On March 13, 1781, astronomer William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus. It would be the first planet to be discovered with the aid of a telescope. Herschel was born on November 15, 1738 in Hanover, Germany, then a part of the Holy Roman Empire. His father was an oboist in the Hanover Military Band and as a teen, Herschel also worked as a musician in the band. At 19, he went to England and supported himself as… Read the full story
It can be one of the hardest tasks in doing your family or one of the easiest. It all depends on how much details were added to the following documents. When searching, make sure you completely check for a maiden name using: A marriage certificate or license A death certificate A family Bible record Federal […]
Apparently there existed a Boxing Day tradition for Nettleton shoemakers to mockingly 'beat the lapstone' at the house of any teetotaller.
The tradition is believed to have originated from an 18th Century story of a Nettleton resident named Thomas Stickler, a teetotaller of some 20 years, who got tipsy after a half pint of ale whilst visiting his shoemaker on Christmas Day.
When questioned by his wife, he apparently protested his innocence replying that he was not drunk but had simply "fallen over the lapstone”.
So as a practical joke shoemakers are supposed to have taken to 'beating the lapstone' after every Christmas Day.
The second of two people accused of killing a Las Vegas man and then burning his remains has entered a plea agreement.
Deborah Smith, who is also known as Deborah Payne, pleaded guilty Tuesday to second-degree murder and robbery in connection with the June 1998 death of Jack "Rusty" Gornik.
Smith could receive life in prison on the murder charge and a 15-year prison sentence on the robbery charge, Deputy District Attorney L.J. O'Neal said.
She is scheduled to be sentenced May 17 by District Judge Sally Loehrer.
Smith and Wendell Deane McGinnis were arrested after acquaintances of theirs reported to police what they knew about Gornik's death.
The acquaintances told police that Gornik picked up Smith and McGinnis after their car broke down with the understanding that the two would share their heroin with him. The three of them ended up living together in a downtown motel.
Smith and McGinnis decided to kill Gornik after Smith discovered some of her heroin missing, according to court documents.
The acquaintances told police that Smith told them that when attempts by McGinnis to kill Gornik with a drug overdose and by battering him didn't work, she placed a plastic bag over his head.
Workers at the Littleton Roofing Co., 3053 N. Nellis Blvd., found Gornik's remains after extinguishing a Dumpster fire on the morning of June 25, 1998.
Although the body was badly burned, the autopsy revealed Gornik, 38, died of morphine poisoning.
McGinnis pleaded guilty to accessory to murder and was sentenced to five years in prison in October 1999. He is eligible for parole after two years. At his sentencing hearing, he maintained his innocence, saying Gornik died of an overdose.
The robbery charge Smith pleaded guilty to stems from the fact she and McGinnis continued to drive Gornik's 1984 Ford Bronco following his death.
Story by Kim Smith
Wednesday, March 29, 2000 | 10:20 a.m.
copyright Las Vegas Sun
John Smith (My maternal Great Grandfather) was born in 1886 in Hull, Yorkshire to Henry Smith & Mary Phillips.
By the age of 15 he was a Butcher by trade (1901 Census for England & Wales - Class: RG13; Piece: 4479; Folio: 17; Page: 25) and was living at home with his mother, his father having died the previous year.
By the time of the 1911 census (Class: RG14; Piece: 28691) John was married to Gertrude Crowson-Lidster (1882-1914), had 3 children, Harry b 1905, Frederick b 1908 & Gladys May b 1909 (my maternal grandmother), he was also, by now, a casual labourer.
By 1916 John was living at 1 Anne's Place, Francis Street East, Hull, had another child, Herbert William b 1914 and was working as a fireman on the Wilson Line ship SS Dido.
Steam Ship Dido of the Wilson Line of Hull
On 26 February 1916 the ship was sailing from Middlesborough, Yorkshire to Hull under the command of Captain Taylor, the journey was marred by very heavy squalls and sleet, the ship was anchored just off the Humber Estuary in the North Sea when a German mine exploded against the side of the ship blowing a large hole in it's side. A lifeboat was launched with three crewmen on board but was quickly blown away from the ship due to the rough seas, these three crewmen were the only survivors. Eventually the remaining crew donned their life-jackets and abandoned the ship as it was quickly sinking. Due to the extreme bad weather and extremely cold temperatures none of them survived. What could have been more terrifying, the thought of drowning before being rescued, freezing to death or the possibility of another mine drifting towards you and exploding?.
All crew members families would have received a telegram, Mrs Altoft received this one.
Further details can be found in these three newspaper reports;
- Hull Daily Mail - 28 February 1916
- Scotsman - 28 February 1916
- Sheffield Daily Telegraph - 28 February 1916
Headstone provided by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and located at the Hedon Road Cemetery, Hull. Once this, and other, headstones were supplied, the relevant persons name was removed from the Tower Hill Memorial in London
How It Started
My first foray into my family history was to do a One-Name Study of the name so I started collecting every example and record I came across, as with many family historians/genealogists, one of the first resources I come across was the IGI.
I obtained a complete listing of all Rack/Racke/Wrack's there were on the IGI, plus a few spelling variations, then set about grouping all the families together, as the years went by I gathered more information that confirmed, or even refuted, some of the family groups I had created.
One family group I came across was headed by John Stephenson Wrack, I had no idea were he originated from at that time, but then I discovered the censuses for 1851 & 1881, on both he gave his age which gave me an approximate birth year of 1792 and place of birth as Hull, Yorkshire.
But who was he, who were his parents, neither of these questions have been answered, even now, over 35 years later, I have still not discovered much about him. In the early 1990's not long after I left the army, I was contacted by another researcher, the late Roy Taylor, he had come across my entry in the Banyan Tree's Members Interest section (this is the official publication of the East Yorkshire Family History Society) and was hoping I could help him as he is a direct descendant of John via his first-born Rebecca, unfortunately I could not help him but we became good friends and undertook reciprocal research for one another at various county archives, it was a couple of years later when Roy informed me that another researcher, working on his behalf, had discovered the marriage of John to Mary Carr in Saxby All Saints, Lincolnshire in 1818, just a few months before the baptism of their daughter Rebecca in nearby Keelby.
This find gave us another avenue of research, maybe Mary was from the Wrack side of things, but alas, that was not to be, Mary was born a Carr and her parents have nothing to do with the Rack name. Further research brought up more information that helped us discover where he was from but not who his parents were.
Eventually we did discover his baptism, it would seem that he was born John Stephenson to John & Mary Stephenson in Hull in 1792 and somewhere along the way, prior to the birth of his first daughter in 1816, he added the surname of Wrack. There have been a few suggestions of how this came about, some of his ancestors in New Zealand believe it was a 'clerical error' on the marriage register and it should have read John Stephenson of Wrack, I can virtually refute that immediately as he did not marry until 1818 but on the IGI entry for his daughter Rebecca, b 1816, Keelby, Lincolnshire, he is already listed as John Stevenson Rack.
A more likely scenario is, as was occasionally done, that he took the surname Rack as someone of that name had no offspring to continue the name, this was usually accompanied by a monetary gift and a promise that the name would not die out, I consider this as the most likely option, I do believe strongly that he was born John Stephenson as that surname is still today used by many of his descendants as a second, or even third or fourth name, he named virtually all his children with it and their descendants still continue to do the same.
Welcome To My Family
Does this mean that John is not either a Rack or even connected to the Rack family at all, well I still cannot find a connection to the Rack family as a whole but I have just recently discovered that I do have a biological connection to him, but this is from my maternal side of the family, one of my 5 x Great Grandparents is William Carr who had a daughter, a 5 x Great Aunt, named Mary Carr, who married a John Stephenson Wrack in 1818 in Keelby, Lincolnshire.
So after all these years I have finally got the answer I was looking for, yes I am connected to John and his descendants, unfortunately Roy Taylor passed away in 2003 so never knew that we were 5th cousins once removed.
In 1851 leaflets were distributed in the village, and surrounding area, of Nettleton, near Caistor, Lincolnshire, England. At least one of them exists to this day and although slightly damaged, it reads as follows;
Miss Jordan - Milliner and Dressmaker - Nettleton
Begs to inform the ladies of Nettleton and the vicinity that she has commercial business at the house of her father, the Salutation Inn, and having served her apprenticeship in the establishment of Miss Frost and Mirs Freeman of Hull, feels confident that she is able ....... give satisfaction to those ........ who favour her with their......
Elizabeth Jordan was born in Beeford, In the East Riding of Yorkshire, England, in 1883. She was the eldest child of William and Ann Jordan, both of whose ancestry goes back to the Bridlington area of the East Riding. About 1840 William Jordan became the publican of the Salutation Inn, Nettleton, Lincolnshire.
Elizabeth was 18 years of age when she announced her business venture. She was married first to George Woodhead, a vermin destroyer. However, within a few years he died leaving her a widow with a young son, Charles.
In 1871 she married again to a widower by the name of William Wrack, who at one time had been a carrier in the nearby village of Grasby. Their first son, born in 1872, was also called William Wrack. In the 1930's he was a publican at the Queens Hotel, North Kelsey Moor, where he his still remembered.
His son, Charles William Wrack, born 1902, was extremely well known in the Caistor area, were he was a sadlerr and shoe repairer until his death in 1962.
The Salutation Inn, of course, still stands at the side of the main Lincoln to Grimsby Road. William Jordan was 'mine host' there for 43 years until his death in 1883. It is a place where it is possible to goand have a drink in the company of ones ancestors, even if only in spirit.
This article was originally written by Mr Tony Andrews and was originaly published in the Society for Lincolnshire History & Archeaology - Family History Section publication 'Lincolnshire Family Historian' Vol 6 Number 8, April 1989
It is assumed that Edmund was born in 1735 at Attelborough in Norfolk, about 16 miles south-west of Norwich. he was the son of Edmund & Elizabeth Rack. The father was labouring weaver and both parents were Quakers, the mother being a preacher in the sect. He was brought up as a Quaker and apprenticed to a general shopkeeper in Wymondham, Norfolk. When he had completed his apprenticeship he left the area and travelled to Bardfield in Essex were he became a shopman to a Miss Agnes Smith who he eventually married.
About 1775 he settled in Bath, and having cultivated a taste for literature, was patronised by Lady Miller of Batheaston, Mrs Macauley and Dr. Wilson.
Whilst living in Norfolk he took a great deal of interest in the local system of farming, and with a view to improving the system in the western counties of England, he drew up, in 1777, a plan for the formation of a society for the encouragement of agriculture in the counties of Somerset, WIltshire, Dorset & Gloucestershire, entitled "Bath and West of England Society for the Encouragement of Agriculture, Arts, Manufactures and Commerce". He was appointed it's first secretary. About 1792 it took the name of the Bath & West of England Agricultural Society, and it still flourishes today as the Royal Bath and West of England Society, see also the Wikipedia Entry
in 1779 Edmund aided in establishing the Bath Philosophiocal Society and became its first secretary. Unfortunately it no longer exists, but its successor, the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution is still going strong
He died in Bath on 22nd February 1787
Genealogy, or Family History, research for the beginner can be very confusing, this could be because early records may be written in Latin or events may be recorded well after the fact, there is also the issue of which terms to use, do we use Christening or Baptism or is it Abt. or Circa."
Whatever the issue is there is an abundance of help on the web, in local Family History Groups and in print.
I will occasionally be posting about some of these "confusing" issues and today I'll start with the English (& Welsh) Births, Marriages & Deaths (BMD) Indexes.
First, a bit of history
The registration of Births, Marriages & Deaths commenced on 1 July 1837 in England & Wales and up until 1875 it was the responsibility of the local registrar to ensure all events were reported, due to this many parents didn't bother registering their children, many thought that having them baptised in their local parish church was enough, well they have been doing that for a few hundred years to that point and nobody had ever complained in the past
Some sources believe that upwards of 15% of early births were not registered, also parents may also have given false dates of birth to avoid fines if they were late in registering, a birth had to be registered within 42 days of the event but could be up to a year later by paying a fine, there have been instances reported recently by genealogists that show the odd birth being registered when the child was actually an adult.
All BMD events are recorded by the local Registrar who then sends copies to the Superintendent Registrar for the Registration District (RD) to which they belong. Every 3 months the Superintendent Registrar must send copies of all events to the General Registrar at the General Register Office (GRO) who then creates the indexes that we all use on a regular basis.
This grouping together of events into 3 monthly registers has given us the term quarters in regards to BMD's, confusion starts when genealogists (I use that term to mean both amateur genealogists and family historians) record these dates in differing ways, over the years I have seen Q1, 1Q, 1st Quarter, First Quarter, Jan Quarter and March Quarter all used to mean the first three months of the year. the GRO uses March as the correct term while some record sites use January, FindMyPast uses Birth Quarter 1 in their transcriptions, I myself use the first month of any given quarter.
Now the quarter given does not necessarily match the date of birth, as a child born on the 22nd November can be registered up until the 2nd January the following year to avoid paying fines but up to a year later with a fine, so you have to be careful when looking for dates of birth, always check later quarters.
Up until 1 Jan 1984 births are listed in the indexes first by Year, then Quarter then Surname then First name(s), from 1 Jan 1984 births are listed by year then Surname, then First name(s) then by Month.
Marriages, while also not being registered in the early days as some clergy were against the idea of civil registration, are actually recorded in the month the event took place, as are Deaths, so with these you can be pretty sure you are accurate to within three months of the event if you do not know the exact date.
All the indexes include the names, year, quarter and district of registration, but as the years have gone on additional information has been added to the index, thus making our lives a little easier.
In 1866 the age at death was included in the Death indexes, though these may not be accurate as they are based on information given to the Registrar by the informant and sometimes the informant may not have known the person very well, such as a recently arrived neighbour. From 1969 the date of birth was included in the Death indexes, again dates of birth may be inaccurate for the elderly as there are instances of people "subtracting" years from age for a variety of reasons and then when they die the age or year of birth is given based on the wrong age.
Since September 1911 the maiden name of the mother was included on the birth index which make is easier to identify family groups.
Up until 1911 the Marriage indexes only included one name, it did not include the spouse, since 1 January 1912 the spouse's surname as also been included in the index.
More recently the GRO has published a new searchable index on it's website, just Click Here then register and your good to go. This new facility has extra data available outside of the dates listed above, for example it has the mothers maiden name for all births from 1837, where registered.
The GRO not only holds the BMD's for England & Wales, it also holds records of other events as well, More GRO Holdings
The first Registration Districts were based on the boundaries of the old Poor Law Unions and even took their names in most cases, in later years boundaries were changed and areas consolidated as well as some locations being moved from one district to another as boundaries changed. A full list of all Districts, with dates and any boundary changes etc can be found Here, click on an individual county name to see which Registration Districts are included within the County boundaries then on each District name to see what Towns & Villages etc are in each District, with relevant dates etc.
Due to there being a number of parishes in any given Registration District, the place on the index is not necessarily the place the event took place in, as an example the Registration District of Hull only includes the central portion of the city until 1937, the remaining area of the city was in the Sculcoates Registration District, the boundary lines were down the middle of the roads in some areas and between the rear of adjacent properties in other areas, in 1937 the Sculcoates Registration District was abolished and the whole of Hull became part of the same District.
Sculcoates Registration District itself was not just the Parish of Sculcoates but included other Towns and Villages as well as parts of Hull, until 1937 Sculcoates also included Haltemprice, Hedon, North Ferriby, Preston, Swanland, Welton, Anlaby, Brough, Hessle, Kirkella, Willerby, Cottingham, Melton, Sutton on Hull, Wauldby, West Ella & Willerby, the following parishes, whilst being withing the boundaries of Hull were also part of the Sculcoates Registration District; Drypool, Garrison Side, Sutton & Stoneferry, Sculcoates, Marfleet, Newington & Southcoates.
In 1974 the county of Humberside was created and the Hull Registration District was expanded to include all of the above plus Aldbrough, Atwick, Bewholme, Bilton, Brandesburton, Bull Fort, Burstwick, Burton Constable, Burton Pidsea, Catwick, Coniston, Easington, East Garton, Ellerby, Elstronwick, Halsham, Hatfield, Hedon, Hollym, Holmpton, Hornsea, Humbleton, Keyingham, Mappleton, Ottringham, Patrington, Paull, Preston, Rimswell, Rise, Riston, Roos, Seaton, Sigglesthorne, Skeffling, Skirlaugh, Sproatley, Sunk Island, Swine, Thorngumbald, Wawne, Welwick, and Withernwick, and the unparished area of Withernsea, these were part of either the previous Skirlaugh or Holderness Registration Districts.
To see how confusing the English system is I was born in an extremely small place, only a couple of cottages, about 3 miles north-east of Hull, about a mile and a half west of Skirlaugh and about 12 miles west of Hornsea, yet according to the records I was born in the Hornsea sub-district of the Holderness Registration District.
Things can be just as confusing in other cities, especially London, but I'm not going there with that one.
<strong>Reference Numbers and Pages</strong>
One other key part of the index are the reference Numbers and Page numbers, these are used when you wish to purchase a copy of a certificate from the GRO, they have no value if you are purchasing a certificate directly from a specific Registration District office.
The Reference Number indicates a specific region of the country and also identifies the Volume of the Register and the page number is the page the original entry is on in any given volume. Over the years these Reference numbers for any given region have changed, from 1837 to 1851 Roman Numerals were used, from 1852 to 1946 a number followed by an alphabetic character was used. In 1996 the numbering system was changed totally, The Hull Registration District has had the following Reference/Volume Numbers over the years, <em>XXII</em> (1837-51), <em>9d</em> (1852-1946), <em>2A</em> (1946-74), <em>7</em> (1974-96) and 5501, with a following letter since 1996. For a list of all the early (until 1946) reference numbers and the areas they were allocated to Click Here
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