I’d like to introduce…

Edward George "Ted" Turner

Edward George Turner, known affectionately to his family and friends as Ted, was a kind hearted, gregarious, right jolly English gent, loved by all who knew him. He was born on the 27th of June 1911 at Blake Cottage, Horn Street in Winslow, Buckinghamshire, where his father was employed as head groom to Mr Gosling of Blake House.

And His Lovely Wife…

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Miss Phyllis Mary Collins, daughter of William Collins, publican of the George Inn in Winslow, which is where Ted met her one fateful day in the 1930s

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One of the things which drove me to create this blog was the desire to share my own research with others connected in some way with my British ancestors. Although I originally planned to upload static pages exported from my favorite genealogy software, Rootsmagic, I soon discovered a much more flexible and dynamic option – The Next Generation (TNG). With this software, I was able to upload my Rootsmagic gedcom file and the resulting database created a seemingly endless array of reports based on the user’s search filters.

I’ve been researching my family history for 30 years, so I had a lot of information to upload Then, I took the Boston University Online Genealogical Research course, and I learned all kinds of things that took my research to a new level: I learned there is a  right way  to cite; and I was introduced to  good research techniques, standards, proof arguments, etc. (…more)

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Review of the Year So Far

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I can’t believe March is here…where did the winter go? (The shortish answer is….we never really had winter, just an odd snow fall or two and a couple brisk weeks of temps in the teens….altogether VERY STRANGE for our little corner of Northwest Pennsylvania)

Genealogically speaking, time has flown. Although I made virtually NO progress on my personal research, I accomplished quite a bit:

EDUCATION:

  • National Institute for Genealogical Studies
  • I completed Methodology parts 2 &3; US Census Records; US Vital Records; US Migration Patterns; and Researching French Canadian Ancestors.
  • Today I started Methodology part 4; US Cemetery and Mortuary Records; and Analysis and Skills Mentoring Program 1
  • ProGen13
  • Last month we wrote research reports (looking forward to our chat tonight!!)
  • This month the focus is on Editing and Proofreading
  • NGSQ Study Group – I only participated in one chat so far, but I really enjoyed it. So much (…more)
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  • My 2012 Plan for Brick Walls

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    Attacking the Brick Walls in my Turner Collins Research

    Organizing 30+ years of genealogical research is a daunting task. If I’d known in 1976 what I know now, I’d have done so many things differently. I’ve always used pedigree charts and family group sheets but, in my teen years, my citations, when I made them at all, were minimal at best and most are useless.  Since taking the Boston University course, I’ve been aware of how shabby my early citations were, and I’ve been working [at a snail's pace...] to update them. This process has forced me to revisit a lot of my old work and it’s clear that for a good part of it, whatever thought process I went through, in terms of inference and proof argument, has long been forgotten. Again, if I’d known then….. My plan for 2012 is to tackle one family line a month, organize the brick (…more)

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    It's been a bit quiet

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    on the genealogy front that is…but no worries – the noise and chaos in the rest of my life has been more than making up for the silence of the dead.

    The here and there moments when I have been able to steal away to my new genealogy desk, tucked into a tiny alcove upstairs, have opened some doors but resolved nothing, leaving me with the mostly unsettling feeling of being more than slightly fragmented.

    As if the general merriment of the season, the wild and wintry weather outside, and the joyful bedlam which ensues whenever my kids are on school holiday weren’t enough, come Thursday morning, painters will descend on our household because of a what-the-heck-was-I-thinking, lost-in-a-moment-of-whimsy kind of decision to re-paint the basement media/play room before the impromtpu New Year’s Eve party we decided at the last minute to host this Saturday (the color is Great Barrington Green in case you’re wondering). OMG. (…more)

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    Autumn Review: It's Been a Busy Few Months

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    Research

  • Following the Land records last month helped with my understanding of the kinships of the Denchfields, in what seems to be turning into a one-name study of this family in Buckinghamshire for the period of 1550–1850.
  • Inspired by an email from a fellow Bucks/Oxford researcher, I’ve decided to take a fresh look at another one of the more complex families in my tree: the Collcutts of Oxford City. Stay tuned for the start of that series later this week!
  • Professional Development

  • ProGen13 is going well. We just finished chapters of essential libraries and copyright issues. I love my study group!!!! Learning lots.
  • I attended the North Hills Genealogy Conference in nearby Pittsburgh. Elissa Powell was the host and Doctor Tom Jones was the featured speaker: his talks on inferential genealogy and locating lost ancestors were entertaining and informative. It was great to meet up with some fellow BU (…more)
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  • Early British Military Research From My Desk in Northwest Pennsylvania: Can It Be Done?

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    And will it help my Denchfield problem?

    Having exhausted parish registers and probate records, and followed the land records as far as they could take me, I’ve got a much better sense of who was who among the many Denchfields of North Marston and surrounding villages; however, there are still some holes. As active in the community as this family was, with lives quite well documented, there are still a couple of elusive characters who seem to have mysteriously fallen from the face of the earth, or at least Buckinghamshire’s corner of it:

    Richard Denchfield, baptized in North Marston on 13 February 1637, eldest son of Mathew. Richard was alive in 1660, when Mathew wrote his will, by which Richard stood to inherit half of the family’s homestead. He is mentioned again at the probate of brother John’s estate in 1689, having been asked by his brother to help (…more)

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    Following the Land, a Working Example Using the Denchfields

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    Recently I wrote about using land records to help sort out a confusing family here, and this week I’ve been applying that approach to try to sort out, once and for all, the kinships between the various Richard and John Denchfields of 17th and 18th century North Marston, Bucks.

    Here’s what I did:

  • Created a combined timeline of all the players in an Excel spreadsheet.
  • Extracted all the references to land found in the Denchfield wills.
  • Created a Word chart showing all the Denchfield landowners and dates of any land related activity
  • Here’s a printscreen snapshot of that chart: I love color-coding!

    Laying the land transactions out chronologically made everything much more cohesive and confirmed a lot of what I believed to be true based on parish records and wills.

    The biggest problem I have with the Denchfield kinships has to do with John Denchfield, iremonger, and his wife Parnell, whose union produced  two (…more)

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    Following the Land, When Parish Records Aren't Enough

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    The Church of England began requiring the recording of baptisms, marriages, and burials in 1538 although most parishes did not begin adhering to the rules until around 1600. Still, for a family like the Denchfields of North Marston, who stayed put for the next couple hundred years or so and were important members of their community, those early parish registers are a treasure trove of genealogical gold.

    The registers for St. Mary’s, the established church in North Marston, date back to the late 1580s, but they are in bad shape. Before the FHL had a chance to film them, the books sustained water damage, molding the paper and smearing the ink. If that weren’t bad enough, for reasons known only to the culprit, enormous chunks were torn from each of the books, leaving one to wonder what on earth someone was trying to hide. What remained was filmed and (…more)

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    #31WBGB: Solve a Problem

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    I’m way late to the party with the 15th week of Tonia’s 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog series but it’s such a good topic I couldn’t pass on it.  The task at hand is to write a post which solves a problem that your readers (or potential readers) have. Tonia discusses six ways to identify such a problem:

  • Solve your own problems
  • Look for questions in search referrals
  • Analyze internal searches
  • Ask readers for questions
  • Look for problems on other sites
  • Get ideas from friends and family
  • I didn’t even have to look past #1 to find something to blog about today

    My main genealogical problem these days is finding time to solve my own problems, at least ancestrally speaking! I’ve got no end of excuses. Lately, aside from the general joys, trials, and tribulations of every-day life, my time  has been spent on:

  • ProGen13 – I LOVE it! this (…more)
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  • Why did you decide to create a blog about your family history?

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    Thomas MacEntee from Geneabloggers posed this question the other day and I think it’s a good one.

    The purpose of my blog was threefold:

  • to share knowledge: I wanted a place where I could securely upload my Gedcom file and share the results of 30+ years of research while still maintaining control over the data. Although I’d originally planned on using Rootsmagic4 to create static webpages of my genealogy reports which I could then upload to a page on the blog, Darrin Lythgoe’s The Next Generation (TNG) software turned out to be a much more fluid and functional solution.  TNG is a database which allows users to search my data and filter it any number of ways to create unique reports and see exactly what they’re looking for. With some effort, and Darrin’s infinite patience, WordPress and TNG work seamlessly together. It’s pretty awesome!!!!!
  • to hone my writing skills: I love to (…more)
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