Friday 30 January 2015

52 Ancestors:# 5 ~ Walter Butcher (1874 - 1956)

No Story Too Small
This post is for week 5 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge (2015) by Amy Crow from No Story Too Small.

You can read the list of my posts HERE

The prompt for week five was "plowing through". I used a play on the word, changed the plow to plough and immediately thought of this picture. The man on the left of the photograph is Walter Butcher who was the younger brother of my Great Grandfather Charles Butcher.

Walter Butcher at Wanborough - family photo collection of Julie Goucher
Walter Butcher was born in 1874 and baptised on 19th July 1874 in Wonersh Surrey and was the seventh child of a family of eight. My Great Grandfather, Charles Butcher was older having been born in 1869. Both Walter and Charles moved to Wanborough. Firstly Charles having met my Great Grandmother who was from Puttenham moved across the country roads to live in the area of his wife's family. He was later followed by Walter.

My late Great Aunt recalled Walter and from my notebook of 1989 she said  "Walter was a mean spirited and weak man and nothing like Dad. (Charles) He had a tendency to follow and copy Dad, which frustrated and annoyed him"

I had heard this before from another Aunt, and with that information I formed an opinion of Walter, and perhaps that was unfair; that was until I found this reference in the local paper.

Surrey Advertiser - 16th June 1917

"Cruelty to a Horse - Farmer heavily fined.

At the Camberley Police Court on Thursday, John Knight of Cobbetts Hill Farm was summoned for permitting a horse to be cruelly ill treated on 24th May. A lad in the defendants employ said that when harrowing grass seed, the horse fell into a hole, where it laid until the knacker came to take it away the following day. Walter Butcher, carter, father of the last witness, said he killed the horse after it had been seen by a Veterinary Surgeon. The horse had fallen down at work two or three times.

Inspector Jones R.S.P.C.A said he saw the horse lying in the field. It was in a very poor condition, very thin and very old. It had not got one sound tooth. The horse fell on the morning of 24th May, and it was killed on the following evening. It was too weak to get up. Mr Carter, Veterinary Surgeon, Aldershot, said he thought the horse was between 25 and 30 years old. He advised it being destroyed.

Lily Strickland employed at Cobbetts Hill Farm, said the horse had been regularly fed, but would not fatten. The Chairman, (Mr H J B Hollings) said the Bench considered the case an exceeding bad one, and defendant would be fined £5 including costs.

Walter Butcher a witness on the last case was summoned for ill treating a horse on 24th May, and James Knight was summoned for permitting such cruelty. Inspector Jones said Butcher was driving a pair of horses attached to a large roller. One of the horses had a large sore on the off shoulder, and was quite unfit for work. Knight was fined £2 and Butcher 5/-, the Chairman stating that no doubt he felt that if he refused to take the horses out he might lose his place."

From further research and numerous conversations with now deceased members of my family I am going to build a life profile of Walter. He married and the numerous complexities of that union has really meant that up until now I have not wanted to examine this part of the family further.

Let me explain. I had over the years several conversations with my Great Aunts and also with one of Walter's sons. None of the information was flattering and at the time, I was slightly ashamed of the family connection based upon the details that was given to me.

To be blunt it appears that Walter was seen as a bully and indeed mean spirited; with a lack of respect for his wife and children. Even his own children didn't like him.

A quick timeline to add some context - Links go to Ancestry.
  • Born in Wonersh to Charles Butcher and Sarah nee Ockley
  • Baptised in Wonersh on 19th July 1874
  • In 1877 his mother died
  • In 1881 his father remarried to Francis Ann Pain in London and they went on to have another 6 children between 1880 and 1894. Charles was 71 years old in 1894!
  • In 1881 Census the family are living in Wonersh 
  • In 1891 Census the family are living in Alfold (next door to a Butcher family who relate to another branch of the family)
  • In 1901 Census the family are living in Worplesdon
  • In 1906 at Worplesdon Surrey Walter aged 31 years marries Sarah Ann Crooke aged 26 years
  • In 1911 Census Walter is married and living with his wife and children in Wanborough
  • In June 1912 Walter and Sarah had a son, named Charles Henry, baptised. He was born in January 1912. (This is exactly the same name as the little boy Walter's brother Charles had lost in 1902. Perhaps this goes some way to demonstrate the feelings that ran between the two brothers?)
  • In 1943 Sarah Ann died in Farnham Workhouse
  • In 1956 Walter died in Guildford
The oral family history shared with me from my Great Aunts and one of Walter's children was, as I sad not very flattering to Walter. 

One of his daughters, known as Bessie, had what we would describe as learning difficulties and she was sent to an asylum by her father.  I do not have the dates of her admission, but I do know where she was sent. He brother upon being widowed took care of her after having her discharged. By then she was an elderly lady and having met her there was a slowness about her, but nothing that would have prevented her from living a lovely life outside of an institution. This was proved as after the death of her brother she remained living, on her own in his home, and only needing assistance as many elderly folk do.

Upon reflecting, her life existed in an institution because of the thinking and ridicule at the time. She missed so much and that is nothing short of tragic.

Reading the journals of notes made when I interviewed my Aunt in 1987 reveal that a second daughter was also admitted to an asylum. No further details are known other than the name.

Sarah Anne Butcher was admitted to Farnham Workhouse. At this time before the days of the National Health Service workhouses were often used to home unwell individuals.

Walter and Sarah raised a family of seven children; four sons and three daughters. One daughter, Emily died aged one year in 1918. The remaining two daughters never married or had any issue. Of the three sons, two of them married, with one of them having a son who died in 1969.

The complexities I mentioned at the start were caused by two of Walter's half sisters from his father's second marriage marrying two of Sarah Anne's brothers. That in itself was not unheard of for I have several instances of similar issues happening in my ancestry. There are links to other surnames that after more than twenty five years I am still unravelling, one of which involves the surnames of LANGFORD and GUNNER.

The links to the mental health issues I find interesting, curious and slightly concerning which indicates that the issues were on this particular Crooke and Butcher connection and I have three different combinations of it! Certainly as far as the line that descends from Walter there are no direct living descendants and that is again another sadness.

  • Locate the admission record for Bessie and Mary to see if I can be granted access.
  • Locate the admission record for Sarah Ann Butcher nee Crook at Farnham Workhouse
  • Locate the burial and death details for all of Walter's children
  • Locate the burial details for both Walter and Sarah
  • Order Death certificate for Sarah Ann Butcher
  • Unravel the connection the LANGFORD & GUNNER connections to the Crooke family
  • Look at the Farm details for Passenger Farm at Worplesdon

Wednesday 28 January 2015

52 Ancestors:# 4 ~ Butcher Births and Deaths between the Census'

No Story Too Small
This post is for week 4 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge (2015) by Amy Crow from No Story Too Small.
You can read the list of my posts HERE

My Grandfather's parents, Charles Butcher and his wife, Annie Prudence nee Harris raised a family of nine children to adulthood; five daughters and four sons. They also had three children other children; two who lived a very short time, and one who was stillborn.

Something touched me as I re-read my notes about these three children. The reality is that apart from their names and the notes that I made when my Great Aunt spoke of her deceased siblings there isn't much to tell. Or is there?
  • Charles Henry Butcher born 1st June 1902 and died 23rd November 1902. Both events occurred at Wanborough Surrey. Charles was born blind
  • Frederick William Butcher born 23rd August 1903 in Wanborough was stillborn
  • Elsie Butcher born 7th January 1912 and died 25th March 1912. Both events in Wanborough Surrey. Elsie suffered from "fits"
Crown Copyright. Accessed via Ancestry
Class: RG14; Piece: 3098; Schedule Number: 44

Back in 1988 when my Great Aunt told me about these siblings the 1901 Census had not been released, and even if it had it missed the birth of all of these children.

The 1911 Census was also not available and again the children would not have been recorded in any case, but as you can see from the 1911 Census for the family it does confirm that two children had died. The Census document should have shown children who had been born living and subsequently died which was not the case.

Oral history was my starting point. My Great Aunt was born in 1900, so she recalled the birth and death of Elsie, and was very small during the births and subsequent deaths of her two earlier siblings, which indicated that the information came to me second hand, from my Great Grandmother via my Aunt.

Wanborough Church circa 1940
From the Guildford & District Collection of Julie Goucher
The question was how much of the information was accurate?

I made an appointment with the churchwarden of the time at Wanborough. He was less welcoming that his colleague from neighbouring Puttenham. He observed me with the register as I extracted the baptisms and burials of my Grandfather born in Wanborough in 1908, his earlier and later siblings in addition to the details for Charles and Elsie. I also transcribed the burial register for Frederick.

Here in the UK there was not a separate GRO register for stillborns until the 1920's, therefore there is actually no record of Frederick William apart from the oral history and the entry in the burial register. There is no gravestone, and Frederick was simply added to the grave plot of a recent and non related burial.

I was curious about the causes for death, as recalled by the oral history of both Charles and Elsie and set about trying to establish a little detail about the causes for death.

Charles Henry (born in 1902) apparently was born blind, which in babies from birth was more common alongside other developmental issues - what we would call now intellectual disability, or conditions such as Cerebal Palsy and Epilepsy.

Elsie (born 1912) apparently died of, what was described to me as  "fits". Babies can have Infantile Spasms. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder which is characterised by recurrent seizures. It can be hereditary, but on the whole most siblings do not have the condition, but if they do the seizures are Generalised Seizures which begin from both sides of the brain at the same time.

Was the conditions suffered by Charles and Elsie linked? The reality is that this can never been 100% proved. What is certain is that Society viewed epilepsy very differently at the beginning of the Twentieth Century, and those views had formed in the Victorian age. Had those children had a form of Epilepsy and lived to adulthood, there is a chance they would have been subject to ridicule and perhaps incarceration into an asylum.


  • Order the birth and death certificates for Charles Henry Butcher 1902 - DONE
  • Order the birth and death certificates for Elsie Butcher 1912 - DONE
  • Locate the burial log to see if I can identify which grave Frederick William was added to.
  • Further research on the causes of death once the certificates have arrived

In Deep with the Book of Me - January Prompt 2015 - Genealogical Plantation

You can read the Prompt Post HERE.
You can read my take on the prompt HERE
The web page with all the details on, including the prompts from the first series can be found HERE

Tuesday 27 January 2015

A - Z Challenge for 2015

The blogging event of the year has just opened. That is right; The A-Z blogging challenge is back!

You can sign up HERE to take part in the 2015 event.

I have signed up and this blog will be taking part in the 

In Deep with the Book of Me A-Z Medley.

The Book of Me A-Z prompts will be released here in the middle of March and they will also be available on the website

Monday 26 January 2015

Motivational Monday - Medical Genealogy

For those of you who read the digital genealogy magazine, "The In-Depth Genealogist" you may recall that I have written twice in the last year about medical genealogy[1], [2].

This last week I have needed to look back at my own medical records and whilst I have some of the data because I was there, therefore I know and remember! I have needed to prove what I know. There was, in additions to that some things that I could not be 100% sure of, my late Mum would have known, but that is clearly not an option and as I am still going through Mum's things accessing the data, should I have it is not going to be a quick solution.

I instead turned to my own medical records. Here in the UK medical records are kept in different places:
  • General Practitioner (GP) medical notes - depending on your age these might be a mixture of 
    • paper notes
    • computerised records
  • Child Health notes - these are essentially vaccinations administered through the mass immunisation clinics - Rubella for example these are kept from birth until 10 years past the leaving age from compulsory education
  • Hospital notes at each individual hospital
The information I needed to access was from Child Health and, as you might suspect I am older than 26 years and subsequently those records have been destroyed. I next contacted my GP. Did my notes pertain to anything specific to what I wanted to know? They didn't but I did obtain a list of all my vaccinations from 1970. Next I tried the long shot of my hospital records. They were destroyed at 9 full years post my last interaction with the hospital, although my maiden name was still on the system showing the records had been destroyed; so that was no good either.

Had the records been available the hospital in question would have charged an access fee of £25 and wanted me to complete a form and provide evidence as to my identity and entitlement. The child health records would have been the same. Each hospital can effectively charge their own fee within the constraints of the legislation that is applicable, which is Access to Medical Records.

Lloyd George Medical Envelope
Developed in 1911
Most General Practitioners allow patients to access their records reasonably easily. There is still paperwork and payment, but if you know the practice staff well and they understand the reason for requiring access they maybe nice and waive the fee.

Over the last twenty or so years hospitals typically offer you a copy of any letter they send to your General Practitioner and usually appointments are arranged through a postal system.

How many of you keep those letters? 

Those letters, even those simply giving you and appointment are worth keeping, (or scan and archive). They provide a snap shot of your life that others might find useful. As you might expect accessing medical records of others is problematic, but achievable if you are the next of kin, or the nearest next of kin an example might be the Grandchild of an deceased only child, and the records have survived.

Respecting privacy - we are all entitled to privacy; and quite rightly so. Just because you know something about someone else does not give anyone the right to share that information, regardless of how the information was acquired.  Those of us that work in the health professions are use to the constraints of confidentiality; and even in death there is the need for respect, privacy and confidentiality.

As an historian I also understand the need to extrapolate the information. To wish to preserve it for a future generation, especially if the original material might not survive or be accessible to a collateral line of descendants.

How can that be achieved?

There are probably a selection of ways that this can be achieved, but I can tell you how I have tackled this, especially as in the future with no immediate descendants I might not be in a position to provide any information or the information might be in a different country and time zone.

  • Scanned copies of all hospital letters and archived them 
    • Using key / tags to indicate the specifics (eg Heart, Asthma)
  • Give context to the clinics attended
    • Endocrinology could mean diabetic, it could also mean other conditions that are looked after within this specialisation
  • Copy of regular prescribed drugs (update regularly)
    • Indicate the conditions - some drugs are used for more than one thing - several Epilepsy drugs are used by pain clinics.
  • Give context to the conditions - in 1900 to be Epileptic was very stigmatised. 
  • Record (with a huge amount of care) any information you know about family members.
    • Cousin Margo (died 1986) was asthmatic - might be relevant if someone is looking at heredity issues (not conclusive) in the future.
    • Especially of interest if the condition is not recorded as the cause of death or not related to the cause of death.
      • In a 100 years will your descendants or collateral lines know you had a hip replacement in 1998?
  • Ensure that you have created a letter of authority and that it can be easily accessed.
  • Ensure that your nominated person (suggest more than one) knows where the archive is!
Are you motivated to look at your medical genealogy?

[1] The In-Depth Genealogist - Medical Genealogy - Issue 13, pp 29 - 36 ~ February 2014
[2] The In-Depth Genealogist - Medical Genealogy - Sad Next Steps- Issue 14, pp 57 - 61 ~ March 2014

Saturday 24 January 2015

Collections - Summary

Created by Julie Goucher, Jan 2015 using Wordle
Last week I shared a few posts about collections.

Those posts had actually been written with a specific organisation in mind, and I broke those posts down and shared them here. I had meant to get back to you with this post, but life got in the way. You know that feeling....don't you?

If you missed those earlier posts then here are the links for you:
I have recognised I have a few collections. That is probably the first step. Then there are decisions to be made on what to do with them. WHY do I have those collections. There are an assortment of reasons why I have some collections.
  • Gifts or Sentimentality attached to the collection - Stamps
  • Expanding a further area of research - Postcards
  • Reading material - books, articles and journals
As I stated last week, all my books are kept in LibraryThing. I have also added to my LibraryThing Microfiche, Data CD's, Audio books, Journals and Specific Articles. My thinking here was if the physical item exists in my home library / office then it would be logged on my LibraryThing account.

The bulk of my collections are linked to specific places - probably my One Place Studies, but not exclusively so. I have a very large collection of Guildford (Surrey, England) material and whilst Guildford is not currently registered as a study, it is just that in some way.

I also have a few things that relate to my two One-Name or Surname Research for the Surnames of Orlando and Worship. Articles and journals relating to several health issues, are also featured in my collections. I have a particular interest in Polio for example.

I truly wish I could say that is all my collections, but it is not, and I get a sense that if you are reading this then you probably can think of a few collections you have!

I shared a few links last week to collection software. My personal choice is to use Excel. I have created a blank spreadsheet which can be accessed at Google Docs and via my website

Just as everyone's collections will not be the same, neither will the catalyst for starting them or how they are indexed. For me the point is not just collecting, but doing something constructive with the material once there is a collection. 

Monday 19 January 2015

Motivational Monday - TGP 35 - DearMYRTLE

Created by Julie Goucher using Wordle Jan 2015
Usually I manage to listen and follow the TGP podcast series hosted by +Marian Pierre-Louis.

Last week was no exception and I sat on a pretty grim and miserable Monday morning and listened to podcast 35 in the series which featured +Pat Richley-Erickson , also known as +DearMYRTLE.

If you have not listened to the podcast I recommend that you do. It was an absolute to delight to listen to.

Thursday 15 January 2015

52 Ancestors:# 3 ~ Esther Bellasis nee King (1770 - 1805)

No Story Too Small
This post is for week 3 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge (2015) by Amy Crow from No Story Too Small.

You can read the list of my posts HERE

"The Carrajan by Mrs Bellasis,
Sydney" and was painted circa 1803**.
Esther Bellasis has been well documented at this blog over the last few years. Her "fame" is that she left behind in Australia this beautiful picture which Esther had drawn sometime after 1801 when she arrived in Botany Bay with her husband George Bridger Bellasis.

George had been sentenced to 14 years in the colony having killed someone in a dual in India for causing dishonour to his sister in law. George as it happens was pardoned and returned to England before returning to India where he married for the second time to Esther's sister.

Meanwhile, Esther had died at the Bellasis home in Berkshire and was buried in Puttenham in 1805.

Image courtesy of Ancestry. Puttenham Bural Records - 1805

A close up and personal image reveals

Image courtesy of Ancestry. Puttenham Bural Records - 1805
There is so much more details I am sure that I can unravel about Esther and George. George had quite a standing in India because of his rank in the Honourable East India Company (HEIC). His father was a vicar so between the religious and military backgrounds there is much to be gleaned from the wider family records.

I am curious about Esther. She stayed with her husband, she went from India to Australia and experienced life in the early years of the colony. I view Esther as a tough woman, despite being described as "sickly"

  1. Work on the timeline for Esther & George Bridges Bellasis especially 1801-1805 period
  2. Preparation for next Australia trip in terms of other paintings created by Esther, George's pardon and his involvement with the early Freemasons.
  3. Explore the supply of material I have already located about George Bridges Bellasis creating a structure of his military career, the duel and his subsequent marriage to his sister in law.
  4. Berkshire Records Office & other archives.
  5. Revisit my copies of the Charles Kerry Manuscripts in the Puttenham One-Place Study archive as there are several references there about Esther Bellasis.
  6. The details surrounding George's pardon are quite interesting and mention that Esther was quite sickly. Explore anything else on this line of enquiry (hopefully"!)
** The original of the painting is in the State Library, New South Wales, Australia

Wednesday 14 January 2015

Web Wednesday - Collection Software

Created by Julie Goucher using Wordle Jan 2015
Over the last couple of days I have talked about Understanding a Collection and Recognising a Collection.

Whilst using Excel or Google sheets is a really good option for recording the items that make up a collection I have come across two pieces of software that are available and free to download.

I have not currently tried either of them, so please exercise care and attention with downloading!
As I said I have not tried either and before doing so I will be clarifying the types of material I have in my collections. I shall share details of my collections later in the week and share how I am tracking my collections.

There is also one site that I do use and I know many fellow book readers and genealogists do too.
You can view my LibraryThing profile. I paid my $25 for lifetime access back in 2005. I use the site to track my books, reading and book wish lists by having a series of collections; you can read the details by visiting the profile. 

I still have two bookcases to do, one that houses my Italian collection of books and my thyroid collection of books. The second bookcase houses the majority of my husband's angling and fishing books. I also have several boxes of books that belonged to my late Mum to process.

In addition to that I also record journals, papers, audio books and microfiche. I have a plan to log several podcasts that I have listened too and want to review. In the comments section I add the URL and/or the details where the podcast is located. I also have a notebook of around 20 years of book reviews that I may (or may not) add to LibraryThing as time and the urge allows!

Over the next few days I will be sharing some more information about my collections.

Tuesday 13 January 2015

Tuesday's Tip - Recognise a Collection

Created by Julie Goucher Jan 2015 using Wordle
Following on from yesterday when I talked about Understanding a Collection. I ended that post with the question of do you have a collection? I expect you do, and I suspect more than one.

Today's tip is quite simple. Recognise you have a collection.

What sort of number makes a collection? two, four, six, ten or more? Does the number matter? or is the crucial thing whether you are actively adding to, or looking to add to what you already have.

Three black pens on your desk could be seen as a collection. The chances are that they are simply there. A gathering of pens collected from hotels, conferences and other people! If you are actively looking to add to the number does that make it collection? If they are not cheap disposables, but rather flashing Mont Blanc fountain pens does that make a difference?

In order to recognise you have a collection consider the following:
  • Set your parameters. 
  • Consider each collection separately.
  • Write your collection scope that I shared yesterday including any other comments
  • Is your collection fit for purpose?
    • References sourced (sound familiar!)
    • Will the parameters of the collection change in the future?
  • Is a collection the same as a set?
I will be sharing some of my collections over the coming week or so

Monday 12 January 2015

Motivational Monday - Understanding a Collection

Created by Julie Goucher  Jan 2015 using Wordle
There comes a point when you have collected enough of your chosen entity that you have a collection and at some point there are decisions to be made about it.

According to Christopher Bart in "Industrial firms and the power of mission" Industrial Marketing Management 26 (4) pp 371 - 383 there are three key elements.
  1. Key Market - Who is the chosen item aimed at?
  2. Contribution - What does the chose item provide to the wider audience?
  3. Distinction - What makes the chosen item unique over others?
These three elements do not exactly fit a collection, but they go some way to present a suitable structure of key indicators.

In my experience as a family and local historian a collection forms as a natural stage of research. I do not believe that any of us make a conscious decision to collect every postcard of X, every piece of pottery made by X or every occurrence of a name in a location or of every instance of every name in a location. A collection quite simply happens, a result of a catalyst.

In which case why did it happen and how are you going to deal with it in the future?

Create a mission / purpose statement with the following:
  • How did the collection come to be created and by whom?
  • Who is it created for? and has that changed?
  • How will it be maintained or grow?
  • How will it be accessed by others?
    • Does it need to be?
  • How will you advertise your collection?
  • How do you ensure the longevity of your collection?
  • How is the collection kept?
  • How will you ensure copyright and ownership issues are protected and addressed?
  • Do others have any investment in the collection? (investment does not necessarily mean financial)
  • Is the collection unique?

Do you have a collection (or perhaps two or three!)? I will be sharing some of my collections over the coming week or so

Sunday 11 January 2015

Sunday Salon ~ 2015 Reading

I have always loved reading, but in the last year seem to have read very little in comparison to previous years. What reading I have done has either been texts and research for a project or two or a book choice from my book group.

For 2015 I hope to change that. I have a rather large pile of books, both actual books and e-books that I want to get through. I have therefore selected fifteen that are going to be my MUST reads for the year. That will hopefully get the reading juices following again.

Here they are listed in no particular order - books marked with * are already started.

  • Vintage by Susan Goss
  • How to Knit a Tangled Mess by Rachel Cole
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
  • Return to Mandalay by Rosanna Ley
  • Sleeping the Churchyard Sleep by Rett MacPherson *
  • Between the Cracks by Carmela Cattuti *
  • Disraeli Avenue by Caroline Smailes
  • The Leaving of Things by Jay Amtahi
  • The Irresistable Blueberry Bakeshop & Cafe by Mary Simses
  • 30 Days in Sydney by Peter Carey
  • 13th Gift by Joanne Smith
  • The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
  • The Dress shop of Dreams by Menna Van Praag
  • The Bookshop Book by Jen Campbell
  • The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society by Darien Gee

Here is a selection of the covers. Any take your fancy?

Vintage: A Novel by Susan GlossHow to Knit a Tangled Mess (DIY Dating)…The 13th Gift: A True Story of a Christmas…The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by…The Bookshop Book by Jen CampbellSleeping the Churchyard Sleep by Rett…Return to Mandalay by Rosanna LeyThe Little Paris Bookshop: A Novel by Nina…The Leaving of Things by Jay Antani

The Sunday Salon is open to anyone who'd like to discuss books of a Sunday (or, frankly, any other day of the week). We've actually been around for some years -- see -- but managing the group via that site became a problem because of its size and we had to limit membership to a little over 500 members.  The doors are open to anyone who'd like to participate via the Facebook Group

Thursday 8 January 2015

52 Ancestors:# 2 ~ Mary King nee Budd (1744 - 1817)

No Story Too Small
This post is for week 2 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge (2015) by Amy Crow from No Story Too Small.

You can read the list of my posts HERE

Mary King nee Budd was the sister to my several times Great Grandfather, Richard Budd. Mary was born in Puttenham Surrey in 1744 the youngest of 8 children born to Henry Budd and his wife Martha Otway.

Mary married John King in Puttenham in 1767 and together John and Mary raised a family 10 children (9 girls and 1 boy). Each of their offspring spent time in India and have over the years given me a huge amount of insight into the lives of women at this period of time.

John King died in 1803 and Mary died in 1817. From what I can establish at the moment, John did not leave a will.

Courtesy of Ancestry - Parish Records Puttenham Surrey Burials 1817

Recently Ancestry has published the Probate records and a quick search revealed that Mary left a will when she died.

Courtesy of Ancestry - Probate Record 1817

Courtesy of Ancestry - Probate Record 1817

  1. Transcribe the will of Mary
  2. Search for will of John King (again)
  3. Explore the residence at time of death - Tooting which is London
  4. The will indicates that Mary was living with her daughter Lucy who married Richard William Eastwick
  5. By the time Mary King died, her only son had predeceased her within a year of this will being made, yet Mary had not made a new will.

Wednesday 7 January 2015

Web Wednesday - Prudential Insurance

A few weeks ago I was looking on the Prudential Insurance website for a contact address when I came across an interesting find.
created by Julie Goucher Jan 2015 using Wordle

The Prudential PLC, one of the leading Insurance providers here in the UK had a rather substantial business in Poland before World War Two through a subsidiary company called Przezornosc of which Prudential had a controlling interest which had been acquired in 1927.

Przezornosc continued to issue life insurance policies in Poland until the end of December 1936 and Prudential Assurance continued to do the same between January 1933 and December 1936. From January 1937 both companies ceased to accept new life business and the administration for both of those branches merged.

Under the Nazi regime, the assets of Prudiential were ceased and they did not operate during this time. At the time of the outbreak of the Second World War there were more than 4,500 policies in existence, of which around half were settled during the early 1950's despite there being significant gaps in records due to destruction of documents under the Nazi regime.

Prudential has made some files available which might be of interest to genealogists and these can be access via the following links, all of which are on the Prudential website
The Prudential site which is specifically related to the Polish records can be accessed HERE with a link to contact the company if you have a potential claim (subject to documentation) or you were employed by the company.

Whilst none of my family surnames can be found on these lists, these are quite a unusual find for genealogists. The reality is that there could be policy holders, staff members or their descendants across the globe.

(Links accessed and checked January 2015)

Monday 5 January 2015

In Deep with the Book of Me - January Prompt 2015 - Genealogical Plantation

As I said in my prompt post this prompt was inspired by the Carnival of Genealogy (110). My original post is republished here with a few tweaks!

My ancestry is diverse, spanning across continents, from my marriage in Kenya in 1994 to my several times Great Uncle, John Hunt Butcher's migration to Tasmania Australia in the early 1800's.

To a cousin, Louisa Butcher migrating to Canada in 1903. To my Ellis ancestors migrating to Geelong Victoria Australia on board the James Baines in 1854. To my Elstone ancestors who established their papermaking business in Ontario, having migrated from Hampshire & Sussex borders in 1854.

To my King ancestors making the journey  to India in search of future husbands in the Honourable East India Company during  the 18th Century.

Three of the King sisters 
To the Bellasis & Bowring families, who both spent time in  India; and John Bowring who spent time in Hong Kong. To my Cousin who embarked upon a new life in Australia in 1946 and never made the journey home to see his parents.

William James West 1898 - 1918
To my relatives who served in various areas of the military. William West who served during the Zulu Wars and whom lost his first wife in Africa in 1896.

To William James West who died in the battlefields of France during the Great War, and my several times Great Grandfather, George Ellis who served for 20 years in the Army & who following receiving wounds was discharged and survived until he was in his 80s.

To my Grandfather who was stationed in Sierra Leone  during the Second World War, whose service record I still need to decipher.
George Butcher during World War II

There are many other ancestors & relatives whose time, both in & outside of the UK is still being researched. The adventures, some of which were quite a surprise when they were discovered, and those that are still to be discovered & researched.

Some were simply visits & adventures, such as Alfred Elstone to New York in 1894, to my own year long adventures to Australia in the early 1990's. It is those visits, I am sure, that made those who travelled the people they & I became.

Furthermore, my Sicilian ancestry is a huge unknown chapter, which needs & deserves much more research and understanding.

So which tree reflects my ancestry? I don't think a sole tree can reflect it. My ancestry, which I am immensely proud of is reflected in a fictional plantation of trees.

The Butcher family who were wealthy can be described as a solid oak tree whose roots were firmly established in Surrey initially for 300 years. My links to Africa, through my beloved grandfather & our wedding is reflected in the Baobab tree. My Australian lines, are reflected by the Eucalyptus tree, situated in a bed of wattle. My Sicilian heritage reflected in a gathering of olive trees.

The reality is, that these trees, because of the variations in climate and geography would never grow side by side. Yet, I find that this is further reflective of the different lines of my ancestry, across the Centuries & Continents, as these ancestors would never have physically met & walked side by side.

Many of the surnames in my ancestry appear more than once, many lines intermarry & intermingle and this can be perfectly reflected by a weeping willow.

A Christmas tree with sparkling twinkle lights reflects each one of my ancestors, their lives reflected in a beautiful iridescent light, twinkling reminding me of the contribution they each made to my ancestry.

I thank every one  of them.

Information on The Book of Me and In Deep with the Book of Me can be accessed via this link

Friday 2 January 2015

52 Ancestors:# 1 ~ George Butcher (1908 - 1974)

No Story Too Small
This post is for week 1 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge (2015) by Amy Crow from No Story Too Small.

You can read the list of my posts HERE

What a great way to kick off the 2015 challenge by sharing my first ancestor, my Grandfather with you.

My Grandfather was born to Charles Butcher and his wife, Annie Prudence nee Harris in 1908 in Wanborough Surrey. He was one of 9 children who survived into adulthood from a family of 12.

Here he is aged 3 years old on the 1911 Census for Flexford a hamlet very close to Wanborough.
Image courtesy of Ancestry Surrey Collection
Class: RG14; Piece: 3098; Schedule Number: 44

The family remained at Wanborough until about 1925 when the family moved to Strawberry Farm at Worplesdon and then to their final destination of Manor Farm, Onslow Village Guildford.

Once working at Manor Farm he and his brothers took to having a "swift half" referring to a pint of beer, at The Plough Farnham Road Guildford. We know from my late Grandmother that, that was the same pub used by her brothers and I guess that is how the two families met. My Grandfather married my Grandmother in 1939 and his sister Marge married my Grandmother's brother in 1938.

I wish I could say that was the only family connection between the two families, it was not the other though took place about 150 years or so previously making my Grandparents 6th cousins!

My Grandfather worked on the land, along with his brothers and the majority of his brother in law's, and at some point moved to nearby Shackleford to live with his sister Ellen and her husband. In 1939 he married my Grandmother and they moved to Bright Hill Guildford.

My Grandfather was at this point working at Unigate Dairies when he remained working, apart from his military service until he retired in 1973.

In 1940, my Grandfather joined the Army. A man of principle. My Grandmother told me that she was really cross that he joined up rather than return to the farm where his family were, but the principle was his Country needed him and he was therefore doing his duty. How wonderful was that?

His military life is well documented. I called for his service record back in 2008 and I recall Mum and I being so excited when it arrived. I talked about ordering it in this blog post. My Grandfather spent about two and a half years in West Africa. When he passed away he left a lovely piece of material which he had embroidered on symbols reflective of his time in the military in Africa, which now hangs on my landing in a lovely frame. His pay book and his medals, which now hang framed on my landing.
J Goucher - October 2008
There is so much of his life that I still want to unravel, and those appear in my actions list below.

After the war, my Grandfather returned to Unigate Dairies. He worked up until he was 65 and was presented with a gold watch in recognition of 30 years loyal service. I still have that watch. As retirement neared, he was, along with another colleague asked to stay on whilst someone was on sick leave. He and the other colleague did.

Then serendipity struck. The colleague who also stayed on beyond retirement for a few months, was taken ill about the same time as my Grandfather. They were diagnosed and admitted to the same hospital with the same condition. They both died on the same day, 20th July 1974 at exactly twelve hours apart, my Grandfather at 9am. It was more than a decade later when I was at senior school I realised that I was class mates with the grandson my Grandfather's colleague. The cause of both deaths was lung cancer, caused by a mixture of smoking, inhalation of coal fumes, asbestos and whoever knows what else.

As a small child I loved to sit and snuggled with my Grandfather. He was, like my Mum taken before their time, both at the age of 66 years. When he was at Milford Chest Hospital I would be taken to visit him. I was never frightened of the cables, wires and strange hospital machine noises and perhaps it was that, that in some way made me quite comfortable with hospitals, the machines and illness.

Perhaps it is those early memories that encouraged me to become the person I have in the profession I chose; undertaking my time in the hospital environment. A complete contrast to my Mum who hated hospitals with a passion because of her early experiences. Those experiences which without doubt made my Mum's last few months difficult for her and it was a pleasure for me to support her. Sometimes in life it would seem, there are these curiosities, coincidences, and things that happen for a reason.

After my Grandfather died in July 1974 he was cremated at Guildford, the Crematorium has the Book of Remembrance on-line which can be searched here

From the Book of Remembrance at Guildford Crematorium
Sourced 3rd March 2014
What is interesting about the entry, is that I am completely missing from the entry. I have the original bill for the funeral and the bill for the entry into the Book of Remembrance, so perhaps it was around cost that I was omitted. Who knows? As a child, we routinely visited the Crematorium to see his name in the book on the anniversary of his death date. We would ask the Crematorium always to look at his entry on his birthday and at Christmas. Why my Grandmother did that I don't know, but it is something that my Mum continued and now I shall. My Grandmother lived another twenty one years and missed her beloved George every day.

  1. Decipher military record
  2. Check directories 1939 - 1974
  3. Unigate History and Employment Record
  4. Update George's War more frequently
  5. Maintain the timeline on our website 
  6. Research meeting with George Formby
  7. Explore access to Unigate News (Wiltshire Records Office) celebrating 30 years service.

Thursday 1 January 2015

New Year - New Opportunity?

Today, I talk about my plans for the Genealogy Do-Over at the
Worldwide Genealogy Blog.

In Deep with the Book of Me - January Prompt 2015

Today is month 1 of what is going to be a 12 month project. On the 1st of the month, at around 12.30 am UK time I will release the prompt for that month's In Deep with the Book of Me, Written by You.

If you are new here, welcome! The details, background flyer and Face Book link to the Book of Me can be found HERE and the prompt list for In Deep with the Book of Me can be found HERE

Prompt 1 - January 2015 - Genealogical Plantation

This prompt was inspired by Carnival Of Genealogy 110 "What tree are you", my response to that post and the subsequent comments. You can read my original post from September 2011 HERE.

Imagine you are planting trees that represent your family history.
  • What trees would you plant? 
  • What part of your family are represented by a specific tree. 
  • Why is that the case? - location, image, name?
Share your vision with us, perhaps if you are artistic you could draw your plantation.

Explore the ancestors and family members you are presenting. Illustrate with pictures and bring your genealogical plantation to life.


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