Susanah Bamber

Looks like the Sarah Jane Smith we found is not our Sarah Jane Smith – even though her father has the right name.

We’ve managed to track them down on the 1881 census, as well as our Robert and Sarah Jane Smith – interestingly our Sarah Jane Smith seems to have lost a couple of years on the 1901 census and her place of birth has changed from Cavan in Ireland to St Helens.

It would be much easier if everyone stopped telling porkies on the census. 😀

Anyway taking a different tack has thrown up another lead – the International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch.org is a partial index to vital records from around the world including some from Ireland.

A search has thrown up a Susan Smith born on 21 Jul 1872 in Cavan in Ireland to a Robert Smith and Serah Johnston.

We’ll see of we can send for that Birth Certificate, but at least it gives us a concrete lead in the search for the Irish branch of our family tree.

Porstmouth 1 – 2 Liverpool

Liverpool have kept themselves in the race for 4th place after first half goals from Fernando Morientes and Luis Garcia gave them a crucial 2-1 victory over Portsmouth at Fratton Park.

Everton’s win over Man Utd keeps them in pole position, but there’ll be more twists and turns before the end of the season.

Another John Holmes

Some more census searching at Ancestry.co.uk has thrown up some promising leads in the search for John Holmes.

On the 1871 census we have found a Holmes family living in Bebington on the Wirral with six children – the youngest of which are a William J aged 6 and a John aged 4 both listed as born in New Ferry. All of which is just about as close to Rock Ferry as you can get without actually being there. 🙂

Although we were looking for a James aged 6 and a John aged 2, we’ve got good reason to believe that John lied about his age – both on his marriage certificate and the 1901 census – as he’s the best part of 10 years older than his wife Elizabeth which was frowned upon at the time. From his death certificate and colliery records, which list his age as 38 in January 1906, we would expect his age to be around 4 on the 1871 census.

We’ve also found a birth certificate in the index that suggests the William J stands for William James, and as their father’s name was William it’s quite possible that in later life he dropped the William in favour of James.

On the 1881 census William (the father) has died, and the mother Maggie Holmes is running a Lodging House in Eccleston near St Helens – young William and our John are still living with her along with two of the other children, and John is listed as a Scholar aged 14 and William J as a labourer at the Glass Works aged 16.

On the 1891 census Maggie has died and John Holmes is listed as a Collier aged 24 living with his older sister Margaret, who is now married to a Frank Grundy but still running a Lodging House in Eccleston (a different one to the one on the 1881 census though) – but there’s no sign of William J Holmes.

Anyway we’ve sent for William James birth certificate which will hopefully give us Maggie’s maiden name – we know from the census she was born in the North Wales but the place name is indecipherable – and we’ll see where that takes us.

A new dishwasher

Hot on the heels of the broken cooker, our dishwasher has finally given up the ghost.

In the five years since we moved in (it came with the house) it’s leaked all over the kitchen once, had four new handles after the locking mechanism has broken (twice with a full load of dishes inside!) and caught fire once (well the switch melted anyway).

Don’t ever buy anything from Indesit…

A replacement has been ordered and will be delivered next week – a new Bosch SGS 45E08 – but until then it’s back to doing things the old fashioned way. 🙁

Cloud Atlas

I’ve just finished reading Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.

The book is unusual in that it consists of 6 interlinked stories set in different eras, and whilst it was an enjoyable read I can’t help feeling that a bit more could have been made of the central ideas.

The main characters of each story include an American travelling the south Pacific in the 19th Century, a musician composing in Belgium between the wars, a journalist exposing corporate misdoings in 1970s California, a modern day publisher trapped in a Retirement Home in Hull, a fabricant human created to serve in a Korean fast food restaurant and finally a goat farmer living on an island in Hawaii in a post-apocalyptic future.

It’s a good book and a recommended read, my only advice would be to perservere with it – some of the writing styles adopted are difficult to read, but it is worth the effort.

John Holmes

Looks like the John William Holmes we discovered recently is probably not our John Holmes after all.

After a length trawl through the 1871, 1881 and 1891 censuses (or should that be censi) on the excellent Ancestry.co.uk we discovered this particular John Holmes had an elder sister Ann, but apparently no elder brother James.

That would make it difficult for them to be sharing a house on the 1901 census – so either we don’t believe the 1901 census or there’s another John and James Holmes out there waiting to be discovered.