Happy New Year, everyone, and if you're somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere, throw another one on the barbie for me! Here in New Jersey it's winter wonderland. We had a white Christmas and it's looking like a white new year too with potentially another 8" (20cm) of snow later in the week.
"100 not out"
Eva Drayson, nee House, of Swindon may be the only person in the world who can see her own record at HowesFamilies.com. She has now lived so long that she has earned the right to freely break our privacy promise. As you can see from this newspaper article,
http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/9977103.Full_fat_milk__cream_and_butter_keeps_Eva_healthy_at_100/. we are a year late in bringing this to your attention but I understand Eva is indeed still alive. We commend her full-fat diet and thank her granddaughter for bringing Eva's longevity to our attention.
HOUSEs in New Jersey
Earlier this week, fellow member of the Guild of One-Name Studies and New Jersey resident, Elizabeth O'Donnell was kind enough to send me a copy of the marriage bond for an Abraham House and an Elizabeth Rankins way back in 1771, when the sum at risk on the bond was a staggering £500, the Pound Sterling still being the official currency of this and the other American colonies at that time. I'm struggling to find anything very much on this couple. All I've located so far is Abraham's appearance on the tax rolls for Sussex County in August 1774. He seems to have disappeared by the first Federal census of 1790.
Can you help locate anything more?
House member of the House
While I was at the Godfrey library in Connecticut last month, I happened upon reference to a John Ford House from Tennessee who was a US Congressman in the late 1870s/early 1880s. I've failed even to find a family for this man! Can anyone tell us any more?
Sir Stephen House
You may recall that a few weeks ago, a helicopter fell out of the sky onto a pub in Scotland, killing several people. Three separate correspondents (thank you, all) drew my attention to the fact that the person leading much of the press coverage, the Chief Police Officer for Scotland, is named House. For example, see: http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/interview-stephen-house-scotland-s-top-policeman-1-2894045
I can see the names of his parents and brother from Wikipedia, but that's as far as it goes. Is there a correspondent out there who has access to Scottish records who might be able to help more to trace this gentleman's roots?
A Howes story ends
The eminent Victorian naturalist Charles Darwin bought a bicycle from Howes of Cambridge in England. I've even been in the shop myself. Recently, they announced that they are closing their doors after 173 years of business in Cambridge. In a town apparently full of bicycles, this is sad news indeed. Read more here:
World War One Stories
Two correspondents replied to our request for stories about Howes/House/Howse/Hows relatives in the Great War. Sad to report that one of them had a story that was not about a Howes. So I had to thank him but turn down his article. The other reader, John Howes, sent in a complete set of four stories about his grandfather and his three siblings. As John says, individually the stories are not remarkable, but when you realize all four of them were a complete family you get a strong sense for just how profoundly the war affected families throughout the world. John's done a good job if researching his ancestors and I recommend the stories to you.
Thanks to the Guild of One-Name Studies, to see them, go to http://ww1.one-name.org/ and click on Stories, or use the search window to look for Howes. It's not too late: if you also have a story about your relative in the Great War, let's talk. I would like to add more to the Guild's site.
For the record
Our database now stands just shy of 81,900 people, we having added 1,350 people during the month.
We have income!
Finally, I want to record my personal thanks for a donation of £50 to my paypal account. I will not embarrass the generous donor by naming them, but I have told them that I will spend the money on buying certificates to enable us to answer questions and make it easier to link parts of the Howes clans back together. If you'd like to make a donation, please get in touch, or wait for me to add a "tip jar" to the site.
All the best for 2014, folks