Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Where are you from?

In the last couple of days I caught the bug to pick up the pieces of some hard-core geneology (that's researching my family tree to you and I!) and I made two break-throughs!

I left it all standing in 2008/9 when I hit a brick wall so to speak in the two lines that I really wanted to push on. I had not concentrated on one particular line of my tree but looked at the paternal and maternal for both of my parents.

On these two lines mentioned they just happened to both be on my dad's side. One with the name 'Gillanders' and the other with the name 'White' (oh that's me!).

With Gillanders, I had reached my great great grandfather William Gillanders - born 1863 in Kilmorack, Inverness-shire and died in 1945 in Dunfermline, Fife. With the help of Nairn's Registrar we managed to track down a Birth Certificate which listed him as William McDonald and as illegitimate but born in Upper Dallachy and not Kilmorack as listed in the census's. His mother's name is listed as Margaret McDonald and Grandfather as William McDonald. And I thought that was the end of the line :(

It wasn't until was reading back over a lot of old emails that I saw a glimmer of hope!

When I started my research and hit this problem, I decided to submit a plea for help to the local rag, the Inverness Courier - In my emails, I found one from a lady, Yvonne Gillanders, who I had emailed back and forth with a couple of times. I had told her where I had got to and sent scanned copies of the Certificates together with a scribbled tree. I appeared to overlook her reply which actually included the proper Birth Certificate and listing from the Birth Register. She had found the correct William born in Kilmorack a few months earlier. On the Birth Certificate he is just listed as "- McDonald Illegitimate" but on the Register it reads "William, said by the mother to be son of William Gillanders (Prot.) & Margaret McDonald, born at Shrug 2 June 1863, was confirmed by my 27 June 1863. Sponsor; Mrs M'Donald'. I couldn't quite make out the word I have wrote as Shrug... and I think that Prot means 'Protestant' but I am not 100% sure!

This was looking promising though! I have duly updated my Ancestry tree and the hunt continues :)

The second break-through was with White. This part of the family had been mainly traceable in the Kent area, with mutterings through the family that they thought there was some Irish influence somewhere. I had previously traced back to a generation that were born in County Down but lived in Liverpool. This was my great great great grandfather James White - born 2nd Oct 1835 in Dromore Parish, Down, Ireland and his wife Rose O'Neill - born abt 1843 in Co Down.

Well I have now discovered that they actually got married in Liverpool not County Down and all of their children were born in Liverpool too. Their Marriage Certificate has duly been located and ordered from the GRO! :)

I think that the next step is to find them on the Passenger Lists coming over from Ireland. However, I know that he as he Royal Navy on the HMS Terrible (from 1861 census) so maybe he didnt go back but just met Rose in Liverpool?? hmmm.

I have also found James' parents through FamilySearch and his five sisters too! All from the County Down area.

Irish records, for some reason, aren't as accessible as the english and scottish but fingers crossed their Marriage Certificate will offer an insight into their parents and possible more.

Have you researched your Family Tree?

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I've done quite a bit of family tree research over the past three years or so. The most intriguing, and poignant, discovery, was finding out about an uncle of my late grandad, who my mum had never heard of, who had died fighting in France in WWI. I found out through the Commonwealth War Graves Commission where he had been buried and we went over to Normandy to pay our respects. We're probably the only members of the family to have ever done that. I can totally understand your fascination with ancestry! Sarah x