Richard Cornish – update

I have been prowling the web and the genealogical sites related to Cornwall seeking more information about Richard Cornish. Richard Cornish immigrated from Cornwall arriving in Melbourne on the SS Norfolk in 1862.

Negotiating the local parish records and the English General Register Office is challenging to say the least.  However, I have gleaned some valuable information concerning Richard Cornish’s parents, Samuel Cornish and Elizabeth Rogers Carter and their parents.

I would like to thank the Penwith Genealogy and their forum site for providing valuable information. Their help is appreciated.

The quick link to the update may be found here.


Regular and Irregular Marriage, Scotland 1800s

In the 1800s marriage in Scotland was more than a ‘wedding,’ an institution that has now lost much of its historical or religious significance.

Accessing the ‘hard’ documentary data concerning births, deaths, and marriage records is one thing, but appreciating the economic and social circumstance under which those lives were lived is another.  As a result there were marriages which were both ‘regular’ and irregular’.

In my latest contribution I look at the marriage process that existed in Scotland in the early 1800s which you can jump to here.

For the record ..

Following my last article, There are Records and then there are Records, I have been contacted by a reader who quite legitimately questioned my rationale behind a statement I made with reference to the birth of Susanna Ford.

The point of concern was the fact that the source upon which I was relying, that is the birth certificate of Susanna Ford, was in fact a ‘collective’ record rather than an ‘individual’ record of Susanna’s birth.  The point being made, how can I assert that such record is correct given the number of years between those who appear on the collective record?  This is a thoughtful question and deserve a considered response particular given the subject matter of the previous article.

My latest article may be accessed here.


Genealogy without Ancestry

Genealogy without Ancestry is about how I managed to find my ancestors and document their lives without the assistance of commercial ancestry websites.

It is apparent reading any number of facebook posts that many ancestry searchers are frustrated with using commercial ancestry sites.  While there are any number of websites advising how to do this for free, and some of these sites are not without merit, there is the aspect that the dedicated researcher will have to branch out on their own at some point.

So I begin a series of posts about my own personal experience in researching my family’s history.   Not everything about one’s family is contain in the BDM files.  At some point the researcher will have to leave the safe haven of state archives and spread their wings in order to join the dots together.  But how to make sense of all this additional material that is not closeted away?  For instance, just what makes evidence reliable?  How to differentiate between the possible and the probable?



A Voice from the Past

One of the unsettling things about following one’s family’s history is that you often find some piece of information well beyond your capacity to respond adequately.

I have recently found a touching note on the internet which was probably written following my father’s death in 2011. I was totally unaware of the note or the site from which it originated and only found it by accident.  I am glad I did.

I have endeavoured to find Danial Edward Martin but I am lead to believe the gentleman is now deceased.

The note confirms that my father, William (Bill) Ford, is single at the time and was the school teacher at the one teacher school at Pompapiel .  My father had mentioned to me on a number of occasions his teaching at Pompapiel.  He was there for two years before joining the Army as an officer in 1939.  Pompapiel is part of the grain growing belt of Victoria and some fifty kilometres north of Bendigo.

It is a shame I did not find this note sometime earlier and respond more appropriately to Daniel Martin’s thoughts.