Saturday, September 18, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - The Time Machine

Hey there, genealogy buffs - it's Saturday Night, time for more Genealogy Fun!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1) Determine which event in your ancestral history that you would love to be a witness to via a Time Machine. Assume that you could observe the event, but not participate in it.

2) Tell us about it in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, or in a comment on Facebook.

Here's mine:

I am so tempted to pick the birth of one of my elusive ancestors - the ones that I don't know the names of their parents - like Devier J. Lamphier, Elizabeth Dill, Thomas J. Newton, Hannah Smith, William Knapp, John Kemp, Mary Hoax (who married Martin Carringer), William White (of the Mayflower 1620), John Richman (of Hilperton, Wiltshire), Jerusha (who married Burgess Metcalf), Robert Seaver (immigrant to Roxbury MA in 1634), etc. I have plenty more!

Or I could pick an event in history that my ancestors participated in - like The Great Migration, the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War, the journey to the west, etc.

I'm going to go for the birth of Devier J. Lamphier just because it is a puzzle that I doubt that I will ever solve, because he was adopted by Ranslow and Mary (Bell) Smith of Henderson, Jefferson County, NY in about 1840. Was he a Lamphier child by a male Lamphier, an out-of-wedlock baby by a female Lamphier, or a foundling (and if so, why given the name of Lamphier?). Being a witness to the birth, with the mother and a midwife and/or her mother/sisters/aunts in attendance, with the father hanging around where I can figure out who he is, would be a wonderful boon to my ancestral quest.

Surname Saturday -- METCALF (England > MA > NH > NY)

It's Surname Saturday, and I'm "counting down" my Ancestral Name List each week. I am up to number 105 - who is the unknown paternal grandmother of Devier J. Lamphier Smith; next on the list is number 107, who is the unknown maternal grandmother of Devier J. Lamphier Smith; next on the list is #111 - Mary Metcalf (ca 1789 - ca 1860), one of my 4th-great-grandparents.

My ancestral line back through seven generations of METCALF families is:

1. Randall J. Seaver

2. Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983)
3. Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002)

6. Lyle Lawrence Carringer (1891-1976)
7. Emily Kemp Auble (1899-1977)

12. Henry Austin Carringer (1853-1946)
13. Abbie Ardell "Della" Smith (1862-1944)

26. Devier J. Smith (1839-1894)
27. Abigail Vaux (1844-1931)

54. Samuel Vaux (1816- after 1880)
55. Mary Ann Underhill (1815 - after 1880)

110. Amos Underhill, born 15 April 1772 in Chester, Rockingham County, NH; died 15 October 1865 in Aurora, Erie County, NY. He was the son of 220. John Underhill and 221. Hannah Colby. He married 25 March 1801 in Piermont, Grafton, NH.
111. Mary Metcalf, born about 1780 in Piermont, Grafton County, NH; died before 1860 in Aurora, Erie County, NY.

Children of Amos Underhill and Mary Metcalf are: Cyras Metcalf Underhill (1804-1841); James Pierce Underhill (1809-1894); Almeda Underhill (1813-1859); Mary Ann Underhill (1815- ~1880), Frederick Underhill (1820-????)

222. Burgess Metcalf, born 28 August 1741 in Medway, Norfolk County, MA; died 26 September 1816 in Piermont, Grafton County, NH. He married before 1770 in probably Piermont, Grafton County, NH.
223. Jerusha, born about 1750; died 09 June 1817 in Piermont, Grafton County, NH.

Children of Burgess Metcalf and Jerusha are: Ephraim Metcalf (1770-1858); Samuel Metcalf (1771-????); Burgess Metcalf (1772-1831); Sally Metcalf (1774-????); Cyrus Metcalf (1776-1843); Meletiah Metcalf (1778-????); Mary Metcalf (1780-1860); Joseph Metcalf (1781-1796); Jerusha Metcalf (1789-1864); Michael C. Metcalf (1791-????); Chandler Metcalf (1798-1842);

444. Michael Metcalf, born 12 August 1706 in Medfield, Norfolk County, MA; died in Keene, Cheshire County, NH. He married 02 July 1728 in Medway, Norfolk County, MA.
445. Melatiah Hamant, born 26 May 1704 in Medfield, Norfolk County, MA; died 30 December 1751 in Keene, Cheshire County, NH. She was the daughter of 890. Timothy Hamant and 891. Melatiah Clark.

Children of Michael Metcalf and Melatiah Hamant are: Oliver Metcalf (1729-1797); Michael Metcalf (1730-1777)l Melatiah Metcalf (1732-1766); Amity Metcalf (1734-????); Abijah Metcalf (1735-1815); Sarah Metcalf (1737-????); Burgess Metcalf (1741-1816); Silas Metcalf (1745-????).

888. Michael Metcalf, born 10 October 1680 in Medfield, Norfolk County, MA; died 05 March 1761 in Keene, Cheshire County, NH. He married 21 March 1703/04 in Mendon, Worcester County, MA.
889. Lydia White, born 10 May 1686 in Mendon, Worcester County, MA. She was the daughter of 1778. Joseph White and 1779. Lydia Copeland.

Children of Michael Metcalf and Lydia White are: Michael Metcalf (1706-????); John Metcalf (1709-1791); Joseph Metcalf (1714-1759); Jonathan Metcalf (1715-????); Elizabeth Metcalf (1718-????); Lydia Metcalf (1721-????).

1776. Michael Metcalf, born 20 August 1650 in Dedham, Norfolk County, MA; died 09 December 1691 in Medfield, Norfolk County, MA. He married 21 December 1676 in Medfield, Norfolk County, MA.
1777. Elizabeth Bowers, born 24 May 1654 in Medfield, Norfolk County, MA; died 02 September 1724 in Medfield, Norfolk County, MA. She was the daughter of 3554. John Bowers and 3555. Mary.

Children of Michael Metcalf and Elizabeth Bowers are: Michael Metcalf (1680-1761); Sarah Metcalf (1683-????); Samuel Metcalf (1685-1740); Elizabeth Metcalf (1686-????); Jonathan Metcalf (1686-1758).

3552. John Metcalf, born before 05 September 1622 in Norwich, Norfolk, ENGLAND; died 08 October 1690 in Medfield, Norfolk County, MA. He married 22 March 1646/47 in Dedham, Norfolk County, MA.
3553. Mary Chickering, born About 1628 in Ringsfield, Suffolk, ENGLAND; died 15 March 1697/98 in Medfield, Norfolk County, MA. She was the daughter of 7106. Francis Chickering and 7107. Anne Fiske.

Children of John Metcalf and Mary Chickering are: John Metcalf (1648-1738); Michael Metcalf (1650-1691); Mary Metcalf (1652-1727); Elizabeth Metcalf (1654-1735); Joseph Metcalf (1658-1741); Experience Metcalf (1661-1730); Hannah Metcalf (1664-1719); Mary Metcalf (1668-1727).

7104. Michael Metcalf, born before 17 June 1587 in Tatterford, Norfolk, ENGLAND; died 24 December 1664 in Dedham, Norfolk County, MA. He was the son of 14208. Leonard Metcalf and 14209. Amy Thursby. He married 13 October 1616 in Hingham, Norfolk, ENGLAND.
7105. Sarah Elwyn, born before 17 June 1593 in Hingham, Norfolk, ENGLAND; died 13 November 1644 in Dedham, Norfolk County, MA. She was the daughter of 14210. Thomas Elwyn and 14211. Elizabeth Bensley.

Children of Michael Metcalf and Sarah Elwyn are: Michael Metcalf (1617-????); Mary Metcalf (1619-1672); Michael Metcalf (1620-1654); John Metcalf (1622-1690); Sarah Metcalf (1625-1671); Elizabwth Metcalf (1626-1711); Martha Metcalf (1628-1717); Thomas Metcalf (1630-1702); Ann Metcalf (1632-????); Jane Metcalf (1632-1710); Rebecca Metcalf (1635-1667).

Much of the data above was obtained from the recently published book by Howard N. Metcalfe, Some Descendants of Rev. Leonard Metcalf of Tatterford Parish, Norfolk, England, Westminster, MD, Heritage Books, Inc., 2003. The book covers nine generations, and is fully sourced. The first five generations are online at the web page Some Descendants of Rev. Leonard Metcalf, based on the book.

I imagine that there will be several readers who are cousins through this Metcalf ancestry. The only real "mystery ancestor" in this line is #223 Jerusha, the wife of #222 Burgess Metcalf. I don't know her maiden name nor her parents. There was speculation that the maiden name was Chandler since the last child was given that first name, but I've seen no evidence to support it. If a reader has documented information about Jerusha's ancestry, I would love to know about it.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Gena's "40 Places to Find Vital Record Information"

Gena Philibert Ortega is the editor of the weekly WorldVitalRecords Newsletter, which often has excellent general interest articles.

Gena wrote a two-part article ( Part 1 last week and Part 2 this week) about 40 places to find vital record information online. The reason? She said:

"It then occurred to me that genealogy is everywhere, however sometimes we get in ruts and don't enlarge our scope of thinking about places to search for that piece of evidence that would point to the date of our ancestor's birth, marriage or death."

The list of 40 places has many of the expected online resources, but has some surprises too. I printed it out and will put it in my reference notebook.

Check out Gena's two articles:

* Resources 1 to 20 in Volume 4, Issue 27

* Resources 21 through 40 in Volume 4, Issue 28.

Have you missed an issue, or want to check on past WorldVitalRecords Newsletter content? Check out the WVR Newsletter Archives. You can also subsribe to this FREE newsletter so that you don't miss any of Gena's helpful articles - use the email box at the top right of the home page.

Suggested Records on

Brian Edwards posted Find More Success with Suggested Records on the Blog that caught my eye. The post notes that:

"When you look at an index page for the “1900 US Federal Census” or the “World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” you may see a section on the right hand side called “Suggested Records”."


"When you are looking at an index page, we check to see if that record has been saved to any trees. If it has, we look and see if there are other records attached to those same nodes. If we find matches, we show them here. We hope this will help you find new records about your ancestors."

It works only for the 1900 US Census and the World War I Draft Registrations right now, but the suggestions extend to other databases when the records have been saved to Ancestry Member Trees.

I wanted to try it out, so used my great-grandfather, Frank W. Seaver, born in 1852 in Massachusetts, in the 1900 census. Here's the screen with the matches for my search parameters:

I clicked on the link for my Frank W. Seaver, and saw this screen for the record summary:

The area above the record notes that I have already attached this record to someone in my Member Tree. And over on the right are the "Suggested Records" links to the 1880, 1910, 1870, 1920 and 1860 U.S. censuses, all based on attachments to my own tree or to someone else's tree for the same person.

I clicked on the 1880 Census link and saw the record summary for Frank w. Seaver in the 1880 census:

Note that there are no other links to other databases - because has not activated the feature for this particular 1880 census.

How do I find out who else has this record attached to their tree? On the left side of the screen (at the bottom of the screen view above) is the "Make a Connection" box there is a link for "Find others researching Frank W. Seaver," so I clicked on it and received a list of Member Trees that include Frank W. Seaver:

What if I don't have the specific record attached to my Member Tree, but someone else does? THE "Suggested Records" works, and I can easily click on the link to attach it to my Member Tree.

What if I don't have the record attached to my Member Tree, and nobody else does either? Well, there are no "Suggested Records" to click on or attach to my Member Tree. The "Make a Connection" link appears and works.

There is value to this "Suggested Records" feature - in at least three ways:

* A researcher may find other resources that they have not accessed previously and can attach the found record to their Member Tree.

* It is much faster to click on the links in the "Suggested Records" box than to go back and search each individual database for the target person. Of course, if no one has attached the record, then no link will appear.

* The Member connection provides an opportunity to connect to other researchers with the same person in their Member Tree - they may be a distant cousin.

So what's next for Will there be more "Suggested Records" in other free (e.g., FamilySearch databases, or Rootsweb databases, mailing lists, message boards, etc.) or other commercial databases (e.g., Footnote, WorldVitalRecords, Archives, etc.). Hmm, probably not the latter, eh?

All in all, this is a pretty useful feature, and promises that more "Suggested Records" are to come.

Whittle Birth and Marriage Records in England

Continuing my Whittle research saga - previous posts are at the bottom of this post.

At this time, I know that Alexander Whittle was born in about 1818, to parents Alexander and Margaret (Mansley) Whittle, in Lancashire, perhaps near Bolton. Is there a birth or christening record for him?

Back into the FamilySearch Beta English Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 Collection (with over 65 million entries) and found this record:

Alexander Whittle was born or christened on 4 January 1818 in Chorley in Lancashire. Chorley is very close to Bolton. This certainly appears to be him - he's in the right place at the right time with the right parents names (although it doesn't list his mother's maiden name).

I found at least ten other children baptized in Chorley in the 1798-1818 time frame to Alexander and Margaret Whittle. Is there a marriage record for Alexander Whittle and Margaret Mansley? The English Marriages, 1538-1973 collection (over 18 million entries) on FamilySearch Beta has this entry:

So Alexander Whittle and Margaret Mansley married on 4 July 1797 in Chorley in Lancashire. So far, everything seems to hand together here. Can I go back one more generation?

The marriage record doesn't provide an age for Alexander and Margaret, but a reasonable guess is to search the English Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 Collection for Alexander's birth in the 1565 to 1575 time frame. Here is the screen with the 5 matches for this search:

I learned today that if you click on the little down arrow to the right of the list of matches that you can see the index summary of the record without clicking on the person's name. This is a fantastic shortcut, if it doesn't hide important information. I clicked on Alexander Whittle's name in the screen above and saw:

There appears to be no difference in the information provided on the results page using the down arrow and the information in the record. I haven't checked yet to see if the information is different on the Marriage and Death collections.

The father, Alexander Whittle was born or christened on 9 January 1774 in Chorley, Lancashire to John and Ann Whittle. All of the above was really pretty easy - I was able to find information on Alexander Whittle's (born 1818) parents and grandparents names, and his parents marriage date and his siblings.

I know from experience (plenty of parish register experience in Wiltshire working on my Richman ancestors) that:

* Not every birth or christening was recorded in a parish register
* Some parish registers are unavailable due to various reasons
* Some parish registers are very sparse in some time periods due to inattention by the rector or priest
* Not all parish registers are available on FHL microfilm
* Not all parish registers on FHL microfilm have been extracted or indexed, and put on the International Genealogical Index or the FamilySearch collections on FamilySearch Beta.

In this case, they have been extracted and indexed. The records in these English vital records collections have reference data in the form of an FHL Batch number and an FHL Microfilm number. For the marriage of Aelxander Whittle and Margaret Mansley, the Batch number is M00570-1 and the FHL Film number is 94,272. I can go to the FamilySearch Library Catalog and enter the film number and determine the source of the record shown on the FamilySearch collection. In this case, it is:
Original Wills 1524-1602, FHL BRITISH Film 94272"

Oops, that doesn't make sense! I double checked the marriage record image and the number says 94272. It must be an error...

I searched for the marriage of Alexander Whittle and Margaret Mansley on the FamilySearch IGI site, and found the record easily - the Batch number is M005701 and the FHL Film number is 93,705 for the period 1754-1827. The source for these records is:

Parish registers for St. Laurence's Church, Chorley, 1653-1947 Church of England. St. Laurence's Church (Chorley, Lancashire) "

The Notes for this film says:

"Microfilm of original records at the Lancashire Record Office, Preston. High reduction (42X) microfilm. Use high magnification reader.Lancashire Record Office no.: PR 2799/1a-15; 3120/1/1-3, 5-7"

The records extracted by the LDS and placed in the IGI, and included in the English Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 Collection on FamilySearch Beta are a derivative source (since someone had to read and interpret the entries on the microfilm), but the microfilm of the original source records archived in the Lancashire Record Office is an image copy of the original source. If I ordered that microfilm and read the records on it, that is as close as most researchers can get to the original record without going to Lancashire.

The surprise here was the error in the Microfilm number on the marriage record. That's the first one I've ever found. I wonder if other entries in the specific batch also have the wrong microfilm number?

While this research trail was fairly easy to pursue, the records for Rachel Morley were a little more difficult. Next time...

Earlier posts in this series include:

* 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 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

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Jean Wilcox Hibben to Present at CVGS Fall Seminar on Saturday, 2 October

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society (CVGS) Fall Seminar is on Saturday, 2 October from 9 AM to 4:30 PM at the Norman Park Senior Center (270 F Street in Chula Vista). Full program details are provided in CVGS Seminar -- Where Do We Go From Here?

Reservations must be paid in advance, and are $25 before 20 September (next Monday) and $30 after 20 September. CVGS needs to plan the luncheon, seating and handouts. Please register NOW!

Jean Wilcox Hibben, PhD, MA, CG is the keynote speaker and is featured in two other presentations. Jean's three talks will include:

* 9 AM Keynote: Graveyard Gumshoe: Lessons Written in Stone

After a lifetime of visiting cemeteries, the speaker has had more unusual and even funny experiences than fearful events, as the ghost stories would have us believe are commonplace. This light-hearted look at about 50 years of wandering among tombstones will provide a few general tips, some laughs, and hopefully inspire others to investigate their ancestors’ final resting places.

* 10:15 AM: This is not Your Grandma’s Genealogy: Making the Move from Paper to Electronic Record Keeping

The computer age can be intimidating to those who have been keeping their genealogical records on paper. This presentation gives some tips to those who have not yet been convinced that modern technology has a viable place in the field of family history. The topics cover the advantages and disadvantages of computer over paper but do not detail all the “hows” of operating a computer.

* 12:30 PM: Deliveries in the Rear! Getting Family History Information through the Back Door

Sometimes the most valuable information is acquired by researching correlating families to one’s direct line ancestry. This presentation is designed to acquaint folks with the value of using “the back door” in their genealogical research. By using the family information of cousins, aunts, uncles, etc., one can piece together the lives of the entire family unit. Even using information about neighbors and historical events can unearth helpful data in one’s roots pursuits. Good presentation for beginning and intermediate researchers.

Jean's curriculum vitae is impressive:

A Board Certified genealogist, Jean Wilcox Hibben has been involved in family research for over 30 years. She is a member of the National Genealogical Society (NGS), the Genealogical Speakers Guild (where she serves as secretary), various societies in the areas where she does research, the Association of Professional Genealogists (serving as president of the Southern California Chapter), and the Corona Genealogical Society (where she serves as president). She is also the Membership and Meeting Coordinator for the Riverside Folk Song Society. Jean maintains a website with information about her presentations, CDs, projects, etc.:

Jean is a volunteer at the Corona California Family History Center where she trains Family History consultants and is also the genealogy instructor for the Soboba Band of the LuiseƱo Tribe of California Mission Indians. A native of the Chicago suburbs, she moved to Southern California in 1973 and obtained her bachelors and masters degrees in Speech Communication. She worked as a professor in the field for 13 years before leaving academia to pursue her passions, family history and folklore, and holds a doctorate in the latter. Jean is a national speaker in both areas and is known for her entertaining, as well as informative, presentations. She is a bi-monthly contributor to the on-line magazine, GenWeekly, and a frequent writer for other genealogy publications.

Jean has been playing guitar for over 40 years, learning a variety of other folk instruments along the way. She sees a connection between family history and music because, in learning about our forebears, we try to piece together the various elements of our ancestors' lives in an effort to create a complete (or as complete as possible) picture of who they were in their homes, families, occupations, religions, and activities. Their musical interests/involvement should be considered part of this whole picture, or circle, of their lives and that is the primary focus of her blog:

For 25 years, Jean worked as a square dance caller with her husband, “Uncle Butch” Hibben; they live in the Lake Mathews area of Western Riverside County, California and have 4 children, 24 grandchildren, and 9 great-grandchildren. Jean’s philosophy is that “who we are is a compilation of our experiences and associations as well as our biological connections. When we understand our ancestors we can better understand ourselves. By doing this, we can complete our personal family circles.” This connects to her mission statement: “My goal is to assist others in their efforts to connect generations (past to present), completing the family circle.”

Whittle Birth Records in Australia

Continuing my Whittle saga - previous posts are at the bottom of this post.

After finding the marriage of Alexander Whittle and Rachel Morley was on 17 August 1840 in Bolton-le-Moors, in Lancashire (from the English marriage entry), and knowing that they arrived in Sydney, Australia on 11 March 1841 with a 9-month old child named Elizabeth (from the migration record), I figured that the birth of Elizabeth Whittle might be in the English parish records and in the English Civil Registration Birth records.

I checked the England births and Christenings, 1638-1975 collection on the FamilySearch Beta site for Elizabeth Whittle, daughter of Alexander and/or Rachel Whittle, and did not find her. Since she was possibly born before they were married, I looked for a birth of Elizabeth Morley also. Bingo! And a surprise. Here is her birth record in the collection:

This lists her birth/christening date as 14 July 1839 in Bolton-le-Moors in Lancashire, a full 13 months before the marriage of Alexander Whittle and Rachel Morley, and 21 months before their arrival in Australia. The record doesn't give a father's name, but it provides the mother's name as Rachel Morley.

So now I'm wondering if Alexander Whittle was the father of Elizabeth Morley who in all further records is listed as Elizabeth Whittle. My guess is that it is most likely, but only the mother knows for sure! Elizabeth is not my wife's ancestor, so I don't have a real stake in the issue.

I noticed that the FamilySearch Beta site also has an Australian Births and Baptisms, 1792-1981 collection, so I checked it out for the Whittle children born in Australia. Yep, they're all there. Here's Jane Whittle's entry in this collection:

The index entry helpfully provides two dates - one listed for Birth/Christening as 12 September 1847 and a Birth Date of 2 August 1847. She was baptized at St. James in Sydney, New South Wales, child of Alexander and Rachel Whittle.

The other four children were also in this database, so now I know (all baptized in St. James in Sydney, children of Alexander and Rachel):

* William Alfred Whittle - born 1 March 1842, baptized 27 March 1842.
* Joseph Whittle - born 30 May 1843, baptized 9 July 1843.

* John Whittle - born 20 August 1845, baptized 19 October 1845.
* Margaret Whittle - born 31 July 1849, baptized 2 September 1849.

I checked the Australian Death and Burilas collection but did not see a death entry for the children John and Margaret, who were not on the 1852 California State Census with Rachel.

How reliable might these records be? Where were they obtained? The FamilySearch collection is from many sources. Jane Whittle's birth entry indicates that it came from FHL Microfilm 993,956. I checked the Family History Library Catalog for that film, and it was one of 57 films for "New South Wales Church Records." The specific film is for:

"C. of E. baptisms, marriages, burials, 1845-1847 (vols. 30-32) - FHL BRITISH Film [ 993956 ]"

The notes for this film set says:

"Microfilm of original records in possession of the Archives Office of New South Wales. Many records are out of chronological order. Contains registers for different denominations throughout New South Wales, particularly around the Sydney area."

I learned one new fact from this record and the Film notes - the Whittles baptized their children in the Church of England St. James Church in Sydney.

We will work in the English Parish Register records tomorrow! I'm having great genealogy fun doing this! I hope my wife, brother-in-law and any distant cousins appreciate it.


Earlier posts in this series include:

* 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 that not all information on the immigration record was in the FamilySearch index.

* 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).

Treasure Chest Thursday - James H. Richmond's obituary

It's Treasure Chest Thursday time - time to share another document or artifact from my collection of ancestral stuff. I'm actually running out of images, and need to scan more at the next Scanfest.

Today's document is the obituary of James H. Richmond (1885-1913) who was born in Killingly, Windham County, Connecticut (son of Thomas and Julia (White) Richmond), married Ethel Judson in Danielson, Connecticut in 1911, and died in Clinton, Worcester County, Massachusetts. He is a brother to my grandmother, Alma Bessie (Richmond) Seaver (1882-1962).

The obituary reads:

"James H. Richmond
James H. Richmond, who died at Clinton, Mass., Sunday, was the son of Thomas Richmond of this city. His mother died here a few weeks ago and it will be recalled that one of the pathetic incidents in connection with it was the fatal illness of this young man, which precluded his attending his mother's funeral.

"Although but 27 years of age he had been sick for more than a year and hope of his recovery was abandoned several years ago. He formerly lived in Elmville and Danielson and in the latter place, on November 30, 1911, just two years ago, he married Miss Ethel Judson, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. W.H. Judson of Danielson. A daughter was born to them about a year ago.

"After the fatal character of his malady was recognized he went to Clinton, to the home of his sister, Mrs. Walter Pickford, and it was there that he breathed his last.

"The body was taken to Danielson Sunday evening and the burial took place at 1 o'clock on Wednesday afternoon.

"Beside his wife and daughter, his father and sister, Mrs. Pickford, there is a brother, Everett, who lives here; another brother, Edward, of Leominster, and three other sisters, Mrs. Frederick Shaw and Mrs. Frank Seaver, who live in Leominster, and Emily whose home is in California."

This is the only information I have about James Richmond's marriage date, spouse's name and her parents. The daughter's name was Anne Richmond, and I know nothing more about her. Mrs. Pickford is Anne Frances (Richmond) Pickford (1869-1939) who married Walter Pickford (1864-1918). Mrs. Frederick Shaw is Grace L. (Richmond) Shaw (1876-1973), wife of Frederick Shaw. Mrs. Frank Seaver is Alma Bessie (Richmond) Seaver (1882-1962), wife of Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942). His sister Emily is Emily White (Richmond) Taylor (1879-1966) who married George R. Taylor. The brother Edward is really Edwin Thomas Richmond (1883-1935). They got Everett Richmond's (1875-1917) name right.

Perhaps the provider of the information is the widow, Ethel (Judson) Richmond, which would explain the errors in first names.

The lesson learned: Not every obituary is completely accurate. Use them with care!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Checking out Historic Map Works and Historic Map Works publicized their partnership yesterday - you can read the press release here. It is unclear how users will access the Historic Map Works site through - will it be through a search or browse on, or through the FamilyLink Plus subscription (which may or may not be different from the WVR subscription - I don't know!).

I decided to look into the Historic Map Works site. I registered for a Free Account, and the welcome page showed:

The site notes that:

"Your account has been successfully created with the username rjseaver. An email containing your login information has been sent to the email address you provided. We have automatically logged you in. You can manage your account by clicking the "My Account" link in the menu. We have added $0.90 of Bonus Credit to your account to get you started (that's 45 map views)! To get started,
add credit to your account or buy an inclusive subscription.

"Why Should I Add Credit?
When you add credit to your BASIC PAY-PER-USE account, it can be used to access our premium features such as Enhanced Zoom, Address Search, Directory Viewing, Downloads-at-Home, and Print-at-Home functions. When you use one of these features, the appropriate amount of credit is automatically deducted from your account. Credit can also be used toward the purchase of any print, framed print, or gift item on the site."

The site offers a pay-per-view option (you add money with a credit card) , a monthly subscription ($29.99) or a yearly subscription ($249.99):

What are the relative benefits between a pay-per-use account and a subscription: The table below shows the benefits:

The pay-per-use account permits Collection Viewing, Research Functions, and a way to keep track of favorites.

The additional features for a subscriber include bookmarking maps in Historic Earth, 50 "Prints at home" per month, 10 PDF (72 dpi) downloads per month, 10 JPEG (72 dpi) downloads per month, and 1 300-dpi JPEG download per month.

For the pay-per-use account, the user has to pay 99 cents per Print-at-Home print, $4.99 for a PDF or JPEG (72 dpi) per download, or $19.99 for a JPEG (300-dpi) download.

The user can search for a given city, county or state - the "Search" page has a simple search box:

I input Killingly, Connecticut to see what was offered , and received this list of maps available:

I clicked on one of these maps, and was able to see the requested map in an (approximate) 8 inches high and 11 inches wide window. The image has a watermark on it. The user can zoom in on the image and move it around - to the extent that you can see the family names on the maps.
I did not show you a screen shot of the Killingly CT map because it might violate the copyright notice. The copyright notice is here. The Terms and Conditions note that:

"You may not download, print, take, use, or copy any image from this website without reading, understanding and complying with the following image usage terms. All images created by Historic Map Works™, either electronic images or artworks, product and web design, shown on this website or elsewhere, are ©Historic Map Works™."

and notes that:

"All images are watermarked.
* For better quality prints and higher detail you can crop this image
* High quality prints can be obtained by ordering from our
purchase page.
* If you require an image without watermark or you wish to use an image for a use which is not covered in the terms and conditions above, please consult our FAQ section

This copyright policy seems to preclude any use of the map images in another online or published work without their approval."

Does Historic Map Works own the copyright to the original maps? I doubt it. Other companies sell these same images in publications. The copyright is likely for the images of the pages, and any improvement to them, and the indexing involved. Does any reader know more about this?

Many of these maps are also offered, often freely, on county and state websites, although without the indexing or the viewing capabilities offered by Historic Map Works.

Back to the issue of access through

* Will users be able to view and download images through the FamilyLink subscription?
* Will users be limited to a number of views or downloads each month?

* Will the images be with or without the watermark?

In my opinion, this collection will be a major boost for FamilyLink IF it is included as part of the WorldVitalRecords subscription, and if unlimited downloads are permitted.

Whittle Marriage Record in England

Continuing the Alexander Whittle/Rachel Morley saga, I'm going back into English Civil Registration records today. Earlier posts in this series include:

* 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 that not all information on the immigration record was in the FamilySearch index.

My favorite reader Rod Van Cooten commented on the second post that:

"And if you search for the marriage of Alexander Whittle you'll find one in Sept Q 1840 in Bolton, with Rachel Morley appearing on the same register page, so this is probably them."

I had already looked for a marriage record for Joseph Whittle and Rachel Moore in the FreeBMD website for England's civil Registry with no results. Duh - I had the wrong names!

Using Rod's link above, clicking on "Search," choosing "Marriages," inputting "alexander" and "whittle" in the name fields, and restricting the search between September 1837 (the first quarter of the Civil Registry) and December 1845 in the Date Range fields, I received:

It says that Alexander Whittle is in the September 1840 quarter for Bolton district (Volume 21, Page 59). This fits the time frame pretty well. If you click on the Page number, you receive a list of the persons that are on the page:

There are four males and four females on this page 59 in Bolton district in the September 1840 quarter. One of them is Rachel Morley. This is not certain proof that they married, but it provides the opportunity to obtain a certificate that will probably show the marriage between Alexander Whittle and Rachel Morley.

I clicked on the "eyeglasses" icon to the right of Alexander Whittle, and then on "View Image" to see the entry in the Civil Registry:

Are there any other records available for this marriage? Has someone searched the Bolton district marriage records and found the actual date? I knew that the International Genealogical Index was on the LDS site, and that there were marriage records on the FamilySearch Beta site. So I went to the England Marriages, 1538-1973 collection at FamilySearch Beta, input Alexander Whittle, and found this:

This record includes this information:

* Groom's Name = Alexander Whittle
* Groom's Birth Date
* Groom's Birthplace
* Groom's Age
* Bride's Name = Rachel Morley
* Bride's Birth Date
* Bride's Birthplace
* Bride's Age
* Marriage Date = 17 Aug 1840
* Marriage Place = St. Peter, Bolton-Le-Moors, Lancashire, England
* Groom's Father's Name = Alexander Whittle
* Groom's Mother's Name
* Bride's Father's Name
* Bride's Mother's Name
* Groom's Race
* Groom's Marital Status
* Groom's Previous Wife's Name
* Bride's Race
* Bride's Marital Status
* Bride's Previous Husband's Name
* Indexing Project (Batch) Number = M00957-0
* System Origin = England-EASy
* Source Film Number = 1538364
* Reference Number = it 4 p 88/1

There is some helpful information: The marriage date (17 August 1840) and place, and the groom's father's name, which matches the Immigration record name.

Where did this record come from? There are some clues in the list above - especially the Source Film Number and the Batch Number. I went to the Family History Library Catalog on FamilySearch Beta site and input the Film Number 1538364 into the search field and learned:

"Parish register transcripts
authors: Church of England. St. Peter's Church (Bolton-le-Moors, Lancashire), (Main Author)
format: Manuscript/On Film
language: English
publications: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah : Salt Lake City, Utah, 1990
physical: on 3 microfilm reels, 35 mm.
Notes: Microreproduction of records housed at the Central Library, Civic Centre, Bolton. "


"Marriages, 1838-1850 Baptisms, 1838-1845, FHL BRITISH Film 1538364 Items 4-10"

It is not clearly stated, but this record is from a typed transcript of the actual St. Peter's Church Parish Records from Bolton-le-Moors in Lancashire. So it is not an original source, but a derivative source that was extracted by LDS volunteers several years ago and included in the England Marriages, 1538-1973 collection now on the FamilySearch Beta site.

Not every marriage from 1538-1973 is included in this collection, but many are. I was fortunate to find this particular one. The dataset description says:

"Index to selected England marriages. Only a few localities are included and the time period varies by locality. This collection contains 18,173,712 records."

It would be interesting to know how many localities are included - after all, 18 million records is not really "a few."

I figured that the record would also be on the International Genealogical Index - a searcher can find the names, date and place there, but not this specific microfilm number or record for some reason; all of the entries in the IGI are from records submitted by LDS church members.

Was their daughter, Elizabeth, born in England? We'll look for her birth record in the next post. And also for the family of Alexander Whittle. And much more down the road.

Once again, I want to thank reader Rod Van Cooten for leading me to a very useful record that helps define the ancestry of my wife's great-grandmother, Jane Whittle, daughter of Alexander and Rachel (Morley) Whittle.

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 120: Betty on a Trike

I'm posting family photographs from my collection on Wednesdays, but they won't be Wordless Wednesday posts like others do - I simply am incapable of having a wordless post.

I have scanned hundreds of family photographs over the past few years, and have converted the scanned TIF files to smaller JPGs, cropped and rotated as best I can.

Here is a photograph from the Carringer family collection handed down by my mother in the 1988 to 2002 time period:

This is a photograph of my mother, Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002, daughter of Lyle Lawrence and Emily Kemp (Auble) Carringer) at age 2 or 3 - so the photograph was taken in 1921 or 1922 in San Diego. I cannot determine the setting - it may be the Carringer family home at 2130 Fern Street in San Diego.

The tricycle she's riding looks like it's homemade - it has wooden parts and no pedals. My guess is that Henry Austin Carringer, her grandfather, and a carpenter, made it as a birthday or Christmas present.

When I see these pictures of my mother smiling as a young child, my heart fills with love and admiration for her. She looks very happy, doesn't she? I know that she brought joy and happiness to her parents and grandparents too, and as an only child, they must have spoiled her, but she grew up to be one of the most unpretentious persons I've ever known. But her parents were that way too.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

CGSSD Meeting on Saturday, 18 September Features Debby Horton

The next meeting of the Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego (CGSSD) is Saturday, September 18, 2010.

PARKING NOTICE: Parking will be free. The previously announced charge for parking has been postponed until January 2011.

The schedule for the September meeting is as follows:

9:00 - The User Group for Macintosh, and SIGS for Web-Based Genealogy and Beginning Computer Genealogy, will meet.

10:00 - A break and refreshments.

10:15 - Announcements followed by the main presentation:

“For Family or Money? Publishing Your Genealogical Work” by Debby Horton

The lecture covers: Doing Your Research, Preparing Your Work, Marketing, and Publishing. Many of you keep saying you are going to get started on your book or complete the book your have started. Perhaps this will be the push you need to get you over that big hump!

Debby Horton owns and operates Connect-Your-Dots, a genealogical services company specializing in United States, British, and French Canadian records. Debby is an avid speaker at the local, regional, and national levels, and a web designer and consultant for individuals and genealogical societies. She is the webmaster for Genealogical Speakers Guild, International Society of Family History Writers and Editors, Southern California Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists, Just Genealogy, and several other genealogical related organizations. Debby also hosts a genealogical blog at, helping novice and experts alike maneuvering through the wealth of published genealogical information available.

We meet at the Robinson Auditorium complex on the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) campus in La Jolla. From North Torrey Pine Road turn at Pangea Drive into UCSD. Free parking is available in the parking garage on the left; use any A, B, or S space. Signs will mark directions to our meeting room. Please refer to our website; or the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies website for driving directions and a map.

Lesson Learned - Check the Image too!

In my post The Whittles Migrating to Australia - a Forrest Gump Genealogy Moment, I was so excited about finding the immigration record of Alexander and Rachel Whittle's in 1841 that I made an error of omission - I forgot to check the image (as kindly and helpfully pointed by reader bgwiehle) for information that might have been unindexed.

The image of the record on the FamilySearch Record Search Pilot, which I showed in the last post, indicated that there was an image - but the only indicator is out on the far right margin where it is easily overlooked. This time, just for convenience, I went to find the image on the FamilySearch Beta site, which provides a somewhat different record summary screen:

On this screen, the indexed data is the same as before, but there is a thumbnail image that will show the record image if you lcick on it (or on the "View Image" link below it). Here is the image for the Alexander Whittell family:

This is the index card from the original database, and it includes more information about the family, including:

* Alexander Whittell's religion - Prot.
* Alexander Whittell's R.W. - yes
* Alexander Whittell's occupation - a sawyer
* father Alexander Whittell's occupation - a sawyer, and status - he is living
* mother Margaret (Mansley) Whittell's status - she is living
* Rachael Whittell's religion - Prot.
* Rachael Whittle's R.W. - R
* Rachael Whittell's occupation - a house servant
* father Thomas Morley's occupation - a joiner, and status - dead
* mother Jessie Haslam?'s status - dead
* Children: Elizabeth 9 mos.

There is another category on this card on the Religion and Age line - "R.W." that I cannot figure out just now - Alexander was a "yes" and Rachael was an R. I'll bet it means "Read/Write" and that Alexander can do both, but Rachael can only Read, not Write.

There are links in the index for Rachael Whittell and for Elizabeth Whittell - Rachael's card looks like this:

So there must be a card for each family - the top one above, and a card for each additional person on the family card - in this case, Rachael and Elizabeth.

Reader bgwiehle made another good point in the comment -

"The card is a typed extract of the original passenger list, but still, one should always verify indexed information when possible."

I clicked on the "About this Collection" link on the Record page above, and saw the collection description page for the Australia, New South Wales, Sydney Index to Bounty Immigrants (FamilySearch Historical Records) on the FamilySearch Research Wiki. This page describes the database as:

"This index consists of two kinds of interfiled cards: brief handwritten cards and pre-printed typewritten cards. The cards are in alphabetical order by surname and then by given name. "

and the history of this collection is:

"This collection indexes about 60,000 records of immigrants arriving in Sydney. Beginning in 1828, the Australian Government organized a program to encourage people to migrate to Australia, particularly to the State of New South Wales, which had been founded in 1788. “Assisted Immigrants” were immigrants whose passage was paid for or partially paid for by the Government as an incentive to settle in New South Wales. Another program which ran from 1835 to 1841 was the bounty reward system. “Bounty immigrants” were selected by colonists and who paid for their passage. When the immigrant arrived the colonist would employ them and the colonist would then be reimbursed by the government for all or part of the cost of passage. The first immigrants to apply for this assisted immigration were the people from Ireland, England, Wales, and Scotland. Later, people from other European countries began immigrating to Australia."

The sources of information for this collection:

"Index to bounty immigrants arriving in N.S.W., Australia, 1828-1842”, database, FamilySearch; compiled by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Family History Department; from State Archive, Western Sydney Records Centre, Kingswood, N.S.W., Australia. "Index to bounty immigrants arriving in N.S.W., 1828-1842". FHL microfilm, 8 reels. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah."

There are no links to the original source on the Wiki page to the 8 reels of microfilm - they are on 416,870 through 416,877. The film with the Whittells on it is 416,877, since the list is alphabetical. These films are probably the cards and not the specific handwritten volumes. The information on the FHL Catalog page says for the original records:

"Microfilm of original records at the State Archives, Sydney.
The index covers the following series: Persons on early migrant ships, 1828-1832 (4/4823) Persons on early migrant ships, May 1832 - Jan 1833 (4/4824); Entitlement certificates of persons on bounty ships, 1832-1842 (4/4825-4891)
Archives Office of New South Wales reel numbers: 30-37."

It appears that the State Archives microfilms (8 of them) are for these same index cards. Presumably, the original lists are also available at the State Archives in Sydney (probably the 4/4823 through 4/4891 reference numbers above). I knew that I should have visited the State Archives in Sydney when I was there in March! Ah, another road trip!

There is also a link to the Australian Emigration and Immigration page on the FamilySearch Research Wiki - which has more information about the subject and links to other available databases.

So there are many Lessons Learned here, including:

* Check the record image if it is available - there may be items on the image that are not in the FamilySearch indexed record
* The site makes it easier to find the image than the Pilot site
* There is a FamilySearch Wiki page for many of the collections available on the FamilySearch Beta site.
* The FamilySearch Wiki site has much more information, including links to non-LDS websites, for many research subjects. Researchers should familiarize themselves with the history of the locality, the availability of all records, and obtain the original record if possible.

My thanks to reader bgwiehle for helping me out here - it's apparent that I need as much help as I can get.

I'm reminded of the adage that: "There is no such thing as a useless blog post - it can always be used as a bad example!" And learned from!

The Whittles Migrating to Australia - a Forrest Gump Genealogy Moment

I spent quite a bit of time on Monday researching more about the Alexander and Rachel Whittle family that migrated from England to Australia in the early 1840s, then to California in 1850. They were the parents of my wife's great-grandmother, Jane Whittle (1847-1921).

Earlier posts in this series include:

* 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.

My favorite reader Rod Van Cooten commented on the second post that:

"You're in luck! I thought I'd try to find Alexander and Rachel in the NSW online shipping records.There's a good site at

"I tried each of the online ones, and believe it or not, they're on FamilySearch. At the bottom of the following search you'll find them both. "

Another great tip. The database is the Index to Bounty Immigrants Arriving in N.S.W. Australia, 1828-1842. It is also on the Beta website, but is not listed under Australia at this time (it's in the alphabetical list between Illinois and India). The link above provides the index of Whittles (and similar spellings):

Down the list are the entries for Alexander Whittell and Rachel Whittell. Here is Alexander's index entry:

The information includes:

* Principal's Name = Alexander Whittell
* Estimated birth year = 1818
* Age in years = 23
* Native place of Principal = Bolton, Lancashire, England
* Father's name = Alexander Whittell
* Mother's name = Margaret Mansley
* Spouse's name = Rachael Whittell
* Native place of spouse = Bolton, Lancashire, England
* Spouse's Father's name = Thomas Morley
* Spouse's Mother's name = Jessie Haslam
* Ship = Brothers
* Date of arrival = 11 Mar 1841
* Volume = 38
* GS Number = 416877
* DGS Number = 4117092
* Image number = 02852

Rachael Whittell's entry provides the same information.

This record tells me much more than just the ship (the Brothers) and the date (11 March 1841) that they arrived in New South Wales. It also provides their native place and the names of both sets of parents. What a wonderful genealogy find!

One more thing here - up until finding this entry, I had thought that Rachel's maiden name was Moore - based on the Mother's name in Jane (Whittle) McKnew's death certificate (which also listed her father as Joseph Whittle - wrong!). It appears to be Morley, and her parents are Thomas and Jessie (Haslam) Morley. So now I think we know the true names of Jane Whittle's parents - Alexander Whittle and Rachel Morley.

I've referred to Forrest Gump Genealogy Moments (FGGM) before - see the Forrest Gump Principle of Genealogy Research which states "Genealogy research is like a box of chocolates - you never know what you're going to find, but you have to look everywhere your 'genealogy gem' might be hiding." This was certainly an FGGM!

There is lots more to this research trail. We'll look at online English parish and civil records tomorrow.

My sincere thanks to Rod Van Cooten for leading me through the available online Australian records (my guess is that I've only scratched the surface here!).

Monday, September 13, 2010

Checking out

One of my great fears is that I will lose my computer system and all of my data (including whatever backups I have) in a home disaster - fire, earthquake, flood, storm, etc. Here in the San Diego area, this could happen at any time.

I have an external hard drive that I backup my desktop computer files to once a month, and USB drives that I use to transfer data from my desktop to the laptop, and I often carry one with my latest database files in my pocket (which sometimes gets gunked up from my pocket lint). I have not used one of the online data backup sites like Mozy or Dropbox - I've been too busy to experiment with them.

So yesterday I get an email from Cliff Shaw, highlighting his new website. The email said:

"Boulder, Colorado - BackupMyTree ( went live today, offering a free service to help genealogists automatically back up their family tree files. The service is the creation of Cliff Shaw, whose previous successes in genealogy include GenForum, Family Tree Legends and GenCircles. Users of the service have the choice of installing the BackupMyTree software for Windows or uploading files through their browser. The software automatically finds family tree files and creates a remote, off-site backup that the user can restore when disaster strikes. BackupMyTree is completely free and users maintain complete ownership of their family tree files. The service supports all the major genealogy applications including Family Tree Maker, Personal Ancestral File, RootsMagic, Legacy Family Tree, Family Tree Legends, Family Tree Builder, and GenoPro. Additionally, the service maintains multiple previous versions of tree files should a file become corrupted by a bad merge or a program crash. BackupMyTree utilizes Amazon S3 to store and protect the files. Try BackupMyTree by visiting"

I can't resist trying things out, so I went to the site, the home page looks like this:

I chose to sign up with my name, email address and password - again, really easy:

On the next page, I was prompted to upload a genealogy database. The site would search for my databases or I could choose which one to upload. The "all databases" option is really easy to use...but I didn't want to junk up the site with all of my different versions of many databases (I probably have 50 databases for five different programs). So I found the way to choose which one to upload and did it. The upload went smoothly and took several minutes for my 49 megabyte Family Tree Maker database.

Now, when I log in, I see this screen with my database:

I can upload another database, download the selected database to my computer, see previous versions of my database, and exclude the database (meaning to delete it from the system).

I think that this service will work for me - it's free, it works quickly, I know where my data is, I can control what I save, etc. If it doesn't, I'll let you know!

Disclosure: I have received no remuneration or services for writing this post.

Finding the Whittles in Australia

Reader Rod Van Cooten is providing a lesson in accessing Australian resources in the 1800 to 1900 time period - and he's working faster than I'm writing! The previous posts were I Found Rachel in the 1852 California Census and Jane's Birth Record, and more... From the latter, I found out that Jane's parents were Alexander and Rachel Whittle, not Joseph and Rachel.

Last night, Rod commented on the latter post that:

"A fantastic resource for Australian family history research is the online newspaper repository at

"Searching in this for Alexander Whittle, and restricting the decade on the results to the 1840s raises the possibility that Alexander was a publican."

It is a fantastic resource! I entered Alexander Whittle, limiting the dates to 1838 to 1855, and received 16 matches. Using Rachel Whittle and restricting years to 1838 to 1855, resulted in 6 matches. There were several interesting articles in those matches:

* On 14 September 1842, The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Alexander Whittle had a house on Cumberland Street in Gipps Ward.

* On 13 August 1846, The Sydney Morning Herald ran a notice that Alexander Whittle and William Beach had dissolved their partnership in a business, and Mr. Whittle is assuming all debts.

* On 30 October 1848, The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Alexander Whittle of Sussex Street, a publican, had Mr. Jones arrested for obtaining money and goods under false pretenses - he showed him a large amount of future money.

( On 31 August 1849, The Sydney Morning Herald reported that:

"The undersigned being on the eve of leaving Sydney for a short time, hereby requests all persons having any claims against him to forward them to his residence in Sussex-street, for examination and immediate payments; and all persons indebted to him are requested to pay their respective accounts at the same place, to A. Whittle or to Mrs. Rachel Whittle by whom the business will be carried on as usual in the home, and whose receipt will be a suffiecient discharge.
.........................ALEXANDER WHITTLE
N.B. The cedar, pine, pits, racks, turned work, lathe, office, and the business of the yard, will be sold by auction, together with two or three dozen chairs, two sets of bedsteads, tables, boxes, and other things, on the 3rd September, if not previously disposed of my private contract.
Witness Joe Makin ..................... A. WHITTLE
August 30"

* On 2 Apr 1850, the Sydney Morning Herald on 2 April 1850 provided a list of Publicans General Licenses for Sydney for the coming year, and it includes:

" #162 Rachel Whittle, Sussex-street
#163 Alexander Whittle, Sussex-street"

* On 6 May 1850, The Sydney Morning Herald listed several court cases, including:

"Application of Margaret Birmingham
The husband of this applicant had gone to California. The license was first applied for in the name of the husband, but an application had also been made in the name of the wife.The first having been withdrawn, the latter was now taken into consideration. It was admitted that the husband was absent in California. He was, however, shortly expected to arrive in Sydney."

Further down:

"The Attorney-General was of the opinion, that the presumption of law being that the husband was alive, the wife could not enter into recognizances. Several other magistrates expressed a similar opinion, but admitted that the case was a very hard one, and regretted that they were prevented by law from granting the application. The license was therefore refused."

And then:

"Application of Rachel Whittle
This was a precisely similar case, and was similarly disposed of."

To summarize the information from the Australian Newspapers, it appears that:

* The Whittles were residing in Sydney in September 1842.

* Alexander Whittle was a publican (owned and operated a "pub" - a public house - probably a restaurant and bar) in the 1848 to 1850 time period, and perhaps earlier. The pub was in their home on Sussex Street in Sydney.

* Alexander Whittle left Sydney in or after September 1849 after giving notice to debtors and creditors, and putting his personal property up for sale.

* Rachel Whittle was denied a publicans license in May 1850 because were husband was not residing in Sydney.

There are many more clippings, and some of them are similar to others.

This created a very fun evening for me, discovering more articles about the Whittles and trying to figure them out.

Now I wonder what happened to Alexander Whittle - did he come to California? Are there lists of passengers lost on ships between Australia and California? Did he come to California but die there before or after Rachel and the family came across to join him? If she knew he was dead, would she have migrated too? What happened to Rachel after 1852?

Rod Van Cooten has also provided leads, in more comments to my Jane's Birth Record, and more... post, about passenger lists to Sydney and a potential marriage in England.

My thanks again to Rod for providing the links, and doing enough research to point me to online records in Australia, and now in England. More to come!