Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Fresh Links

I've been using for a couple of years now and I had started to become a little disheartened that nobody on there seemed to be researching any of my ancestors. Shared information and research is a real gift when looking into your family tree. So I slogged on alone.

A couple of weeks ago, however, I was contacted by an individual through Ancestry who is related to the Lockwood branch of my family. I now have names for certain unknown photographs and I've also managed to fill out the life story of one of the Lockwoods.

I've spoken of William Lockwood before on this blog. From census information, I found out that he and his sons worked as gardeners on the estate of a merchant called James Taylor. In the current day, the Lockwoods garden nurseries are located on the same site. From servant/tenants to land and business owners is a wonderful story of family progress.

Fingers crossed I can make more links through photographs and documents I have.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

1911 Census again

You can now view summary books for the 1911 census in England and Wales on The summary includes the following information:

  • head of each household
  • how many people were recorded in that home, split into male and female
  • address
  • type of residence (e.g. house, shop)

and as with the full census reports, you can view the names of neighbours on the same page.

Apparently several women are missing from the Welsh census records for 1911 because of a suffragette boycott of the census - interesting but rather annoying if you're searching for Welsh relatives from 1911.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Dead end?

These are my paternal grandparents, Lydia and Charles Roberton at the door to the house that my father grew up in, just outside Balloch on Loch Lomond-side.

My father had always talked of his mother's great love for her church and the fact that she and her father, Robert Whittaker, had been instrumental in starting the church, St Mungo's Episcopal Church in Alexandria.

Last year I decided to see if I could find any further information on their involvement with the church. I had my grandmother's obituary and a service sheet from the church at the time of her death which talked of her devotion to the church, how she had travelled there on foot from Balloch, and how much she would be missed.

I wrote to the priest-in-charge, Reverend Sarah Gorton, telling her about my grandmother and her father and asked if there was any mention of them in church records. Reverend Gorton kindly wrote back to me with the bad news that the church records she held unfortunately did not go back that far. She suggested contacting the library in Alexandria which I did. Unfortunately they could find no records linking my grandmother and her father to the church either.

So at the moment, I'm a little stumped as to where else I could search for this information. I'm sure it's there, somewhere. I just don't know where that 'somewhere' could be. I suppose this is the problem when trying to fill in the gaps in the lives of ordinary people. There sometimes just aren't written records to draw from or if there are they take a lot of finding.

The other mystery I have regarding this side of the family is connected with this photograph (below).

I can clearly see my grandmother sat on the front row, left of centre, in the dark clothing. I think the man sat centrally and to her right is her father, Robert and that the woman sat to his right, is his wife, Jane, my great grandmother. I don't even know what this gathering of people signifies. Could it be to do with the church at Alexandria?

Some brain racking is in order while I work out what to do next.