I have spent the last five months or so working my way through it and finding where the gaps are in my research for me to fill.
It has been a brilliant aid because as I fill in each person I spend some time looking at the gaps I have and quickly seeing if I can find details. My plan is to spend more time when the whole book is filled, doing extensive gaps. However it is amazing what a 5 minute quick search can bring up.
My great x 4 grandfather Corles Baldwin and his wife Esther are parents to Thomas born 1815 in Ireland who emigrated to Canada and William Henry born 1829 in St Giles in the Field, Middlesex, (my great x 3 grandfather). There clearly must be other children between these two. I decided to check the baptism records for St Giles in the Field which are now available as part of my Ancestry sub.
Eureka! I found another 3 children! William born and died 1823 at 2 months old, Sarah baptised in 1824 and Henry baptised in 1833 and died in 1834 at less than a year old. So my William was not the youngest child and it also gives me another clue as to when Corles and Esther came to England, before 1823.
More research to do later this year! A possible marriage for Sarah as I was unable to find a death for her as a child for starters. Other families are proving as exciting as I work my way through the book.
Last week I treated myself to The Family History book. I have a number of online and software based family trees and have never used a book like it before. But thought I would give it a go. I can’t recommend it enough. It doesn’t matter how long you have been researching your family history, you will find it useful.
I can now clearly see how many gaps I have in my research and where they are. I found I am missing just about all the burials dates from my grandparents and great grandparents. Now this is probably due to the fact that these 20th century records are not so easily found but now I am reminded to go search.
I also discovered a number of siblings with no death dates, time to go and kill them off! And for grandparents and generations up to 3 x great grandparents there is space for marriage witnesses and census return basic details. Again useful information that should be filled in when found.
It has reminded me that many of the subscription websites such as FindmyPast have been quietly and sometimes not so quietly, adding records that I might find useful to fill in some of the gaps and so it is time to go back and have another look.
Apart from the obvious usefulness of the book, it has just been really encouraging to see just how much research I have carried out – very satisfying.
I bought my book from Amazon.co.uk but it is available from all book retailers.
One of my favourite poems by a little known Sussex poet.
Sussex Dales and Deans
There’s an old world charm in Sussex, wherever we may go,
Which lends a strength and quietness as we journey to and fro ;
The winds which sweep its Downlands, which blow through dale and dean
Send far and wide our restlessness and leave the mind serene.
There are dales and deans in Sussex, and charming little towns, –
There are Hursts, and Folds, and Havens – all sheltered by the Downs ;
There are shingled spires, and hamlets, and many pleasant things,
Which bind the heart to Sussex, to which our being clings.
There are sheltered lanes and copses which cover many miles,
There are timbered cots and homesteads, all warm with slabs and tiles, –
There are walks on sand and seashore, beside the silver sea ;
These are thy charms, O Sussex, which bind our hearts to thee.
There are barns well filled with storage, and fields well tilled with care,
Great timber stacks for Winter’s fuel, and plenty everywhere ;
While lichened walls of tile and flint encircle deep content ;
To live – to die on Sussex ground, each purpose strong is bent.
Oh ! for the charms of Sussex, the land of Down and Weald ;
Oh ! for the freedom of the hills, its wealth of wood and field ;
Its laden breezes carry health, to all who seek its store –
O Sussex, land of charm and health, we love thee more and more.
Reproduced from ‘The Sussex Weald and Other Poems’ by
Reverend Albert J Treloar, B.D.
published by The City Press, 35 Sheep Street, Northampton in 1938
Do you belong to a Family History Society? I am a member of the Sussex Family History Group which is well worth every penny. As a member I have access to an online database of Sussex baptisms and burials which makes the membership fee worth it alone. You can email for a transcript of a will, join an active Facebook group or just read the quarterly publication that is available to all members.
For a full list of county Family History Societies visit the Family History Federation (previously FFHS) website.
If you are starting out on your own family history research, I cannot stress how important it is to join a FHS, like minded people are available to help you and advise you, they usually have in depth knowledge of not only the county or area involved, but also many of the families who lived there and may be able to point you in the right direction for your own research.
Lately I have been trawling second hand bookshops and websites looking for publications by local family history societies and have amassed a series of booklets published by the Warbleton and District History Group, a local village family history group.
Warbleton is the area where many of my ancestors came from. These booklets includes such subjects as; Leather and Cloth, Cornmills in and around Warbleton, Ironworking in Warbleton, Church and Dissent in Warbleton and Warbleton in Wartime. They have proved to be interesting and informative in building a picture of the place where my ancestors came from.
There are gems to be found to help your research if you have the time to look!