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).
I am a (relatively) late convert to the wonder that is old newspapers, but I have to say that the British Newspaper Archive is a veritable gold mine when it comes to researching (right up there with Australia’s Trove, and the USA’s Newspapers.com and Library of Congress Newspaper Archive).
On a whim (because I don’t have enough of my own actual family stories to write up and share …), I recently searched for articles featuring the village in which I currently live. In amongst the articles about high pavements*, sewage problems** and upturned tractors***, I found a remarkable one that made my eyebrows reach for my hairline …
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 …
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.
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.
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.
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 …
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!
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 …!
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.