Thursday, November 23, 2006

Forgotten Blog?

Anyone who reads this blog frequently (is there such a person?) could be forgiven for thinking that I had forgotten it.

Back on the 6th November, I started to plan an entry which was going to be entitled “A Justified sidetrack”. It was to follow on from my previous one, where I had mentioned getting sidetracked such that I wasn’t working on the things I should have been doing. I really did intend to get on with writing the web page about the coats of arms – but then Ancestry made their databases available for free for three days. Since I only have a UK subscription, I could hardly resist such an opportunity to explore the entries relating to the other countries, could I?

So that was the “justified” sidetrack.

But I had just finished investigating those entries when Ancestry added a further batch of immigration records – and then made them available for free until the end of November.

Of course, I have only extracted the index information for most of these records – with the number of Parry entries on the site, it would be impossible to follow them all up in the time available (even with another “three days free” offer, which they have just sent me.). But at least the details I have collected should enable me to look at the sorts of records which are available and to get them into some form of basic organisation. Then, when I do get the time and resources to follow up further, I should have some idea of what I am looking at.

I did check a couple of the John Parrys, who appeared in the passenger lists around 1890, in case one of them might have been my great grandfather. He is reputed to have gone abroad at about that time, but there is insufficient information on the lists to identify most of them. I wonder whether there are any other records which might be of use? [If anyone does come across a John Parry, born in 1865 in Glynfach, Breconshire, (but just as likely to state his birthplace as Monmouthshire or Herefordshire since the family moved around when he was young) possibly working as a cattleman somewhere in Canada or America around 1890, but who has then “disappeared” by 1901, I’d love to hear from them. He was back in the UK by 1901.]

I had a nice surprise last week, when one of the Guild members sent me the details for four Parry related marriages – the results of the Guild Marriage Challenge that he had been carrying out. Two of them I’d asked for and they will help another researcher. The other two were previously unknown to me and, since one of them relates to someone with Parry as his middle name - which he never used in full on any census – I now have the added puzzle of working out where the usage came from.

I still have the backlog of sites which had been mentioned on the Guild forum to check out for Parry entries, so no news of any great discoveries amongst them. There have been three new contacts so far this month and I still have some census details to look at for two of the researchers who made contact during October. I’ve also been taking a look at the National Archives, where I discovered that some of their special collections are available online for free – so, at long last, I have a copy of the records relating to the “grievances and horrible extortions and destructions done to Jordan, abbot of Dore and his abbey“ as a result of the attacks by Griffith and John ap Henry [SC 8/213/10624 if anyone else want to look at it].

And, finally (only six days after starting to plan the above), I have discovered that Llanfallteg, the parish in Carmarthenshire where the Pendery farm mentioned in the previous entry is, has a Village History Society. I have been exchanging emails with two researchers from there who have been very helpful in supplying me with maps and information on the area. I have downloaded a Will from the PRO for a Richard Parry who died in London in 1641, and who I suspect could be the Richard from Llanfallteg, mentioned on the Genuki page at That should be interesting to transcribe. And I’ve also put in a request to the NLW with a view to obtaining copies of four other Parry Wills from Llanfallteg so it’s a case of “watch this space” – I shall track down these “fess and three lozenge” families eventually!