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.
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 …!