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Messages - jbml

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Handwriting Deciphering & Recognition / Re: can anyone read......
« on: Saturday 05 September 20 11:27 BST (UK)  »
What is the date of the marriage?

My first thoughts were possibly "Pleader" or "Bleacher", but I don't think it is either of those.

There are no other capital Ps or Bs to compare with ... and there are too few letters for Bleacher.

I therefore tend to concur with the others ... the two leading tall loops are quite possibly a single letter, so Dealer.

The Lighter Side / Re: Humour on the census
« on: Saturday 05 September 20 08:48 BST (UK)  »
Funnily enough earlier this week I was looking at the 1911 census entry for the magician, "The Great Lafayette". He gives his name as "The Great Lafayette" and under infirmities he has put "too good". He describes his dog, Beauty (given to him by Harry Houdini), as his daughter and her occupation as "independent means".

Tragically both The Great Lafayette and Beauty died the following month. Beauty apparently died of overeating and The Great Lafayette in a fire at the Empire Palace Theatre in Edinburgh.

This is from Wikipedia:
"The body of Lafayette was apparently soon found and sent to Glasgow for cremation. Two days after the fire, however, workers clearing the understage area found another body identically dressed as Lafayette. It transpired that the body at the crematorium was that of the illusionist's body double"

There is a slight irony, is there not, in somebody dying in a fire ... and the body then being cremated!

The Common Room / Re: Found Anyone Famous
« on: Saturday 05 September 20 08:33 BST (UK)  »

Possibly Eleanor of Aquitaine, and the Plantagenet's through my Wilkinson's, but as a person of Scots descent being related to Edward I, is not a good thing, he was known as the "hammer of the Scots"  this is according to 'Family Search'


If it's any consolation, Andi, I believe it was only the Sassenachs who called him "malleus Scottorum" ... and as we all know, THEIR opinions hardly count for anything north of the Tweed!

The Lighter Side / Re: You know you're addicted to Genealogy when ....
« on: Friday 04 September 20 18:49 BST (UK)  »
you get ever so excited by the discovery of a memorial mason in a quiet little unassuming town, and so nonchalantly wander in to enquire as to the cost of having the inscription on an ancestor's headstone re-cut ...

The Lighter Side / Re: Unpleasant Deaths
« on: Friday 04 September 20 18:39 BST (UK)  »
This incident had a profound effect on me and my school friends:

The survivor Howard Goddard, mentioned in the article, had an older brother called Nick, who was in my class. He didn't survive.

I have a cousin who is a Fleet Air Arm helicopter pilot and has done several casualty evacuation tours in Afghanistan ... but there is NO WAY that you would EVER get me to fly in a helicopter!

The Lighter Side / Re: Semantics.
« on: Friday 04 September 20 18:00 BST (UK)  »
I used to have a colleague of oriental parentage whose first name was Luckin (I shan't mention his second name as he is, to the best of my knowledge, still alive) ... is that the exact opposite of luck out?

(And I remember once asking a girl in my O level music class, whose surname was Newall, "what's the past tense of know-all?" She replied "Knew-all" without thinking ... but she was a lovely unassuming girl, who could NEVER have been a know-all ... )

The Lighter Side / Re: Do you think you have ancestors who just lied on their forms?
« on: Friday 04 September 20 17:51 BST (UK)  »
But the general point is well made.

Nobody has a personal memory of where they were born. They just know what they have been told ... IF they ever asked ... which they might not have done. If they didn't ask, they might have made an assumption, which could be correct or could not.

In the modern day and age, exact date of birth is important to so many things, and we keep meticulous records. Before the welfare state, however, nobody was avidly counting the days to their 60th or 65th birthday when they would qualify for their state pension. In the days before modern education laws, nobody was carefully tracking the date on which a child should start school, or before which they could not enter the workforce. In the days before modern laws on alcohol, tobacco, glue, blade and other sales, nobody was obsessively interested in whether somebody could prove that they were over 18 or not.

So in an age when nobody cared that much about exact age, few people monitored it closely (consider the scene in "Far From The Madding Crowd", when they are in the pub trying to figure out JUST how old the old man actually was ... Hardy was not trying to write a humorous parody ... this was genuinely the kind of way in which people would try to figure it out).

And then, once every ten years, somebody comes along and asks "How old are you? Where were you born? How old is your wife? Where was she born? How old are each of your children? Where was each of them born?" People couldn't remember exactly ... and neither could they remember what answers they had given last time around. So the answers given may vary from census to census. Not really any great surprise there ...

I have always worked on the basis that the most accurate information as to approximate date of birth and place of birth is to be found on the EARLIEST census that a person appears in, unless that is the 1841 census in which case the 1851 census is likely to be more useful (especially if 1841 says they were not born "in county"). That is closest to the event when memory is likely to be freshest and, let's face it, you are FAR less likely to make an erroneous report that a 1 year old is 3 or 4 than you are to make an erroneous report that an 11 year old is 13 or 14.

And of course, the less schooling the person making the census return has had, the greater the likelihood of egregious errors. If they "made their mark" on their marriage certificate ... well ... they're not going to be keeping written records in a family bible somewhere that they can consult when the census form pops through their letter box, are they??

The Lighter Side / Re: Do you think you have ancestors who just lied on their forms?
« on: Friday 04 September 20 17:38 BST (UK)  »
Two Londoners I know, one born 1967 in the East End and one born 1988 in Westminster say "I was born at a hospital in either Walthamstow or Leytonstone" and the other "Somewhere in Westminster". Even now it goes to show how many may not be 100% sure where they were born especially in a big city such as London.

That'll be Whipps Cross Hospital I can confidently say......(the Walthamstow/Leytonstone one)

No idea about Westminster though

Don't be so certain ... my brother (whom I shall not name as he is still alive) was born in 1966 in Walthamstow General Hospital. So that might be the hospital referred to.

Hospital caterers were on strike; nurses sent out to the local fish and chip shop to feed patients. Always arrived cold. Mother vowed never to have a hospital birth again. I was born in 1967, at home in Loughton. Family doctor was Dr Barnado (close relative ... possibly grandson, but the story varies every time I hear it of THE Dr Barnado, whose private residence was Ardmore House in Loughton ... a house which my great grandfather purchased in 1937 or 1938).

My great grandmother (NOT the wife of he who bought Ardmore House ... a different great grandmother) was a cleaner at Whipp's Cross Hospital ...

London and Middlesex / Re: Edwin Giles Met Police
« on: Friday 04 September 20 17:18 BST (UK)  »
If you go to Old Bailey Online you'll find a searchable database of all the trials at the Old Bailey (which was the petty sessional court of Middlesex as well as the Central Criminal Court in the 19th century).

If you put his name in as a search term, you'll get a list of hits which will give you all the cases where he gave evidence, and that will give you a pretty clear picture of his police career. You'll be able to deduce approximate dates of joining and leaving, and any promotions he may have had.

I derived immense amounts of information from doing this for my great x3 grandfather Robert Packman, who was in the City of London police.

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