Sep 212016
 
My paternal ancestor Charles William MARTIN was born in Magdeburg, Prussia (now Germany) circa 1784. He came to England via France in about 1798, joined the British Navy and served on HMS Achille at the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805. 
 
The French spelling celebrates the capture of ships of this name from the French…On 21 October 1805, under the command of Captain Richard King, Achille was in Admiral Collingwood’s column at the Battle of Trafalgar, seventh in the line, between Colossus and Revenge. Achille opened fire on the rear of the French and Spanish fleet at 12.15, engaging the Montanes of 74 guns for fifteen minutes, before sailing on to meet the Argonauta of 80 guns, which had already been battling with other British ships. After hours of fierce fighting, Argonauta fell silent and closed her gunports, but before Achille could accept her surrender, her French namesake Achille of 74 guns moved in to engage the British ship. After exchanging broadsides, the French ship sailed on and was replaced on the starboard side by the 74-gun French ship Berwick, and for the next hour and a quarter she lay close alongside Achille, receiving a pounding that eventually forced her to surrender with over 250 casualties – almost half her crew. Achille took possession, and transferred some of her crew back on board as prisoners. Achille suffered 13 killed and 59 wounded in the battle, in stark comparison to the heavy losses she inflicted on her French and Spanish adversaries. [Wikipedia]
 
 
 
Next week’s letter is ‘N’. Has anybody got any interesting snippets that marry up N with surname studies?  If so, please send them to Ros Haywood at sos [at] surname-society.org

letter M courtesy of openclipart.org

 
 
Sep 142016
 

Dictionary definitions of ‘luminary’: ‘A person of prominence or brilliant achievement’, ‘a person who inspires or influences others, especially one prominent in a particular sphere’, ‘a person who enlightens others’.  And The Surname Society has got them!  The definition of these superstars is taken from the Anglo-Celtic Connections blog run by John D Reid:

Rockstar genealogists are those who give “must attend” presentations at family history conferences or as webinars, who when you see a new family history article or publication by that person, makes it a must buy. If you hang on their every word on a blog, podcast or newsgroup, or follow avidly on Facebook or Twitter they are likely Rockstar candidates.

Of course, it’s congratulations to all the winners in the Rockstar Genealogist poll of 2016, but special congratulations go to our members:

Jill Ball – the Superstar Genealogist for Australia and New Zealand

Maurice Gleeson – the Superstar Genealogist for Ireland

and…drum roll please…

KIRSTY GRAY, No 1 Superstar Rockstar Genealogist for England, Wales, and Scotland – and Chair of The Surname Society!

 

© Ros Haywood
School of  Surnames

Next week’s letter is ‘M’. Has anybody got any interesting snippets that marry up M with surname studies?  If so, please send them to Ros Haywood at sos [at] surname-society.org

letter L courtesy of openclipart.org

Sep 072016
 

 

No, not Captain James T of the Starship Enterprise.  I’m talking genealogy here (although did you know that Star Trek actor William Shatner’s family tree is on the internet?)

‘Kirk’ was the name for the Church of Scotland.  But you knew I was going to say that, didn’t you?  But do you know what ‘kirking’ is? (and, yes, it has to do with surnames)

When a couple got married – so she changed her surname to that of her husband and created headaches for future genealogists everywhere – you would expect that they would do everything together.  The first time that a new husband-and-wife went to worship at church was called their ‘kirking’.

The word ‘kirk’ is found in many forms.  As part of surnames, given names, place names, Kirk Sessions (Presbyterian court), Kirking of the Tartan as part of festivals in Nova Scotia – even when a foreign language word is turned into English (think of Dunkirk).

 

© Ros Haywood
School of  Surnames

Next week’s letter is ‘L’. Has anybody got any interesting snippets that marry up L with surname studies?  If so, please send them to Ros Haywood at sos [at] surname-society.org

letter K courtesy of openclipart.org

 

Aug 312016
 

 

J can stand for so many things, and usually in genealogy it stands for large groups of people: Jews, Jesuits, or Jehovah’s Witnesses!  There are also the Jacobites, who favoured James II as the ‘true’ King of Scotland – I’m sure you have all at least heard of the Battle of the Boyne and the Battle of Culloden.  If you haven’t – Google is your friend! (Other search engines are available). There are other groups of people who ‘begin’ with the letter J: individuals in a Surname Study. There are three J studies in the Surname Society’s list:

 

Jaggers

  • This study is of Jaggers in Victorian times in the UK and is run by Anthony Jaggers.

Jeffrey

  • This Study is also looking at the variants Jeffery, Jeffreys, Jefferys, Jeffries, Jefferies, Jeffereys.
  • Mainly concentrated in London and south eastern counties but to be expanded to whole of UK and subsequently globally.

Jubbie

  • Descendants and ancestors of George and Lizzie Jubbie

 

To contact any of these Surname Studiers, please visit the Surname Study website at http://www.surname-society.org

 

 

© Ros Haywood
School of  Surnames

Next week’s letter is ‘K’. Has anybody got any interesting snippets that marry up K with surname studies?  If so, please send them to Ros Haywood at sos [at] surname-society.org

letter J courtesy of openclipart.org

Aug 172016
 

As you have been collecting data for your Surname Study, have you ever come across individuals from the Independent faith, and wondered about the church?

Independents arose from the faith group known as Brownists (after Robert Browne).  They believed that church and state should be totally separate – and that each congregation should be independent and able to choose their own ministers.  Independents later became Congregationalists: a famous Independent was Oliver Cromwell.  But when the monarchy was reinstated, all kinds of restraints were put on this religion – which was a ‘nonconformist’ one in that it was not the Church of England.  In 1972, three quarters of the congregations merged with Presybterians to form the United Reformed Church – but there are still Congregationalists in the UK.

Congregationalism flourished in other countries, too, notably the New England part of the United States of America.

 

© Ros Haywood
School of  Surnames

Next week’s letter is ‘J’. Has anybody got any interesting snippets that marry up J with surname studies?  If so, please send them to Ros Haywood at sos [at] surname-society.org

letter I courtesy of openclipart.org