23 November 2015

So, it worked......

........ possibly.  Last week I received a discount voucher for one page of the 1939 Register.  Maybe because I complained to them so vehemently about the cost (it was certainly one of the most blunt emails I've ever written).  Or maybe not.

But I decided to use it anyway.  And, after a fair amount of thought to decide who would give me the best return, I settled on my paternal grandfather and his (new) family.  Despite a number of searches for the lady by her name, I was only finally able to find her by narrowing the search to her year of birth.

Only to find her listed with her full name.  With their daughters.  But not my grandfather!  

And, when I looked at the original entry, there was a note "See Page 12".  Not knowing what page I was on nor, indeed,  how to find another page I surmised that a lot more money was involved and I decided not to pursue it further.

NB.  Trying to apply my discount was a nightmare and took about 15 minutes "online chat" to get it all sorted out.

Overall I think I can safely say that I am considerably underwhelmed by the publication of the 1939 Register.  Perhaps when the owners decide to stop putting barriers in our way.....

More soon.

16 November 2015

1939 and all that.....

A couple of weeks ago the 1939 Register was published and the genealogy world let go of its collectively-held breath. 

And, in my case, let out a heartfelt howl of protest.   I have a subscription to the site which has it, which I renewed just for this moment.  The index is free for anyone to search. But I discovered that to look at ONE original page the cost would be £6.95...... Oh, or you can buy four pages for about £20.

So I decided that, unless I win the lottery, I would make do with the index. I discovered that I could use the reference number for each entry to find out who else was on the page. And I was able to find the street name sometimes. Not always, because searching for villages is a nightmare. 

And then the site admins must have found out about the reference number "loophole". And now they've removed it. 

Is the site run by the Government?  It certainly seems to be putting things out of the reach of those of us without a massive bank balance. 

Rant over. 

More soon. 

10 October 2015

Progress perhaps.....?

Finally I have realised that life is too short to mess around with things which don't want to load so I've created a new domain where I will host my website.

In the meantime the original site at www.praeteritus.co.uk is up and running again while I wait for the new site to set up.

More soon.

6 October 2015

Great War Centenary: Walter Murfitt

Walter Murfitt, my second cousin twice removed, was the son of Joseph and Amelia (nee Benison) and the seventh of their eight children.  Born in Stretham, Cambs, in 1888, he was undoubtedly a contemporary of my great-uncle Ben Langford who was killed in 1914.

Walter remained in Stretham until 26 January 1910 when he enlisted for seven years in the Notts & Derby (Sherwood Foresters) Regiment; I found him in Crownhill Fort, Devon, in the 1911 census with the 2nd Battalion.  Promoted to Lance-Sergeant on 10 December 1913, the battalion presumably went to France in 1914.

Walter was killed on 5 October 1915 and buried in the Potijze Cemetery at Ypres.  His death was marked in the Cambridge Independent Press on 14 October:-

Stretham Man Killed
News has been received at Stretham of the death of Lance-Sergt. Walter Murfitt, 11272, 1st Notts and Derby Regt. (First Sherwoods).  The deceased, who was killed in action in France on October 5th, was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Murfitt, of Stretham, and was included in Sir John French's list of those recommended for gallant and distinguished service in the field.  Previous to going to the front, Lance-Sergt. Murfitt had seen three years' service in India.  He came home from France in the first week of August, when all the family gathered to greet the gallant soldier, who was highly esteemed in Stretham.  Great regret has been expressed at his death.

We will remember them.

25 September 2015

Great War Centenary: Frank Thomas Hobbs

Frank Thomas Hobbs was my second cousin twice removed, the son of Alfred, a farm bailiff, and Fanny (nee Floyd), who was the daughter of Frances Eliza Kington Culpin.

Frank was born in Withyham, Sussex, in 1893, the oldest of seven children.  The family moved to Rotherfield by 1901 and remained there until at least 1911.  In the census of that year Frank was listed as a fishmonger's assistant in Crowborough; by the following year he had became a farm labourer and emigrated to Canada on board the "Ausonia".

Returning in 1914 on the "Calgarian", he enlisted in Eastbourne into the 2nd Battalion, the Royal Sussex Regiment.  He was killed on 25 September 1915 during the battle of Loos and, having no known grave, he is commemorated on the Loos Memorial.  

He was briefly mentioned in the Kent & Sussex Courier on 26 November 1915.  Under the headline of "Jarvis Brook Footballer's Thrilling Story", written by a friend in the same battalion:-

"..... In this engagement my Regiment suffered heavy losses once again.  It was here that Frank Hobbs died doing "his bit".  He was in the Machine Gun Section, and his Section was one of the four who went forward to keep the Germans down while we advanced.  This they helped to do but I think only three of them got back unwounded.........."

We will remember them.

16 August 2015

Great War Centenary: Albert Blaydon

Albert Edward S Blaydon, my 4th cousin three times removed, was born in Mildenhall, Suffolk, in 1897, the youngest of the five children of Sydney, a carpenter, and Mary Lily (nee Vale).  In 1901 the family was living in Fordham and I found them in the 1911 census in Leagrave, Luton.

Where, in 1914, he enlisted in the Bedfordshire regiment and was posted to the 1st/5th battalion as a private, serial number 5073.  The battalion was sent to the Balkans in 1915, where they disembarked at Gallipoli on 10 August.

Albert died on 16 August 1915 and is buried in the Amzak Cemetery, Suvla.

We will remember them.

12 August 2015

A wondering blogger am I.....

So, while I'm waiting for the window man, I thought I'd update on my updating....... my website is still down whilst I and my IT advisor friend get frustrated at not being able to load new software onto the server.  Stay tuned for more info.

In the meantime I'm looking at my Webbs and wondering "...why did I do that?" on a number of occasions.  For instance, why would I note that William Rowlinson, and his widowed mother, lived in Cambridge in 1911 but not put in William's wife?   

Or the puzzle of John Henry Lowton....... born in Dry Drayton in 1862 to John & Fanny Elizabeth....and attached to John and a hypothetical (ie not yet found) wife.  I have now found a wife for John - Frances, which is close enough to Fanny, but they married in 1864.  Now, I'm not that naive but their marriage took place in St Pancras.  And they lived in St Pancras.  And she was born in Suffolk.  There is not one shred of evidence that would suggest a pre-marital trip to John's childhood home.  In the end, loath as I am to do it, I may have to delete young John Henry - if only to stop my brain going round and round in circles.

And finally, why did I spend hours (literally) looking for Flora Loughton without realising that she was actually Florence??

Scary, ain't it.

More soon.