On the Needles

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Thursday, July 06, 2017

Irish Babe-in-Arms

The family story is that my great-great-grandfather James ROBINSON came to Canada in 1834 as a babe-in-arms. His family came from Enniskillen, Fermanagh, Ireland and settled in Grey County, Ontario, Canada.

There is very little information to prove or disprove this story. The only thing I can say for sure is that James did live with his wife and children in Grey County. The first confirmed record of James that I have been able to find is the 1881 Census of Canada. Thanks to my grandfather I know the names of all of his children so I know that this is him.

I have not been able to find a marriage record for James and his wife Sarah Ann STEWART. I think I may have found them in the 1871 Census of Canada but am not 100% certain because the name of the wife in that record is Anne. I know Ann is Sarah’s middle name from other records so it is possible that she was going by Ann at the time of that Census.

Another reason I believe it is the right James is that my grandfather told me that James had a sister named Margaret. And their is a woman living with them name Margaret ROBINSON. The 1871 Census does not show relationship to head of household so there is no way to know for certain that this woman is James’s sister but I believe that it is highly probable.

I can take James and Sarah from 1881 to their deaths in 1923(Sarah) and 1928(James). I haven’t been able to find all the records for their family but I have a good idea of what happened to them all on what I do have.

I’m interested in James life before marriage. The following is an overview of my process and research on trying to find James pre-wife and kids.

James’ sister, Margaret, is said to have married a MADILL. With this in mind I did a search for Margaret ROBINSONs that married a MADILL, circa 1870. One seemed to be a likely candidate.

John MADILL, 25, farmer, Ireland, Osprey, s/o William & Jane MADILL married Margaret ROBINSON, 23, Ontario, Osprey, d/o Arthur & Margaret ROBINSON, wtn; John & Elizabeth HETHERINGTON, both of Toronto on January 24, 1872, Osprey.1

This looked promising. Right time, right place. But subsequent searches for a Arthur and Margaret in the 1871 Canadian Census turned up nothing. Ditto for the 1861 Census. Knowing that one or both of them could have died prior to these Census dates and the remaining spouse could have remarried I put a pin in researching the line.

I knew I had to prove or disprove a connection between this Margaret and my James. Evidence of this connection came through James’ wife Sarah. After researching her parents and siblings I discovered her older brother Andrew’s second wife was a Catherine MADILL, daughter of William and Jane MADILL. Could John and Catherine be brother and sister?

Census records show a William and Jane MADILL living in Osprey, Grey County. They have eight children, David, John, Mary, Harriett, Jane, Catherine, Nancy Ann, and William. By researching some of them I was able to determine they are the correct family for Catherine.

Harriett’s records were the most useful. The informant on her death record is a Mrs. Stewart, her sister of Maxwell. One of the witnesses for her first marriage is David Madill of Osprey. And a witness for her second marriage is John Madill. And her second marriage and death records list her mother as Jane Ray. Catherine’s death record states that her mother’s maiden name was Jane RAE.

Unfortunately this does not prove that John and Catherine were siblings. Records for John seemed to be sparse. I haven’t been able to find a death record for him. I do have a BillionGraves entry that I think is him. William and Jane MADILL are both buried in the same cemetery. As is their daughter Nancy Ann.  It gives me confidence that I am on the right track.

If I am right then I can say that the ROBINSONs, STEWARTs, and MADILLs all new each other. This isn’t proof positive that Margaret is James’ sister but it is enough to that I want to continue my research of her and John.

From there I decided to see if I could find marriage records for possible siblings to Margaret and James. I did a search for people with the last name ROBINSON, who’s parents were listed as Arthur and Margaret.

Narrowing the search down even further to marriages that occur in Ontario in the 1870s. And what do you think I should find but this one;

John HEHTERINGTON, 28, Ontario, Fullerton, s/o John HETHERINGTON & Janet EASTON married Elizabeth ROBINSON, 25, Ontario, Brampton, d/o Arthur ROBINSON and Margaret McDONALD, wtn; John MADILL, Osprey and Margaret ROBINSON, Brampton on January 3, 1872, Brampton.

That answered the questions I had about John and Elizabeth HETHERINGTON. Mainly, who were they and why did they travel 135km to witness a marriage. I think it is safe to say Elizabeth and Margaret were sisters.

There weren’t any other marriages that met my criteria so I decided to change the parameters a little. James is roughly 15 years older then Elizabeth and Margaret so it is likely that there are siblings that were born between them. And would have been of marrying age in the 1860s.

That search revealed this marriage record;

James FOLLIS, 29, Brampton, Ireland, s/o Edward and Jane FOLLIS married Rachel ROBINSON, 22, Brampton, Canada, d/o Arthur and Margaret ROBINSON, wtn; John STEWART, Brampton on June 10, 1863, Brampton.

There isn’t enough information here to decide if Rachel is a sister. Her death record has even less information.

I did a Google search and found the Waugh Family website, the search directed me to this page. The first thing I noticed was the map of Enniskillen, Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. The page is talking about the ACHESON family and their connection to the FALLIS family. Reading through the page tells me it is the same family that I am looking at. A family that happens to hail from the same area of Ireland that my ROBINSON line does and that settled in the same area of Ontario. I have to think this is more then a coincidence. Unfortunately it isn’t clear if there is a closer connection between the ROBINSONs and the owners of the site. I have contacted them and hopefully we will know soon.

Clearly, more research is needed before I can definitively say that any, or all, of these women are my 3rd great-aunt. I will continue to gather information on them until I can be sure.

What do you think? Have I overlooked anything that would help me solve this genealogy mystery? What other avenues of research would you go down? I’d love to hear what you think.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Canada’s 150th Genealogy Challenge

Let’s celebrate our early ancestors, it is because of their contributions that our country is such a wonderful place to live!

List all your ancestors that were living in Canada in 1867, the dates they arrived (can be approximate) and where they first settled.

Here is my list –




James Robinson

c. 1834

Grey County, Ontario

Alexander Stewart

c. 1830

Grey County, Ontario

Euphemia Latimer

c. 1830

Grey County, Ontario

John Winfield

c. 1830

Georgina Twp., York Co., Ontario

Catherine Stevenson

c. 1845

Georgina Twp., York Co., Ontario

William McKelvey

c. 1850

Scott Co., Ontario

Mary E Schell

b. 1802

Markham, Ontario

George J. Grant

b. May 10, 1809

Stormont, Ontario

Margaret Shaver

b. Sept 3, 1810

Osnabruck, Stormont, Ontario

Catherine Otto

c. 1795

Stormont, Ontario

Alexander D. Cameron

b. 1831


John Link

b. 1801


Mary Cameron

b. 1806


Conrad Joanas Warner

c. 1795

Stormont, Ontario

Marion McGill Dixon

b. Apr. 20, 1817

Osnabruck, Stormont, Ontario

Henry Shaver

b. 1822


Mary Ann Wood

b. 1829

Stormont, Ontario

Which of your ancestors were living in Canada in 1867?

Happy 150th Anniversary Canada!

I saw this challenge on Patricia Greber’s blog, My Genealogy Life.

Friday, February 03, 2017

OTDIH…February 3, 1847


…in Eastern District1, Ontario my 3rd great-grandparents, Henry J SHAVER and Mary Ann WOOD were married2.  They were approximately 25 and 18 years of age, respectively.

Within the year they had started their family. Mary Ann giving birth to a son in late November. Followed by another son and daughter over the next 4 years.

The 1851 Canadian Census3 shows them living in Osnabruck, Stormont, Ontario (or Canada West as it was known then). Henry was working as a farmer and was Lutheran. They were living in a one storey log house.

They had 2 more daughters in the 1850s’ and the 1861 Canadian Census finds their family of 7  in Osnabruck, Stormont, Ontario (still known as Canada West)4. Henry is still a farmer but is now listed as being Church of England. They are living in a one storey frame house.

They welcomed one more daughter in the 1860s’. And their family of 8 were in the Township of Osnabruck, Stormont Ontario in the 1871 Canadian Census5. This is the first census that asked about Ethnic origin as well as place of birth. Henry and the children are listed as Dutch, while Mary Ann is English. All born in Canada. Henry is listed as being a farmer. Their two youngest daughters are marked as having gone to school within the last year. And the families’ religion is Church of England.

The 1870s’ bring the first noticeable change to the Shaver family. In 1872, their oldest daughter (3rd child) marries. Followed by their oldest son (1st child) in 1874. And in January 1877 their second daughter (4th child) dies at the age of 22 of pulmonary phthisis.

There now smaller household is still in the Township of Osnabruck, Stormont, Ontario in the 1881 Canadian Census6. They are now of family of 4, with only the two youngest daughters living at home. I have been unable to locate their second son. He may have died or moved farther a field, possibly to the States. They are still with the Church of England. All 4 are listed as being German in origin.

McGill University started The Canadian County Atlas Digital Project7. I was able to find the listing for Henry for 1879. He owns 104 Acres in Osnabruck, Stormont in Concession IV, Lot 17. This appears to be two separate parcels, one 50 acres in size and the other 548.


On July 15th, 1882 in Osnabruck, Stormont, Ontario Henry died9 of paralysis. No indication of what caused the paralysis. The death record states he is 61-years-old and was born in Osnabruck.

In 1884, the two remaining daughters are married.

Mary Ann is found in the household of her son-in-law in the 1891 Canadian Census10. In Osnabruck, Cornwall and Stormont, Ontario. She is listed as widowed and a Methodist. She is mistranscribed as Mary SHANER but the son-in-laws name is correct.

She lived for another 7 years. Dying of heart disease on July 10th, 1898 in Osnabruck, Stormont and Dundas and Glengarry, Ontario11. She was 70-years-old. Again her last name is mistranscribed as SHARIER but when you view the image you see that the person who made the return, i.e. informed the authorities of her death, is her son-in-law.

Henry J SHAVER and Mary Ann WOOD had the following children:

1. William Hiram SHAVER was born on Nov 21, 1847 in Osnabruck, Cornwall & Stormont, Ontario. He died on Aug 12, 1912 in Osnabruck, Stormont, Ontario, Canada. He married Dorothy BOALS on Feb 10, 1874 in Osnabruck, Stormont Dundas And Glengarry, Ontario, Canada.
2. Henry Edmund SHAVER was born about Abt. 1849. He died after Aft. Feb 10, 1874.
3. Alice SHAVER was born on Dec 15, 1851 in Osnabruck, Cornwall & Stormont, Ontario. She died on Apr 30, 1929 in Carleton, Ontario, Canada. She married John William WARNER on Mar 04, 1872 in Osnabruck Twp., Stormont Co., ON, Canada.
4. Emma SHAVER was born about Abt. 1855 in Osnabruck, Cornwall & Stormont, Ontario. She died on Jan 21, 1877 in Osnabruck, Cornwall & Stormont, Ontario.
5. Armetta Ann SHAVER was born about Abt. 1858 in Osnabruck, Cornwall & Stormont, Ontario. She died on Dec 10, 1924 in Columbus, Franklin, Ohio, USA. She married John G SHAVER on Jan 07, 1884 in Stormont Co., Ontario, Canada.
6. Bertha Ida SHAVER was born on Aug 21, 1863 in Osnabruck, Cornwall & Stormont, Ontario. She died on Jan 27, 1927 in Stormont, Ontario, Canada. She married Alvin Stephen MARKELL on Nov 11, 1884 in Osnabruck Centre, Stormont, Ont., Canada.

I’ve always been a little intrigued by Henry J SHAVER because on  a different branch of my tree I have more SHAVERs but I haven’t been able to connect them to Henry. Although they all seem to reside in the same general area. Other researchers have made the connection but I have not had a chance go over it thoroughly and am reluctant to claim it as true. As it stands I only have a estimated year of birth and no parents. Same goes for Mary Ann. I need to make a trip to the local Family History Centre12. I should be able to view the image of Henry and Mary Ann’s marriage record which may give me some more information about their parents.

You can find Henry and Mary Ann on the Grant Pedigree Chart as #14 & #15.

1 One of four districts of the Province of Quebec created in 1788 in the western reaches of the Montreal District and partitioned in 1791 to create the new colony of Upper Canada. Known as Lunenburg District (named after L√ľneburg in Germany) until 1792, it was abolished in 1849. The district seat was in New Johnstown (present day Cornwall, Ontario). Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_District,_Upper_Canada
2 "Ontario, Marriages, 1800-1910," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XLPB-TPS : accessed 02 Mar 2014), Henry Shaver and Mary Ann Wood, 03 Feb 1847.
3 "Canada Census, 1851," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MWTJ-NXF : accessed 02 Mar 2014), Henry J Shaver, Osnabruck, Stormont County, Canada West (Ontario), Canada. Images available at the Library & Archives Canada website here and here. They are on lines 1 thru 6. 
4 "Ontario Census, 1861," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MQQT-DY5 : 8 November 2014), Henry N Shaver, Osnabruck, Stormont, Ontario, Canada; citing p. 43, line 22; Library and Archives Canada film number C-1074-1075, Public Archives, Toronto; FHL microfilm 349,323.Image available here.
5 "Canada Census, 1871," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M4QM-66T : 13 November 2014), Henery J Shaver, Osnabruck, Stormont, Ontario, Canada; citing p. 74, line 3; Library and Archives Canada film number C-10007, Public Archives, Ottawa, Ontario; FHL microfilm 4,396,308. Not sure why FamilySearch doesn't have the whole family linked but you can see the image here.
6 "Canada Census, 1881," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MVXW-4TN : 18 November 2014), Henery Shaver, Osnabruck, Stormont, Ontario, Canada; citing p. 42; Library and Archives Canada film number C-13227, Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, Ontario; FHL microfilm 1,375,863.
7 About the Canadian County Atlas project, http://digital.library.mcgill.ca/countyatlas/aboutatlases.html
8 H.J. Shaver, Concession IV, Lot 17, http://digital.library.mcgill.ca/countyatlas/showrecord.php?PersonID=38493
9"Ontario Deaths, 1869-1937 and Overseas Deaths, 1939-1947," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JDBP-R9M : 25 June 2015), Henry Shaver, 15 Jul 1882; citing Osnabruck, Stormont, Ontario, yr 1882 cn 16996, Archives of Ontario, Toronto; FHL microfilm 1,853,237.
10"Canada Census, 1891," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MW2K-J5R : accessed 11 May 2015), Mary Shaner, Osnabruck, Cornwall and Stormont, Ontario, Canada; Public Archives, Ottawa, Ontario; Library and Archives Canada film number 30953_148133. Image can be found here.
11"Ontario Deaths, 1869-1937 and Overseas Deaths, 1939-1947," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J6KN-Y62 : accessed 11 May 2015), Mary Ann Sharier, 10 Jul 1898; citing Osnabruck, Stormount And Dundas And Glengarry, Ontario, yr 1898 certificate # 20491, Archives of Ontario, Toronto; FHL microfilm 1,854,388.
12FamilySearch Family History Center locator, https://familysearch.org/locations/centerlocator?cid=hp2-1047

Monday, January 23, 2017

On This Day In History... January 23, 1832

John French CHINN and Lydia Elizabeth BYRNE were married1,2 on this day 185 years ago, in Fauquier County, Virginia, USA.

By their first anniversary they had welcomed their first child, a son. They had 5 more before the 1840 United States Census. A boy, 3 girls, and another boy. Sadly, their second oldest only lived for 26 days3.

John is listed in the 1840 United States Census4 as living in Leeds, Fauquier, Virginia, USA. This census only lists head of households by name. Any other member of the family was tallied by sex and age group. Free persons of colour were tallied in a separate section than free white persons. The 1840 US Census was taken on June 1st, 1840.

John’s household consisted of 1 white male under 5 years, 1 white male between 5 & 10 years, 1 white male between 20 & 30 years, 2 white females under 5 years, 1 white female between 5 & 10 years, and 1 white female between 20 & 30 years. There were no free persons of colour.

John joined the Long Branch Church and was baptized by Elder Barnett Grimsley on June 28th, 1840. A week later, on July 4th, Elizabeth joined the same church and was baptized.

On January 25th, 1843, John was ordained as a Deacon.

On June 27th, 1846, they obtained a letter of Dismission from Long Branch Church to join Carter’s Run Church closer to their new home. That letter was presented to Carter’s Run Church on July 20th, 1846.

Carter’s Run Church is approximately 20 miles southwest of Long Branch Church.
I’m still piecing together where their homes were before and after their shift to Carter’s Run Church. And why they moved but I think it might have to do with an inheritance that Elizabeth may have received from her father or grandfather.

They obtained another letter of Dismission from Carter’s Run Church on August 18, 1848 prior to moving from Virginia to Arkansas. On the same day, John was licensed to preach the Gospel of Christ.

The 1850 United States Census5, taken November 30, 1850, finds them in Ruddell, Independence, Arkansas, USA. They had welcomed 5 more children to the family. 3 daughters and 2 sons. All 10 living children are with them.

John is also listed as owning 4 slaves. A black male 22-years-old, a black female 19-years-old, a black female 4-years-old, and a one-month old black female.

The 1850’s saw John & Elizabeth welcome 5 more children, 4 boys and 1 girl. This included a set of twins, Randolph & Rudolph. Sadly, Rudolph passed away at only 3 days old. Another son left passed away at the age of 9 years, 9 months, and 12 days. Leaving them with 13 living children.

11 of these children were living with them in Ashley Township, Independence County, Arkansas in the 1860 United States Census7. Taken on the 27th day of June. This included a widowed daughter. Her 3 young children were also living with them.

The Slave Schedule for that same Census shows John owning 8 slaves. One 30-year-old black male, a 28-year-old black female, 4 black females ages, 5, 8, 10 & 12 and 2 black males ages 3 months and 3 years.

The 1860’s brought the Civil War and John & Elizabeth said goodbye to 5 more of their children. Two lost in battle fighting for the Confederates in 1862 & 1864. They lost one adult daughter in 1867 and in 1868, their oldest son died, leaving a wife and 3 children.
Before all this they laid to rest their youngest daughter in April 1861. She was 3 years, 4 months, and 15 days old.

The 1870 United States Census8, taken September 28th, shows them still in Ashley Township, Independence County, Arkansas, with a much smaller household. It is them and 3 teenage sons. Their daughters having married (or remarried) and left home. I can confirm this with all but one of their daughters. After the 1860 Census, she disappears. I can not locate a marriage or death record and she doesn’t appear with another family.

Two of the 3 remaining sons married during the 1870’s. Sadly this decade is also the one John leaves this earth. On October 7th, 1875, Elizabeth said goodbye to her husband of 43 years. He was 65 years, 2 months and 10 days old9.

In the 1880 United States Census10Elizabeth is living with her son Randolph and family. Still in Ashley Township. The census was taken on June 8th, 1880.

Five years later, Elizabeth, at the age of 71 years, 4 months, and 19 days passed away11. She was interred next to her husband in the Chinn Cemetery in Independence County.

More details of their children:

1.    Charles Richardson CHINN was born on Jan 16, 1833 in Fauquier Co., Virginia, USA. He died on Jul 20, 1868 in Independence, Arkansas, USA. He married Nancy N MEACHAM on Nov 23, 1852 in Independence, Arkansas, USA.
2.    John Franklin CHINN was born on Jul 30, 1834 in Fauquier Co., Virginia, USA. He died on Aug 25, 1834 in Fauquier Co., Virginia, USA.
3.    Sarah Elizabeth CHINN was born on Jul 04, 1835 in Fauquier Co., Virginia, USA. She died on Mar 10, 1901 in Independence, Arkansas, USA. She married William Riley COMER on May 04, 1854 in Independence, Arkansas, USA.
4.    Penelope Jane CHINN was born on Feb 02, 1837 in Fauquier Co., Virginia, USA. She died on May 01, 1911 in Independence, Arkansas, USA. She married William T SEASAY on Aug 27, 1857 in Independence, Arkansas, USA. She married James Joseph KIMBROUGH on Jan 14, 1866 in Independence, Arkansas, USA.
5.    Pandora CHINN was born on Oct 20, 1838 in Fauquier Co., Virginia, USA. She died on Feb 04, 1897 in Independence, Arkansas, USA. She married John R MEACHAM on Jan 23, 1862 in Independence, Arkansas, USA.
6.    Marcus Luther CHINN was born on Mar 02, 1840 in Fauquier Co., Virginia, USA. He died on Dec 31, 1862 in In Battle near Murfreesboro, Rutherford, Tennessee, USA.
7.    Margaret Rebecca CHINN was born on Apr 10, 1842 in Fauquier Co., Virginia, USA. She died about Abt. 1922 in Ashley, Independence, Arkansas, USA. She married William Eleazer STRICKLAND on Aug 23, 1863 in Independence County, Arkansas, USA.
8.    Frances Grimsley CHINN was born on Jan 20, 1844 in Fauquier Co., Virginia, USA. She died on Mar 31, 1867 in At Father's House. She married G W THURMAN on Apr 28, 1863 in Independence, Arkansas, USA.
9.    Louisa Georgia CHINN was born on Dec 22, 1845 in Fauquier Co., Virginia, USA.
10. John Judson CHINN was born on Sep 02, 1847 in Fauquier Co., Virginia, USA. He died on Oct 25, 1864 in Battlefield near Westport, Missouri, USA.
11. William Edward CHINN was born on Jan 02, 1849 in Independence County, Arkansas, USA. He died on Sep 14, 1858 in Independence, Arkansas, USA.
12. Randolph CHINN was born on Dec 11, 1850 in Independence County, Arkansas, USA. He died on Mar 03, 1938 in Independence, Arkansas, USA. He married Dora C A HENDERSON on Sep 03, 1873 in Independence, Arkansas, USA.
13. Rudolph CHINN was born on Dec 11, 1850 in Independence County, Arkansas, USA. He died on Dec 14, 1850 in Independence County, Arkansas, USA.
14. Arthur CHINN was born on Jul 03, 1853 in Batesville, Independence Co., Arkansas, USA. He died on Nov 16, 1911 in Independence, Arkansas, USA.
15. Asbury Rosal CHINN was born on Jan 16, 1855 in Batesville, Independence Co., Arkansas, USA. He died on Jan 04, 1941 in Independence, Arkansas, USA. He married Fannie WADE on Sep 23, 1894 in Independence, Arkansas, USA. He married Elizabeth M. THOMPSON on Sep 09, 1908 in Independence, Arkansas, USA.
16. Virginia Aurelia CHINN was born on Nov 21, 1857 in Batesville, Independence Co., Arkansas, USA. She died on Apr 05, 1861 in Independence, Arkansas, USA.

I have never looked that closely at the CHINN line before now. Much of the research had already been done by distant cousins. And as a fellow genealogist recently said ‘There is a real thrill in the hunt’ so with nothing to hunt I hadn’t really looked. I’m glad I finally did. Experience has helped me realize how much more to genealogy there is then just names and dates. I would like to learn more about where they lived. Both their private property and the larger communities in Virginia and Arkansas. I’m intrigued by the fact that John was a Deacon in the Baptist Church but at least 2 of his children were married by Methodist Episcopal Church South ministers, 2 by Baptist ministers and several more by Justices of the Peace. My heart aches for them when I think about how many children they buried, 8 (possibly 9), 4 of them as children.

You’ll find John & Elizabeth as #22 & #23 on the Bruce Pedigree.

Note: For the most part the information on their children comes from the Chinn Family Bible. Three of those pages have been uploaded to John’s Find-A-Grave memorial. A big THANK YOU to my 2nd Cousin, June, for sharing them.
I have found more information on most of their children that is not included in those pages but have not include the source citations here to keep them at a minimum. If you are interested in learning more feel free to email me, jodi.familytree@gmail.com, I’m happy to share anything I have.

1 "Virginia, Marriages, 1785-1940," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XR8C-P8Z : accessed 31 Aug 2014), John F. Chinn and Elizabeth Byrne, 23 Jan 1832; citing Fauquier, Virginia, reference r4 p370pr5 p7; FHL microfilm 31634.
2 “Chinn Family Bible, Marriages” image, https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/find-a-grave-prod/photos/2015/252/17123156_1441879111.jpg
3 “Chinn Family Bible, Births & Deaths” image, page 1 of 2, https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/find-a-grave-prod/photos/2015/252/17123156_1441879093.jpg
4 "United States Census, 1840," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XHTK-R19 : 24 August 2015), John Chinn, Leeds, Fauquier, Virginia, United States; citing p. 190, NARA microfilm publication M704, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 558; FHL microfilm 29,686
5 "United States Census, 1850," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M67Z-QDQ : 9 November 2014), John F Chinn, Ruddell, Independence, Arkansas, United States; citing family 1008, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
6 “Chinn Family Bible, Births & Deaths” image, page 2 of 2, https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/find-a-grave-prod/photos/2015/252/17123156_1441879175.jpg
7 "United States Census, 1860," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M8W7-DC3 : accessed 07 Dec 2013), John F Chinn, , Independence, Arkansas; citing "1860 U.S. Federal Census - Population," Fold3.com; p. 88, family 578, NARA microfilm publication M653; FHL microfilm 803043.
8 "United States Census, 1870," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MNCQ-5VG : accessed 5 May 2015), John Chinn, Arkansas, United States; citing p. 4, family 28, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 545,554.
9 "Find A Grave Index," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVVJ-797V : accessed 5 May 2015), John French Chinn, 1875; Burial, , Independence, Arkansas, United States of America, Chinn Cemetery; citing record ID 17123156, Find a Grave, http://www.findagrave.com.
10 "United States Census, 1880," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MNWH-7LJ : accessed 5 May 2015), Elizabeth Chinn in household of Randolph Chinn, Ashley, Independence, Arkansas, United States; citing enumeration district 119, sheet 134B, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 0047; FHL microfilm 1,254,047.
11 "Find A Grave Index," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVVJ-7972 : accessed 5 May 2015), Lydia Elizabeth Byrne Chinn, 1885; Burial, , Independence, Arkansas, United States of America, Chinn Cemetery; citing record ID 17123160, Find a Grave, http://www.findagrave.com.

Friday, January 20, 2017

On This Day in History... January 20, 1811

James BRICKNELL was baptised[1] in Burmington, Warwickshire, England 206 years ago, today. He was the first child and son of Joseph BRICKNELL and Fanny PANSON. And was my 4th great-grandfather.
His official date of birth is unknown. This isn’t unusual for the time as there were no requirements to record a birth. The closest we can come is the baptism record. If you are lucky the parish priest or clerk would note the date of birth within the baptism record.
Generally, you could assume the baptism took place within a month or two of birth but I have seen some where the child was a few years old at the time of their baptism.
I don’t believe this to be the case with James. In 2 of the 3 Censuses that he is recorded in his age is listed as 40 (1851[2]), and 50 (1861[3]). The third census, 1841[4] list his age as 30. In that census those over 15 had their ages rounded down in multiples of 5. So, he could be as old as 35. However, because the other 2 censuses didn’t do this I can be reasonably certain that he was born either in the later part of 1810 or early part of 1811.
James in No. 26 on the Robertson pedigree chart.

For the most part the Bricknells resided in Bledington, Gloucestershire, England. It is part of the area known as the Cotswolds. Home of the Cotswold Sheep. As a knitter and future sheep owner I am intrigued by the idea that my ancestors may have played a role in the development of this rare breed. And will admit that it has bumped them up the list of possible breeds I would consider owning. 

[1] "England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JQZ4-JYS : 30 December 2014), James Bricknell, 20 Jan 1811; citing Worcester, England, reference ; FHL microfilm 328,844.

[2] "England and Wales Census, 1851," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:SG27-SVL : 24 July 2016), James Bricknell, Bledington, Gloucestershire, England; citing Bledington, Gloucestershire, England, p. 3, from "1851 England, Scotland and Wales census," database and images, findmypast (http://www.findmypast.com : n.d.); citing PRO HO 107, The National Archives of the UK, Kew, Surrey.

[3] "England and Wales Census, 1861," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M7GZ-YKN : 6 April 2016), James Bricknell, Bledington, Gloucestershire, England; from "1861 England, Scotland and Wales census," database and images, findmypast (http://www.findmypast.com : n.d.); citing PRO RG 9, The National Archives, Kew, Surrey.

[4] "England and Wales Census, 1841," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M7MJ-4PD : 30 October 2015), James Bricknell, Bledington, Gloucestershire, England; from "1841 England, Scotland and Wales census," database and images, findmypast (http://www.findmypast.com : n.d.); citing PRO HO 107, The National Archives, Kew, Surrey.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

On This Day In History...

Since I started researching my family history I've struggled with how to share it with family.
I always figured that one day I would make a book; when my tree is complete. As I've gotten older and my experience with genealogical research has grown I realized that my family tree will never be complete. Even if I limit the number of generations to 10 I would still have more things to learn about each person.
Some day I might still make the book. With slightly lower expectations for its' content. Until then I thought I would share something here on my blog. My post about my great-grandfather was my first attempt and I had hoped the first of many in 2016 but that didn't work out.
For 2017 I have decided to try again. Using my family tree program I have printed out a calendar of births and marriages for my direct ancestors going back to my 4th great-grandparents. I have decided not to do posts on my parents and grandparents for privacy reasons.
I will also be excluding any events that I don't have a reliable source. These are dates that I got from forum posts or another researchers online tree that didn't contain proper citations. I'm going to blame their existence in my tree on my younger, less experienced, but equally excited and eager self. I don't have any reason to think that they are incorrect other then the general concept that we are human and we make mistakes. And if they do turn out to be wrong, I don't want to be one of the people that have perpetuated the error.
I have made up basic pedigree charts for each of my grandparents (with their first names hidden). These charts contain only names with no other information. They are a way for those interested to understand where in my tree these people fit. You can find the pedigree charts here.
I will tag each post with the corresponding surname and include a link to that pedigree.
Some post will have more information. And what is included  might not be everything I have on those individuals.
If you come across one of these posts and think you might be connected to someone mentioned please feel free to email me at jodi.familytree@gmail.com.

Friday, April 08, 2016

On This Day In History… April 8, 1889

Douglas Stewart Robertson, who just so happens to be my great-grandfather, was born on this day in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1889. Douglas was probably the driving force behind my desire to research my family tree. He is also my biggest brick wall. He was an orphan who came to Canada in 1900 as a Barnardo Boy as part of the child emigration movement.[1]

Photo of Douglas S. Robertson taken upon admission to the Barnardo's Home.
If I could accomplish one thing with my genealogy research it would be to discover where he came from and who his parents were. Most of what I do know about him is from family stories shared by his 3 children and his life after he came to Canada. And even that’s a bit thin.

The following information is from what my grandfather told me.

Douglas Stewart was born on April 8th, 1889 in Edinburgh, Scotland. His mother was possibly of Welsh origin and was named either Helen, Ellen, or something similar. His father was a military officer and was killed during the Second Boer War (1899-1902). Name and rank unknown. Family story goes that upon hearing of her husband’s death Mrs. Robertson fell ill, dying a short time later.

On June 12, 1900 Douglas arrived at Barnardo's Leopold House in East London from Penzance Union, Cornwall, England. He left England on July 19th, 1900 on the SS Tunisian from Liverpool. Arriving in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada on July 29th, 1900. How he got from Edinburgh to Penzance is unknown. Although there is a possibility that at some point his father was transferred to Cornwall. My brother tells me that he remembers some mention of the Fish Wars that Douglas’s father may have fought in.  The Fish Wars are probably the Newlyn Riots that took place in over a few days in May 1896.

I’ve tried many avenues of research to try and find something about Douglas or his parents pre-Barnardo’s but have had very little luck.

I’ve checked birth records, no luck. Death records for Douglas’s mother, again no luck. The 1891 Scotland Census, nothing. But I keep looking. Knowing someday I will find something that I can say definitively that yes this is my family.

Last year I took advantage of a free offer with Find My Past. A UK based genealogy website. Its collection contains the standard fare of birth, marriage, and death records, census, burials, etc. But it also has a newspaper archive. A searchable newspaper archive. The software used to transcribe is very literal and if part of a letter or word had faded (common when you are dealing with 100+ year old documents) it only puts in the lines that it can ‘see’. This means that the search isn’t foolproof. If you do a search you won’t necessarily get a hit for every instance the search term appears. I’m sure there are articles that I haven’t seen yet because of it but I was able to see enough that I can now partially answer the question; how long was Douglas in Cornwall?

The first thing I found was in the Cornishman, Thursday, October 14, 1897.

LONDON WEATHER COMPARED WITH THAT OF PENZANCE – A letter, dated Oct. 7, 1897, and bearing the address “Palace-mansions, Buckingham–gate, London, S.W.) to Master Douglas Stewart Robertson, pupil at the Penzance collegiate school, says:-“We had a dense fog again this morning and I breakfasted at eleven with the electric light – could not have seen otherwise”. In Penzance the weather was crisp and exhilarating and the sun a picture of splendour.
So I know he was there as early as October 1897. I found an advertisement for the Penzance Collegiate School placed in the same newspaper on the same day.
I’ve tried to see if I could figure out who it was that sent Douglas the letter. Without knowing if it was one of his parents, other family member, or a friend, it is difficult to determine.
Further searching came up with 3 more mentions of Douglas in that same newspaper, 3 years later. These were articles reporting on the local Board of Guardians meetings. 

Cornishman: Thursday, May 3rd, 1900

APPLICATION FOR LAD. – Mr. Henry Nicholle, of Newmill, sent a letter to Thursday’s meeting of the Penzance guardians asking to take the lad, Douglas Robertson, out of the workhouse. Mrs. Bolitho said she was corresponding with Dr. Barnardo’s home in the hope of getting the lad sent there. (Hear, hear). It was decided to inform Mr. Nicholle to this affect.
From what I can find it was common for businessmen or farmers to apply to the Board of Guardians to take a lad on as an apprentice or worker.
Out of curiosity I search for this Mr. Nicholle and found him listed as  John Henry Nicholle is 1891 Census of England and Wales in Lanwyn, Truro, Cornwall, England. He is 39 years old, born Chacewater, Cornwall. His occupation is listed as Boot Manufacturer. He is living with his wife Susan Jane (age 37 years, born Scorrier, Cornwall), and daughter, Annie (age 9 years, born in Chacewater, Cornwall).
The next instance was about a month-and-a-half later.

Cornishman: Thursday June 14, 1900

Before the commencement of the ordinary business of the board the CLERK wished to call attention toe case of the lad Douglas Robertson, an orphan now in the workhouse, and who it is proposed to send to Canada. The cost of the lad’s emigration had turned out to be considerably more than was first anticipated. The Rev. J. T. Inskip was prepared to tell the board that the extra charges would come from private individuals and not out the pockets of the ratepayers. After being in communication with Dr. Barnardo he (the clerk) had ascertained that the sum of £9, which was first mentioned as the necessary expenses was made up of £3 for the lad’s outfit, £5 for his passage money, and £1 for other expenses. Dr. Barnardo also required 5s. a week until the lad is sent away, making in all £11. He would also require 7s. for two years for the visitation of the board in Canada, and the Local Government Board would also require £4 10s. for the lad’s visitation until he is 15 years of age. Then they (the board) had allowed £1 for the lad’s railway fare from Penzance to the home in London. That made a total of £18 14s. 6d. of which amount the board had undertaken to pay £11, leaving £7 14s. 6d. to be found.
The Rev. J. T. INSKIP said when he heard of the extra charges he did not think it would be fair to ask the board for more than the sum he had previously mentioned, because he was under the impression the charges would be inclusive. He had been to one or two friends and had secured a guarantee for the extra amount. He hoped the board would not place any obstacle in the lad’s way, seeing they would not be any more out of pocket. (Hear, hear.)
It was decided to accept Mr. Inskip’s offer, and the lad will be sent to Dr. Barnardo’s home as soon as the necessary arrangement have been completed.
And then 2 weeks later.

Cornishman: Thursday, June 28, 1900

With reference to the emigration of the orphan lad Douglas Robertson to Canada, the clerk present a formal resolution which was carried on the motion of the Rev. J. T. INSKIP,who remarked that he should like to publicly express his thanks to Mr. J.D. Mackenzie, one of the Newlyn artists, for having seen the lad safely to London and thence to Dr. Barnardo’s homes.
clip_image002[11]And several years later…

Cornishman: Thursday, June 18, 1908

A letter was received from the Rev. J. T. Inskip, formerly vicar of St. Paul’s, Penzance, enclosing a photograph of Douglas Robertson, a boy sent to Canada by the Board. The vicar said, “The boy thoroughly well justifies the money the guardians laid out” –It was decided that the clerk should write Robertson acquainting him of the Board’s pleasure at his success in life.

I’ve looked into getting the Board of Guardian records but they are not digitized yet and the only way for me to view them would be in person. Which means a trip to London, a little out of my budget, at least for now. I’m hoping they will contain the date Douglas entered the Workhouse and some mention of his parents. Hopefully their names, but even a mention of his father’s occupation or where they died, could be helpful.

[1] Between 1869 and the late 1930s, over 100,000 juvenile migrants were sent to Canada from the British Isles during the child emigration movement. Motivated by social and economic forces, churches and philanthropic organizations sent orphaned, abandoned and pauper children to Canada. Many believed that these children would have a better chance for a healthy, moral life in rural Canada, where families welcomed them as a source of cheap farm labour and domestic help. Source: Library and Archives Canada, Immigration, Home Children.