family history

Will Miss Holborow Please Stand Up?

Do you ever have “Duh! How could I have not seen that?!” moments? No, me neither. Ahem. And of those moments – which I definitely don’t have – this is very much not one of those moments … if you see what I mean!

But it’s a bit of a reminder for me in terms of checking other sources when confronted with brick walls and blind alleys. And nobody needs to be ashamed to have such kicks up the metaphorical behind. It’s a good thing to flex those research muscles.

Even if the result does make you smack your forehead …

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Thomas Halliday Hurcombe – And The Father Isn’t …

The father of my 3 x great-grandfather, Thomas Halliday Hurcombe, has been a question mark in my research almost since Day One. However, the potential identity has often been posited. It wasn’t until last night when discussing centiMorgans with a friend (consanguineous relationships!) that I realised that the means to test this hypothesis was not only within my grasp – but the answer was in my proverbial Inbox!

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Missing Mary & Secretive Sarah

It’s interesting how undertaking new projects forces you to look at your tree and your research in new ways, and show up those pesky holes.

You know – those people who seem to evaporate like mist or (possibly even worse) apparate fully formed in front of you with kids and all but no sense of before.

I have two ladies on my father’s side who are very much of the disappear into nothingness variety. And, I’m not going to lie, it’s frustrating me!

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Joshua ‘Jesse’ Morey – The Update

The last time I wrote about my great-grandfather, Joshua ‘Jesse’ Lock Morey/Murray I mentioned that I’d found out he had joined the Royal Marines and was going to have to find his service record. That was back in May 2020. Shocking. However, at the end of July, my wonderful friend Carole added my request to her search list for a visit to the National Archives at Kew. And I remembered yesterday that I hadn’t done the follow-up post!

So here it is, and it seems that his scallywag ways weren’t restricted just to leaving his wife and kids for another woman (the latter being my great-grandmother).

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An Update of Witches

Sometimes I feel that me writing here is shouting into the Void. Sometimes it doesn’t bother me, and sometimes it does. I enjoy every interaction that my research prompts, especially those from people who are related to the people I mention in my posts. Over the last few months one post especially has caused two specific interactions that I am thankful for, and in turn one of those has created a new family link. So this post is dedicated to Bret and Dori.

The post in question is actually one of my more popular (or at least most visited) posts: Witchy Witchness from way back in 2014 recounts how I am related to two of the accused witches of Salem (one through direct descent) through the Butterfield and Averill lines. But apparently it doesn’t stop there …

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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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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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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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