19 August 2012

Checking ancestry .....

So, domestic chores done, fan on, windows & curtains shut (it's stonkingly hot out) and let's settle down to some genealogy......

But first, let me recommend something to you ..... check everything!  I've just printed out the Fordham branch of my Culpin branch, so to speak, and thought I'd fill in a lot of source data which I knew was missing.

Then I discovered some anomalies which had .....er....slipped through.... For example, George Fordham born circa 1820 in Chesterton, Cambridge and christened in Hemingford Grey 31st July.  But his age on the various censuses suggests either 1827 or 1829.  Hmmmmm.  Made a note and determined to go back to the Huntingdon RO for to check the PR.

Dear old Ancestry very kindly tries to give one hints of where else to find info about the person you're searching for and sometimes they're right.  But sometimes they're very frustrating.....don't suggest George Fordham in the Australian Death Index when you *know* my subscription is only for UK records!!!  Or that his cousin Harry might've gone to the US, 'cos I can't search that one either!  

Two more things for the "To Do" list - go to the library and use Ancestry.com for free, after the new term starts.

Right, back to searching records which I *can* access.  Going to see some chums in September so I think I'll update their Westons and Yettons....

More soon.

5 August 2012

Static statistics?

Today, while watching Andy Murray beat Roger Federer, I was wondering if my ancestors and rellies moved around much.  So I downloaded the information on the people on my website and played around with it a bit....

What data would best serve this purpose though?  I thought about the early censuses and then discarded them; I know that some Cambs info is missing in 1861 and didn't want that to skew the results.  In the end I chose the 1881 and 1911 returns.

And?  The only significant conclusion to be drawn?  10% fewer people in Cambs in 1911 than there were in 1881.  The 4% drop in Huntingdonshire residents wasn't really surprising as the majority of those (in 1881) were Culpins and they had scattered by 1911.  I had expected a massive rise in those living in the Greater London area but there was only a 1% rise - proving the first rule of genealogy: Never Assume!

By now I was fully into "statistics mode" and decided to download birthplaces (as you do).  For comparative purposes, I looked at "my people" born in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.  I'm guessing that paucity of information led to the highest 18th century figure being for "Place of birth Unknown".  Other percentages followed the pattern of the census places, in that Cambs has the most births, Greater London has 2% more in the 20th century than the 19th, and the Hunts figure goes down by 4% in the 20th century.

So, all in all, I don't know what to make of my little stats exercise.  Interesting, certainly; and it gave me the chance to correct some errors!  I'm sure I could find some significance if I were to sit down and look at it properly, without the distraction of the Olympics!!

More soon.