Tag Archives: research plan

iwiKiwi is one year old today!

To celebrate being in the blogiverse for one whole year, I thought I’d take a little look back at my first post and my 2011 Genealogy Resolutions:

  • Start a blog   Yep, done that!
  • Blog regularly and contribute comments to other blogs  Hmm… did okay in the first half of the year, but posting slowed down a lot as I concentrated more on my IHGS assignments.  My reading of other blogs, and commenting on them, slowed down to the point of nothingness. At the moment I’m only reading other blog posts when prompted by Twitter.
  • Compile a proper research plan (as opposed to “ooooh, think I might look that up next, or maybe that… )  Working on this, and definitely started preparing proper plans for the research trips I undertook this year.  Except maybe the “bringing along some decent maps” bit of the plans.
  • Get to know the Centre for Kentish Studies  I visited once!  And now they’re closed till around April this year, when they re-open in a brand new and expanded facility in Maidstone.  Hopefully they’ll have some ‘Opening Week’ festivities for me to attend.
  • Complete some assignments!!!! (Ideally eight lectures this year)  Ouch.  Only three completed, but working on number 4, and completed the research work for lecture 5 and 6 assignments.
  • Visit the Suffolk record office (and a cemetery or two)  Spent four days altogether at the Bury St Edmunds’ record office, all very productive.  And my children can attest that we have visited several cemeteries this year.
  • Compile a research plan for the New Zealand trip in February  I did, I went, and now I’m off again next week!  So, another research plan is in the works.
  • Begin scanning certificates and documents I have in hard-copy  Have made a start on these, but mostly so I can share copies with relatives.
  • Get those England census records into Reunion  Almost all completed!  But I keep finding more family in more censuses…
  • Get those NZ electoral records into Reunion  Nope, nada.
  • File, organise, cite!  Trying, a little, mostly!

I’ve had a lot of fun writing this blog over the last 12 months – just need more time to write more often.  Especially appreciated are the relatives who have contacted me, the folks who have commented on my posts, and to everyone who’s still reading along.  Thanks!

Mary Jane gets hitched

I’ve been searching for my great great grandmother Mary Jane Clarke‘s first marriage on and off for some time. I’m not sure why I’d never thought to search the Irish Civil Registration Indexes on FamilySearch before now.  Possibly because I didn’t know they were there!

I’d done a search on Ancestry, which hadn’t brought up anything, and I’d searched on FreeBMD as well, thinking it would have been registered in England.  Nada. Mary Jane’s birth was before civil registration started in Ireland, so I was hoping that if I could find the marriage certificate for her first marriage, it might tell me a little bit more about her and her father. By the time of her second marriage, to my great great grandfather Ephraim Wright in 1882, her father was deceased.

The one place I hadn’t looked for a marriage was in perhaps the most obvious place – where their first child had been born! Mary (Mollie) Freeth gave her birthplace as Co Meath in the 1891 England census, when she was living with her mother, stepfather Ephraim, and half-siblings. Her birthyear was around 1877.1 Her brother Percy had been born the following year in 1878 in Aldershot, Hampshire, and it was his birth certificate that had given me Mary Jane’s first husband’s full name – James Freeth.2

On the Friday before I was heading off to Dublin, I was compiling some notes for the trip and getting together some research goals. I re-read some of Donna Moughty’s blog posts on Irish research, which prompted me to look at FamilySearch’s Irish Civil Registration indexes. I found a marriage for a James Freeth in Navan, Co Meath, in 1877. I then searched on my great great grandmother’s maiden name, Mary Jane Clarke, and found a similar marriage record for her – and the volume and page numbers matched! Eureka!3

So, I had all the information I needed to order a photocopy of the marriage record from the General Register Office’s research facility in Dublin.  You can do searches of the indexes there, at a cost.  Much handier to do your searching online for free.

When I received the photocopied record, I was excited to see lots of information I didn’t have.  The marriage took place at the Roman Catholic Chapel of Navan on 05 February 1877.  Mary Jane was 22 years of age, living in Railway Street in Navan, and worked as a servant.  Her father John Clarke’s occupation was listed as ‘Soldier’ – a fantastic lead to follow up.  James was 23 and also a soldier – a sergeant with the 94th Regiment, living in Navan Barracks.  Witnesses were Wm. Smith, Corporal 94th Regiment and Franny Carroll.4

  1. “1891 England Census, Ephraim Wright (age 30) household, St Paul Deptford, London,” Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.co.uk/, accessed 01 Oct 2010), citing PRO RG12/494, folio 67, p 63, GSU roll: 6095604, Greenwich registration district, St Paul Deptford sub-registration district, ED 2, household 323, 05 Apr 1891.
  2. England, birth certificate for Percy Freeth; 31 Aug 1878, Farnham; citing Sep 1878 [quarter] 2a [vol] 111 [page], General Register Office, Stockport.
  3. “Ireland, Civil Registration Indexes 1845-1958,” index, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org : accessed 27 May 2011), from General Register Office.
  4. Ireland, marriage certificate for James Freeth and Mary Jane Clarke; 05 Feb 1877, Navan, Co Meath; citing No. 25, vol 2, p 960, General Register Office, Ireland.

Back on track? ~ Sorting Saturday

So much to do!  So little time!  Too much disorganisation!

I need a plan.  Actually, I need several. At the moment I’m running around trying to chase up a heap of leads on both dead ancestors and living cousins, plus do some assignment work.  Maybe I should have monthly goals?  I’ve read them on other blogs, and I’m guessing they’d work quite well for me, make me a bit more focussed and less overwhelmed and distractable.

There are four areas I need to focus on:

  • Course work
  • Family history research
  • Research organisation and record keeping
  • Blog postings

I’m off to Dublin next weekend, primarily to visit a very ill friend, but as it’s a long weekend here in the UK, I will have a little time on the Monday to spend doing some research.  So, need to work on a plan for that.

I’m also in the middle of planning our family summer holiday, part of which will entail me traipsing round the Yorkshire countryside hunting ancestors with three kids in tow.  May even add in a little side trip to Suffolk.  Need a plan for that also.

So yeah, need to get planning!

Sorting Saturday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

Hitting the books ~ Sorting Saturday

I had a couple of kid-free hours today, so I could tackle some assignment work.  This current block of assignments are all focussed on family records, and I’m currently drafting an appraisal of the records I have in my possession, and how they’ve helped (or hindered) me in my research.  I also did a little work on the third assignment – my grandfather’s biography – adding some more information to the timeline I’ve created, and making notes where more research is required.  I need to incorporate significant historical events into the biography, and found some great timelines for New Zealand history online.  Hopefully I may also be able to source some New Zealand history books through my local library, otherwise I’m kinda relying on the internet.

I had great plans to do more organising of my Stuff today, but that fell by the wayside.  I’m motivated more to start planning a research trip to Yorkshire in the summer.  With three young kids in tow, it will be “interesting”.

On Monday, I’m hoping to visit the London Family History Centre if I can get myself sorted with a research plan before then.   It requires a bit of a search through their catalogue to see what records they have that might be useful – I know they have Casey’s O’Kief, Coshe Mange, Slieve Lougher and Upper Blackwater in Ireland on microfilm, for example, which may help me greatly with my Co. Kerry ancestors.

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!

Back in the UK

We landed back in the UK on Friday evening, but while my body may be here, my body clock seems to still be in South Korea.  Which is why I’m up at 4am writing a blog post.

The trip to New Zealand was amazing, and overwhelming.  Seeing all my family again was wonderful, though tempered with sadness as the impromptu family reunion was for my grandmother’s funeral. Saying goodbye was hard, too.  And then an earthquake devastated the city of Christchurch, with 147 deaths confirmed so far.  Thankfully friends and family are all okay, but the images and stories we saw and heard on our last days in New Zealand were harrowing and unforgettable.

In terms of my research plan, I managed to achieve most of my goals, and also make some connections with extended family members.  I’ll post more on this later.  For now, I need to try and get some sleep before heading off to the Olympia for Who Do You Think You Are? Live today.

NZ Research plan

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)

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

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)

Other

  • Locate cassette tape of Lallie Coppinger’s interview (first cousin, twice removed)
  • Take photograph of St Mary of the Angels church, Wellington – grandparents’ wedding venue
  • Remuera cemetery, Auckland – locate burial plot for Annie Florey
  • Take photographs of living relatives!
  • Identify as many people/places in photographs as possible in my father’s collection
  • Scan older photographs and documents in my father’s collection
  • Collect information about paternal grandfather’s life for future assignment

I think this might be a bit ambitious, given that we’re only in New Zealand for three weeks, and it’s supposed to be a holiday for the whole family, and not just me! Reviewing the list, I’m not sure it’s worth going to the Auckland Archives office this trip, as I think the only time I’ll have to do it, will be just after a 26 hour flight with three kids. Yikes!

Two more sleeps and we’re off – can’t wait!

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!

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!