Research

Notes on useful resources, problems found (and hopefully solved), partly for own reference.

Starting points

I was fortunate that Mum created her ‘Recollections and Reflections’ in December 2007, before I decided to get serious about family history in late 2008. (I had taken out a free Ancestry sub in 2006 but not pursued it further.) This gave me a starting point on grandparents (mine and hers) and names of her cousins. Dad also let me have the first few printed pages of his ‘Before I forget’ notes soon after I started – the full manuscript unfortunately went out with a damaged computer but this had key data (names, birthdays) on relatives.

The following contacts, mainly discovered via Ancestry, Genes Reunited or this site, have been of great help – no particular order, and no doubt incomplete: Rachel Barber, Winnie Neal, James Holgate, Jeremy Watts, Darrell Austin, Lucinda Fletcher-Neal, Patricia Sanderson, John GB Howes (via Michael Taylor), Ann Dempsey, Jean Goff, Catherine Jones, Steve Lee, Nathan Caine, Muriel Shephard, Sharon Bass, Peggy Sparrow, Cherry Billing, Sharon Redman, John Osborne, Sue Osborne in Oz, Gareth Williams, Cathleen Parsons, Roger Buttle. And not forgetting Islwyn Watkins. Further credits: Kent Fraser, Glenn Lambert-Vickers, Gayle McRae, Valerie Newell, Phillip Walters, Janet Bailey, Peggy Stahr, Phillip Walters, Stephen Watts, Jack Edwards, Karyn Jeanes, Alan Croad.

Transcriptions

Plenty of transcription errors encountered on both Ancestry and FindMyPast websites. I like the way you can add notes with ‘alternate’ information for Ancestry record images, although the options can be limiting.

Some Issues

1851 census, Llandefalley parish Breconshire district 6b (south, including Common Bach – “my” patch) half a dozen records in the district are repeated – is an equivalent number missing, containing my ancestors ? (One possible match found to eldest Watkins son apprenticed to a blacksmith.)

Useful Resources

A huge of useful web resources relating to family history now exist. This page: websites specifically used, useful or informing our research. Also see the more general, and ever growing, Research Links page. Plus check out the individual pages (by name, place etc.) for key web links for that subject.

Wales

Welsh patronymic system – offspring take first name of father e.g. children of Gregory Watkins could be John Gregory, Jill Gregory. Do a search on the subject, or try this BBC Wales history page.

Welsh wills (to 1858) can be viewed online.

Welsh translation Geiriadur yr Academi.

Norfolk

Somerset

Foreign stuff

Data Sites

  • FreeBMD Index to transcriptions of Civil Registration registers of births, marriages and deaths for England and Wales.
  • Registration districts on UKBMD – use this to reduce confusion on place names which don’t seem to exist, and find what actual towns and villages were within a  district’s boundaries.
  • FreeREG Similar to FreeBMD, but based on parish (church) records, which start earlier.
  • Family Search A variety of sources around the globe (started with US and Canada bias but expanded). Some records give all the data on the site, others link through to free-to-view databases, also ones which charge, but this is indicated.

Subscription sites are listed under Research Links.

Full Tree

If you use the Ancestry site, the full tree is under ‘Howes Watkins Neal Scott 2017’, uploaded from Family Tree Maker (fresh version after the FTM2017 release). The tree is set to private but access is happily given to appropriate inquirers. Limited (and not often updated) versions of the tree are also on Find My Past, Genes Reunited and TheGenealogist sites.

My reference database is managed using Family Tree Maker software on my computer. At July 2017 (December 2010 in brackets), this database holds some 5,705 (over 2,000) individuals, thirteen hundred (400) different surnames, about 2,100 (500) places and almost 12,000 (2,000) source records. The more recent figures include Beasor and Shephard additions.

See Ancestry notes for tips on using that website.

Further pages

Other pages in the Research section:

  • General Research Links page, grouped by place and subject.
  • Glossary, Names. Common genealogy abbreviations; nicknames and their original names etc.

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