Jill from Geniaus came up with a wonderful idea to celebrate the high points of 2012: Accentuate the Positive 2012 Geneameme, rather than concentrate on what we didn’t achieve during the year. So instead of feeling a bit depressed over all the things I didn’t quite manage to do this year, I get to feel a whole heap happier about all the cool stuff that happened!
An elusive ancestor I found was James Florey. Well, he’s not actually an ancestor, which I suspected but can now prove. He was the first husband of my 4 x great grandmother, Elizabeth Knott, and I couldn’t figure out what happened to him – it was as if he had abandoned his family and disappeared off the face of the earth. He hadn’t – he got transported to Australia for 10 years for sheep-stealing. Meanwhile, his wife found comfort in another’s arms, gave birth to my 3 x great grandfather (Henry Richard Florey/Pope), and eventually remarried. I have yet to find out what happened to James after he gained his Certificate of Freedom. Did he return to England, or stay in Australia?
A precious family photo I found was one that may be of my Nanna, Jean McGonnell, when she was young.
An ancestor’s grave I found was my great grandparents and grandparents’ final resting place in Bromley Cemetery, Christchurch, NZ – thankfully with little damage from the earthquakes in 2011.
A newly found family member who shared a photo of my 3 x great grandfather (the previously mentioned Henry Richard Florey) and his family – I could finally put a face to the ancestor who has led me a merry dance through all sorts of records. Then, the wife of a fourth cousin sent me a family history of “our” Brosnahan family – amazing! And yet more family members contacted me with stories and photos, either through this blog or via my tree on Ancestry.
My 2012 blog post that I was particularly proud of was.. all the ones in February – I blogged every day that month.
My 2012 blog post that received a large number of hits or comments was difficult to work out as my Stats plugin fell over and won’t play nice, but I think it was my post on James Brosnan’s will.
A social media tool I enjoyed using for genealogy was Twitter. I love keeping up to date with genealogy news, and also with fellow IHGS students. I also joined a couple of groups on Facebook, and a Google+ community, and will see how those pan out over the next year.
A genealogy conference/seminar/webinar from which I learnt something new was all of them! I had a busy year starting with WDYTYA? Live in February, then several weekend seminars at IHGS later in the year, and finally Celia Heritage’s one day workshop on Fleshing out Your Family Tree. I think the one where I learnt the most was the Military Records seminar at IHGS, given by Les Mitchinson, as this was an area I wasn’t familiar with.
A genealogy book that taught me something new was Helen Osborn’s Genealogy: Essential Research Methods.
A great repository/archive/library I visited was the Perth and Kinross Council Archive in the A K Bell Library in Perth, Scotland. I didn’t have much time there, unfortunately, but enough to find the burial records for my 3 x great grandparents, Michael Burke and Bridget Flynn, and take a quick look at some of the Perth valuation rolls.
A new genealogy/history book I enjoyed was Ciarán Ó Murchadha’s The Great Famine : Ireland’s Agony 1845-1852.
It was exciting to finally meet my IHGS tutor, Celia Heritage! Plus twitter pals and fellow IHGS students at Canterbury in October, and also my Temuka cousins at the beginning of the year in New Zealand.
A geneadventure I enjoyed was my trip to Temuka in January, meeting cousins and visiting the family farm, and places where my grandfather grew up in South Canterbury. Also the trip to Scotland in May to visit the areas connected with my Burke and Philp ancestors. And visiting Deptford, London, with my mother to see where her grandfather was born and raised.
Another positive I would like to share is I finally indexed my research notebooks! And it has already proven to be a worthwhile exercise. Who knows, maybe this year the data may find its way into Reunion? I also worked on my IHGS assignments, submitting two batches this year, and received some not-too-shabby marks in return.
Thanks to Jill for a great opportunity to share my year of family history research! You can read about the 2012 highlights of other geneabloggers through her Geniaus website.
I don’t seem to be doing very well on blog posting lately! I’d love to say that it’s because I’ve been concentrating on my IHGS assignment work, but that’d be a big fat lie. There has been some family history research going on though, however not much filing and recording.
Most of the research I’ve been doing has involved travelling. Back in April I managed a quick whizz around some villages in Staffordshire where my Tunnecliff(e) ancestor George may be from. I had some helpful information from Tunnecliff descendents in Australia, and I’m hoping I can eventually prove a link to this particular Tunnecliff family.
Last week I was up in Scotland, chasing up my Burke and Philp ancestors, in Perth and Fife respectively. With three kids in tow, it was a whistlestop tour of a few key places, but I did manage 30 minutes research at the A viagra le prix.K. Bell Library in Perth, poring over burial registers and valuation rolls. I could have spent days in there!
A confession: my record-keeping is C-R-A-P-O-L-A. Things I thought I’d entered into Reunion are nowhere to be found. Yup, still stuck somewhere in one of the fifty gazillion notebooks I write everything into. *sigh* I really notice how bad things are when trying to gather together info for a research trip, or attempting to answer an email from a distant relative (I will be in touch soon, I promise, once I’ve sorted out my notes!)
On a more positive (sorting) note, I’ve just cleaned out my RSS feed reader and drastically cut my blog subscriptions down to about thirty blogs – in the hope I’ll actually get to read all of them. I think that’s about the only “housekeeping” I’ve done lately!
It’s that time of year for resolutions, and I’ve been inspired by other Geneabloggers – this is my list for 2012:
- Complete updating my records in Reunion
- Plan a scanning schedule for my certificates
- Post on this blog at least twice a week
- Begin writing my maternal grandmother’s biography
- Complete assignments for IHGS Lectures 4 to 12
- Complete TNA’s online paleaography and Latin courses
- Find the Burkes’ townland in Co. Mayo
- Visit Scotland and take a looksee round where the Burkes and Philps lived
- Continue research on Wright line
Every Saturday night Randy Seaver sends out a Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge at Genea-Musings. Usually I miss out because of the time difference, but this week I thought I’d just post a day late!
Our mission was to list our 16 great great grandparents, along with their birth, marriage and death dates. Then, determine their birthplaces, and (for extra credit) create a pie chart showing their countries of origin.
My magic 16 are:
Michael GAFFANEY. Born on 31 Oct 1836 in Belper, Derbyshire, England. Michael died in Arowhenua, South Canterbury, New Zealand, on 11 Jul 1911; he was 74. Buried on 13 Jul 1911 in Temuka Cemetery, Temuka, New Zealand. Occupation: Farmer
On 26 Dec 1863 when Michael was 27, he married Margaret BROSNAHAN in the Catholic Chapel, Christchurch, New Zealand.
Margaret BROSNAHAN. Born on 8 Dec 1844 in Co Kerry, Ireland. Margaret died at Belper Farm, Main South Road,Temuka, New Zealand, on 16 Aug 1927; she was 82. Buried on 18 Aug 1927 in Temuka Cemetery, Temuka, New Zealand.
Bartholomew O’ROURKE. Born abt 1844 in Co Kerry, Ireland. Bartholomew died in Station Street, Napier, New Zealand, on 13 Nov 1923; he was 79. Buried on 15 Nov 1923 in Old Napier Cemetery, New Zealand. Occupation: Carter, Miner.
On 2 Sep 1869 when Bartholomew was 25, he married Bridget POWER in the Roman Catholic Church, Charleston, West Coast, New Zealand.
Bridget POWER. Born in 1846 in Clonmel, Tipperary, Ireland. Bridget died in Napier, New Zealand, on 18 Jul 1914; she was 68. Buried on 19 Jul 1914 in Old Napier Cemetery, Napier, New Zealand.
Martin BURKE. Born in 1840 in Co Mayo, Ireland. Martin died in Nazareth House, Sydenham, NZ, on 27 Nov 1918; he was 78. Buried on 28 Nov 1918 in Sydenham Cemetery, Christchurch, New Zealand. Occupation: Farmer.
On 2 Feb 1861 when Martin was 21, he married Ann PHILP in St John’s Catholic Church, Perth, Scotland.
Ann PHILP. Born in 1840 in Ceres, Fife, Scotland. Ann died in Burnham, NZ on 13 Mar 1895; she was 55. Buried on 15 Mar 1895 in Darfield Churchyard, Canterbury, New Zealand.
John BURTON. Born abt 1826 in Co Tipperary, Ireland. John died in Redwoodtown, Blenheim, New Zealand, on 29 Jun 1897; he was 71. Buried on 30 Jun 1897 in Omaka Cemetery, Marlborough, New Zealand. Occupation: Carter, Labourer.
On 17 Jan 1859 when John was 33, he married Bridget MAHONEY in Galbally, Co Limerick, Ireland.
Bridget MAHONEY. Born abt 1843 in Galbally, Co Limerick, Ireland. Bridget died in Blenheim, New Zealand, on 22 Nov 1900; she was 57. Buried on 24 Nov 1900 in Omaka Cemetery, Marlborough, New Zealand.
Ephraim WRIGHT. Born on 8 Jan 1860 in Polstead, Suffolk, England. Ephraim died in South Eastern Hospital, Deptford, Kent, on 26 Nov 1894; he was 34. Occupation: Labourer, Engine-Fitter.
On 13 Mar 1882 when Ephraim was 22, he married Mary Jane CLARK in St Stephen, Lewisham, Kent, England.
Mary Jane CLARK. Born abt 1856 in Co Monaghan, Ireland. Mary Jane died in Greenwich, Kent, England, on 12 Feb 1932; she was 76. Occupation: Laundress.
Sam NUNNS. Born on 8 Feb 1874 in Rothwell, Yorkshire, England. Sam died in Auckland, New Zealand, on 5 Apr 1945; he was 71. Buried on 4 Oct 1945 in Taruheru Cemetery, Gisborne, New Zealand. Occupation: Borough Employee, Stone Mason (journeyman).
On 11 Jan 1896 when Sam was 21, he married Alice COCKERHAM in Oulton Church, Oulton, Yorkshire, England.
Alice COCKERHAM. Born on 9 Mar 1878 in Oulton, Yorkshire, England. Alice died in Gisborne, New Zealand, on 17 Jul 1954; she was 76. Buried on 19 Jul 1954 in Taruheru Cemetery, Gisborne, New Zealand.
Michael McGONNELL. Born abt 1840 in Newry, Co Down, Northern Ireland. Michael died in Waiongana, Taranaki, New Zealand, on 5 May 1929; he was 89. Buried on 7 May 1929 in Te Henui Cemetery, New Plymouth, New Zealand. Occupation: Signalman, Farmer, Boatman.
On 28 May 1888 when Michael was 48, he married Louisa TUNNECLIFFE in New Plymouth, New Zealand.
Louisa TUNNECLIFFE. Born abt 1858 in New Plymouth, New Zealand. Louisa died in Waiongana, Taranaki, on 26 Jun 1926; she was 68. Buried on 29 Jun 1926 in Te Henui Cemetery, New Plymouth, New Zealand.
Henry John Forrest FLOREY. Born on 1 Oct 1862 in Pembroke Place, Chatham, Kent, England. Henry John Forrest died in Te Araroa, East Cape, New Zealand, on 5 Oct 1913; he was 51. Buried on 6 Oct 1913 in Te Araroa, East Cape, New Zealand. Occupation: Cook, Tobacconist, Billard Maker.
On 10 Mar 1885 when Henry John Forrest was 22, he married Ann Elizabeth (Annie) HORNE in Auckland, New Zealand.
Ann Elizabeth (Annie) HORNE. Born abt 1864 in Cape Town, South Africa. Annie died in Newton Road, Auckland, on 9 Mar 1907; she was 43. Buried on 12 Mar 1907 in Remuera, Auckland, New Zealand.
Country of origin
South Africa: 1
New Zealand: 1
And as an added bonus for readers, here’s a pie chart showing final resting places.
Note: Source citations available on request.
There were a number of things I meant to do today, including following up my post from yesterday and writing more about what my research uncovered in Dublin. Some filing would have been good, too. Instead, I went and found four great great great great grandparents. As you do, on a summery Friday afternoon.
I have a copy of a Burke family tree, which my father passed on to me. It outlines one line of descendents of Michael Burke from Co Mayo, Ireland, and includes my grandmother, his great grandchild. According to the tree, Michael and his wife Brigid Flynn moved to Scotland around 1843 with their son Martin. It was Martin who later immigrated to New Zealand with his wife Ann Philp and their daughter Mary, and subsequently had two more children.
Anyway, I’ve checked a lot of the dates given in the tree, and found them to be a little inaccurate, so I’ve been verifying them slowly. The one thing I’d really love to know, is where exactly in Mayo was Martin born? Where did he and his parents emigrate from?
So, I had this thought today (I’ve had it on and off, to be honest, it’s just today it was a bit more niggley) – why not check the Scotland censuses? Maybe they gave their parish or townland to the enumerator? I had an approximate year of birth for Martin, and the names of his siblings (John, Thomas, Mary) and parents, so I figured I had a reasonable chance of finding them.
I find ScotlandsPeople a fantastic resource, but it can feel a bit like pot luck at times – I never really know if I’ve found the right person or not, and BAM, there go your credits to see if you’re right. Having said that, you pays yer money, and you get the real deal – images of birth, death and marriage records, as well as the censuses.
I knew from Martin and Ann’s marriage record that Martin was living in Perth in 1861, so I started there – and found the family living at 134 High Street, in the parish of Middle Church, Perth1:
- Michael Burke – head – 52 – Labourer Ag.
- Bridget Burke – wife – 49
- Martin Burke – son – 19 – Ploughman
- Thomas Burke – son – 20 – do.
- John Burke – son – 16 – CabinetMaker Ap.
- Mary Burke – dau – 9
All are listed as being born in Ireland, except Mary who was born in Perth. So that gives a clue to the timing of their move to Scotland. And Martin is listed as married, but where is his wife? They married in February that year, so it may be possible she was visiting her parents..?
I searched on Michael Burke in the 1871 census and couldn’t find him. Perhaps he’d died? Upon checking the death records, there he was (as Bourke) in 1868… along with the names of his parents! Eulick Bourke, Labourer, and Mary Flinn. (The “Eulick” is more likely to be Ulick, and the “Flinn” is probably Flynn.)2
So, searching the 1871 census again, but this time on Bridget Burke, and I found the family, still living in High Street but at a different number (129?)3:
- Bridget Burke – head – 58 – no occupation
- Thomas Burke – son – 30 – Ship Carpenter
- John Burke – son – 26 – Labourer
- Mary Burke – daur – 19 – do.
- Michael Burke – nephew – 11 – Scholar
When I looked for Bridget in the 1881 census, I couldn’t find her, so I immediately checked the death records… and there she was in 1874… along with the names of her parents! Patrick Flynn, Labourer and Mary Derrick4.
So, I still don’t know exactly where they’re from. I tried out the Irish Ancestors Research Wizard and apparently there are 48 Mayo parishes in which the Flynn and Burke surnames coincide. That’s a lot of parish records to check out.
I think my next task is to try and follow Martin’s siblings in the censuses, and see what more I can find out. There’s also their cousin Michael, who turns up in the 1871 census. He was born in Perth, but it could be worthwhile finding his parents.
- 1861 Scotland Census, Perthshire, Perth Burgh, ED 17, page 5, line 5, Michael Burke household (age 52); digital image, ScotlandsPeople, 1861 Census, (http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/ : accessed 03 Jun 2011); citing General Register Office of Scotland 1861 387/01 017/00 005.
- Scotland, Perth County, Perth, Register of Deaths, 1868: entry 250, Michael Bourke, 26 May; digital image, ScotlandsPeople (http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/ : accessed 03 Jun 2011); citing Statutory Deaths no. 387/00 0250.
- 1871 Scotland Census, Perthshire, Perth Burgh, ED 38, page 10, line 19, Bridget Burke household (age 58); digital image, ScotlandsPeople, 1871 Census, (http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/ : accessed 03 Jun 2011); citing General Register Office of Scotland 1871 387/00 038/00 010.
- Scotland, Perth County, Perth, Register of Deaths, 1874: entry 58, Bridget Burke, 07 May; digital image, ScotlandsPeople (http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/ : accessed 03 Jun 2011); citing Statutory Deaths no. 387/00 0058