Thursday, 31 December 2009

Geoffs Genealogy Update 31 December 2009

So here we are, on New Year’s Eve, 31 December 2009. I hope that this year has been a good one for you. It has for me, in so many ways. I have enjoyed some super holidays, and a number of musical / operatic events, and generally had a pretty good time. This is in spite of all the economic gloom that has confronted us in the UK on TV and in newspapers each and every day.

As far as family history research is concerned, it has been a very productive year. I’ve mentioned before the immense boost to my research that was given by the arrival online of the London Parish Registers on the Ancestry.co.uk website. I have spent the last few months going through all the items I found among these records, cataloguing them and adding the detail to my family history records. I guess that I am about one third of the way through this work now, but I am sure that if I embark on another trawl of these records sometime I will find still more gems. So far I have met a number of new forebears, some of whom I’ve mentioned before in this blog. I’m not sure that I’ve mentioned Hannah Mary Elizabeth Smith (b 1885), a further child of my great grandparents, James William Smith (1853-abt 1908) & Hannah Guyatt (1857-1903), or Michael Archer Smith (b 1863), another son of John Brown Smith (1829-1875) & Mary Ann Archer (b 1830). These are just two of the many new discoveries I have made, and I can hardly wait to see what I can find out about them in 2010.

Apart from these discoveries the year has brought me a number of other pleasures on the treeing front. I was contacted by Mary, a descendant of Samuel William Archer (1790-1870), and we were able to help one another fill in some of the gaps in our respective Archer researches. Then I had the pleasure of getting back in contact with Shelley, who is descended from Jessie Mary Elizabeth (Smith) (1880-1941) & Thomas William Walter Codd (1877-1945). We believe that Jessie and William had fifteen children, but up to now we have “only” accounted for twelve. In truth, Shelley has done most of this research, and I am very grateful to her for sharing her results with me. We both hope that in 2010 we may be able to find the missing three children, and are working jointly towards that end. Through Shelley I am now also in touch with Jennie, another Codd descendant. Hopefully I shall be able to meet both Shelley and Jennie during 2010.

I have been delighted to get back in touch with Dulcy, my American cousin. We had lost touch with one another over the past couple of years, but I am thrilled to be corresponding with Dulcy again. Then there is Jim – another US descendant of Robert Mitchell Collyer (1787-1859) & Elizabeth Dugarden (b 1798). He contacted me after visiting the Geoffs Genealogy website early last summer, and we have been in regular correspondence since. He has been so generous in the information he has sent to me, it is quite amazing. I hope I have helped him to some extent, because he has certainly helped me! I look forward to continuing this friendship in 2010.

Mention of the Collyers brings to mind that wonderful character Robert Hanham Collyer (1814-abt 1891), who I have mentioned in this blog several times previously. I have had the great pleasure of working with two US academics who have been studying this extremely colourful and interesting character, and I have benefited more than I can say from the insights that I have gained from AJ and David. I hope, very much, that I shall hear from them again in 2010.

Apart from these people I am indebted to a number of other people who have helped me to further develop the Bankes Pedigree during 2010, and others who have kept in touch through the year – some of them quite close cousins, others less closely related but cousins, nonetheless. I do not have space to mention you all, but I do thank you all.

My aim is always to update the Geoffs Genealogy website at this time of the year, to update the material that is already there and add some new content. You will not be surprised to learn that I am behind schedule, and do not expect to be able to update the site for a few weeks. I shall do this as soon as I can, however, and will announce the updates in this blog.

I close for this year by wishing all my fellow researchers a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year 2010.