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Thursday, 26 March 2015


It was interesting this last weekend to see one of my 'ancestral places' on the news. Sutton Cheney in Leicestershire was the stamping ground of my MAY ancestors and was in the news as it was a stopping place for Richard III's cortege.

It has been reported that the King spent his last evening in the village and the church of St. James was where he attended his final mass in 1485. The cortege paused for a short service to take place, which was very well received.




Unfortunately my ancestors wouldn't have been there at the time. The first ancestor I have recorded in Sutton Cheney was Jeffrey MAY born c1720.  His father, William MAY was originally from Stoney Stanton and his mother, Elizabeth TOWNSEND from Burbage, both in Leicestershire.  I have traced them further back to another Jeffrey MAYE born c1549 in Sussex; he married Joanna DENSTON from Stoney Stanton and settled there.

The MAY family stayed in Sutton Cheney until at least 1811, when my branch moved to Hinckley and into the hosiery trade.

On a visit to the church a few years ago I found gravestones marking the burials of my 5xGreat Grandfather Thomas MAY and one of his sons Jeffrey MAY.

Thomas May 1754-1842 
Jeffrey May 1777-1862
























There were other MAY graves in the churchyard and I believe there is also a memorial inside the church, which was unfortunately locked when we visited. Hopefully I will manage a return visit at some point in the future.




Picture Credit: Church ITV News Central

Monday, 9 March 2015


I found this map for a good price at The Works the other day. It will hopefully be useful when trying to track my Percival branch.





My closest branch of The Works is at McArthur Glen at junction 28 of the M1.  It's always worth a browse to see what little gems you can unearth.


Sunday, 22 February 2015



Up until last weekend I  hadn't been able to find my 3x Great-Grandparents and their family in the 1851 census.  I had been looking for George Percival and his wife Sarah and possibly their daughter Alice who was born in 1851 in Manchester.

All that remains of Holbrook Street (2011)




I knew that a whole set of Manchester census records had been damaged in a flood whilst in storage at the Home Office and were considered to be 'unfilmable'. So I am very grateful for the hard work of the Manchester and Lancashire Family History Society who have spent years deciphering and transcribing the entries. More recently, new technology has allowed a further batch of records to be deciphered.





I have now found the family's 1851 census return at Find My Past; they were living at 8 Holbrook Street, which fits nicely with the birth certificate I have for my 2x Great Grandmother Sarah in 1857.



Unfortunately what doesn't fit nicely are the ages of George and Sarah.  In the 1861 census, George is 63 and Sarah 43. In the 1851 George is 35 and Sarah 29. I've enlarged the water damaged image on Ancestry and it does seem to show Sarah as 29, whereas George's age looks more like 45. Their marriage certificate from December 1841 shows them both as 'full age', so that doesn't help much either!


I do have a census return for George in 1841, but I have never been convinced I had found the right one. The new possible year of his birth could help with that - or it could just hinder my search even more, especially as the ages in the 1841 census are rounded to the nearest five.


There are also other Percivals in Manchester at this time, so I look like slowly having to pick them apart till I find the right ones, which is going to take some time!  If anyone has any hints or tips on how to narrow it down so I can pinpoint George's & Sarah's (nee Annett) births I would be very grateful.

Other Manchester Percival posts:
The Manchester Percivals
Wedding Wednesday - George Percival & Sarah Annett
Mappy Monday - The Manchester Percivals. Part II

Tuesday, 17 February 2015


I can remember my Grandmother telling me about her Uncle Frank emigrating to Canada when she was quite young.  He worked on the Canadian Pacific Railway for many years, a fact she was very proud of.



I noticed recently that both Ancestry and Find My Past have very detailed ships' passenger lists available so I thought I'd see if I could find details of his journey. Find My Past only have outgoing passenger details, but Ancestry also have incoming, so I could track any return journeys.

Uncle Frank (my 2x great Uncle) was born Francis Albert Jowett in Nottingham in 1894 and was the youngest of eight siblings. His parents were Edmund Jowett a Nottingham lace maker and Theresa Bates.

His father Edmund died when Frank was just fourteen in 1904 and in the 1911 census he was living with his mother Theresa, his brother Charles (my great grandfather), his married sister Mabel and two of her children, his nieces. Frank was working as a card lacer in a lace factory.





I have no idea what made Frank head off to Canada at the age of thirty-three, but he left from Liverpool on the 17th March 1922 on the Minnedosa. He gave his last residence as England, Haydn Road in Nottingham, and his intended future residence as Canada, so it was obviously his intention to emigrate permanently. He gave his occupation as 'agent'.


Frank next appeared in the records on the 8th March 1924 as he arrived back in Liverpool on the Montclare.  He had travelled from New Brunswick in Canada with his wife, Amelia. Frank gave Haydn Road in Nottingham as his intended address whilst staying in the UK, so it appears he had brought his wife home to introduce her to the family. They left for Canada on the 9th May 1924, again on the Montclare from Liverpool. Frank stated his occupation as a telegraph operator at this time.


Frank and Amelia returned once more to England on the 16th June 1935, this time accompanied by their nine year old daughter Marguerite. They again stayed in Nottingham until their return to Canada on the 10th August 1935, leaving from Southampton on the Empress of Britain.





I'm not sure if they ever came back to England after this visit. I know my Grandmother always regretted not having taken the opportunity to visit this branch of the family in Canada and she was in touch with Marguerite for quite a few years but the correspondence petered out eventually over the years.



So if you know any Canadian Jowetts, or you are a Canadian Jowett with Nottingham roots, drop me a line, I'd love to hear from you!









Picture Credits:
http://www.canadiandesignresource.ca/type-typography/the-canadian-pacific-railway-poster/
http://www.greatships.net/minnedosa.html
http://digitalpostercollection.com/?attachment_id=56706

Monday, 9 February 2015




Back in September last year I was delighted to receive an email from 'Who Do You Think You Are' magazine informing me that I'd won a prize draw I'd entered via Twitter. The prize consisted of a year's subscription to both Find My Past and Lives of the First World War.

Since then I've taken full advantage of the Find My Past site, checking information and finding new data sets, but I've only just started looking at the Lives of the First World War.

The site is hosted by the Imperial War Museum and is aiming to document every person who made a contribution to the First World War, whether they survived or not.  There's a short video tour available to help you get started and the site is full of hints and tips.  As a visitor to the site you can search for and read the stories that have already been shared; if you want to add your own you can register and start 'remembering' your own relatives, family friends and even people whose names you've spotted on on your local war memorial.

A subscription is £50 per year, or £6 per month and gives you access to many military data sets, including Soldiers Died in the First World War, British Army Service & Pension records and British Air Force Service Records.

It has taken me a while to work out how to add information; you have to add evidence such as a medal card or service record first before adding the facts supplied by that evidence.  It's a good way to ensure that facts on the site are accurate and proven.

Here's my first contribution to the site; my great-great uncle Harold Richardson, who died at the Somme in July 1916. Have a look - I'd love to know what you think.


Wednesday, 4 February 2015


Following my previous post about Percival and Edith, I thought I'd have a quick root around to see what I could find out about her.

From the marriage certificate I knew her father was John William Waby who worked as a gardener.  I started searching the 1901 census to start with and found them in Scothern in Lincolnshire.


© Copyright Graham Hogg 

Edith was aged 7 and was living with her parents and siblings; all were born in Scothern except her mother who was from Grantham.  John was a garden labourer which matches with the marriage certificate.  There were eight children altogether in the household, the oldest of which was William W Shepherd aged 15.  He was noted as a son but had a different surname, so it's possible that Elizabeth had been married before and that William was from her first marriage.

By the 1911 census, Edith had left Scothern and was working as a housemaid in the home of George Bromet, a solicitor, in Tadcaster, West Yorkshire.  There was another Waby, Ellen, also working in this household as a parlour maid, she may have been an older sister or other relative.

I wonder how Edith got from Scothern to Nottingham via Tadcaster? Interesting though it is I don't think I will be following this branch of my tree any further because she isn't closely related and a quick search of FreeBMD again (using Richardson & Waby as surnames) suggests that they didn't have children.

But I may change my mind!


Picture Credit:
Scothern village sign (Graham Hogg) / CC BY-SA 2.0

Friday, 19 December 2014


The (Old) Exchange


With Christmas just around the corner, many of us will be shopping and cooking for family gatherings. and feeling pushed for time.

Spare a thought then, for the people involved behind the scenes at Sir T.W. White's ball in Nottingham in February 1849.





Held at The (Old) Exchange, Nottingham, it involved enormous floristry displays, lace draped to imitate a tent and the most able ball room band in the country.

The two hundred and fifty plus guests arrived at 9pm, dancing began at 10pm and continued until 5am the following morning.  During this time the guests had access to the Refreshment Room, which offered wines, liquors, confectionery and fruits.

In addition to this The Supper Room offered the following:



This makes Christmas lunch for ten pale into insignificance!



Picture Credit: http://nottinghamhiddenhistoryteam.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/nottinghams-old-market-square/
Newspaper Credit: 08 February 1849 - Nottinghamshire Guardian - Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England