Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all friends and relatives out there.

We're taking a break between Christmases, as we will be getting two bites of the cherry this year. We had Christmas last week at St Nicholas Church in Brixton, and next Sunday we'll be having it over again at St Thomas's Church, Sunninghill Park, which is on the Old Calendar.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

James Andrew Allen Hayes and Emily Healls

I haven't had much new family history information for quite a while, partly because it's the summer holidays and all the archives are closed or closing for Christmas, and partly because I've been busy with other things, which those interested can read about on my other blogs.

But on the Bristol and Somerset mailing list someone called Liz posted something about the HEALLS family of Bristol, and this family included the Emily HEALLS who married James Andrew Allen HAYES.

No startling new discoveries, but we were able to compare notes and get some of the details of the children more accurate. James Andrew Allen HAYES was the brother of my great-grandfather William Allen HAYES, and like him was a builder and carpenter in Bristol. I hope to make contact with his living descendants, if there are any.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Running out of bandwidth

For the last couple of days we have had no internet access, because we have used up our 2 Gig limit.

This means that we cannot use e-mail or any other services for one week out of four, and so if anyone wonders why we haven't responded to e-mails etc, that is why.

There seems to be an idea the "broadband" means unlimited access, and so people scoff at complaints about sending e-mails with HTML codes that take up ten times the space of the message text, and things like that. I've never looked at YouTube videos that people put in ther blogs, or refer to in e-mails, and newsgroup postings, and we still run out of bandwidth.

Of course part of it is spam, but the fact is that bandwidth is not unlimited, even in these days of high-speed connections.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Killed in air raid on Bristol

17/18 SEPTEMBER 1940.


Central Division

At 83 Mina Road, St.Werburgh's

COOK, Isabelle Niven (67) Widow of Alfred Rowland Cook.

COOK, Ivy Gladys (27) of 23 Stroud Road, Patchway. Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Pike of Teddington, Middx. Wife of William John Tod Cook.

COOK, Rowland John (6m) of 23 Stroud Road, Patchway. Son of William John Tod and Ivy Gladys Cook. Died 1/12/40 at Bristol Royal Infirmary.

COOK, William John Tod (32) of 23 Stroud Road, Patchway. Son of Alfred Rowland and Isabelle Niven Cook. Husband of Ivy Gladys Cook. Died 17/9/40 at Bristol Royal Infirmary.

Isabella Niven Cook was the mother of Margaret Annie Tod Cook (1905-1970) who married Donald Alfred Hayes (1906-1971)m who were in turn the parents of Roger John Hayes (1935-1999).

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Growden in Western Australia

Some time ago I noticed in a news item a reference to a Growden Street in Mereddin, WA.

I wrote to ask if there was any information about the origin of the name, and received this from the Mereddin public library:
In case no one has got back to you, Growden Street was named after Frederick William Growden. He was the first chairman of the Merredin Roads Board, when it was established in 1911. The Roads Boards were the first local governments, and as their name suggests, their main role originally was the construction of local roads. The Roads Boards were replaced in 1961 with the current system of Shire, Town and City councils.

Frederick Growden, with his brother William, were early settlers in the Nangeenan area, in the 1890's. Nangeenan is 12 km west of Merredin.

It's not quite clear whether it was Frederick William and William, or just Frederick and William, but it might give a clue about where that branch of the Growden family came from.

Technorati tags:

Monday, October 09, 2006

Some more Francis information

Shelagh Spencer, who has long been researching Natal families, put me in touch with Maeve Haigh, of Norfolk, England, who is a member of the Gunningham family.

We know that Cecil Arthur Francis, son of Arthur Walpole Francis and grandson of Margaret Agnes Anne Green, had married a Billy Gunningham and died in Fort Portal, Uganda, in about 1940, and had heard that they had a son Peter.

Maeve has now added considerably to our information on this branch of the family. It turns out that Peter Francis was the son of Billy Gunningham's sister Jessica, who married Cecil Arthur Francis first.

They each had several marriages, so in the end the families looked like this:

Family History System 9 Oct 2006
Merged Group Reports

NAME: FRANCIS, Cecil Arthur, Born 9 Aug 1888 in Cape Town, Died
??? 1940? in Fort Portal, Uganda at age 51; FATHER: FRANCIS,
Arthur Walpole, Born 7 Jan 1861, Died 8 May 1921 at age 60;
MOTHER: DONOVAN, Ida Miranda Willoughby, Born 19 Aug 1865,
Died 25 Oct 1949 at age 84

MARRIED ??? 1930, to GUNNINGHAM, Kathleen Letitia (Billy), Born
5 May 1906 in Pretoria, Transvaal, Died 23 Jan 1957 in
Southampton, England at age 50; FATHER: GUNNINGHAM, William
Thomas Greig, Born 26 Jul 1869, Died 24 Dec 1924 at age 55;
MOTHER: PAYNE, Jessica Dunn Ashbourn, Born 3 Jul 1873, Died 3
Dec 1971 at age 98

MARRIED ??? 1927, to GUNNINGHAM, Jessica, Born ??? 1908; FATHER:
GUNNINGHAM, William Thomas Greig, Born 26 Jul 1869, Died 24
Dec 1924 at age 55; MOTHER: PAYNE, Jessica Dunn Ashbourn, Born
3 Jul 1873, Died 3 Dec 1971 at age 98

1. M FRANCIS, Peter Michael, born 20 Apr 1928
2. F FRANCIS, Cecil Anne, born 12 Apr 1931
3. F FRANCIS, Audrey Diana, born 26 Jan 1933, died 22 May 1989
4. F FRANCIS, Melisand Bridget Patricia, born 21 Feb 1937 in

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

NAME: GUNNINGHAM, Kathleen Letitia (Billy), Born 5 May 1906 in
Pretoria, Transvaal, Died 23 Jan 1957 in Southampton, England
at age 50; FATHER: GUNNINGHAM, William Thomas Greig, Born 26
Jul 1869, Died 24 Dec 1924 at age 55; MOTHER: PAYNE, Jessica
Dunn Ashbourn, Born 3 Jul 1873, Died 3 Dec 1971 at age 98


MARRIED ??? 1941, to MONTAGUE, Aubrey

MARRIED ??? 1930, to FRANCIS, Cecil Arthur, Born 9 Aug 1888 in
Cape Town, Died ??? 1940? in Fort Portal, Uganda at age 51;
FATHER: FRANCIS, Arthur Walpole, Born 7 Jan 1861, Died 8 May
1921 at age 60; MOTHER: DONOVAN, Ida Miranda Willoughby, Born
19 Aug 1865, Died 25 Oct 1949 at age 84

MARRIED ??? 1928, to MCPHERSON, Grant

1. F FRANCIS, Cecil Anne, born 12 Apr 1931
2. F FRANCIS, Audrey Diana, born 26 Jan 1933, died 22 May 1989
3. F FRANCIS, Melisand Bridget Patricia, born 21 Feb 1937 in
4. F MONTAGUE, Jane Magdalene, born 25 Aug 1941 in Eldoret,
Kenya, died 23 Mar 1942
5. F PENDREL-GOODRICKE, Doreen Charlotte, born 25 Aug 1948 in
Mombasa, Kenya

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Family visits. births: Ellis, Growdon

Val's cousin Enid Ellis (nee Gammage) was with us for a couple of days this week. She was visiting from Windhoek, Namibia, and came through Botswana. It was good to have a chance to catch up, as we hadn't had a chance to talk properly since we visited Windhoek back in 1991. Enid has gone on to stay with ther sister Maggie Foley in Roodepoort.

An e-mail message from Wayne Growdon, somewhere in Australia, tells of the birth of their son Luke William Growdon, on 4 October.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Family get-together

Val's sister Elaine Machin came to visit, with her son Greg, daughter Lesley, and granddaughter Abby (Greg's daughter, aged 2)

Val Hayes, Greg, Lesley, Abby & Elaine Machin, Jethro & Simon Hayes Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 18, 2006

Growden family in Canada

I recently discovered that there were a number of Growden families living in Ontario, Canada, and that a James Growden from our branch of the Growden family went there some time in the 1860s, so I began writing to them to see if they were related.

James Growden married a Harriet Baldwin, and they were living in Lindsay, Ontario, at the time of the 1881 census, with 8 children -- they may have had more after the census.

Tags: ,

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Vause, Harris & Ellis families

While I was in KZN a couple of weeks ago I managed to get quite a lot of additional information on the Vause, Harris and Ellis families in the Durban and Pietermaritzburg archives, and within a few days of getting back I had a phone call from Don McArthur who had been researching the same families. That was quite exciting, but it was also rather frustrating, as the e-mails I tried to send him seemed to disappear into a black hole in cyberspace, and for the last 10 days I've been trying to send him a file with family information. His mail has reached me, but mine has not reached him. Sometimes snail mail is faster! Then to top it all, my phone line went on the blink, and I couldn't get e-mail or phone calls from anybody. It seems to be working again this morning, however.

My great grandfather's sister, Eleanor FrancesVause, married William de Montmorency Harris and they had two sons, William Vause Harris and Wyatt Vause Harris. Their having the same initials caused great confusion for family history researchers.

I've managed to trace many of the descendants of William Vause Harris (who was apparently known as Bill), and Don McArthur has managed to find a few more, but nothing at all about Wyatt Vause Harris, who was in Bulawayo in 1938, when his mother died, but what happened to him after that is a mystery (to me, at any rate).

So a note to Don McArthur, if he sees this -- please respon in the comment fields, as that may be a bit more reliable than e-mail at the moment.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Henry Green

More on Henry Green, British Resident of the Orange River Sovereignty.

Ione Evans of New Zealand told me about a book Some dreams come true, which had a picture of Henry Green, and now that we have replaced our stolen car I was able to find a copy in the University library, and I've been reading that and The microcosm by Thelma Gutsche, a history of Colesberg.

Between them they give a fairly full picture of the life of Henry Green, though there are still a couple of gaps.

One is what happened between the end of the Orange River Sovereignty in 1854 and his coming to Colesberg as Magistrate in 1860? We know he married his cousin Margaret Aitchison in 1856, and they had two sons, and that his wife and sons died shortly before he arrived in Colesberg. But where was he?

After thinking about it, I thought I'd check for the marriage in England -- could have have gone to England to marry his cousin? It seems unlikely that she would be at the Cape.

So I checked FreeBMD and found a possible, nay, probable, marriage:

If anyone wants the reference to apply for the certificate, I'll be glad to give it. Otherwise, I'll apply.

So watch this space.

Henry's father, William John Green, had recently retred and was living in Kensington around that time, which makes the Chelsea registration district given in Free BMD seem likely. So it seems he spent at least some of the missing years in the UK.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Research trip to KZN

I've just returned from a family history research trip to KwaZulu-Natal.

Actually we went down last Friday -- Val, Jethro and I -- leaving after Val finished work, and went straight down the toll road, arriving at midnight at Val's sister Elaine's place in Pinetown, and crashed on the floor. Next morning we went in to Durban to buy a second-hand Subaru station wagon to replace our stolen Toyota Venture. Val and Jethro returned the next day, but I stayed a few days to visit friends and family and do some research.

I spent a day in the Durban archives, looking almost exclusively at family divorce records. These usually give details of minor children, so was able to add a few to the family tree.

Then I spent a couple of days in Pietermaritzburg archives, mainly looking up deceased estates. I had a list of things to look up that was 27 pages long, and managed to get through 8 of those pages, so another research trip is needed!

I visited Arthur and Ann Reynolds in Merrivale, near Howck. Ann Reynolds (nee Stayt) is my second cousin on the Vause/Cottam side of the family. Her grandmother Ruby Stayt was sister of my grandmother Lily Hayes (nee Vause). They are now retired, and living in a cottage on their son Brian's farm.

I got home yesterday, and will probably spend a couple of days sorting and entering the new information.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Charles William Pearson -- Wikipedia article

Well, I've created the Wikipedia article for Charles William Pearson, so have a look at it and edit it or improve it, or make comments ab out it in the comments sections below.

Pearson decendants in Canada

We've just had a couple of e-mails from Ken Joyal in Canada, whose wife Lesley is descended from Charles William Pearson (brother to Val's great-grandfather Daniel William Pearson).

Lesley is descended from Olive Lois Pearson, daughter of Charles William Pearson, and there is some mystery about her date of death, and the circumstances of her death. Ken wondered if it could have been an accident. We have a note that she was dead before 1928, but I'm not sure where we got that information -- will need to check on it.

Olive Lois also had a brother Francis Muncaster (Frank) Pearson, who was a journalist in Canada, but we haven't been able to find out much about him.

Charles William Pearson is another one who probably deserves a Wikipedia article. He was a pioneer Anglican missionary in Uganda, but returned to England because of ill-health. He got to Uganda by sailing up the Nile, which was quite an adventurous journey in those days. Actually if you look at my Blogger profile here you will see that one of my favourite films is Sammy going south, which is based on a novel of the same name, about a boy whose parents were killed in the Anglo-French bombing of Egypt in 1956, and makes a journey over more or less the same route, and makes it possible to picture C.W. Pearson's journey 70 years earlier, though I'm not sure if it was all filmed on location in Sudan.

Another of the Pearson brothers also had an interesting life and an obscure death. That was John Johnson Pearson, who was a British Israelite, and travelled to India at one point, and around the "prophetic earth" -- the Near and Middle East. Mad Uncle Anthony told us he lived in Paris with a harem of Sikh ladies, but I think that needs to be taken with several sacks of salt.

I suppose the best way of finding out what happened to Olive would be to search for her death certificate, but it's an awkward period. The FreeBMD indexes only go up to 1910 or thereabouts, and while indexes after about 1970 are available easily, 1923-28 falls in between.

Friday, August 11, 2006

More Green family Wikipedia articles

After starting the Wikipedia on Frederick Thomas Green (which is still not finished), I have now also started one on his older brother Henry Green.

I'm intending to add ones on some of the other members of the family, unless someone else does so first.

Since Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, one obviously cannot simply add biographies of every member of one's family. They need to have played a sufficiently significant role in history to make them worthy of inclusion. Fred, Arthur, Henry and Edward Lister Green all made it into the Dictionary of South African biography, so i reckon that gives gives them a claim to inclusion in Wikipedia as well. Apart from anything else, the Wikipedia articles can correct some of the inaccuracies of the DASB ones.

I think Charles Alexander Green might also warrant inclusion, though most of what is known about him is actually included in Fred's biography.

Another who might be worth including is Margaret Agnes Ann Thwaites, formerly Francis, formerly Wilson, born Green, alias Glasgow, alias Elliot. Her claim to inclusion is probably her pioneering work in education in Queanbeyan, New South Wales. Perhaps Bob cowley could write that one, since he is not only descended from her, but has done a lot of the work already.

Any comments? Please click on one of other of the Comments sections below, and have your say!

Wikipedia link:

Technorati tags: , , ,

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Wikipedia article: Frederick Thomas Green

For the last ten days or so I've spent a lot of time on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

It started when someone sent me an e-mail out of the blue, asking me to check, and if possible add to, an article he had written on Colin Winter, a former Anglican bishop of Namibia. I had worked with bishop Winter, and so was able to add something to the article, but first had to check the background links, and before long I'd spent a whole day editing and adding to Wikipedia pages on Namibia, and linking pages on Christianity in Africa, and created a new category of Namibian biography, and having done that, decided to add Val's great great grandfather, Frederick Thomas Green.

I haven't finished yet, and of course anyone who knows anything about a topic can add to it on Wikipedia. But still, relations on the Green/Greene side of the family may find it interesting, and some others too. So click here to see the article, and see if you can add to it. And if you go to the bottom of the article, you will see Categories, and if you click on the "Namibian biography" category, you will see the article on Colin winter as well, if it interests you.

Fred Green came to southern Africa with his father and brothers from Canada in about 1847, and he and three of his brothers made it into the Dioctionary of South African biography, so they probably all deserve at least a mention in Wikipedia, so I may start articles on them too, and encourage others to add to them.

Of the brothers, Henry was British Resident of the Orange River Sovereignty, Arthur was a pioneer Cape photographer, and Edward was a soldier. One who isn't mentioend is Charles, who died young. Actually he was the bold explorer, and Fred was his kid brother who tagged along. It's not quite clear what happened to Charles in the end, but apparently it was a boating accident. He is said to have drowned in the Okavango River when his boat was upset by a hippo.

Technorati tags: , ,

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Some dreams come true -- Henry Green

Ione Evans writes from New Zealand:
Amanda our daughter in England has found the book Some Dreams Come True for me and is posting it. Will be interesting to read for the history apart from it having a picture of Henry Green in it. Will scan pic and send when it arrives. Exciting! Hope you are with transport again. How do you fare insurance wise in SA? Having lovely sunny days even if am temperatures are COLD!

The great mystery with Henry Green is the identity of his wife's parents, or at least his wife's mother -- we know her father was Capt Carl Arthur von Lilienstein, who was a border gaurd between Prussia and Denmark before coming to South Africa with the 1858 German military settlers. These were part of the British German Legion, who were recruited to fight in the Crimean War, but the war ended before they could go there, so they came to settle in British Kaffraria (now part of the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, around East London) instead, and act as border guards there. Cattle rustling across the border was common, and it was hoped that military settlers would be able to prevent it, and thus save the British taxpayers some money. It didn't work.

At about that time Henry Green's brother Edward was in the Cape Mounted Rifles, but transferred to a regiment stationed in India, sending his wife Emily and children to England, and eventually the family ended up in New Zealand. Edward was the ancestor of the Nation, Mocine, and Blum branches of the family.

Back to Henry: his wife was sometimes referred to as "Countess", and some have inferred from this that her father was a Count, but this is apparently not so. So there is also the mystery of where the "Countess" came from. Maybe the book Some dreams coem true will throw some light on the mystery!

Oh, and for the last couple of weeks out night time temperatures have been around 8 degrees C, and the daytime ones about 25, which hardly seems like winter at all! The insurance assessor visited lately, so we hope they will pay out for our stolen car.

Technorati tags: ,

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Bits and pieces

Just a few notes to update. Our puppy Mardigan didn't make it after being poisoned by thieves -- details and picture at my personal blog.

Last Thursday I spent a few hours at the Family History Centre in Johannesburg, looking at the marriage registers for St John the Baptist Church, Bedminster, from 1900-1944. The church was bombed during the second world war, so that is perhaps as far as the records go. I found some Hayes and Purnell marriages, some of them related, though most that were related we already knew of from other sources.

I recorded these in the Inmagic database program, and the last couple of days I've been preparing to transfer other marriage records I've recorded over the years from the askSam program to Inmagic, so we can have an index of them all in one place.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Car stolen, dogs poisoned

Last night our Toyota Venture was stolen

Tthieves broke in the back gate, poisoned our puppy Mardigan, and took the car out. They were apparently able to disable the alarm and the gearlock. Now our other dog, Ariel, has been looking ill, so our sons Simon and Jethro have taken her to the vet as well.

The loss of the Venture will cause problems for our mission work, as we used it to take people to church and to church gatherings.

We have a few family history messages to reply to and things we've promised to check for people, but these problems may cause delays.

Earlier in the year we lost two dogs to biliary. First our little bonsai Alsatian Alexa (the one you can see me holding in the photo) started coughing and hyperventilating at about 3:00 in the morning, and died within an hour when we were still trying to find an after hours vet. We had no idea what had caused it. The other dog, Ariel, was very unhappy, so we got Ralf, an Alsatian puppy who ate his way into our hearts, but died within 12 days. We got him to the vet, where he died on the examination table, and the vet said it was biliary. There seem to have been a lot more ticks around last summer, because there was hardly any winter last year.

Ariel moped again, and so we got yet another Alasatian puppy, Mardigan, and we are not sure whether he will make it.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Green family in England, and Gray family in Canada

I've recentl;y had e-mails from Dennis and Penny Allen in England, who live in a house formerly owned by William Green, photographer, of Northumberland, son of William George Green. William George Green was the eldest son of William Goodall Green and Margaret Gray.

In the house are some photographs, and a book that William Green wrote to try to prove the alleged royal descent of William Goodall Green -- that he was the son of Edward, Duke of Kent, Queen Victoria's father.

Dennis and Penny are not related, but have very kindly sent copies of some of the material they have. We hope that it may help us to add some missing links to the Green family tree.

One of the things they sent was a reproduction of a picture of Alexander Gray, described as Attorney General. All we know of him is that his daughters changed their surname to Hamilton when their mother remarried after his death.

Does anyone know anything about the Hamilyon connection? If you do, please click on one of the places where it says "Comments" below, and enter your comments there.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Hayes, Allen, Williams, Purnell

Today I spent quite a lot of time making use of the OriginsNet free offer for 4 July, and seeing what I could find. The most useful things were the 1841 and 1871 censuses, though they are not fully indexed, and some of the images did not display properly.

But they seemed to have Bristol and Somerset fairly well covered, and I looked up my great great great grandparents, Simon and Rachel Hayes, in the 1841 census, and think I may have found a clue to a long-standing mystery.

Ages ago one of the first censuses we found (Bedminster 1851) showed John Hayes (son of Simon and Rachel) and a cousin staying with him, Elena Purnell, aged 17.

Ever since then we've looked for a Purnell connection, but have never found it in more than 20 years of searching.

But in 1841 Simon and Rachel were staying in a household that included Ann Purnell, aged 45, and two younger Purnells, and an Emily Tripp aged 4. This was in Paul Street, Bedminster, Bristol. It seems possible, then, that Ann was Rachel's sister. We know what happened to her other two sisters -- one married Giles Williams, and the other married George Hill, but what happened to Ann was a mystery. So now we have to find her marriage to a Purnell, to confirm this, and also that she had a daughter Elena, and another loose end will be tied up.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Free access to records

Read about it here

For 4 July only.

The Origins Network is offering free access to both British and
Irish Origins on the 4th July to celebrate US Independence Day.
Free access will begin at 00.00GMT and will run until 08.00GMT on
the 5th July 2006.

The Origins Network services include subscription access to
exclusive genealogy related collections on British Origins and
Irish Origins, plus expert Scottish Old Parish records research on
Scots Origins.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Reading and responding to entries in this blog

Comments on postings

In the three months since I started this blog, very few people have used the Comments feature to comment on anything I have posted here, though some have responded by private e-mail. That is rather sad, because it means that others in the family can't see what you have written. There are actually two places where you can comment -- just click where it says "Comments" at the bottom of each post.

In addition, if you look at the side bar on the right, there is also a Forum and a Guestbook. The forum option is suitable for continuing discussions on research into a particular family member, such as the mystery of Alfred John Dawson Francis and his several wives.

Of course if you want to discuss something very private, that you don't want anyone else to read, it is best to use e-mail, but much of what we are discussing here is about people who are long dead, and so it should not be a problem.


I've been checking the Search facility, and find that the Search this blog one doesn't work too well. If you want to search for something like "Alfred Dawson Francis", enter it in the search space at the top of the page and click on Search all blogs. That seems to work better.

Telling others

If you know anyone else in the family who might be interested in a particular post in this blog, click on the little envelope icon at the bottom -- a window will open in which you can enter their e-mail address, and a note on what they might find interesting.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Growdon/Growden family page, and other web updates

Growden page

I've updated the Growdon/Growden family page, so if you have Growden ancestors or relatives, please have a look.

My tribes

I've also found a replacement for my Yahoo 360 pages, which were closed in May. For a while I tried MySpace as a substitute, but it was clunky and hard to use. I've found something better than both of them at, where I invite you to join me. If you go there, you can see and link to the latest updates from this blog. I found it quicker, easier to use and more useful than either Yahoo 360 or MySpace.

I've put some of these links down the column on the right of this blog, where I hope they will be easy to find.


Some people seem to have been having difficulty in commenting on posts here.

When I've posted something on a branch of the family, I sometimes send an e-mail announcement to members of that branch of the family who I think might be interested. Some have replied by e-mail, which means that no one else can see it.

If you want to comment on an article here, please click on the "COMMENTS" at the bottom to add a comment, or to see what comments others have made. There are actually two places where you can do this, but the better one to use is the one that says "0 COMMENTS" (or 1, or 2). If it says "0 comments" and you add a comment there, the next person who comes along will see that it says "1 COMMENT", and so on.

If there are more than 10 comments, it might be better to move the discussion to the Bravenet Forum, which you can see in the sidebar on the right. Just make sure you give it a clear and meaningful subject line, especially with the surname of the branch of the family, so that others can find it easily.

If you have comments or questions on this business of commenting, please click on "COMMENTS" below, and ask away or have your say!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Thwaites, Green families in Australia

I've just had some correspondence with Emma Hannah, who was married to Roger Thwaites, son of FJ Thwaites, the Australian novelist, who was the grandson of Margaret Agnes Ann Green and Walter Thwaites. This adds something to what we know of the Thwaites side of the family.

Margaret Agnes Ann Green {known as Agnes) and her younger brother Alfred both lived in Australia. We have been in contact with several of Agnes Green's descendants, from all three of her husbands, some of whom returned to southern Africa in later generations, and some fought on opposite side in the First and Second World Wars.

There is a possibility that at least two of her husbands committed bigamy by marrying her.

We have not managed to make contact with any of Alfred's descendants though. One of them William Alfred Goodall Esdaile Green lived in South Africa for several years, and changed his name to William d'Este Stuart-Grey. Another, Frederick, died young. A daughter, Henrietta Caroline married William Henry Browne.

Technorati tags: , ,

Monday, June 19, 2006

Sandercock/Saundercock family

Nola Buzza writes:
I'm very excited to report that I have just found three Saundercock brothers who died in USA - William born 1866, Thomas H born 1870, Robert born 1872 - sons of William Thomas Saundercock & Emma Jane Wellington. It seems that William may have married and had at least one daughter - more research needed there. Great fun isn't it? Hope all is well with you and your loved ones. Cheers - Nola

That's a signal for the rest of us Sandercock - Saundercock researchers to get busy!

Technorati tags: ,

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Searching Bedminster marriage registers

Nothing much to report on the research front. I had to go to a meeting in Johannesburg, where I met an old friend Mike Murphy. Not a relation, but I first met him nearly 50 years ago when he and his sister Brigid came to stay with some cousins ofn theirs who lived next door to us in Johannesburg. We were kids then. Saw him again about 20 tyears later, and now again after another 30 years.

But after the meeting I went to the Mormon Family History Library and went through the Bedminster Marriage registers from about 1875 to 1895. Didn't find very much, but there was Joseph Hayes, son of Sander, whose brother Christopher Albert Hayes was Lord Mayor of Bristol in 1910 or thereabouts. And my great grandmother Mary Barber Stooke's sister Sarah married Charles Parker.

The others were mostly unrelated people of similar names. I made a note of them for future reference, in case I find them and think they are a new branch of the family. It's a sort of "you know about those already" thing.

Tags: ,

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Andrew's Amusing Anecdotes: The Family Cottam

Looks like another Cottam family

Andrew's Amusing Anecdotes: The Family Cottam

I wonder if there is any connection. Ours was from Lancaster, and I seem to recollect seeing a place near Lancaster with a name similar to a place in Country Durham -- was it Sunderland? I'll have to check.

Our main family history page

Just another reminder that our main family history page has moved to If you visit it, please don't forget to sign the Guestbook!

At the old site it was linked to a family tree, but we have not managed to to that on the new site yet, but I hope to get a new one done soon.

And please leave a comment here if you have anything to add to the family news and research news we put here. What you write may help to jog someone else's memory!

Technorati tags: , , , , , , ,

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Nation family of New Zealand

For a long time we were in correspondence with a distant cousin, Henry Andrew (Andy) Nation, of Punawaitai, Waipawa, New Zealand. He was descended from Edward Lister Green, the brother of Val's great great grandfather Frederick Thomas Green. Andy was interested in family history, and sent us a copy of Edward Lister Green's diary and a lot of other family information.

Since Andy died about 10 years ago, we have more or less lost contact with the New Zealand branch of Nation family, though we have continued to be in touch with the Mocine branch in the USA, and through them recently made contact with Andy Blum, who is descended from the Lewis branch, also in the USA.

Ione Evans, descended from one of the other Green brothers, Henry, is now also in New Zealand, and has made contact with another member of the Nation family, Louisa Palairet (born Nation). So we look forward to hearing more news of them.

Technorati tags: , , ,

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Visit our family web pages

This blog contains mostly new family information as we find it, and so you might wonder where it fits together.

You can check our main family web pages by clicking on the image below.

Not everything is there yet, but you will find links to more family information, and places where you can see the family tree.

Growden in Canada

I know that at least one branch of our Growden/Growdon family went to Canada, and wonder if the Rick Growden mentioned in this article is a member of this family:

A wasted two years for Durham? - Jun 1, 2006

The Growden who went to Canada was James Growden (1837-?), son of Thomas and Sidwell Growden who was born in Bodmin, Cornwall, and married Harriet Baldwin of Ontario about 1860. They had eight children.

Technorati tags: , , ,

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Green, Borwick, Evans - double link?

Ione Evans of New Zealand wrote in an e-mail recently to say that there mighbe be two links between her husvand's family (Evans, from the Falkland Islands) to the Green side. Ione is descended from Henry Green, and the new link may be to a descendant of Henry's younger brother Edward Lister Green,
I was looking for a Hawkes Bay Green connection to write to in hopes of a picture of Edward Lister Green-when the name Palairet shouted to me! Dentons cousins daughter married a Palairet last year so I asked Brenda what Andrews parents christian names are. Yes Louisa and John Richard and they live in Hawkes Bay, and Lousas maiden name was Nation so it all fits. Am ringing them tonight.

So we await the next development with great interest.

Technorati tags: , , , ,

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Cottam - a typo spotted

I just had an e-mail from Rick Cowey, whose eagle eye had spotted a typo in the birthdate of one of the Cottams -- Mary, daughter of Richard Cottam and Margaret Bagot. I had her birth date as 1858, when it was actually 1830, and once the right birth date was there, a lot of other things fell into place, like her marriage to John Worrall, and her children. Rick also kindly sent me images of her appearing on the 1841 and 1881 censuses, the first in Manchester, and the second in Middlesex, where the family moved to in the mid-1860s.

Technorati tags:

Friday, May 26, 2006

Back on the Web

I've given up Yahoo! as a bad job.

It's nearly 2 weeks since our Web pages on YahooGeocities became inaccessible, so I've decided to move them to Bravenet.

It will take some time to move everything across and ensure that the links work and so on, so please be patient! But it will also make it possible to update some of the material, including the family tree stuff, so in the end it may turn out to be a good thing.

Anyway, please bookmark the new site, and feel free to sign the guest book, or add a comment either here, or there. To add a comment here, just click on "Comments" at the bottom of each entry.

Technorati tags:

Monday, May 22, 2006

Falkenberg breakthrough - after 30 years

When we first started doing family history, soon after we were married, we asked Val's grandmother, Emma le Sueur about her ancestors. She often couldn't remember their names, but she remembered what they had died of and what pills they took. But she did tell us that her mother was Jessie Falkenberg and her father was Edward Decker (and that he had died when she was about 8, at Covimvaba).

About a year later, with special permission from the magistrate (I was banned at the time) we went to Cape Town on holiday, stopping to visit relations and do family history on the way. We visited Violet McDonald, a Growdon relative, in Queenstown, and spent a morning looking through the parish registers at St Michael's Anglican Church, and right away got lucky. We found not only Growdons, but Falkenbergs as well. lots of them. Jessie Decker, nee Falkenberg, was there, though it turned out that her full name was actually Justine, along with several brothers and sisters. Her father was Michael John Christian Falkenberg, and her mother was also Justine, alias Jessie.

We recorded all this, and went on to Cape Town, where in the archives we found more about them in death notices and immigration lists.

Michael John Christian Falkenberg came from Germany in 1858, with his wife Dorothea and 3-year-old son Friedrich. But at some point his wife had died and he had remarried to Justine Schultz, who had come over on the same ship with her family, but was 9 years old at the time. He married her when she was about 15, but we still have not been able to discover where.

On our way home again we called at Stutterheim, and there found a grave for a Frederike Falkenberg, born Luthow. The age was right, so could she have been Michael John Christian Falkenberg's first wife? But the name was different -- Dorothea/Frederike?

We traced descendants of both wives. But ancestors were harder. They were in East Germany, and the government there did not encourage genealogical research, and communication was difficult. But a Mr Hans Georg Bleibaum in West Germany was interested in South Africa-Germany connections, and offered to help. He sent a parcel of groceries to an East German researcher, who found the Schultz ancestors, and then a Martin Schultz who married a Marie Payard and traced the Payard side back to the Huguenots in the 17th century.

But the Falkenberg side was a dead end.

Then, last week, along came Peter Woddow. He asked in a South African genealogy mailing list about Germans from the Ueckermark who had settled in South Africa. I mentioned the Falkenbergs to him, and within a short time he had confirmed for us that Frederike and Dorothea Falkenberg, born Luthow, were one and the same person, solving the mystery of the grave we saw in Stutterheim more than 30 years ago.

And now he has given the parents, brothers, and sisters of Michael Johann Christian Falkenberg, which we had despaired of ever finding.

Oh, incidentally, on our trip in 1975, we also visited King William's Town and found the baptism of Val's grandmother's father, who turned out to be Edwin, not Edward. Edwin Robert Morton Decker, to be precise.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Satterley, Luscombe, Hayes, Capel and more

I spent some time yesterday and the day before at the LDS family history centre, looking at films of baptism registers of Bovey Tracey in Devon, and some Bristol ones.

My main interest in Devon is the Stooke family most of whom lived in Ashton and Trusham in the Teign valley, ancestors of my great grandmother Mary Barber Stooke who married William Allen Hayes.

But Bovey Tracey is nearby, and a Stooke relative was vicar there in the 17th century, and I found lots of Satterleys and quite a few Luscombes, both families that married into the Stooke family, though none of those I found seem to be related.

The microfilm was of a transcript made in the 1920s -- useful in that it was probably easier to read than the old handwriting.

In Bristol I looked at registers from St John the Baptist, Bedminster, and St Mary Redcliffe. I didn't find much, but did find one interesting marriage: Henry William Andrews married Joanna Wickham Capel in 1853 at St John's, Bedminster.

There was a Margaret Jane Capel who married John Hayes and their son was William Wickham Hayes. And John Hayes was a witness at the wedding of Henry and Joanna. Margaret Jane Capel had a sister Joannah, could it be the same one? But the age was wrong. Well, she fibbed, saying that she was 28 (her husband was 25), but actually she was 31. So perhaps it wasn't the right one.

Quick check of 1881 census.

Joanne Andrews, born Winscombe, age 60, housdekeeper for Revd Morely Saunders of Clevedon. So yes, it is the same one. Fibbed about her age at her marriage, but not at the census (husband seems to have died by then).

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Yahoo pulls the plug

About 10 years ago I started a personal Web page at Geocities. The site grew as I shared information, including our family tree, with other people. Eventually Geocities was taken over by Yahoo, and yesterday, suddenly and without warning, Yahoo blocked access to my web pages, and to my e-mail address ( everything else linked to that Yahoo ID.

The implication is that I had somehow violated their terms of service. I'm not sure how I might have done that, but the only thing I can think of is that someone sent me one of those address update thingies, through a web site called Plaxo. I thought I would try out the Plaxo thing -- it's a sort of on-line address book, like the one Yahoo has, but with automatic updating. It had an option to import my Yahoo address book, so I did that, and the next thing I knew was that my Yahoo membership was terminated.

So the problem seems to be one of these turf wars between Internet companies. I can't think of what else it might be.

One of the things affected was a Growdon/Growden family mailing list on YahooGroups, which I will no longer be able to maintain, and I'm not sure how much longer I'll have access to it.

But for the moment this blog is still a contact point, thought a blog is a poor substitute for a mailing list.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Hayes family news

A couple of days ago I had a phone call from my second cousin Jane Conway in Bristol, quite out of the blue.

We visited her a year ago, and it was the first time we had met her. So it was good to hear from her again. Her grandfather, Cyril Allen Hayes, was the brother of my grandfather Percy Wynn Hayes.

She reported that Derek Scott, husband of another cousin, Gillian Bain, had died a week earlier at the age of 83. Derek was a musician, and wrote the music for the Muppets TV show. Gillian was a ballet dancer, with the stage name Sidonie Darell.

Cousin Jane is going to America soon, to help her daughter, who lives there, move house.

And today is our son Jethro's birthday.

Technorati tags:

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Cornwall families -- Growdon, Couch, Sandercock

Yesterday I managed to get to the Family History Centre in Johannesburg for the first time since Holy week and Easter, and looked at bits and pieces in the parish registers for St Mabyn, Cornwall, where I found a few Couch families, none of which seemed definitely related, and a couple of Sandercock ones, and an Elizabeth Growden, daughter of Jane, whose abode was given as Bodmin, and may have been one of ours. Elizabeth grew up to have an illegitimate child of her own, Rebecca Growden, about 25 years later.

We got a new car on 13 April (also my 65th birthday), to replace the Mazda that was stolen a year and a day previously, and that might make it possible to get out and do some more family history research, but our son Jethro took the Toyota Venture off to Durban on holiday in Bright Week, so I'm still stuck at home until he returns. I had thought of going down with him and visiting family and friends in Pietermaritzburg, and doing some research in the archives and libraries there at the same time, but it was not certain how many people I wanted to see were going to be there, so in the end decided to stay home.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Green, Tapscott, von Lilienstein

We've just had a letter from Mrs Christine Estmond of Somerset, England. Her husband was descended from the Tapscotts, and one of his ancestors was the uncle of the George Arthur Montgomery Tapscott who married Ida Green, daughter of Henry Green and Ida von Lilienstein. That's a rather remote relationship -- related by marriage to someone who, several generations before, was related by marriage! A sort of cousin-in-law to a cousin-in-law!

What was most interesting, though, is she had information from Peggy Stokes (a Tapscott descendant) that Ida von Lilienstein's mother's name was Elese. That we didn't know, and it was something Peggy Stokes never told us.

Peggy Stokes and her husband Jack visited us abour 25 years ago when we lived in Melmoth, Zululand. For years they had run a tourist boat on Lake Kariba on the Zambezi, but when they retired from that lived a gipsy life, travelling around Southern Africa in their caravan, pulled by an amazingly well-maintained 1957 Chevrolet. When they visited us in Melmoth they had just been in Swaziland with Harry Green, and we enjoyed swapping family history information, and most of what we knew about the Tapscott side of the family came from Peggy. Later we lost touch with her, but when we visited Cape Town in November 2003 we learnt drom other cousins that she had died at Clanwilliam two months previously, on 18 September 2003.

So now we don't know where the "Elese" came from, but there is the same story, found in other branches of the family, that Bismarck was her godfather, and that she was a "Countess". Witho0ut knowing her maiden surname, however, there is no real way of finding out what she was supposed to have been a Countess of!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Kenya as I knew it

Well, not as I, knew it, but as Howell Evans knew it.

Yesterday the manuscript of Kenya as I knew it arrived from Ione Evans in New Zealand. It was written by her father-in-law, Howell Evans, and tells of his time in Kenya as an agricultural officer from 1949-1963. I've only just started reading it, so can't comment much on the content yet.

Ione is descended from Henry Green, one of the Greens who came to South Africa from Canada in the 1840s, and her branch of the Green family was completely unknown to us until she made contact a few months ago. All we knew was that Henry Green's daughter Edith Susanna married an Ernest BORWICK, and no trace of their descendants could be found, until Ione got in touch and told us about numerous descendants in Kenya, New Zealand and elsewhere.

One of the continuing mysteries is Henry Green's second wife and her family. Most of the sources we had said she was the daughter of "Count von Lilienstein" who came to British Kaffraria with the German military settlers in 1858. But it seems that he was not a count, but a Captain (Hauptmann) and was a border guard on the Danish frontier before coming to the Cape.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Vause marriage discovered

For more than 30 years I'd been looking for a Vause marriage, and I think I've found it. It's been staring me in the face for the last couple of years, when someone sent me an index of Vause births, marriages and deaths from Lincolnshire in England.

My great great grandfather Richard Vause (1822-1886), who came to South Africa in 1852, was the son of John Vause (1784-1863) and Eleanor Wyatt. John Vause was himself the son of John Vause (1747-1823) and Elizabeth, whose maiden name we did not know. The elder John Vause was the son of Richard Vause (1720-1751) and Elizabeth Hill, who remarried Francis Whitehead in 1756.

I was checking the index again, to see if there were any matches to things I had found in the Crowle church registers and censuses, and there it was, staring me in the face: John Vause married Elizabeth Brooks in Epworth on 7 January 1780

I'm pretty sure this is the right one, because they had four children born to them in the 1780s, Richard, John, Samuel and Sarah. Samuel and Sarah died young (and Elizabeth died shortly before Sarah, possibly as a result of complications following childbirth).

Richard married a Fanny, and apparently lived in Hull, and it seems that his nephew and namesake lived with his aunt in Hull before marrying Matilda Park in Bath and emigrating to Natal.

Anywway, the next step is to discover Elizabeth Brooks's parents. Another one whose parents are still unknown is Elizabeth Hill, but she is said to have been the sister of a John Hill, Gent., of Hull. A Mary Vause married a John Hill in 1770, and this Mary was probably a niece of the Richard Vause who married Elizabeth Hill, so the Vause-Hill connection needs to be followed up.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

More on the Vause family in Crowle

Yesterday I was again at the LDS Family History Centre in Johannesburg, trying to sort out information about the Vause family in Crowle, Lincolnshire. I had looked at the microfilm of the 1861 census serveral months ago, but had forgotten that I hadn't looked to the end of the roll. So this time I started at the end and worked back to where I had got to last time.

This time, too, I made notes in the Genota genealogy note-taking program, in order to try it out, and see how well it works. It seems quite a useful program for that purpose, and i hope to be able to make suggestions to the authors on how to improve it.

Unfortunately the burial records for Crowle have a break between 1863-1873. In 1863 a new cemetery opened, and only those buried in vaults of brick graves were recorded in the parish burial registers. John Vause senior is supposed to have died in 1863, and his son the following year, so the gap makes it difficult. Also, I haven't been able to find any other record of John Junior's wife and children. did they die in the same period, or did they move away?

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Crowle families - Vause, Brunyee, Isle, Ellis

Yesterday I continued looking at the microfilm of the Crowle parish registers, and found more records referring to the Vause, Ellis, Brunyee and Isle families.

My interest was mainly in my ggg-grandparents, John Vause and his wife Eleanor Wyatt, who appear to have moved there from Thorninghurst Farm in the Thorne-Fishlake area of Yorkshire some time in the 1930s, Their last child, Samuel Wyatt Vause, was born there about 1840, and he and his mother died shortly thereafter. John Vause was an innkeeper in Crowle, and seems to have lived there until his death in 1863.

In 1842 John & Eleanor Vause's daughter Fanny married a local surgeon, Phineas Samuel Ellis. P.S. Ellis's brother Henry also seems to have lived in Crowle.

In 1856 their son John Vause also married an Eleanor (which caused the confusion when I found the baptism of their children, mentioned in an earlier message below). He married Eleanor Isle, whose father Thomas Isle was also apparently an innkeeper. So I went back in the microfilm to look for more information on the Isle family, which I had not been looking for previously.

The Brunyee family apparently came from Epworth, a little South of Crowle (and famous as the birthplace of John and Charles Wesley, the founders of Methodism), and the Vause family had also lived there earlier, and one of the Vauses had married a Brunyee, hence the interest. Most of my information about the Brynyee family comes from Wendy Castree of Queensland, Australia -- we were in touch on one of the Fidonet genealogy conferences about 10 years ago, but with the decline in BBS networks we lost touch.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Strange anomalies in VAUSE family records

Yesterday I was going through the baptism registers of Crowle, Lincolnshire when I came across three baptisms for the VAUSE family on the same day.

They were children of John and Eleanor Vause, who were my ggg grandparents, and I was quite gobsmacked to find them.

Here are the baptisms, together with the baptism of my great great grandfather, who was the eldest child of John and Eleanor Vause.

Vause, Alice Elinor
Bapt: 2-Jan-1860 ENG, LIN, Crowle
Father: Vause, John
Mother: Vause, Elinor
Occupation: Hotel keeper
Abode: Crowle

Vause, Charles Henry
Bapt: 2-Jan-1860 ENG, LIN, Crowle
Father: Vause, John
Mother: Vause, Elinor
Occupation: Hotel keeper
Abode: Crowle

Vause, Emily Sarah
Bapt: 2-Jan-1860 ENG, LIN, Crowle
Father: Vause, John
Mother: Vause, Eleanor
Occupation: Hotel keeper
Abode: Crowle

Vause, Richard
Bapt: 28-May-1822 England, Yorkshire, Kingston on
Hull, Holy Trinity
Father: Vause, John
Mother: Vause, Eleanor
Occupation: Maltster
Abode: Myton

The first thing that strikes one, of course, is that the last three to be baptised were baptised nearly 40 years after the first one. I'm pretty certain they weren't triplets born late, because Eleanor Vause, the mother, had been dead for nearly 20 years. She was buried in Crowle shortly after the baptism of her youngest child Samuel Wyatt Vause (spelt Vuse in the baptism register) who was baptised in Crowle on 14 Feb 1840 (their other children were baptised in Thorne, Fishlake and Hull).

The two possibilities that immediately struck me, of course, was that this must either be a different John and Eleanor Vause, or that these were late baptisms, which means that the three children baptised in 1860 must have been in their twenties, at least.

I'm pretty certain that the parents were not a different set. John Vause appears as an innkeeper in the 1861 census, with his unmarried daughter Betsey. Another daughter, Fanny, was married to a surgeon Phineas Samuel Ellis (and their younger children were baptised at Crowle in the 1850s), and Betsey was living with them in the 1881 census (John Vause, the inkeeper, died in 1863). The eldest son, Richard Vause, published an announcement of the death of his father John Vause of Crowle in the Natal Mercury in 1863.

So the only other possibility, unless I'm missing something, is that these three children had somehow not been baptised before, and were baptised in their 20s in Crowle.

But they do not seem to have been mentioned in any other family or other records. This is the first I have heard of them, after 30 years of research into the family.

I can think of two possibilities that might account for this:

1. They had died in infancy
2. That they were mentally defective, and the family didn't mention them

The first seems unlikely, unless the Church of England Vicar of Crowle had secretly absorbed Mormon theology and was baptising for the dead.

The second is possible, and perhaps they were baptised when they were visiting the family from an asylum somewhere.

I suppose the next thing would be to examine the 1851 and 1841 censuses of Crowle to see if there is any mention of them -- any other suggestions? If you have suggestions, click on COMMENTS below.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Green - Wilson - Francis - Thwaites

Jenny Marsh writes:

... found this info amongst Glorias letters. "Agnes Thwaites,
admitted to Adelaide Hospital 2/4/1880 of Gawler, 44 yrs married C/E , born
Nova Scotia. Arrived in the colony aboard the Countess of Harborough."

Every little bit helps, and that's quite a few bits. At least it gives the name of a ship to look for. Though it may not be the one she went from the Cape Colony on, but perhaps the Countess of Harborough only took her to Adelaide from Sydney.

In looking for that, I found a reference to Alfred John Dawson Francis (her second husband) going insolvent in 1860 in an NSW archives index. He was described as a miner and storeman at Dwyer's Creek. But the only Dwyer's Creek I could find was in South Western Victoria, and presumably quite a long way from Moruya.

Any comments on this?

Just click on the COMMENTS at the bottom of this posting.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Hickman family of Durban and Old Swinford

We had a couple of e-mails from Michael Hickman giving updates on his branch of the family, and he has a web page on the Hickman family.

Michael's children John-Michael and Sebastian Richard were abducted to Germany in 1995..

Michael Hickman is Val's 5th cousin on the Crighton -> Flamme side.

Much of the basic research on the Hickman family in South Africa was done by Ron Hickman, who visited us in 1987 to exchange notes on the family. Ron made a great hit with our youngest son Jethro, who is car mad, and Ron designed Lotus sports cars.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Green, Francis, Battye, Cowley

A fat book arrived from Bob Cowley in Australia today -- "Addendum 1" to his Soldiers, surveyors and selectors, which he compiled about 10 years ago, to which this was an update.

Quite a lot of it deals with Margaret Agnes Anne Green, and he's managed to collect a fair bit more on her brother Alfred, who also went to Australia, and on Alfred's wife Henrietta Goote, including the rather interesting information that she was born in Smyrna, Turkey. He also has death dates for many of Alfred and Henrietta's children.

Included in the package was a copy of the Canberra Historical Journal for September 2005, which has an article by Bob Cowley himself on Margaret Agnes Anne Green, concentrating on her role as a pioneer educationist in Queanbeyan, "The Queanbeyan teacher who was unlucky in love". And so she was. Her first husband, William Wilson, drowned in the Tuross River. She next married Alfred John Dawson Francis, who committed suicide. Her third marriage, to Walter William Thwaites, was bigamous, so she married him again a few years later.

Bob Cowley has a theory that Alfred John Dawson Francis was not actually the father of their fourth child, Louisa Francis. She was born eight months after his suicide in Sydney, and for the preceding four months he had lived apart from his family in Moruya. Louisa was adopted at the age of 18 months by Captain E.M. Battye, who had known the Green family in the Cape Colony and Canada, and Bob is investigating to see whether he could have been Louisa's real father.

In the mean time I've been trying to find a record of her marriage to William Wilson in the Cape. No luck so far, at least not in Grahamstown Cathedral in the 1850s, where her brothers Edward and Arthur Green were married. Perhaps she eloped, and married under a different name.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Cottam marriages in Lancaster

I spent some time yesterday at the Mormon Family History Centre in Johannesburg transcribing COTTAM marriage records from St Mary's, Lancaster.

Here's what I found so far.

Cottam, Adam Page, Ann 6-Oct-1841
Cottam, Richard Bagot, Margaret 2-Aug-1835
Cottam, Robert McNeal, Jane 20-Dec-1820
Cottam, Thomas Newton, Jane 4-Feb-1822
Cottam, William Heaves, Sarah 2-Jul-1839
Smith, James Cottam, Alice 5-Feb-1822

There seemed to be quite a lot around 1820, but very few after that.

The Richard COTTAM who married Margaret BAGOT was my great great great grandfather.

Technorati tags: Cottam genealogy

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Growden, Pope and Dyer

My great great grandfather, Matthew Growden, married Christiana Pope, born Dyer, in Cornwall in the 1840s.

From various censuses it seems she had three children (at least) before she married him, and they were said to have been born in Tintagel - James Dyer, Thomas Pope and Philippa Pope.

So today I went to the Mormon family history centre and scrolled through microfilms of the Tintagel baptism register. But there was no sign of any of them.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Mail problem solved

Last night I sent a message to recent correspondents to say that there were problems with mail at my address, and gave alternative addresses to use.

It seems that Durham University's servers went down over the weekend, but no mail seems to have been lost, just delayed.

So this is to let you know my e-mail addresses, in order of preference (to keep in your address book):


Mail sent to (1) is forwarded to (4), but it is better to keep the address at (1) in your address book, because the address at (4) could change if I change ISPs, but Durham University has been around longer than Yahoo, Google or Telkom, so address (1) is less likely to change.

Thanks for your patience with the delays.

King, Mocine and Blum families

Andy and Linda Blum recently visited the King family in Texas, and Andy sent us these photos.

Here are Jennifer and Jean King, and Jean's mother Katharine Mocine, and Andy Blum.

Image hosting by Photobucket

And Katharine Mocine with Linda and Andy Blum.

Image hosting by Photobucket

Andy, Jean and Jennifer are descended from Edward Lister Green and Emily Ogilvie, who were married in Grahamstown, Cape Colony, in 1854, and subsequently settled in New Zealand.

Technorati tags: Green family , ,

E-mail problems

There seem to be problems with the mail server at Durham University, and e-mail sent to my address at does not seem to be getting through.

If you have sent mail to me recently and have not had a reply, please resend to one of my alternative e-mail addresses:


I have been unable to contact the Durham University servers at or, but I don't think they will be down permanently, but in the meantime please send copies of important mail to one or other of the alternative addresses.

For updates see blogs at:

Monday, March 13, 2006

Perhaps this blog is not such a good idea after all

After adding a couple of entries, I tried a search for names, and it didn't seem to work. Maybe the Search feature only works for publicly indexed blogs, which would be a pity. The idea of a family blog would be that it is for members of the family to look at and comment on, rather for publicising to the world at large, but if that means one can't index it for surnames, it would be tedious to plough all the way through looking.

Comments, anyone?


Jenny Marsh wrote about trying to contact Juanita Miller, a descendant of Walter William McLean Thwaites by one of his other wives. Juanita had written to say there were two more wives that we hadn't known about, but we've lost contact with her.

Green -> Nation -> Lewis

Andy Blum wrote that he was still trying to get information from bis brother and cousins, and had had a very good visit with Katherine Mocine, her daughter Jean King and grand daughter Jennifer, and sent some photos.

Had also written to cousin Nancy -- must ask about Nancy (Lewis) and her sister. Our information is that she marrige George Kee, but we have no information about children. Also her sister Linda, who married Thomas Whyte.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Why a family history journal?

A few years ago I read a book by Charley Kempthorne:

Kempthorne, Charley. 1996. For all time: a complete guide to
writing your family history. Portsmouth, NH:
Dewey: 929.1
ISBN: 0-86709-381-1

One of his suggestions was to keep a family history research journal, so I started to do so, following his suggestions below. At first I kept it in an MS Word document, and then later as an askSam document, but it seemed it might be more useful if I kept it as a blog, where other family members could see it, and comment and contribute.

Of course not everyone is related to every branch of our family, except us and our children, so not everything will be of interest to everyone. But you can easily search the blog for surnames of interest, and add to the fund of family history knowledge through anecdotes, in comments.

Please use the comments feature!

At the end of each entry in the blog you will see a line on the bottom tghat says "Comments". There are actually two places where you can comment -- choose either, click on it, and add to the fund of family stories and anecdotes we can share!

Anyway, this is how I began, with suggestions from Kempthorne's book. You might like to start a similar blog yourself.

Start a page with the heading “Journal” and write down today’s date… As you read and come to one of the writing suggestions like the one below, do your writing in this journal (Kempthorne 1996:5).

Family stories

Make a list of family stories you’d like to see written up. Don’t list the things you feel are important and ought to be written up so much as the things you’d like to write up, even if they seem mundane and ordinary (Kempthorne 1996:5-6).
1. Ella Hayes driving her uncle’s car and crashing into tree.
2. Keith Greene travelling to Maputo
3. Keith Greene “shit in Italy”
4. Ella Hayes going to St Barnabas Hospital
5. Dorothy Greene “you gotta da bigga appetite”
6. Bridget going to Groenvlei at 3 weeks old