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Need your best tips for research in UK

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Need your best tips for research in UK

Postby Clawfive » Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:21 pm

Hello all. I'm excited to find this forum. I am a U.S. Citizen, but all my family research leads to England, Wales, and Scotland. My question is this: do you have any tricks for differentiating family members when the same 6 or 7 names are used in every family unit. For example, one set of my ggggrandparents, Edward and Hannah, have children named Edward, Joseph, Robert, Elizabeth, Mary, Ann, and Sara--and these children all named their children the same names in the same town, and so on and so on. Within a couple generations there are dozens of first cousins with all the same first and last names. I just can't tell who belongs with whom. Thank you for your help.


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Need your best tips for research in UK

Postby SoozOne » Fri Mar 06, 2015 3:47 am

Welcome to the forum Clawfive
I'm in NZ and have exactly the same problem sorting out rellies with multiple repeat first names and the same surnames as well. Though my families are all around the same four English counties, they all had large families, and a number them have married their cousins - which is not helpful when unravelling them. Makes for highly frustrating searches when you're doing it at a distance on your own too.
I'm still very new to this forum, so by no means an expert. But. There others on board here who are extremely helpful, and go to great lengths to help you untangle. I would say the first thing you would be asked is for surnames for Edward and Hannah, and where they lived. And what I was told is that its far easier to work backwards from yourself, and, Most Important! to keep a notebook and write down All your sources of information, so you don't keep repeating the same searches.
Eventually you will get everyone sorted out, and that gives a highly satisfying feeling ... till a 'new' person crops up.
And as a thought, you might do better switching your problem to General Research Queries ... just a thought.


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Re: Need your best tips for research in UK

Postby Guy » Fri Mar 06, 2015 7:26 am

Clawfive wrote:Hello all. I'm excited to find this forum. I am a U.S. Citizen, but all my family research leads to England, Wales, and Scotland. My question is this: do you have any tricks for differentiating family members when the same 6 or 7 names are used in every family unit. For example, one set of my ggggrandparents, Edward and Hannah, have children named Edward, Joseph, Robert, Elizabeth, Mary, Ann, and Sara--and these children all named their children the same names in the same town, and so on and so on. Within a couple generations there are dozens of first cousins with all the same first and last names. I just can't tell who belongs with whom. Thank you for your help.


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The records of England & Wales and the records of Scotland are different and require slightly different research techniques though the basic methods are the same.

Work from the known to the unknown, never take leaps of faith.
Use additional sources to corroborate records (census, wills, newspapers, etc.)

When dealing with people of the same name build micro trees of families, including siblings, from baptism to burial.
Look for clues in the spacing of births/baptisms in a particular family.
Try to marry off and kill off every member of the family.
If a family member moves out of the parish try to find a reason for the move rather than assuming they moved, check the records 10 or 15 or so years later to see if they still appear in the parish, they may not have actually moved.

That should get you started but is really what a researcher would do with every record.

Cheers
Guy
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Re: Need your best tips for research in UK

Postby AntonyM » Fri Mar 06, 2015 8:36 am

The method Guy suggests is explained and described very well in a book I use for advice in similar cases:

"Family History Problem Solving through Family Reconstitution Techniques" by Andrew Todd.

I got my copy at The National Archives shop , but copies are occasionally available on Amazon.
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Re: Need your best tips for research in UK

Postby Guy » Fri Mar 06, 2015 2:10 pm

AntonyM wrote:The method Guy suggests is explained and described very well in a book I use for advice in similar cases:

"Family History Problem Solving through Family Reconstitution Techniques" by Andrew Todd.

I got my copy at The National Archives shop , but copies are occasionally available on Amazon.


Standard method that has worked for me over the last 50 odd years of research, nothing new about it. ;)
Cheers
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Re: Need your best tips for research in UK

Postby Clawfive » Sat Mar 07, 2015 4:34 am

Thank you all for the help. I'm going to look for that book and try to do what was explained. Wish me luck.


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Re: Need your best tips for research in UK

Postby vicky.Ball.25493 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 4:06 pm

Don't know if this helps but I recently discovered that England had a naming tradition in the 1800s. They may not have always followed it but it could help. I found that some branches of the family had followed it almost precisely whereas others not at all. Anyway here it is:

1st son named after the fathers father
2nd son named after mothers father.
3rd son father
4th son fathers eldest brother.

1st daughter named after mothers mother
2nd daughter fathers mother
3rd daughter mother
4th daughter mothers eldest sister.

And I think if they had more children they could be named after uncles or aunts but as I say not everyone followed it.
Good luck
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Re: Need your best tips for research in UK

Postby JaneyH » Sun Mar 08, 2015 8:24 pm

I'm very interested in the naming convention referred to above. However I'd be very cautious about relying on this - or any other - naming convention with regards to genealogy.

Certainly, parents always have, and still do, re-use family names. My concern is that, for research purposes, this seems a very dangerous assumption. There will certainly be times when a convention such as this holds true. But equally there will be times when it doesn't, and to rely on it happening may lead researchers astray.

For the record, my son is named Thomas - a name which crops up regularly throughout both family tree and that of my husband. We didn't choose it for this reason. However, his two middle names are those of my husband's father and my father ... both chosen to provide a family connection.


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Re: Need your best tips for research in UK

Postby AdrianB38 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 8:58 pm

JaneyH wrote:... I'd be very cautious about relying on this - or any other - naming convention with regards to genealogy. ...


Absolutely - I know Vicky cautioned that "not everyone followed it" but even if you happen to find a family that did, this could be the generation that decided to do something different. For instance, in this pattern, the 3rd son of a 3rd son has the same name as his eldest brother. I guess many families would have said, "What a silly idea..." and decided to ignore the pattern.

No, let's be clear - by all means use a pattern to prioritise where to look (though I've never seen it used in England, so personally think it a waste of time) but never assume that it must be true. It's much more prevalent in Scotland, but even there, none of my Scottish ancestors ever used it.

Or, put another way, you use genealogy to prove a pattern and never use a pattern to prove a genealogy.
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Re: Need your best tips for research in UK

Postby brunes08 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 10:53 pm

For what it is worth, I devised my own method of keeping branches of the family organised. Each person has a code eg based on the county, town, etc plus the bit of the family they are part of. For example, if from Yorkshire, I use Y, if from Shropshire, S and so on. Then I add other details, such as initials and year of birth. Most people find their own method eventually - it took me a few years but it works for me. Try to find a way that suits you. It is easy to gather a ton of notes and then have to sort them out, so try to be organised as you go along.
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