A family history year around the globe

It is time once again for a review of the year just gone, and clearly the top highlights are all from overseas.

Bob sleigh
Bob sleigh

The Griffiths branch in Wilkes-Barre

By no means the only result from visiting cousin Islwyn in July, but almost certainly the largest impact, was finding enough details on the family of great great grandmother Phoebe Griffiths to trace where they went – 3 sisters to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, 1 sister to New Zealand.

The New Zealand crew

Yet again proving the worth of having this website and adding to it as family research develops, an update on the May family caught the attention of a relation.  Always wonderful to find a second cousin living the other side of the world, even better to find he is just as keen on genealogy, if not more so when it comes to going back into the mists of time.

This is a delightful family group photo fresh to this site. Thanks Glenn.

The May family in India, about 1935
The May family in India, about 1935

Emerging Neal photos from Canada

Coming out of nowhere on the home stretch, second cousin once removed Gayle provides a heap of new, old photos, both of the Neal family in Canada and back home. Here’s one which hasn’t featured on Cutlock and Co yet, taken at Guernsey Road in Norwich – there’s an earlier photo in the Howes collection taken in the same spot but featuring Edie, Mrs Neal and Ethel (Williams), the plants are higher here too!

Neals (in Norwich?) 1935
Edie, Mrs Neal, Emily, Arthur, 1935

Minor update: Guernsey Road photo now added to new Neals at Home gallery.

Other stories

Discoveries have continued across the tree. For instance:

Don’t forget there is a complete list of all articles on the website, and most pieces include related links at the end. Admittedly some of the article titles are a little obscure – try using the tags which increasingly appear at the bottom of articles to find related posts.

Online records keep on growing

I am reminded on re-reading last year’s Cutlock Wrap that London School Admissions records, which I helped to transcribe with Ancestry’s World Archives Project, didn’t go live until 2012. There weren’t any family surprises, but a few nice extra details of birthdays, addresses and schools attended.

Other new or extended records of interest on Ancestry: Probate records to 1966, Dorset parish, electoral and other records, West Yorks Non-conformist. Also Warwickshire and Lancashire parish. Oh, and of course the 1940 USA census (still a few records to track down).

I’d also like to thank

Greetings especially go to all the new relations who made contact this year: Glenn, Tracy, Gayle, Kate, Rob, Clark, Tony, Pauline, Valerie, Sophie, Andrew, Suzanne, Teresa. Plus the in-law connections: Kayley, Alan, Kathy, Jane. And all those other distant cousins and research enthusiasts who have helped out this year, not forgetting those of you who have been on my ‘family connects’ spreadsheet from before 2012, you know who you are.


as at 23rd December 2012.

On the tree: 5058 people (including Beasor, Ratcliffe and Shephard in-law branches), a thousand surnames, almost nineteen hundred places. Compared with end of 2011 (2010): 4023 people (over 2000), about 1400 (about 800) places.

Abroad: 485 people have USA in some fact (note: this includes arrival fact, which can include a short visit), 182 are seen in Canada, 111 Australia and just 22 in New Zealand. There will be an element of double counting (in particular some moved between Canada and USA), but approx. 15 per cent of the tree are outside Britain for some of their life at least.

Cousin contacts: messages have been exchanged (to date, not just in 2012) with 23 third cousins (2011: 15), 17 second cousins (11).

Website stats: over five thousand views on www.cutlock.co.uk for 2012 (2011: about 4500, including cutlock.wordpress.com). Unique visitors 846 for half the year (2011: 279 over 3 months).

What Next?

A shorter list of articles in 2012 and fewer subjects covered shows how the research is maturing. All the obvious gaps have been filled, although I am open to correction on that. So, no high priority targets are on the research notes at present, but there is still a range of smaller ones to pursue.

It may be time to check out what Welsh parish records FindMyPast has added over the last year or so, and battle through all those common surnames. The newspaper archives also now on FMP are another possibility.

One thing is sure, with more foreign connections the cost of research goes up – Ancestry Worldwide is about 50% more expensive than the home-grown package. And FMP isn’t cheap either. Still a whole lot cheaper than having to traipse round record offices around the country, as it was in the old days apparently.

More photo galleries are likely to appear on Cutlock & Co, although some may have restricted access if they feature recent snaps.

Fingers crossed Val makes it over from California in 2013 and we get to meet up.

But who will come forward out of the electronic haze in the next year?


1. Previous year-end round-ups: Cutlock wrap for 2011, Top three for 2010.

2. Wondering about that Bob sleigh image? Seemed rather seasonal, having originally been added in 2011 to the Neal photo gallery which has just been given a new home (better thumbnails, more flexibility for further additions).

3. The 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).

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