Saturday, May 9, 2009

Suffolk Ancestors

Thomas Scoggins and Elizabeth Lloyd had 11 children between 1777 and 1800. I have just discovered the marriage of Mary their daughter who was born in 1796. Mary was the last one to be discovered. I have accounted for all eleven children now. Ten of them survived to adulthood and married. William I believe was killed in the Napoleon Wars in 1815. Their average age at death was 77 years. Elizabeth and Deborah lived to near 100 years old. It must be assume that our ancestors lived to old age unless we can prove otherwise. They all remained in East Suffolk except for Richard who lived in London. The Ipswich Journal reported the death of Deborah. Some of the facts do not jive with what the records say.
Ipswich Journal; Feb 8, 1889: Whitton: Death of a Centenarian. Last week there died at Whitton an old lady who had reached the patriorenial age of 100 years, named Deborah Baker. The widow of Thomas Baker, a carpenter of Claydon. Mrs Baker who was the daughter of a small farmer, named Scogings was born at Badingham in November, 1788 and was the youngest of thirteen children. The old lady had been a widow 45 years and had eleven children of whom only three survive. Mrs. Baker retained the use of her faculties to within a few weeks of her death. and could also sew, &c, three months ago. She was a small woman active very simple in her manners and mode of living, and it is said a total abstainer for many years. Mrs. Baker was related to Mrs. Edwards, of Baylham, who has attained her hundredth year.

The most important clues in identifying them came from the census records. The fact that Scoggins is a relatively uncommon name and they lived to the census years when the parish of birth was recorded became invaluable clues. English research is a challenge in that death records do not record that parents names. Marriage records after 1837 only record the father’s name and those before 1837 only record witnesses. Mary mentioned above married in Little Blakenham in 1816. That is about 20 miles from Badingham. It is only three miles from where her two other sisters, Deborah and Elizabeth married and lived. A witness at Mary’s marriage was Robert Fenning. Robert Fenning is the husband of Elizabeth. It becomes obvious that we must search for clues in every record we can find. Relying on parish registers alone is not enough.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Church Records

I am often looking at church records of England. I could not do much research without them. As the nineteenth century marched on it becomes apparent that the Church of England was not dominating the religious scene. I am finding fewer of my ancestors in the parish registers as the century moves on. I can find them in the census records and civil registration indexes but not in the parish registers. Few post 1837 nonconformist records have been filmed. Civil registration started in 1837 and becomes the source for documenting people at a price of about $11 per certificate.
After 1876 it is not possible to view Swiss records. Their closure policy is currently at 135 years. That really puts a damper on finding cousins. If they want people to find a new excitement about researching in Switzerland they may want to make that a 80 year closure policy. Those church record before 1876 can be purchased on CD.
I find it interesting that I can find filmed LDS Church records prior to 1907 for members of the church in Switzerland, but in Utah I cannot find them. 1907 appears to be the year that the church started a new record keeping system. Of course there were many fewer members to keep track of in Switzerland than Utah. My great grandfather, Gottfried Jaggi, joined the Church in Switzerland on February 25, 1889 and there is a record of him and for every member of the Solothurn branch going back to the 1850’s. For members of the LDS church anywhere in the world there is a church census that was taken at 5 and 10 year intervals between 1910 to 1960.