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Topics - Garen

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Staffordshire / Marriage mystery in Forton, Staffs - Harrison/Addison
« on: Friday 03 August 18 13:36 BST (UK)  »
Hello - I wanted to post this little mystery I have, just to share it and see if communal brainpower or greater genealogy knowledge could shed any light ...

Having recently had my mitochondrial DNA results I decided to have another look at my maternal-maternal-maternal-etc. brick wall, which is a woman by the name of Susanna, surname unknown, who had children in Gnosall between 1799 and 1815 with Jospeh Harrison (sometimes Harris). These are my 4xg-grandparents.

The children are: Benjamin Harrison (1799), Joseph Harrison (1801), Gregory Harrison (1803), Samuel Harris (1809), Mary Harris (1813), Thomas Harrison (1815) - all bapt. Gnosall, the last two showing the family's residence as being Radmore Lane.

I think I have Joseph and Susanna's burials - Joseph Harris in Forton in 1832, age 64 [b.1768], and Susanna Harris in Forton in 1833, age 51 [1782] - both resident of Sutton (Forton), Staffs.

I have not been able to find a marriage for the couple, which is what I want in order to reveal Susanna's maiden name and family.

But on my recent more detailed look I came across a 1798 marriage in Forton for a Joseph Addison and Susannah Rhodes. I looked at the original image in case Addison was a poor transcription of Harrison - but it's definitely Addison. However, one of the witnesses was a Benjamin Harrison.

Other intriguing scraps include the fact that Susanna Rhodes was born in 1782 (ties in with the 1833 burial, if that's the correct Susanna) and her father's name was Samuel - the name of Joseph and Susanna's fourth son (1809); and their first child, Benjamin (1799), shares the marriage witness's name. (Susanna Rhodes' mother was Mary Bellingham - same surname as the other witness, Ann.)

The witness, Benjamin Harrison, I suspect is the Benjamin who married Frances Rhodes (Susanna's sister) in Norbury in 1797. Also from the Rhodes family: Susanna and Frances's younger brother, Edward, named a son Joseph (Rhodes) in Dec 1832, a few months after Joseph Harris(on) died (Mar) - Edward was resident in Radmore Lane.

I have researched as much as I can of the families of the Harrison children to see if the name Addison cropped up anywhere, perhaps as a middle name - but nothing. Until I was re-reading the Calendar of Wills entry (1890) for my ggg-grandmother, Mary Harrison (b.1813), and saw the Will was proved by her youngest son, Henry Ecclestone, and one Samuel Thomas Addison - a farmer who seems to have been a neighbour for a number of years.

Is that Addison name a coincidence, or a cousin of some sort? His parents appear to be George Addison (1823, Gnosall) and Eliza Cliff/Hadderton (1826), and George's parents seem to be Samuel Addison and Sarah Harding (marr 1819, Gnosall).

I can't see an obvious baptism for a Joseph Addison c.1768 anywhere. There is a possible Joseph Harrison - a 1767 baptism in Church Eaton (about 10 miles from Forton), which only stands out amongst others because the father is Gregory Harrison (another family name). I think the mother is Sarah Wenlock (marr 1753).

I also can't see any children for a Joseph and Susanna Addison (well, except in Norfolk in the 1840/50s).

The 1798 marriage of Joseph Addison and Susanna Rhodes is very tantalising - could this be the marriage I'm looking for? Any theories on the Addison name rather than Harrison? Any ideas what else I might be able to look at to help unravel this?

I'm so tempted by this marriage but I don't want to rush in due to a raft of possible coincidences.

Thanks for reading!

- Garen

Armed Forces / 2nd SAS North Africa 1944
« on: Wednesday 11 October 17 12:16 BST (UK)  »
I am wondering where to go next to try and find out more about a possible incident off the coast of North Africa in January 1944.

I discovered Bombardier John Holmes (RA, HAA, AAC) was attached to the 2nd SAS Rgt. and died on 11th Jan 1944, "presumed accidentally drowned", "at sea", North Africa. His name appears on the Cassino Memorial in Italy.

With not much more to go on I searched to see if anyone else died on this day with connections to 2 SAS or in a drowning in North Africa and came up with some names:

Gunner Leonard Garnham (RA, AAC, 26 Def. Rgt., 2 SAS), accidentally drowned 11.1.44, Zerizer, Bone, N. Africa - commemorated at Bone War Cemetery, Algeria.

Gunner Trevor John James (RA, 26 Def. Rgt., AAC, 2 SAS) accidentally drowned 11.1.44, N. Africa - commemorated at Bone War Cemetery, Algeria.

Gunner Arthur Betts (RA, 12th Field Rgt., 2 SAS), accidentally drowned 11.1.44, North Africa - commemorated at Bone War Cemetery, Algeria.

There is also a Sapper Donald MacLean (RE, 3 Movement Control Group), died as a result of an accident 11.1.44, North Africa - commemorated at Bone War Cemetery, Algeria (but no mention of drowning or SAS attachment).

The connections are obvious, but the anomaly is that John Holmes is commemorated at Cassino and not at Bone. I do wonder if the others - who all seem to have graves - were found, and Holmes wasn't, thus a later commemoration without a grave. Or maybe it's just regimental admin. Or maybe the date is coincidence and they are completely different incidents.

The website lists these men (except Maclean) and has an additional detail for Betts, Garnham and James: "died during training", but for Holmes it says "ops in Italy - died", though the documentation I've found (casualty listings from Find My Past) say North Africa, so perhaps that is just an inference from the location of the memorial.

One more possible clue is the casualty listing for Donald MacLean, RE, has a note: "Result of accident CL1404/25".

Any thoughts or suggestions on where I could find something on a possible fatal training accident/drowning for the 2nd SAS, at Zerizer in Jan 1944?

Many thanks - Garen

(Extra info: John Holmes b. Jan 1917, Birstall, Yorks, to Robert and Elizabeth, marr. Lichfield, Staffs, 1939 to Millie Hodgkins; death noted in Yorkshire Post of 12 Feb 1944).

Canada / Hammond in Haldimand, Ontario (from Scotland)
« on: Tuesday 16 August 16 17:02 BST (UK)  »
I wonder if anyone's come across this family in Canada, or has any connections ..?

Parents: Thomas Levell HAMMOND (1798-1860) and Janet Stewart ROBERTSON (c.1806-1887).

Children: William Stephen (1827-?); Francis Alexander (1829-1856); Janet Preston (1831-?); Susannah Elizabeth (1833-?); Thomas Monro (1837-?); James Henry (1839-?); Alexander Robertson (1841-1858). (Another daughter, Jane Thomasina, died a baby in Dundee in 1835).

They moved to Canada most likely sometime around late 1848/1849, but I'm sure by 1850 - Ancestry's Canadian Genealogy Index 1600s-1900s has a 'Thomas L. Hammond' in York County, Toronto, Ontario in 1850 - but it's just an isolated transcription, no other details or family to confirm. Can't find them in Scotland 1851.

Before that Thomas was a writer/clerk/agent in Edinburgh then Dundee, though he was actually born in Beverley, Yorkshire.

I have some newspaper clippings for three deaths: Francis Alexander died in a railway accident in Haldimand in Oct 1856; Alexander Robertson died there in 1858, and Thomas, the father, died in Haldimand in 1860. He worked as 'Surveyor of Her Majesty's Customs'.

I managed to find the mother, Janet's, death entry on Ancestry's Ontario Deaths: she died in York, Ontario, Jun 1887.

I'd love to know what became of the children - did they stay in Canada? Did they marry and have families?

Thanks for any interest -

Perthshire / Ewan or Ewing family - New Scone
« on: Thursday 11 July 13 17:09 BST (UK)  »
My 5g-grandfather was James EWING or EWAN. I'd love to have a breakthrough (he's been a 12-year brick wall) and try and find his parents and where he came from.

At some point, probably between 1809 and 1824, he moved to Dysart in Fife, and my further Ewing ancestors are mostly from that area. James is on the 1841 census with his wife Helen CLARK (another brick wall) and daughter Jean at Gallatown, Dysart.

James and Helen married at Scone, Perthshire, on 7 July 1793 (IGI, OPR). The 1841 census puts both their ages at 75 - probably meaning their birth dates are somewhere within 5 years of 1765, and also reveals neither were born in Fife. James was a tenant/farmer at Limepotts, New Scone, before they moved to Fife (as noted on children's birth OPRs).

These are the children I know of, and the little I know about them (most are recorded under the name of EWAN):

Margaret: b. 28 Mar 1795 Scone (IGI, OPR).
A Margaret Ewing b. Scone c.1795 is on the 1851 census married to a Peter Henderson (children: James and Peter, plus two more from IGI: Helen and Margaret). I can't find their marriage, but I strongly suspect this is James Ewing's daughter - the birth details match, plus her younger brother, James, named one of his sons Peter Henderson Ewing (b.1846).

Elizabeth: b. 1797 Perthshire (IGI)
There is an OPR for an Elisbeth EWENS who died in Dysart in Jul 1852, the wife of sailor John WATSON. Looking further into this it seems this may actually be Isobella Ewans, who married seaman John Watson (aka John Sutherland) in 1814. If so, Elizabeth remains elusive.

Jean: b. 1799 Scone (OPR, 1841 census)
Resides at Dysart with parents on the 1841 census, age '35'.

John: 1801 Scone (IGI, OPR)

James - this is my 4g-grandfather so I have a lot of info here.
b. 1803, Limepits (aka Limepotts), New Scone, Perthshire. Married Margaret TODD at Dysart in 1824. Died after falling over the cliffs at Burntisland in 1883. Eleven children between 1824 and 1846. Worked as a weaver and later a grocer.

Robert: b. 1805 Scone (IGI, OPR)

Helen: b. 1809 Perthshire (IGI)

There is also a possible sister for James Ewing - an Elisabeth EWAN married a Gilbert WATSON at Scone on 19 Aug 1793, a month after James and Helen's marriage. James/Helen and Elisabeth/Gilbert both appear on the same page of an OPR (scotlandspeople). This couple, Gilbert and Elisabeth, appear on the 1841 census at Kilspindie, Perthshire, with three children: Catherine, Elizabeth and Andrew.

I do not know when James Ewan/Ewing died - from the Dysart OPRs I have a James Ewans buried 1 Dec 1844, weaver in Dysart, and a James Ewing was interred 25 Jun 1849 in Pattatown (Dysart).

His wife Helen Clark died 3 Feb 1843 at Dysart. (Note: one of her grandchildren, from son James, was called Thomas Clark Ewing - was he named after a relative of Helen's? IGI shows a Thomas CLARK marrying a Margaret WILSON at Scone in Jan 1800).

To summarise the info about James EWAN or EWING:
born abt 1765+/- not in Fife; married Helen CLARK at Scone, Perthshire, 1793; tenant at Limepotts, New Scone 1790s-1800s; children born at Scone, Perthshire (1795-1809); moved family to Dysart in Fife (1809-1824?); wife Helen d.1843 Dysart; James probably died 1840s at Dysart.

Sorry for the long post, but i wanted to make sure I put down everything I knew. If anyone out there has any clues or ideas I'd love to hear from you!

Many thanks - Garen.

Armed Forces / What war? What year?
« on: Wednesday 11 October 06 17:07 BST (UK)  »
One question I've noticed comes up every now and then on this forum is what war or campaign might an ancestor have been involved with in any given year.

To that end I've written a little database where you can type in the year in question, and a list of British wars and campaigns will be returned. Currently, only the Victorian era is available.

Remember that just because a person was in the armed forces in a year when a conflict was taking place, the British were posted all over the place, including places where the height of action on any given day might have been the local goat trying to eat your puttees!

Hope it's of some help, anyway.

Suggestions (and corrections) welcome.

Armed Forces / Henry James HARVEY 25th Foot
« on: Tuesday 20 June 06 00:16 BST (UK)  »
I just wondered if anyone was able to add anything to the following information on Major Henry James Harvey of the 25th King's Own Borderers. I'd be especially interested in his death date, mother and wife's maiden names, or any other little tidbit.

HARVEY, Henry James.

b. Oct 1840 St. Peter Port, Guernsey
Ensign 5 Jun 1858, Lieutenant 1 Apr 1860, Captain 15 Mar 1873. Afghan War - Peshawar Valley Field Force, Bazar Valley expedition. Local Major, Khyber operations and Landi Khana. Major 1 July 1881, retired on half pay. By 1889 back at St. Peter Port, Guernsey.

Parents: John Harvey (merchant) and Anne.
Siblings: Louisa M. (1829), John (1833), William T. (1835), Thomas P. (1838), Maureen P. (1842), Emily C. (1844).
Married Beatrice (b. 1853), children: Winifred B. (1888), Edith M. (1890), Henry (1892), all born Guernsey.

References I have checked:
1881 Army List, 1885 Army List. 1841 census (St. Peter Port, Guernsey), 1851 census (St. Peter Port, Guernsey), 1881 census (Hastings, Sussex), 1891 census (St. Peter Port, Guernsey), 1901 census (St. Peter Port, Guernsey).

Many thanks -

Armed Forces / Born at Waterloo? and Sgt. Donald Campbell 42nd
« on: Sunday 23 April 06 23:41 BST (UK)  »
I thought I'd have a go at posting a brick wall which is still holding strong after a few years of me looking at it and scratching my head. As I think the answer may involve some obscure military record somewhere (or not), I'm posting it in the Armed Forces section...

My ggg-grandmother was a girl called Catherine Campbell. The interesting thing about Catherine is that all her census entries (except 1841, which is 'not born in county') give her birth place as France (British Subject), and the year tends to hover around 1815. Indeed a family story from a distant cousin says she was born at Waterloo.

I'll just check those ages: 1841 - 29 (1811-12), 1851 - 35 (1815-16), 1861 - 45 (1815-16), 1871 - 56 (1814-15), 1881 - 60 (1820-21!).

She died 26 Jun 1889, age 75 according to the certificate (1814-15). The certificate also gives some names for her parents (my brick wall):

Donald CAMPBELL Sergeant in the 42nd Regiment (deceased)
Barbara CAMPBELL m/s STEVENSON (deceased)

The informant was her son-in-law, Charles McGregor, so I don't know how accurate these names are, but it's all I have to go on. Some more facts about Catherine:

She married Donald CAMERON in Aug 1837 at Caputh, and the family lived most of their time in Clunie, Perthshire where her husband was a farmer, but also the local church officer. They had 9 children from 1839 until 1856, two of whom went into the 72nd Highlanders, perhaps a suggestion of something military in their family background. One of Catherine's daughters was called Barbara, and there was also a Donald, but that could be for Donald Cameron (her husband).

I have not been able to find any sign of Sergeant Donald Campbell, 42nd Foot, or Barbara Stevenson. I did find a couple of Donald Campbells of the 42nd Foot on the The National Archive's searchable catalogue, and when at Kew a couple of years ago looked them up and discounted them (I can't find my notes on them now!). I was once sent a copy of a Waterloo database page that had D. Campbells on, and the 42nd only seemed to own one - a Duncan Campbell.

I searched for Catherineís birth in GRO REGIMENTAL BIRTH INDICES (1761 to 1924) (and supplement) and Army Chaplainís returns under Campbell, Stevenson and Stephenson. Also searched GRO ARMY CHAPLAINS DEATH INDICES (1796 to 1880) Stevenson, Stephenson and Campbell. Nada.

I have poked scotlandspeople a few times, spending a few credits on various Barbara Ste*ensons, and balking at the too numerous Donald Campbells - they could be anywhere.

I'm left wondering if his name *was* Donald Campbell? Another idea is - was he in the 42nd Foot? Both his grandsons went into the 72nd Foot - maybe their choice was dictated by Donald actually also being in the 72nd? I see one Donald Campbell on the Waterloo database in the 72nd. Or maybe he was in another regiment altogether... Did Barbara marry Donald? Or was Catherine illegitimate? What was Barbara Stevenson doing in France anyway?

Well, I could go on with the questions and theories! Sorry to give out so much info, but if anyone has any ideas at all - I'd be most grateful. I'd love to know what became of Donald and Barbara, and what gggg-grandfather did in the (Peninsular) war, an area I know very little about.

I have more on the Clunie Camerons at

My thanks - Garen.

Armed Forces / Second Anglo-Afghan War 1878-80
« on: Saturday 27 August 05 16:41 BST (UK)  »
Hello fellow researchers,

I'm new to this forum and just wanted to register my interest in this campaign (Afghanistan 1878 - 1880). I am happy to help with questions anyone might have, and I am also interested in hearing from the descendants of people who were involved in or around the war.

I have a lot of information at hand but am always interested in more. Queries are welcome, as I like to help out if I can, and it also forces me to look into different aspects of the campaign and I learn more for myself each time.

I have a website, which will be going through some bigger updates over the next few months, at

All the best -

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