Archive for April, 2009

Feathered Friends

Posted in Family Life on April 30th, 2009 by admin – 1 Comment

The blue tits in our bird box have put on a fantastic display for Birdycam. After their industrious feathering of the nest, they settled down to lay ten eggs and are now incubating the eggs that should be due to hatch within the next week or so.

Nesting Bluetits
Brooding Bluetits
Bluetits Eggs
Roosting Bluetits

Like walking through treacle

Posted in Family History on April 28th, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

Finding Joneses in Wales, especially when they are called John and Mary, is akin to finding a needle in a haystack. However, after juggling the search indexes with every sensible search criteria I could think of, I eventually turned up this one:

1881 Census
James JONES Head M Male 52 Carmarthen, Wales Farmer Of 200 Acres Employing 3 Laborers
Phebe JONES Wife M Female 51 Carmarthen, Wales Farmers Wife
Howell JONES Son U Male 27 Carmarthen, Wales Farmers Son
John JONES Son U Male 20 Carmarthen, Wales Farmers Son
Lewis JONES Son U Male 19 Carmarthen, Wales Farmers Son
Mary JONES Daur U Female 16 Carmarthen, Wales Farmers Daughter
Miriam JONES Daur Female 13 Carmarthen, Wales Farmers Daughter
Anne THOMAS Serv U Female 24 Carmarthen, Wales General Servant (Dom)
Mary REYNOLDS Serv U Female 24 Carmarthen, Wales General Servant Domestic

Source Information:
Dwelling Woolstone
Census Place St Clears, Carmarthen, Wales
Family History Library Film 1342300
Public Records Office Reference RG11
Piece / Folio 5395 / 14
Page Number 21

This must be the Parents and siblings of my Leah Jones even though the parents’ names are completely different from the names we were given on our visit to Wales all those years ago. We were told at that time that Leah’s parents were John and Mary however it now seems that they are actually James and Phoebe. I suspect that John and Mary *may* be the grandparents.

I don’t want to jump to too many conclusions but this could possibly be Leah Jones’s Grandparents:

1881 Census
John JONES Head M Male 56 Llanwinio, Carmarthen, Wales Farmer Of 32 Acres
Mary JONES Wife M Female 61 St Clears, Carmarthen, Wales Farmers Wife
Sarah EVANS Serv U Female 24 Llandowror, Carmarthen, Wales Domestic Servant

Source Information:
Dwelling Backe Farm
Census Place St Clears, Carmarthen, Wales
Family History Library Film 1342300
Public Records Office Reference RG11
Piece / Folio 5395 / 11
Page Number 15

Oops – John and Mary can’t be grandparents as the ages are completely wrong for them to be this!

Keeping up with the Joneses

Posted in Family History on April 27th, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

As a follow up to the wedding photograph taken in 1917 with the address Flax Farm, Poslingford, Suffolk written on the back, I managed to track down the wedding certificate for the couple:
All Saints’ Church, Stansfield. October 3rd 1917
George Williams, Aged 50, Bachelor, Farmer, Residence: Stansfield, Father: George Williams, Fathers’ Profession: Farmer (deceased)
Phoebe Annie Jones, Age 39, Spinster, Residence: Poslingford, Father: William Jones, Fathers’ Profession: Farmer (deceased)
Witnesses: William Scowsfield Jones, David Rowland Scowsfield, Margaret Jenkins

Clearly there is likely to be some relationship between the two witnesses who share the Scowsfield name. Also of the few marriage certificates that I have looked at there are usually only two witnesses but in this case there are three. I asked on the family history forum if this number of witnesses was common and they said it was not uncommon to have more than two and indeed they were aware of one marriage where twenty five witnesses were listed!

Although no huge clues are given on the certificate I would have thought that it is likely that the witnesses are some of the other people on the wedding photograph. Having the fathers names should narrow down the mire of Joneses and Williamses that appear in the census.

As a start I tried the 1911 census and found Phoebe Jones:

Name: Relationship to head: Marital Status: Years married: Sex: Age in 1911: Occupation: Where born:
JONES, ELIZABETH HEAD WIDOW F 59 FARMER LLANDENNY VELFRY PEMBROKESHIRE
JONES, WIILIAM SCONSFIELD SON SINGLE M 24 FARM MANAGER LAWRENCE PEMBROKESHIRE
JONES, MARTHA DAUGHTER SINGLE F 31 LLANDENNY VELFRY PEMBROKESHIRE
JONES, PHOEBE ANNE DAUGHTER SINGLE F 28 LLANDENNY VELFRY PEMBROKESHIRE

Address BRYNBANK LATE BULLEY GREEN FARM POSLINGFORD CLARE SUFFOLK County Suffolk
District Risbridge Subdistrict Clare
Enumeration District 7 Parish Poslingford

There is a five year discrepancy in Phoebe’s age from the marriage certificate but at least I now have some clues as to where the family originated. I’m still not able to link this phtograph to my Great Great Grandmother Leah Jones but I feel there must be a connection somwhere especially as I have unearthed some old notes where my Great Aunt Dorothy states that the Jones family at Flax Farm was a ‘distant Aunt’. The 1911 census return does confirm that Phoebe’s younger brother William Sconsfield Jones was one of the witnesses (not Scowsfield as I had read from the marriage certificate). I have a feeling that Llandenny Velfry has been transcribed incorrectly on this transcript of the 1911 census. I believe that it should be Llandewi Velfry. That location is positioned very well to be connected to my known Jones family in South Wales.

Additional census returns:

1901
Duck end farm, birchanger,essex
William Jones 49 Carmarthon wales/farmer own account
Elizabeth Jones 50 Pembroke/wife
Martha Jones 23 pembroke/daur
Pheobe A Jones 21 pembroke/daur
James M Jones 19 pembroke/son/farmers son
William S Jones 14 pembroke/son/farmers son
Piece: 1287; Folio: 17; Page: 26

1891
William Jones 39 /farmer
Elizabeth Jones 41
Martha Jones 15 /dreesmaker apprentice
Phoebe A Jones 13
James M J Jones 10
William S Jones 4
John Davies 27 /servant /ag lab
John Smith 16 /seravnt/ag lab
Lawrenny, Pembrokeshire Piece: 4527; Folio 76; Page 8

1881
Name Relation Marital Status Gender Age Birthplace Occupation Disability
William JONES Head M Male 32 Langinning, Carmarthen, Wales Farmer 157 Acres Employing 2 Boys
Elizabeth JONES Wife M Female 32 Landewy Velfry, Pembroke, Wales Farmers Wife
Martha JONES Daur Female 5 Landewy Velfry, Pembroke, Wales
Phebe Ann JONES Daur Female 3 Landewy Velfry, Pembroke, Wales
James Melbour JONES Son Male 11 m Lawrenny, Pembroke, Wales
Rachal GRIFFITHS Serv U Female 17 Martletwy, Pembroke, Wales General Servant
Elizabeth THOMAS Serv U Female 14 Carew, Pembroke, Wales Nurse Dom
William THOMAS Serv U Male 21 Landewy Velfry, Pembroke, Wales Farm Servant Indoor
Henry JAMES Serv U Male 19 Jefreston, Pembroke, Wales Farm Servant Indoor
Thomas JAMES Serv U Male 15 Begelly, Pembroke, Wales Farm Servant Indoor
Source Information:
Dwelling Big Pencoed
Census Place Lawrenny, Pembroke, Wales
Family History Library Film 1342303
Public Records Office Reference RG11
Piece / Folio 5408 / 88
Page Number 5

Where to go from here? Maybe I can find a marriage record for William and Elizabeth Jones. It is difficult to pinpoint the exact marriage as there are three candidates with surnames Davies, Sandwith and Watkins with dates around the right time.

To try to connect to my known Jones family, I have located my Great Great Grandmother Leah Jones on the 1881 census:
William THOMAS Head W Male 51 Laugharne, Carmarthen, Wales Farmer
Leah JONES Neice U Female 21 St Clears, Carmarthen, Wales Housekeeper
John EVANS Serv U Male 22 Llangunnock, Carmarthen, Wales Farm Servant Indoor
James WILLIAMS Serv U Male 15 Llangunnock, Carmarthen, Wales Farm Servant Indoor
Anna DAVIES Serv U Female 35 Trelech, Carmarthen, Wales General Servant (Dom)
Mary JAMES Serv U Female 16 Trelech, Carmarthen, Wales General Servant (Dom)

Source Information:
Dwelling Trecadwgan
Census Place Llanfihangel Abercowin, Carmarthen, Wales
Family History Library Film 1342300
Public Records Office Reference RG11
Piece / Folio 5396 / 69
Page Number 11

Birdycam is go

Posted in Family Life on April 23rd, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

A while back I wrote about the bird box camera that I bought as a Christmas present. Well, the box has been installed in our pear tree for the last few months awaiting any passing birds that wanted to make home there. A couple of weeks ago we decided that it was time to turn the camera on – more to check that the camera was working – and to our surprise we saw the beginnings of a nest being built. It soon became clear that there were bluetits coming and going. We’re not quite sure what was going on to start with as it seemed that one of the birds was intent on removing nesting material from the box rather than feathering the nest. Maybe this was a rival bird or an overly fussy Mummy bird!

Once the nest was mostly built we saw that three eggs had been laid. The Mummy bird seems to spend the night in the box, with her head tucked under her wing and occassionally wriggling to pream herself. A good week or so after the first batch of three eggs we were suprised to turn the camera on and see a total of ten eggs! The nest looked different this time. Definitely more feather lined and the eggs had clearly been moved and turned in their soft, fluffy surroundings. We now awake the chicks that should make their appearance within the next week or so.

Who are they?

Posted in Family History on April 16th, 2009 by admin – 2 Comments

During my recent scanning exercise I have a few unidentified photographs on my Mum’s side of the family. It is likely that they relate to the Gardiner, Riddleston or Smalley family but at this point we don’t know any more than that.



After asking on one of the family history forums, it looks as though the gentleman in this picture is wearing a military uniform from WWI and that his rank is that of Major. So we are looking for a Major born in the last half of the 19th century with what look to be twin sons and an elder daughter. I’m still unable to identify who they may be even given all these clues.


Onto the next detective mystery

Posted in Family History on April 16th, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

Thanks to my Dad’s cousin I now have a large collection of family photographs to scan and label. Amongst them are some with clues written on the back but I’m uncertain who the faces are on the picture. Some have the address Flax Farm, Poslingford, Clare, Suffolk handwritten on them with dates:

Wedding at Flax Farm Poslingford 1917

Wedding at Flax Farm Poslingford 1917

Given such clues, it was only natural to follow them up and see if any family names surfaced to identify the people on the picture. Firstly I looked for marriages in Suffolk for the Williams family but could not find any with the right initials – the writing on the back looks like G & P. A. Williams. Then I started to look for residents at this address. During the late 1800s it looks as though the Rutter family lived there. By the time of the 1911 census however the Basham family are living at Flax Farm:

Name: Relationship to head: Marital Status: Years married: Sex: Age in 1911: Occupation: Where born:
BASHAM, EDWARD HEAD MARRIED M 43 FARMER SUFFOLK DENSTONE
BASHAM, MARY ANN WIFE MARRIED 22 F 41 SUFFOLK BUNGAY
BASHAM, JAMES SON SINGLE M 20 SON WORKING ON FARM STAFFORDSHIRE BURTON ON TRENT
GREGORY, SAMUEL THOMAS BROTHER IN LAW MARRIED M 44 RETIRED SHOP KEEPER STAFFORDSHIRE BURTON ON TRENT
GREGORY, EMMA SISTER IN LAW MARRIED 24 F 43 SUFFOLK BUNGAY
BASHAM EDWARD (RG14PN10522 RG78PN562 RD204 SD3 ED7 SN44)
Address FLAX FARM POSLINGFORD CLARE SUFFOLK County Suffolk
District Risbridge Subdistrict Clare
Enumeration District 7 Parish Poslingford

There are no obvious name or location connections with our family here so maybe Mary Ann Basham’s maiden name will give us some clues? Sadly no more clues as Edward and Mary Ann Basham were married at Burton on Trent in 1889. Mary Ann’s maiden name was Howes.

Furthermore, in August 1927 it looks as though my Great Aunts Leah and Dorothy Cullum were visiting Flax Farm as they are photographed with Ethel and Eva. I have no idea who Ethel and Eva are or what Leah and Dorothy would have been doing at Flax Farm.

Flax Farm Poslingford 1927

Flax Farm Poslingford 1927

On doing further internet research it appears that a Mr Strutt Parker was living at Flax Farm during WWII. Local man Alf Daines gives his account here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/93/a8068593.shtml

After some research, it appears that the wedding couple in the photograph above are George Williams and Phoebe A. Jones. They were married in the Risbridge district (Risbridge 4a 1805). Maybe I need to order the marriage certificate to give fathers names and possibly the names of other people on the picture who may have been witnesses at the wedding. I believe that the bride (Phoebe A. Jones) must be related to my Great Great Grandmother Leah Jones but I’m yet to make the exact connection.

We’re going on an Easter Egg hunt

Posted in Family Life on April 1st, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

James and Alice went for a walk in Morgaston Woods today with the toddler group. It seems as though the Easter bunny had been hopping around in the woods before they got there and left lots of chocolate treats and eggs beneath the trees. Anything involving chocolate seems to be the highlight on James’s week (I wonder where he gets that tendency from).

Easter Egg Hunt, Morgaston Woods