Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The last few days

Two sites have been posted on the Forum regarding indentured servants to the US. One has 7 results from just a Parry search (3xPARRY, 1xPERREY, 3xPERRY). However, a soundex search produced 32 results, including 2x PERREY and 9xPERRY. The reason for the difference is that the other results found on the Parry search all have Parry as a spelling variant within the entry. It’s always useful to explore what results different search methods produce on a particular website, especially when dealing with early records. It helps in determining the best strategy for searching, in order to get the right balance between picking up everything which is relevant, without being inundated with irrelevant entries. The second site did not appear to have a specific search facility, so needed to be searched using Google’s site search. That indicated there were 36 pages with references to Parry, but the site is familiar - have I searched it before?

I have been thinking about organisation and how little things can make a difference. Sometimes it happens that I come across a site whilst searching for something else, or a useful site is mentioned on the Forum but I either don’t have time to look at it, or else I just carry out an initial extraction and don’t finish tidying up the information. I often leave the Forum messages highlighted to remind me to go back “at some stage” – but then I don’t always check back through those emails when a “new” site is mentioned. How much simpler it would be if I just had one spreadsheet into which I entered all the web sites when they were first mentioned, including details such as whether there are any Parrys, if so, at what stage my extraction is in, and for sites where information is still being added, the date I last extracted the details. Doing that would mean I only have one place to check to see if I have already done work on the site. It would also enable me to clear out a lot of my old emails. Just a simple piece of organisation.

The trick is to make sure I stick to the system!

Two burial sites mentioned on the Forum, following on from one concerning Missouri death records (which is still sitting highlighted in my “GOONS” messages folder) – St Lukes, in Upper Norwood, Surrey with 1 Parry, and Jewishgen, which has 1925 results using a “sounds like” search but only 3 for exact spelling Parry. Since one needs to register to view the details, I have left it for the moment. But that’s now four entries in my new spreadsheet.

Some good news – Ruth’s book on Blanche Parry is with the publishers, although it sounds like it could be near the end of the year before it is published. I will set up a link to her site, which should help her to get noticed on the search engines. It will be interesting to read what she has discovered, especially with regard to the family as they appear in the bardic poems – one of the few more contemporary records relating to them.

A marriage challenge for Bristol 1837-1851 has been announced. I thought I might have quite a few entries but there appears to only be 19. I’ll need to go through and see if I can find any of them on the IGI, or other such sources, first before I can submit them. But that project is such a help to Guild members. I have also received copies of some certificates from another researcher so that adds to the collection. I must set out my timetable for tackling the marriage indexes – but I still have the Liverpool entries from 1881-1911 to sort out first to help Susan with her challenge.

Todays emails included the Rootsweb review. I often only skim through that, but of course it also includes a list of new databases. I should really try checking them when they are announced – or at least add them to my new spreadsheet. I hope it proves as effective as I am finding my “activity log” for emails. There is something quite satisfying to see 3 emails received (just this morning – one renewed contact from 2002, one about the marriage certificate, and one about an unsuccessful deeds search) and all of them marked off as acknowledged already. It helps to keep a sense of order to the study.

Now all I need to do is clear the longer outstanding ones which I have marked in red!


Terry said...

Hi Barbara,
Have you come across a Harry Parry a solicitor who married Alice Emily Gill in 1891 at Abergavenny. Alice may have died of alchohol poisioning in 1905 at Shoreditch. She may have been using the name Alice Anderson at that time.
Any help would be appreciated.

Barbara said...

That sounds as if there is a sad story behind the "facts", Terry. Yes, I have come across Harry - as far as I am aware, he married Alice 14 May 1891 at Llanwenarth Citra. They had at least two children, Horace (1892) and Thomas (1893) but Thomas died at 8 months. Harry and Horace are together in the 1901 census but I haven't found Alice.

Harry was the son of a Thomas and Sarah Parry, and Thomas was the son of a William and Elizabeth Parry who ran the Rifleman's Arms in Blaenavon. I do have some information on the siblings of both Harry and his father Thomas, which I am gradually adding to my web site. What's your connection - do you have further information on Harry and his family?