Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Recent Correspondence Report

Help Desk
Since the middle of the month I had problems with updating the main web site and where appropriate changes relating to the following items will appear there as soon as the problem is resolved.
While there have been less posts directly to the Newsletter recently this is because I have been heavily involved in "quickie" correspondence on the following subjects:

Find My Past: Several transcription corrections to census returns submitted and accepted. (Catchside -> Catcheside; Lateiner -> Latimer; King -> Tring; Barlow -> Barber) Do you report errors when you come across them?

William BURCHMORE and his wife Hannah DOLLING of Flamstead are my great great great grandparents and are part of the complex web of cousin marriages described in Who is related to Who? Joy (who must be a distant cousin of mine) writes that she has an In Memorium brooch with the centre containing the plaited hair of Hannah Burchmore. I have written to her asking for a picture of the brooch and will be digging out some information on her Bates ancestors from my 1980s research on the Burchmore family and their farming relatives. At the same time I discovered that a set of photographs of the extensive plot of Burchmore graves at Flamstead have not yet been documented and have put this on my "To Do" list.

ELBORN, Hertfordshire area, 19th Century: In 2008 Kym had asked about the distribution of the surname Elborn and its variants and it turns out that the name normally seems to be confined to Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire plus smaller numbers in adjacent counties. Now Mara is seeking a James Elborn, who turned up in Maryland but was born in 1769. Checking the online indexes show only one James Elborn baptism within years of 1769 - at St Albans. So it looks simple - but a little additional research shows it is another case for Right Name, Wrong Body? For instance there appear to have been four other James Elborns living within 30 miles of St Albans of about the right age, one of which married in St Albans and another turns out to have been born in 1769 (from age at death).More work needs to be done before I do a full report but so far no birth/baptism records have been found for these four other James!

GILBERT, Bishops Stortford, 1902-14: Bruce provides an update: Seems my grandparents (perhaps NOT/NEVER married!?) used the surname GILBEY on arrival in Sydney, and technically my father's birth surname, and death, has been recorded as GILBEY. And ... he came from Bishops Stortford !!!. Now, ain't that a tonic?

A. E. Nichols, Photographer of Luton: Arising out of my posting linking W. H. Cox of Luton and St Albans with Ricardo Studios, St Albans Anthony commented: Another Luton photographer with WWI photos was A. E. Nicholls. Tales of Gustard Wood has pics of the FMS Hospital at Blackmore End, Gustard Wood, and convalescent soldiers. (See postcard}  The 1911 census brings up an Albert Ernest Nicholls photographer then at Potton Beds as a visitor. I can find no other records that match but perhaps your trade directories might help? There is a Luton postcard on Flickr. He later added: He may have had friends in Herts as in 1901 he was with his parents at Albert Villa, Albion Road, St Albans. Profession greengrocer on own account at home. He seems to have been a jack of all trades. By the way there are some quite detailed accounts of the FMS Hospital at the National Library Singapore site.

R. N. Salaman
SALAMAN, Barley, Early 20th Century: Susan has provided a useful online account of Redcliffe Nathan Salaman (1874-1955) in Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society.

Napsbury Hospital: I responded to a query on rootsweb with links to pages on the Long Stay Hospitals of the St Albans Area and to Napsbury Hospital as a Military Hospital.

Paper Making at Nash Mills, circa 1770: Ed Papenfuse, Archivist for the State of Maryland, wrote: Are there any records relating to the Blackwell papermill?  We have many examples in our archives that closely resemble the crown/posthorn/GR watermark that Tom Gravell identifies as being a water mark of the Blackwells.  The examples we have are on correspondence from London and trade records and believe that the paper may be from the Blackwells and was purchased by a London Firm, of Wallace Johnson and Muir in partnership with a Mathew Ridley and imported into Maryland between 1783 and 1787/8.  Any information about the Blackwells and papermaking by them would be very much appreciated as would any suggestions as to where I might find examples of their watermarks. I passed on a couple of references to Blackwell papermakers from the 18th century Militia lists, and suggested that Ed contacted The Paper Trail and the Kings Langley Local History Society.

Preston: Philip is writing yet another article and I was able to help him on the subject of poor relief. I will post details of his article here when it is published.

Electrical Engineering Works, St Albans, 1940s: Correspondence on Rootsweb including pointing out that most "electrical engineers" listed in trade directories would now be called electricians, and would not have a works big enough to employ a millwright.

The Hospital Committee
Waltham Cross Hospital Committee:  Carolyn writes: I found the exact same photograph in an old trunk.  The man seated on the front row second from the right with a dark moustache is Edward Sewell of Waltham Cross.  He was my great grandfather.

Heath Farm, Watford, early 20th century: In 2010 Justin asked about a family photograph album he gad found that contained interesting pictures of this farm and the unknown family who lived there. Mary-Anne now writes: Our family the Phillips owned the house.(my father's grandfather Alfred Phillips bought the house although we are not sure of the exact year).  Justin mentions pictures of Mabel and Violet and holidays in Jersey.  Alfred had five children Mabel, Violet, Reg, Cyril and Alfred.  I spoke to my father (who is now 85) and he confirmed that these two ladies were his aunts and that they lived in the house for most of their lives.  The house was eventually sold to developers in 1970s.  Mabel Brunton was widowed in the first world war and never remarried.  The cottages attached to the main house were also lived in and my stepgrandmother Kath Spur lived in one of these. ...

Other Queries: I have had a couple of very general queries from complete beginners - who appear not discovered any of the major genealogy web sites or any "How To" books. They get a friendly letter directing them to suitable sources - and where relevant suggest one birth or marriage certificate they might find it useful to buy, in order to get them started.

Please help the Mentally Ill
The Genealogy of Ebeneezer SCROOGE: In the last five weeks there has only been one donation to the mental health charity this site supports, which suggests that many people asking me to help them with their family history are related to Scrooge. Running this site is hard work and I have many other calls on my time. If I stopped running the site and donated what I spend to keep it going to a charity the charity would be better off at this rate. If I help you, failing to donate is rating my time as worth nothing and I could be doing other things to help the charity.

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