Monday, 26 March 2007

Geoffs Genealogy Update 26 March 2007

I'm a bit late writing this week's entry on my blog. Maybe that's because we lost an hour in the weekend just passed! I have never liked the practice of adjusting the clocks by one hour in Spring & Autumn, but there we are - I just have to put up with it!

The highlight of the last week was my visit to London on Thursday. One of the many fine aspects of the Shropshire Family History Society is that they run several research trips to London each year, and as I have many London research interests I always try to go on these trips when I can.

This time I spent most of my time in the library of the Society of Genealogists. The SOG library in London is a wonderful treasure house of things genealogical. Non-members, such as myself, can use the facilities on payment of a fee. I paid for four hours use of the library. I had carried out some research in advance of the visit, and went armed with a series of references of documents to look up.

The main focus of my research was the archive of Marriage Licence Allegations, issued by the Faculty Office and the Vicar-General's Office, that are held by the SOG on microfilm. I found most of the items I looked for, and actually got a bonus - the 1836 marriage licence allegation for a certain Isabard Kingdom Brunel and his intended bride, Mary Elizabeth Horsley. This document has nothing at all to do with my research, but as I came across it I could not resist taking a copy!

When I had completed my work on the Marriage Licence Allegations I spent some time looking at the Wills Calendars of the Principal Probate Registry. I had a list of Bankes descendants to check out in these records, and found quite a few of the entries.

I was also able to look at some monumental inscriptions on the counties shelves. I won't bore you with the details - suffice to say that I did find something of interest.

As I still had a little time left after leaving the SOG I visited the Family Record Centre at Islington. Here I looked up the civil registration reference for my mother's aunt - Ophelia Kerr/Smith (nee Worthy). I wrote about my research into her in my blog entry a couple of weeks ago. Since my visit to London I have ordered a copy of Ophelia's birth certificate and the marriage certificate re her first marriage. If the content of these documents meets my expectations they should prove my theory re this lady's life story. Fingers crossed!

Having accomplished all these tasks, I spent the last few minutes of my visit to London checking out some more entries in the Wills Calendars of the Principal Probate Registry, and found a couple more items of interest.

All in all, this was a most successful excursion, and to cap it all we had an excellent trip back to Shropshire - arriving at Telford in record time!

Unfortunately the powers that be are closing the Family Record Centre by April 2008, so we shall lose our coach trips to central London. Shropshire will presumably still run trips to The National Archives at Kew, but although that repository holds many things of interest to me, it is well outside central London, and I shall find it more difficult to visit the records offices in central London that have been so valuable to me over the years.

See you next week.

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