Monday, October 2, 2006

A Fun Genealogy Day

Today was a FUN day for me. The Padres playoff run starts on Tuesday (and we have tickets for the game, so I won't get much blogging done until evening) so I wanted to get all of my newfound data into FTM today.

When we visited our friends in Westford MA, we talked about their ancestry. Our friend Cora said she knew only about her parents and one set of grandparents, and wanted to know more. It turns out that 3 of the 4 grandparents were immigrants from England in the 1880 to 1900 time frame - the surnames are Picking, Garlick, Basnett and Smith (the American line, wouldn't you know!).

I quickly found the census data for all of them in 1880 to 1930, and the Smith line back to 1850 in Maine. I also found entries in the 1881 UK census on

In the last two weeks, I've been searching the UK census records for the other families, and have been fairly successful. Using the LDS IGI to search for christenings and marriages, I have all three lines back 5 or 6 generations - to the 1780 to 1820 time period. There are very few IGI records for some of the English counties, and some counties or parishes are very complete. These are mostly parish church records, but there are some LDS sealings and the like in the IGI records.

I decided to review the available online databases at WorldConnect (on Rootsweb) and the LDS ( for the surnames. I also searched the Ancestry/Rootsweb and Genforum message boards for the specific surnames, and found a few helpful posts. The only line with significant data on WorldConnect was the Bacon line (Adelaide Bacon married John Smith in Calais ME before 1860). Several researchers take the line back to Cape Cod and Plymouth MA, which will excite my friend considerably. These lines need to be checked out for accuracy.

I haven't proved anything yet - only put data together in a fairly cursory search of Derivative sources with secondary information. But it's a start, and was done in about 8 hours of actual research and data entry. There is still much work to do in English parish records and in post-1837 English Civil Registration records.

All of the available English data is now in the database, and I have a 13 page genealogy report for my Westford friend. I'll wait to hear from her before I go any further.

It was another good and fun genealogy day. I love doing research!

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