Author: Dominic

I like to write. I like to create worlds and mould people. I possibly like the creating and the backstory more than the story-telling .... I also enjoy photography, and am still learning. I prefer 'raw' photographs - I don't feel drawn to any kind of manipulation, but that may changes. My other main passion in life is genealogy.

52 Ancestors: Favourite Photo

What a prompt! Now, I received a new laptop for Christmas (lucky me) and currently all my files from my old one exist in potentia courtesy of my OneDrive or my Dropbox and I haven’t actually sorted anything out yet. So there’s a kick up the bum …

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Corporal Osiel Davis

I am leaving the Holborows alone for a bit (at least in terms of blogging – the research continues ever onward – yesterday I had a battle with a series of Israels which I think were beaten into submission, even if I did overlook a very obvious baptism when looking to ‘hook’ a branch onto existing research which had me cursing and facepalming at the same time) and looking at some of my dad’s American side. It has bothered me for a while that I hadn’t looked into any potential military ancestors as I’m sure there must be some.

So I turned, not to the Stanfield/Paynes but to the Davis’ – that is, the family of my great-grandmother, Nellie Davis. Nellie was one of 7 children born to Willis Henry Davis and his wife Martha Mattie Butterfield. Then I noticed something that had escaped me entirely – Willis had lost his father when he was just 10 years old. What happened?

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52 Ancestors: Namesake

This is not the post you think it is. I am named for my dad’s stepfather, Eddie Taplin, who was dying in hospital when I was born. I was given his name as my middle name – the only one of my brothers to have a ‘legacy name’ chosen to honour somebody else. (One of my nieces has the same middle name as my mother and her sister’s was for a [wealthy!] godparent.)

That would be it, that would be the post. But I’m not going to spend a week crafting a one paragraph post, am I? I wouldn’t do that to you.

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Holborow Scrapbooks!

Do you ever watch programmes like WDYTYA? and silently curse the good fortune of those who say “My sister has all this information collected by our great-aunt Lydia who sadly went a bit doolally and put bricks down the loo and had to go into a home” and it turns out to be all these old scrapbooks of letters and clippings and notes and things? Me too.

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52 Ancestors: Family Legend

I have to say that our family is a bit light on legends – both in a figurative sense and a literal one. (Sadly I am not related to Marlene Dietrich, as per the cover image.)

One that I have mentioned before is one my mum spoke of only once or twice – that her biological father had Native ancestry of some unidentified description. (Apparently this isn’t an uncommon myth in America, as per these articles appearing on HuffPost and Slate. In fact, it has its own name: Cherokee Grandmother [or Princess] Syndrome. Elizabeth Warren wishes.)

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Holborow in Australia 6: 50/50

My 4 x great-grandparents, Joseph and Mary (Haynes) Holborow married on 18 June 1813 in Oldbury on the Hill, Gloucestershire. Six months later in December, their eldest child, Sarah, was baptised. Over the next 20 years, a further seven children were baptised to the couple, ending with Harriet in 1833. (Joseph being the subject of my research puzzle.)

Although having 8 children isn’t surprising for the time, Joseph and Mary managed a half-and-half split between boys and girls (one of the boys being my 3 x great-grandfather, Henry), but also in another way …

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52 Ancestors: Beginnings

As Cole Porter once wrote, and Ella Fitzgerald fabulously sang, “Begin the Beguine” (and when I was a child, I actually thought the song was “Begin the begin”, which tells you something important about children, I’m sure).

I’m not entirely sure how to react to this week’s theme – the first one of 2021 which adds that extra pressure to make it an explosive start to the year. I’m sure I’ve talked somewhere before of my own beginnings in genealogy (wanting to know about my biological grandfathers on both sides – check and check – aged about 15) and how I started offline and then grew my own skills as more and more records became available online (and waiting for baited breath for the 1901 census to be released online on its own dedicated website and paying for credits to view search results. Ahhh, how far away 2002 seems to me now!

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52 Ancestors: Resolutions

Hello there!

I believe that this is the last 52 Ancestors post of 2020 so before I talk about some of my genealogical resolutions for next year, I thought I’d take a look backwards at some stats and figures.

Confused Thinking GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
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52 Ancestors: Witness to History

Except for a short sojourn in Purley (sort of south London) I have lived in the countryside all of my life – either in Wiltshire or the four years I spent in rural France. Consequently, my immediate response to this week’s prompt is how much my ancestors would have watched the land around them change.

Not only the land, of course, but their villages changing as shops closed, services withdrawn and then acres of post-war housing and, of course, the rise of the motorcar and the roads they ran on. Now, some of those changes are still being faced by rural communities today.

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52 Ancestors: Ooops

This post was originally slated to discuss assumptions in genealogical research. My point being that we are often told to never make assumptions (in life as well as genealogy), but we’ve all ignored that a time or two – hey, I’d be lying if I said otherwise.

Besides, we all know the famous adage about making assumptions …

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