Hello everyone. One of the joys of genealogy is that to do it well, one needs to concentrate. And that means that I am not spending too much of my time on the internet fretting about the US election, the result of which now seems a lot more personal since I became a citizen, even though I have lived here on and off since 1988. HowesFamilies.com is an election-free zone!
Quick update on our study
We've managed to add over 1,300 people this month and now stand at 176,750 people in our database.
For the first time, the number of citations of the 1940 US census now exceeds 10,000, showing the increasing importance of US records in our work. It's the 18th most cited source in our file. There are two other US sources with more citations: the book Howes Genealogy with over 20,000 and FindAGrave with over 30,000.
We’ve also been provided with many photos by correspondents this month and our online collection of images is now very close to 4,000!
I want to pay tribute to Mike Howes who has retired after working with us for 7 years or so. His work was of the highest quality and greatly appreciated. He solved several conundrums that we had had and joined together several disparate families as he worked back in time. Thank you, Mike.
By complete co-incidence, Steve Pratt from Leicestershire has stepped forward to help us. He's focusing on records from his local area to begin with and is making a difference already. Thanks in advance, Steve.
St Helena is a very small island in the South Atlantic, most noted for being the home of Napoleon Bonaparte after he was exiled by the British from 1815 until his death. It was also an important port of call for ships on their way to South Africa and other parts of the Empire in the Indian Ocean and beyond. We had one or two records of Howes people being born there but during research for a family with connections in other parts of the Empire in the Southern Hemisphere, Canada and the UK, I decided to look more closely for Howes families there. I was amazed to be able to look at scans of original parish register entries back to the 1840s and discover that there are close to 50 of us who were on the island over the years. Many of their descendants now have the name Newton-Howes, but originally the Newton was just a given name. There are one or two people whom I have yet to connect up but suspect they are all related.
Unlikely I know, but if you have any connections to the place you need to pay a nominal amount to the Friends of St Helena website where all these goodies await!
Married twice with the same date leads to a history lesson!
I've mentioned occasionally that we have found the same couple marrying twice. Sometimes it happened because a couple eloped and later married 'officially' in front of their parents. (Two of my university friends did exactly that!) Sometimes it happened because a man in the British Army married without Army permission and then later regularized it.
Our correspondent, Sue Eaton from Gloucestershire has been doing sterling work on old Gloucestershire families, particularly by delving through a maze of wills and old parish records. I've gotten quite behind in dealing with her mails but just yesterday I worked on an old one where among other matters she had found one couple who apparently married twice on the same day in separate parishes! Thomas House or Howes and Anne Adams are in the marriage registers for both Ampney St Mary and the neighbouring parish of Barnsley as being married on 25 Oct 1655!
The key to figuring out the answer why is to consider the date, after the British Civil War in 1649 and before 1660 when Charles II was restored to the throne. I had to ask other Guild members for help to figure it out and here is the reply I received from an eminent genealogist:
"Cromwell’s Parliament introduced the 1653 Marriage Act which essentially meant that parishes should appoint a “register” or what we would call a registrar to record marriages which were now to be performed by Magistrates outside a church rather than vicars in a church. In some cases new marriage registers were created. In others the old registers were used. The Act had patchy adherence and different effects around the country. Occasionally these marriages were retrospectively recorded in registers after the restoration of Charles 1. The civil war saw huge upheaval with parish registers. In some cases the sequestration or harassment of vicars meant, baptism. marriages and burials could not could be performed or recorded in a church but were noted in another register of a neighbour parish. Hence Double recordings and odd events is sometimes seen in this period.
"The marriage examples I’ve seen have been in Dorset, Gloucestershire and Yorkshire
"Some example of the 1653 Marriage Act in Yorkshire here
http://www.localpopulationstudies.org.u ... _15-31.pdf"
My conclusion here is that given the detail in the respective registers, it is almost certain that the marriage occurred in Barnsley and was later recorded also in Ampney Mary.
Same name killed the same way
A few days ago, Steve came up with two newspaper clippings for two men named Samuel Howes who were both killed by trains while they were working on the railways, albeit 29 years apart. As I entered the information on their records, knowing that Samuel is not a particularly common name I just happened to check to see if there was a relationship between them. Turns out they were first cousins! Check them out for yourself at:
https://howesfamilies.com/getperson.php ... ee=Onename, and
https://howesfamilies.com/getperson.php ... ee=Onename
Amazing. What are the chances . . . . ?
I used all of the US$150 donations from Canada and my match to buy many certificates this month. Three electronic 'un-certificates' I received very quickly despite the pandemic. The others are in the mail, I hope. Thanks to a further donation, from Australia this time, our certificate buying fund now stands at £79 which I will also spend just as soon as I get the time! "Buddy, can you spare a dime?" to help us out further, please?
And in American news . . . .
Here’s an article about a virtual museum operated by Putnam County about the American Circus and the influence of the Howes family particularly. Sad to say, the museum is now passed us but the accompanying video is worth a view:
https://highlandscurrent.org/2020/10/10 ... am-county/
And some really sad news from the Cape Cod Times about vandalism to a cemetery in Dennis with many Howes graves
https://www.capecodtimes.com/story/spec ... /42848697/
A quick thought on Windows and not losing your work
One of the problems with being a genealogist, especially one dealing with lots of correspondents as I do, is that you sometimes don't finish a task and need to go to a new one, leaving lots of open tabs in your browser that you fully intend to come back to. Modern web browsers have a facility whereby even if you close your browser, you don't lose the tabs because they reappear automatically when you open it again.
However, I lost quite a few of these open tabs the other day when I failed to open the browser before dealing with a software update. The software update caused the browser to open, and I realized that I had lost the history and the ability to "restore previous session". There were half a dozen tabs and could only remember why I had one of them open. So I fixed that but lost the others. So somewhere in the database there's yet another half-finished project. If that's your family, apologies!
I just wanted to share my experience so you don't have to! Make sure you open your browser before anything else!
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