Sunday, 31 January 2010

The Wrong Stilings

I've certainly been very busy with genealogy the last week or so. 

The most significant discovery is that I am now quite sure that the Broadhembury STILINGs are not directly linked to me. (Click the link to see my previous Stiling posts, or click Stiling in the right sidebar). The John STILING farming at Lane End Farm is not Harriet STILING's father. I discovered this by making contact with other people researching the Broadhembury John STILING on Ancestry.co.uk. 

Devon has not allowed the LDS to film their parish records and so most baptisms from Devon are not available on the IGI.  This has meant that I have not yet seen Harriet's baptismal entry but instead have accepted information given to me by a relative over 10 years ago (until I can check the records for myself) which states her mother was Grace FREED.  When I first searched the 1841 census (via microfilm) all those years ago, the Broadhembury John STILING was the closest match I found.  I then decided it was possible Grace had died and this wife, Mary could have been a second wife.  However, the other (very helpful) people researching this family had no knowledge of a first wife (Grace) or of a daughter called Harriet.

John STILING on Harriet's marriage record

I decided to recheck all my sources.  Harriet's marriage certificate lists her father as John STILING, a farmer, so I searched the census again with Ancestry.co.uk, including spelling variants.  Still no joy.  The Broadhembury STILINGS were still the only likely option.  I then went through my digital folders and came across a file called 'Stilings on the 1841 census'.  I had another look and this time saw a John and Grace STILING in the Tiverton area (how I'd not noticed that before is beyond me).  I searched for them in this area and sure enough John and Grace topped the list!  They had been transcribed as Steling.  Someone seems to have originally recorded the name as Styling and someone's attempt to correct it allowed it to be misread as Steling.

Another John STILING farmer - this time at West Barton Farm near Tiverton

I am more confident that these are my STILINGS - not only because of the wife, Grace but also because they reside in the Tiverton area which is where I found Harriet working as a servant on the 1841 census and her location at the time of her marriage.  However, until I see the birth records, I have no hard evidence that Grace is, in fact, Harriet's mother and that this is MY family, as she never appears with her parents on a census.

Next Steps: 
  • Visit Devon library to locate Harriet's baptism entry in the parish records.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Workhouse Call

Read 1st part here and 2nd part here.

It took some time (and a bit of money) for me to find the right George PALMER's death certificate. I am now quite sure this is the correct one as the age, occupation and location fit.

George Palmer's death certificate - 29th October 1896

After an eventful life, George died in Westminster Union Workhouse. How did he end up there?
Note that George died of 'Senile Decay'. Does this mean I have another lunatic on my hands?
Ancestry UK now has London Poor Law records available to view online. I searched the Westminster Union 'Register of Lunatics', which thankfully has a surname index and found there were no PALMER lunatics between the years of 1890 and 1898.
Unfortunately the 'Admission and Discharge Book' does NOT have a surname index. Using George's date of death, I found his 'discharge' (death).

October 1896 Westminster Union Workhouse 'Admission and Discharge Book'
George died on Thursday, October 29th 1896. His last meal was breakfast and his diet was described as 'class 2' (The Workhouse site explains the class of diet from 1900 onwards but I have yet to find a key to the Westminster Union classes in 1896).
The 1891 census for Westminster Union Workhouse contains a George Palmer of the same age, occupation and county of birth as mine.
George PALMER on the 1891 census in Westminster Union Workhouse


Presuming the George on the 1891 census is mine (the town of birth is listed as Winchester, Hampshire whereas all the other information that I have, states that George was born in Portsea, Hampshire), I have a window of 10 years in which to search for his admission.
Considering there is no surname index, this is a bit of a tedious task as I have to trawl through each page in the book for his surname - wish me luck!

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Future House Call (Using Google Street View)

Read 1st part here.

After his second wife died, George seemed to move around, lodging at various places in London. His marriage to second wife Emily FELLA was so short that it didn't feature in any of the censuses (they married in 1873 - she died in 1875). Luckily for me, Emily's death certificate lists George as the informant and his residence as 54 Swinton St, London (Emily also died here).


Death Certifcate of Emily Jane FELLA -1875
A quick search of Rumsey's site informs me that houses still exist at this site:


I am aware that house numbers changed at some time in the past and need to check that number 54 Swinton St today is the same number 54 Swinton Street of 1875. Even so, it's another address for me to visit when I'm in London. I like being able to get a feel of how my ancestor's lives may have lived.

I used Google's street view for a quick peek at the area. Click and drag the orange man on to the map and use the on screen tools to have a look around.
Did the PALMERs live (and in Emily's case, die) in these buildings:
Or these?


Read 3rd part here.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

House Call

Whilst reading my copy of 'Your Family Tree' magazine, I came across a great resource for people with London ancestors. The David Rumsey Historical Map Collection includes an 1843 London map which you can transpose over google's current satellite map. This would have saved me a lot of time a couple of years ago.
I don't have many links to London in my tree. The only significant person in my tree to reside in London was George Wright PALMER and part of his family.

George was born in Portsea and his job in the Royal Navy caused him to move around a bit. For some reason, George was in London at the time of the 1871 census. He was living at 33 Marshall St with his first wife, Mary Ann and youngest son, Edward.

Palmer family in 1871 census
(click for larger image)
When I went on the hunt for this address a couple of years ago, I had to switch between windows and use educated guesses to pinpoint the locations. With Rumsey's site, I was able to search and quickly locate Marshall St in Westminster.

Here is a photograph I took of what I believe to be 33 Marshall St. I found it the hard way but using this map overlay it was so quick and simple.




Here is a picture I found of 33 - 36 Marshall St, taken in the 1960s (annoyingly from the opposite direction to my picture).

It's hard to say how long George and his reduced family lived at this address. Mary Ann died the next year and he married his second wife, Emily Jane FELLA in 1873. Tragically, she died just two years later.
I'm not often able to find detailed information on the houses in which my ancestors lived, which makes the details I found at British History Online even more special.

Most of these buildings [...] were erected in the 1820's by or under the supervision of Thomas Finden after the closure of Carnaby Market [...]. This redevelopment was uniformly planned, small in area and scale, but forming to-day an unusually pleasant oasis for pedestrians, and offering facilities for shopping away from the through streets. There is accommodation for shop-keepers over the shops, as well as for chamber trades such as tailoring. The least altered parts are the block bounded on the west by Newburgh Street and on the south by Ganton Street, and the two pedestrian courts west of Newburgh Street—Lowndes Court and Marlborough Court.
The prevailing form was the four-storey terrace house fronted in stock brick, two windows wide with plain window-openings, and a continuous plain parapet with stone coping. The windows, most of which have their original narrow glazing-bars, have stone sills. The ground floors were built as shops from the beginning, for this was the period of the planned shopping street...
The ground floors of Nos. 33–36 Marshall Street have thin pilaster-strips and a continuous entablature; space appears to have been provided for shop-windows but, except at No. 35, these spaces have only one domestic-size window each. The ground floors of Nos. 20–22 Peter Street are similar.

(From: 'Marshall Street Area', Survey of London: volumes 31 and 32: St James Westminster, Part 2 (1963), pp. 196-208. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=41471 Date accessed: 10 January 2010).

(The bold font was added by myself for ease of reference).

Read 2nd part here.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Snow Friend of Mine

image source: h is for home


I've been gone a while as I haven't had much time to do genealogy lately. I haven't even emailed my fabulous archivist for more information on the new lunatics I've uncovered from the last information received (She's probably glad for the break).
At least this glorious snow we've been having will give me an opportunity to try and get in the swing of things again.
I'm going to sit back and relax now, read my brand new family tree magazine and wait for inspiration to strike. I'll be back.
(Oh, and thankyou for the compliments and blog awards - you're all very kind).