Hello everyone. Thank you for your patience.
The great RootsTech giveaway has come and gone and the winner is . . . . (drum roll) . . . . Elaine Ryckman from Scottsdale, Arizona. Congratulations! Hope to see you there, Elaine, and anyone else reading this who might be coming. We do have some readers from the Great Salt Lake area. Folks, even if you can't take the whole four days off, how about buying a day-entry ticket? I can guarantee that you can save the cost of admission just by taking advantage of some of the offers in the Exhibitors' Hall. As for, "Which day might be the best to come?" I don't mean to bias you unduly, but I will be speaking on the Wednesday morning!
You can see the full schedule here: https://www.rootstech.org/salt-lake. And do note that there is currently discounted pricing.
Letter from the Crimea
Again in the news these days, the Crimea was a huge deal back in the 1850s, when Britain and France took on the Russian Army on the Crimean peninsula. Many men in our study took part, including John Howes, the last man off the battlefield at the Charge of the Light Brigade. Imagine you're a young British soldier, a thousand miles from home, you've been almost three months on the campaign and have fought in some large battles and a few more local skirmishes already. You've been wounded and finally have some time to sit down and relax. Would you use those few moments to write an 8-page letter home to your parents? Most men would not have been able to write, but one did and he did just that, writing to his parents in Latton, Wiltshire.
As promised last month, we have put a copy of the whole letter online with a page-by-page transcription by yours truly. I think the letter is totally fascinating and I commend it to everyone as interesting reading material, whether you are a military historian, or just interested in how a young man thought 160+ years ago. You can find it from our home page or here: https://howesfamilies.com/histories/Hen ... Letter.pdf
If you are a descendant of this man, Henry Howes/Howse (1832-1908) and would like the original copy of this letter, please do write in and let me know. We've had two people come forward already and while they are relatives of Henry they're not actual descendants.
Over the last few months, I have purchased over 40 certificates. We've transcribed all of the data from them already and are well under way at putting the certificates themselves online. We buy certificates to answer questions and usually use them to join up two branches of a family whom we couldn't have linked without that one piece of paper, proving a relationship.
Just sometimes, that doesn't go completely to plan. We have two or three like that from the latest bunch and over the next few months I will be asking for help to try and figure out the solution. So, this puzzle concerns William Samuel Howes who married Rose Ellen Walker, nee Aldworth, at Oxford Register Office in 1923. William's record is here:
https://howesfamilies.com/getperson.php ... ee=Onename
As you can see, we bought the marriage certificate. It shows his father as Samuel, deceased, a builder's labourer. Two things: can you find William in the two British census records before he married or figure out who Samuel was? Please either post a response here or drop me a line if you can figure out either of those things. Thanks! Oh, yes, and did you spot that the date of death on Rose's gravestone is out by three years? Nobody's perfect, eh?!
This is an appropriate time just to throw in the remark that if you have any certificates you can scan or copy for us we would appreciate it. Or, if you would like to make a contribution to our certificate fund, we would be most grateful indeed. We've been careful with our last donation (and I matched it pound for pound) but it's beginning to dwindle a little!
Using our website
First, just confirmation that our new maps are working, though I see some pins are not pointing where they should. If you find one such, please drop me a line or use the suggest button at the top of each person's record.
A correspondent asked me how to find the relationship of one person to another in our database. Easy! There's a button for it! See all those tabs at the top of someone's record? Click on the one that says Relationship. The present person will be selected for you. Then type either the name or the ID number of the person and hit select and then Calculate. Example: use William Howes from the puzzle. For the second person, type in Pearl into the given name box and Cooper into the surname box. Select the one option you are given, then hit Calculate. You should get a nice chart showing that William is the father-in-law of Pearl.
Colonel Robert Arthur Howes, 1925-2018, RIP
We were a few years into this study. I'd made contact with the Howes Family Association and with Al Howes in particular. He told me about the Howes Genealogy book published by the Dennis Historical Association on Cape Cod, the first North American home of the Howes clan. I bought a copy. Not cheap, but 600+ pages of Howes paydirt!
Al suggested I contact Bob, the family genealogist who had worked on the book. I did and we swapped occasional notes. I'd send him additional information about Howes families in the book. He would ask occasional questions about Howes families overseas and he included me in his email distribution list of often risqué jokes!
A few years later, my elder son was studying for his doctorate at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and my wife and I went out to see him. Bob lived in Las Cruces, just 200 miles down the freeway across the high desert. So we went to see him for lunch (!) at his suggestion at the local Cracker Barrel restaurant - nothing fancy. What an extraordinary man: tall, piercing eyes, modest, no airs or graces, very relaxed, still driving, though in his late 80s at that time. He told us how he had gotten into genealogy and had added 100+ years of records to the original book by Joshua Crowell Howes (now available online, by the way). He was the person who went to Morningthorpe in Norfolk, England and concluded that there was no truth at all to the old family story about Morningthorpe Manor being the "family seat".
Bob took us back to his house in the hills above town. He showed us his extraordinary collection of antiques. He was most proud of his gunsmith's forge in the basement! We saw him again 2 or 3 years ago when we drove coast to coast and he was noticeably frailer, though just as comfortable driving.
I knew Bob just briefly relative to his real friends but could see the measure of the man and count myself lucky to have known him. He set the standard for Howes Genealogy. Our hearts go out to his family for their loss.
And finally, back to our study, we finished the month on 139,400 lives, an increase of 1,250 over the previous month. Thanks for listening, folks.
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