Author Topic: Your brick wall and how you solved it!  (Read 2176 times)

Offline Jomot

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Re: Your brick wall and how you solved it!
« Reply #9 on: Wednesday 03 January 18 17:31 GMT (UK) »
Mine was with the help of the wonderful people at Pontypridd Register Office.   

All I knew for certain about my GG Grandmother was that she born in Aberdare and that at marriage she named her father as James Davies, a deceased miner.  Different records gave conflicting information about her year of birth (1848-1853), and her US death certificate suggested that her father had a different surname to her (not the case, as it turned out!).

Her name was so common that it was like finding a needle in a haystack, but I eventually found a likely candidate for her in the 1851 & 1861 census - never with parents and with no relationship details given.  After piecing together as much as possible about her later life I made an educated guess at her mother's forename and wrote to Pontypridd Register Office asking if they could help. 

Within a day they came back with a potential birth certificate, and further research revealed that both parents had died within 18 months of her birth & that the households she was with in 1851 & 1861 were both relatives of her mother.   
GIBSON: Leicestershire, Durham. North Yorkshire. MORGAN: Glamorgan, Durham, Ohio. DAVIS/DAVIES/DAVID: Glamorgan, Ohio.  JACKSON: East Yorks, North Yorks, Durham. TAYLOR: North Yorks. BOURDAS: North Yorks. JEFFREYS: Worcestershire & Northumberland. CHEESMOND: Durham/Northumberland. WINTER: Durham/Northumberland. SNOWBALL: Durham.

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Offline clairec666

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Re: Your brick wall and how you solved it!
« Reply #10 on: Wednesday 03 January 18 18:21 GMT (UK) »
While you must never rely wholly on this, one trick is if you come across an ancestor whose parents you cannot find the marriage for, but you have the fathers baptism and it was the same parish all along, then try any baptisms for the mothers first name 15-30 years before the birth of their first known child. These could be candidates for the mother. For instance a James Bracegirdle born 1750 to Thomas and Margaret Bracegirdle in a rural parish. Their eldest child was born in 1742. You cannot find a marriage of Thomas to Margaret (even with variants) then you could look at all the Margaret's born in the same parish 1710-1730, and list their surnames. This can be food for thought.

This is a good way of finding alternative spellings and mistransciptions. For example, one of the Margarets you find might marry a Thomas Bearegudle, which could be a mistranscription of Bracegirdle (but not similar enough to show up in a soundex search).

Also - learn to use wildcards. They are your friend!
Transcribing Essex records for FreeREG.
Current parishes - Burnham, Purleigh, Steeple.
Get in touch if you have any interest in these places!

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Offline coombs

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Re: Your brick wall and how you solved it!
« Reply #11 on: Wednesday 03 January 18 18:51 GMT (UK) »
While you must never rely wholly on this, one trick is if you come across an ancestor whose parents you cannot find the marriage for, but you have the fathers baptism and it was the same parish all along, then try any baptisms for the mothers first name 15-30 years before the birth of their first known child. These could be candidates for the mother. For instance a James Bracegirdle born 1750 to Thomas and Margaret Bracegirdle in a rural parish. Their eldest child was born in 1742. You cannot find a marriage of Thomas to Margaret (even with variants) then you could look at all the Margaret's born in the same parish 1710-1730, and list their surnames. This can be food for thought.

This is a good way of finding alternative spellings and mistransciptions. For example, one of the Margarets you find might marry a Thomas Bearegudle, which could be a mistranscription of Bracegirdle (but not similar enough to show up in a soundex search).

Also - learn to use wildcards. They are your friend!

I have an Edmund Cackermole in my tree whose eldest child was born in 1647. The mother was Rachell. I have traced Edmund back but cannot find a marriage of him to Rachell yet. It seems her spelling of Rachel was 2 L's at the end. In 1619 a Rachell Meeke was baptised in the same parish to a Nicholas Meeke. Rachell and Edmund Cackermole did not have a child called Nicholas though but the Rachell Meeke is a candidate for the Rachell who later wed Edmund Cackamole. That surname had its variants.

Unfortunately soundex searches can swamp you with nearest matches which are actually noticeably different to the spelling you want. Such as you type Saffold and get Stafford.

One brick wall I broke down in 2009 was when London records came online.

More tips is look at wills in the area of anyone with the same surname as your ancestor, especially if it is nearby villages or towns or the same parishes. Even names like Smith, you never know.
Researching:

LONDON, Coombs, Roberts, Auber, Helsdon, Fradine, Morin, Goodacre
DORSET Coombs, Munday
NORFOLK Helsdon, Riches, Harbord, Budery
KENT Roberts, Goodacre
SUSSEX Walder, Boniface, Dinnage, Standen, Lee, Botten, Wickham, Jupp
SUFFOLK Titshall, Frost, Fairweather, Mayhew, Archer, Eade, Scarfe
DURHAM Stewart, Musgrave, Wilson, Forster
SCOTLAND Stewart in Selkirk
USA Musgrave, Saix
ESSEX Cornwell, Stock, Quilter, Lawrence, Whale, Clift
OXON Edgington, Smith, Inkpen, Snell, Batten, Brain

Offline clayton bradley

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Re: Your brick wall and how you solved it!
« Reply #12 on: Wednesday 03 January 18 18:57 GMT (UK) »
My 6th cousin and I had independently found Abraham Broadley of Darwen, who arrived there in 1654, but where did he come from? This was solved by our 7th cousin's husband, who tested his brother in law's Y-DNA and we are now back to the 1520s in the Halifax area. I will always be grateful to Andrew Booth (sadly, no longer with us).cb
Broadley (Lancs all dates and Halifax bef 1654)

Offline barryd

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Re: Your brick wall and how you solved it!
« Reply #13 on: Wednesday 03 January 18 19:00 GMT (UK) »
The answer is other Roots Chatters in South Africa helped me. Without them I could not have solved it

My most challenging research was that of Gertrude Wynne Cole, formerly Mrs Seymour Dallas, divorced and became Mrs Bernard Vidal Shaw. Known to have been born in South Africa, married and divorced there, married Bernard Vidal Shaw in London  and spent many years with him in British Guiana. Both returned to England and died there. Gertrude was on the 1939 Register as having been born in 1862. I had her second marriage certificate giving her father as George Montague Cole. A South African Roots Chatter sent me on RootsChat  a published diary entry (probably in the early 1880’s) of a man who met her at a stagecoach terminus in the Cape, South Africa and he casually entered the fact that she was the niece of  Judge Cole (Alfred Whaley Cole) He was the brother of George.     

Now comes the tricky part. Who was Gertrude’s mother? Her father had two wives. The first one died 1861. That means Gertrude was the daughter of the second  wife. No. Decima Ashburnham the second wife must have had money and lists her ONLY child as Blanche Ashburnham Cole. Whether Gertrude gave the information or a relative gave the information to the 1939 Register they were one year off. Gertrude was born 1861 and post partum  her mother Matilda Hogben died about two weeks later.

Now there is Frank Burrard Creasy, born in Ceylon, living and educated in England, emigrated to Ramah, New Mexico, USA, moved to Canada and became a high ranking police officer there. That’s another story.

Offline mirl

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Re: Your brick wall and how you solved it!
« Reply #14 on: Thursday 04 January 18 01:23 GMT (UK) »
Another resource I have started using a lot lately is the National Library of Scotland's free map collection.

It often helps with old place names and which hamlets are near what villages, particularly when located close to moving parish or county boundaries.
Richardson, Sherman, Gillam, Hitchcock, Neighbour, Groom, Walton, Strange, Littleford, Brown, Guy, Abbs, Tasker, Bartlett, Farey, Etteridge

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Offline Guy Etchells

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Re: Your brick wall and how you solved it!
« Reply #15 on: Thursday 04 January 18 08:30 GMT (UK) »
I would suggest caution when viewing online trees and indeed suggestions offered by tree hosting companies.
The reason I say this is down to human nature, when offered such a suggestion it is very easy for our brains to be convinced that the suggestion is correct rather than looking for alternatives and weighing the all the evidence.

This has been shown in studies by psychological scientists Maryanne Garry and Robert Michael of Victoria University of Wellington exploring the relationship between suggestion, cognition, and behaviour.
“The answer lies in our ‘response expectancies,’ or the ways in which we anticipate our responses in various situations. These expectancies set us up for automatic responses that actively influence how we get to the outcome we expect. Once we anticipate a specific outcome will occur, our subsequent thoughts and behaviours will actually help to bring that outcome to fruition.”

I would therefore suggest that researchers ignore all trees and tips/leaves/suggestions until they have formed a tree based on their own conclusions drawn from researching in ‘original’ records.
Then and only then, after thorough research and forming conclusions compare your findings with the other trees or tips & suggestions.
If not you may find yourselves forming the never ending line of researchers who have found a birth/baptism and constructed a tree round that ‘well sourced lead’ only to find many years down the line that that baby died two days after birth and their ancestor was actually born a week before or a day later to a couple with similar names.

Cheers
Guy
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Offline Yonks Ago

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Re: Your brick wall and how you solved it!
« Reply #16 on: Thursday 04 January 18 08:58 GMT (UK) »
My Brickwall...was solved by DNA..for many many years I kept finding my way to a family on Tree's [ 21 tree's in fact on Ancestry ] the christian names all the same as in my family only a generation back.
I had this feeling that something was amiss but knew my man was no where near when he was supposed to have married this wrong lady.
DNA linked me to 4 of these people [ tree's ]  what happened is that there was 2 men with the same name born about the same time 1 mine 1  another family.
All these tree's had my John married to another lady and I have proved that the other John and his wife..are buried together in another town.
[ all these tree's have my John married to the wrong lady, had 11 children..and his parents..grandparents ect all as theirs]

I have been in touch with all these tree owners..some have blocked me now from viewing their tree's..others said oh I copied that..and I have not had any reply/contact with the 4 that I link to! ::)
advice is to use tree's as a tool only.
Yonks
Kilgallon Langdon Nicol Bolger Smith Carlisle Thomas Delahide Blackman Harley Amphlett Scarbourgh Murrish Oats Tonkin Aveyard Armitage Child Fox Bland Gomersal Mountain Gelder Harrison Armstrong Laws Steel Main Lambert Law Laws Christie Kirk Bell Black Amphlett Barclay Harley Dewar Rodger Fortune McCann Nealis Sutherland Rumgay

Offline andrewalston

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Re: Your brick wall and how you solved it!
« Reply #17 on: Thursday 04 January 18 15:06 GMT (UK) »
Also - learn to use wildcards. They are your friend!

.. and remember variants of names. "Margaret" may have been baptised (and even married) as "Peggy", for instance. Few websites will associate the variant names for you in your searches.
Looking at ALSTON in south Ribble area, ALSTEAD and DONBAVAND/DUNBABIN etc. everywhere, HOWCROFT and MARSH in Bolton and Westhoughton, PICKERING in the Whitehaven area.

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