Saturday, 5 August 2017

DNA for the Ward & Hart side

DNA for the Ward and Hart side of me.... 

Well after having my DNA tested at Christmas - it came back not quite as expected. My grandparents are the Ward family - mostly from Shropshire and Yorkshire. The Hart family that were from Birmingham and Ireland. The Hands family that seemed only to have lived in Birmingham. And lastly the Feege family that are a bit of a mystery coming from London and originally Germany/Poland.

Now with this ancestry, I would have thought lots of British DNA with a smattering of European and Irish ...Not what I have!!

61% European West.
16% Ireland
8% Great Britain
8% Finland/Northwest Russia
4% Iberian Peninsula
3% European East.

My husband came back with 42 % Irish and 37% European West. Not what he expected at all. 

Ancestry Links.

Now I have had a subscription to Ancestry for years. Now looking at the DNA matches has been very interesting. I know that some of the cousins showing are correct. Which means that the ones that have no tree links; are also distant relatives and could have some family links that would enhance my understandings of my families heritage. ..

Is it worth doing?

Definitively yes. But it needs to be done with researching your family history. Because as a stand alone test, it does not mean anything significant. Also linking with Ancestry or other family history websites, gives a wider and growing range of contacts and much "food for thought".
I have a 4th cousin that appears to be Italian! Now with no family history for this person showing, I can not check as to why?
But to me this is very interesting and in the past had such a link come up in my family history research. I would have dismissed it .. but now not likely.

With another generation now growing up. I want to leave a legacy of our family. As the links and memories get lost in time. I wish that I could remember what my grandad told me about his early life now. I also wish that I could talk to my dad and ask him more about his family.

Monday, 23 January 2017

Having our DNA checked out!

Having our DNA checked for ancestor migration.

This year as Christmas presents to each other. My hubby and I have had our DNA sampled and sent to have it analyzed. We want to see if we have so far successfully researched where we originated and came from.

I believe that it will show mine to have North European and Irish descent. My husband will be English, Welsh and Irish. But in a few weeks I will report back if this is correct. Find it quite exciting.

This year I plan to continue with family history and local history blogs with Birmingham, Solihull, West Midlands and Warwickshire topics at the top of my lists. Hope you will check back and please comment on our posts.

Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire
Coventry Cathedral

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Our family history is just amazing!

Yes, our family history is just amazing. Having started on tracing my family's history and that of my husband about 8 year ago. Because I was confined to bed and very bored with severe vertigo, But I could sit upright and found that if I  only moved my head or eyes very slowly. I could use my laptop computer to access the few family history websites and do other searches. Not one to sit idle, I soon got hooked.

Now years later I have discovered (and continue to discover) that my relatives and my husbands would have known each other in the Victorian era of Birmingham. What is amazing is that my branch came from Germany/Poland, Ireland, Scotland, Stafford, Shropshire and Kenilworth. His came from Coventry, Shropshire, Ireland, Wales and Birmingham. But they appeared to be living in the late 1890s in the same area and even on the same street.

We have between us: Shoe makers, blacksmiths, Peaky Blinders, bellow makers, tailors, charwomen, sawyers, laborers, brick layers, factory workers, gunsmiths, jewelers, and many more.

We were working class - just like most today. You have to have some sort of work to survive. There is really no upper class anymore, as they have to have some sort of work nowadays to make a living. Even the Royal Family works....

Those that live of the state - well that has always happened to those that are old, ill or infirm-ed. The Parish Relief was available. So was the workhouses. Nowadays we have benefits and charities that help those that find themselves out of work and unable to hold down employment.

RAF badge that belonged to my father.

I do not think that times have changed really... We are just the same as our ancestors. Trying to get bye. But it does make your life richer and more interesting to know a bit about your own history. This should be taught in schools instead of the stuff that we were subjected to...   

Print from Henry Martin Pope (Victorian artist) who married a Hands - one of my ancestors.

So for this Christmas we are both getting our DNA checked out - instead of presents that we normally give each other - so watch this space....

Have a Happy Christmas and New Year. Will blog again soon :)      

Friday, 1 July 2016

Frederick Charles Horrocks died at the Somme in 1916 aged 18 years

Frederick Charles Horrocks 1898 - 1916.

On this day that is commemorating the 100 years that have passed on that dreadful first world war that claimed so many young men of many countries. I can not help remembering the young man that died at the Somme on the 1st of July that was part of my family.

Frederick Horrocks - my nan's brother in law by her first husband. Charles 4 years older was also away and serving in the army at the time of his brother's death. He was also not only my step grandfather, but a blood relative as my nan married her first cousin.

My nan never talked about her first husband's family. Not to us, her grandchildren or to her own children by Charles. I think it was a thing at that time that people did. Death was very common and to cope they just did not dwell on what had happened and moved on as best they could.

So I have traced my great uncle/third cousin's life as far as I can find. When my nan was alive - I never knew he even existed.

Frederick Charles Horrocks born in 1898 in central Birmingham, England and lived at 29 Lennox street, Hockley. I have found 4 siblings before him and another 5 after him - but by 1911 he was one of 10 born with only 8 living - so more to find and add to our family tree soon.

At 14 he was an errand boy for the silver trade at the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham. At 16 he joined the army. It was 1914 and he was soon in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He was not alone. His father Edward, and brothers William, Arthur and Charles also joined up.

At 18 he had died at the Somme on the 1st July 1916. The others returned home safe, but Charles, my nan's husband was ill and didn't live long after.

This is what was said in the National Roll of the Great war about him..

Private in the 8th Royal warwickshire Regiment. Volunteered in August 1914, he was drafted to France the following November and was in action at many important battles and engagements until 1916. When during an advancement on the Somme he was unfortunately killed.
He was entitled to the 1914 - 1915 Star and the General Service and Victory medals.

His body was never found, so presumed dead. His mother Emily received 5 shillings and 6 pence. His father Edward got 8 shillings and 10 pence. I have no idea where his medals went to. If they were ever claimed!

He is commemorated at Serre Road Cemetry No 2, Beaumont - Hamel, Department De La Somme, Picardie in France.

One day I would like to visit. I have no photographs or any indication that he lived in any of my grandparent's paper work that they left. So it has been just searching the archives to find him...   

So a hundred years on - Frederick Charles Horrocks - you were so bloody brave and you are remembered....  

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Another year passing

I can not believe that the last time I wrote a blog post for this blog was back early last years! Where does the time go. It is passing far too quick. My new years resolution is to write more. I have so much information stored from across many memorials and churches.

I have never been a complete finisher!!

So here is a photograh and a promise to be better this years 2016.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Visit to Who Do You Think you are NEC Birmingham

Last week I was lucky enough to visit the "Who Do You Think You Are" show at the NEC in Birmingham. A spin off from the TV series that traces ancestors of famous people. Now there is a magazine and an annual show. I had never been to one before and so looked up what was there before I went and took some old badges to see if I could get them identified.

 Lots to see with all the different family history societies, different services to help trace ancestors and many different stalls that had books, posters, etc that you could showcase and record your family tree. Much more also to see and assist you.

There were people there who were experts on war. So one very kind gentleman (sorry but I can not remember his name) took  a look at some old badges that I had from my uncle's house following his death. The house was our family home which my grandparents also once lived in. This collection was not collected from outside the home but remnants from the people within.  

Here are the badges with a brief description. As usual with any research into your family tree. I threw up questions that I still have to look into.

This embroidered cloth badge is not military apparently as I thought - so what does the initials MSA mean?

These Coldstream guard badges are my Uncle's. He undertook National Service in the 1940s and early 1950s in this battalion.

A RAF badge from the 1950s. This is probably my fathers as he was in the RAF for his National Service as a cook.

Now we come onto the ones that I do not know about. This is a Dragoons badge from WW1. It has the motto "Stand Firm" have no idea who this belonged to in my family. So more research needed here.

This is an officer's training badge from WW1. It would have been someone who went to a private school - well that rules most of my family out. So who did this one belong to?

This is a Leicestershire badge from WW1. It looks as though its come out of the ground. It may have been brought back from the trenches by my grandfather who was in the Royal Warwick Regiment. Or found by any of his 3 boys at some point when they lived at home.

This badge generated great interest from the researchers. Apparently it is very rare and belonged to a woman in WW1.

This "On War Service" badge belonged to a woman who served in the ammunition's factory in the SE of England. It was a 1915 issue to employees of a gun or ammunition's factory during WW1. At the time I thought of my grandmother, but she would have been too young at 11 years. So possibly my great grandmother (although she was German!) But I did think that they were both living in Birmingham. So I have no idea who had this badge in my family and lived near London, working toward the war effort. More research is needed for this one. The badges are not for sale. They are part of my families history and will remain with me.

My husband and I enjoyed the visit and would recommend any one going to take a list as there is so much information available. 

Saturday, 21 March 2015

War Memorial in St James Church - Handsworth Birmingham

I have never visited St James' Church in Handsworth, Birmingham part of the West Midlands. But have an old postcard with the marble war memorial on. It is thus that I am going to list the names on this memorial - well most, just a couple are obscure and I can not read them. For those who have not read this blog before. I am compiling names on memorials around the West Midlands, Warwickshire and where ever I visit to help those that are researching their family history and general local interest.

There are five panels of names from men that have some association with the local Handsworth parish. in alphabetical order until the last panel, which has a few later names added.

1914 - 1919 To the glory of God and in grateful memory of:

Abbott E G
Akers H
Alderidge _
Bar____ T
Bam____ S E
Barrell C W
Barnes A F
Barnes W
Barnett W
Bashforth J W
Bassnett C H
Bates E
Beckingham G
Beesley F C L
Bethell P
Billingham A
Bogle F
Bonell S A W
Boyd C F
Boyd W
Brindley J W
Brown J
Butler T A
Caroll A
Clarke J T
Clarke T
Clarke W G E
Cliff C F
Coare F
Cooper P
Coverdale F W
Cox A E
Crook A
Darby G A
Dent W
Doran P

Dorrington H
Dunkley W G G
Dunn J
Dunn W H
Earp F
Emery H
Evans A J
Evans C
Evans E
Evans H J
Findon F L
Findon R
Fleck B
Fletcher J H
Fletcher T L
Fletcher W J
Garbett A T
Garner E C
Green J F
Grigg W N
Grove W E
Haines G F
Hands G
Hanson W J
Hardiker J
Harris C R
Harris J E
Harris O R
Hartland F H
Hawkins H J
Hayes E
Hayword G
Herridge W G
Hibbert W
Hickman F
Hickman L
Hill B

Humphreys C F
Hunt F
Ingram W T W
James H E
James J
Johnson J
Johnson W
Johnson W A
Jones E
Jones A H
Jones W
Jones Wm
Kenderick F H
Key W L
Kitz H W
Knight J W
Knowles L V S
Lake E H
Lambourne H
Leech J T
Liggitt C A
Loveridge H
Lyons W D
McPike W
Mann H J
Mason A V
Mason J
Mathews C P
Millership H O
Mitchell S J
Mold A E
Mould W
Muggleston E
Muggleston E
Muggleston W
Nevittt B J
Nicholls E H L

Oddy J E
Owne H P
Parsons H
Parsons W
Payton F E
Pearson C T
Pearson M M
Pickersgill S T
Pike W H
Pinchin W H
Pitt A J
Poole J R
Powers G W
Price L
Prince T D
Pye J H
Randle J G
Redfern E
Reynolds T W
Rottason H
Rollings J A
Round J E
Rowe H
Rudman W
Scriven T
Shelley J
Sheppard C E
Shrimpton G
Silvester G F
Smith A
Smith W G
Stait F
Stallard F J
Stevens A J
Stevens D
Stevens G
Stevens J

Stretton C H
Stuffing R
Summers A M
Surr O S
Taylor L B
Thomas G
Tomlinson A
Trundle A
Tucker E S
Tucker S H
Tucker W B
Turner A
Turley H
Turvey A
Turvey H
Underhill E H
Vale C W
Vinall H E
Walton A
Ward F
West G C
Weston J T S
Detheridge A C
Whetstone J A
Widdows J
Widdows W
Willetts CH
Willetts G J
Wilmot F E H G
Wright H
Wyer J G
Edmondson J S
Bates A
Albutt F
Shaw M S
Williams F T P

Who gave their lives in the Great War. Death is swallowed up in victory.

Well my quick research of some of the names started poorly. Hands G - I chose because this is one of the names in my family tree but the hands were prolific in Birmingham and could not find a likely candidate linked to Handsworth.

So I then tried for the Johnson part of my tree. with 3 names on this war memorial I thought I might have a little luck in tracking who they may be. But it was not to be.
Johnson J - 81 are recorded in the CWGC for the World War One commemorated in the UK and 546 worldwide!! So a bit like hunting a needle in a haystack. With Johnson W there were a mere 469 commemorations world wide. So unfortunately without any further information it was impossible to trace who these brave men were.

Lambourne H was a lot easier and the information was at hand. He was a gunner and died on the 6/12/1917 aged just 28 born on the 18/4/1889. Howard was in the Royal Garrison Artillery and left behind his wife Gertrude Lambourne (nee Hill) of 51, Westbourne Rd, Handsworth. They had married in 1911. He was the son of Frederick and Jane Lambourne (nee Brown) of 23 Grafton Rd, Handsworth. He is buried and commemorated in Achiet-le-Grand, France. Heart breaking he only enlisted in May 1917 and died 7 months later.

Ward F brought up 156 results - the Wards side of my tree were not in Birmingham for WW1 but I always photograph any graves that I find in my search. No luck I am afraid - again too little information.
If you have any memories of the men that are commemorated at St James Handsworth I would love to add it here.