When Is A Murder Victim Not A Victim Of Murder?

Fun topic for a mid-week evening quick blog, right?!

I know that I’m not the only one who trawls through newspaper archives searching for mentions of ancestors and other family members. So it was quite the surprise when I first came upon an article – somewhat calmly – stating that a James Holbrow had been killed by an employee of his in Willesden (north west London).

Quite an eye opening find.

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The Killing of George Marsh Halliday

It’s been 3 and a half years since I last wrote about George Marsh Halliday, and the one thing that always remained in the back of my mind was that I couldn’t kill him.

Until today.

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52 Ancestors: Tragedy

It’s been a while since I’ve done a 52 Ancestors post. Not because I haven’t wanted to, just because I’ve had a lot going on of late. But I have time, and this one seemed to match up with some newspaper articles that I’d come across recently in my ever-expanding hunt for Holborow stories.

And the story has nothing whatsoever to do with the Earl’s Romance in the cover photo (the Earl in question there being George Hay, 14th Earl of Kinnoull who is pictured with his [first] wife, Enid Margaret Hamlyn Hamilton-Fellowes – George himself would die aged just 35 of pancreatic cancer) and everything to do with the Heroic Life Sacrifice.

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Everett Payne: The Final Years

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this here, but over the last fortnight or so I’ve been shamelessly copying inspired by a friend to compile a ‘death tree’ to note any scary threads in my ancestors’ causes of death. Suffice to say that my mother’s side really need to be heart healthy – despite there being a number of ‘gaps’ on her American side.

On my search for death certificates, I realised that I hadn’t finished the story about my father’s grandfather, Everett Payne, and nor had I found an online death certificate for him. So I went hunting …

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The Tale of Captain Samuel

I won’t be mad if you quietly sing the Captain Scarlet theme under your breath (but only if you robotically say “and the Mysterons” out loud). Or even Captain Planet, if you’re gonna take pollution down to zero. But I digress. Sometimes you come across people who appear fully-formed in a set of records, whisked into existence as if by magic, because somehow they are where they are, but seem to have been nowhere before this. I suppose you could call this a brick-wall. However, today’s shining example of this isn’t an ancestor of mine – nor I suspect related to me at all – but his story was too extraordinary not to share – in fact, it made the annals of Australian maritime history!

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Jefferson, Harris & Percy, Oh My.

This post contains a guilty secret and an admission of ancient wrongs, since corrected, but whose shadow still lays across the land. If you are British and of a certain age (and, perhaps, of a certain disposition) then you may recognise the person in the above cover image. If you’re none of the above and you do not, it is Lord Percy Percy (played by Tim McInnerny) from television’s Blackadder and is a large clue as to where I am heading …

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Sweet Caroline

I’m back with the Chippenham Holbrows – and more precisely, the section of the family who lived in and around Derry Hill in Wiltshire. Even more precisely, looking at the life of one Caroline Holbrow and the incredible life she must have lived. From humble beginnings in rural Wiltshire, she found herself in some incredible grand houses during the 19th century, and somehow ended her days in quite an intriguing location …

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When Is A Holborow Not A Holborow (Part 2)?

A year ago this week I wrote about a family who appear in records as Holborows but were, in fact, Neals. Long story short – their familial middle name of Holborow had replaced their documented surname of Neal. But whilst researching the origins of a different line of Holborows from the Wiltshire market town of Chippenham I came across a similar conundrum where the Holborow (or rather, Holbrow in this instance) line disappears, only to potentially be replaced. Unless I’m going mad. Which is a distinct possibility around these parts …!

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Unexpected Find: “Visitations of Providence”

I have recently been on a bit of a mission (prompted by a friend) to complete my collection of certificates for all my ancestors. As half of my ancestry is, as I have mentioned before, American, my immediate focus is on the UK half. (That’s not to say that certificates for my American ancestors are impossible to come by, it’s just that it will take a bit more thought – and perhaps the judicious use of my American relations and international money transfers!)

The death certificate for my 4 x great-grandmother Maria Holborow (nee Haynes) was a bit of a puzzler and the search for it was the root of this post: an unexpected find.

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Grampy Otto at 100 Part 2: The Galician Connection

This is a continuation of my previous post about researching a little deeper into the family of my grandfather (step-grandfather if you want to be precise), all kicked off as he would’ve been 100 a few months ago. I’d half-heartedly poked and prodded the Frysol name, but had put off doing the one thing that would’ve been actually useful: contacting any archives in Germany for more information (not strictly true, I did email one once but didn’t get a response!). So I knuckled down and found out the best route to get what I wanted …

And apologies – this is a bit of a Long read!

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