Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pension Returns WO22

When I was at the National Archives of England I made it a point to check pension returns WO22. This record is available from 1842 to 1862. This set of record records the death of a pensioner and if he moved to a new district. I had John Ridley’s death certificate which stated he died in September 8, 1845 in Brampton. I checked WO22/15 in Carlisle district and found John Ridley. This record verified that my John Ridley was indeed the same John Ridley found in the 7th Regiment of Foot. I also have another ancestor to check in these records, David Auchterlonie. He died in 1861 right after the census. In the 1861 census is says he was a Chelsea Pensioner. There is no other record that mentions anything about military service. There are some clues that he was in the military. He was over 35 when he first married and there is no record of his first marriage. When I find him in WO22 in the Edinburgh district returns for 1861 it will tell me what regiment he served in and then I will be able to recreate his military service and perhaps find the missing marriage record. He lived in Kirkcaldy, Scotland. The reference book that I am using is My Ancestor was in the British Army.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Hand Cart Pioneer William Scogings 1859

The journey of my handcart pioneer, William Bye Scogings, was recorded in journals. From the time he got on the ship in Liverpool till the time he arrived in Salt Lake City there are accounts of the trip. Some of the journals have been partially transcribed and are at the Church Archives website. While on the journey he is mentioned many times by name.
June 18 McIntyre, Thomas, Journal
We have a thunder storm this morning preventing us from starting out early. We try it at 11 o’clock[.] the roads are soft and many pools of water are formed[.] On the roads we make circutious routes to avoid them which makes it very tedious travelling. We reach a place about 5 o’clock tired and weary called "Cleveland" Travelled 10 miles[.] Our little trials are finished off today by the pesty mosquitoes. Prayer by Wm Scroggins.

Smith, John Young, [Diary],
August 14. Sabbath morning. Call to a general meeting when we are addressed by captains of Gen. Br. Scroggins thinks the Sisters are too familiar with Strangers of Gentile and Apostate Trains that we meet and instructs the Saints concerning the Sin of Selfishness . . Time is given to the saints to bear testimony, and a good time is enjoyed.

When they arrived in Salt Lake City there was quite a celebration:
Deseret News; Sept 7, 1859, page 4: News from Utah: Arrival of the handcart company.-- On Friday evening, Mr. J. Harvey arrived from Bridger with the intelligence that Capt. Rowley, with the handcart company, would arrive near the city, Saturday evening, but would not come in till Monday morning. About 2 p.m., on Suuday, a messenger arrived from Elder Benson, who went out to there camp in the morning, announcing that the company were so anxious to come in that Capt. Rowley had resolved to accede to their wishes, and they would arrive at five o'clock. Immediately every house and vehicle in the city was seemingly in motion, conveying those who were anxious to witness the egress of the company from the kanyon in that direction. Within a few minutes of the designated time, the company arrived, escorted by two or three bands of music and a vast concourse of citizens of all grades and professions, and passing through the streets lined with anxious spectators, went to Union Square, accompanied by the thousands that joined the escort as they passed along. It was certainly a stirring scene, and such a one as has not been witnessed for some time past by this community, calling forth many expressions from the beholders, mostly of the joy, but some of detestation that human beings would endure so much, leave their houses in foreign lands, traverse the seas, and cross the deseret plains with handcarts, all for their religion. The liberality of the Saints was abundantly manifest on the occasion by the amount and variety of the provisions that were provided through the Bishops of the several Wards for the wayworn emmigrants composing the company, who were thus made welcome to these once, and will be again, ere long, peaceful vales; for surely "Mormonism," so called, is not dead, as some have supposed; and truth, seemingly crushed to earth, will rise again, although it has not in these days been overcome.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

IGI and Research

My aunt did a lot of genealogy work some 40 to 50 years ago. Now as I build onto the tree I can see some of the mistakes. She connected with cousins in England and Australia. It was through correspondence that she obtained much of her information. Back then there was no internet or computers. The latest England census to be released was 1871 and there were no indexes. Those mistakes which seem so obvious today were not so obvious 50 years ago. One particular mistake that I find is that many people who were not born in Badingham are recorded as being born there. That is where the family had lived a generation prior. One family who lived in London has all the children as being born in Badingham. I’ve even seen a few people created out of thin air.

I can now go through and correct all the mistakes except in a couple places. The IGI is set in stone. Therein lies the comments that I have heard about the IGI being unreliable. A distinction needs to be made between member submissions and the record extractions. Any member submission should be verified with a record. That should be a lesson for us today. We better have a record to substantiate a claim. Our mistakes may outlive us and perhaps many generations to come.

Those of us who research on a regular basis know the differences but the casual researcher may not catch on so easily and repeat those errors over again. If no record can be found it may not be best to publish it where it cannot be so easily changed. The IGI is a place to put your names if you want your names to be known for generations to come. The larger it gets the more value it has to the genealogist.

Prior to 1991 there are IGI submission forms that have been microfilmed. These forms tell you who submitted the information and sometimes even sources of information.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

National Archives of Scotland

The purpose of going to Scotland was to connect to the homeland of my Scottish Ancestors and access so many of the records that were not available in Salt Lake City. It has been over 10 years since I first visited. I went to New Register House paid a fee and was able to look at births, deaths, and marriages on microfiche and get copies. That was before the time of ScotlandsPeople website. Now for less than $2 I can search the databases and buy a certificate. It is the same for census records. Within minutes it appears on my computer screen. Probate records prior to 1900 can now be searched and bought for less than $8.
A highlight of the visit was to the National Archives of Scotland. Those records referred to in the book, Tracing your Scottish Ancestors were accessible. I’m not referring to microfilm copies. The original documents are available for inspection. I obtained many copies of records. I looked at voter rolls, various tax records, Kirk Session, and church records other than the Church of Scotland. i.e. Antiburgher, United Presbyterian, Free Church, Catholic. I might add that they still are not available online.
I found a set of records only referred to in ‘Militia Lists and Musters 1757-1876’. The author of this booklet noted that he had not examined this set of records. I was quite surprised to find an extensive collection of militia lists mainly from the 1802, 1808 time period for Kirkcudbright County. I have created a website for some of these records.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hand Cart Pioneer from Lullington England

My pioneer ancestor, Susan Page, came to Utah in 1860 with a handcart company. She was born in Lullington, which has the distinction of being the smallest parish in England. Lullington was a small community of laborers. The Cruckmere River separates Alfriston from Lullington. The Alfriston parish church sits right next to the river and is about a quarter-mile from the Lullington parish church. The picture postcard shows the Alfriston parish church. The Lullington parish church is out of view off to the right. The picture appears to be taken from the vicinity of the Litlington parish church. My ancestors can be found in these three parishes. Today Alfriston is an attraction with hotels and a feel for the past. Alfriston was the main town in the area where many tradesman worked. Life was very hard for the laborers. The book, Crime and Disorder in Late Georgian Alfriston, paints a bleak picture of the laboring class. After 1815 when the Napoleon wars had ended, the plight of the working man became quite hard all over Britain. The change in the poor law in 1834-35 forced the most destitute into work houses instead of outdoor relief. Crime was on the rise. You might even find your ancestors in the quarter sessions records. For the smallest of crime men were transported to Australia or given hard labor. Old post cards provide a look into the past. I found these and many others at a Brighton shop.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Switzerland Recherswil 1850 Census

My surname, Jaggi, originates from Recherswil which is a short distance from Solothurn. One might think that Jaggi is a rare surname. The 1850 census of Recherswil reveals that 1/3rd of the town has the Jaggi surname. Solothurn is worth a visit as it is Switzerland’s finest Baroque Town. It also has a good archive for the Kanton. I found my Ancestors in the 1850 census. Yes there is an 1850 census for the Kanton. I had to take pictures of it with my camera since the books are so large. The census records the wife’s maiden name. It also records occupations. I was quite surprised that the Bern archives has no census records. I came away from the Bern Archives with copies of picture postcards of my ancestors home towns. Try making a google search for census records in Switzerland. I found nothing but vague reference to these records. Is there a reference book anywhere that tells one what census records are available for each place in Switzerland?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Ahnentafel Organizing digital files with folders

I have organized my genealogy into 22 surname folders. In each surnames folder I created additional family folders that are broken down into family groups. The example shows Peter&Maria 10-11. Peter is 10 and Maria is 11. The ahnentafel system has males as even numbers and spouses are obtained by adding one number. The ahnentafel numbers for each generation back from Peter doubles so it is easy to see each generation. If you have hundreds of documents to organize it certainly helps to have a way to organize them. Not shown in the diagram are the folders within each family group. This is where all the files are stored, such as, certificates, census, probate, pictures. Once this system is established it is set in stone because it is from here that all the files are linked to a genealogy program with sources and transcriptions. If any of the folder names change then they will no longer be linked to the sources and transcriptions in the program. Every person has their own number. As a matter of simplicity I have started with my parents instead of myself, so I have two sets of ahnentafel numbers

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

John Ridley 7th Regiment of Foot

When Ann Ridley died in 1879 in Dalbeattie, I obtained her parents names from the death certificate. Her father was John Ridley, a blacksmith and her mother was Jane Mills. From the census and IGI I was able to identify her christening entry in the Brampton parish registers. John Ridley died in 1845. I found the family in the 1841 census. John Ridley’s occupation was listed as Army ?. ? was a O, D, or a P. I figured it would be worth a look to see if I could find him in the army pension records. There is a partial index of WO120 online (WO represents War Office Records) I found him in the pension records rather quickly. He was in the 7th Regiment of Foot (Royal Fusiliers). The pension record is insightful. The record indicates that he was born in Brampton in 1778. The pension record is the only record I have that records his place of birth. I now know that he was in the Army for 17 years. He joined in 1804 and was discharged to pension in 1821. He was 54 inches high and had blue eyes. He was wounded at Albuera and Orthes. These are battles that took place during the Peninsular War. Albuera was the bloodiest battle in the war. From a newspaper account I learned that 62 men were killed and 262 were wounded in that battle from the regiment. The regiment fought in numerous battles and even was at New Orleans in 1815. In 1824 he married Jane Mills. Jane was 17 years younger and out lived him by 40 years. An age difference is an indication that the man may have been preoccupied with the war.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Craignair Club Barre Vermont

The club represented a connection between Barre and Dalbeattie. That connection was the granite works of which both communities thrived on. Craignair was the name of a quarry near Dalbeattie.

Barre Daily Times November 1, 1905
Sons and Daughters of "Auld Dalbeattie"
Sing her Praises and Talk Over Times
"When We Were Boys and Girls"

Noo let is toast Da'beattie boast Her honest workingmen. May they hae health as weel as wealth, Nae sorrow may they ken. It makes me prood that auld Fate should Sa luckily decree. That I might claim the priceless fame 0' bein' bred in thee.
This was the sentiment that ruled the third annual gathering of the sons and daughters of old Dalbeattie in the old Masonic hall last evening under the name of the Craignair club. There were fully 50 in the party, and the praises of "Auld Dalbeattie" were told in song and story.
The company was welcome to this gathering by the president of the club, James Campbell, who after a few brief remarks called on various members for toasts and songs. This part of the evening's exercises was carried out as follows Song, Thomas Graham; original poem by Mrs. John Buchanan, entitled, "A Dream o' Auld Dalbeattie." Toast to Dalbeattie, Samuel Carswell.
Mr. Carswell gave some reminiscences of the days when he was a boy in Dalbeattie which were very interesting and entertaining as well as amusing. Song, John J. Mckenzie; Toast, Co'en, James Rowan; Song, John Craik; Toast, City of Barre, J.J. Mckenzie; Song, James Rowan; Recitation, Mrs. Thomas Carson; Toast, The Ladies, Thomas Graham; Song, Charles T. Campbell; Toast, Success to the Craignair Club, Thomas G. Carswell.
There was dancing to music by George Angus' orchestra, and a bountiful feast served at 10 by Mrs. Maiden. The table were handsomely decorated, there being a special potted tree in front of President Campbell which was brought from Craignair, and at each plate was a sprig of heather but recently brought over. Both tree and heather were brought over by Mrs. James Campbell.
At midnight there were hallowe'en games and tricks which added much to the fun of the occasion.
Among those present were: Mr. and Mrs. James Campbell, Mr. and Mrs James Rowan, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Carswell, Mr. and Mrs. John Stewart, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel McKnight, William Copeland of Northfield, Mr. and Mrs. John Gilbertson, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Carswell, Mr. and Mrs. Thos. G. Carswell, Jas. Monaghan, John Craik, Mr. and Mrs. Charles T Campbell, Mr. and Mrs. J.J. Mckenzie, Thomas Graham, Mr. and Mrs, Joseph Graham, Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Carson, Mr. and Mrs. Robt. McKnight, Wm. Neilson, Mrs. John Buchanan, Mr. and Mrs. John Rawley, Mr. and Mrs. David Brown, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Emery, Mrs. Robt. Mckenzie, Mrs. Jas. Bainbridge, Mrs. Hannah ? Smith, Mrs. Henry Hay, Mrs. John Panton.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Familienschein Switzerland

When I was in Switzerland in 2006 I made it a point to visit the Zivilstandsamt. Now many of the Gemeinde records have been deposited in a central location, so it is not necessary to travel in out of the way places to find them. A familienschein is a record of a complete family all on one page with reference to the sons familienschein and the daughters marriages. I went to the office with a family group sheet printed in German and wrote on the top of the page, “Ich Mochte familienschein”. I did not speak German. It is not a good idea to rely on someone speaking English, as I found out. I showed them my group sheet and a woman went and got these old books. I was able to get three generations starting with Hans Christen who was born in 1755; then Ulrich his son born in 1799; then Peter his son who was born in 1834. As you look at these records one can easily see the depth these records have to offer. I ask to get a copy of one of my uncle relations before 1800 and they said I could not look. It cost me $150 for those three generations, which was three pages. They charge by how many children are in a family. In total there were 26 children, you do the math. I have found misinformation about the availability and access to these records, so I was happy to gather quite a few of these records. This discussion will continue later.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Suffolk County Poor Law

While at the Institute of Genealogy in Salt Lake City I learned that the inventories of parish records are online. These inventories include settlements, removals, taxes, bastardy records, etc. What is most interesting to know is that the names of people in these records are online. Unfortunately, the Record Office does not have any records for Badingham. They are adding records on a continuing basis so perhaps they will be added soon. A nearby market town, Framlingham, has an extensive collection of these records. Each person had a parish of settlement. This parish was responsible for taking care of the poor relief. Records were created that settled people in a parish or removed them from a parish they were not welcome in due to financial need. These records can offer details that you will not find anywhere else. If you find someone of interest you can order the document from the Suffolk Record Office. There is an excellent booklet on England parish poor law, 'The Handy Book of Parish Law.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Newspaper - Ipswich Journal - Poor Law

I have been searching for my Scoggins ancestry in the Ipswich Journal. They lived in Badingham. Numerous newspapers in England have been indexed and digitized from 1800 to 1900, the Ipswich Journal being one of them. This index is at various institutions in Britain and the United States. It is at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. It was during the 1834 to 1835 time frame that the poor law was changing and the laboring class were not happy with it. My ancestors were laborers, so I can assume that they may have been in this crowd causing havoc.
Stradbroke. Dec 24 1835. – As might naturally be expected the tumultuous occurrences which took place last week in Ipswich, have spread their contigious influence amongst the pauper population of the adjoining districts. Some labourers of the parish of Baddingham, in the Hoxne hundred assembled together on Sunday evening, and between 11 and 12 o’clock at night showered a quantity of stones at the sleeping room window of Mr. Pooley, the Guardian of the parish. And (doubtless in the expectation that Mr. Pooley would approach the window), a huge stone weighing 1 ¾ lb. was shortly after thrown in. They then broke the keeping room windows. In the morning of Monday, a horn was blowing as early as four o’clock, and the rioters having mustered all their strength, forcibly pressed into their ranks all the labourers they could find, proceeded to Laxfield in order still more to increase in numbers, and about mid-day marched into Stradbroke, four abreast, armed with bludgeous and club sticks, and about two hundred in number, and drew up before the Queen’s head Inn, where the Board of Guardians was sitting....

The magistrate was able to disarm the leaders and break up the rebellion. This index of the British newspapers is a powerful resource. I have been able to view the actual newspaper and save those articles that interest me. I have found numerous references to the Scoggins surname pertaining to quarter sessions, sale of land, marriages, and history as it pertained to the region and the time. There is an excellent booklet on England parish poor law, 'The Handy Book of Parish Law

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Scoggins, Scogings England Probate

Due to the uncommon surname of ‘Scoggins’ I have been able to extract every person with that surname and its variants from the England national probate index which started in 1858. Prior to 1858 it is necessary to check various court records to find a probate record. The different spellings in the index are as follows: Scoggin, Scoggins, Scogging, Scoging, Scoggings, Scogings, Scroggins. Scoggins is the most common spelling. From 1858 to 1900 there were 15 probated records; of those, I can connect 7 of those people to my tree. From 1900 to 1945 there are 50 probated records. The most consistent family to hand down wealth in my tree was that of Isaac Scoggins who was a farmer in Laxfield. He had numerous children and they can be found in the probate indexes. The most useful probate record was that of Jarvis Scoggins who died in 1866. He never had children so he left his property to other relatives which are named in the will. The index entry reads as follows: “The Will of Jarvis Scoggins late Friston in the County of Suffolk Yeoman deceased who died on the 10 January 1866 at Friston aforesaid was proved at Ipswich by the oaths of Isaac Scoggins of Laxfield in the county aforesaid Farmer the Brother Jarvis Scoggins of Laxfield aforesaid Farmer the Nephew and Isaac Crisp of Friston aforesaid Fisherman the Executors, Effects under £200.” If you want to know if your Scoggins ancestor is in the index email me.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Finding Ancestors in a Scottish Parish

I have visited the parish of Urr a couple of times over the years. I found the gravestones of Robert Mckenzie and William McNaught who are my ancestors in the churchyard. I also went to the National Archives of Scotland and looked at other records that relate to the parish. I found voter rolls, and militia rolls for the parish. The best reference book available is, “Tracing your Scottish Ancestors” This book was published by the Scottish Record Office which is now known as the ‘National Archives of Scotland’, it has the reference numbers and records types which makes it easy to navigate the Archives. My ancestor, Robert Mckenzie, had a long lease on land in the parish at a place called, Auchennines. Auchennienes was 220 acres of land directly east of Dalbeattie bordering on the parish of Kirkgunzeon. I did not find him in the the sasine records since he was leasing the land as many farmers did. I found Robert Mckenzie in the Kirkgunzeon horse tax of 1799. He is not in the parish registers. He died in 1838 and his estate was probated in 1841 at Castle Douglas. He died without a will, so the document is referred to as testament-dative. I have an inventory of his property, and a comment in the record which refers to the executor, John Mckenzie, as being the only son of Robert Mckenzie. John Mckenzie, my ancestor, was born in the parish in 1804. His birth is not in the parish register. A book about the parish of Urr was published in 1909 and reprinted in 1993. It is, The Parish of Urr, Civil and Ecclesiastical: A History

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Utah, United States
I have been researching for over 25 years.