And so another year passes. I think I can safely say that few of us would like 2022 to be anything like 2021 or even "2020 too" (say it out loud!). Many of us have lost loved ones during the year. One of our correspondents lost a brother, his father and his mother just in the last two months and our hearts go out to him, even as we recognize that life goes on. Many of us have had lovely, precious small additions to our families too and/or new sons and daughters-in-law. Although this website is rather flat it aims to document all of these comings and goings among people with our similar-sounding surnames. If you would care to share details of these family movements with us, we would be most grateful. We especially welcome any contribution from anyone who would like to write a reminiscence of a forebear or other relative now passed.
Sally Ann Howes, 1930 -2021
The most notable passing among holders of our name happened just two weeks ago when the actress many of us have watched for years finally left this world. Regular readers of this newsletter will know that I have a daily search of the web for our surnames (though not House, for obvious reasons) sent to me by email by Mr Google. For three days solid in the week before Christmas, the email consisted only with obituaries and tributes to Sally Ann. I've never seen so many articles about someone's passing on. Clearly she was held in enormous esteem. We have links to four of the best reviews of her life linked from her personal page here:
https://howesfamilies.com/getperson.php ... ee=Onename.
As a result of those we have been able to refine a few of the details of her life of which we had not been completely certain, like her four marriages one son and two adopted children. Reading the Daily Mail review, however, I was distracted by one awkwardness which I have previously only seen in the US: the interchanging of HOWE with HOWES, as if the S had no significance at all. There are 45 instances of the word Howes in the article and another 15 instances of her being referred to as Sally Ann Howe. I can't think of a single other name where this occurs. Can you? There are so many "Howe"s that it cannot just be a result of bad sub-editing. Something else is going on.
One other thing is worth mentioning here: over the years we've had many correspondents tell us that their family lore held it that they were related to Sally Ann, though we've yet to find anyone for whom that was actually true. Now her record is public, please do take a look. Can you prove a link, maybe by taking her family back a generation or two?
2022 and its significance for family historians
This will be a bumper year for we family historians for many reasons:
- 1921 census of England and Wales
In just another five sleeps, the 1921 census of England and Wales will become available under the 100-year rule imposed by the UK government. It will be exciting not just because it will enable us to solve a few mysteries, but also it will be the last census to become available for thirty years. the 1931 census, like the 1890 US census, was lost in a fire and the idea of a 1941 census was abandoned because of war. That's all good news.
The not so good news is that:
1) Scotland's census records are 'owned' by the Scottish government with its own timetable for release later this year, and there was no 1921 census of Northern Ireland because of the civil war.
2) it will cost US$5 to see each image or US$3.50 to see even a transcription. I expect that this will last for a year or so, just as it did for the 1939 register. It will be impossible for us to buy as many images as we want. So just a plea: if you pay for your own family's record, whether as a transcription or a scanned image, PLEASE WOULD YOU SEND US A COPY?
You can learn more at https://www.findmypast.com/1921-census.
- 1950 census of the USA
I'm not yet sure of the arrangements for this census release, due in April, but it is really great that the US has only a 72-year period of closure! The 1940 census transcription was crowd-sourced and the census rapidly became widely available. Here's hoping! More later.
- RootsTech Connect
Last year's RootsTech surpassed everyone's expectations and ignored all Covid-19 restrictions with a million plus attendees online. The agenda for the conference goes way beyond simple family history into culture, food and traditions, so far that I think it's fair to say that there is something for everyone. This year there will be 1,500 sessions, double last year, across nine topics and in several different languages. Check out the schedule here: https://www.familysearch.org/rootstech/rtc2021/search.
Follow the links to sign up for free.
A lovely story
Nothing really remarkable about this story, except that some people took the trouble to thank a long-surviving war hero on his 99th birthday. We do too, and we hope Len Howes lives long enough to see his own record on our site (and get a telegram from the queen!) later this year.
https://www.lep.co.uk/news/people/veter ... ay-3478034
Our progress to date
We finished the year with 190,714 people in our database, our having added over 1,000 people during the month, and have already added to that total today! After 13 years of work I am staggered by what we have achieved! Our GED file (the one we export from our Family Historian software program to update our website every week) now has more than 6,700,000 lines in it!
If you read through some of the accompanying pages on our website you will see that we set out on our online journey deliberately to attract the help of other people in our quest to document each and every person with our name because it was too big a task for just my cousin and me. You responded! And you still are. What we have achieved could not have been done by us alone, or even our small team of volunteers. A big THANK YOU to everyone who has helped.
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