Friday, 3 April 2015

A-Z Challenge - Book of Me C is for....Collaboration and Collateral

By coincidence I am back from the Guild of One-Name Studies conference. The theme was Collaboration. Cooperation. Communication. Which sums up nicely researching in the twenty first century. There were various presentations throughout the three day event and I presented on blogging using blogger which is rather fitting!

You can view the various sessions at the Guild's YouTube Channel

The Book of Me theme for C gave three ideas - Collaboration and Collateral and Cards. So today I can going to briefly tackle two of the three!

We all can research in isolation, but we will achieve so much more if we collaborate with others and share our hypothesis, ideas and findings. How can you collaborate in the modern genealogical world?
  • Facebook
  • Blogs
  • Evernote
  • Dropbox
These are just a few examples of how material can be shared with others. Each of us will find our own way of researching and collaborating. There is no right or wrong way, just simply your way and whatever works for us as individuals.

I have always researched my collateral lines, and my personal belief is to ignore those lines can be foolish! Collateral lines can give us a sense of depth to our own direct lines of family history and only when investigating those collateral lines can we find evidence and information on our own ancestry. Leave no stone unturned is probably a good motto!

You can see who else is participating in the A - Z Challenge by visiting the participants lists at
Book of Me
Copyrighted Julie Goucher

More details can be found about the Book of Me and the A - Z prompts HERE

Thursday, 2 April 2015

A-Z Challenge - Book of Me - B is for Birthday Book

Back in the Spring of 1990 I was visiting an elderly relative, who was the first Cousin of my Grandfather. Their Grandmother was Caroline Ellis (1844 - 1935) of Puttenham, who was my Great Great Grandmother

The cousin's daughter had married the Grandson of a chap called Job Ellis from Elstead and found it somewhat amusing that perhaps the Ellis connection was stronger than we first thought.

Over a tea and chat I was presented with a birthday book and it is this book that is transcribed here, written in the order the details appear in the book.

Owner identified as Adelaide Underwood May 14th, 1776

Harriett Street 1852 Jan 15th

Marjorie Ellis Jan 27th 1910

Frederick Street 1857 Feb 2nd

Herbert Ellis Feb 23rd

Frederick Street 1882 April 1st

Emma Street 1854 May 3rd

Annie Underwood 1854 June 6th

John Street 1859 Oct 5th

Adelaide Ellen Underwood 1853 Nov 7th

Annie Street 1886 Dec 3rd

Of course hindsight is a wonderful thing and I have often wished that I had photographed the birthday book. I can't even recall what it looked like now, which is rather disappointing.

Book of Me
Copyrighted Julie Goucher
More details can be found about the Book of Me and the A - Z prompts HERE

You can see who else is participating in the A - Z Challenge by visiting the participants lists at

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

A-Z Challenge - Book of Me - A is for Analysis

As a family historian it is vital to analysis the information we discover. It is not enough to look at the information once, and that process should be a consistent theme as we research. Just because we read something does not mean what we have read is correct, nor does it mean the same thing out of context.

Our research is a journey to the past. That journey begins with a single step and each journey we take becomes easier as we become more familiar with the names, places and people we are researching and as we understand the context we are researching in.

My Great Uncle died in the mid 1960's and is buried at the municipal cemetery at Guildford. When my Cousins started researching they had problem locating this entry in the General Registration Office (GRO) indexes. For some reason a full copy of his birth certificate was not in the family. All my Uncle's siblings were located and yet he was not, and his birth dated back to 1906 - his siblings were born between 1900 and 1917.

Taken by Julie Goucher, May 2007
When my Great Aunt died she was interned with her husband and the headstone changed. Family records showed that Uncle was given the year of birth of 1907 which was incorrect. It had been calculated from his age at death, but was a year out based and proved using biology. Uncle was born in Dec and my Grandfather, the next sibling was born in March - gestation is as we know nine months and I had the birth certificate and numerous other documentation which confirmed he was born in March 1908, so Uncle was born in December 1906 and not 1907 as the headstone indicated.

A further search was done in the neighbouring registration districts to Guildford, and eventually Uncle's entry was discovered in Hambledon registration district in Dec quarter 1906. So why was there are difference between him and other siblings? The address was the same. The reality is that no one knows the answer, My Great Grandmother died in the early 1970's, so she outlived her son be several years.

The reality at this point was this. Births usually happened at home. In this instance Wanborough Surrey. All my Grandfather's siblings were baptised in Wanborough and the registration district for all except one was Guildford. I looked again at the date that the registration of my Uncle took place. It was early December, and according to the Monthly record report from the Meteorological Office, December 1906 it was cold, windy and there had been instances of snow and sleet.

My Great Grandmother, who had already buried two of her six children born between 1900 - 1906 would have wanted to protect her children as best she could. Therefore it is likely that decision to record the birth in Hamledon registration district was logistical - Godalming was nearer than Guildford. Perhaps they had secured a lift on the back of a cart.

But what if the birth had not happened at home? Perhaps the birth occurred whilst visiting another household, and the birth recorded in the nearest registration district with the baptism in the family parish. Whilst that did not happen in this instance, it is absolutely possible which means that any time a place of birth is required, the individual could quite unwittingly records the place of birth incorrectly based upon what they believe to be true and let's face it would the individual would not recall their birth, just what they are informed by their parents and read on the official documentation.

We should be analysing the discoveries we make, even using non genealogical sources to assist us.

Book of Me
Copyrighted Julie Goucher
More details can be found about the Book of Me and the A - Z prompts HERE

You can see who else is participating in the A - Z Challenge by visiting the participants lists at

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

In Deep with the Book of Me - April Prompt 2015

Tomorrow is the start of month 4 of what is going to be a 12 month project. On the 1st of the month, at around 12.30 am UK time I release the prompt for that month's In Deep with the Book of Me, Written by You.

If you are new here, welcome! The details, background flyer and Face Book link to the Book of Me can be found HERE and the prompt list for In Deep with the Book of Me can be found HERE

Traditionally in April bloggers take to blogging their way daily across the month using the alphabet as their blogging feature, with each day representing a letter of the alphabet. The only day there is not a post is Sunday. 1st April is A, 2nd April is B and so forth.

So, over the course of the April we are going to be blogging DAILY - as always you can ignore the prompt, take a different spin on the prompt, share (or not). The choice is completely yours.

There are TWO sets of prompts
1. A - Z Genealogical is aimed at those with a genealogical slant
2. A- Z Book of Me Medley  aimed at those who are perhaps knew to the Book of Me series.

You can mix and match the prompts or if you are brave you can answer both set!

Here are a few links that might assist you as we blog every day.

The presentation

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Guild of One-Name Studies Conference - Sunday Sessions & Close

10.00-11.00  - Tennyson 1&2 Tools & Techniques: Using Wordpress for Blogs & Websites - Alec Tritton

11.00-12.00  - Tennyson 1&2 Tools & Techniques: Managing your DNA Project, and Interpreting Results - Maurice Gleeson

12.00-13.00  - Tennyson 1&2 Tools & Techniques: Communication from the Hereafter - the Members' Websites Project – Jim Benedict and Mike Spathaky

14.00-15.00  - Tennyson 1&2 Tools & Techniques: Using Blogger for Blogs - Julie Goucher

15.30-16.30  - Tennyson Suite Keynote Speaker - Mark Bayley, S & N Genealogy Breaking Down Brick Walls in your Family History Research

16.30-16.45 Close of Conference - Guild President

Guild of One-Name Studies -

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Guild of One-Name Studies Conference - Saturday Afternoon Sessions

14.00-15.00  - Tennyson 1 & 2 Tools & Techniques: Webinars - What is Available and How Do I Participate? - Tessa Keough

15.30-16.30  - Tennyson 1 & 2 Tools & Techniques: How to Set Up Facebook Groups, and Research Using Facebook - Alan Moorhouse

16.30-17.30  - Tennyson 1 & 2 Tools & Techniques: The Give and Take of Collaboration - Bob Cumberbatch

The Guild of One-Name Studies -

Guild of One-Name Studies Conference - Saturday AGM & Morning Sessions

09.00-10.30  - Tennyson Suite Welcome and Opening of the Conference by the Guild President, followed by the Annual General Meeting

10.30-11.30 Morning Coffee

11.00-12.00  - Tennyson Suite Keynote Speaker - Laurence Harris Collaboration, Cooperation and Communication

12.00-13.00  - Tennyson Suite Panel Session: What Software Do I Use? How Does it Support Collaboration, Cooperation and Communication?

Panel Members - Bob Cumberbatch, Paul Howes, Jim Benedict and Tessa Keough

The Guild of One-Name Studies

Friday, 27 March 2015

A-Z April Blogging Challenge & The Book of Me

I have taken part in the A-Z Blogging challenge for the last four years or so and this year will be no exception. What is new is that I have linked the A - Z Challenge with the Book of Me.

Below is the presentation with the prompt hints along with the various links and more information.

Thursday, 26 March 2015


Earlier this week I stumbled across a genealogy MOOC opportunity. The course starts officially on Monday 30th March, but is available for people to sign up and get familiar with the set up.The cost for the course is nothing, other than your investment of time.

The course is divided into four modules
  • Orientation Module -- Begins March 23
  • Module 1: Getting Started -- Begins March 30 
  • Module 2: US Census -- Begins April 20
  • Module 3: State & Local Resources -- Begins May 4
  • Module 4: Online Sources & Strategies -- Begins May 18
Below is the introductory video

Something that is really useful is that you can join the course and submit your surname and location interests with any contact being made through the Canvas portal. It is certainly a great idea and I listed my interest in my two One-Name (Surname research) studies for the names of Orlando and Worship.

To sign up and take part visit -

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Web Wednesday - Willard Suitcases

Sometime ago I came across today's Web Wednesday topic and thought it was simply fascinating. Not just in terms of the actual project, but also the historical context and details behind it.

The project is called Willard Suitcases and the blog is capturing the very essence of the 400 suitcases belonging to former residents of a New York psychiatric hospital. The cases were put into storage when the patients were admitted, many contained belongings packed without the realisation of what it means to be institutionalised. The luggage dates from between 1910 and 1960 and in the cases of many of the patients they never left. Quite simply tragic.

Willard Psychiatric Hospital circa 1880 - courtesy of The New York Times
Once the hospital was closed the luggage was salvaged and acquired by New York State Museum. The blog host, Jon Crispin was given the wonderful opportunity to photograph the luggage.

You can read more details about the project at Jon's introductory post can be found HERE. You can also read Jon's blog and see the posts about the suitcases at

The tragedy in all of this is that many people were confined in institutions across the globe  for conditions that were not diagnosed or treated. Conditions such as epilepsy for example. Conditions such as dementia was not acknowledged. In other instances wives were confined for perhaps having what we know now to be post natal depression, or perhaps confined so they could be replaced with a newer model!

Websites such at this one exists to honour those who lived in such tragic times. It is important that we learn from the material and data they left behind.

Further information

Links accessed and found to be live 23rd March 2015

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Tuesday's Tip - Use auction sites

Back in 2013, I wrote a blog post for the In-Depth Genealogist, which can be read HERE. I talked about sourcing material from auction sites and alike. I still believe that is a good option, and that is my Tuesday's Tip for this week, fuelled by my latest addition.

This lovely little beauty is made from reclaimed pine.

The moment I saw it, I had one of those I MUST have that moments, because apart from the surname, it fitted even the fish them!

The sides of the box are decorated with a fish and even my beloved said perfect! and now he is rather impatiently waiting to see if we can establish who the A L Goucher was in Yorkshire.

So do explore those auction sites, use the Evernote clipping tool to gather the information, so that you can capture the details without bending your credit card!

Many of those with One-Name Studies ( do just that.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Sunday Salon - The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

The Sunday Salon.comI had planned to share my Sunday Salon post with you today, but the plans of mice and men have prevented that so I am going to share the following YouTube video with you.

I have been reading this book for the last few weeks. Dipping in, making a few notes, reflecting etc. Then by coincidence I noticed that +Jennifer Ross who blogs at Organizing Jen ( had also read the book. I smiled when I spotted that Jen's copy of the book was awash with post it notes too! The video below is Jen's review of the book.

I expect to complete the book in the coming week (presentation writing and appointments allowing) and whilst I have stopped sharing many book reviews via this blog, I will share this review, because there is a rather interesting overlap with genealogy, tidying up and a whole pile of emotions as I still deal with items that I have inherited from Mum.

The website for the blog can be found at

Happy tidying!

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Going In-Depth - March Issue

The March issue is OUT and the Across the Pond column continues with the featured look at occupations, especially those carried out in the City of London.

The March issue looks at the Worshipful Company of Carmen and can be found on pages 60 -63 of  the magazine.

Also this month, making her d├ębut as a writer at IDG is the well known Australian genealogist, Shauna Hicks looking at genealogy Down Under!

To subscribe to the magazine please visit The In-Depth Genealogist website.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Getting ready for In Deep with the Book of Me - April Prompt 2015

Today we are about two weeks away from month 4 of the In Deep with the Book of Me series.

Usually on the 1st of the month, at around 12.30 am UK time I release the prompt for that month. however, there are two exceptions, April and December when the prompts will DAILY and in therefore the prompts will be released half way through the previous month.

If you are new here, welcome! The details, background flyer and Face Book link to the Book of Me can be found HERE and the prompt list for In Deep with the Book of Me can be found HERE

Traditionally in April bloggers take to blogging their way daily across the month using the alphabet as their blogging feature, with each day representing a letter of the alphabet. The only day there is not a post is Sunday. 1st April is A, 2nd April is B and so forth.

So, over the course of the April we are going to be blogging DAILY - as always you can ignore the prompt, take a different spin on the prompt, share (or not). The choice is completely yours.

There are TWO sets of prompts
1. A - Z Genealogical is aimed at those with a genealogical slant
1. A- Z Book of Me Medley  aimed at those who are perhaps knew to the Book of Me series.

You can mix and match the prompts or if you are brave you can answer both set!

You can sign up to the A-Z Challenge at and you can also see a list of other participants at the above site.

The presentation will be published a little later on this blog and of course on the Facebook group. In the meantime, you can get a heads up by visiting the website and seeing the prompts list

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

In Deep with the Book of Me - March Prompt 2015 - Genealogical Tapestry

You can read the Prompt Post HERE.
You can read my take on the prompt HERE
The web page with all the details on, including the prompts from the first series can be found HERE

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Going In-Depth - February Issue

Over the last few months I have neglected to post when a new edition of the Going In-Depth is published sorry about that!

The February issue is OUT and the Across the Pond column continues with the featured look at occupations, especially those carried out in the City of London.

 The February issue looks at the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries and can be found on pages 26 - 30 of  the magazine.

To subscribe to the magazine please visit The In-Depth Genealogist website.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Organising Genealogical and Research Papers

Yesterday I took the time to join in a hangout on air with Jill who blogs at Geniaus.

The discussion was about organising genealogical research, which was triggered by a blog post written by Sharon who blogs at Gathering Dust and I shared, probably somewhat badly what I do with my research. You can read Sharon's post HERE

Pauleen Cass shared her thoughts via her blog and I thought I would explain further what I do.

Firstly, let me explain that I began researching before the internet existed as we know it. I gathered research by visiting archives and using the postal service.

I also have a family history where my maternal line has lived within the parimeters of three Counties in England - Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire for around 300 years. It is therefore not too surprising that I have some surnames that occur more than once and several lines that cross over through intermarriage.

I also have the added complication that my husband's surname does on occasions become Goacher instead of Goucher and I have Goacher's in my maternal line. There does not appear to be any connection between my Goachers to my husband's family but.......
  • My genealogical software program, I use Roots Magic contains a file called "Main File" 
    • I have a physical folders called Main File (JDG) for my maternal ancestry and
    • I have a digital folder called Main File (JDG)
    • I have a physical folder called Main File (SPG) for my husband's ancestry and
    • I have a digital folder called Main File (SPG)
  • I also have two filing cabinets which hold suspension files such as shown in the picture here. I have a file for each surname where the material does not (or does not currently) provide a link to my own ancestry.
  • I also have two drawers for my two One-Name or surname researcher relating to my two Guild of One-Name registered studies of
I also have numerous papers and digital files that relate to other places where my ancestors lived such as
There is also my trusty set of Index Cards which I talked about here. I have scanned them, and I have the original cards, or at least I have at the moment. In addition I have every notebook and journal I have kept, all the way back to 1982. I always keep the first two pages free as my index and index as I go along. 

One-Name Study or Surname Research

The Orlando study currently sits at approximately 50,000 entries on a mixture of digital and paper. My plan is to put all the material online with the appropriate source material. I have a website and a blog and as I gradually add the material I add the details to the master index which is located in Google Drive and is available for everyone to see.

The same will be carried out for the Worship One-Name Study, although that has around 10,000 references.

When I work on family reconstructions for my these two surnames and for my Puttenham One Place Study I use Legacy, inspired by the +Legacy Virtual Users' Group Community


I keep a track of all the material I have and where it is located. For this I use Excel. I also use Excel for my One Place Studies - index of parish records and in the case of my road study * I track the houses by number order. Each item recorded as a separate event. I can then filter by name or by property.

At the beginning of EVERY spread sheet I have a methodology sheet. Here I advise what the material is and how it is kept. 

Final Words

I am sure that my organising way seems complex to some. That is probably due to the mix of written and digital files. I am gradually scanning and archiving my paper mountain but to process research that nearly spans three decades it could take another three quite easily!

In essence my work is broken down into segments
  • My own family
  • My specific studies - Surnames / Places / items
  • Other material that does not fit and perhaps never will!
For each of those there is digital and paper and gradually it will all be digital with the exception of my own family. I rather like having that in the files and every now and again I glance through it.

I use Evernote as a premium user and have an electronic inbox notebook where I collate material until it is processed or sorted. The Orlando Evernote folder currently sits at 212 entries and at some point they will be processed into the digital structure, added to the master index and master index. The original Evernote item will move from the Orlando folder to the Archive folder where I won't see it again unless I search for that specific item or it appears in search results.

I also use One-Note and whilst I originally love it, I have found in the last year or so that I prefer Evernote. I still have access to my One-Note files and over time will transfer them to Evernote. I have written blog posts about One-Note and Evernote and have shared the various links below.

The bottom line is there is NO right or wrong way to created and organise genealogical and historical material - there is only YOUR way! Do what feels right to you and make sure you write instructions for how the material is laid out.

Further Posts of Interest

Sunday, 1 March 2015

In Deep with the Book of Me - March Prompt 2015

Today is month 3 of what is going to be a 12 month project. On the 1st of the month, at around 12.30 am UK time I will release the prompt for that month's In Deep with the Book of Me, Written by You.

If you are new here, welcome! The details, background flyer and Face Book link to the Book of Me can be found HERE and the prompt list for In Deep with the Book of Me can be found HERE

Genealogical Tapestry

Our lives can be defined as a tapestry. Clear threads, isolated from each other, yet coming together to represent a life. A full potential of being. What threads define you?

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

52 Ancestors:# 6 ~ John Hunt Butcher - (1781 - 1839)

No Story Too Small
This post is for week 6 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge (2015) by Amy Crow from No Story Too Small.

You can read the list of my posts HERE

How I wished I had a photograph of John, but I don't. He sounds a fascinating individual and lead an incredible life; he has been one of those individuals that has absolutely needed a time line so that I could understand the key parts of his life, the decisions he made and the why he made the choices he did. Unless a diary exists in an archive or with a direct descendant I can only make an educated guess on some of those decisions.

John Hunt Butcher was baptised on 10th February 1781 in Cranley Surrey (Cranleigh is the correct spelling). His parents were Richard Butcher and Sarah nee Witherall. This branch of the Butcher family lived in Hascombe Surrey and my direct branch descends from Richard's brother, Daniel.

On 7th November 1808, at St George Hanover Square, John married Sarah Burchell and it is from this point that John's life becomes ever more interesting.

Parish Register - St George Hanover Square
John and Sarah raised their family at Parkhatch, an estate in Hascombe Surrey. This branch of the family had inherited a great deal of wealth through connections with subsidiary branches of the family relating to both the Hunt and Chandler families.

Surrey Records Centre 85/2/1/96
In 1814 we see the estate being put up for sale and for a long time following what happened to John remained neglected on my to do list.

A few years ago the archives in Tasmania in Australia put on-line a wonderful collection of material. I had no links to Tasmania in my own ancestry, but did have a few Orlando's that connected to my One-Name Study and it was while I was looking for the Orlando material that I came across the will of John Hunt Butcher.

It was very clear from the details provided in the will that the John Hunt Butcher was mine as it mentioned Parkhatch. So I began delving a little deeper into the life he had in Australia. I wondered what had made him sell up and migrate and the link to that is potentially back to the siblings of his wife, but more on that another day!

John Hunt Butcher, his wife Sarah and their 5 children sailed to Tasmania, in 1822. You can read the details via Trove, a wonderful Australian newspaper site (and much more!).

Over the last few years I have established that John became a magistrate in Tasmania and whilst he died in Australia, with a proved will there there was much travelling, back and forth to Surrey and mentions of various complications with wills being proved here in England. He died in 1839 and is buried in Hobart, but is named in a 1901 edition of The Launceston Examiner as the original importer of Merino Sheep to the colony.

On the face of it, it seems rather curious to be importing sheep, but that does give us a clue as to his standing within the community both in England and Australia. He could afford to import the sheep and probably did not travel in steerage with his family in 1822. After his death in 1839 the entire estate was sold in Tasmania, and I suspected that perhaps Sarah, his widow returned to England. This she did, but only it would seem to deal with various legal matters and she returned to Australia.

John and Sarah's descendants live on, and moved from Tasmania to Western Australia, with links to Parliament, land owning and much more.

Site of interest

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Desk Ramblings.....(21)

It has been several months since I last shared a desk ramblings. The reason for this one appearing today is because someone wrote and asked me was I continuing the post themes as they missed them.

I am! Thanks so much to the person who wrote to me.

I have been busy focusing on numerous material that has needed to be attended to. I have been under the weather again and today the sun is out, or it is in my bit of Devon and I am looking forward to Spring.

We commemorated my late Mum's birthday on Monday and on Valentine's Day it was a year since Mum passed away. There has been so much that Mum has missed, even now I find myself reminding myself to tell her something then I remember. I don't know if that will ever get easier or not, but all we can do is keep getting up, getting on and then repeating the process.

For those of you who are friends via Facebook will have seen a few photographs that I shared of Mum. There were some real beauties, of her as a baby, perhaps just a few weeks old, then through various stages of toddler hood and then into her childhood, up to about aged 9 or so. There are many more to scan and share, but I am sharing here my absolute favourite and apologies if you have seen it before, but I am sure you will agree Mum was a real cutie!

From the personal collection 
of Julie Goucher
I have had a rather large backlog of emails and things that needed attended to. I have three presentations to write for talks/lectures I am giving and whilst I had an idea of what I was talking about, I had not made a definitive decision on the actual material. Typically, ideas of inspiration always present themselves when I am not in a position to write them down, and in the case of one of those bursts I was not in a position to make a note using my smart phone either. Consequently I resorted to saying it out loud until I could write it down and received some very strange looks.

I had an email disaster last week, on Friday to be precise and whilst I am not superstitious, who really knows? I use Google for my emails. Then I can access anywhere. I routinely star emails that I need to come back to later. On Friday I noticed that there was 223 starred emails. So I selected all and moved them into another folder. Then I selected all again and deleted the lot. It was one of those moments when everything is in slow motion and try as you might you can not undo what has just happened. So if you have written to me and not received a reply your email was possibly one of those affected. Sorry about, and there are about ten people who I know I owed emails to and those names are safely on a rather long to do list, stored in Evernote.

"Normal" service to be resumed shortly.....

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Tuesday's Tip - England Immigrants

Last week I became aware of this fascinating site - England Immigrants 1330 - 1550.

I had a quick look at the site and did a quick search for my two One Name Studies surnames of Orlando and Worship. As I suspected no revelations were forthcoming, but if you select the option of advanced search the bottom box on the left marked "place of residence" might reveal some early inhabitants of the location you are researching.

I did a search for Puttenham,which is one of my One-Place studies. there were no hits, but a search for Wanborough a village about two miles away revealed a hit. (Actually the search revealed two, one for Wanborough in Wiltshire too).

There is an option to reveal a summary or the full details. In this case it showed the results for a Nicholas Frensshman (Frenchman), an immigrant from France paying taxes on 28th May 1440. The original document is located at The National Archives at Kew under catalogue number E179/184/212.

What is so fascinating about this site is the social, economic and historical context. This is a time before standard surnames were used. This particular document shows that there was taxation for those who chose to come and live in England. Remember that this would include those from Scotland. Henry VI was the reigning monarch.

A search of the site for my home town of Guildford Surrey revealed 23 entries for the period of 1394 - 1440 from a variety of places, Ireland, France, Belguim (described as Flemish) & Holland (described as "Hollander"). 

Copyright - Julie Goucher July 2014
For anyone who has stumbled across my blog Guildford and District will have seen a selection of postcards of the Castle ruins, the castle which pre-dates this period. As someone who grew up regularly visiting the castle grounds and seeing the ruins it is hard to imagine that the castle was once an inhabited venue. It would have had a remarkable view, indeed it still does!

The biggest tip is that every source, index or website that we encounter can assist us to put our ancestors into the social context of the time.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

In Deep with the Book of Me - February Prompt 2015 - Explore. Dream. Discover

You can read the Prompt Post HERE.
You can read my take on the prompt HERE
The web page with all the details on, including the prompts from the first series can be found HERE

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

In Deep with the Book of Me - February Prompt 2015 - Explore. Dream. Discover

I am going to respond to this prompt from the position of my husband's paternal Great Grandmother, Annie HINDLE, Nee RHODES and formerly WORSHIP (1869 - 1953). If you missed the Prompt you can see it HERE.

Annie RHODES was born in Bradford Yorkshire in 1869 she married Charles WORSHIP in Bradford in August of 1899 and they had three daughters:
  • Emily born Bradford 1890 who married June Q 1915 to Sydney NEWBOULD in Bradford
  • Lillian born Bradford 1893 (my husband’s paternal grandmother)
  • Florence, born Bradford 1901.
At some point between 1901 and 1904 Annie met and had a relationship with Harry Hindle. They had a son together in 1904 who was registered under the surname of Worship and at this point Annie was still married to Charles Worship.

In 1905 Annie and the 10 month old baby boarded a ship bound for the United States. The passenger list states that Annie had been to the United States before and that she had £50 with her. She met up with Harry Hindle, took his surname and together they raised their son in Philadelphia.  Annie eventually divorced Charles Worship in 1921 and Annie and Harry marry in New York in 1922. Charles moved from Yorkshire to Scotland and married a widow there in 1922.

Harry and Annie Hindle with their son Henry Rhodes
Picture from the collection of Julie Goucher
The divorce papers cite that the petition for divorce was granted on the grounds of adultery and was typically written indicating that Annie was the instigator of the disintegration of the marriage. At this point in English Law divorce was granted usually in favour of the male.

We are researching in the period of the turn of the Century, a time that was very much focused on the values of the Victorian era and when women were still considered the property of the husband's. It would have been especially harrowing to have registered the baby with the name of the father rather than that of her husband and slurs on the character of Annie were surely inevitable.

What Annie did was incredibly brave for the time. Her leaving her children in England would have been the only real thing she could  have done, as they were also viewed as the property of their father. It is known from family records that Annie, Harry and their son made frequent visits to England, and two of Annie's children did visit them in the United States.

I am sure that Annie would have felt aggrieved at leaving her girls behind, and did she reflect back to 1905 when she left England for good? I am sure she did, I don't get a sense that she regretted at all going to the United States with Harry and their son, but I do get a sense that she regretted not having the strength to fight for her girls and stand up against the established way of life in 1904.

I have over the years researched this family quite a bit and you can read about the family HERE

Information on The Book of Me and In Deep with the Book of Me can be accessed via this link

Sunday, 1 February 2015

In Deep with the Book of Me - February Prompt 2015

Today is month 2 of what is going to be a 12 month project. On the 1st of the month, at around 12.30 am UK time I will release the prompt for that month's In Deep with the Book of Me, Written by You.

If you are new here, welcome! The details, background flyer and Face Book link to the Book of Me can be found HERE and the prompt list for In Deep with the Book of Me can be found HERE

Prompt 2 - February 2015 - Explore. Dream. Discover
''Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did........ Explore. Dream. Discover.'' - Mark Twain
This prompt is probably a tough one. I don't believe we make wrong decisions, I believe that things that do not turn out as we expect them to present an opportunity for us to learn and develop further. To become stronger and better people.

Do you share that philosophy? Explore the prompt. Cast your mind back to decisions you made and things that you didn't do? Perhaps reflect on family decisions, things from previous generations?

Friday, 30 January 2015

52 Ancestors:# 5 ~ Walter Butcher (1874 - 1956)

No Story Too Small
This post is for week 5 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge (2015) by Amy Crow from No Story Too Small.

You can read the list of my posts HERE

The prompt for week five was "plowing through". I used a play on the word, changed the plow to plough and immediately thought of this picture. The man on the left of the photograph is Walter Butcher who was the younger brother of my Great Grandfather Charles Butcher.

Walter Butcher at Wanborough - family photo collection of Julie Goucher
Walter Butcher was born in 1874 and baptised on 19th July 1874 in Wonersh Surrey and was the seventh child of a family of eight. My Great Grandfather, Charles Butcher was older having been born in 1869. Both Walter and Charles moved to Wanborough. Firstly Charles having met my Great Grandmother who was from Puttenham moved across the country roads to live in the area of his wife's family. He was later followed by Walter.

My late Great Aunt recalled Walter and from my notebook of 1989 she said  "Walter was a mean spirited and weak man and nothing like Dad. (Charles) He had a tendency to follow and copy Dad, which frustrated and annoyed him"

I had heard this before from another Aunt, and with that information I formed an opinion of Walter, and perhaps that was unfair; that was until I found this reference in the local paper.

Surrey Advertiser - 16th June 1917

"Cruelty to a Horse - Farmer heavily fined.

At the Camberley Police Court on Thursday, John Knight of Cobbetts Hill Farm was summoned for permitting a horse to be cruelly ill treated on 24th May. A lad in the defendants employ said that when harrowing grass seed, the horse fell into a hole, where it laid until the knacker came to take it away the following day. Walter Butcher, carter, father of the last witness, said he killed the horse after it had been seen by a Veterinary Surgeon. The horse had fallen down at work two or three times.

Inspector Jones R.S.P.C.A said he saw the horse lying in the field. It was in a very poor condition, very thin and very old. It had not got one sound tooth. The horse fell on the morning of 24th May, and it was killed on the following evening. It was too weak to get up. Mr Carter, Veterinary Surgeon, Aldershot, said he thought the horse was between 25 and 30 years old. He advised it being destroyed.

Lily Strickland employed at Cobbetts Hill Farm, said the horse had been regularly fed, but would not fatten. The Chairman, (Mr H J B Hollings) said the Bench considered the case an exceeding bad one, and defendant would be fined £5 including costs.

Walter Butcher a witness on the last case was summoned for ill treating a horse on 24th May, and James Knight was summoned for permitting such cruelty. Inspector Jones said Butcher was driving a pair of horses attached to a large roller. One of the horses had a large sore on the off shoulder, and was quite unfit for work. Knight was fined £2 and Butcher 5/-, the Chairman stating that no doubt he felt that if he refused to take the horses out he might lose his place."

From further research and numerous conversations with now deceased members of my family I am going to build a life profile of Walter. He married and the numerous complexities of that union has really meant that up until now I have not wanted to examine this part of the family further.

Let me explain. I had over the years several conversations with my Great Aunts and also with one of Walter's sons. None of the information was flattering and at the time, I was slightly ashamed of the family connection based upon the details that was given to me.

To be blunt it appears that Walter was seen as a bully and indeed mean spirited; with a lack of respect for his wife and children. Even his own children didn't like him.

A quick timeline to add some context - Links go to Ancestry.
  • Born in Wonersh to Charles Butcher and Sarah nee Ockley
  • Baptised in Wonersh on 19th July 1874
  • In 1877 his mother died
  • In 1881 his father remarried to Francis Ann Pain in London and they went on to have another 6 children between 1880 and 1894. Charles was 71 years old in 1894!
  • In 1881 Census the family are living in Wonersh 
  • In 1891 Census the family are living in Alfold (next door to a Butcher family who relate to another branch of the family)
  • In 1901 Census the family are living in Worplesdon
  • In 1906 at Worplesdon Surrey Walter aged 31 years marries Sarah Ann Crooke aged 26 years
  • In 1911 Census Walter is married and living with his wife and children in Wanborough
  • In June 1912 Walter and Sarah had a son, named Charles Henry, baptised. He was born in January 1912. (This is exactly the same name as the little boy Walter's brother Charles had lost in 1902. Perhaps this goes some way to demonstrate the feelings that ran between the two brothers?)
  • In 1943 Sarah Ann died in Farnham Workhouse
  • In 1956 Walter died in Guildford
The oral family history shared with me from my Great Aunts and one of Walter's children was, as I sad not very flattering to Walter. 

One of his daughters, known as Bessie, had what we would describe as learning difficulties and she was sent to an asylum by her father.  I do not have the dates of her admission, but I do know where she was sent. He brother upon being widowed took care of her after having her discharged. By then she was an elderly lady and having met her there was a slowness about her, but nothing that would have prevented her from living a lovely life outside of an institution. This was proved as after the death of her brother she remained living, on her own in his home, and only needing assistance as many elderly folk do.

Upon reflecting, her life existed in an institution because of the thinking and ridicule at the time. She missed so much and that is nothing short of tragic.

Reading the journals of notes made when I interviewed my Aunt in 1987 reveal that a second daughter was also admitted to an asylum. No further details are known other than the name.

Sarah Anne Butcher was admitted to Farnham Workhouse. At this time before the days of the National Health Service workhouses were often used to home unwell individuals.

Walter and Sarah raised a family of seven children; four sons and three daughters. One daughter, Emily died aged one year in 1918. The remaining two daughters never married or had any issue. Of the three sons, two of them married, with one of them having a son who died in 1969.

The complexities I mentioned at the start were caused by two of Walter's half sisters from his father's second marriage marrying two of Sarah Anne's brothers. That in itself was not unheard of for I have several instances of similar issues happening in my ancestry. There are links to other surnames that after more than twenty five years I am still unravelling, one of which involves the surnames of LANGFORD and GUNNER.

The links to the mental health issues I find interesting, curious and slightly concerning which indicates that the issues were on this particular Crooke and Butcher connection and I have three different combinations of it! Certainly as far as the line that descends from Walter there are no direct living descendants and that is again another sadness.

  • Locate the admission record for Bessie and Mary to see if I can be granted access.
  • Locate the admission record for Sarah Ann Butcher nee Crook at Farnham Workhouse
  • Locate the burial and death details for all of Walter's children
  • Locate the burial details for both Walter and Sarah
  • Order Death certificate for Sarah Ann Butcher
  • Unravel the connection the LANGFORD & GUNNER connections to the Crooke family
  • Look at the Farm details for Passenger Farm at Worplesdon

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

52 Ancestors:# 4 ~ Butcher Births and Deaths between the Census'

No Story Too Small
This post is for week 4 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge (2015) by Amy Crow from No Story Too Small.
You can read the list of my posts HERE

My Grandfather's parents, Charles Butcher and his wife, Annie Prudence nee Harris raised a family of nine children to adulthood; five daughters and four sons. They also had three children other children; two who lived a very short time, and one who was stillborn.

Something touched me as I re-read my notes about these three children. The reality is that apart from their names and the notes that I made when my Great Aunt spoke of her deceased siblings there isn't much to tell. Or is there?
  • Charles Henry Butcher born 1st June 1902 and died 23rd November 1902. Both events occurred at Wanborough Surrey. Charles was born blind
  • Frederick William Butcher born 23rd August 1903 in Wanborough was stillborn
  • Elsie Butcher born 7th January 1912 and died 25th March 1912. Both events in Wanborough Surrey. Elsie suffered from "fits"
Crown Copyright. Accessed via Ancestry
Class: RG14; Piece: 3098; Schedule Number: 44

Back in 1988 when my Great Aunt told me about these siblings the 1901 Census had not been released, and even if it had it missed the birth of all of these children.

The 1911 Census was also not available and again the children would not have been recorded in any case, but as you can see from the 1911 Census for the family it does confirm that two children had died. The Census document should have shown children who had been born living and subsequently died which was not the case.

Oral history was my starting point. My Great Aunt was born in 1900, so she recalled the birth and death of Elsie, and was very small during the births and subsequent deaths of her two earlier siblings, which indicated that the information came to me second hand, from my Great Grandmother via my Aunt.

Wanborough Church circa 1940
From the Guildford & District Collection of Julie Goucher
The question was how much of the information was accurate?

I made an appointment with the churchwarden of the time at Wanborough. He was less welcoming that his colleague from neighbouring Puttenham. He observed me with the register as I extracted the baptisms and burials of my Grandfather born in Wanborough in 1908, his earlier and later siblings in addition to the details for Charles and Elsie. I also transcribed the burial register for Frederick.

Here in the UK there was not a separate GRO register for stillborns until the 1920's, therefore there is actually no record of Frederick William apart from the oral history and the entry in the burial register. There is no gravestone, and Frederick was simply added to the grave plot of a recent and non related burial.

I was curious about the causes for death, as recalled by the oral history of both Charles and Elsie and set about trying to establish a little detail about the causes for death.

Charles Henry (born in 1902) apparently was born blind, which in babies from birth was more common alongside other developmental issues - what we would call now intellectual disability, or conditions such as Cerebal Palsy and Epilepsy.

Elsie (born 1912) apparently died of, what was described to me as  "fits". Babies can have Infantile Spasms. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder which is characterised by recurrent seizures. It can be hereditary, but on the whole most siblings do not have the condition, but if they do the seizures are Generalised Seizures which begin from both sides of the brain at the same time.

Was the conditions suffered by Charles and Elsie linked? The reality is that this can never been 100% proved. What is certain is that Society viewed epilepsy very differently at the beginning of the Twentieth Century, and those views had formed in the Victorian age. Had those children had a form of Epilepsy and lived to adulthood, there is a chance they would have been subject to ridicule and perhaps incarceration into an asylum.


  • Order the birth and death certificates for Charles Henry Butcher 1902 - DONE
  • Order the birth and death certificates for Elsie Butcher 1912 - DONE
  • Locate the burial log to see if I can identify which grave Frederick William was added to.
  • Further research on the causes of death once the certificates have arrived

In Deep with the Book of Me - January Prompt 2015 - Genealogical Plantation

You can read the Prompt Post HERE.
You can read my take on the prompt HERE
The web page with all the details on, including the prompts from the first series can be found HERE

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

A - Z Challenge for 2015

The blogging event of the year has just opened. That is right; The A-Z blogging challenge is back!

You can sign up HERE to take part in the 2015 event.

I have signed up and this blog will be taking part in the 

In Deep with the Book of Me A-Z Medley.

The Book of Me A-Z prompts will be released here in the middle of March and they will also be available on the website

Monday, 26 January 2015

Motivational Monday - Medical Genealogy

For those of you who read the digital genealogy magazine, "The In-Depth Genealogist" you may recall that I have written twice in the last year about medical genealogy[1], [2].

This last week I have needed to look back at my own medical records and whilst I have some of the data because I was there, therefore I know and remember! I have needed to prove what I know. There was, in additions to that some things that I could not be 100% sure of, my late Mum would have known, but that is clearly not an option and as I am still going through Mum's things accessing the data, should I have it is not going to be a quick solution.

I instead turned to my own medical records. Here in the UK medical records are kept in different places:
  • General Practitioner (GP) medical notes - depending on your age these might be a mixture of 
    • paper notes
    • computerised records
  • Child Health notes - these are essentially vaccinations administered through the mass immunisation clinics - Rubella for example these are kept from birth until 10 years past the leaving age from compulsory education
  • Hospital notes at each individual hospital
The information I needed to access was from Child Health and, as you might suspect I am older than 26 years and subsequently those records have been destroyed. I next contacted my GP. Did my notes pertain to anything specific to what I wanted to know? They didn't but I did obtain a list of all my vaccinations from 1970. Next I tried the long shot of my hospital records. They were destroyed at 9 full years post my last interaction with the hospital, although my maiden name was still on the system showing the records had been destroyed; so that was no good either.

Had the records been available the hospital in question would have charged an access fee of £25 and wanted me to complete a form and provide evidence as to my identity and entitlement. The child health records would have been the same. Each hospital can effectively charge their own fee within the constraints of the legislation that is applicable, which is Access to Medical Records.

Lloyd George Medical Envelope
Developed in 1911
Most General Practitioners allow patients to access their records reasonably easily. There is still paperwork and payment, but if you know the practice staff well and they understand the reason for requiring access they maybe nice and waive the fee.

Over the last twenty or so years hospitals typically offer you a copy of any letter they send to your General Practitioner and usually appointments are arranged through a postal system.

How many of you keep those letters? 

Those letters, even those simply giving you and appointment are worth keeping, (or scan and archive). They provide a snap shot of your life that others might find useful. As you might expect accessing medical records of others is problematic, but achievable if you are the next of kin, or the nearest next of kin an example might be the Grandchild of an deceased only child, and the records have survived.

Respecting privacy - we are all entitled to privacy; and quite rightly so. Just because you know something about someone else does not give anyone the right to share that information, regardless of how the information was acquired.  Those of us that work in the health professions are use to the constraints of confidentiality; and even in death there is the need for respect, privacy and confidentiality.

As an historian I also understand the need to extrapolate the information. To wish to preserve it for a future generation, especially if the original material might not survive or be accessible to a collateral line of descendants.

How can that be achieved?

There are probably a selection of ways that this can be achieved, but I can tell you how I have tackled this, especially as in the future with no immediate descendants I might not be in a position to provide any information or the information might be in a different country and time zone.

  • Scanned copies of all hospital letters and archived them 
    • Using key / tags to indicate the specifics (eg Heart, Asthma)
  • Give context to the clinics attended
    • Endocrinology could mean diabetic, it could also mean other conditions that are looked after within this specialisation
  • Copy of regular prescribed drugs (update regularly)
    • Indicate the conditions - some drugs are used for more than one thing - several Epilepsy drugs are used by pain clinics.
  • Give context to the conditions - in 1900 to be Epileptic was very stigmatised. 
  • Record (with a huge amount of care) any information you know about family members.
    • Cousin Margo (died 1986) was asthmatic - might be relevant if someone is looking at heredity issues (not conclusive) in the future.
    • Especially of interest if the condition is not recorded as the cause of death or not related to the cause of death.
      • In a 100 years will your descendants or collateral lines know you had a hip replacement in 1998?
  • Ensure that you have created a letter of authority and that it can be easily accessed.
  • Ensure that your nominated person (suggest more than one) knows where the archive is!
Are you motivated to look at your medical genealogy?

[1] The In-Depth Genealogist - Medical Genealogy - Issue 13, pp 29 - 36 ~ February 2014
[2] The In-Depth Genealogist - Medical Genealogy - Sad Next Steps- Issue 14, pp 57 - 61 ~ March 2014

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Collections - Summary

Created by Julie Goucher, Jan 2015 using Wordle
Last week I shared a few posts about collections.

Those posts had actually been written with a specific organisation in mind, and I broke those posts down and shared them here. I had meant to get back to you with this post, but life got in the way. You know that feeling....don't you?

If you missed those earlier posts then here are the links for you:
I have recognised I have a few collections. That is probably the first step. Then there are decisions to be made on what to do with them. WHY do I have those collections. There are an assortment of reasons why I have some collections.
  • Gifts or Sentimentality attached to the collection - Stamps
  • Expanding a further area of research - Postcards
  • Reading material - books, articles and journals
As I stated last week, all my books are kept in LibraryThing. I have also added to my LibraryThing Microfiche, Data CD's, Audio books, Journals and Specific Articles. My thinking here was if the physical item exists in my home library / office then it would be logged on my LibraryThing account.

The bulk of my collections are linked to specific places - probably my One Place Studies, but not exclusively so. I have a very large collection of Guildford (Surrey, England) material and whilst Guildford is not currently registered as a study, it is just that in some way.

I also have a few things that relate to my two One-Name or Surname Research for the Surnames of Orlando and Worship. Articles and journals relating to several health issues, are also featured in my collections. I have a particular interest in Polio for example.

I truly wish I could say that is all my collections, but it is not, and I get a sense that if you are reading this then you probably can think of a few collections you have!

I shared a few links last week to collection software. My personal choice is to use Excel. I have created a blank spreadsheet which can be accessed at Google Docs and via my website

Just as everyone's collections will not be the same, neither will the catalyst for starting them or how they are indexed. For me the point is not just collecting, but doing something constructive with the material once there is a collection. 


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