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Unwed motherhood in 1809 — #genealogy #history

So I’m on the Family Search indexing site indexing a record from Sussex, UK, Church of England, indexing a parish record from 1809. Right smack dab in the middle of the record is a female child born to a woman with no husband… in 1809. Where all the other children have a father listed, this one does not.

1809

What was it like in 1809 for a single mother and child? I imagine they were both probably shunned by the local society. She had the baby baptized, but would anyone sit near her in church?

 

 

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One source makes a tremendous impact on two branches of the family

I learned quite a few interesting things from this book – checked out of the library.

First, while searching for my paternal great-grandmother, I kept coming across the name Delia in reference to the known marriage and children of Bridget and Martin. Delia? I figured this had to be the wrong family… just how many Bowmans were there in New Bedford anyway??? One of the things I found out from this book was that Delia was a nickname for Bridget; I can’t imagine for a moment how Delia relates to Bridget, but this has opened up a whole world of census records that I now know I can use. The elusive Bridget Kerrigan Bowman isn’t so elusive anymore!

I’ve been doing my husband’s genealogy as well. One of the family names in his lineage is Cawley. I kept hitting a wall on the state and federal census records because I kept coming across McCawley in census records with the same relatives listed as those for the Cawley clan. How could this sparsely populated area have two separate family names that were so similar? This book said that in the early immigration days some Irish families dropped the Mc and O’ in their names. It was like a light went on!  Cawley and McCawley are one and the same family.

The impact on both branches of the above families is tremendous. Now I can proceed with confidence that Delia is Bridget and McCawley is Cawley. Pretty awesome!

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2013 in History, Irish Genealogy

 

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Tried something different

I thought it might be interesting to try to do a video blog – or vlog – for this week’s reading response as well as a short recap of my recent research findings. Unfortunately the video is slightly longer than I intended – YouTube recommends 3 minutes or less. My video is 5 1/2 minutes long, but it includes a reading response as well as an update on my research. One observation: newscasters must practice in front of a camera a lot in order look as natural as they do. Doing this video has given me a new respect for vloggers who do it well. Hopefully with practice, I’ll improve.

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2010 in Reading response, research

 

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First steps in genealogy

I went to my library and checked out two books (more on order):

Before I can interview anyone or do any further research, I need to learn a little bit about the topic.

Am wondering how I will ever be able to fill out one of these – and this one only exhibits the first steps:

Image from Trusty Guides Genealogy page by Allyson Wells

I was still worried about taking on such an extensive project, so I went to my favorite video site to see if there were any YouTube videos about genealogy. I stumbled upon a YouTube video about the new US series Who Do You Think You Are? (Canada has had its own version since 2006)

This looks like a fun series to watch and learn from – it starts in on March 5th. In the interim, I may just go check out episodes from the Canadian series Who Do You Think You Are?

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2010 in First steps, research

 

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A trip to the library nets a curious discovery and launches a quest

I have always loved visits to my local library. I’ve known many of the librarians since our town’s collection of books occupied a tiny building. There was a real sense of community and camaraderie in that tiny building. Times changed and, though that sense of community and camaraderie remains, the once tiny library has grown and has been incorporated into the local community center. The library occupies one wing of the large community center. Outside of the library, off on other wings, are offices and rooms that have always been a complete mystery to me. No longer in a small building by itself, our library occupies a part of a larger community center.

I recently visited my library. I was humming happily with a pile of books I had checked out in my arms. I stepped out of the library entrance into the lobby and noted a green slip of paper laying on a table there. “Trace Your Roots,” the flyer proclaimed. According to the flyer, you can go to the Historical Society to learn how to do your family tree. Historical Society? I looked across the lobby and noticed, for the first time, a slightly cluttered office that housed the Historical Society of the Township of Franklin. The office was closed, so there was no one to ask about this flyer I had found.

I plan to return to the Historical Society to interview the staff about family research, obtain texts related to genealogy, and investigate other resources that are available for further research. With the knowledge I obtain, I plan to begin to trace my family roots and begin to build my family tree.

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2010 in First steps

 

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