Jean Mary Olorenshaw: A Tribute to My Grandmother

Jean Mary Olorenshaw 1921-1958 My grandmother This is a hard post for me to write, because unlike the other ancestors I have written about, this isn't just a piece of history that has been forgotten.  There are people who knew Jean who are still alive and who remember her final days only too well.  This … Continue reading Jean Mary Olorenshaw: A Tribute to My Grandmother

My Northern Roots

I think of myself as not only almost completely British, but almost completely Southern as well - most of my research is within Kent and Essex.  But I am actually one eighth Yorkshirese.  My great grandmother, Elizabeth Danby, came from a little town near Harrogate.  She met my great grandfather, Frederick Downing, when he was … Continue reading My Northern Roots

John Beale: letters from the grey sheep of the family

John Beale 1811-1873 Farmer of Biddenden and Beckley and my great great grandfather.   Rich Richard Beale, 18th century dog doodler and Twitter sensation, had eleven children.  The second youngest was my great great grandfather, John.  I have been lucky enough to receive some copies of letters once in the possession of my 3rd great … Continue reading John Beale: letters from the grey sheep of the family

Elizabeth Beale: Mystery SOLVED

My fourth cousin Geoff and I had reached different conclusions as to the identity of our 6th great grandmother, as discussed in this post.  A quick summary is that in 1705, there lived three Richard Beales - our ancestor (Tombstone Richard), his cousin (Other Richard) and some random Richard in Wadhurst (Wadhurst Richard).  One of … Continue reading Elizabeth Beale: Mystery SOLVED

Rich Richard and the Trousered Chicken

It appears that my great great great grandfather has gone viral, nearly 200 years after his death. The Museum of English Rural Life, in Reading, has acquired various bits of Beale memorabilia - mainly farming diaries and account books.  But one little book caught their eye more than others: the school maths book of 13 … Continue reading Rich Richard and the Trousered Chicken

Henry Bishop: The Alternative Deacon

Henry Bishop is another example of a very distant non-blood relative who has grabbed my interest.  He was my 5th great aunt husband's brother, and lived alongside my Downing Ancestors in Southminster.  I find building a picture of 19th century Southminster, the key figures in the village and how they all interacted with each other … Continue reading Henry Bishop: The Alternative Deacon

Difficult Ancestors

I had a very frustrating day at the Kent Archives yesterday! I had four Kentish Questions that I needed answering: I wanted to know the name of a father of an illegitimate baby who was born in Buckland in 1865.  There is a slim chance this might appear in the baptism or workhouse records.  But … Continue reading Difficult Ancestors

Frederick Harold Whibley: The mysterious disappearing family

Frederick Harold Whibley 1878-1921 Gardener and Store Keeper of Lambeth, Mitcham, Epping, Woolwich and Guildford and my 2nd great uncle. I've been continuing my delve into all things Whibley, determined to find my connection with my mysterious DNA probable second cousin once removed "Ronan Quick", and this has involved probing the lives of the brothers … Continue reading Frederick Harold Whibley: The mysterious disappearing family

Arthur Charles Baldwin: The Boy Who Killed His Sister

Arthur Charles Baldwin 1898-1950 Miscreant child of Southend on Sea, Essex, and my second cousin, three times removed. Whilst metaphorically leafing through old issues of the Southend Standard on FindMyPast, ever hopeful of finding something new about my ancestors, I chanced upon an article about the family of my first cousin, four times removed, Thomas Henry … Continue reading Arthur Charles Baldwin: The Boy Who Killed His Sister

George Appleton: A Bad Apple

George Appleton 1873-1934 Habitual Criminal of Hadleigh, Essex and Cleveland, Ohio, and my half fourth great uncle Since I have spent so much time researching my mysterious bigamous disappearing ancestory, Angelina/Leanor Appleton/Collins/Moxon, her siblings were a natural point of interest.  I knew two of her younger full siblings had emigrated to California and two of … Continue reading George Appleton: A Bad Apple