Jun 292016
 

Did you know? It has always been legal to change your surname (in the UK).  It’s just that there wasn’t always paperwork involved.  You will have noticed some of your surname study people being called things like ‘John Blagdon alias Gifford’ (he was married as a Gifford, and buried a Blagdon – I haven’t yet plucked up the courage to look for his baptism) – this was the sixteenth/seventeenth century way of announcing it.  (Of course, ladies usually changed their surname upon marriage.)

Then came paperwork.  In the late seventeenth century, it had to be done by Act of Parliament, or Royal Licence (advertised at the same time in the London Gazette, then the College of Arms.  Later came the well-known Deed Poll.

But from 1916, ‘Enemy aliens’ were only allowed to change their surnames by Royal Licence or special permission from the Home Secretary.

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

Jun 222016
 

Way Back Wednesday returns! with a new theme. Once a week (on Wednesday!) we will be posting a brief item which relates to both Surname Studies and the letter of the week, going through the alphabet.  Posts can be about surnames in your study, snippets/trivia which relate to Surname Studies generally; they can (preferably) have a picture attached, and need only be a few sentences long (longer if you want!).  And if you want to claim a particular letter, do let me know. Please send your posts and/or letter-claims to me at sos[at]surname-society.org.

Our new theme will start on the first Wednesday of July 2016.  I will fill in the rest of June, so you can see the sort of thing we are looking for.


When do you use ‘baptism’, and when do you use ‘christening’?  You think you have it sorted out, then two different clerks write both words in the same parish register…

Strictly speaking: ‘baptism’ is the act of splashing water on/dipping under/totally immersing to receive a remission of sins.

‘Christening’ is the ceremony that includes the baptism of the baby, child or adult, together with giving it a name.

And there you have it! Now, if only somebody had told that clerk back in the sixteenth century…

 

Next week’s letter: C


© Ros Haywood
School of Surnames

letter B courtesy of openclipart.org

Jun 152016
 

Way Back Wednesday returns! with a new theme. Once a week (on Wednesday!) we will be posting a brief item which relates to both Surname Studies and the letter of the week, going through the alphabet.  Posts can be about surnames in your study, snippets/trivia which relate to Surname Studies generally; they can (preferably) have a picture attached, and need only be a few sentences long (longer if you want!).  And if you want to claim a particular letter, do let me know. Please send your posts and/or letter-claims to me at sos[at]surname-society.org.

Our new theme will start on the first Wednesday of July 2016.  I will fill in the rest of June, so you can see the sort of thing we are looking for.

This week: A is for Selina ALLEN

Selina Allen was born in Bristol in 1849 and married there in 1866 to William Murch, also from Bristol.  She appears regularly in every census, and each time William and Selina are adding to their family.  William began as a cordwainer, and works regularly as a boot and shoe maker, until in the 1911 census he is making-to-measure shoes in a retail shop.

In the 1891 census, there are eleven children still at home: 6 boys and 5 girls, with the boys following in their father’s footsteps and becoming boot and shoe makers themselves.  The girls, as they grow older, work on dressmaking and delicate clothing.

On the 1911 census, Selina states that she has had 13 children, 8 of whom still survive.  She died in 1918.

 

© Ros Haywood

School of Surnames

[Letter ‘A’ is courtesy of openclipart.org]

Mar 162016
 

The Blagdon Surname Study originated from a genealogical ‘brick wall’ dating back to 1799.

In 2015, I participated in the first “Genealogy Do-Over”, created by Thomas MacEntee.  The idea behind this was that you discarded all your previous research (but not the things like certificates where you had to spend money!) and started again from scratch.  Those who couldn’t quite bear to do that (including me) did what was called a “Go-Over”, where we reviewed our current research instead of starting from scratch.

The first thing I learned was to slow down.  And the line I tried all this out on?  My BLAGDON line (my paternal grandmother).  I had got stuck in Devon, England at 1799, and for some reason shied away from trying harder.  I am very blessed in that FindMyPast has not only excellent records for Devon, but has also scanned the records themselves, so I could see the brown spidery handwriting for myself (and I had to learn Secretary Hand to do it, in some cases!)  And to my surprise, by slowing down and being extra-diligent, I found connections.  And more connections.  And more connections.  In the end, I went back two hundred years! (and my ‘Go-Over’ turned into a ‘Do-Over’, where I started from scratch).

But it didn’t stop there.  I became so fascinated by my BLAGDON ancestors, and felt I really knew them as people, rather than just names and dates.  Once again, I was fired by the study of genealogy and family history – so I started a surname study.  But it hasn’t stopped there.  I thought there were only a few BLAGDONs in Devon – mainly my own ancestors.  But in studying the surname and gathering the people, I found that they were in Brixham, and Hooe, and Silverton, to name just a few places.  I thought I was keeping my study small, by not making it worldwide.  But the variety of places in Devon is proving to be an excellent foundation.  Who knows? I might even expand my horizons yet!

Ros Haywood
Blagdon Surname Study
http://blagdonfh.blogspot.co.uk/

 

Mar 092016
 

I am the administrator for the Franklin Y DNA project at Family Tree DNA (FTDNA).  This project was begun in 2001 by a Franklin descendant in an attempt to learn more about his lineage.  The project involves DNA testing by a simple, painless and easy cheek swab procedure.  The test is highly specific and tests only the male Y chromosome which is passed virtually intact from father to son.  Because it is so specific, it allows us to determine which Franklin men are related and can help us trace our Franklin ancestors further back. 

Indeed, in 2007 my father approached me after reading about this test and asked me if I thought it might help us get past our 20 year brick wall with his Franklin ancestry.  We had been stuck in Alabama forever.  I did some research, and learned that the test involves sending you back results that are simply a string of numbers that are good only when compared to someone else’s string of numbers to determine any kinship.  I told Dad this and we decided he should test and see what happened.  He had a match come up that directed us to Pulaski County, GA where we went to the courthouse and found documentation that tied our Franklins in AL back to that county in GA and OVER THE WALL WE WENT…from  Alabama, back to Georgia and on to ENGLAND!  It was exciting for us both!! 

Since that time, the originator, in his 80s, felt the project was too large for him to continue to handle and based on my interest, asked me to take it over.  I agreed and have since been administering the project.  We’ve expanded our project into a full blown surname project with shared resources, files and documentations on our website and we’ve learned a lot and the biggest key is having as much participation as you can. 

We have already had great success placing many of our nearly 300 participants into family groups based on their DNA results & traditional genealogy and there is no reason why we cannot accomplish the same with European Franklin families using this same methodology.  So I am hoping there might be Franklin men living in England, Ireland, Australia, and the UK in particular, who would like to join our project to learn more about their ancestors.       

Our project has a webpage located at
http://trackingyourroots.com/FranklinGenetics
where you can read about the project, its goals, and other information and join if you would like. There is even a link to a video showing how easy the test is to complete.

As more Franklin men test in the project we obtain new information that may lead everyone to new family connections!

Lisa R. Franklin

Admin Franklin Y DNA Project/Franklin Surname Project Wikitree.com
FranklinGenetics@gmail.com