Neal relations at Cuckoos Cup, The Wrekin

The Cutlock wrap for 2011

The traditional year-end review – developments in family history research on Cutlock & Co and the HowesWatkinsNealScott tree {Note 1}.

What I wished for

At the start of 2011, I wrote Looking ahead to look behind on this site, anticipating what progress might be made over the year. I gave an update half way through the year, when there was already only one significant outstanding item – making a connection with relations from the Cullum family, who shared great great grandmother Harriet Cutlock as an ancestor. Pleasingly this got ticked off a few weeks later, as related on Uncle William comes into focus. The email exchanges with Muriel have continued since, building up her husband’s family tree as well as filling in huge amounts of information and photographs of the Cullums. (Related links: A fruitful life for a Norfolk accountant, Cullum photo gallery, Great photo shame about the documentation, Connecting with the neighbours).

To save new readers having to click elsewhere, the other items already ticked off the list for 2011 were, in summary:

  • Scanning old photographs collated over the years by the parents. Still no Flip-Pal portable scanner available in the UK, though.
  • The trip to Tonypandy, Trealaw cemetery and Osborne relations still living there.
  • Keeping on blogging.
  • Welsh parish register records on FindMyPast. These have surfaced, but are not numerous and so far appear to offer little to no useful data for this tree.

Other highlights of 2011

Records and recording

TreeSync The release of a new version of a computer program may not sound exciting, but Family Tree Maker 2012 this autumn brought in TreeSync. It means I no longer have to do all tree additions twice, once on Family Tree Maker and once on the Ancestry website version. This obviously makes for less laborious, and faster, work.  See Keeping the family trees in sync and Grappling with the new TreeSync, as well as the new Family Tree Maker notes page.

New online datasets New collections which appeared on and proved useful during 2011 include: parish records for West Yorkshire and Dorset, railway employment records, plus census summary books, images and the start of the transcriptions for 1911.

World Archive Project The ‘British Postal Service Appointments’ project attracted my attention early in 2011 as being relevant to my great uncle Arthur (Howes). WAP is an Ancestry scheme to get volunteers to transcribe selected data from images of all sorts of records. I contributed a little to this project, and the full transcriptions became available for searching on Ancestry  in July – see Getting posted to the Post Office. I spent more time on the London Schools Admissions Form 2 (1841-1911) project, and later Dorset Crew Lists 1863-1913 (no known local nautical connections when I started). The resulting transcriptions are yet to go live on Ancestry.

Going Global Taking out a Worldwide sub on Ancestry for a month allowed filling in details on migrations overseas. See  Kiwi cousins and Following four brothers from Somerset, and also using Ancestry passenger lists: All at sea with a new cousin (Stanley Cullum, ships engineer).

Meet the families

The Cullum connection wasn’t the only one to result in contact with ‘new’ relatives.

Neals in Canada As well as fleshing out quite who of the Neal family in Norwich went to live in Canada and their children, this year full flesh and bones in the shape of living second cousins were found. Related articles: Neals in Canada – the photo gallery, Turning an absence into a presence, Alice arrives in Canada.

King and I

Farrall family Tracing the family tree for aunt Irene’s husband Charles O’Brien led to an interesting person, Theophilus Farrall shipping agent and electrical inventor. And also contact with a first cousin of his. Wendy, if you are reading, time to follow up on our emails of the summer?

The Beasor tree Having only done the bare bones of my sister-in-law’s tree, a nephew of hers started to create his own Ancestry tree, complete with material held by the family. Time to get stuck in and help out!

A mining community The Tonypandy visit of course led to plenty of data for the tree and material for Cutlock and Co. The Bush Houses mining community got particular attention: Feeling bushed, about the place, A community in the Bush more about the people, and A snapshot of Bush Houses in 1911 (from census records). Other local posts: The Tonypandy that mum knew and a couple from Trealaw cemetery, A quick look at family gravestones and Keen eyes and some groundwork to find the name. Note: there ought to have been one or two more cemetery related articles but other themes cropped up first, so they are still in the pending pile.

And a whole stack of other email exchanges, Ancestry connections, comments received on Cutlock and Co etc. have all helped add to the data and, perhaps even more importantly, the picture of people’s lives and the wider context. For example Uncle Ernest the pharmacist (Laddiman).

Watts of Worstead on Cutlock and Co in 2011: Photos of great great uncle Sam farmhand (Myhill), In Praise of .. member connect (Katie Watts/Myhill).

Osborne of Merriott in 2011: In Praise of .. member connect (Margaret Annie Osborne/Trask), Following four brothers from Somerset, and the mining community items above.

Some stats

At 21st December.

  • Number of people recorded on the family tree: 4023, almost double the “over 2000” a year ago. The “about 800” places referenced in the birth, death, marriage, census and other records has risen to some 1400. The inclusion of the Shephard/Cullum and Beasor/Price lines has been a significant (but not overwhelming) part of this.
  • Third cousins discovered and contacted – 15, up fifty per cent since June. Also 11 second cousins and several great nieces of in-law connections.
  • Page views on the website – (from Sept 2011) and taken together: 4493. Unique visitors as recorded by Google Analytics from late September: 279.


1. The current HowesWatkinsNealScott tree on Ancestry is set to ‘Private’. I’m happy to give access, on request, to anyone with a valid link to the families it covers (you’ll need to set up an Ancestry account, but not necessarily to have a paid sub).

2. Thanks are due to the following, in no particular order: Muriel and Rachel Shephard, Sharon Bass, John and Rob Osborne, Tom Neal, Kent Fraser, Keith Maitland, Hugh Cowan, Shantel Leon, Rhian Saurin, Stephen Gregory, Catherine Howell, Dave Laddiman, Wendy Loxley, Pat Montgomery, Islwyn Watkins and anyone else who has been in contact this year. And also to the helpful types on Facebook page and Wellington History Group. You are all particularly welcome to add your comments to this round-up.

3. Also see: Top three for 2010 – part one and part two. And a complete list of all articles written in 2011.


2 responses to “The Cutlock wrap for 2011”

  1. Robert Neal avatar
    Robert Neal

    Hi, I’m the Grandson of Robert Neal ( of Truro) who died in 1984 . I Think that makes me the 5th Robert Neal in your research. I would love to view more of the family tree on Ancestry. If you could forward the required details that would be great. I have found the information on the Neal Family incredibly interesting thanks for spending the time to dig all this information out.



    1. ahcutlock avatar

      Hallo Rob, great to hear from you. I’ll send you an email shortly with info on accessing the tree on Ancestry.

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