Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Whittle Research Compendium

I've written so much in the past three weeks about Jane (Whittle) McKnew and her ancestry - especially about the lives of her parents, Alexander and Rachel (Morley) Whittle who were born in England, married there, emigrated to Australia in 1841, had six children, emigrated to California in 1850 and died there, leaving three children that went on to have large families.  Jane (Whittle) McKnew was my wife's great-grandmother. 

Here is the compendium of posts that is included in this Whittle research saga:

* I Found Rachel in the 1852 California Census where I found Rachel "Wadle" and three children in San Francisco in the 1852 California State Census on

* Jane's Birth Record, and more... - I found out that Jane's parents were Alexander and Rachel Whittle, not Joseph and Rachel.

* Finding the Whittles in Australia highlighted some of the newspaper articles about the family in The Sydney Morning Herald in the 1840 to 1850 time frame from the Historic Australian Newspapers , 1803-1954, Trove website.

* The Whittles Migrating to Australia - a Forrest Gump Genealogy Moment in which the immigration record was found and analyzed.

* Lesson Learned - Check the Image too! in which I learned (again!) that not all information on the immigration record was in the FamilySearch index entry.

* Whittle Marriage Record in England - I found the marriage of Alexander Whittle and Rachel Morley in Lancashire in two places online - the English Civil Registrations and the LDS IGI (and on the  site).

* Whittle Birth Records in Australia - birth records for the Whittle children were online in the FamilySearch Beta Australian Birth and Baptism collection

* Whittle Birth and Marriage Records in England - Alexander's birth record and his parent's marriage record were found in the English Birth and Christening Collection

* Rachel Morley's Birth and Parents which finds Rachel Morley's baptism record and her parents marriage.

* More on Rachel Morley's Parentage in which I find a record that indicates Rachel was illegitimate.

The elder Alexander Whittle in English Census Records - Alexander's parents were found in the 1841 and 1851 English census records.

What happened to Rachel (Morley) Whittle? - Rachel was in the San Francisco and Sacramento newspapers several times with the police involved, and then disappears without a trace.

Alexander Whittle dies in California's Gold Country - the title says it all, plus Rachel's marriage to Thomas Spencer made the newspaper.

The Children of Alexander and Rachel Whittle - Elizabeth - Elizabeth Whittle married twice and had 13 children.  Her family had a mine in Tuttetown in Tuolumne County in California's Gold Country.

FamilySearch Beta Fail? Lack of Patience? Success! - I found the death notice of Thomas Spencer, Rachel's second husband, but it wasn't easy.

The Children of Alexander and Rachel (Morley) Whittle - Joseph Whittle - Joseph Whittle married and was a successful miner in Angel's Camp, Calaveras County, California.

The Children of Alexander and Rachel (Morley) Whittle - Jane - Jane Whittle married Elijah McKnew and raised 11 children in Calaveras and San Francisco Counties, California.

Whittle Children Deaths in Australia - Reader Cheryl Bailey obtained digital images of death records for two Whittle children in Australia.

Whittle/Mansley/Morley Baptisms in Parish Register Records - digital images of parish register records.

The Marriage Record of Alexander Whittle and Rachel Morley in 1840 - the parish register record.

Elizabeth Whittle's Baptismal Record In Lancashire - Elizabeth may not have been Alexander's child.

Jane (Haslam) (Bury) Morley (1780-1834) Summary - a summary of what I know about Jane Whittle's grandmother.

*  California Voter Registers, 1866-1898 on - information about the McKnew family in Tuolumne and San Francisco.

*  California Pioneer and Immigrant Files, 1790-1950 Database on - information about Elizabeth (Whittle) Swerer's life, including parents names, spouse's names and marriage information, immigration and education information.

Most of the family history research performed on this family since 9 September has been done in online record collections.  Further research in the English parish church registers, the Lancaster Record Office archives, the New South Wales, Australia birth records, the California newspapers, especially in the gold country, San Francisco and Sacramento, and much more is still necessary to pursue in order to conduct a "Reasonably Exhaustive Search." 

One of the unique features of this particular research quest is the active participation of some of my wonderful readers - especially Rod Van Cooten (in Australia?), Sharon (in Australia), Aussiemandas (in Australia), Cheryl Bailey (in Australia), bgwiehle (in ???), Geolover (in the USA),  Magnus Persson (in Sweden) and Lorine McGinnis Schulze (in Canada).  Thank you all for your suggestions and contributions - I never would have found some of the Australian and English records without your guidance.

I will update this list as necessary.  The last update was 28 July 2011.


Susan Clark said...

It's been wonderful following your research so closely - almost like being able to peek over your shoulder as you work. Great series.

Geolover said...

Randy, this has been a wonderful saga, so illuminated by your pointing to lessons in research.

There is yet a loose end that bugs me: the newspaper advertisements seeking the whereabouts of Rachel. And what was it that she would learn to her advantage?

The advertiser believed she was in California, but evidently did not know where. Did Rachel ever see the ads and contact him? Perhaps not. Your account suggests that she remarried before her first husband's death -- was the advertiser acting for her first husband?

You read the name of the advertiser as "H. Olmerd." After I could not find anything at all regarding this surname I looked at some of the ads and read "H. Ormerd." The name also appears as "Ormerod" in Lancashire baptismal records - there are an awful lot of Henrys, however (heheheheh).

Even so, I could not find this person in US Census enumerations before 1900.

There are, however some intriguing newspaper items. H. Ormerd and Mary J. Roten married in 1863 in San Franciso [Sacramento Daily Union, Vol. 24, No. 3702, 2 Feb. 1863], and there are a couple of notices in ship's passenger lists where H. Ormerd and wife are departing for the East. Were they bound for Australia? (See Daily Alta California, Vol. 21, No. 7058, 17 Jul 1869).

The 1897 San Diego city directory lists a Henry Ormerd, contractor, at 668 Third; the 1900 US Census enumeration found him, b. 1819 in England, at the same address. Earlier in newspaper accounts there are a couple of payments in San Francisco to H. Ormerd for street repairs.

He could have lived back in Australia or possibly in Canada. I did not pursue him in depth in immigration/naturalization records.