Who is William? The Introduction

This brick wall is the source of much frustration.  Who is William?  Where did he come from?  Who are his parents?  Does he have any siblings? William Williams is my great great grandfather.  I know little about William before 1903, when he married.  The brick wall arises from there being several (or more) William Williams’

John Haynes (alias Burrows) 1838-1925

One of the biggest risks of taking information about ancestors from a website is that, no matter how well sourced the source is, there is always room for errors. I’ve used one particular website for Northamptonshire relatives for years… but only recently did it occur to me to check for the all important baptism (which

Finding Selina

Locating ancestors can sometimes be a tricky business.  Some ancestors leave next to no paper trail whereas others leave plenty of breadcrumbs to follow. 9 years ago, after finding my great great grandmother, Selina Haynes, I hit a brick wall.  I could find no trace of her after the 1901 census. I often came back

Sourcing your family tree – the most important thing you can do!

I started researching my family history 9 years ago.  I was 20 years old.  I was young, naïve and useless at crediting my sources. In the last 9 years I’ve changed family tree programmes; I’ve changed laptops and along the way I’ve lost sources I thought I had credited elsewhere. I’m feeling very deflated at

The Life of Joseph Bruce

On 21st January 1911, a burial took place.  It was the burial of a man I have become quite fond of.  A man I have always felt a strong connection with.  It’s hard to explain such connections to people who don’t get completely absorbed in the lives of their ancestors. I may never have met

5 things every genealogist needs

I took a break from researching my family history for 3.5 years.  It was much needed time away because coming back, I’m seeing things from a different angle.  In the past 2 weeks I’ve broken down 2 brick walls and I have the feeling there are more to follow. Breaking down my genealogical brick walls

#MissingMonday – Richard Morris Evans

I started my family history research 9 years ago.  I hit a stumbling block in my paternal line within weeks.  Researching the Evans surname in a high frequency area was an exceptionally difficult task. My great grandfather is Edward Evans.  He was born on 3rd August 1893 in Treharris, Glamorgan.  His parents were Richard Evans

Ancestor Biographies – Leah ATTEWELL

Leah Attewell was born around September 1856 in Shirenewton, Monmouthshire, as the second child of Jacob Attewell and Rebecca Jones. She had four siblings, namely: William Thomas, Charles, George Isaac, and William Jesse. She died during the 1st quarter of 1944 in Cardiff, Glamorgan. When she was 24, She married William Dunn in the 4th

Carter, Clerk, Station Agent or Master?

The Davidson branch of my tree reached a stalemate for a long time in the latter half of the 19th Century. Having discovered that the man I was looking for was born in Scotland, I wasn’t sure what I could do next or where to search next.  Recently, with help of another relative and a

The problem with Seamen….

I fear I’m not going to be able to start this story at the beginning of old George’s life because the journey of discovery started at his death. George Henry Hazell died in 1939 in Newport.  His death was registered as George H. Hazell in the 3rd quarter of 1939.  His age at the registration

What happened to Kate? – An Update

A few weeks ago I posted about a family brick wall in “What happened to Kate?“. Within the post I described the mystery surrounding her disappearance; it really was a case of ‘now you see me, now you don’t!’ Kate Bown, the daughter of Henry Pagett Bown and Ann Blakesley, married a Scottish tailor, James