I know this might seem a bit silly but I thought I would write a post on this, as it could be fun for some and it sounded good at the time.
Last night, the missus, Liz and I started talking about family history and what some of our ancestors might have gone through. Somehow the conversation turned to “If you could go back in time, what 2 or 3 events in your ancestors’ past would you like to go back and see?” (OK it might have been the bourbon).
After much thought, Liz, only having just started researching her own family history, went with:
1. Parents wedding.
2. Grandparents wedding.
3. A day in the life of her great grandmother. Was she as hard a woman as she looked in an old photo.
Myself, I ended up with:
1. Seeing my father (passed 1990) play a game of rugby league back in the 60′s.
2. Being there when one of my convict ancestors was apparently “accidentally shot”.
3. Watching as my great great grandfather T. Laughton of Stockyard Creek (Foster) in September 1878, when he arranged for the schooner Gippslander to bring his hotel to Lakes Entrance. Were the drinkers still inside? Imagine the view!
If you could go back in time to your ancestor’s days, what 2 or 3 days would you choose?
The day one of your ancestors received a award or maybe the day when one of your ancestors “wasn’t in the area” of a certain crime? Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.
For many Australians, it is more than likely that you have English ancestors and a great source of information can be retrieved from English census and church records. But the older the records we find, the more challenging they can be to read and decipher.
While this can be frustrating to most of us, it also can be down right off putting. Your research will undoubtedly uncover some of these documents at some point, and some understanding of paleography is required.
What is Palaeography?
Palaeography, is the study of ancient writings and inscriptions. If you are studying old English documents, you will encounter not only the Old English script but, going further back in time, ecclesiastical records written in Latin.
Interested in palaeograpgy? The UK National Archives palaeography web tutorial will help you learn to read the handwriting found in documents written in English between 1500 and 1800. This is a brilliant interactive tutorial about paleography.
By reading the practical tips and working through the documents in the tutorial, you will find that it becomes much easier to read older documents. The National Archives palaeography tutorial contains 10 documents supplied in order of difficulty. Each document is offered alongside an historical background, a glossary, notes on the palaeography, a sample alphabet taken from each document and a full transcript.
For a bit of fun, The National Archives has a palaeography game. A 17th century woman has been accused of a crime and as her punishment she faces the ducking stool. To free her from the ducking stool, you must correctly transcribe certain text. Will you be the one to free the maiden from this horrible punishment?
Genealogy and the search for one’s history or ancestors can sometimes be a difficult task, it also can be a whole lot of fun. Not only do we find out a lot of interesting and surprising facts about our ancestors, but every now and then we come across some funny facts.
Therefore, I thought I would include some funny family search stories that will hopefully make you smile. For example, just recently while looking for some information on one of my Australian convict ancestors, I came across a fuuny 1832 newspaper Police Incidents column in the Australian Sydney Morning Hearld.
I know times where a little bit different back in Australia in 1832, but when I saw the charges and the sentences, I couldn’t help but have a little laugh. Imagine coming across these records in a family search:
Sarah Jackson was charged with being picked up, executing curves with the greatest exactness in George Street. Sentence – one month 3rd class.
Henry Brothers, for being found singing in the market place what he called terrible, and telling the constable he didn’t care that, snapping his fingers, for Captain Rossiter. Sentence – was sent to meditate among the cells for three days. (We should bring back this bad singing law)
Ann Walker, for dipping her master’s head in a bucket of water, and then marching off, singing
” If I had a beau for a soldier who’d go, Do you think I’d refuse him, oh no, no, no.”
Bench – What have you to say for this strange conduct?
Ann.- That I have a little overstepped the modesty of nature I do not deny” but e’en my failings lean to virtue’s side.”
The Bench doubted this, and sent her to Cordonite for a month.
This one is my favourite:
John Stanbury was charged with being found steering through the streets confoundedly crank, at an early hour in the morning. The only defence Jack offered was, that he had his grog on board, but he did not mind handing out a shot to assist the poor, which he accordingly did, and was discharged.
Good on ya Jack.