Sunday, December 7, 2014

Continuing Break

I am continuing to take a break from genealogy. I have relocated my working area to permit me to have more area in which to spread out my work in terms of books being open for long period, charting by hand and just sitting and reading quietly on genealogy. I intend to spend less time on my computer and get back to doing some other interesting items that have passed me by this past ten years like reading and knitting.

However, I will continue with the Blake and Pincombe one name studies at the Guild but also want to do some work on my other surnames which I have registered with The Surname Society. My only real commitments are three newsletters - the Blake Newsletter published quarterly Jan, Apr, Jul and Oct, my Canada East newsletter published June and December and The Surname Scribbler (The Surname Society Newsletter) published Feb, May, Aug and Nov.

Although I did take back Canada East representative at the Guild of one name studies it will be the same as the way I took it on originally and that was only until someone else wants to take it on. Canada East is much too large an area to even consider being able to manage all of it.

I hope to return to blogging in the New Year and in the meantime Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

I have agreed to speak at the January meeting of the OGS Ottawa Branch on Surname Studies (and I will also mention Place Studies because of my own good luck with thoroughly learning about Bishops Nympton and Upper Clatford). Knowing one's village of ancestry in terms of the people who live there can give one a much better picture of one's own ancestors - where they lived, what they did and all their sibling lines coming down from the beginning of the Parish Registers and if land ownership was involved then back into the Manor Books to learn even more. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Another 1200 plus entries to the Probate Index and more to come

I submitted another 1200 plus entries to the Probate Index with another 250 thus far. I will finish with this next block of wills. There are about 35 wills left to index which brings me up to date.

I rather think that I will continue with working on family trees for these Blake families for whom I have so much probate material along with online Parish Records and Census. I think that is the greatest value to my Blake study.

I also want to get back to working on the trees for the Pincombe family to see if I can verify all of that information collected by the early Pincombe study at the Guild. The frustration of the yDNA results will just have to sit in the background for a while until I have enough testers in the Pincombe families to really triangulate the results. There are two different haplogroups in the Pinkham family thus far.

Now that I have been away from my dedicated work on the Blake family these past couple of years I am looking at it with a slightly different perspective. This also results from the formation of The Surname Society where I have a number of my 3x great grandparent lines entered as research studies. All of these lines interest me and I do not do world wide studies on The Surname Society. One can do either; which ever suits your purpose in genealogy.

So I am back to thinking of working on wills four of the seven days in a week for three week intervals and then the end of the month I will work on Tree Reconstruction (as well as on each Saturday). Monday is research on my 4x great grandparents and Wednesday is research on my grandchildren's 4x great grandparents.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Probate Index of Blake Wills

I have over the past couple of years contributed 4057 line entries to the Probate Index at the Guild of One Name Studies. Time has moved too quickly this past year and I am still back in early December 2013 preparing the probate index which I submit. I am up to 403 lines once again and usually submit around 500 lines at a time. There are probably another two sets of 500 still to do. I decided this would be a good method of getting back into my research into the Blake family. Three months away has blurred the work that I was doing but on the other hand does give me a fresh perspective.

Doing our 2nd google hangout for The Surname Society brought to mind once again how I maintain all this information I am busily collecting. Reminding me that I had not submitted anything to the Probate Index for a very very long time. This is one of the perks of membership in the Guild of One Name Studies.

I have also transcribed a number of other interesting documents besides wills and I am contemplating doing a name index including the reference to the document, where it is located and a short summary of what is in the document. That is really the way forward in genealogy for all of us for people to prepare indexes of the material that  they have collected/transcribed. How to store such indexes is a mystery though that needs to be investigated.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

DNA and The Surname Society

As The Surname Society continues to grow, I am convinced that this tool will aid me greatly in my pursuit of my own personal ancestors. I have found a lot of them and do travel back a long way into the past with many of them. The advantage to being a late emigrant to North America and knowing each and every one of their emigration stories, where they came from and why they came.

But even with that much knowledge, I do have a couple of lines that need help and they mostly lie in my maternal mtDNA line and my maternal grandmother's father's male line Buller. I hope to meet more people interested in these particular lines although also welcome anyone interested in my 22 personal surnames and the four surnames of our grandsons' French Canadian lines. Although being on My Heritage has been a real eye opener into those French Canadian lines that are a brickwall as there are so many people searching for that information.

My cousin asked me to test on Ancestry DNA and facilitated that process since the DNA testing is not yet rolled out to Canada officially. I had tested her at FT DNA thinking we might share Buller DNA since we are fifth cousins once removed. But we did not share any DNA at all. However, she had matched a known third cousin once removed to me at Ancestry. So I tested and indeed I did match my third cousin once removed in the 4th to 6th cousin with a Very High Confidence of accuracy. In all I have seven such matches at the 4th to 6th cousins with very high confidence. I can place a second one of the matches as she is my fourth cousin once removed in my Pincombe family lines and is known to me. The other five though are a mystery but they have quite small trees and I am likely looking at 3rd or 4th grandparents as being the likely common ancestors. Plus their ancestry is totally American colonial thus far and I do not have any American colonial ancestors. Indeed my first ancestors did not come to Canada until 1818 and it was the emigrant daughter of this family that married the next emigrant in my lines in 1832 and then 1851 the next emigrant arrived to marry the daughter of this couple. Not again until 1908 did I have another emigrant who married the son of the next couple and she was my maternal grandmother. In 1913 my father arrived with his parents and married the daughter of this last couple. So a very shallow history on this side of the Atlantic.

Ancestry DNA has come up with a very unique way of displaying matches called DNA Circles. I do not have any yet because you need four people to make a circle and thus far I just have the two matches and must wait for others to add to their family trees, make them public or simply actually have a tree on line. I am hopeful though that I may find leads to my two lines that are most puzzling.

I am able to name 28 of my 32 3x great grandparents with 100% accuracy and the other two sets are likely but I would like to have the marriage registration of Edwin Denner Buller and Ellen Taylor and Ellen Taylor's birth registration. Then I would be completely satisfied that Thomas Taylor and Ellen Roberts are indeed my 2x great grandparents  and that Samuel Taylor/Ann Lewis Harborne and Thomas Roberts/Ellen Lawley are my 3x great grandparents. One of the matches (not yet known to me) is quite interesting leading into my grandmother's ancestry but it is my Welch line which is known to me back into the early 1700s.

So hats off to Ancestry for a really great addition to their DNA material.

Slowly trying to work my way back into genealogy but suspect it will be as mentioned earlier into January before I am really back to transcription and blogging on a daily basis.

Sunday, November 9, 2014


Slowly moving ahead with transcription and Valentine Blake's, Clerk at Winchcomb, will of 1615 will be a challenge. It is four pages long with an inventory and somewhat of a scrawl (I believe it is his original writing as these are wills from the Diocese of Bristol). Probably I will not complete it for a few days and I believe I will also work on the Cornwall Blake family at the same time.

The new society "The Surname Society" has my time commitment only for meetings and the newsletter (I will primarily be copyediting other submissions which will mean a much shorter time commitment). That brings to three the number of newsletters that I prepare. My Blake newsletter is short (never more than 2 pages unless someone wants to add something) but all written by me and my Guild of one name Studies newsletter for Eastern Canada (trying for twice a year and again written by me). As I approach 70 (2015) I realize that I must continue to pass on some of my commitments to other like minded people so hope that someone will come forward to take on the Guild for Eastern Canada.

The will of Valentine Blake is rather an interesting one as I do have a Martin Blake married to Catherine Vaughan living at Winchcomb but no son Valentine and the father is said to be David. This information from the Blake Pedigree Chart held at the Swindon and Wiltshire Record Office. I did find a bit of information that gives me a possible date of birth for Valentine Blake. It is the recording of a case where he was a deponent 18 Jun 1612 and it is stated that Valentine has lived at Winchcombe for 15 years and that he was born at Fladbury, Worcestershire and he is aged 50 years. Hence a birth year circa 1562. Interesting that he is a curate at Winchcombe where the Blake family had lived earlier but also concurrent with Valentine's time there. Is he related?

Still working away on my exercises for my back which eats into my genealogy time quite markedly actually. I think that is the secret for recovery. When I tore my rotator cap a little more than ten years ago now I went to about half of a dozen therapy sessions which I found to be absolutely excellent. Being directed in such a way is very very beneficial and then doing those exercises for a number of years and my shoulder is completely healed. I hope the same for my back actually.