Author Topic: If it was possible to visit one ancestor tomorrow - would it be an easy choice?  (Read 2708 times)

Online Deirdre784

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My great great grandmother Hannah, born around 1821 in Alton, Staffordshire, married Thomas Cope in 1845. Widowed in Nov 1860 while pregnant with her 6th child who died as a a baby. Lived with her eldest daughter and family until 1881, then vanishes. Not buried with her husband and their daughter and son in law (in same grave). No apparent re-marriage. Would love to meet her and ask her what happened. 🤔😀

While it would be good to solve the mystery of Hannah (and i have no famous or newsworthy ancestors) i guess speaking to a great grandmother (different branch) about their appalling living conditions and how she coped losing 6 babies (none at birth) and 2 more grown children (young men), leaving 5 surviving out of 13.  No doubt a harrowing conversation but quite hard to imagine today. 
CARDIFF:Lord,Griffiths,Barry,Cope,Mahoney ~ PEMBROKESHIRE:Griffiths,Rees,Owen,Thomas ~ ESSEX:Lord,Foreman,Hatch ~ SOMERSET:Lord,Cox,Hockey,Linham,Bryant ~ STAFFORDSHIRE:Cope,Elks,Hackney,Gallimore,Davenport ~ SUFFOLK:Lord,Lockwood,Hatch,Rix,Foreman ~ IRELAND:Barry,Meany,Cummins,Grogan ~
PONTYPRIDD:Leigh,Brooks,Adams,Davies,Thomas ~ KENT:Leigh ~ CHESHIRE:Adams,Tudor,Illidge ~ DENBIGHSHIRE:Edwards,Bolas ~BRECON:Leigh,Thomas,Davies ~SOMERSET:Adams,Keitch,Bridge ~ABERGAVENNY:Minton ~ MERTHYR:.....

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Offline smudwhisk

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I have a number of ancestors, particularly on my paternal grandfather's side, of whom we don't know where they were born so are stuck.  Most were born and died prior to the census or are missing from the 1851 census and died before 1861.  I suppose one I would really like to know from where he arrived in London would be 3 x Great Grandfather Johan Michael Mayer who married Sarah Matthews at Newington St Mary in 1818.  His marriage entry lists his name as John Michael Mayer but he signed it Johan and as for part of his working life in London he worked as a sugar baker (a typical profession for German migrants to London), I think its highly likely he was born somewhere in what is now Germany, Austria or Switzerland.  But where?  He died in 1837.  No naturalisation record and no record of his arrival.  He also worked as a Violin and Harp string maker suggesting that was what he had trained as from wherever he came from.

That said, we're none the wiser about his wife.  All I know is she was listed as born Salisbury on the 1851 Census and while there is a baptism for a Sarah Matthews at the right time in the city, there are no other children to a couple of those names and no sign of a marriage anywhere.  I suspect as there was a John and Sarah Matthews baptising children in the same parish either side of her baptism it could be a mistake with the father's name but can find no proof. :-\

That side of the family have not made it easy to research them, yet of those we have been able to take back, some go right back to the 1500s with certainty of documentation and several were of Huguenot and Walloon descent so can't complain too much as its been very interesting researching them. ;D
(KENT) Lingwell, Rayment (BUCKS) Read, Hutchins (SRY) Costin, Westbrook (DOR) Gibbs, Goreing (DUR) Green (ESX) Rudland, Malden, Rouse, Boosey (FIFE) Foulis, Russell (NFK) Johnson, Farthing, Purdy, Barsham (GLOS) Collett, Morris, Freebury, May, Kirkman (HERTS) Winchester, Linford (NORTHANTS) Bird, Brimley, Chater, Wilford, Read, Chapman, Jeys, Marston, Lumley (WILTS) Arden, Whatley, Batson, Gleed, Greenhill (SOM) Coombs, Watkins (RUT) Stafford (BERKS) Sansom, Angel, Young, Stratton, Weeks, Day

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Offline Rainbow Quartz

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While I would like to meet any of my ancestors to find out about their day to day lives, I would really really like to find out what happened to two of them, different families and different generations, who 'disappear' from the records. I've had loads of help from RootsChatters, and quite a few bricks have gone, but the walls are still standing! I hate not knowing what happened to them!
Jewell - Devon, Cornwall and Manchester
North - Somerset, Devon, Dorset, Cardiff and Warrington
Rowe - Devon, Dorset
Oliver - Somerset

Online Rattus

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It would have to be my great-great grandmother Amy. She was born in Bermondsey in 1864, into a family originally from Kent (and Durham even further back). She grew up in Newcastle upon Tyne, came of age back in Bermondsey, married in Nottingham, raised a young family in Bury. She and her husband returned to Nottingham, where he soon inherited his parents' pub. They were together there for a few brief years before his early death, just before the outbreak of WWI. She then took her remaining children to live with her widowed mother (also in Nottingham), after whose death twelve years later she stayed in the same house in Nottingham for two more decades with her youngest daughter. The house stayed in the family and my dad recognised the address when I mentioned it, even though she had died (during WWII) a couple of years before he was born.

In general, I find my great-great-grandparents the most fascinating people in my family tree. They lived through times of great social change and half of them ended up in my home town of Nottingham as the result of work-related migration. They are the oldest generation to which I feel a direct connection in the way that I recall my grandparents talking about their own grandparents. Amy is the only one of whom multiple photographs have survived, in my branch at least, from her twenties into her old age, so I feel that I know her a little better than the other names. She looks 'familiar' but with no particular resemblance to currently living family members.

I've often wondered about her accent. I think it would have been a curious mixture of southern vowels (her parents' influence) and Geordie (from her peers while growing up), but tempered by the five-ish decades in Nottingham, not to mention time spent Lancashire. Being able to hear her speak would be fascinating, even before tackling in to the conversation about her life.

Since having begun researching family history, I've often wondered why my grandma seemed completely bemused by me wanting to live in London, never mentioning that her own grandmother was born (t)here. I wonder whether she even knew, or whether she thought that Amy was from Newcastle or Bury. Her own mother, Amy's oldest daughter, had a strong Lancashire accent, despite having been born in Nottingham.

No great mysteries to uncover, I'd just like some detail to flesh out the broader facts.
BARTRAM - Nottingham, Derby, originally Beds (Stagsden)
PERFETT - St Pancras & Marylebone, Rugby, Nottingham
RADFORD - Nottinghamshire, also back & forth to Bury
RUDD - Margate, Bermondsey, Newcastle, Nottingham

Offline sugarbakers

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... I suppose one I would really like to know from where he arrived in London would be 3 x Great Grandfather Johan Michael Mayer who married Sarah Matthews at Newington St Mary in 1818.  His marriage entry lists his name as John Michael Mayer but he signed it Johan and as for part of his working life in London he worked as a sugar baker ...

Your not the only one, smudwhisk, I've been looking for my 4xgt grandfather, a German sugarbaker, for 20 years with no luck ... hence the website.
I've not got the details of your Johann Michael Mayer on the database. I'd like to add them if I may, please, so maybe you can send by PM, or through the website, or post here, and I'll see if I can help.
Almeroth, Germany (probably Hessen).

Sugar Refiners & Sugarbakers ... www.mawer.clara.net ...
42,000+ database entries, 260+ fatalities, 210+ fires, history, maps, directory, sales, blog, book, 300+ wills, etc.

WDYTYA magazine July 2017

Offline IgorStrav

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I would love to talk to my greatx2 grandmother Eliza Miller.
She was married very young to someone we refer to in the family as 'the gypsy bigamist' - someone who I theorise was a bit of a good-looking rogue from a none-too-respectable 'traveling' family, the Corks, whose progress through the censuses has challenged me (and others on this board) more than once.

They had my great grandmother, born when her father was in the navy, and then within 5 years Eliza is with another man, and had many children with him - whilst her estranged husband lived in the other side of the county, and married bigamously.

She was a very respectable mother and grandmother and I'd love to talk to her about her early life.....

And then I would like to talk to my great grandmother Mary Ann Williams, who appears on the birth certificate of my grandfather Joseph William Burton, but is otherwise invisible - I don't have a confirmed sighting of her on a census, she didn't marry my great grandfather, and since she has a really common name and came from the very crowded East End of London, I can't track her down anywhere.  I don't think she can have had a very nice life, and at the very least I'd like to thank her.
Pay, Kent. 
Barham, Kent. 
Cork(e), Kent. 
Cooley, Kent.
Barwell, Rutland/Northants/Greenwich.
Cotterill, Derbys.
Van Steenhoven/Steenhoven/Hoven, Belgium/East London.
Burton, East London.
Wade, Greenwich/Brightlingsea, Essex.

Offline Mike Morrell (NL)

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Yes. Some of my ancestors were Irish. There are stilll many (unverified) holes in my research but it looks like one John Ferris  (B abt 1831, Dublin), moved to Wales ( for the Iron industry) and married Catherine Simmonds in 1861 who (presumably) died in childbirth in 1868. At the time in Merthyr Tydfil, he had 4 daughters. A year later, he married Bridget McCarthy (Born in Waterford, Ireland) in Merthyr Tydfil, the centre of Welsh (and probably British) industrialisation at that time.

If my research is right, Bridget McCarthy would have been about 39 when she married John Ferris and took on his household of 4 daughters. I would have loved to interview about her past and about the challenges of trying to be a 'mother' in the house with 4 girls who have lost their biological mother.

Of all the people in my family tree 'Bridget McCarthy' has always fascinated me the most.
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Offline pinefamily

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That's a tough question.
I don't know if I would choose a brickwall ancestor, or just one that has caught my interest (we all have a favourite ancestor or two).
Brickwall selection is probably my current one: Mary Ann Palmer, born c.1772 somewhere other than Dorset, married twice, and a mother named Mary who mentions her in a will. Father probably John, from tax records. Possibly born in the West Country, but not definite. I can't pin this family down.
Interest selection possibly would be William Youatt, the famous vet; a very interesting man who changed from nonconformist minister to vet, had 4 daughters with a surrogate, and committed suicide in 1847. Although Christopher Springer is a close second; Swedish merchant, politician, and diplomat who ended up in gaol but escaped to Russia, and died in England.
I am Australian, from all the lands I come (my ancestors, at least!)

Pine/Pyne, Dowdeswell, Kempster, Sando/Sandoe/Sandow, Nancarrow, Carrington, Hounslow, Youatt, Richardson, Jarmyn, Oxlade, Coad, Bentham, Holloway, Lindner, Pittaway, and too many others to name.
Devon, Dorset, Gloucs, Cornwall, Yorks, Bucks, Oxfordshire, Wilts, Germany, Sweden, and of course London, to name a few.

Offline smudwhisk

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Your not the only one, smudwhisk, I've been looking for my 4xgt grandfather, a German sugarbaker, for 20 years with no luck ... hence the website.
I've not got the details of your Johann Michael Mayer on the database. I'd like to add them if I may, please, so maybe you can send by PM, or through the website, or post here, and I'll see if I can help.

Hi sugarbakers, you do have Johan Michael Mayer on your database, he's listed as Myre (Mayer) John Michael, which was one of the variations of the surname he appears in the records in London as.
(KENT) Lingwell, Rayment (BUCKS) Read, Hutchins (SRY) Costin, Westbrook (DOR) Gibbs, Goreing (DUR) Green (ESX) Rudland, Malden, Rouse, Boosey (FIFE) Foulis, Russell (NFK) Johnson, Farthing, Purdy, Barsham (GLOS) Collett, Morris, Freebury, May, Kirkman (HERTS) Winchester, Linford (NORTHANTS) Bird, Brimley, Chater, Wilford, Read, Chapman, Jeys, Marston, Lumley (WILTS) Arden, Whatley, Batson, Gleed, Greenhill (SOM) Coombs, Watkins (RUT) Stafford (BERKS) Sansom, Angel, Young, Stratton, Weeks, Day