Colin Hicks' Family History Newsletter: December 1996
I have produced this shorter report for 1996 covering all my family history researches across the whole tree because relatively little has changed in the material which I would circulate if I followed the pattern of previous years. The progress which I have made during 1996 has been in very detailed areas which should bear fruit in future years in pushing the tree back a generation or two in particular branches. To make much further progress, it is necessary to visit various Record Offices scattered around the country as set out below. If you live near any of them, offers of help would be appreciated! I summarise below progress in the main lines.
Nothing significantly new on Hicks, Money, or Taylor despite plenty of contacts with other researchers. Hicks needs to be pursued back in Bitton, probably by researching all the (many) Hicks lines in Bitton in the last century and by further visits to the Bristol Record Office. I have made contact with other Money researchers but, despite their help in consolidating the late 1800 dates, have found nothing to help me further back with the Norfolk Money line. Work in the Norfolk Record Office will be needed.
During the year my wife and I made a long-planned visit to Cornwall to research the Palmer line which we knew was connected with Egloskerry, a small village west of Launceston. We visited several small villages including Egloskerry and then went to the Cornwall Record Office and to the Cornwall Family History Society Library in Truro. After we had worked in both places with some success, (and spent some days sightseeing) we decided it would be helpful to stop off in Tavistock, Devon on the way back. There an exhaustive search of marriages in parishes on the Devon side of the Cornwall-Devon border finally struck gold when we found John Palmer (yeoman of Egloskerry, Cornwall) marrying Susannah Alford in Milton Abbott, Devon on 3 May 1814. These two days of research confirmed another generation back. We have found Susannah's parents (William Alford and Mary Martyn) as well as her birth on 9 October 1789 in Lawhitton, Cornwall. Unfortunately all we know about the origins of John Palmer is that he was born outside of Cornwall in about 1782. A lot more work (and good luck) will be needed to take this branch of the family further back - John Palmer is a relatively common name and we do not have a clue about the names of his parents or where he was born other than "outside Cornwall". He is my great-great-great-great-grandfather.
No further progress on this part of the family tree.
I had waited for two years for the 1881 Census Index for Middlesex to appear, hoping that it would identify clearly George Hargrave, and give me his age and place of birth. He is my great-great-grandfather and all I have about him so far is his marriage in 1861 and his name on my great-grandfather's birth certificate - in both places he is listed as a compositor and on the former he is stated to be a widower (i.e. he was married at least once before, and his most recent wife had died). When the Middlesex section finally appeared in July this year, I rushed to search it but it did not have a completely convincing candidate for this George Hargrave. The best one (and very promising) is a widower living alone in a lodging house in the right area who is a compositor and is of the right kind of age (i.e. old enough to have married for the second time in 1861). This candidate was born in Edmonton, Middlesex in about 1820. I have now begun a search of the relevant records for Edmonton but without any success - it has a lot of Anglican churches and we cannot even be sure that this candidate was christened in an Anglican church.
I had hoped to find Margaret Fitzgerald in the 1881 Census (as above) with George Hargrave under her married name of Margaret Hargrave. However she may have died 1864-1881 because the best candidate for George Hargrave (see above) was a widower in 1881. There is not much hope of finding her in the 1871 Census (as there is no national index) so I badly need a slice of luck to crack this one open. Instead the next step is the long search for all deaths of people called Margaret Hargrave between 1864 and 1881. I will have to hope that one obvious candidate appears and that her death certificate will have useful information on it (for example if she died after 1866 it should give her age at death).
Even more frustratingly, so far I have not managed to track down my great-grandfather, Edmund (Fitz)Gerald Hargrave (son of George and Margaret Hargrave), in the 1881 Census Index. This is despite searching all the counties in and bordering London. Now I will widen the 1881 search to cover the entire Census Index (county by county). I was convinced that he would be found near London in 1881 because he was born in Middlesex in 1864 and married in Middlesex in 1892. If only I could track him down in the 1881 (or 1871) Census it should help me a great deal. Perhaps he was out of the country, possibly even serving abroad in the Army or Navy. You will see from this that the Hargrave line before 1900 continues to be very difficult to track down.
I have exchanged information with another person interested in the Rowley family of Much Hadham (and Widford) which might lead to tracing the Rowley line back to 1750 but this still needs to be confirmed [Note added 3 December 1996 - this lead does not look as promising as it did a few weeks ago] To make further progress on the Rowley and Want lines, I will need to make some further visits to the Hertfordshire Record Office.
I have all of these lines a good way back and have made no real further progress on any of this section except for Whitford where work has continued with several collaborators. We are trying to assemble a family tree of all (known) descendants of Thomas Whitford ( born about 1767, and described in 1782 as "a poor child of the Parish of Alcester"). Too help in this, we have now compiled a full list of all births, deaths, and marriages in England and Wales (outside Devon and Cornwall) with the Whitford surname in the period 1837-1940. We have also continue assembling other Whitford events including christenings, burials, wills, Census entries, local Directories, telephone directories etc. Feedback on any occurrences of the name Whitford would be appreciated (ancient or modern). Work is needed in the Northamptonshire Record Office among others.
A side note of historical family interest: When my daughter Joanna Katharine Hicks marries James Robert Carpenter in New Road Baptist Church on 4 January 1997, she will be walking the same aisle which was trod by her distant Whitford relative, Alfred Whitford, who married Mary Ann Green there on 17 October 1861.
Payne-Taylor-Hunte-Gregory and Stoute-????-Hall-????
No further progress on this part of the family tree apart from getting a copy of the wedding picture of Thomas and Gladys taken on their marriage on 8 February 1913 in Barbados. The picture has been scanned in to produce these separate portraits. I have had lots of contacts over the Internet from a West Indies Genealogy List which has my interests entered, but nothing has yet borne fruit in extending any of these lines further back. A trip to Barbados sometime?
No further significant progress, apart from getting copies of these photographs of Eli and Minnie who were married on 24 August 1908 in Trowbridge, Wilts. Eli was photographed in uniform as he went off to fight in France (he died there) In the original photograph, Minnie is looking down at her two daughters. Further visits to the Wiltshire Record Office in Trowbridge are needed to push these lines further back.
Not much progress on Hayward, Toop or Millard this year after dramatic progress on the Toop line last year. However, travelling back from our visit to Cornwall in August, we stopped off for the afternoon at the Somerset Record Office in Taunton where my wife helped with an intensive and fruitful search for members of the Sumption/Sumsion family in the vicinity of Bath in the last century. This relatively unusual surname is up my wife's tree and I am searching for information on the birth and parents of John Sumsion - a stonemason who was born in Coombe, Somerset (probably Monckton Coombe) in about 1791. He married Ann Silverthorn in Trowbridge, Wiltshire on 21 July 1817. Despite finding lots of people called Sumption/Sumsion who were stonemasons and/or quarrymasters, we did not find any candidate for our John Sumption/Sumsion - the search continues. I am in touch with several Sumption/Sumsion researchers including one contact made by overhearing a conversation in the St Catherine's House about the oddity of a name like "Salathiel Sumsion". More visits to the Somerset Record Office in Taunton are needed.
I have been engaged in extensive correspondence during the year with other family historians including people studying the Money families of Norfolk, the Palmer families of Cornwall, the Payne families of Barbados, the Sumption/Sumsion families of Somerset, and the Rowley and Want families of Hertfordshire. Much of this correspondence has been conducted over the Internet by e-mail. I have lodged my family tree with a number of international databases which people can search on-line and which they then follow up by e-mailing me directly. This is producing several enquiries by e-mail each week most of which draw a blank, but one or two a month prove to be useful either by establishing a direct connection or by pooling information on the same name in the same area. Many thanks to those who have notified me of births, deaths and marriages in the family during the year. They have all been logged in the family history database which now includes nearly 4000 names (if anyone wants a copy of the database or any detailed information please let me know). ......and for all those of you who have wondering what Elizabeth and I look like, here are photographs of us. We were married on 26 August 1967 so will be celebrating our thirtieth wedding anniversary in 1997.
1 December 1996