Thursday, 31 December 2009

End of 2009 new pages to website

As I said before I've been transcribing the information, you know names etc, and I am pleased to say that 75 new memorial additions will be coming to either Wakefield Family History Sharing or Genealogyjunction very shortly. In fact, some are already there, as I've just added a couple for Morayshire, Ross & Cromarty and Inverness-shire - as I hope you appreciate getting the transcription into a format that matches the rest of the pages takes a little while, but they are on their way.

When those pages are complete there are many more memorials that I have to do including to name a very few :- Gullane, Dunning, Braco, Lodsworth, Sissinghurst, East Grinstead and a number from Newhaven. So I do hope you keep popping back to see whats new - you never know you may find a family member or someone of interest.

As I've said before, if you are looking for a certain memorial you can always contact me via Wakefield Family History Sharing and see if I have it in my 'to do' file

May I now wish you a Happy, Healthy, Peaceful 2010 full of good family history finds


Saturday, 26 December 2009

Christmas Update

The past month has been quite hectic - with Christmas and all that comes with it to transcribing over 85 War Memorials.

I thought it made sense, well to me anyway, to sit and transcribe the images and then upload the resulting pages - at least they can then be seen by either family, friends or researchers and then do the hard and time consuming bit - finding out who they are, what they did in their lifetime and whose children they were, you know the important stuff, the bit that makes them a person and not just a name on a slab of stone or in a book hidden behind glass.

In this batch there have been some interesting and unusual memorials from the small village memorial to quite large towns and one in particular, hidden from the road and only identified by a small roadsign, that was damaged beyond repair and replaced by a new memorial only a few yearsago - the original now rests in the local churchyard. Some memorials are informative and give full rank, regiment and full name - easy ! While others only tell of an initial and surname - not so easy but we keep on trying to get as much information about these people as possible.

Sometimes the memorials are in plain sight, on main road, churchyards, outside prominent buildings but sometimes they are hidden away and you would be surprised how many people when asked where the war memorial is simply look very vague. But a few questions later i.e. where is the churchyard, where do the villagers or townspeople lay the poppies and its found. Many people seem a little embarassed that they do not know where their memorial is but with a smile and a brief explanation as to why I want to know and all is well - and then another memorial is added to the awaiting transcriptions listing.

So, within the next few weeks there will be over 30 Scottish Memorials including 21 pre WW1 memorials and over 45 from Sussex and Kent, there are also a large number of French and Belgian memorial also awaiting transcribing.

If you want to know if a memorial has been photographed ready for transcribing please email me and I'll have a look in my listings.

Have a Happy, whats left of Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful 2010


Tuesday, 20 October 2009

October activities

I seem to photograph War Memorials a lot quicker than I can transcribe the wording and find out who the young men were. But then again, I don't tend to venture far when the nights draw in and the outside gets cold, windy and either very damp or wet, so that gives me some time to gather all the info together.

I've spent some photographing time in Sussex via Kent with bits of Surrey thrown in for good measure.........and some parts of the south are not all that bad !!!!!!!!!! I only found one place that I would avoid like the plague.......Crawley......what a place and the worlds rudest driver.

Saying that it was nice and a very pleasant surprise to find churches open, but I'm still amazed to find that the churches in towns that have volunteers to keep an eye on them do not know what is on their walls. I went to find one war memorial, place shall remain nameless, and asked a lady walking towards the parish church where it was....I was told....and I asked is the church open and is there any memorials inside. She did not know but after photographing the memorial went inside and I walked in I saw some wording on the panelling behind the doors - guess what it was a pair of private memorials. I continued on inside and saw my lady from the outside and after being greeted asked were there any memorials inside..... Oh! no idea was the answer. I said I had found the ones behind the doors. It was then that one lady said Oh, yes we have those ! Sometimes I wonder why I ask and don't just walk around myself.

I did on my quest find two very nice memorials, both I think in East Grinstead.

Anyway, while ever I sit and write this its not getting the transcribing done, now is it ??

I have hundreds of War Memorials photographed but not yet transcribed, if you want to contact me to see if the memorials with a family connection are in my 'waiting folder' etc., I'd be happy to make that a priority

Happy hunting

Thursday, 24 September 2009

New idea

While manning a family history help desk I was talking to 2 people who were total beginners but had brought some family information with them namely a couple of certificates.

As I was explaining what information, very useful information was included in certificates I was also sketching out a rough, very rough, family tree based on the info given on the certificates. My sketching, without a ruler was not good and it was hard for them to follow as from the census we had found a child with grandparents - so a generation was missing. This made it even harder.

How could I make it easier to explain and more importantly make it easier for beginners to understand. Well, not always beginners as sometimes even more experienced family historians need to draw a tree to understand who goes where and how they all fit it.

Paper came out along with pencils and a vry big rubber, oh and don't forget a non-dogearred ruler ! The first few attempts I kept missing out a generation on one side - silly me ! Time to concentrate. Eventually I had a good enough prototype to take to my better half and say draw that for me on the computer.

Less than 24 hours later I have a workable mainline with siblings tree and uploaded it to the charts and forms section of my site.

Now it should be easier to follow generations and add siblings as children of siblings are also family members - there's not a lot of space for dates and if you run out of space for siblings, start another sheet, with a ref no. that way you know who fits into the great scheme of things.

Back to the transcribing, I've lots of things in the pipeline and I've been working on a war memorial for a church in Whitby. Not only did the church include those who died but also those who fought, which is very interesting but sad when you see brothers who went away and not all came home. That will be uploaded soon.

Now the nights are drawing in I will, I promise, transcribe a great deal over the winter and add lots for you to peruse.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Royston Cemetery

Yes, a good title for a Blog.

My cousin and I have been doing a joint effort on the family trees of his close relatives spouses - Shephe(a)rd from Royston/Barnsley.

Well, we found them in the census of 1911 and followed them back in the previous decades. It was then that we came across an Albert Edward Shepherd V.C. who died in the 1960's. The trail lead to a family member originating in Shropshire - coming up to Yorkshire following the coal fields, as a lot of our relatives who were miners did.

As the trail was getting cool and it was a nice day on Sunday, off I went to Royston, killing two birds with one stone, snapping the memorial and looking for Shepherd and Lees family in the cemetey. But..... finding our Albert Edward was a daunting task as I knew the headstone was quite small and white. When you want a white headstone, what colour are all the headstones, yes.... white !!

I accousted..oh ! asked a few people if they knew of Albert E, most said yes but where he was, they had no idea. But I did find a small leaning headstone, rather dark in colour to Rosezillah, the wife of A E Shepherd V.C. But where was Albert. Then I struck gold..... a lady who I had asked had been looking at the headstones on her way back to the car, she asked a gentleman if he knew where A E he replied and she very kindly came all the way back to me, just to tell me what she had done and confirm the name......... How nice some people are.

As the gentleman walked down the path I too spoke to him. He wondered why I was looking for his headstone, I passed on my reasons and bid him farewell. I was meant to speak to him for as I turned and walked away, he called me back and I turned .....well whose grave was I stook next to.. You've got it, good old A E's. It all turned out that he knew A E, he was older than my new friend, who told me he was a small man but had a good heart. What a better way to be remembered.

We again parted and I wondered off to photo the memorial with its new plaque to A E. At the back of the town memorial stood a gate. I knew of A E's grave and his shiny new plaque but the gate was a surprise, a nice surprise as it was given by his regiment in the 1960's in remembrance of Albert and his V.C.

A quick chat to the verger in the church and I learnt that both the memorial and the gate had been moved from their original position to within the church boundary. She said that the gate was now beginning to look its age, but they had felt that it should be left to age gracefully and hence the new plaque.

That was my Sunday lets hope the Heritage Weekend next week will be just as nice. You can find out whats on in your area by a simple google search for Heritage Weekends.

Happy searching

Friday, 4 September 2009

Heritage Weekend 2009

Well, it dosn't seem like 12 months since I was out and about last September and I must admit that I've not completed some of the memorials or headstone I photographed then.

This year my plans to go to new places have been scuppered and my weekend seems to be limited to Sunday.

The places that open locally are the same year after year - we need new local places to open their doors.........PLEASE as I look forward to this time of the year.

Help from others

Over the past few days I've received very nice emails from people who have taken their time to find info on casualties of WW1 that that have been missing from a few war memorial transcripts.

This has been very good for me as there is only so much time I can spend looking for a name - sometimes its not always that obvious and the emails that have been received have enabled me to add full names, dates and other into to these men.

I've also had an email saying I had the wrong info for one man - we all make mistakes. I looked into it but with no additional info on CWGC it was hard to pin point this man in the census. I basically worked on the average age of a casualty having him born around 1895 +/- 5 years or so. Only one person with that name fell into that criteria. His information on death, burial and birth were correct but his parents according to a relative were wrong.

I did another search for this man and laid out my case for his parents in my email to the relative, but did point out how I had come to that conclusion.

A reply came and included info that I could not have known - info from certificates giving dates and names - I then went onto the census armed with this and gottcha found him straight away. Only to find him as being born a lot earlier than is the norm.

So thanks to this email, I was able to correct the parents of this man. I appreciate the time that people take to email me with alterations and additions and try to amend info where possible.

I've just been working on a couple of war memorials for North Yorkshire - Egton, Egton Bridge and St Ninian's Catholic Church, Whitby. It's nice to work out of area, seeing new birth places for people and new names, many names being confined to small areas.

New Start

After all the times I've said I WILL keep up with my blog and keep those of you informed on what I get upto in finding new info to add to Wakefield Family History Sharing - and then I digress and something else takes priority.

I PROMISE now that a new blog has been sorted, there should hopefully, be no more problems in uploading and saving our little chats.