John William Holmes

We know my dad’s maternal grandfather, John Holmes, was killed in a mining accident at Sherburn Hill colliery near Durham in 1906, but beyond that he’s proven a little difficult to track down.

He was a Sergeant in the South Lancashire regiment around the turn of the century, but the only Sergeant Holmes we can find is listed in the army records is a Sergeant W. Holmes.

On the 1901 Census he’s shown as living in St Helens, but born in Rock Ferry on the Wirral. Now although we couldn’t find an exact match in the register of births we did find a John William Holmes of the right age born in Wallasey – which is close enough to Rock Ferry and could also explain this listing as W. Holmes in the army records.

The Birth Certificate arrived today and shows the father’s name as William Holmes, which we know to be the name of the father of our John Holmes, so looks like we may have the right one!

His mother is listed as Ellen Homes (formerly Houldsworth) so we now need to try and find a Marriage Certificate for her and William, and a Birth Certificate for John’s older brother James to hopefully confirm we have the right family.

Juventus v Liverpool

It’s the return leg of the Champions League Quarter Final tomorrow night, and everyone’s hoping that we’ll be talking about the football come Thursday morning.

Steve Gerrard is out with a groin injury picked up at the weekend, but Xabi Alonso and Djibril Cisse could both figure after returning from a broken ankle and leg respectively.

Get Firefox

I’ve added a link to the sidebar so you can download Firefox and escape from the nightmare that is Internet Explorer.

Over 44 million downloads already – there’s also counter on the sidebar that keeps track of the number of downloads from the Firefox website.

If you haven’t tried it you should, and once you have it’s unlikely you’ll go back…

Uncle Dave & the New Cooker

Uncle Dave is visiting for the weekend so Megan’s getting all excited – I’m not sure he knows quite what he’s letting himself in for though 🙂

He’ll be the first test out the new cooker that arrived today too, the door fell off the last one and ripped the hinges off in the process – it was never really the same after Megan decided to bounce on it…

We got a nice new Baumatic B100 for under £200 from Sainsbury’s Kitchen Appliances.

It was the best deal we could find for a built-in Stainless Steel Oven to fit in the hole vacated by the old one!

The Silliness of Secrecy

Apparently since Sept 11 2001, the US government has advised airplane pilots against flying near 100 nuclear power plants throughout the USA or they will be forced down by fighter jets.

But pilots say there’s a hitch in the instructions: aviation security officials refuse to disclose the precise location of the plants because they consider that “SSI” — Sensitive Security Information.

Hardly inspires confidence does it…

iriver h340

I was looking for a multi-format jukebox that was going to work properly with Linux (which rules out an iPod!) but that had a large enough capacity to hold all my music (300+ albums and nearly 20Gb of mp3 files).

After a bit of seraching I found the iriver H340 which has 40Gb of storage (a 20Gb version is available), supports all common audio formats (MP3, WMA, OGG Vorbis and more) but most importantly can simply be connected to any machine as a fast USB disk drive. Dump your audio files on it and it will automatically find and catalogue them – no need for any additional software, although there is some available if you feel the need.

Works like a charm with Linux and comes highly recommended.

Tracing Susannah Bamber

We’ve reached a bit of a dead end in the family tree research, so we’re having to think a bit laterally.

We know from the 1901 Census and various other sources that my Dad’s Grandmother, on his father’s side – Susannah Bamber – was born in Ireland, as was her father Robert Smith. We don’t know much more than that though, not even her mother’s name.

On the 1901 Census however Robert Smith is shown as living with another daughter – Sarah J Roddy – who was born in St Helens. Sarah is only a couple of years younger than Susannah, so we can assume that the family must have moved across from Ireland soon after Susannah was born. If we could find Sarah’s birth certificate then there’s a fair chance she will share the same mother as Susannah.

Unfortunately the certificate we thought may have been our Sarah show’s her father to be Robert Smith (as expected) but his occupation is listed as Grocer – all the other evidence we have suggests he was a Carter so we may have the wrong Sarah!

To try and clear this up we’d like to find her marriage certificate, but on the 1901 Census she is shown as married but her husband isn’t listed so until today we didn’t even know his name.

We had sent for the birth certificate of one of their children – Mary Roddy – to find his name and then hopefully the marriage certificate. That certificate arrived this morning and showed Dad’s name to be Thomas Roddy and the J of Sarah J to be for Jane.

Interestingly this is also consistent with the certificate we thought might be her, so maybe Robert Smith did change profession after he moved across from Ireland.

Time to send for that marriage certificate I think…