September 23rd 2018
A Family History Bible Story
This re-launched group got off to a flying start recently with a full complement of participants followed by a wonderful success story when one of the members brought in a family bible which had been found in the house that they had bought a few years earlier. They didn’t know who it belonged to, not recognising the names mentioned, but they hoped they could track down any descendants from the names written in the bible with a view to returning it to them if at all possible. They just needed some help in finding out how to do it.
It was an unusual old tome of a bible with a section in the centre containing the birth date of the head of the family, marriage, wife’s maiden name, birth dates of children as well as deaths. So we had a blank canvas, no preconceived ideas or knowledge, just some names and dates.
The first thing was to research the bible, author, publisher & possible published date. This seemed to be around the mid to late 1800’s which was around the time of the head of the family’s marriage. So that would suggest that the dates entered were written at the time of the event & not retrospectively at a later date, so we could feel confident that the names/dates given would be accurate.
A search in the free BMD (Births, Marriages, Deaths register 1837 – 1984) site for the family patriarch showed that he was born in an adjacent county to Derbyshire.
Searches of the censuses taken between his birth & death, using both the Family Search (Mormon Jesus Christ Church of Latter Day Saints) & Ancestry.Co.Uk sites helped to establish when the family moved to Derbyshire and their whereabouts, but still not Bolsover.
A systematic search was made of all the offspring, starting with the eldest, to try to find a link. Usually the male line is the easiest to work from, but it was from one of the female lines that a significant clue was found. Her death was entered quoting her married name. A search revealed she had a daughter with an unusual name.
The link with Bolsover came when one of the last male offspring was found to have married, moved to the area and had a daughter who also had that unusual name. Too much of a coincidence for it not to be right. But the family historian has to check and double check to be sure – so a search of the Derbyshire Records for Births & marriages was necessary. This clarified the information gleaned thus far and we now had the granddaughter, but as her father died when she was a young girl, it seemed likely that her mother could have remarried. This proved to be the case but thankfully for us she did not take her stepfathers name as she had her given name when she, herself, married. However, she married a gentleman with a very common surname which could have made finding the correct record extremely difficult. Luckily her wonderful christian name helped to clarify the records for both her husband and son. Was she still living? A slow, deliberate search of Bolsover Cemetery then ensued and her headstone was found. Sadly she had passed away in 2013, but that year was when our member bought her house.
Had our member bought her house from the great grandson? It transpired that she had, and after several phone conversations with some of his extended family a meeting was arranged and she was finally able to return the bible, as she had hoped, to its rightful owners, along with all the research papers. A very happy ending to this engrossing detective story.
A detailed breakdown of the process used to find out this information is being developed as a future guide to the FH Group, along with other helpful hints.
June 8th 2018
Today saw a full turn out for Family History, a great start for our first session in the meeting room. All computers were in use and everyone was busy trying to find a link, a hint, a name or a date, just something to find our ancestors. Just one lead can open Pandora’s box of information, but sometimes it takes a while, so patience is definitely a requirement. The excitement is amazing when you finally have a breakthrough. As you can see from the photograph everyone was concentrating on their screen and hoping to find their family. (Couldn’t get everyone in!) Great fun.
April 27th 2018
Well they say things come in threes! Yet another milestone!
Yesterday with the introduction of two more new members to the Family History Group we now have full capacity. Even for “THE ROOM” let alone the balcony!
A waiting list is available for members to add their name should someone drop,out. Thank you.
February 7th 2018
Thanks to all who came to our first real session of the re-launch of the FH Group. We were thrilled at the response & welcomed prospective family history detectives to join in the fun. It can be quite daunting at first searching through the plethora of records, but, the more you do it the easier it becomes so, please, to anyone on this journey of discovery keep plugging away. We will help each other along the way. Our next session is again in the library using the balcony computers on Tues Mar. 6th 1.30 – 3.30pm.