Tag Archives: Wright

Lavinia Wright ~ Wordless Wednesday

Lavinia Wright (date unknown)

Lavinia Wright (date unknown)

Lavinia Wright (date unknown) - Reverse

"This is how we sold the flags on France's day for the French red cross love from us all" (postcard to Alexander Wright)

Wordless Wednesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

Ephraim Wright

Mary Jane‘s second husband was my great great grandfather, Ephraim Wright.  He was born on January 8th 1860 in Polstead, Suffolk, England.1 His parents Benjamin Wright and Mary Ann Peggs had married on October 23rd 1858 in Boxford, Suffolk – Benjamin’s home town.2

I haven’t been able to find Ephraim and his parents in the 1861 census, though there are a couple of likely candidates for his father, both of whom are in jail!

The family turn up in the 1871 census at Potash Lane, Polstead, Suffolk. Along with his parents Benjamin 40 and Mary A 37, the 11 year old scholar Ephraim is living with his 8 year old brother Arthur.3


View Polstead & Boxford, Suffolk in a larger map

At the time of the 1881 census, I think he is living at 56 Railway Grove, St Paul Deptford.  There is an Ephraim Wright, 21,  labourer, living with a 63 year old widower by the name of George Boxhall, who is also a labourer.  Ephraim’s birth place is given as Suffolk.4 It’s possible this is not my man  – there are several other Ephraim Wrights born in Suffolk around – but given that this is a year before he marries Mary Jane in a neighbouring area, I think it’s likely to be the right one.

On March 13th, 1882 he marries Mary Jane Freeth (formerly Clark) at St Stephen’s church, Lewisham, Kent.  At the time he was living at Brookbank Road, Lewisham, and his occupation is “Fitter”.5

By 1891, Ephraim and Mary Jane and five children are living at 11 Alvar Street in Deptford. Thirty year old Ephraim’s  occupation is listed as General Labourer and Mary Jane (35) is a Laundress.6 The children are:

  • Mary Freeth 14, Ephraim’s stepdaughter,  Mary Jane’s daughter from her previous marriage, born Meath, Ireland
  • Lavinia Wright 8, daughter, born Deptford
  • James A  Wright 6, son, born Deptford
  • Joseph Wright 4, son, born Rotherhithe, Surrey
  • Ephraim G Wright 2, son, born Deptford

My great grandfather Alexander was born just after the census, on June 27th 1891.

Sadly, Ephraim died three years later at the age of 34 on November 26th 1894 at the South Eastern Hospital in Deptford.  His address was given as 23 Berthon Street, Deptford, and occupation “Engine fitter”.7 (By the time his son Alexander marries in 1917, Ephraim’s occupation has been upgraded to “Engineer”.)

The cause of death was Enteric Fever, another name for typhoid, “a common worldwide illness, transmitted by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with the feces [sic] of an infected person… The impact of this disease fell sharply with the application of modern sanitation techniques.”8

I’d love to find out where Ephraim was in 1861.  If his father was in jail, where would his mother have gone with a baby?  I did search a couple of years ago, looking at his mother’s family to see if she’d gone there, but found nothing.  Time to have another hunt.  I also want to know what his father was in jail for, if indeed that’s where he was.

And why did Ephraim move away from Suffolk?  I would think it would be because of work, or lack thereof.  Maybe following up what happened to his brother Arthur could offer some clues.

I also want to check out the places Ephraim was living in against the Charles Booth poverty maps of London, to see what kind of housing it was, what it might have been like.

  1. England, birth certificate for Ephraim Wright; 08 Jan 1860, Cosford, Suffolk; citing 1860 Mar [quarter] 04a [vol] 456 [page], General Register Office, Stockport.
  2. England, marriage certificate for Benjamin Wright and Mary Ann Peggs; 23 Oct 1858, Boxford, Suffolk; citing 1858 Dec [quarter] 04a [vol] 925 [page], General Register Office, Stockport.
  3. “1871 England Census, Benjamin Wright (age 40) household, Polstead, Suffolk,” Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.co.uk/ : accessed 11 Sep 2008), citing PRO RG10/1723, folio 96, p 2 & 3, GSU roll: 830763, Cosford registration district, Hadleigh sub-registration district, ED 19, household 11, 02 Apr 1871.
  4. “1881 England Census, George Boxhall (age 63) household, St Paul Deptford, London,” Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.co.uk/ : accessed 11 Sep 2008), citing PRO RG11/708, folio 58, p 16, GSU roll: 1341165, Greenwich registration district, St Paul Deptford sub-registration district, ED 34a, household 81, 03 Apr 1881.
  5. England, marriage certificate for Ephraim Wright and Mary Jane Freeth; 13 Mar 1882, Lewisham; citing Mar 1882 [quarter] 01d [vol] 1019 [page], General Register Office, Stockport.
  6. “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.
  7. England, death certificate for Ephraim Wright; 26 Nov 1894, Greenwich; citing Dec 1894 [quarter] 01d [vol] 552 [page], General Register Office, Stockport.
  8. Wikipedia “Typhoid fever”, article, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typhoid_fever accessed: 2 April 2011.

Where o where?

Where did my lovely Mary Jane come from?

I can’t seem to find her on any census until she turns up in 1891 in Deptford, Kent, when she’s married to my great great grandfather, Ephraim Wright. Her birthplace is given as “Ireland – Monaghan”.1

In the 1901 census, now a widow and living with two of her sons, her birthplace is listed as “Fermanagh, Ireland”.2 Hmmm… these counties are right next to each other, though Fermanagh is (now) in Northern Ireland and part of the United Kingdom, and Monaghan is in the Republic of Ireland.

According to the newspaper clipping I have, she was “born of Irish parents in Belfast”.3 That’s a wee way away from either Fermanagh or Monaghan! Perhaps there was some creative licence used by the article’s author…?

And my cousin Lalli says “she was born and raised in Armagh”.4 So, that’s another county! I’d like to trust Lalli’s information because she knew Mary Jane personally, but it doesn’t seem to tie in with anything else. I guess Mary Jane could have been born in one place, and then raised in Armagh?

I had been trying to find her in the 1911 census under her married name of Carroll, but not having a subscription to Find My Past meant it would be an expensive credit-chewing exercise checking all the Carrolls in the area. Last night I decided to bite the bullet and sign up – and I found her!

At 37 Prince Street, Deptford, on census night in 19115 were:

  • John Carroll – Head – 62 – General Labourer
  • Mary Carroll – wife – 55 – Household work
  • Joseph Wright – son – 24 – Telegraph Clerk
  • George Archer – Boarder – 27 – Foundry Labourer
  • Hilda Cavender – Boarder – 17 -  Tea Factory
  • Bridget Carroll – Visitor – 30 – Nurse St Pancras Infirmary
  • Cecelia Stokes – Visitor – 26 – Nurse Children’s Infirmary

(I wonder if Bridget is perhaps a niece of John’s?)

Anyway, back to the task at hand.  Mary Jane’s birthplace in the 1911 census is…. “Roslea Monaghan Ireland”.  At last a townland!!  Doing a search using Google maps I found a Roslea/Rosslea in Fermanagh, just near the border of Monaghan, so that makes a lot of sense.  I guess the next step is to find out the actual parish, and then go about hunting down a birth or baptism record.

View Roslea, Co Fermanagh in a larger map

I’d love to know where Mary Jane was brought up, where she lived until she turns up in Deptford in the 1891 census.   On her second husband’s (Ephraim Wright, my great great grandfather) death certificate, the informant was Joseph Sullivan “brother-in-law”.6 Now, I’ve only ever found a brother for Ephraim, so I wasn’t sure it would have been a sister’s husband.  I figured it was more likely that it was a husband of a sister of Mary Jane’s.  But, you never know, it could have meant a lot of things back then!  So, I searched around and came across a marriage record for a Joseph Sullivan and an Annie Clarke.7 Bingo!  (Well, not gold-plated proof, but I’m an optimist at heart.)  And then last week I listened to my taped interview with my cousin Lalli (after 20 years) and she talked about a Great Aunt Annie, sister of her grandmother Mary Jane, who married an “Irishman”, Joseph.  So, what’s the point of all this rambling?  In the 1901 census, Annie is living with her husband Joseph (Blacksmith, born Sheerness, Kent)  and nephew Joseph Wright (so I know I have the right family), and her birthplace is “Scotland”. 8 Looking back at the 1891 census, I found Annie living with husband Joseph (Smith [and?] Farrier, born Sheerness, Kent), and her birthplace is listed as “Scotland. Edinburgh”.9

So Mary Jane is born around 1856 in Roslea, and by around 1859 the Clark(e)s are in Edinburgh for Annie’s birth.  Somehow Mary Jane is back in Ireland (Co Meath) for her daughter Mary’s birth1, and then in Aldershot for son Percy’s birth10.  Sometimes I wish my ancestors would just STAY PUT in one village for a few centuries.  I guess travel is in the genes.

Now, if I can just pin down Annie’s birth in Scotland, I may find Mary Jane’s mother’s name. O Scottish records, how I do love thee!

  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. “1901 England Census, Mary Clark Wright (age 45) household, St Nicholas Deptford, London,” Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.co.uk/, accessed 2010), citing PRO RG13/526, folio 118, p 60, Greenwich registration district, North Deptford sub-registration district, ED 18, household 300, 31 Mar 1901.
  3. “An Imperial Service Family”, undated clipping from unidentified newspaper; digital image, scanned May 2009 from original held by [NAME AND ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE]; inherited from Audrey Dearness, Gisborne, NZ.
  4. Alice (Lalli) Coppinger (Lomita, California), interviewed Dec 1991; audiotape privately held by author. Coppinger, now deceased, was granddaughter of Mary Jane.
  5. “1911 England Census, John Carroll (age 62) household, St Nicholas Deptford, London,” findmypast, (http://www.findmypast.co.uk/, accessed 14 Apr 1911), citing PRO RG14/2640, Greenwich registration district,  Deptford East sub-registration district, ED 17, household 300, 02 Apr 1911.
  6. England, death certificate for Ephraim Wright; 26 Nov 1894, Greenwich; citing Dec 1894 [quarter] 01d [vol] 552 [page], General Register Office, Stockport.
  7. “England & Wales, FreeBMD Index: 1837-1983,” database, FreeBMD (http://www.freebmd.org.uk/cgi/search.pl : accessed 2010), marriage entry for Joseph Patrick Sullivan and Annie Clarke; citing Sep 1883 [quarter] Greenwich 1d [vol] 1487 [page].
  8. “1901 England Census, Joseph Sullivan (age 39) household, Bermondsey, London,” Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.co.uk/, accessed 2010), citing PRO RG13/395  folio 105, p 2, St Olave Southwark registration district, Bermondsey sub-registration district, ED 52, household 12, 31 Mar 1901.
  9. “1891 England Census, Joseph Sullivan (age 29) household, Camberwell, London,” Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.co.uk/, accessed 2011), citing PRO RG12/492, folio 62, p 48, Camberwell registration district, St George sub-registration district, ED 26b, household 678, GSU roll: 6095602, 05 Apr 1891.
  10. England, birth certificate for Percy Freeth; 31 Aug 1878, Farnham; citing Sep 1878 [quarter] 2a [vol] 111 [page], General Register Office, Stockport.

My Mary Jane

Of all the ancestors I have discovered in my research so far, Mary Jane Carroll (previously Wright, previously Freeth, formerly Clark) is the one whom I’d most like to meet.  She comes across as an incredibly strong and loving mother, full of life and spirit.

In a recent post I showed a newspaper clipping with her and her children around her.  Apart from her eldest daughter Mary1, they were all born in England, but Mary Jane’s strong Irish roots apparently ensured a very Irish household.

So where in Ireland is she from?  Good question!  And one which has many answers…

First off, a brief run down of what I know about her life.  She was born in Ireland, the daughter of John Clark2.  At some point she married James Freeth and had at least two children with him – Mary (known as Mollie) born in Meath, Ireland around 1877, and Percy born in “South Camp, Aldershot, Hants” on August 31st, 1878.3 In the newspaper clipping I have it says “she had for her first husband Colour Sergt…” – this I am assuming is James Freeth, and it sounds likely he was in the military. (I have not found a service record for him yet.)

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

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

Something happened to James, because on March 13th 1882, Mary Jane Freeth, widow,  married Ephraim Wright, bachelor.2 They go on to have five children1:

  • Lavinia born around 1883 in Deptford, Kent
  • James Arthur born around 1885 in Deptford, Kent
  • Joseph William born around 1887 in Rotherhithe, Surrey
  • Ephraim George born around 1889 in Deptford, Kent
  • Alexander (my great grandfather) born June 27th 1891 in Deptford, now London5

On November 26th 1894, Ephraim (senior) died of “Enteric Fever”, otherwise known as typhoid.6 He was thirty three years old and left his widow Mary Jane destitute.  According to my (first, twice removed) cousin Lalli7, the local Catholic priests helped place Lavinia into a girls school, and two of the boys – James and (Ephraim) George – into St Joseph’s Orphanage in Orpington.  Joseph was brought up by Mary Jane’s sister Annie and her husband Joseph Sullivan.  And wee baby Alec was kept by Mary Jane.  Such hard times, having to let your children go.

In 1901 “Mary Clark Wright”, widow, is living in Deptford with two of her sons: James 16, who is a messenger, and Alexander, 9, a school boy.8 However, in the June quarter of 1901, she marries John Carroll9, and it was as “Grandma Carroll” that my cousin Lalli knew her.

John and Mary Jane Carroll (previously Wright, previously Freeth, formerly Clark), Nov 1917

John and Mary Jane Carroll (previously Wright, previously Freeth, formerly Clark), Nov 1917

On February 12th 1932, Mary Jane died of cerebal thrombosis at 2A Woolwich Road.  She had been living at 180 Evelyn Street, the “widow of John Carroll, General Labourer”.  The informant was her son, George Wright.10

Tomorrow I’ll tackle the mystery of her birthplace.

  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, marriage certificate for Ephraim Wright and Mary Jane Freeth; 13 Mar 1882, Lewisham; citing Mar 1882 [quarter] 01d [vol] 1019 [page], General Register Office, Stockport.
  3. England, birth certificate for Percy Freeth; 31 Aug 1878, Farnham; citing Sep 1878 [quarter] 2a [vol] 111 [page], General Register Office, Stockport.
  4. “An Imperial Service Family”, undated clipping from unidentified newspaper; digital image, scanned May 2009 from original held by [NAME AND ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE]; inherited from Audrey Dearness, Gisborne, NZ.
  5. England, birth certificate for Alexander Wright; 27 Jun 1891, St Paul Deptford; digital image, scanned May 2009 from original held by [NAME AND ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE]; inherited from Audrey Dearness, Gisborne, NZ, daughter of Alexander.
  6. England, death certificate for Ephraim Wright; 26 Nov 1894, Greenwich; citing Dec 1894 [quarter] 01d [vol] 552 [page], General Register Office, Stockport.
  7. Alice (Lalli) Coppinger (Lomita, California), interviewed Dec 1991; audiotape privately held by author.  Coppinger, now deceased, was granddaughter of Mary Jane.
  8. “1901 England Census, Mary Clark Wright (age 45) household, St Nicholas Deptford, London,” Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.co.uk/, accessed 2010), citing PRO RG13/526, folio 118, p 60, Greenwich registration district, North Deptford sub-registration district, ED 18, household 300, 31 Mar 1901.
  9. “England & Wales, FreeBMD Index: 1837-1983,” database, FreeBMD (http://www.freebmd.org.uk/cgi/search.pl : accessed 2010), marriage entry for John Carroll and Mary Jane Wright; citing Jun 1901 [quarter] Greenwich 1d [vol] 1817 [page].
  10. England, death certificate for Mary Jane Carroll; 12 Feb 1932, Greenwich; citing 1932 Mar [quarter] 01d [vol] 1231 [page], General Register Office, Stockport.

Imperial Irish ~ Wordless Wednesday

An Imperial Service Family (clipping from unknown publication)

An Imperial Service Family - Back L-R: Percy Freeth, Joseph Wright, George Wright, James Wright, Alexander Wright (my g grandfather). Front L-R: Mollie Freeth, Mary Jane Carroll, Lavinia Wright. (clipping from unknown publication)

Wordless Wednesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

Remembering ~ Matrilineal Monday

Today would have been my Nanna’s 96th birthday. She passed away on the 2nd of February this year, four days before I was due to arrive in New Zealand to see her.

George, Jean & Naomi McGonnell (date unknown)

George, Jean & Naomi McGonnell (date unknown)

She was born Myrtle Jean Louisa McGonnell in Lepperton, Taranaki, New Zealand on April 4th, 1915, the only child of George Tunnecliffe McGonnell and Naomi Myrtle Florey.  She was always known as Jean (though the kids at school used to call her ‘Mac’).  She married my grandfather George Alexander Wright on November 16th, 1940 in New Plymouth, Taranaki.  They lived in Hawera, Taranaki, and brought up two children there, one of them being my mother.  George died in 1986, and several years later, Jean moved down to Paraparamu on the Kapiti Coast to be near my mother.  She remarried at the ripe old age of 90, and her and her husband celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary and 95th birthdays together last year.

Naomi Myrtle Florey (date unknown)

Naomi Myrtle Florey (date unknown)

Jean’s mother Naomi Myrtle Florey was born on February 4th, 1892 in Waitara, Taranaki, the youngest child and only daughter of Henry John Forrest Florey and Hannah Elizabeth Horne1.  Naomi married George McGonnell on February 24th, 1914 at St Mary’s Church, New Plymouth.2 She died on September 18th, 1948 in Taranaki.3

Naomi’s mother Hannah Elizabeth Horne was born about 1864 in Cape Town, South Africa, and arrived in New Zealand around 1865 with her parents Edward Horne and Elizabeth Rose.4 Hannah married Henry John Forrest Florey on March 10th, 1885 in Auckland.5 She died a tragic death on March 9th, 1907, when Naomi was just 15 years old.4

  1. New Zealand, birth certificate for Naomi Myrtle Florey; 04 Feb 1892, Waitara citing 1892/1422, Births, Deaths & Marriages, New Zealand.
  2. South Taranaki District Council, “Cemetery Register,” http://public.stde.govt.nz/cemeteries/, accessed: 03 Nov 2010.
  3. New Zealand, marriage certificate for George Tunnecliffe McGonnell & Naomi Myrtle Florey; 24 Feb 1924, New Plymouth, Taranaki; citing 1914/9563, Births, Deaths & Marriages, New Zealand.
  4. New Zealand, death certificate for Hannah Elizabeth Florey; 09 Mar 1907, Auckland; citing 1907/218, Births, Deaths & Marriages, New Zealand.
  5. New Zealand, marriage certificate for Henry John Forrest Florey & Annie Horne; 10 Mar 1885, Auckland; citing 1885/65, Birth, Deaths & Marriages, New Zealand.

Matrilineal Monday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

Listening to Lalli ~ Sentimental Sunday

Remember the cassette tape recording I had of an interview with my grandfather’s cousin, Lalli Coppinger?  I managed to find it in one of the many boxes in our storage unit when we were back in New Zealand in February.

The interview took place at her home in Lomita, California in late 1991, when I was on my way to England from New Zealand. I hadn’t listened to the tape since then, except for a couple minutes in February when I first found it.

I could barely remember what was on it, what we discussed, or anything.  I know I took a few notes, but mostly I relied on having the recording.  So I was very excited (and a little nervous) about what I would hear.

It’s full of wonderful stories of my maternal great grandfather’s family in London – Lalli’s father James Arthur Wright and my great grandfather Alexander Wright were brothers.  Unfortunately, I didn’t notice the tape running out on the first side (oh I remember that happening!), and of course I missed the stories about my great grandfather.  I only hope my written notes (somewhere in that darn storage unit still) can shed some light.

I’d also forgotten that Lalli was a keen family historian and travelled to England regularly to do research, and that she showed me her family tree and a lot of old photographs (yep, it was about this time I wished I’d had video).  She promised to send them to me to get copied once I got settled in England.  But of course, I didn’t get back in touch with her for several years and forgot all about the photographs.  Oh woeful day!  And I feel so incredibly sad now, feeling that I  let her down.  She was a kindred spirit, and I didn’t realise it then, being more caught up in study and work in Ireland (where I settled in the end) rather than family history at that time.

Both Lalli and her husband Doyle have passed away now, and I lost touch with their only child a few years ago.  I’m hoping I may be able to find her.

Sentimental Sunday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

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.

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!