The Cutlock review for 2013

The family history research reflected in the Cutlock & Co website may appear to have crawled along in 2013, with only 14 articles (excluding this one), but there has actually been quite a lot of activity behind the scenes. Adding in newly available records, tidying up the notes on already identified individuals, filling in small gaps, and plenty more. Subscribing to FindMyPast has given access to the British Newspaper online archives, with a few interesting results.

Here are a few highlights for the Cutlock year.

Smiling at the Smiths Surname

Back in February,  the nautical side of the Norfolk side of the family was revealed with major help through Masters and Mates Certificates which became available to search on Along with a few articles located on the British Newspapers archive, a much fuller picture of 3x great grandfather John Harper Smith emerged. Add in the census records etc. and his varied descendants, some with sea-soaked working lives, could be added to the tree.

Jane Bacchus Smith and Thomas Crisp Press 1839
Jane Bacchus Smith and Thomas Crisp Press marriage registration 1839 – note fathers’ occupations. John Harper Smith is a witness, too.

The trepidation caused by such a common name as ‘John Smith’ had been shattered. More in Entirely to the Water from Birth and Hanging by a thread {4}.

Trouble with Trask tribe

Defiance on the beach In preparing this article, and looking for an interesting newspaper cutting to include,  George Trask was in my notes as having more to explore.  It was quickly noticeable that nearly every mention of a George Trask in Merriott, Somerset (his home village) was accompanied by an Osborne, a Sweet or other common family surname from that area. And there are clearly several George Trasks around – at the time of various assaults under this name in the 1880s, our lad was still a young fellow, which would have been noted. (Some cuttings mention George Trask alias Hooper.) Another Cutlock & Co article will look at relevant press pieces in more detail soon.

However, the cutting on the right, from Western Gazette dated 12th August 1938, is almost definitely our George (just possibly his son), who married ‘Annie’ Osborne in Rhondda 1905 {3}. They then moved to Weymouth.

Somerset County Gazette 26 Jan 1878. Highly unlikely to be a roughly 14 year old George.
Somerset County Gazette 26 Jan 1878. Highly unlikely to be a roughly 14 year old George.

Comments and contacts

Cutlock and Co currently has 35 core site articles (pages in WordPress terms) under People, Place, Events, etc. – and 120 items (posts) such as this, 121 when this is published. Plenty of material for researchers to discover, visitors to read, relations to add their comments.

Articles which gathered contributions this year include:

  • Material on Bush Houses, a small Rhondda community demolished in the 960s, has attracted plenty of interest. A snapshot of Bush Houses now has eleven comments from those with family connections to the place, and Feeling Bushed has six. (Totals include my replies.)
  • A photograph at Deptford Church of Christ, which includes Beasors and Cullums, was number 2 in this year’s comments league. Attached to the Beasor Connection page, it now has 4 comments, including from Rhiannon – now moved to the article’s own comments area (rather than the photo’s).
  • Spoilt for choice, Peggy Stahr decided to get in touch via the Howes  family page in January. A third cousin from the Jeary (Watts) line, she also gave some insight into the Flowerday (Watts) family. Hope you make it over to this side of the pond in 2014, Peggy!

Other useful contributions and contacts came from Phillip Walters on The electrical connection (Watkins and Walters in Llanelli), Yvonne May on The return and disappearance of the missionary Mays (Wales, India, New Zealand).

Twenty thirteen was the year for facing up to The Facebook delusion and attempting contact via this social network. Some success, eventually gaining links with the Gunton family in Norfolk, Mulloys in Canada, and a Neal offshoot or two.

Thanks to …

Other new relations who made contact this year: Robin, Lorraine, Yvonne, Leslie, James, Stephen, Brandon, Duncan, Alison, Jo, Peter, Neville, Ken, Judy, Linda, Susan, Pauline, David.

New online records

Ancestry has added a large number of new datasets, as ever. Those of particular use: 1921 Census Canada; Surrey and W Yorks electoral registers; Birmingham and Surrey parish registers.


as at 24th December 2013.

On the tree: 5445 people (including Beasor, Ratcliffe and Shephard in-law branches), twelve hundred surnames, over two thousand places. Compared with end of 2012 (2011): 5058 people (over 4000), about 1900 (about 1400) places. For own reference: FTM ID ref 5223 to 5621 added.

Cousin contacts: messages have been exchanged (to date, not just in 2013) with 31 third cousins (2012: 23, 2011: 15), 26 second cousins (17, 11). So a doubling in two years.

Website stats: 5878 views on as recorded by WordPress to 24/12/13 (year 2012: 5550). Unique visitors: about two thousand (846 for half of 2012).


1. Previous year-end round-ups:

2. Other articles published during 2013:

3. More on Margaret Ann Osborne and George Trask: In praise of .. Ancestry’s Member Connect Activity feature. Also see Scott/Osborne page. George Trask was born about 1863.

4. Harriet Smith married Robert Neal, parents to Robert Smith Neal (1852 to 1908). See Neal pages.

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