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”

American as candy corn

As I may have said before, when starting out down the family history track, I didn’t think we had any relatives in the USA, just a few Canadians. A few years down the trail, getting on for ten per cent of individuals on the ever extending tree (which has a total  of just over 5000 right now) are American cousins and their connections.

And in neatly timed research, I discover that the firm which first commercially produced the sweets closely associated by many Americans with trick-or-treat, namely candy corn, has a strong family tie. » Continue reading “American as candy corn”

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”

A Cullum update

I seem to be continually adding individuals to an expanding family tree, with scarcely a pause for breath. Or to step back and take it all in – a valuable exercise to appreciate the results but also to spot areas needing more attention. Thanks for reminding me, Glenn.

Back in May, I went back over the Cullum line, filling in gaps mainly from 1911 census records newly accessible on Ancestry. Three extra offspring emerged for Herbert Cullum and wife Mary Ann (previously Pye):

  • Cecil Herbert, born 1905 Norwich.
 » Continue reading “A Cullum update”

Staying together in Wilkes-Barre A Welsh community in America

The Welsh side of the family which emigrated to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, USA appears to have retained the practice of close-knit communities. There was generally a strong influx to the area from Wales, following the opportunities in coal mining and iron works. And the individual family groups stayed close to each other, at least to start with, as in the Welsh valleys.

The picture in 1910

From the 1910 US Census we can see that Grace Price, the child of Thomas Price and Mary Griffiths who has rather confusingly married William Griffiths (from a different family), is living with husband, 6 children and another William Griffiths aged 69  – almost certainly her uncle although shown as a boarder. » Continue reading Staying together in Wilkes-Barre A Welsh community in America