So this week’s 52 Ancestors post – on the theme of Unexpected – is a bit of a three-for-one special.
Yes, it’s a 52 Ancestors post. It’s also a sort of … Ethelbert Update post (which doubles the unexpected side of things as I didn’t have any intention of doing another one – despite what some people might tell you …!). And it’s also part of the nascent Holborow in America series.
That’s a lot for one post. Oh, and there’s also some timely discomfort. Let’s get to it …
At the end of May I was having a a chat with my friend, fellow researcher, ex-colleague (and self-confessed ‘bad blogger’) Carole from over at Davies of Mold and Ancestry Examiner and we got to discussing the status of certificate ordering from the GRO in the current … environment.
Whilst the website says that certificates shouldn’t be ordered unless for official reasons, I wondered if this was true for PDF versions of birth and death certificates or if ordering them would be a bit of a … dick move. We both decided that as the scans are on a central server, the archivists working from home could access them without too much hassle or – more importantly – risk to themselves or others. And if it was small order then there shouldn’t be a big problem. So I did.
Remember Little Ethelbert? His certs were the ones I ordered, so this post is a little addendum to his story!
Because I don’t know a) what’s good for me, and b) when to quit, I decided to research all of those pesky Ethelbert Neals to see how – or if – they all connected when added into my tree. As it happened, all of them tied back into ‘my’ Neal lines and did so quite nicely … for the most part.
Until, that is, a transatlantic voyage cropped up.
So here we are at the third and final Ethelbert post (part 1 here, part 2 here). I mentioned previously that a lot of my Ethelberts were related to the Neal family who were, for a long time, resident in and around the Wiltshire village of Sherston. Thankfully, Sherston is one of those parishes that hasn’t suffered a great loss of it’s parish registers, and that Wiltshire is one of the top counties (obviously I have to say that!) for scanning and transcribing records: the registers are available at FindMyPast, Ancestry and FamilySearch. Top notch. Especially as these often include both the original parish registers AND the Bishops Transcripts, which sometimes include additional information and/or spellings of names. All to the good!
Another bonus is the availability online of a lot of Wiltshire Wills. In fact, back in the day, there used to be a site called the Wiltshire Wills Project (a longer blog post of theirs makes for a very interesting read – many thanks to Jane Silcocks and team for all of their hard work!). This has now all been incorporated into the work done at the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre in Chippenham, which has also meant that the images are available at Ancestry – and have been pretty key in unpicking some of the Neal(e) lines and their love of repeating the same set of names (Roger, Daniel, Francis amongst them).
But onward to the Ethelberts …!
I like strong unusual names, so when I came across an Ethelbert Holborow in my tree it was too good of a rabbit hole to ignore. Although I don’t have a direct Ethelbert Holborow as an ancestor, I do have a number of other Ethelberts in my tree – mostly all connected with the Neal family in some way.
We’ve already seen one Ethelbert – Harry Ethelbert Stevens/Teagle/Holborow – but there are a few more stories attached to other Ethelberts in my tree, as we shall see …
Recently I’ve been delving into the Ethelberts in my tree – a master post about them will be coming in the next couple of weeks (so that’s something to look forward to) – and I found something rather unexpected, hence this post first rather than the main post!
One thing I do love about genealogy is the never-ending possibility for surprises. And sometimes those surprises are a lot closer than you think …