Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Yet another summary of activities.

I try to keep an ongoing log of activities concerning the study, which I then attempt to pull into shape as a (hopefully) interesting and informative blog entry. But sometimes (ie now!) the list of unfinished comments is too extensive to do that with so I’ll just highlight a few of the most important recent happenings.

I’ve checked out and submitted the details for the six marriage challenges which had been announced by Guild members. It was interesting that, out of the 14 marriages, only one was in the June qtr, the January and September quarters had three each, and the remaining seven were all in the December qtr. Obviously only a small sample but it will be interesting to see what the distribution is for all of the marriages (once I have finally extracted them all.)

I also received three certificates for marriages found during the Halifax and Huddersfield challenges. Together with those mentioned previously from Whitechapel and Poplar, they’ll keep me busy for a while, looking for matching information in the censuses. It can be very frustrating to find the relevant couple on just one census and then have them disappear (as Samuel Parry who married Martha Kitchinman in 1850 currently do, after their appearance at RG9/2910/53/3.) But sometimes the information found can lead to more than I expected – as in the case of a widow, Rachel Parry, who married a missionary, Zechariah Wilmshurst, in Poplar in 1872. Checking on the 1871 census, I found a possible entry for the widowed Rachel and then, in 1861, Rachel as the wife of a Thomas E Parry. Despite living in London, the Thomas Parry was born in Monmouth, so that raises the interest level, since it’s one of my three main counties. A quick search on FreeBMD using her maiden name, Rawlinson, (obtained from her father’s name on the marriage certificate) and I have the first marriage as well – Rachel Rawlinson married Thomas Edward Parry in London December 1846, so that ties up with the 1861 census family.

A contact in Australia reminded me about the First Families site, especially this page which relates to a Thomas Edwin Parry, born Kingstone in Herefordshire, and his Scottish wife Elizabeth. I’d had a look for them in the 1851 census before, finding a Thomas and Elizabeth in "Kington" in Herefordshire but she wasn't born in Scotland and they just seemed too old to be the right couple. This time I checked on Family Search, found Thomas Edwin’s christening in 1830 to a Thomas and Elizabeth, and then found two possible Thomas's in the 1841 census. One of them had a mother called Ann so, although a second marriage for the father Thomas was a possibility, I decided to investigate the other one first. This Thomas was with a family surnamed Brimfield, and there was also a 13 year old Eliza Parry present. So I looked for her christening and found a possibility, also to a Thomas and an Elizabeth, in Kingstone in 1828. I then looked for marriages and found the marriage of an Elizabeth Parry, with her father as William Wathen (so probably a widowed Parry), marrying a Brimfield in 1839. I then checked the Herefordshire Family History Society's monumental inscription index which indicated that a 35 year old Thomas Parry was buried in Kingstone in 1836. So this time it does look like I might have identified Thomas Edwin’s family.

Thanks to the same contact, I realised I hadn’t extracted occurences of Parry as a first name from the Queensland bmd indexes – this is necessary not just because of those cases where Parry is a genuine first name, but also to find those where it might be the first part of a double barrelled surname, such as in "Parry Okeden" and "Parry Winton". Looking through the list, I notice a few other familiar names – Parry Woodcock (perhaps connects to the family of Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, the composer, since I know one of the early generations there had a Parry-Woodcock marriage) and Colston Parry (the family I recently constructed a pedigree for, although I don’t know where this particular person fits. Perhaps it’s a lead to another branch, although it’s possible the name is just a coincidence).

Talking of the Colston Parrys, I’ve been contacted by yet another descendant of that family, so am about to start comparing information with them.

And whilst on the subject of contacts (‘tho’ not actually directly Parrys) I received one of the Genes Reunited "Hot matches" emails recently. These often contain people who match those on my tree purely in name and birth year, (which probably has something to do with me only putting such limited information on the site!) But this time I realised one of the three entries for the name of my grandmother, "Elsie Thomas", was actually a likely match. And when I searched for other Thomas’s in that area, it confirmed that there were actually two researchers who have put my grandmother’s family on the site. So I have rejoined GR in order to contact them and finally get around to working on my own family again. Perhaps I’ll get time to follow up some of the Parrys as well while I’m a member.

And, lastly, a couple of new/updated databases – Findmypast now has the passenger lists for 1920-1929. There’s 28 pages of Parrys, 1367 records. Strangely enough, no sign of my grandfather. It’s a good job I already knew he should be there and what ship he was on. A search for the ship (Cedric) by date (1924), using Donald as a first name and Par* for the surname soon found him – transcribed as Parey. Well, I guess I should have known I’d have to look for some variants as well! (15 Parey, 12 Parrey, 6 Parrie, 18 Pary, and 15 Parie). The current total number of passengers using Parry and my own choice of variants gives me 4597 results. I won’t risk using their variants – "Parry" with variants produces 14900 records.

And secondly, Ancestry have added the Breconshire marriages 1813-1837 to their site. This database was compiled by two of the local researchers, Alan Powell and Brian Hemmings. One does need to remember to search by keyword, not just surname, in order to pick up both brides and grooms. But it’s great to have this data available online. It really does seem time to get back to working on "my" main area for a while.

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