Thursday, September 06, 2007

Dahlias and my family history

We having an Indian summer... lovely warm and dry weather,
which is to continue until the weekend, the forecasters say.
Last Monday, Mrs C and I went round our local city park
(Nottingham Arboretum) where there is a fabulous collection
of dahlias in bloom. Some of the blooms were fading, having
taken a battering from the recent heavy rains. Others like
the ones above looked spectular -- really vivid colours.
It's a pity they don't smell like the old fashioned roses.

The trees are starting to turn to their autumn gold colours.
It's the horse chestnuts which are the first to go (I wonder
if that's always been the case -- I must check that out next
years) -- they're packing their bags, and saying, "We've had
enough of all the unseasonal weather this year. We're off!"
I'm giving my family history talk this morning to the local
U3A -- an introduction to searching for your ancestors online.

A good way to start, if you haven't done this already, is to
look up your ancestors that were alive in 1880/1 on the LDS site, > Search > Census. Put in a name with as
much detail as you know, and then search for the individual.
Once you've found him/her, you'll see on the same page (at the
top on the right hand side), a link to the person's household,
whereby you'll see everyone who lived there at that moment in

Ancestry dot com (and the UK version) are absolutely brilliant.
It is expensive to join, but it would save you masses of time
researching your history by other means. For the UK there is a
free site, for searching for certicates in the
UK registers, but all the info is there on Ancestry including
the 1901 Census for England and Wales, plus the Scottish stuff
as well.

One of my cousins, Anne, has had a breakthrough with searching
for my great uncle Harry and his family, who emigrated to the
US in the early 1900s. We knew very little about them, until I
found their marriage in 1901 (a few months after the Census was
done), and an entry in the 1930 US Census, when I found them
living in Lucas, Ohio. We thought they had emigrated under false
names, as Harry did a sharp exit to evade prosecution for some
kind of criminal offence, allegedly. He was the black sheep in
the family, according to family legend.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, Anne found out that they
emigrated to Canada in 1907. Their names appear in the 1911
Canada Census as Canadian citizens, and a few years later, they
moved across to the US (via a ship across Lake Superior to Duluth)
Harry was a brickie, so there would have been plenty of work for
him. He signed up for service in 1918 in the WW1 Draft, which was
good timing as the war ended not long after. He died of stomach
cancer in 1941. They had one surviving daughter, but we have
found no trace of her after the 1930 Census. Anne (and myself)
found all this out on Ancestry -- it's amazing.

Yesterday I found out that our local library service has
Ancestry online (free of charge to access), so I'll resume
researching other family lines in a few month's time.

We're going on holiday to Derbyshire next weekend, so I won't be
blogging until we get back , the weekend of 16-17 September. Mrs
C has kept the exact location a secret -- she's arranged a family
get-together for me, as a pre-60th birthday treat.


Blogger Max said...

Hi, Justin. Well the story goes I like Bernard Herrmann, the great movie composer. I came across a tune on the net associated with Quintin Tarantino, the erstwhile movie brat director. When I found out that the latter used a score from the former I got excited. The advert means nothing, but the theme tune does. The whistling. It turns out Tarantino used this piece of whistling in a sequence in Kill Bill (The eye-patch nurse coming to kill Uma Thurman). However this tune was Hermann's score for a 1968 film called Twisted Nerve, a blighty film, starring Hywel Bennett, Hayley Mills, Frank Finlay and Billie Whitelaw. It was on TV about a month ago. ITV2 I think. So there you have it. The ad means zilch. It was the music all along. Hope this finds you happy and well. Fond regards and trying to return to blogland. Max. x

4:19 PM  
Blogger justin said...

Hello Max -- great to see you back in Blogland again.
I saw the DVD of Kill Bill a few months ago, and recall seeing the sequence you mention, but not the music. I'll look out for it, and for Bernard Herrman too.

11:08 PM  

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