Our American pioneers

The Watts family members migrating to Nebraska in the late 19th century were hardly in the first wave of American immigrants, but were still pioneers in the area they settled – Seward county. They are also the first known members of the wider family to have travelled that far {1}.

Robert and Jane Jeary

This photograph, kindly supplied by third cousin Peggy Stahr, is of Robert Jeary and wife Jane (nee Watts). Jane was the oldest child of Matthew and Ann Watts, born 1846 in Worstead, Norfolk. » Continue reading “Our American pioneers”

No Irish swearing please

A first cousin (twice removed) Mary Ellen Watts married Edward Arthur Feek in 1905. Edward’s parents were Elijah and Harriet (maiden name Meek). Can you guess the most frequent transcription error for the surname, perhaps from the title of this piece? Yes, Feck, although for one particularly badly written census record (1881) it comes out as Teek.

As some family trees on Ancestry have what I believe is a stray child to Elijah and Harriet (the 1911 census clearly says they had 6 children, all still alive at that time), I’ve been making sure I’ve got the Feeks pinned down.  » Continue reading “No Irish swearing please”

Double trouble

The Jeary family in America, descended from great great aunt Jane Watts and husband Robert who settled in Seward county, Nebraska, is quite extensive (see Going Abroad – America and global for some starters). Partly as a consequence, Robert Jeary’s siblings, who also emigrated to Nebraska from Norfolk, have been less researched by me to date.

Robert became a farmer, as did his sister-in-law Emma Watt’s hubbie William Flowerday. But not all the Jearys took that path. » Continue reading “Double trouble”

Making the news makes family history

This post was going to be about bringing together disparate sources to build a picture, but has evolved into one on the increasing availability and usefulness of newspaper archives.

The British Newspaper Archive website went live late 2011, but while I have yet to use this, cuttings are increasingly adding to the data available. And the new series of Who Do You Think You Are? has featured newspaper extracts in each of the three episodes so far, with a particularly strong impact on Patrick Stewart’s view of his “angry” and abusive father when a cutting mentions shell-shock during evacuation from Cherbourg in 1940. » Continue reading “Making the news makes family history”

Making a Case for the Myhills

Samuel Myhill (born about 1856, Dilham, Norfolk) featured here almost a year ago with the first results of a scanning session on old family photos. He married my great great aunt Mary Watts in 1879. I have finally been able to get a better picture of what happened to most of their children, appearing as adults in one of the photos, largely thanks to the latest 1911 census update on Ancestry.

To work backwards, my favourite approach, from the youngest offspring:

Sidney Frederick Myhill

Born 16th December 1887, Dilham. » Continue reading “Making a Case for the Myhills”

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. » Continue reading “The Cutlock wrap for 2011”