Sunday, December 17, 2006

A quick summary

Just a quick summary of the last few days, so that I don’t get too far behind over Christmas.

There have been several sites posted on the Guild forum concerning patents, following an initial message mentioning Google’s new beta Patent Search. These all still need following up, since there are 916 Parry references on the Google site alone.

I received a query from Adam, another Guild member, concerning marriages between people of his registered name (Hargest) and people of mine. Since one of the marriages was in 1914, I didn’t have any information on that couple but, by taking a guess as to the likely birth date for a first child, I did manage to find a birth registration in the right area for a child with the mother’s maiden name as Hargest, so that was a start. His other query related to a marriage in the 1700s in Llandyfalle, Breconshire – again, apart from having the entry from the marriage bond index, I couldn’t identify the Harry Parry further. But he was from the parish of Gwenddwr, Breconshire, where there is quite a sizeable Parry family being researched by others so I shall look into that further in the New Year, as well as try to do more on the births from the 1900s.

The subject of "cross marriages" between Guild Members has been on my mind after an email from Mary, who organises the Guild Marriage Index. There are currently 79 entries in the Index for Parry marriages, all of which have been submitted by other members. I could possibly find out the full details for each of those entries by contacting the other members – so that’s another thing to add to my "to do" list. (Fortunately several members have submitted more than one Parry marriage so at least that’s only 35 emails to write, not 79).

After posting a message about the NLW probate indexes onto the Powys list, I received a request for information abut a marriage between a Mary Parry to a William Thomas, around 1852/3. I have found one possibility in the GRO indexes for 1854 but also realised that the enquirer had already bought at least one certificate which appeared relevant to them – just one of the problems associated with such high frequency names.

But these recent queries have made me think about adjusting my priorities – although I really do want to get the details for the census entries for my three main counties transcribed and online asap, I am beginning to think that finishing the listing of the GRO will be of more use – it would save me having to spend time looking for possible entries when I receive such queries. It would also mean I would have the items listed so that, as I go through the censuses, I should be able to identify the relevant BMDs for the people I am transcribing.

Following on from my last entry, I received another Genes Reunited "New Names Alert" and decided to look at the entries for the last 14 days – supposedly there were 635 entries, but this total became 636 when I went to the page and, once I tried extracting the details, the final total shown was only 607. Definitely strange!

I have received the photocopies of the four probate entries that I had ordered from the NLW. Two of them are actually just administrations, but they have inventories and bonds with them so that still gives me the next of kin details. It is interesting to see how the earliest (1680) has a value of almost £490 pounds (probably a lot of money in those days) whereas two of the others were £19 (1694) and £92 (1746). I don’t know yet whether these do all relate to the same family but, if they do (as I suspect, since it is not a common surname in that particular area), one wonders at the changing fortunes. It will probably be after Christmas before I can transcribe them all properly, and I know there are some others to obtain for these Parrys in Llanvalteg but, hopefully, they should enable me to put together at least some form of a pedigree for the family. Then it will be a matter of trying to find other records, eg parish register entries, to confirm the details.

But I haven’t seen anything yet to indicate the use of a coat of arms, which was where this line of investigation started.

And, finally, another Guild member has written to me to see if I have any hints on where to start with carrying out a large study. (I shall resist the temptation to say “don’t” – I enjoy what I am doing too much myself – but sometimes I do think we’re a strange bunch!)

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