Monday, April 23, 2007

More sites and a Marriage Challenge sidetrack

A few interesting sites have been mentioned on mailing lists recently:
Buckinghamshire Wills, which has no Parrys (the nearest is "Parryt", but there are many Parrots or similar so it’s probably a variant spelling of that). But it reminded me that I ought to make a list of all the county related sites, such as this one, to ensure that I cover them all when I work on the probate items.
Queensland Historical BDM Indices for the period 1829-1914. I had some difficulties with this site initially (reverting to just 20 results and not going beyond page 1) but I was able overcome these by using "next" rather than the page numbers.
Online Genealogical Resources of the Westchester County, New York, Archives – found 9 entries in the marriages records and 11 under naturalization so that’s useful (although as just index entries, I don’t know how easy it would be to identify the same people in any other records, without obtaining copies of the entries to find out more information first).
Mention was made, on the Monmouthshire list, of a web site for Govilon, which led me to another site concerning the village history. We visited this parish in 2002, mainly for my own family history, since my 2xgt grandparents are buried here, along with one of their children. I discovered the existence of the local history group’s work then, but it is good to see that they now have a "web presence" and that there is also some Parry information noted under the censuses. More incentive for me to get these various families identified – this is one of those "too many people with the same name" areas!

FFHS Ezine arrived yesterday, which reminded me about the catalogue for the Lambeth Palace Archives now being available online. This had been mentioned on the Forum earlier in the month but I didn’t have time to follow it up then – and I didn’t get far today either. It’s possible to carry out several different searches so it really needs exploring properly rather than a quick search. Just using the Keyword search in the printed books catalogue find 186 references to Parry and, although there are only five Parrys in the Names Database, one of them, Edward Parry the Suffragan Bishop of Dover, does have 346 entries to his name.

The ezine also mentioned the Manchester petition concerning the abolition of slavery – I’m glad to see the only Parrys were in support of the bill, a Richard Parry, a Jacob Parry, and a James Parry. No other information on them though.

I forgot to mention in my last posting that a marriage challenge had been announced for the Reading district. I was sorting out the entries for that today (6 entries), checking on the IGI (2 found) and censuses (2 possibles found) and ended up thinking about how the availability of records these days makes it easy to research some things. One of the marriage entries was for a Richard Parry, March qtr of 1896. There’s only one other name on FreeBMD, an Ada Emily Rivers. No guarantee that they married each other, since transcription of the index is incomplete, but it seemed plausible so I looked for a "Richard and Ada" in the 1901 census (unsuccessful). There’s a lot of Richard Parrys, but the only one in Berkshire was an actor and appeared to be married to a Sybil. So then I looked for an Ada Parry – none in Reading and the only wife of a Richard elsewhere was an Ada Ellen in Wales. There were several possibilities to investigate in England without husbands – the most likely seemed an Ada E born in Oxford, living in Kent. She was the Head ("wife" crossed out) but was recorded as married. With her was a one year old daughter and a 40 year old "sister" Edith Parry. Now that’s obviously an anomaly – could it be that this Ada was a Parry who married a Parry, a Parry who wasn’t really married but said she was because she had a child, or was Edith in reality a sister-in-law? Could this be the right Ada?

Searching for Ada Rivers, with a keyword of Oxford, found one entry in 1881 – daughter of a Wm Geo. and Sarah Rivers, born about 1872 - and living in Reading. Using "Oxfordshire" found them in the 1891, still in Reading. No sign of a sister Edith, and the parents would have been too young to have a daughter of the right age anyway, but certainly the Ada looks a possible for the marriage.
So, back to the hunt for Richard Parry. Assuming he’s a year or so older than Alice, I searched for a Richard with birthdate of 1870+/-5 to allow for "census variations" (those few years that people sometimes lose at census times). Fifty entries in Wales, another one in Scotland, but it’s more sensible to start with the thirty nearer to home, in England. Some were easily discounted, because they’re Heads with wives listed. But there’s a promising looking entry in London – a married man, a civil engineer staying in a hotel in London. But he’s born in Yorkshire, so was he just down temporarily from there?

Using as a keyword the birthplace for Richard from 1901 – "Idle" – I found one 1871 census entry, 5 year old Richard, to an Albert W and Alice A Parry. Richard is actually born in Bradford, and the family are living in Eccleshill. This is the advantage of using "Idle" as a keyword not as a birthplace – Idle is actually only mentioned in the entry as the Sub-registration district, so I’d have missed him on a birthplace search.

And there’s a daughter Edith, aged 10, in the family.

Putting Bradford as the keyword to re-search found Richard in the 1891 (but not 1881). He is a surveyors clerk, in Streatham, London and has his sisters, Edith and Rosa, with him so that entry ties in with both the earlier census entry and the 1901 sister Edith.

And then trying a keyword of Yorkshire found the family in 1881 – in St Giles, Reading, Berkshire. Clearly the family had been in the South for some years.

So everything looks good, but is it? Without the marriage certificate to confirm details such as the fathers' names, it could all just be supposition based on coincidence. I just hope the challenger can find the marriage entry!

And finally, I now have a Freepages account on Rootsweb to use as support for the mailing list and board, so will be able to put there any particular trees that I can’t put on my own web pages, but which really need to be displayed somewhere for people to collaborate on. So I need to get on and write the initial pages and the Colston tree page to put up there.

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