Monthly Archives: March 2011

A Canterbury Tale

Just back from a fantastic few days away in Canterbury (England) – it was a tutorial weekend for my correspondence course with the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies. We had lectures on wills and probate, parish records and palaeography, with some hands on exercises, and lots of opportunity for research in their amazing library and discussion with lecturers, tutors and fellow students. Nothing like being with a bunch of like-minded souls!

The course is self-paced and I have been pretty slack so far – while I’ve spent some time on course work, I haven’t submitted any assignments yet. Erk. However, am feeling re-energised and motivated and have already done an hour’s work tonight. *shines halo* Plus, I have some other students on my back now nagging me, giving me deadlines.

I have to submit a “Seize Quartiers”, which involves a (non-computer-generated) dropline pedigree chart up to my great great grandparents, plus accompanying source citations. This is almost completed, just a little tidying up of the chart layout, and listing all the citations in an understandable report.

The other assignment is my autobiography, and I’ve not really enjoyed doing this, though it will be a fantastic genealogical resource for my descendents one day. The guide word limit is up to 3000 words, though I know other students have written much more. I’ve completed a first draft, and this week need to embellish and edit. And maybe add some photos.

My deadline for submission is Monday week (that’s the 21st of March) – wish me luck!

Unto thee a child is born

Peter and Margaret Gaffaney had two children.  My grandfather, Michael Dominic, was born on 5 September 1910 in Fairlie, Canterbury, New Zealand.  A sibling was stillborn in 1918.

Michael Dominic Gaffaney on his baptism, 1910/11

Michael Dominic Gaffaney on his baptism, 1910/11

I’m not 100% sure who the woman is in this photograph – it is definitely not his paternal grandmother, according to the Gaffaney family historian.  It is most likely to be his maternal grandmother, Bridget Power O’Rourke.  She may also have made the christening gown (and under-gown) that he is wearing.  This is still in the family, passed around to whomever needs it next.  I was baptised in it, as were two of my children.  (It got lost for a wee while, so my eldest son missed out.)

Margaret, Peter and Dominic Gaffaney

Margaret, Peter and Dominic Gaffaney

My grandfather was always called Dominic or Dom, rather than Michael.  Though he was always “Granddad” to me!

Both his parents came from such large families – I wonder if there were lots of miscarriages?

Peter Gaffaney & Margaret O’Rourke ~ Wedding Wednesday

Peter Gaffaney and Margaret O'Rourke, Napier, NZ 1909

Brigid O'Rourke, Peter Gaffaney, Margaret O'Rourke and James Gaffaney, Napier, NZ 1909

I just adore this photograph!  Isn’t it marvellous?  The gloves!  Those hats!  My great grandfather Peter looks quite the dapper lad, and my great grandmother Margaret so much the lady.

Margaret is the daughter of Bartholomew O’Rourke, yer man from Ballymacdonnell, and Bridget Power.  She was born Margaret Mary/Monica O’Rourke on 7 September, 1885 in Napier, New Zealand, the fifth daughter and tenth child of Bartholomew and Bridget.1

Peter is the son of Michael Gaffaney and Margaret Brosnahan.  He was born Peter Dominic Gaffaney on 14 July, 1879 in Temuka, New Zealand, the fourth son and ninth child of Michael and Margaret.2

Peter and Margaret were married in St Patrick’s Catholic Church in Napier, New Zealand on 9 November, 1909.3

Gaffney-O'Rourke, wedding notice, 9 Nov 1909 (publication unknown)

Gaffney-O'Rourke, wedding notice, 9 Nov 1909 (publication unknown)

GAFFNEY – O’ROURKE

St. Patrick’s Church was the scene of an exceedingly pretty wedding this morning when Mr P. D. Gaffney, of Canterbury, was united in the bonds of matrimony to Miss Margaret Monica O’Rourke, youngest daughter of Mr B. O’Rourke, of the well-known Napier carrying firm. Pontifical high mass was celebrated by the Rev. Father O’Connor, in the absence of the Rev. Father Goggan. Mr James Gaffney, brother of the bridegroom, was best man and Miss B. O’Rourke, sister of the bride, was bridesmaid.

The bride, who was given away by her father, looked charming in a princess gown of ivory chiffon taffeta, yoke of tucked net and trimmed with silk guipure. She wore a large cream picture hat of crinoline straw, with soft tulle ruchings finished at the side with soft flowing plumes. The bridesmaid, Miss B. O’Rourke, wore a pale blue ninon de soie, with yoke and sleeves of ecru net threaded with pale blue bebe ribbon. She wore a large Tuscan straw hat trimmed with cream tulle and embroidery. Miss K. O’Rourke was attired in a gown of cornflower blue eolienne over silk with a yoke of ecru net and beautiful Oriental embroidery. Mrs O’Rourke, mother of the bride, was attired in a gown of black silk, while Mrs McCallum, sister of the bridegroom, was dressed in a brown tailor costume with toque to match.

The bride’s present to the bridegroom was a pair of gold sleeve links, while that of the bridegroom to the bride was a handsome ruby and diamond ring. To the bridesmaid he gave a handsome cameo ring set in pearls.

At the conclusion of the ceremony the guests were entertained by the bride’s parents in St. Patrick’s Hall. Mr and Mrs Gaffney left by the 2.15 p.m. train to spend their honeymoon in the Lakes district of the South Island. The bride wore a navy blue tailor-made travelling dress with hat…

  1. New Zealand, birth certificate for Margaret Mary O’Rourke; 07 Sep 1885, Napier; citing 1885/18916, Births, Deaths & Marriages, New Zealand.
  2. Baptismal certificate for Peter Dominic Gaffaney; 16 Aug 1879, Temuka, New Zealand; copy privately held by [NAME, ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE].
  3. New Zealand, marriage certificate for Peter Dominic Gaffaney and Margaret Monica O’Rourke; 09 Nov 1909, Napier; citing 1909/7835, Births, Deaths & Marriages, New Zealand.

Wedding Wednesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

The auld sod in 1911

So how are my Rourkes doing on census night in 1911? (See previous two instalments here and here)

Well, everyone’s a little older!  And there’s a couple of grandkids thrown into the mix.1

Bridget Rourke Head of Family 63 Farmer Widow
Michael Rourke Son 37 Farmer’s Son Single
John Rourke Son 35 Farmer’s Son Single
Julia Rourke Daughter 25 Farmer’s Daughter Single
Hannah Hogan Granddaughter 9 Scholar Single
Jeremiah Hogan Grandson 5 Single

Timothy has left, but the other two sons Michael and John, along with daughter Julia, are still at home with their mammy. Hannah and Jeremiah are probably the children of Bridget’s daughter Catherine, who married a Hogan, according to the family tree I have. Catherine’s death date on the tree is given as 1912 – I wonder if it might have been earlier, and the children and are now permanently living with their grandmother?

The house has been upgraded a bit since the last census – its roof is now “Slate, Iron, or Tiles”, there are five rooms instead of three, and five windows at the front of the house (up from three). In the outbuildings stakes, not much change, down 1 cow house and up 1 fowl house. Hopefully the house improvements are a sign the farm is doing well.

I want to follow the Rourke family (roll on the 1926 census!) and also find out where the other family members went to, see if I can verify all the information on this family tree I have.  My knowledge of Irish genealogical sources is a bit lacking at the moment, and I need to spend some time finding out what’s available and where it is.

And I’d love to do more research on the way of life in 19th century Ireland, and into the early 20th century. Would be fascinating to compare the O’Rourke farm in Ballymacdonnell, and the Gaffaney farm in Arowhenua, New Zealand.

  1. Census of Ireland 1911, Kerry, Kilfelim, Ballymacdonnell, House no 3, Bridget Rourke; digital image, The National Archives of Ireland, Census of Ireland 1901/1911 (http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/ : accessed 07 Mar 2011).

The auld sod ~ continued

Following up from yesterday’s post about my great great great grandfather Michael Rourke’s farm in Ballymacdonnell, I’m now looking at the Rourkes who are living there at the time of the 1901 Irish census.

These are the family members listed on the census return1:

Bridget Rourke Head of Family 53 Farmer Widow
Michael Rourke Son 27 Farmer’s Son Not Married
John Rourke Son 24 Farmer’s Son Not Married
Timothy Rourke Son 18 Farmer’s Son Not Married
Julia Rourke Daughter 16 Farmer’s Daughter Not Married

Trying to read the scan of the family tree I have, I can make out a Jeremiah, brother of my Bartholomew, both of whom were Michael Rourke’s sons. Jeremiah married Bridget O’Loughlin, and their children were:

  • Michael b.1873
  • John (Jack) b. 1874
  • Timothy b. 1876
  • Bartholomew b. 1878
  • Catherine b. 1884
  • Julia b.1886

Going back to the baptism records2, I found the following children listed for Jeremiah Rourke and Bridget Loughlin (with their approximate age in 1901, given a birth date a month or two previous to baptism):

  • Michael – 29 Oct 1873 (27) – mother: Margaret Loughlin
  • John – 31 Dec 1875 (25)
  • Bartholomew – 16 Jan 1878 (23)
  • Catherine – 30 May 1880 (20) – mother: Bridget Loughten
  • Timothy – 28 Sep 1882 (18)
  • Julia – 15 Jun 1885 (15)
  • Jeremiah – 23 Jan 1888 (13)

Hurrah! This looks like the same family. Not sure where Bartholomew is on census night, and Catherine may be married by this time. Doesn’t look good for poor young Jeremiah – hopefully he’s having a sleepover at a friend’s place. But he’s also missing on the family tree…

So, were they living in the same house? It’s hard to be certain, without visiting Ballymacdonnell and asking the locals (which I’d love to do at some point!). In 1901 there were three houses inhabited in Ballymacdonnell, and from the census return (Form B1 – House and Building return), all three look to be similar in size and state, being classed as “2nd class”, with Bridget’s being perhaps a little smaller.

What was the house like that Bridget and her family were in? The walls were “stone, brick or concrete”, the roof was “thatch, wood or perishable material”, and there were three windows at the front of the house. The family of five were living in three rooms. Also on their property were eight outbuildings, detailed in Form B2 – Return of Out-Offices and Farm-Steadings: 1 stable, 2 cow houses, 1 calf house, 1 dairy, 1 piggery, 1 barn, and 1 shed.

When I came to recheck the map of Ballymacdonnell from Griffith’s Valuation today, I discovered something I had completely missed before! It is laid over the modern map, and using a slider widget at the top right hand side, you can switch between the old and modern maps. How cool is that!!??

Ballymacdonnell - Primary Valuation map3

Ballymacdonnell - Primary Valuation map

Ballymacdonnell - Primary Valuation map and Google maps satellite image

Ballymacdonnell - Primary Valuation map and Google maps satellite image

Ballymacdonnell -  Google maps satellite image4

Ballymacdonnell - Google maps satellite image

There are still buildings there, maybe even the original house.  Next task is to check the household in the 1911 census.

Griffith’s Valuation material (digital images and index) is Copyright of (c)2003 OMS Services Ltd, Eneclann Ltd and the National Library of Ireland

  1. Census of Ireland 1901, Kerry, Kilfelim, Ballymacdonnell, House no 3, Bridget Rourke; digital image, The National Archives of Ireland, Census of Ireland 1901/1911 (http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/ : accessed 05 Mar 2011).
  2. Dept of Tourism, Culture & Sport. “Search Church Records”. Database of transcriptions, church records for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kerry. Irish Genealogy. (http://www.irishgenealogy.ie/ : accessed 05 Mar 2011).
  3. Griffith, Richard. General Valuation of Rateable Property in Ireland… County of Kerry (Dublin: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1861), for Michael Rourke, occupier, Lot 3, Ballymacdonnell (townland), Killeentierna (parish), Trughanacmy (barony); “Griffith’s Valuation,” digital images, Ask About Ireland (http://www.askaboutireland.ie/griffith-valuation/index.xml : accessed 06 Mar 2011).
  4. Google Maps, Ballymacdonnell, satellite image; digital image, Ask About Ireland (http://www.askaboutireland.ie/griffith-valuation/index.xml : accessed 06 Mar 2011).

The auld sod

After I found the baptism records of all those Rourkes,  I wanted to find the place where the family was living.  I had the name of the parish and the townland, so thought I’d have a good chance of finding them in Griffith’s Valuation.

From the Ask About Ireland website:

The Primary Valuation was the first full-scale valuation of property in Ireland. It was overseen by Richard Griffith and was published between 1847 and 1864. It is one of the most important surviving 19th century genealogical sources.1

I know that my family was definitely in the area around this time because of the baptism dates, so I did a search by name on “Rourke” within the parish of Killeentierna. No result. So I tried a place name search on the townland “Ballymacdonnell” instead – result! A Michael Roarke [sic] occupied property lot number 3 – I hadn’t found him initially because of the (transcribed) spelling of his name.
Primary Valuation - headings: Map refs, Names of Townlands and Occupies, Names of Immedidate Lessors, Description of Tenement, Area, Rateable Annual Valuation of Land and Buildings

Primary Valuation - Ballymacdonnell2

Primary Valuation - Ballymacdonnell

 

The Valuation lists the main occupier of the property, not necessarily ‘head of household’ like the census reports. In the report above, Michael’s holding of “House, office, and land” is 37 acres, 2 roods and 21 perches in size. An “office” is a term used to describe “factories, mills and farm outbuildings such as a stable, turf shed, cow barn, corn shed, or piggery.”3 Michael had one office apparently – I wonder what it was?

The taxable value of the property is an estimate of the income the property could generate in a year. The state of the buildings on the property, and the quality and location of the land were all taken into account. The value of Michael’s property, land and buildings combined, was £28 15s. which equates to the spending power of today’s £1,682.74. 4 That doesn’t sound a lot!

The other thing I noted from the report is that in neighbouring lots were two Callaghans – Jeremiah and Michael. Could they be Michael’s brothers-in-law?

Primary Valuation - Ballymacdonnell - Map5

Primary Valuation - Ballymacdonnell - Map. The thicker red lines denote the townland boundaries. Lot 1 of Ballymacdonnell is to the right at the top of the map, below that is Lot 3 and then 2B, and Lots 2A and 4 are over to the left.

 

At this time in Ballymacdonnell there are four lots: two with one house (lots 2 & 3), one with no house (lot 4), and one with two houses (lot 1). From the notation in the far left column, John Griffin occupies 1a, the farmer’s house on lot 1, and Mortimer Flynn occupies 1b, a labourer’s or cottager’s house. As John Griffin is listed in the “Immediate Lessers” column beside lot 1b, it is likely that Griffin was subletting the “House and garden” to Flynn.

I’m interested in the houses because there’s a Rourke family living in Ballymacdonnell in the 1901 census. Are they on the same farm, and in the same house? Are they “my” Rourkes?

Tune in tomorrow!

Note:
1 acre = 4 roods = 40 square perches

Griffith’s Valuation material (digital images and index) is Copyright of (c)2003 OMS Services Ltd, Eneclann Ltd and the National Library of Ireland

  1. Ask About Ireland, Griffith’s Valuation (http://www.askaboutireland.ie/griffith-valuation/index.xml : accessed 12 Nov 2010).
  2. Griffith, Richard. General Valuation of Rateable Property in Ireland… County of Kerry (Dublin: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1861), for Michael Rourke, occupier, Lot 3, Ballymacdonnell (townland), Killeentierna (parish), Trughanacmy (barony); “Griffith’s Valuation,” digital images, Ask About Ireland (http://www.askaboutireland.ie/griffith-valuation/index.xml : accessed 12 Nov 2010).
  3. Ask About Ireland, Griffith’s Valuation – Understanding the Valuation and Maps (http://www.askaboutireland.ie/reading-room/history-heritage/irish-genealogy/understanding-the-valuati/ : accessed 05 Mar 2011).
  4. The National Archives, Currency converter (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/currency/default0.asp#mid : accessed 05 Mar 2011).
  5. Griffith, General Valuation of Rateable Property in Ireland… County of Kerry.

O’Rourke family tree ~ Treasure Chest Thursday

Hidden amongst all the photos and documents in my father’s stack of genealogy “stuff”, I came across a faded copy of a hand drawn O’Rourke family tree.  It was barely legible in places, but I could make out quite a few names… including my great great grandfather Bartholomew!

The tree started at Bartholomew’s grandfather and included most of the male lines from Bartholomew’s father down, to about my generation.  There was a key on the side for some colour-coding of those who stayed in Ireland, those who went to New Zealand, and those who went to the United States.  Unfortunately, the colours have gone and it’s all sepia.  However, with the tree was a letter from a relative to my father –  the one who had sent the tree, and he gave the name and address of the relative who had compiled the tree originally.  O happy day!  The letter was written sometime in the mid 1990s, so I will need my father to check whether the people mentioned are still around.

In an earlier post, when I couldn’t find Bartholomew’s baptism record, I listed a family of possible siblings whose baptism records I did find.  These are the names and baptism dates:

Mary – 10 Oct 1837
Ellen – 24 Nov 1843
Johanna – 29 Mar 1846
Margaret – 1 Oct 1848
John – 15 Mar 1850
Catherine – 18 Jun 1852
Bridget – 21 Jul 1854
Honora – 22 Oct 1856
Ellen – 24 Dec 1859

And these are Bartholomew and his siblings as given on the family tree:

  • Mary Josephine b. 1837 d. 1882 (spinster)
  • Jeremiah b. 1840
    • m. Bridget O’Laughan [sp?]
  • Bartholomew b. 1844 d. 1923
    • m. Bridget Power
  • Hannah (Joan) b. 1846
    • m. Brian Hickey
  • Margaret b. 1848
    • m. Thomas Walsh
  • John b. 1850 d. 1936 (changed name to John Callaghan O’Rorke around 1880)
    • m. Mary Fleming
  • Bridget b. 1854
  • Honora b. 1856 d. 1930
    • m. Bartholomew Dennehy
  • Ellen b. 1859

Treasure Chest Thursday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

NZ Research plan – review

Auckland Archives office

  • Probate file for Elsie Adelaide Nunns – 1985 (great grandmother)
  • Customs Inwards letter – The High Commissioner for New Zealand, London – Alexander Wright – passenger to Auckland per “Rimutaka” leaving London 12 June 1908 (possibly great grandfather)

I decided not to visit the Auckland Archives in the end. My great grandmother I knew well enough that I didn’t think her will would contain too many surprises,  and the second item may not be connected to my family at all. These will keep till I have more time.

Wellington Archives office

  • Probate file for Patrick James O’Rourke – 1908 (great great uncle)
  • Probate file for George Tunnecliff – 1912 (great great great grandfather)
  • Probate file for Alice Tunnecliff – 1919 great great great uncle’s wife)
  • Probate file for Henry Richard Florey – 1916 (great great grandfather)
  • Probate file for Elizabeth Ann Florey – 1922 (great great grandfather’s wife)
  • Probate file for Michael McGonnell – 1929 (great great grandfather)
  • Probate file for George Tunnecliff – 1942 (great great great uncle)

Viewed and photographed all these files, apart from the one of the ones I most wanted to see, Henry Richard Florey’s probate file. It wasn’t available as it had been requested by someone else! I can order a copy to be made for $20, which I think I’ll do.

  • Coroners Inquest Report for Henry (Harry) Florey (great great grandfather)
  • Coroners Inquest Report for Annie Florey (great great grandmother)

Wasn’t sure if these existed, and a very lovely staff member helped me locate both. Unfortunately, I couldn’t seem to enlarge the microfilm image to A4 size on the machine connected to the printer, and I didn’t have a USB drive to save the images using the other machines. So, I ended up printing A5 size images, which are incredibly hard to read. It wasn’t till afterwards that I realised I could have used the memory card in my camera…. *sigh* Anyway, I know they’re there now, and I can always go back when I’m next in town. In the meantime, I can try and transcribe from the printouts.

National Library, Wellington

  • NZ Tablet – obituary for Bartholomew O’Rourke – 1923 (great great grandfather)
  • NZ Tablet – obituary for Bridget Power O’Rourke – 1914 (great great grandmother)

The National Library is in a state of turmoil at the moment, with its collections located all over the place while they are redeveloping their main building on Molesworth  Street. The Library does hold issues of the NZ Tablet on microfilm for the years I’m interested in, but the films were not at the Reading Room on 77 Thorndon Quay.  The Library building reopens in 2012, so I might try and get my father to investigate then.

Other

  • Locate cassette tape of Lallie Coppinger’s interview (first cousin, twice removed)

Found!!!!!! And in the sixth box I checked of over 60 in our storage unit. I only had time to listen to a few minutes of the tape at my parents’ place, and it sounds great, can’t wait to listen to it all. Need to locate a cassette player first.

  • Take photograph of St Mary of the Angels church, Wellington – grandparents’ wedding venue

Done!

  • Remuera cemetery, Auckland – locate burial plot for Annie Florey

After asking on the Trade Me genealogy forum about Remuera cemeteries, I emailed St Mark’s Church to check if they had any records of Annie Florey being buried there. I received a reply very promptly, but unfortunately there is no record of her burial there. With time tight in Auckland, I decided to follow this up at a later date.

  • Take photographs of living relatives!

Done!

  • Identify as many people/places in photographs as possible in my father’s collection
  • Scan older photographs and documents in my father’s collection

I had planned to spend several evenings looking over old photographs and documents with my father, but there wasn’t enough time. I did, however, pull out a whole heap of things to scan – what a treasure trove there was stashed away! I think there is probably more packed away in boxes from when my parents moved house. I started scanning away, but realised what a mammoth task it was going to be (when I’d rather be sitting around chatting to my family), so I took a pile into the local Kodak shop and got them to copy them on to a DVD for me. My father had already had some borrowed photos copied there, so I got a copy of that DVD too. I now have a HUGE amount of work to do sorting them all out.

  • Collect information about paternal grandfather’s life for future assignment

Umm.. epic FAIL on this one. I’m hoping I’ll be able to do this over the phone and by email with my father.

I also met extended family at my grandmother’s funeral and at church one Sunday, though in both cases we weren’t able to chat for long. Was lovely to put some faces to names, though, and I hope to keep in contact with a couple of them by email.

Overall, I was pleased with what I managed to achieve, though I’m now seriously homesick and wanting to go back. Still, lots of research to be done this side of the world first!

Who Do You Think You Are? Live – London

So, on Sunday I headed off into London for Who Do You Think You Are? Live. I had bought a Q-jump ticket to avoid the queues I remembered from last year on the Saturday, but didn’t need to have as it was a lot quieter, with no queues at all to get in. And none of the presentations were booked out either, so I managed to snaffle a couple more tickets. Having been awake since 2am (yay jetlag), I decided to spend most of my time sitting and listening to talks, rather than traipsing around the exhibition floor.

After grabbing the extra tickets, I lined up to get a photo dated by Jayne Shrimpton at the Family Tree magazine stand.

I had a good idea who the couple were in the photograph – my great great grandparents Mary Jane Clark and Ephraim Wright – but couldn’t be sure, and wanted a date for confirmation. On the back of the photograph, in handwriting I don’t recognise (a couple of relatives in that family were great at writing of the back of photos, but this wasn’t from one of them) is the inscription: “Dad copied this from a very old & faded photograph of your father and mother. Thought you would like one.” Ephraim died at the age of 33 in 1894, and we have no photographs of him, so I was excited to find out if it was possibly him and his wife Mary Jane. She married three times, so I really needed the date. Jayne gave a date range of 1876 to 1883 (wow! so impressed she could be that specific – wanted to ask her more about how she could date so precisely, but didn’t want to take up more than my allotted time), and also said that it looked like a standard wedding photo. Ephraim and Mary Jane were married in 1882 in Lewisham, Kent, so this fitted perfectly!

Mary Jane and Ephraim Wright (probably wedding photo, 1882)

Mary Jane and Ephraim Wright (probably wedding photo, 1882)

I had a quick look around some of the stands, then headed off to the theatre for the first talk – Behind the Scenes with Ainsley Harriot, one of the celebrities featured in a previous UK series of Who Do You Think You Are? I wouldn’t have bothered with going, but it was nice to sit and relax for an hour, and it was interesting enough, though I didn’t learn anything useful for my own research.

Straight then onto my next presentation: Reading the writing of the past – Barbara Harvey (replacing Dominic Johnson). An interesting topic, would have been better as more of a “hands on” workshop I think. Barbara did a good job if she was drafted in at the last minute.

Now onto the workshops I had prebooked. First up was: My ancestor was in the parish registers - John Hanson. I had attended a very similar talk last year given by Else Churchill (in fact, I recognised some of the same images), but I think I got a lot more out of it this year, having actually started looking at parish records. Really enjoyed this, great speaker.

With only 15 minutes between talks at this point, I was thankful they were all in the same place or nearby, so I had a chance to grab a bite to eat in between!

Next up: Records of deaths and burials – Alec Tritton. Well, this was a bit disappointing. Covered some of the same material as John Hanson’s talk. Alec mentioned that he’d had to cut his usual 90 minute talk on the subject into 45 minutes, and it showed. To be fair, I was possibly flagging a little at this point. The online handout should be useful.

Phew – little bit of a breather here. Had a prebooked Ask the Experts session, and got some direction on how to tackle a brick wall concerning a great great great grandfather. I then had a chance to wander around the stands and check out some of the books for sale – and grabbed a discounted copy of Phillimore’s Atlas and Index of Parish Registers, which I had been wanting. I also had a chat to the membership officer for the Suffolk FHS.

Last workshop of the day was: Irish records – beyond the obvious, with Rosalind McCutcheon. Oh, what a joy and delight this woman was! I was worried that I’d be falling asleep by the end of the day, but no fear here! Lovely speaker and lots of useful information.

All in all, a good day!

Handouts of all the above presentations and more besides are available online at the Society of Genealogists website.