Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Update to the web pages – Probate index

I seem to have been composing this entry for a week. One day I shall learn how to write the blog so that it actually achieves what I intended – to keep people informed of all the ”daily” happenings, which rarely get attention on the web site. But I’m sure there must be one of those “laws” in operation for genealogical research – you know the sort, about how the time taken to carry out a particular task is inversely related to the time you expect it to take, combined with some obscure relationship to the complexity of the task!

Anyway, a brief summary of the events since I last posted:
Received nine Parry related emails (including two from new contacts), and an updated tree by post. Sent twelve Parry related emails, plus posted some census information in response to the tree.

Several useful sites have been mentioned on the Guild forum. Some haven’t actually contained any Parry entries (but I’m sure they were useful for someone). However, I did find a Henry Parry listed as a Navy coastguard on the Isle of Wight in 1841 through Ann's page. He was 50 and was not born in the county whereas his wife, Jane aged 45, was. No sign of them in 1851 at the moment though.

Exploring the rather gruesome subject of judicial executions, I discovered that two Parry ladies had been the victims of murders. No Parrys listed amongst those executed for murder (on that site - found one later) but the subsequent postings of related web sites did show up the case of Albert Parry, a private in the West Yorks Regiment, who was amongst those soldiers executed by their own side during WW1. (One of indexes at

Some of the sites have many individual pages, which can make them time-consuming to search. So sometimes one has to decide whether the likelihood of results justifies the time taken to search. One useful feature of Google is their “site search” facility, which does speed things up. It also helps in finding people or information which might not otherwise be found, e.g. a Dr Edward Parry who attended one of the victims on the Judicial Executions site, or the fact that another victim’s maiden name would have been Parry, since her father was named in the article.

Unfortunately the "site search" doesn’t seem to work on some sites, such as lycos/tripod. It also doesn’t help when a site exceeds its data limit (too many of the Guild accessing one of the execution sites, no doubt!)

Another site mentioned was the 1901 Canadian census, which currently contains 242 Parry entries. But I shall leave extracting those until I’m ready to tackle Canada more systematically.

Carole, a new subscriber on the Parry list, wrote a good message to the list to introduce herself. I thought I’d look up her family on the censuses but, in common with the way things seem to be going at the moment, the task extended. First, I came across a family who were mistranscribred as Parry when they should have been Evans (that lost me 6 Parrys). Then, after finding a possible partial family for Carole in the 1851 census, when I looked for them in the 1841, the only likely family all appear to have been mistranscribed as Perry (so that gains me 10 Parrys). I guess I gained overall, but notifying Ancestry of all the errors will take time.

(And whether it is the “right” family still remains to be seen, since some of the children differ from the list Carole gave.)

The problem when things all take longer than expected is that they end up only getting half done before something else crops up. [Mental note to self – still need to tell Ancestry about the Perrys. And still need to remove/add all the mistranscribed entries in my own census files].

And other things that crop up don’t always get dealt with. Anne posted a message on the Forum asking for views concerning the issue I'd commented on in my very first posting here – mentioning living people in blogs. Almost two weeks later and my views are still sitting in my drafts folder!

Found a “classic” on Family search – “2d. Gt. Gd. Father Perry”, born about 1727 in Stafford, England, who died about 1780. I wonder if that was really his name!

And, finally, I managed to upload some of my transcriptions of the National Probate Index entries onto my web site. They aren’t fully transcribed but the list has been “hanging around” for so long (one of those “half done” jobs) that I thought I ought to put them where they might help other researchers.

Not that anyone on the Parry list commented when I told them. With five of the 3877 entries relating to my own direct line (most of whom didn’t have much to leave anyone) I would have hoped that others might also find a few. Perhaps there just isn’t sufficient detail there yet for people to recognise their own family.

Or perhaps the list is keeping quiet prior to its migration onto the new Rootsweb mail system tomorrow. Will it be another two weeks before I post anything?

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