Monday, May 22, 2017

Marriage of Uncle Jack's Parents

Ancestry.com. Manchester, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1930 [database on-line].
Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.

James William Crompton
 and Rebecca Wolstenholme Marriage
I learned about Uncle Jack's parents in my oral interview and I was delighted to see their marriage at Ancestry.com. I had learned to read English marriage records while working on my own ancestors and I find the marriage and banns records from the Church of England to be wonderfully complete.  Parish names change over time as in 1893, Ringley was in the parish of Prestwich in Lancashire county. 

Original record replicas like this one, contain the signatures of those who married, the witness signatures and the clergy that married them. Notice that everyone can write their own name since no X in the signature line appears. 

The charming terms bachelor and spinster tell me that neither person has been married before. The bride and groom's fathers are recorded (with their occupations) and the occupation of the groom and sometimes the bride are listed. 

The record indicates that it was "after banns", so everyone had time to be assured that no one would come forward to dispute that neither was married to someone else at that time. Read aloud at church service, mostly on consecutive Sundays, they are carefully recorded as in this document. 


Banns listed with dates from Ancestry,.com
I have learned over time, to examine closely the names of the witnesses because oftentimes, they are family members and delightfully further research tells me Harriet was Rebecca's sister and Edwin was James's brother. 

Married on the 2nd of January in 1893, James was born 10 Feb 1867 in Whitefield and Rebecca was born 27 July 1866 in Ringley. Most brides chose to be married in their home area and that seems to be the case because the place they were married is Ringley Chapel in the Church of St. Saviour. 

We are so lucky to be able to see online information about this place of worship. If I wanted to visit there, this would tell me the location and the church history. If the handwriting wasn't clear, then, the names of the places may be easier to trace. The web site lists the marriage and banns and who read them and a transcription of the records.

From this transcription, I can see that the place Rebecca was living is called Outwood which I was unsure of while making my own transcription. Outwood is a hamlet.



"RINGLEY, a chapelry, chiefly in the parish of Prestwich, partly in the union of Bolton and partly in that of Bury, hundred of Salford, S. division of Lancashire, 4 miles (S. E.) from Bolton." (Source: Family Search)

Research and recording of these records took over a week but was a rewarding adventure. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

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Monday, May 1, 2017

Oral History Interviews


Oral History Interviews
1969-1971

Screen shot of scan of handwritten interviews by Midge Frazel, 2017
When I was in my twenties, I decided that it was time for me to interview my paternal family since my father and I had been working on designing a family tree. My soon to be father-in-law, an engineer, gave me a few pieces of huge blueprint paper and keeping that in reserve, Dad and I wrote down just names, dates and relationships of what we knew. 

Cousins from California came one summer and after Aunt Annie fed them, I put them to work adding names and handing out self addressed envelopes. They were happy to help and they still help me today, only through email and via Facebook. Now that those people who came are gone from this earth and the next generations have taken over, three have tested their atDNA and and they match. (Phew!)

One Thanksgiving afternoon, probably in 1970, I brought over a hand designed family group sheet, pens/pencils, and erasers and asked the women to fill in the blanks. It went well. My favorite moment was when I asked Aunt Annie to fill out hers and Uncle Jack's. She did hers and my grandparents and I passed that page around to my father, my aunt and my uncle to read and they discussed my paternal grandparents for a few minutes. 

My paternal grandfather was an alcoholic and committed suicide and I didn't know that then. It explains their sadness and their quiet moments that day.

Aunt Annie filled out her own and they turned it over to fill out Uncle Jack's. She got stuck and my dad went in the kitchen to get him. He sat down and spelled the maiden name of his mother and the place name where he was born and then filled out the paper himself. That is important as I now have his handwriting sample.

Everyone was riveted. I looked at their faces and that of my father and we could tell that they did not know much about Uncle Jack and where he came from. My father told me on the way home that Jack's parents came for a visit and that Jack's father was missing a finger. 

If you are a genealogist reading this then you know that that is how I was sure I found them at Ellis Island. More about that later.

This may be a pivotal date in my life as a genealogist. I am going to go through my calendars and look for a note that we went there after Thanksgiving at my maternal grandmother's apartment.

I could have asked more but dessert was ready and you know how much everyone wanted dessert.