Thursday, 29 December 2016

Week 52: "52 Weeks=52 Ancestors"

As we draw the 2016 genealogy challenge “52 weeks=52 ancestors” to a close it reminds me of years ago, on New Year’s Day, the local pop radio station would do a countdown of the top 100 songs of the previous year.  The excitement and build-up of which song would they select as number one would keep me glued to the radio!

Wouldn’t it be great if I could do the same thing today?  Create a top ten countdown of our Palin ancestors.  Granted there won’t be pop songs, but ten Palins from our site selected for having made their mark in the history books or made a difference in their world.  What a fun idea!  So without further ado….

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Week 51: Christmas of Days Gone By

Every family has their own unique way of spending Christmas and have their own traditions, but chances are some of the traditions could have been handed down from generations gone by.  Do we know how our ancestors would celebrate Christmas and is there a way we can find out?

I thought it would be a far fetched idea but I would check the newspapers and see if I could find anything there.  Sure enough, I found a couple of articles. 

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Week 50: Head Scratcher

Sometimes when searching for family members in the family tree, it is not as easy as connecting the dots.  There could be all kinds of brick walls that a genealogist could face from incorrect dates of birth to names being misspelled.  Sometimes even the first name is given incorrectly. 

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Week 49: Palin vs Palin

Some family trees have beautiful leaves, and some have just a bunch of nuts. Remember, it is the nuts that make the tree worth shaking. (author unknown)

Not everyone in our tree can be a respected farmer, a doctor, a policeman, or a soldier.  Every once in a while we will come across a person in the tree, who, let’s just say, walked on the wrong side of the street.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Week 48: Minsterworth Court

Family history is not just about when a person was born, who they married and when they died, but also how they lived and perhaps where they lived.  The five “w’s” certainly apply when it comes to family history and telling their story.

Who –    What was their name, their parents, their siblings, their spouses, their children?
What –   What is their story?
Where – Where did they live as a child, as an adult, where did they work?
When -   When were they born, married, died?
Why -     Why is this person of interest and why did an event take place?

This blog is about looking and searching deeply into the where question.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Week 47: Surname Theories

There has been so much speculation and discussion on where the surname Palin originally comes from.  And we have just received a new theory.

Before we discuss the new theory, let’s re-examine the old theories.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Week 46: Tackling the Impossible

There are all kind of wonderful hints and tips found online to help people research their family history.  One can even find great ideas when planning a family reunion or questions to ask your older relatives.  One of the questions is “If you could spend time with one person in the family tree, who would it be and why?”

There are so many that I would love to meet and ask a gazillion questions, but there is one that keeps drawing my attention over and over and over again.  She fascinates me!

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Week 45: At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

On November 11 we honour our veterans that fought for our countries.  Some of the veterans were lucky to make it home while many did not.  This blog is a tribute to those in the family tree that paid the ultimate sacrifice and died while in the line of duty.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Week 44: Bebop Musician

Everyone loves some form of music, whether your taste leans toward opera, jazz, pop or rap.  Something we all can agree on, is music has been around for ever and our ancestors have loved some form of music.  I love it when I can find that some in our tree had learned an instrument in their younger years, or when I find that it was their career or sideline career. 

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Week 43: Inquest on Preston Woman

Every once in a while I will find a newspaper article about a Palin that I just cannot place, whether the Palin is in our tree or another branch.  Today’s blog is about one of those instances, and finally able to put all the pieces together.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Week 42: Argonaut Four

Lucy Margaret Palin was born in 1895 in Wells, Somerset to Richard Palin and Agnes Mary Coles.  Before she was two years old the family emigrated to Ontario and the next child, Ethel Emily was born in Collingwood, Ontario in 1867.

Lucy Margaret was raised in Collingwood and had two sisters and two brothers.  In 1878 her father died.  Her mother continued to raise the children in Collingwood and in 1889, Lucy Margaret married Frederick Harold Thompson, a coal and wood merchant. 

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Week 41: And now for something completely different

I could not begin to tell you how many times I have been asked are you/we related to Michael Palin of Monty Python fame or Sarah Palin ex-Governor of Alaska.  
 Here is the scoop!

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Week 40: Douglas Vernon Palin

This week’s blog is about another one of my grandfather’s brothers.  He was a bit of an odd duck from the family stories I have heard and from everything that I have been able to piece together I see that he did definitely had a story or two to tell. 

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Week 39: History of Cockfighting

I grew up with a chicken coop in the back yard.  That right, right there in the city of Toronto, my grandfather had a small chicken coop and about a dozen chickens.  As a child, I loved going in the coop to feed the chickens, get the fresh eggs and then delivering them to the neighbours.  The chickens got to know me and would even allow me to pat them and one would allow me to hold her.  

So I am sure you can imagine my surprise as a young sheltered adult watching the first TV mini series “Roots” and in one of the shows there was “Chicken George” played by Ben Vereen who trained the chickens to fight.  In that episode there was an English Squire that really like Chicken George and wanted to buy him and even offered freedom, but Chicken George’s owner/father would not let him go. 
Ben Vereen as "Chicken George"
The idea of cockfighting as a sport or a gambling venue was shocking and the idea that the “proper” English did it as well was a real wakeup call.  I have always wondered if it was widely accepted in England or just a back room sort of thing.

So the day that I found someone in the tree that was a cockfighter, I knew I had to research the history of cockfighting.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Week 38: William Joseph Henry Palin

My maternal grandfather was one of 16 children.  Fourteen of these children lived to adulthood and each one has an amazing story to tell.  This week's blog is about the first born son.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Week 37 Architects, Part Two

Last week I started to write about the eight important architects that are found in the family tree.  Then I realized there was far too much to write in just one blog and decided to break the information shared in two blogs.  A natural break seemed to be by country and last week covered the architects that lived in the UK.  This week’s blog will be on the last 3 architects that lived in Canada.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Week 36: Architects, Part One

I love walking downtown.  I love seeing the old architecture, the doric columns, the arched windows, the fancy moldings. There is something so beautiful about these old buildings, a timeless grace if you will.

I am thrilled to share information about eight important architects that are in our family tree.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Week 35: Scotty’s Little Soldiers

There are some times when it is so hard to stay on track.  I could not begin to tell you how many times I would do a search on a particular person and then find something of interest about a totally different person that turns out not to be related at all.

There are other times that I would find something of “Palin” interest that leads me in a totally different place and I “stumble” upon something else which could then lead to something else and so on and so on.

Then if I am lucky, I might find a missing piece to the puzzle and possibly a lot more than I was searching for.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Week 34: The Semliki Crossing

I have recently bought another book written/compiled by a Palin.  This particular 580 page book was compiled by the son of diary/journal entries made by his mother, father and grandfather.  One of the great things about this book was it also included plenty of great pictures. 

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Week 33: 72 Years Ago

I remember one particular summer my mom had taken all of us kids to the Canadian National Exposition in Toronto.  This was an annual event but this one year I learned something new and very strange.  This year they had a large ship, HMCS HAIDA, in the harbour that was open to the public.  My mom dragged us on the ship.  I was possibly 10 years of age and did not want to go on some old ship – I wanted to go on the rides!

However once on the ship my mom had said something to a steward that caught my interest.  Her brother was on a similar type ship during the war and it sunk.  She asked if we could go down below to see where he might have worked and we all were led down to the bottom of the ship to see the boiler room. It seemed like forever to get there and it was small and dark and smelly.  My mom said that only reason that her brother survived was he was jettisoned to the surface in an air bubble as the ship sunk.  The steward looked at her in disbelief and I must confess, I could not picture that happening.  I never forgot that story and had always wondered if there was any truth to it or was it just a “tall tale”. 

Friday, 12 August 2016

Week 32: Mystery of Mary Eleanor Palin

So quite a few years ago a cousin had told me that it was rumored that my great Aunt Mary Eleanor Palin was good friend with Princess Marina of Greece that married Prince George, Duke of Kent.  We all know how “family stories” can be exaggerated or even totally fictional and so I took it with a grain of salt.
Princess Marina of Greece married Prince George, Duke of Kent on 29 November 1934 at Westminster Abbey
So I was totally shocked when another cousin emailed me proof of that connection.  However there is another side to this story and that is where there is a lot of mystery. 

Friday, 5 August 2016

Week 31: Crewe Works Fatality

It is sort of funny, in a weird way, how much time a family historian spends reading or searching for obituaries.  We can learn a lot from them.  You would normally see the deceased’s age at death, when they died and the survivors.  We could also possibly find out a little more about the deceased person, their interests, their hobbies and any club affiliations.

So I was truly surprised to find a full inquest into the death of one in our tree along with who all went to the funeral.  From a purely historical angle, it was also interesting to read how the inquest and the funeral proceeded.

  The Inquest is a tad graphic – you have been warned!

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Week 30: Licensed Victualler

I am almost embarrassed to say this out loud, but I don’t know really anything about pubs.  It is not something that I have frequented.  I do remember in one of my trips to England a cousin took me to a pub and all the patrons there got a kick out of my Canadian accent, there was a lot of laughter and I believe some of that laughter was at my poor dart playing.  That was my one and only time in and English pub.

There are so many references to publican, or victualler in the census, that I knew at some point in time I would have to research it further. 

Friday, 22 July 2016

Week 29: Suicide by Firearm

I am not 100% sure what to make of this.   My first reaction was total heartbreak and sorrow when I found the death certificate for a person in the tree.  The cause of death was suicide by firearm.  What demons or hardships had this poor man gone through, that he had felt there was no way out but death?  I had to learn more to try to understand why!

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Week 28: Barnwood Football Club Concert

It is amazing the things you can find online, or reading old newspaper articles.  It is even more amazing what you don’t find right away – but crops up later.

A number of years ago I had posted a picture of a newspaper article that mentioned my grandfather, Charles Stapleford Palin, and his brother Alfred Hugh, had performed in a local play/variety show in order to raise funds for the local football club.  The newspaper article was found in the Gloucester Citizen February 14, 1911.
Gloucester Citizen February 14, 1911.

Today I found an article about the same event but in the Gloucestershire Echo February 11, 1911, but it offered a very important piece of information that was not in the other newspaper!

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Week 27: Convoluted Family Tree

Have you ever heard the little ditty from Ray Stevens entitled “I am my own grandpa”?  If you have never heard it before you can see it here.  It is kind of funny, he marries a widow who has a grown daughter that ends up marrying his dad and then both couples have a child.

Ever family has twist and turns with cousins marrying, and sisters marrying brothers and even sisters marrying cousins.  And we have our fair share in our tree as well.  But there is one that has a unique twist.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Week 26: Rothschild Relish

A few years ago I came to realize that there were a number of people in our tree that had published books to their credit.  Some were born in the family and some married into the family.  I created a Palin bibliography and listed all the books that I could find online written by family members. I also hoped that perhaps one day I might be able to find and purchase one or two of these books.

Here is a brief book review of one of those books that I was able to find. 

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Week 25: Want to go for a swim?

It is that wonderful time of the year when we think about summer holidays or escaping to the beach or the seaside for an afternoon swim.  I love the water, I love being near it and in it.  

The next best thing to going to the beach is having a back yard pool.  The man who invented a backyard pool was a genius.  And the man who invented a way to keep the pool clean was brilliant!

And what if I told you, that you could thank a Palin for keeping our pools clean!

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Week 24: What ever happened to……

It is not unusual to fail to find any supporting documents for an ancestor back in the 1600 – 1800’s. With the 1841 census through to the 1911 census it is so much easier to track our ancestors.  Sometimes when I can’t find a document for the ancestor, I look to see if they emigrated and check for documents in Canada, Australia or the Unites States.  And sometimes, it is like the missing ancestor has dropped off the face of the earth.

Most of the time, I am not bothered to look any further, but this time, I just found one heck of a large carat! 

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Week 23: What on earth is the R.A.O.B.?

So as I have mentioned before, I am constantly searching for mentions of our ancestors in the newspapers.  I especially like it when I can find a lengthy obituary for a person.  In the obituary, I could find what the person did, what made him tick and who the mourners were.

Sometimes I get a surprise and find something that I never expected or even heard of before.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Week 22: Six Degrees of Separation

I am sure you are all aware that Six degrees of separation is the theory that everyone and everything is six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world.  The key word there is introduction, not related to.  And did you know that google has actually created a database that you can do a search to find out have many “degrees” any other actor is to Kevin Bacon?  What a hoot!

This all comes to mind when I find unusual/unexpected connections in the family tree, and I have found a couple of humdingers!

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Week 21: Sir William Palin Elderton KBE PhD

Last week I mentioned that Gilbert Palin wrote to Sir William Palin Elderton and discussed family History.  Gilbert also wrote that he wished William would continue with the family research because William “has clerical facilities”.   What did he mean by that and how is this Sir William Palin Elderton related?

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Week 20: To Rescue Records From Oblivion

Family History as a hobby can be quite satisfying.  There is an element of mystery and a great feeling of elation when you find a missing document.  I can appreciate that not everyone is as passionate as I to learn more about the ancestors, however it does seem that in every generation there is at least one family historian.

This blog is about a Palin gentleman that was also interested in the family legacy and even though he died back in 1946, he has helped future generations know more about the family. 

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Week 19: Nantwich's Oldest Tradesman

About two months ago I did an almost 2 hour long video chat with a lovely lady from findmypast in England.  Her objective was to find out what the users think of the site and it resources and what could make it better.  I said that there were so many sites that already offered civil and census records but none of them offered those records and a huge selection of scanned newspapers.  So please, please, expand on the newspapers and especially small town newspapers.

I was absolutely thrilled to find the Nantwich Guardian has just been added.  I am sure to find all kinds of mentions of Palins there, everything from the typical births and deaths to who knows what!

So, I quickly stopped what I was doing and went to do a broad search – no first name just any Palin listed in that newspaper.  The very first one that came up was complete with picture, which is very rare to find.  I have transcribed it here for you.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Week Eighteen: Death of a Salford Prisoner

I have seen countless genealogy shows where the subject clearly states that they hope some sort of scoundrel is found in their family history.  At first I was horrified at the thought and then I came to realize that it does indeed make a family tree a tad more colorful and diverse.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Week Seventeen: “One did not ask those things back then.”

My kids would always groan when I would say “Let me tell you a story about that”.  I have been a story teller for so many years that it is second nature to me.  It is no wonder that I should evolve into the family historian.  I love to discover everyone’s story.

In my travels I have uncovered some amazing things that no one in my immediate family was ever aware of.  No one knew that my paternal grandfather was a British Home Child or my maternal great, great, great grandfather was an Arctic whaler and sea-faring captain!

But there is one mystery that I have never been able to find the answer to and quite frankly it has been nothing but roadblock after roadblock in uncovering the mystery on why my mother’s father died so young.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Week Sixteen: Who Has the Finer Qualities of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson?

Every time there is a new newspaper added to the findmypast collection I will do a quick search for any Palins therein listed.  One of this week new newspapers was “The Barnoldswick & Earby Times”.  I felt like I had won the jackpot when there were over 200 listings in this newspaper.  But almost all of those results had a common name and a common theme.

Dr. H. C. Palin said that the cause death was asphyxia due to the inhalation of coal-gas.

Dr. H. C. Palin, of Brierfield, who carried out a post mortem examination, told the Coroner…

Dr. H. C. Palin stated that condition of the body was consistent with death from drowning….

Dr. H. C. Palin found evidence of cerebral thrombosis and slight abrasions to the forehead….

So just who is this H C Palin and is he connected?

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Week Fifteen: 100 and Still Kicking!

It is one thing to find out about our ancestors and kin and what they did 100 years ago or even 200 years ago.  Imagine how wonderful it if to find out something about distant cousins that are alive today!

I was doing a typical google search and found something very exciting about a fifth cousin (we share the same 4th great grandparents) and with permission given by Worcester News, I am going to copy some of that article here.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Week Fourteen: Rat Catcher

In order to better understand some of the history of England, I have come across some wonderful documentaries on YouTube.  A couple of the narrators that I like are Lucy Worsley and Tony Robinson.   The documentaries they have narrated cover a wide range of topics. 

The one that comes to mind today is one of Tony Robinson's:  The Worst Jobs in History. The episode in particular was The Worst Jobs in the Victorian Era.

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Week Thirteen: Curator and Gardener

Every gardener can tell you a slew of horror stories and a few beautiful stories.  “ I remember the year that storm knocked every plant down that stood more than 4”,  or “Last year my rose bush was so heavy with flowers and the smell was unbelievable.”   I can sympathise with anyone that wonders if they should just let the weeds take over the garden and call it “Going au Natural”.  I bow to anyone that has a perfect garden and my hat goes off to “Master Gardners”.

I was beyond pleased when I found a person in the family tree that was not only a Professional Gardner but had the esteemed position of being in charge of the highly acclaimed Vale Park!

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Week Twelve: Call the Midwife

About a year ago I had the opportunity to watch a British TV Show called “Call the Midwife”.  I found it quite fascinating in seeing how the show portrayed midwifery in England.  There was humour and drama and of course a just a hint at a love angle.  I just finished reading the book “Call the Midwife  A Memoir of Birth, Joy and Hard Times” by Jennifer Worth.  The book is based on Jennifer’s memories as a midwife in post war London’s East End.  It was an easy read and a real page turner.  I could not wait to see what would happen next.  (It reminded me of the fabulous James Herriot books – describing the actual job, the co-workers, the local scenery and more importantly the local characters.)

 Granted the book was not based in Cheshire where our ancestors are from, but it made me wonder if any of the women in our tree was a midwife.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Week Eleven: Downton Abbey Connection

So we say farewell to Downton Abbey, after 6 seasons it is finally over.  I am not a huge TV watcher so I am not one that would ever go gaga over anything on the tele – but this was an exception.  I did enjoy it for a number of reasons.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Week Ten: The Elusive 100 Club

So I finally knuckled down and approached the 1939 registry.  According to the National Archives website the 1939 Registry was completed on September 29, 1939 to produce up-to-date population statistics and identification cards and, once rationing was introduced in January 1940, to facilitate the issuing of ration cards. Information in the Register was also used to administer conscription, and to monitor and control the movement of the population caused by military mobilization and mass evacuation.

Like any database it does have its glitches, transcribing errors or information that was given wrong and even images that are unreadable.  But I must say I have looked at thousands of images and there has been very few errors or issues with this database!  It has been a real treat to the eyes!

It is unbelievable the holes that are being filled and even the holes I was not aware of. 

Friday, 4 March 2016

Week Nine: Beware the Ides of March

William Shakespeare wrote those infamous words in the play Julius Caesar  Act 1 Scene 2. It is amazing to think that on April 23 2016 it will be 400 years since the day of his death.  And we still go to see his plays today!

I can’t remember the first stage production that I ever went to, but I do know that I was very young.  My grandfather had always bought season subscriptions to The Okeefe Centre in Toronto and I remember one night going dressed in my finest and seeing men in fancy suits and women having their hair piled high on the head and just glittering with diamond tiaras.  I fell in love that night with everything to do with the stage.

So I was tickled pink to find an a gentleman in the family tree that made a name for himself backstage and win many awards for his work!

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Week Eight - "If you build it, they will come"

To anyone thinking about putting their family tree online and then debating on whether to make it public or private, I want to share with you the hidden benefits of making your tree public.

Years ago I went to a mini family reunion and was overwhelmed with all the bits of new information that I never knew.  Everyone came with photo albums to share and their own bits of family history and stories.  It dawned on me, that everyone else was in the same position that I was – we did not know it all or have access to one another’s photos or stories.

 How could I rectify this? 

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Week Seven - Murder Most Foul

Who would have thought that a ghastly murder of an elderly couple in Peover, Cheshire in 1840 would hold a clue on a Thomas Palin that died in New York and a new cousin connection!

In the write-up in the newspaper regarding the murder of elderly Mr. and Mrs. Cook, the authorities questioned nephew Thomas Palin on where he was at the time of the murder.  He was there for a visit the Sunday before with his aunt and uncle and had a lovely dinner and then supposedly went home.  Or did he?

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Week Six - Love

There has been a plethora of books written about love and the many stages it evolves through.  The beginning stage – does he, doesn’t he love me – will she, won’t she say yes?  And how many times have you read the story where she or he dies and a short time later the spouse follows.  A perfect example of this is one of my favorites, “The Notebook”. 

I have often wondered if our ancestors felt the euphoria bliss of a budding love.  Was it acceptable in that time to be that fanciful or was that a luxury only felt by the upper class?

So it was a bit of a surprise one day when I found this very, very sad love story in the old newspapers.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Week Five: Help Required

There is nothing more frustrating than a brick wall when researching your family tree.  I am at my wits end and ready to pull out my hair!!!!

Where does James Palin that married Sarah Plant in 1817 fit in the tree?

Friday, 29 January 2016

Week Four: Philip Charles Palin

You should not believe everything you read online and I have proof of this.  One day I was researching an ancestor and I came across this reputable site that not only listed this relative of ours and his death but they had a picture of him that I had never seen before.

The picture did not even look like him, and they had his middle name wrong!  

Friday, 22 January 2016

Week Three Shrewsbury Cakes

They say “A child is raised by the village” and I say this Palin Family History Research could not be done without your generous contributions and help.

The latest GREAT find comes with help from my “Palin Guru”, Bob Palin in Seaforth near Liverpool.  Bob has been researching the many lines of the Palin tree for a very long time and he has shared so much over the years.

I am very excited about this find.  It is indeed a sweet addition to the family tree.

"Mr Palin, prince of cake compounders
The mouth liquifies at thy very name!"

"Ingoldsby Legends”

Friday, 15 January 2016

Week Two: Disinherited

So strange the things you find and the deductions that it can lead to.

Thomas Palin born in 1800 was farmer in Warmingham and died in 1874 but wrote a will in 1872. He lists his two sons as beneficiaries and a neighbouring farmer as executor.
James Palin  born 1830
Thomas Palin born 1837

The strange thing about this is Thomas also had 5 other children, four of them still living.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Week One Balaclava Jack

John Palin 1828-1901

Every once in a while I come across something about someone in the tree that takes my breath away.  This is definitely one of those people that I wish I could go back in time and ask him a gazillion questions.

John Palin was born in Malpas, Cheshire in 1828 to Thomas Palin and Eleanor Moile and baptised Feb 11 1829.  His father’s occupation at the time of his baptizing was glazier (plumber).  A brother Thomas was born in 1830, then sister Eleanor Jane in 1832 and finally another sister, Anne Elizabeth was born in 1834.  All the children were baptised in Malpas.

Pretty humble beginnings for a man who experienced what many only read about.