Happy new month, fellow truth-seekers. So glad that this month, we finally sold our house in New Jersey and moved the rest of our chattels to Florida, even though that meant a second orgy of unpacking! To those of you enduring yet more snow today, sorry, but we just couldn't take it any more!
Please excuse the internal focus to begin with but we passed two milestones this month:
- we now have 900+ correspondents. Our 900th person is Geraldine from New Zealand, who isn't actually related to any of us at all! To cut a long story short, her grandfather had married a lady named Howse and sired seven children before leaving her for another woman, with whom he had a further nine! Said grandfather died at age 42 and granny left to start a new life down under. Geraldine is looking to find her roots and obviously has a large number of research targets. We wish her luck.
- long-term readers will know that we try to keep track of a few metrics to be able to judge our progress. In England and Wales, there is a national registry of Births, Marriages and Deaths, in place since 1837. From that registry, we have compiled a master checklist of the 23,700+ Howes/etc marriages up to 1950. Of these, we know the identity of both partners for about 13,400. But, now we also know the actual location for over 5,000 of them. While much of that information has come from online databases and members of the Guild of One-Name Studies, a good deal has come from individual correspondents sharing what they know. If you have any House/etc marriage certificates, even if from outside the UK, please do send'em in!
HowesFamilies helps the BBC
A few weeks ago we had a note out of the blue from a BBC researcher. He was trying to research a Percy Boddy and had come across our site. Percy had been Sheriff of Norwich, even though a few years before that he had been a conscientious objector to serving in the armed forces in World War 1, as a result of his being a quaker. Percy appears on our site because he had married a Howes. We were able to put the researcher in touch with one of Percy's grandsons, who had given us much of the information. He then helped with a segment of a TV program which aired in England on March 2.
The researcher was kind enough to say to us that "Your site has genuinely been the most useful tool in my rather frustrating search for details and family links to Percy Boddy. It must have taken you hundreds of hours to compile – it’s wonderful." Kind words, much appreciated.
It occurred to me earlier today that in the last month alone I have engaged in some pretty heavy discussions and collaborated on solving some knotty family research problems with people in England, Canada, US, Australia and New Zealand.
Life isn't always quite as varied as that, but in the course of writing to one person earlier today, I had the following three thoughts which characterize all such collaborations over the past 6 years:
1) - It's always better to share data - two or more perspectives on the same information are ALWAYS better than one. I've worked with my cousin, Ian, for six years now and yet I still find it a blessing that he and I think about things at ninety degrees to each other! Our differences of approach lead us to places neither of us could have gotten to alone. That's true of so many of our interactions with others too.
2) - NO-ONE focuses on their own family like a family member! When I think I've gone as far as I can with a particular family, I frequently wake up the following morning to find an email from the family member who has found some more details I'd not thought of. This one in particular should keep all of us humble!
3) - You can get more from following up on relations than you can by looking only at the immediate family. For example, today, I was able to confirm a family relationship for a correspondent when I found that a particular person had named their nephew as their nearest relative upon admission to a Disabled Veterans Retirement Home in California. If you have a brick-wall, it can be worth looking at paperwork for family members beyond your immediate family.
Battle of Balaclava - Sergeant-Major John Howes
You may recall this trusty old soldier who was the last man off the battlefield after the "charge of the light brigade", topically, of course in the Crimea. On our site we reprint a newspaper article from 1975, here:
http://howesfamilies.com/getperson.php? ... ee=Onename
The article was written by a clergyman who clearly states that John was illegitimate and kept his mother's name. This month we proved that was wrong.
While researching a family in Lancashire, we came across a Howes family whose son John had been a soldier in the same regiment as the famous John. In tracking the parents back to the town of Wymondham in Norfolk, we found that they had had their children baptized in a non-conformist chapel. AND that's the reason why Canon Lummus never found him. He had assumed that if John came from Wymondham, he must have been baptized in the Church of England. A small mystery resolved.
Another holder of a Full House!
Check out Edmund Howes here:
http://howesfamilies.com/getperson.php? ... ee=Onename
One man, five different surnames!
- Howes Hall of Thaxted in Essex
I spotted this advert while looking for something else: http://www.zoopla.co.uk/property-histor ... e/28622997
Does anyone know anything about this place, please?
Does anyone have a subscription/access to this site, please? Could you help us?
- Identifying people from pictures
I have some newly found relatives in Australia. My distant cousin, Judith, has an old photograph showing some people whom she cannot identify, which I have attached. Can you help us with any thoughts about the picture, eg, an approximate date, even if you don't know the people?
Finally, just a note that we added 650 people this month and finish just shy of 84,000 people, and to say that we have added a further name to our collection of homophones: Howze - hardly known in Europe there are a few hundred or so in the US.
All the best for Easter and a warming up Northern Hemisphere!
Regular updates to members, mostly monthly
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