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 …
Yes, I’m stretching the definition of ‘America’ again to include continental North America and not simply the USA. There aren’t a lot of Holborows who ventured into the Great White North, although there is an intriguing William “Holbrough” enumerated in the 1870 US census living in Dakota Territory who alleges to have been born in Canada c. 1847. He was later coroner of Charles Mix County, as well as superintendent of schools and then the county collector before being “lynched” by some of his associates, and is buried beside Snake Creek, Charles Mix County, South Dakota. Or at least so his (unsourced) entry on Findagrave says … which is born out by a quick search of Newspapers.com:
I’ve not been great with my blogging this year. I think I’ve only done one or two 52 Ancestors this year, and my Holborows in … series have kind of ground to a halt. Although slow and sporadic, my research continues onwards. Lately I’ve been focussing on one branch of the Holborows from the Wiltshire parish of Luckington (which – of course – is not one branch at all). This was all prompted by reviewing my transcriptions of Holborows in the 1841 census to see if I have them all – can I identify them and their family groups? Are they in my tree? And I came across a Daniel – it is always a damn Daniel – whose parental line I couldn’t place. He is worthy of a post all his own, so maybe we’ll have a little … double dip.
From there I moved onto a resource that I have overlooked – past tense – the most in my research: Wills. A good will is an amazing thing to find, especially in those years before General Registration and you’re reliant on Parish Registers to hypothesise relationships. Of course, that’s assuming you get a “good” will – and by that I mean one that names people and relationships. Of course, sometimes you just get a list of names, sometimes you get a cat’s home. But sometimes you get one that enables you – with a little bit of digging – to make some fantastic connections, even if you have to compare and connect other wills from the same area.
The Wiltshire village of Sopworth seems to crop up a lot around here. Not bad for a parish and village whose population has never topped the dizzying heights of 225 people! But we’re back here again, for a specific baptism: that of Henry Francis Holborow on 24 February 1858, to parents Francis and Mary Jane (nee Watts). He was the third child, and second to use the name Henry Francis, to arrive. His older brothers, Isaac John and the first Henry Francis had been buried shortly after their respective births. Consequently it must have been an extra blessing for the couple for Henry to reach his first birthday, let alone reach adulthood.
To be totally honest, this post is less about the curiosity of someone called George and more my curiosity about someone called George and the sheer madness and frustration researching him has brought me! It is absolutely typical that he is to be found hanging on my father’s English side of the family tree – and is an elder brother of my grandmother, Norah. This group of children – the family of Emily Alice Palmer – always somehow infuriate me!
My mum and I realised that Monday of this week would’ve been my grampy’s 100th birthday. (We’re all up to speed on the fact he was my mum’s stepfather and had been a German POW in WWII, correct?). I was then reading a post that Valerie had posted recently about her German ancestry and realised that it had been a long time since I had tried to chase down any further records on Otto’s family.
I’m behind on my 52 Ancestors posts and out of sync with my Holborows in … series, but I recently ordered and received a pair of death certificates for some Ethelberts, and one of which has lead to a bit more surprising information and reopened an internal debate about sharing historical terms and language which was once considered acceptable but is now most definitely not.
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 …
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?
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.