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Topics - AdrianB38

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Armed Forces / Previous Service on Attestation as "Baden Powell Scout 3rd Class"
« on: Sunday 13 September 20 22:50 BST (UK)  »
I'm looking at this chap in Ancestry's Australia, World War I Service Records, 1914-1920:
Name:    Edward Duncan
Age:    36
Birth Year:    abt 1878
Birth Place:    Dundee, Scotland
Dossier Year Range:    1914-1920
Enlistment Place:    Melbourne, Victoria
Father:    Mr E Duncan

On his attestation form of October 1914, there is the usual question about any previous service, and he replies:
Yes, Baden Powell Scout 3rd Class
trooper South African War 1 year 7 mths
(His father's current address in 1914 is in South Africa but how long he's been out there, I've no idea.)

Can anyone explain what "Baden Powell Scout 3rd Class trooper" might mean? Naturally, any Google search I do is drowned by references to Boy Scouts and I'm not finding any references in ordinary family history literature to any Boer War unit that has that title.

Grateful for any help, thanks.

Angus (Forfarshire) / Source of Old Howff MI text?
« on: Tuesday 13 August 19 17:24 BST (UK)  »
Can anyone please help me understand where the original for the attached image came from? I got it years ago (as a photocopy) and I have only just discovered that it contains something very useful for the Constable family - so I need to understand if it's a plausible source.

The text that I'm interested in is that marked with "452" - so far as I understand it, it is the Monumental Inscription for Stone 452 in the Old Howff, Dundee, William Constable and his family. The oddity is that, when I compare the text to my own photo of Stone 452, it's significantly different.

Some of the difference is understandable: the stone is dated 1834 at the top in real life and the text presumably dates from around then because later deaths on the stone (from 1846 onwards) aren't in the text.

Some differences between the text and the stone are minor - e.g. the first death has Roman numerals for the year in the text, Arabic on the stone. But others are important - the stone refers to William Constable's "Family" which could refer to nephews, whereas the text has an explicit "four brothers" (at least one of whom is definitely William's child); there is reference in the text to a still-born child not on the stone; and the four brothers have ages, not just dates of death, whereas the ages aren't on the stone. (The ages are crucial to my current task).

I have my copy of the Scottish Genealogy Society's Pre-1855 MIs for Dundee & Broughty Ferry. The MI for Old Howff 452 in there is a summary of the image text plus the post-1834 names and death dates. The introduction to the Old Howff section in Pre-1855 MIs implies that the bulk of the text in that book came from a manuscript compiled by the Howff authorities in the late 1830s, generally known as "The Book of the Howff" (146 pages plus 29 pages of notes). (Confusingly there is another manuscript "Book of the Howff" from 1843 but that only includes "the more interesting inscriptions".)

My suspicion therefore is that the imaged text comes from the 146 page, 1830s, "Book of the Howff" - can anyone confirm this or suggest an alternative origin? (And does anyone know where the 146 page "Book of the Howff" actually is now? - Pre-1855 MIs suggests Dundee Central Library.)


Tipperary / John Andrew Jackson, murdered 1863, Mount Pleasant, Killowney Little
« on: Sunday 08 January 17 17:19 GMT (UK)  »
On 4 June 1863, John Andrew Jackson, JP, was murdered in the grounds of his home at Mount Pleasant, Killowney Little, Ballymackey CP, Co. Tipperary.

I am reliant for information about this on reports in the Nenagh Guardian and other newspapers accessed online, especially when FindMyPast has a freebie on Irish records. While the Nenagh Guardian noted that Jackson's money, watch and chain were missing, this was dismissed by them as an attempt to mislead as to the real object of the murder, which the paper considered to be a part of the violent agrarian movements. (It was judged significant enough to be reported in English newspapers, which I do have access to on FindMyPast).

The aftermath led to distinct ill-feeling - the police seemed to arrest anyone in the vicinity who might have had any linkage. I have a report in the papers of the inquest and know that John Madden, the victim's steward, was arrested on suspicion of the murder and detained for some 6w before being released. (Jackson's in-laws seem to have had it in for Madden as he was later sued by them for non-payment of rent, using the evidence of a suspiciously shambolic state of accounts).

I have not been able to find any indication about a murder trial, never mind a conviction.

Does anyone know / can anyone find anything about a trial or conviction for the murder?


Somerset / Coverage of Ancestry PRs for Somerset?
« on: Sunday 17 July 16 12:14 BST (UK)  »
I apologise for starting a new thread for this but the other 2 re the Ancestry offering appear to be locked. Anyway - I appreciate this may still be new, but does anyone have an indication how complete the release is? I wasn't expecting a full release - they took about 3 goes to release Lancashire and even now I've seen no comment about completeness - it's just that I've found all the Lancs parishes I've been looking for.

I don't have a huge interest in Somerset - only 1 ancestor from there (but a confusing one - he claimed to be from Twerton in the 1851 but I have a feeling he's from Taunton). All I can offer is that of the 15 or so parishes covering (primarily) pre-1813 Taunton and adjacent areas, 11 appear in Ancestry's Browse - I hope that means they've been indexed!

(There is at least one caveat to the 11 - I noticed that Bishops Hull has a big gap in its burials from 1848-1869).

Any further comments from anyone?

World War Two / Cheshire Home Guard AA Battery designations?
« on: Tuesday 17 May 16 13:48 BST (UK)  »
Recently reading the back cover of my Dad's Identity Card, I found to my partial delight that it was stamped with his units. I knew that he was in the Home Guard's Anti-Aircraft side, but not which units. My delight is partial because there are 2 stamps laid virtually on top of one another - can anyone help me work out which the batteries were?

The lower Battery Office stamp reads:
"72 Cheshire HG HAA Bty".

"72 Cheshire Home Guard Heavy Anti-Aircraft Battery", I guess. But does 72 denote a Battery within the whole HG or just within Cheshire? The upper stamp is only partly legible and seems to read:
"230 (104?? illegible?? illegible??) AA 'Z' Bty

And I've a feeling that there might be more still under the upper stamp because I can see a 44 but really can't guess that one.

He was living in Crewe, south Cheshire, throughout the war. If I had to guess which came first, I'd say that the lower stamp is the original since I seem to remember him saying that they had "proper" guns first, which were then shipped south to combat V1s, and were replaced by "projectors". But I could be wrong.

So can anyone confirm my reading and suggest what the partly illegible battery designations might be? And the significance of the 230 and 104 (assuming that's what it reads)? I think I've read that one was the Home Guard designation and another the designation in the regulars to cover the regulars attached to the battery, but which is which I'm not sure.

Grateful for explanations and suggestions.

Hampshire & Isle of Wight / 1814 Burial from Hilsea Army Depot - where might it be?
« on: Thursday 28 January 16 22:25 GMT (UK)  »
Private Isaac Pickstock of the 2nd Royal Veterans' Battalion died at Hilsea Depot on or about 28 October 1814, having just returned from garrison duty on Madeira. (From TNA document ref. WO 25/2354 - I suspect he may have been on the depot's books as there was a hospital there.)

I can't find any evidence of his burial - I've looked at "Hampshire Burials" on FindMyPast and can't find him on a name search. I've also tried to browse the 1814 burials in that collection for Portsmouth Royal Garrison, Wymering (which looks like the parish for Hilsea) and Portsea St. Mary (I had to ask for Isa* burials for that one).

Anyone know if "Hampshire Burials" on FindMyPast is complete for that area and era? Or have any idea where else Isaac might be buried?

There's a distinct likelihood he's a Methodist - and since he died owing the Army 18s 7d and his daughter went into the Royal Military Asylum (actually a school, primarily for orphans), I think it unlikely his body went any distance.


Cheshire / The Great War Dead of Crewe & Nantwich – can you help?
« on: Sunday 07 October 12 16:26 BST (UK)  »
Many of you will be aware of the great series of books about the war dead of Crewe & Nantwich, that started in 2001 with "Dear Mrs Jones: The Great War Dead of Crewe & Nantwich". Mark Potts is one of the authors of these books and he needs your help to commemorate your relatives from the Crewe & Nantwich area who paid the ultimate price in the Great War.

He's currently working on "WHERE THE FALLEN LIVE FOREVER – THE GREAT WAR DEAD OF CREWE AND NANTWICH", which is to be published in August 2014 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War One. Mark tells me that they have been working on it for about eight years and they now have photographs of 413 of the 1,250 men who are commemorated on the World War 1 memorials in the Crewe & Nantwich area.

But that's still over 800 whose faces are in danger of being lost from memory. Have you got any photos of friends or relatives who died during the 1914-18 war and whose names appear on the local memorials of the Crewe & Nantwich area? If so, please get in contact with Mark, because he'd love to be able to include those photos in the new book. And if you know they were from the area and were killed during the War, but aren't sure whether they’re on one of the local memorials, don't worry, ask Mark – he'll sort it out.

Contact Mark Potts on
   mark[-- at --] ;
   Adrian B

Moderator Comment: e-mail edited, to avoid spamming and other abuses.
Please replace [-- at --] with @

Can someone please help with the dating of this photo?

Photo is taken by Tabler of 8 Montgomery St, San Francisco, California. Although SF Directories list Tabler at that address up to 1892 but no further, Google searches suggest that he may have continued to operate out of Montgomery St after then.

One possibility for the young girls are a pair of sisters born 1870 and 1878. However, I can't see there being 8y difference between these two. (Comments?)

The children from the next generation aren't born until 1905 and 1906.

It may be that we are seeing two cousins not two sisters. Any comments on date of photo, age of children and age of mother / granny / whatever would be gratefully accepted.

Sorry but this scan of a photo of an original somewhere miles away is the best we can do - so far as my contact (to whom thanks) remembers there was nothing on the reverse of the photo.

Thanks in hope.

Armed Forces / Cheshire Auxiliary Forces
« on: Saturday 09 October 10 21:21 BST (UK)  »
Can anyone point me in the direction of a book, article or something that describes the various units of the Cheshire Militia, Volunteers, Yeomanry, etc, ideally specifically during the period of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars? (Or indeed before or after...)

Specifically re the Militia - I'm interested in eventually knowing where the Cheshire Militia were during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars as Google picks them up in various places, so they seem to have been one of those militias called up.

Unfortunately, Chester Military Museum's catalogue on A2A only lists archive material relating to the First World War, so I've no idea whether their archives have anything. Chester Record Office has loads of detail stuff with all sorts of organisations that I've never heard of, so I'm really hoping that there's an overview somewhere to give me a context first....

Grateful for any pointers.

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