Hello everyone. Happy new month. This summer here in Norfolk, I seem to have moaned about the weather every month! This month has been a little better, thank goodness. I didn't see about half of it, though. You may recall that a year ago, my younger son married in Massachusetts. Only eight people were allowed to be present: the happy couple, the two sets of parents and the celebrant and his wife, long-term family friends.
Restrictions in Massachusetts due to the virus having recently been lifted, my son and daughter-in-law decided to hold the celebration with family and friends that we should have had last year. We had a wonderful party, stretching over 2 days. I arrived a few days early and then after the event returned to England, spending the last week in quarantine. Didn't matter what the weather was like as I spent the whole week indoors! The UK government changed the rules since I returned, meaning that if I had been due to arrive in the UK this coming Monday, I could have walked through with no quarantine. And yet, if I do nothing, I will be under quarantine until next Friday morning! So I decided to take an extra test today. A few minutes ago, I had the result: negative. So I can go sailing this week at the sailing club in the local village which is having its regatta week this week. Very relieved!
All this moving about, though, has reduced my productivity a little, balanced by my missing one of the regatta weeks I normally participate in.
Oh, and another big, though pleasurable, drain on my time last month was working on finishing a six-generation family tree for my son and new daughter-in-law. My son's family tree, I knew already, of course. IN contrast, my daughter-in-law's heritage is entirely jewish, from Eastern Europe. Her ancestors hailed from right across the region, from Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Poland and other parts of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire before World War One. It was very challenging project and I couldn't say anything about it until after I had presented the chart to them. It's not yet finished by any means but I'm very pleased to say that I found 18 of her 32 great-great-great grandparents. Quite a challenge, but fascinating! Interesting results too: my son's family is a mixture of shoemakers and farmers. My daughter-in-law has both of those occupations in her tree too. I should say that in some ways she is fortunate to have had so many ancestors moving to the US about 120 years ago because the immigration and naturalization records for the US are way better than their UK equivalents, the latter even containing photographs of the immigrants.
Anyway, this month, we added almost 850 people, finishing at 185,607 people in our master file. We've spent a lot of time working through newspapers to add more details on marriages where we didn't previously know the details of date and place.
New data sources: Scotland and Ireland
Do you have ancestors from Scotland? Two nights ago, I was privileged to be among a small group on a video-call hosted by FindMyPast introducing a new data set of Scottish family records. They have been working with Family History Societies across Scotland for the past two years to transcribe parish records: mainly baptisms, marriages and burials, going back in some instances to the 1500s. The new data set has close to 11million new records in it. That's double the size of the present day Scottish population, just on its own! So you can see that while it's not comprehensive it is a huge data set beginning to rival the ScotlandsPeople website.
Here's a list of FMP's main Scotland only datasets:
Bear in mind that FMP has the most extensive online collection of Scottish newspapers, taking a subscription to FMP is now a must. You can find more details of how to do this at https://www.findmypast.co.uk/subscribe?set=UK3-12. Remember too that FMP has the contract to produce the 1921 census for England and Wales, which will appear online early next year.
Now, just to be fair, I should mention that Ancestry has an important new data set too, four the South of Ireland. Although FMP is the single best source for Irish records and newspapers, Ancestry has a new dataset called the Casey Collection with over a million records which focus on baptisms, marriages and burials for Counties Cork and Kerry. I haven't yet looked at this in detail but I can see a couple of hundred people named House, Howes, Hows and Howse. I know there are descendants of Irish families among us. Please, folks, if you are able to use this data to add to your families, do let me know. It will save a lot of time!
Help from a Guild member
I have a good friend who lives in New York City, and who is a fellow member of the Guild of One-Name Studies. While locked down, he has been extending his collection of postcards. He found one (perhaps a memorial card?) which has the words Judson Howes written in pencil on the back of it. We figured out that if the handwriting is correct, it is a picture Judson W Howes 1863-1914, who hailed from Madison County in Upper New York State. and have placed the picture on his record, here: https://howesfamilies.com/getperson.php ... ee=Onename
Does anyone recognize this man? Do we have the right person linked to the photograph?
What makes it particularly interesting is that when I researched his background, it turns out that he and his brother, Henry, are descendants of Thomas and Mary Howes of Cape Cod, completely missing from the book, Howes Genealogy by Colonel Bob Howes. It's not the only improvement we have been able to make to Bob's research in recent months. While we are pleased to have done so I mean NO disrespect at all to Bob. He had to work much harder than we do. We are lucky to have so much more information available at our fingertips than Bob could ever have imagined.
Worth noting too that the same man was also at the State Archives at Trenton, New Jersey the other day and managed to find five marriage certificates for names House and Howes without even trying! The first one of these I looked at has so far lead to a family of nearly 50 people with still plenty more work to do!
Howes in the news
This news item is a little bizarre, and to a degree morbid. 25 years ago a British man clearing minefields was killed by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. His name? Christopher Howes, from Somerset. He has now been honoured by having a mine-sniffing rat named after him. Read the whole story here: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/15576407/ ... oured-rat/
I know that the main variety of Cranberry is named Howes. What other creatures or plants have been given one of our surnames?
Regular readers of our newsletter will recall that we have been following the career of Skyler Howes, the cross-country dirt-boke rider. He finally signed for a professional team this year and immediately achieved a second place overall finish in the Silk Way Rally in Kazakhstan. He is now lying second overall in their world championship series. Husqvarna must be very pleased with their newest signing! There's a really good picture of Skyler in this article: https://www.husqvarna-motorcycles.com/e ... rally.html
That's all, folks. Thank you for your continued support.
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