Sunday, 7 August 2022

Searching for stuff


 

My old Sony point and shoot camera has finally gave up the ghost. I really wanted to replace it with an identical one but they are no longer available so I looked for a cheap replacement. They are so easy to slip into a pocket or handbag when out and about and I am happy just taking snapshots for the blog. I do own a Sony bridge camera but it's not practical for me to hold right now, not until my painful arm gets sorted out. Then before I spent any money hubby came up trumps,  he found his old Sony point and shoot camera which he rarely uses, in fact he had to go hunting for it in lots of drawers and cupboards before he finally found it. I'm a happy bunny now, look at the difference from the last photo I took of Tilly.  So these two photos were taken with my new to me camera, Tilly and Yasmine the horse.

So what have I been up to on these early mornings, I've been making use of my Ancestry subscription and I made contact with a DNA match of mine whose name is John, we are 5th cousins and our common ancestor is our 4th great grandfather Thomas who came over from Ireland to Lancashire in the first half of the 1800s. I'm descended through the male line which is known as a patrilineal descent which means I was born with the same surname as Thomas and in the same town where he lived, worked and died.

Now this is where the research became really interesting. My DNA match with John meant I already had his grandmother in my family tree but I only had a birth for her and she was proving to be a bit of an enigma to me. With the help of John I was able to find out much more about John's grandmother Mary Elizabeth. 

Mary Elizabeth was born in 1887 and married in December 1909 and by then she had moved to live in Kent from her home town in Lancashire. I would never have discovered this without John's help as she married using her very flowery stage name as she was an actress. I won't give her stage name but it is very unusual  and John has a copy of his grandmother's marriage certificate of her using that stage name.  So Mary Elizabeth did not adhere to either her birth given forename or surname when she married. One of John's grandmother's sisters was once presented with an award to do with Mary Elizabeth's acting career and John's sister still has the award and gift of a rose gold face compact which has been passed down through the family. However John does not know where or when his grandmother performed and jokingly suggested that maybe she was an exotic dancer that  was not advertised just going off the name she used. To complicate matters on the 1911 census Mary Elizabeth and her husband George had a baby, a two month old daughter named Irene Margaret  and on the census it stated that Mary's husband  George worked as a bargeman and he used her pet name Ethel on the census and that was not even his wife's real or stage name! George gave his wife's stage name on his UK Army World War 1 Service Record in 1915 which he would have had to have done as that was her name on the marriage certificate. George was injured during the war but survived and they went on to have more children.

When Mary Elizabeth died she bequeathed her money to her daughter Irene Margaret and another son so there is absolutely no doubt at all about her name changes. Her probate record gives her name as Margaret Elizabeth with her husband's surname. 

So there we have it my fifth cousin John has included my line in his family tree and I have included John in mine. All neat and tidy and totally fascinating stuff.

 

12 comments:

  1. Glad you managed to find a replacement camera that you're happy with, and without it costing you too, win win. It's so interesting what family history throws up, isn't it. It's good to be able to get in touch with distant relatives as they're able to throw some light on areas of the family tree which you'd never be able to trace otherwise. My great granddad was born out of wedlock and given the surname of his mother's first husband before taking the surname of his actual father, though his parents never married. It was hard tracing his birth, I ordered his birth certificate just on a whim, even though he had a different surname, never thinking that he was the person I was looking for really, but his real father's surname, which he later took, was listed there as a middle name. It was just luck that I found him. It's a long time now since I've done any research on my family tree, perhaps I'll pick it up again and continue where I left off one day.

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    1. I'm happy to have a replacement camera as I don't like writing a blog post without at least one photo even if they have been rubbish :) I wish I could go back in time and ask questions even from my own parents.. I'm glad you were able to find out about your great grandad. Do you remember I told you about Rachel Lister my 4th great grandmother, I have DNA matches leading back to her. What I didn't say was her son, my 3rd great grandfather was born out of wedlock and on his West Yorkshire baptism record it states she was a single woman, father Lister and her son a bastard, but that's what they did in the early 1800s. She married a year later and I've no idea if her new husband was the baby's father. Sometimes you do feel like you've hit a brick wall with certain ancestors so taking a break then picking up later could work with new records and new DNA matches. It's a fascinating pastime for sure.

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  2. You are right - that new photo of Tilly is almost as if you have a different pup! (I know that is never going to happen 💚🐾 ). Fabulous to see her eyes and the texture of her coat.

    What fun being able to take your Ancestry study a bit further. She does sound like a very interesting character with a less than mundane life, I wonder how many other geneaology researches have been stumped by someone using many diferent names? I don't suppose you could do that now with all the database we are on?

    Is Mary Elizabeth your cousin, five time removed, or your grandmother x five removed? I get very confused :-)

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    1. I'm so pleased with that photo of Tilly, it has to be the best one yet and I love seeing her eyes when she's newly groomed and her coat is shiny and she's busy watching me watching her :)
      I was so pleased I sent a message to a distant cousin just to say hello and to get such marvellous feedback.I don't think many people lead mundane lives if you scratch the surface. I did wonder how she could have used a different name on a marriage certificate but different times, it wouldn't happen now or could it, who knows.
      I'm glad Ancestry works out the relationships for us, Mary Elizabeth was my 3rd cousin twice removed.

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  3. Glad the camera saga has worked out well. Ancestry is interesting & my cousin did my Dad's side many years ago, and another cousin was doing some of my Mum's side along with bits she gleaned from her aunts & uncles, but I've never joined 'Ancestry', as their fees are way expensive over here. I'm with Jayne on getting confused with how we are related at times. Take care & hugs.

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    1. I'm glad I have a usable camera again as mine had died on me but it had had plenty of use.The Ancestry subscriptions are expensive and it will depend how much the renewal is if I carry on with it or not. I do enjoy searching through old records though and discovering how my ancestors lived.

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  4. That's a great photo of Tilly and how nice that your husband was able to locate and give you his old camera!
    How interesting to be able to connect with a DNA match and find out more family history! Sounds like your 3rd cousin twice removed lived a very interesting life, complete with name changes and all! :)

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    1. I really like the photo of Tilly if I do say so myself :) Having hubby's old Sony point and shoot camera has saved me some money buying a camera I would not been as happy with.
      It was nice to connect with a distant cousin and he was so helpful giving me all those interesting facts about his grandmother.

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  5. Very interesting about your genealogy search, when we went to Australia a cousin of my mother had done all the research and presented me with a folder listing second, cousins third and others! He had been researching for years.

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    1. I admit I had a head start because my sister and cousin had already researched our family tree but I have certainly looked into it more in depth and added more ancestors. That must have been very interesting for you discovering all those family members you never knew you had, what a nice surprise too.

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  6. That's a lovely photograph of Tilly, and I'm glad you're all sorted with a new camera now.
    This ancestry search sounds like it can get quite complicated. I wouldn't even know where to begin. X

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    1. I think that's the best photo I've taken yet of Tilly and happy I can take some decent photos now with a new to me camera. It's a very enjoyable pastime researching the family tree and Ancestry has so much information available it's not too daunting.

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