I certainly didn’t when booking. Yay for serendipity!)

I’ll need to get a Reader’s card – will have to work out the logistics of that time-wise, and then I can order up the records online, so they’re ready for me when I go in. Well, that’s the plan anyway. And I also need to find out how many records I can order up/view at a time. Maybe I’ll need to put my requests in order of preference, just in case I run out of time?

Sadly, my Great Aunt Audrey in Gisborne, who I had planned to fly up and see while over in NZ, died last month. I may still fly up there, depending on what else I’m able to do, though I think I might just wait till next trip.

Another job to do – find the cassette tape which has (first, twice removed) Cousin Lally talking about her family on it. I recorded this in 1991, when I visited her in California. If it hasn’t perished, I really want to transcribe it before it’s lost for good. I’m not even sure how much information she gave me at the time – but it has to be better than nothing. The thing about the tape is… it’s in a box. In our storage unit in Wellington. Along with lots and lots and lots of other boxes. Yeah, so wish me luck on that one! (Actually, I’m hoping our numbering system and Excel spreadsheet of box contents may be of some assistance – we shall see.)

I’d also love to find the sources of the newspaper clippings I have (or rather, the scans of some newspaper clippings). One obituary I’m fairly sure is from the New Zealand Tablet, so I can check that in the National Library in Wellington, and also check if there are any more obituaries for that family.

And I am very much looking forward to seeing my Nanna. And the rest of my family!

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And down the road to Yalding

Today was a beautiful sunny day (for a change) and just the day to take a trip down to Yalding, Henry Richard Florey’s birthplace.  I’ve driven through it several times, but never walked around.

Yalding is a village and part of Yalding civil parish in the Maidstone District of Kent, England. The village is situated six miles south-west of Maidstone at a point where the Rivers Teise and Beult join the River Medway.1

  1. Wikipedia, “Yalding”, article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yalding : accessed 08 Jan 2011).
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Out and about

I was still on the hunt for Henry Richard Florey’s dad. My next step was to check the Yalding parish records to see if the priest/curate had made any additional notes on the register that didn’t make it into FamilySearch. (Else Churchill, Genealogist at the Society of Genealogists, gave a great talk about this at Who Do You Think You Are? Live last year.) Even a note of “illegitimate” would be useful!

One of my problems, as a decided beginner at this family history lark, is that

  1. I don’t know what records are available; and
  2. I don’t know where to find them.

So it’s a slow (but very interesting) process of discovery. I had looked at Phillimore’s Atlas and Index of Parish Registers in a local library and checked where copies of the Yalding parish registers were held for the years I needed – Centre for Kentish Studies in Maidstone [now the Kent History and Library Centre].

Using the search facility on Access to Archives on the National Archives website, [now included in their Disovery catalogue] I could also check exactly what I needed to ask for at the Centre.

  • INCUMBENT; Service of the Church – Registers – Baptisms p408/1/6 1833 – 1843

Looking back over the catalogue now, I wish I’d spent more time preparing beforehand, before I rushed in. However, the staff at the Centre were great, showed me where things were and set me up with a microfilm reader, and away I went. Located Henry’s baptism record very quickly – no new information (I thought), but I made a note of the details and took a print of it.

Next I went on to Wateringbury records – I was trying to find any mention of the Elizabeth Florey household from the 1841 census. I checked the settlement orders (removal into and out of Wateringbury) and the overseers rates from 1838 to 1843 (I realise now it would be unlikely for my household to be mentioned in here, but you live and learn). No joy, but there are plenty more records to check – I just need to pick the right ones! And now I’ve been into the Centre, it will much easier to go again. I also now have a Reader’s Card.

When I came to scan the printout of Henry’s baptism record, I looked quite closely at the handwriting, thinking it was pretty messy with the “scribble” and cross out. Then I looked a bit more closely… could that “scribble” just before “Son of” be “Ill.”, abbreviation for “Illegitimate”? If only I had discovered this at the Centre, so I could check other records. But wait! Further down the page, just three records below Henry’s, there was the same “scribble”, and it was another record where no father was listed!

Henry Richard Florey - extract of baptism record - Yalding, 1840

Henry Richard Florey – extract of baptism record – Yalding, 1840

William Gorham - extract of baptism record - Yalding, 1840

William Gorham – extract of baptism record – Yalding, 1840

From that, it looks pretty likely to me that Henry was illegitimate.

Disclaimer: Phillimore’s Atlas and Index of Parish Registers is authored/edited by Cecil R. Humphery-Smith, who is the founder and former Principal of the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies, through which I am currently studying. Or should be studying, if I wasn’t spending so much time working on this blog.

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Follow Friday ~ CityArk’s Medway Ancestors

I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I had found James Florey and Elizabeth Jane Knott’s marriage, and their daughter Jane Elizabeth’s baptism, in FamilySearch.

Of course, what I really wanted to do was view the records in the parish registers. Fortunately, Frindsbury, where James and Elizabeth’s marriage took place, and the parish of St Margaret where Jane was baptised, both lie within the district of Medway. And the Medway Council provide an enormous boon to family and local historians – images of real live actual records, online!

Medway Ancestors is Medway Council’s project to publish images of the original parish registers in its custody on the Medway Archives web site CityArk. The registers are held on deposit from the local parish churches and cover the Rochester Archdeaconry area, extending from Dartford and Gravesend in the west to Rainham in the east and focusing on the Medway Towns.

The project has been made possible by a grant of £49,500.00 by the Heritage Lottery Fund under the Your Heritage scheme.

James and Elizabeth’s marriage record
All Saints Parish (Frindsbury, Kent, England), Register of Marriages 1813-1822 [P150/1/10], p138, James Florey and Elizabeth Jane Knott, 05 Mar 1820; digital images, Medway CityArk (http://cityark.medway.gov.uk/ : accessed 23 Nov 2010).

Jane’s baptism record
St Margaret Parish (Rochester, Kent, England), Register of Baptisms 1813-1832 [P305/1/7], p 189, Jane Elizabeth Flora, 02 Jan 1825; digital images, Medway CityArk (http://cityark.medway.gov.uk/ : accessed 30 Dec 2010).

For lists of parishes covered and tips on how to use the site, check out Medway Ancestors.

Follow Friday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

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Who’s yer daddy?

Henry Richard Florey is my great great grandfather on my mother’s side.

I got the tip-off from his son’s marriage certificate.1 Henry’s son (Henry John Forrest) had married in Auckland, New Zealand in 1885, but he’d been born in Chatham, England around 1862.

So where did his father Henry Richard come from, and who were his parents?

I headed off to look for him in the 1871 England census. And there he was.

On census night in 1871, he was living in Rochester, Kent in Five Bells Navy & Army Beerhouse, with wife Elizabeth Ann and son Henry.  Henry (Richard) was head of household with an occupation of “Tailor & Beerhouse Keeper”, and his birthplace listed as Yalding, Kent.2

Hurrah! Now to find his marriage record…

On 15 February 1863, Henry had married Elizabeth Ann Byford at the Union Street Chapel in the district of Medway “according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the Bible Christians”.3 At the time of their marriage, they both resided in New Road, Chatham (Kent).  Henry’s father is listed as “Richard Florey (deceased)” with an (obviously previous) occupation of labourer.


In 1861 and 1851, I can find no trace of Henry at all.  (I have to confess, when first searching for Henry in the censuses, I misread, on both his marriage certificate and 1871 census, his occupation as “Sailor” rather than “Tailor” and imagined him sailing the high seas during this time.  Now however, I don’t think there is much call for a tailor aboard ship. Though I could be wrong there.  Again.)

And I couldn’t find a death record for his father Richard. Or a likely marriage for his parents. Ho hum.

In the 1841 census, I found a 1 year old Henry Florey in Wateringbury, Kent, which is just down the road from Yalding, my Henry’s birthplace.  This Henry is living with his mother Elizabeth Florey 37,  and her daughter and sons:  Jane Florey 18, William Florey 17, and John Florey 5.  Henry’s birthplace is ticked as ‘in county’.4

On FamilySearch, I found a baptism record for a Henry Richard Florey in Yalding in 1840.5 His mother is listed as Elizabeth Florey, but there is no father’s name given…  and despite his birth being after compulsory registration, I can find no record of his birth in the GRO index on FreeBMD.

Finally I got round to ordering Henry’s death certificate.  He died on 27 May 1916 in Lepperton, Taranaki, New Zealand, and was buried in Lepperton Cemetery on 30 May 1916.6 New Zealand death certificates can be a gold mine of information, if the informant of the death knew enough about the deceased.  Henry’s father is listed as ” — Florey” (grrrrrrr!).  His mother is given as Elizabeth Ann Knott – so I now have a maiden name!

On FamilySearch I found a marriage for a James Florey and Elizabeth Jane Knott in 1820 in Frindsbury, Kent. 7 Could this be the one? I then went searching for baptism records for Jane and William – and found Jane! Well, a likely candidate, at least: Jane Elizabeth Flora [sic], born 13 Dec 1824, baptised 02 Jan 1825 in St Margaret, Rochester, Kent.8 No sign of William. Or John.

If the family in the 1841 census is Henry’s, could the older two children be James’s children?  Had Elizabeth then had William and Henry with another man (or men?). Or is it more likely that James could be Henry’s father, and Henry got his dad’s name wrong when he married…?

  1. New Zealand, marriage certificate for Henry John Forrest Florey and Annie Horne; 10 Mar 1885, Auckland; citing 1885/65, Birth, Deaths & Marriages, New Zealand.
  2. “1871 England Census, Henry Florey (age 28) household, St Margaret, Rochester, Kent,” Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.co.uk/, accessed 02 Mar 2010), citing PRO RG10/904, folio 29, p 16, GSU roll: 823489, Medway registration district, Rochester sub-registration district, ED 12, household 65, 2 Apr 1871.
  3. . England, marriage certificate for Henry Richard Florey and Elizabeth Ann Byford; 15 Feb 1863, Medway, Kent, England; citing 1863 Mar [quarter] 02a [vol] 466 [page], General Register Office, Southport.
  4. . “1841 England Census, Elizabeth Florey (age 37) household, Wateringbury, Kent,” Ancestry.com, http://www.ancestry.co.uk, accessed 02 Mar 2010, citing PRO Class: HO107; Piece 464; Book: 2; Folio: 22; Page: 6; Line: 21; GSU roll: 306859, Registration district: Malling, sub-registration district; East Peckham, ED 2, 06 Jun 1841.
  5. . “England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975”, database, FamilySearch, (http://www.familysearch.org/, accessed 5 Nov 2010).
  6. . New Zealand, death certificate for Henry Richard Florey; 27 May 1916, New Plymouth; citing 1916/4344, Birth, Deaths & Marriages, New Zealand.
  7. . “England Marriages, 1538-1973”, database, FamilySearch, (http://www.familysearch.org, accessed 23 Nov 2010).
  8. . “England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975”, database, FamilySearch, (http://www.familysearch.org/, accessed 30 Dec 2010).
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Geneaology Resolutions 2011

  • Start a blog
  • Blog regularly and contribute comments to other blogs
  • Compile a proper research plan (as opposed to “ooooh, think I might look that up next, or maybe that… )
  • Get to know the Centre for Kentish Studies
  • Complete some assignments!!!! (Ideally eight lectures this year)
  • Visit the Suffolk record office (and a cemetery or two)
  • Compile a research plan for the New Zealand trip in February
  • Begin scanning certificates and documents I have in hard-copy
  • Get those England census records into Reunion
  • Get those NZ electoral records into Reunion
  • File, organise, cite!
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