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It’s Saturday night, which means it’s time for Randy Seaver’s Genealogical Fun over at Genea-Musings. Our mission tonight is to:

1)  Find the last genealogy book that you have read cover-to-cover or from which you learned something about genealogy.  Write a complete source citation, and transcribe the first paragraph of the Introduction.

2)  Tell us about it in a blog post of your own, in a comment on this blog post, or in a Facebook status or post.

I haven’t read a genealogy book cover-to-cover in some time. As the mother of two children under four, I haven’t read much of anything cover-to-cover in some time. As a formerly voracious reader, this is rather sad but not entirely surprising! The lack of reading time does not necessarily translate to a lack of ability to acquire, however. So I’m going to share the genealogy book I most recently acquired and fully intend to read – one of these days.

Irish Palatine Pioneers in Upper Canada: Commemorating 300 Years, 1709-2009. Toronto: Ontario Genealogical Society, 2010.

This commemorative book, honouring the 300th anniversary of the Irish Palatines’ journey from their homes in what would become Germany to England, Ireland and thence to British North America, has come about because of the dedicated work of many people. Initially a small group of descendants of the pioneer Irish Palatine families to Upper Canada (now the Province of Ontario) came together to discuss how they might celebrate in 2009 the 1709 emigration of their ancestors from the Rhine River valley. The concept of a commemorative book, focused on the period 1750-1850 in North America and emphasizing the individual stories of the pioneer Irish Palatine families in Upper Canada, evolved from this group. Later many more Irish Palatine descendants came forward with their family stories. The Ontario Genealogical Society then provided advice and assistance in preparing the material for publication.

I acquired the book in the hopes it might contain some information on my St. John line (which settled in Brock Township, Ontario County, Upper Canada) in 1817. As it turns out, it doesn’t, but there is a lot of useful information on the Irish Palatines in general and many familiar names I have come across in my St. John research (including Shier, Dulmage, Tesky and Switzer). Additionally, it fits in well with some of the other Irish Palatine-related books in my collection, including Carolyn Heald’s The Irish Palatines in Ontario: Religion, Ethnicity and Rural Migration and Eula Lapp’s To Their Heirs Forever: United Empire Loyalists, Camden Valley, New York to Upper Canada.

John Ansted was my great-great-great-great grandfather. Baptismal records state he was born on October 27, 1789 to Thomas and Esther (Carruthers) Ansted. He was baptised on November 22 of that year at St. Dunstan in the East, London, England.

In 1820, the following wedding announcement appeared in April edition of The London Review and Literary Journal:

11. Mr. John Ansted, of the firm of Clark and Ansted, Fruit Brokers, Mincing-lane, to Miss Dionysia Northeast.

They received a marriage licence on March 27, 1820, according to the Society of Genealogists Vicar-General Marriage Licence Allegations 1694-1850 as indexed on findmypast.com. A marriage on April 11, 1820 therefore seems quite reasonable. John would have been 30 and Dionysia, who was born around 1796, would have been about 23. Her father was Thomas Northeast and she had at least one brother.

John and Dionysia had three children. John Jr. was born on May 21, 1821. Rebecca was born on April 8, 1823. And Dionysia was born on July 27, 1827. Sadly, Dionysia Northeast Ansted died shortly after her second  daughter was born and was buried on August 10, 1827.

John married Jane Ann Mary Sharpe on January 15, 1829. Jane was born around 1808 although I have yet to find any record to confirm that. They had four daughters together: Emily Jane, born in 1829 or 1830; Clara Maria, born in 1833; Alice Emma, born in 1837; and Isabel Gordon, born on January 2, 1840.

On the 1841 census, John (50) and Jane (40) were living on Clapham Road, Lambeth, Surrey. Living with them was their son John (20) and daughters Rebecca (18) and Isabel (1). Daughters Dionysia (13), Emily (11) and Clara (8) were away at school. I have not yet found Alice listed anywhere. She would have been four and I would have expected her to be home with her parents.

Like his father before him and his son after him, John was involved in the politics of the day. The September 3, 1844 Times of London includes both John Sr. and John Jr. in the list of the Liverymen and friends hoping to promote the election of Mr. Alderman Brown to Chamberlain of London.

John (61) and Jane (50) are still living on Clapham Road in the 1851 census. With them is Emily (21) and two servants, Sarah Chapman and Patience Martin. John is listed as a merchant. Daughter Clara (18) appears to be visiting David Thomas Ansted, the well-known Cambridge-based geologist. I am curious as to whether David Thomas is somehow related to “my” Ansteds, but have not yet been able to prove an actual connection.

In 1856, daughter Clara married Thomas Outhwaite Hutton. He was a widower and was listed in the marriage register as a wholesale stationer. Clara and Thomas had eight children together, in addition to Thomas’ daughter from a previous marriage.

John (71) was listed as a gentleman on the 1861 census and he was away from home visiting the brother of his first wife – Thomas Barnes Northeast. Thomas was listed as a farmer of 880 acres employing 17 men and 8 boys in North Tidworth, Wiltshire. Also with Thomas was his wife Mary, his neice Martha Gilbert and a couple of servants. Jane (60) was at home with Alice (24) and Isabel (21), a cook (Ann Brown) and two servants (Sarah Holman and Ann Barnes).

On April 30, 1863, daughter Isabel married William Harvey. William was a merchant and, as far as I can tell so far, they had no children.

In the 1871 census, John (81) and Jane (70) are still living at 194 Clapham road. John is listed as a fruit broker. Emily (41) and Alice (34) are living with their parents. The family now has a cook (Jane Lucas), a parlormaid (Esther Harmer), a ladies maid (Mary Foster) and a housemaid (Alice Parley).

John passed away at 87 years of age on February 4, 1877.  He was buried on February 9, 1877 in the South Metropolitan Cemetery (Norwood Cemetery, Norwood Road, Lambeth). His will was proved by his wife later that month:

ANSTED John. Effects under £10,000.
26 February. The Will with a Codicil of John Ansted of Mincing-lane in the City of London and of 194 Clapham-road in the County of Surry Fruit Broker who died 4 Febrary 1877 at 194 Portland-place Clapham-road was proved at the Principal Registry by Jane Ann Mary Ansted of 194 Portland-place Widow the Relict one of the Executors.

By the 1881 census, Jane (80)  is living at 35 Palace Grove in Bromley, Kent, with her daughter Alice (44) and two servants, Ellen Tagg and Rosa Banks.

Jane passed away on October 3, 1890. At the time she was living at 38 Palace Grove in Bromley. The will was proved by her daughters Clara Hutton and Isabel Harvey of 38 Palace Grove.

Related posts:
John’s father: Thomas Ansted (ca1764-1846)
John’s daughter: Dionysia Ansted Burton (1827-1898)
The best laid plans…: Update on the Ansteds
Australia Day 2011 – Clark & Ansted
The Ansteds of London

Joseph and Anna (Workman) Bascom on their honeymoon in 1863. (Joseph and Anna later adopted my great-grandmother Gertrude Thomas when she was orphaned as a young child.)

It’s Saturday night, which means it’s time for Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun over at Geneamusings. The mission tonight is:

1)  Go into your Genealogy Management Program (GMP; either software on your computer, or an online family tree) and figure out how to Count how many surnames you have in your family tree database.
2)  Tell us which GMP you’re using and how you did this task.
3)  Tell us how many surnames, and if possible, which Surname has the most entries.  If this excites you, tell us which surnames are in the top 5!
4)  Write about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a status or comment on Facebook.

I use Family Tree Maker because it’s what I started with many, many years ago. To count the surnames in my main family tree database, I went to the Publish tab and chose the Surname Report. I chose all individuals  and had it Sort by surname count.

The report tells me I have 1293 people in my tree. There are 35 surnames per page and the report I generated is almost 9 pages long. Consequently, I have about 310 different surnames. Most of those are for only one or two people, which suggests to me I have a lot more work to do!

The surname with the most entries is St. John with an even 100. This doesn’t surprise me as it is the name I’ve been working on the longest. 

Of these ten names, St. John, Coulman, Thomas, Oakley, Summerville, Fee, Hunter and Burton are ‘main’ lines for me. Barker and Reid are more collateral lines. It’s obvious to me which families I have spent the most time on – and now I can clearly see which ones need a bit more attention. Even though I’ve been doing research for nearly 20 years, it’s also apparent that the on and off nature of that research has been mostly ‘off’!

I thought, in honour of St. Patrick’s Day, I would post those lines of my family that hail – directly or indirectly – from Ireland.

Christopher Summerville/Somerville (1822-1901) & Elizabeth Humphreys/Humphries (1820-1886)
The Summervilles emigrated from around Enniskillin, Northern Ireland to Sharon, Ontario, Canada in 1846. They travelled with three of their children, one of whom died at sea. At least five more children were born in Canada. I don’t have much additional information on them pre-emigration. They are buried in the Children of Peace cemetery near the Sharon Temple in Sharon, Ontario.

Robert Hunter (1816-1888) & Hannah Dool (1823-1908)
The Hunters emigrated from Ireland to Canada around 1840. They settled in the Brampton, Ontario area. He was a weaver by trade. I believe all 14 children of their children were born in Canada. I don’t know where in Ireland they came from, and some family sources suggest they were instead Scottish (or Scots-Irish?). There’s a lot more research to be done here!

Thomas Fee (ca1816-1897) & Charlotte Williams (1825-1896)
Thomas and Charlotte married in Quebec in 1844. Thomas emigrated from somewhere in Ireland around 1837. I believe Charlotte was also of Irish descent, but I don’t have anything conclusive to prove that at this point. They had eight children. I have written more about Thomas here.

Philip St. John (1793-1874) & Ann Nancy Baker (1792-1880)
The St. John’s emigrated from Co. Limerick, Ireland in 1817. They first landed in New York but decided once there to head north instead. They settled in Brock Township, near Uxbridge, Ontario. They were farmers and had eleven children. Mind you, the St. John’s were not actually Irish but Palatine German. The family was part of the exodus of Palatines from Germany in the early 1700s. Instead of heading directly to America, however, they were settled around Rathkeale, Limerick where the family lived for about 100 years  until they emigrated to Canada. 

So, there’s all the Irish I know about in my family tree! I look forward to fleshing out these brief annotations over the next weeks, months, years… And to seeing whether there is any other Irish I don’t yet know about.

My great-great-great-great-great grandfather Thomas Ansted was born around 1764, likely in London, England. I hope to eventually find solid information on his birth, but for now the best I can find is his death certificate that suggests his birth would have been around 1764. I don’t have any information on Thomas’ childhood or young adulthood at this point so the next time we encounter him is at the time of his marriage.

On January 22, 1787, Thomas married Esther Barrass in Saint Leonards, Shoreditch, London. Thomas was a bachelor, but the marriage register indicates that Esther was a widow:

That was news to me. With some further research, I located Esther Carruther’s first marriage to John Barrass in April 18, 1774. Their daughter Elizabeth Barrass was born on May 16, 1883 . John died of consumption and was buried on December 29, 1785 at Saint Luke in Middlesex, Islington. I have not yet found any record for Esther Carruther’s birth but working from her burial record it appears she would have been born around 1753. From that, I figure she would have been around 34 when she married 23 year old Thomas.

Following their marriage, Thomas and Esther had three children of their own. Their first born, John Ansted, became my great-great-great-great grandfather. He was born on October 27, 1789 and was baptised on November 22 of that year at Saint Dunstan in the East in London. Younger brother Thomas Ansted was born on July 4, 1791 and baptized on November 27 of that year. Daughter Sarah Ansted was born on July 25, 1796 and baptised on October 5 of that year. Both were baptised at Saint Dunstan in the East. Judging from her inclusion in Thomas’ 1846 will, Elizabeth was raised with the rest of the children and he considered her one of his own, ensuring that his will included provision for her. (I hope to eventually fully transcribe his will and will post further information on it in the future.)

Thomas was widowed in 1802, when Esther passed away at age 49. She was buried on June 5, 1802, in the South Yard of St. Dunstan in the East, London.

Thomas was politically active, as evidenced by this notice I found in the October 15, 1803, Times of London:

CONSTITUTIONAL LIVERY.
THE MEMBERS of this SOCIETY are respectfully invited to DINE at the London Tavern on Tuesday, the 25th day of October, 1803, being the Anniversary of his MAJESTY’s happy ACCESSION to the THRONE.
Mr. EDWARD KEMBLE, Chairman,
Mr. NATHANIEL BRICKWOOD, Deputy-Chairman.11

Mr. Thomas Ansted is one of the men listed as a member following this notice. The dinner was to start at four o’clock and tickets were 7s. 6d. each. Being relatively unfamiliar with this period in English political history, I did a little bit of digging and discovered that the Constitutional Livery was a conservative club formed in 1797 to strengthen the hand of the government. Liverymen were freemen attached to London city companies and were entitled to vote.

Following that notice in the papers, I have no information on Thomas until his listing in the first English census in 1841. He is living alone, at age 75, with two female servants. His residence is York Row, in the Borough of Lambeth, Kennington, Surrey and his profession is that of broker. Other research has determined that he was a fruit broker and the Ansted half of Clark & Ansted (formerly Fielder, Clark & Ansted). I hope to outline a brief history of the company soon.

Thomas died at 82 years of age. According to the Times of London, he died on October 30, 1846.

His death certificate corroborates this, listing his date of death as October 30, 1846. He was living at 6 York Row, Kennington Road at the time of his death and the cause of death was ‘Decay of Nature’. That would seem to mean that, at 82, he died of old age.

The informant was Robert Silvester (his step-daughter’s husband) and he was living with Thomas at the time of his death. In fact, further research showed that Robert married Thomas’ daughter Sarah the following year. Presumably Elizabeth had died sometime prior to Thomas. She is mentioned in Thomas’ will, but that was signed in September 1838, eight years before his death. I have not yet located her death information but, presumably, she died between 1838 and 1846.

Thomas was buried on November 8 in the South Yard of St. Dunstan in the East. His will was probated November 19 and his first-born son, John, was his sole executor.

 

Related posts:
Thomas’ son: John Ansted (1789-1877)
Thomas’ granddaughter: Dionysia Ansted Burton (1827-1898)
The best laid plans…: Update on the Ansteds
Australia Day 2011 – Clark & Ansted
The Ansteds of London

It’s time for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, courtesy of Randy Seaver at Gena-Musings. The mission, should we decide to accept it, is to:

1) Go to the Geneabloggers website – www.geneabloggers.com – and look for the post New Genealogy Blogs March 12, 2011.
2) Pick out at least five blogs from this list that interest you. 
3) If you like them, add them to your blog reader (whether Google Reader, Bloglines, your Favorites or Bookmarks, whatever).
4) Tell us which ones you subscribed to in a blog post or a comment on this post. Also tell us how many genealogy blogs are in your blog reader.
Each week, Thomas MacEntee writes a post concerning new genealogy blogs that he finds or is tipped to on Geneabloggers. These posts make it easy for blog readers to find new content, and potentially useful content, in their never-ending thirst for more genealogy information.
5) For extra credit (no actual rewards…), go back through the past few weeks of these New Genealogy Blog listings here.
6) Was that FUN? I hope so.

This mission was comparatively easy for me. Over the past few weeks, I have taken to perusing the Genabloggers weekly list on a regular basis and adding blogs of interest to Google Reader. Today I added the following:

Ancestral Journeys

Family Pursuit

Leaves & Branches

Pid was her Name

Real Big Tree

Your Local History

I had used Google Reader in the past and then stopped and just bookmarked blogs. I’m back to Google Reader but haven’t moved all my bookmarks over yet. Consequently, I don’t have as many blogs in the reader as I actually follow since I’m only gradually moving blogs into the Reader. At this point, I have 66 blogs in my reader and probably another 30 or so bookmarked. I don’t really have time to read much more than that but I know I’ll keep adding to the list anyway. At least some of those bloggers are like me – we don’t post all that often!!

I didn’t go back through previous listings tonight as I had already done so in earlier weeks.

Dionysia Ansted (1827-1898)

The focus of the 103rd Carnival of Genealogy, hosted by Jasia at Creative Gene, is Women’s History. March 8th is International Women’s Day and the month of March is Women’s History Month in the United States. (And, in case you’re interested, Canada’s is in October!)

When I thought about what I could contribute to the Carnival, it seemed logical to try to tie it in to the work I am currently doing on my Ansted line. My ‘favourite’ ancestor – if one can have such a thing – has always been Dionysia Ansted. So, I will be contributing Dionysia’s biography to the Carnival. Dionysia has always intrigued me. At first it was primarily because of her exotic name and because of a cameo bracelet in my possession that I always believed was hers. (Though, as it turns out, that may not actually be the case and I may never know for sure.) As I have discovered more about her, her life and the challenges I suspect she may have faced interest me even more. So, without further ado, allow me to present my great-great-great grandmother: Dionysia Ansted.

Baptismal records indicate Dionysia was born on July 27, 1827 in Lambeth, Surrey, England. She was the second daughter born to John and Dionysia (Northeast) Ansted. Her mother, sadly, passed away at 31 years of age just a few days after Dionysia’s birth and was buried on August 10 of that year at St. Botolph Without Aldgate. Dionysia was baptized on August 6 the following year in the same church.

I don’t know much about Dionysia’s childhood. I assume she would have started life with a nurse or extended family member caring for her, her older brother John (born in 1821) and older sister Rebecca (born in 1823). Her father was a fruit broker and a partner in Clark, Ansted and Co., based in London. Her family had some means and with her mother gone, it seems a reasonable assumption that her father would have had someone to care for his children.

John remarried on January 15, 1829, when Dionysia was about 18 months old. The only mother she would ever know would be her step-mother Jane Ann Mary Sharpe. Jane and John Ansted went on to have four more daughters, Emily (born in 1830), Clara (1833), Alice (1837) and Isabel (1840).

I don’t know anything about Dionysia’s early childhood but like to imagine she was at home with her siblings and parents, perhaps with a governess or nurse. The next record I have for Dionysia is from the 1841 English census, when she would have been around 14. Her parents, elder brother and sister and baby Isabel were living at Portland Place on Clapham Road in Lambeth, Surrey. Dionysia and her other sisters were not recorded with the rest of the family. I found that rather curious.

It took some time, but I finally found Dionysia along with sisters Emily and Clara living with Maria Smith, school mistress, in what appeared to be a school on Union Road in Lambeth. (I am still not sure where 4-year-old Alice was at the time of the census as she is not listed in either record.) 

1841 census

 

I kept digging and finally turned up some additional information on what was in fact a Ladies’ College. The school mistress, Maria Smith, ran the school from sometime prior to 1841 until sometime after 1881, according to census records. It was known as the Woodlands:

LADIES’ COLLEGE, the Woodlands, Union-road, Clapham Rise.
The LENT TERM will COMMENCE on FRIDAY, January 27, on which day classes will be formed for French, German, Italian, History, English Literature, Drawing, Singing, Music, &c.
Tuesday, January 31, Dr. Lankester will resume his Lectures.
Thursday, February 2, Lecture will be delivered by the Rev. John Soper, A.M. “On the Age of Pericles.”
Thursday, February 9, Dr. Letheby will continue his Course of Lectures.
Ladies desirous of attending will be admitted during the first week on giving their cards.
Fourteen young ladies are received as Boarders.

The above notice appeared in The Athenaeum on January 21, 1854. That is some time after Dionysia and her sisters would have attended but it gives some impression of the sort of education young ladies of a certain class, including Dionysia, may have received in London during the 1840s and 1850s. Young ladies graduating from this school would have been quite accomplished.

The March 24, 1848 issue of the Times of London contained a notice of the marriage of Dionysia to Thomas Burton at St. Michael’s Church, Stockwell:

On the 22d inst., at St. Michael’s Church, Stockwell, by the Rev. Charles Kemble, Thomas Burton, Jun., Esq., of Thurton, Norfolk, to Dionysia, second daughter of John Ansted, Esq., of Portland-place, Clapham-road.

The 1851 census finds Dionysia and Thomas living in Thurton, Norfolk. The family is living in Thurton Hall, which is now a Grade II listed building.  Dionysia (23 years old) and Thomas (34) have two children: Alice Jane (2) and Thomas Northeast (5 months). Thomas is listed as a farmer, though it would appear he is not working the 269 acres himself as he employs 10 labourers and 2 boys. The family also employs Ellen Harvey (cook), Martha Brewer (housemaid), Jemina Bedingfield (nursemaid), James Ecctertorn (groom) and William Brewer (shepherd?).

The 1861 census has the family living on Loddon Road. That appears to be quite close to Thurton Hall, but it would seem they may no longer be living in the Hall itself. Thomas (45) and Dionysia (33) now have seven children: Alice Jane (12), Thomas Northeast (10), Arthur Henry (8), Edith Emily (6), Clara Dionysia (4), Margaret (2) and Helen (6 months). Helen was a twin but her brother, Clement, passed away as an infant. Thomas is still a farmer with 260 acres, employing 14 men and 2 boys. Also in the family household is a visiting Emily Ansted (Dionysia’s sister). The family also employs Maria Green (governess), Maria Thurston (cook), Mary Whines (nurse), Mary Ward (housemaid), Esther Thompson (nurse) and Alfred Buckle (groom).

1861 census

The family, to my eye, appears to be quite prosperous. For that reason, I am very curious about the next piece of information I have found documenting their lives – a record of their immigration to Canada in 1868.

At that time, the ship’s manifest shows the family consisting of Thomas (52), Dionysia (42) and children Alice Jane (19), Thomas (17), Edith (14), Clara (11), Margaret (10), Helen (8), Clement (6), Leonard (4), Amy (2) and Frederick (4 months). They sailed cabin class on the Thames, embarking in London on September 24, 1868. They arrived in Quebec on October 20.

The family settled in Quebec. They show up on the 1871 Canadian census in Quebec’s Jacques Cartier district, in the Montreal area. The family at that time consists of Thomas (54), Dionysia (43) and their children: Alice Jane (22), Thomas Northeast (20), Arthur Henry (18), Edith (16), Clara Dionysia (14), Margaret (12), Helen (10), Clement William (8), Leonard Decimus (6), [Amy] Ansted (4), Frederick (3) and Charles (10 months). Thomas is listed as a cultivateur (farmer). Charles is the only one of their children born in Canada, when Dionysia was 43 years old.

At the time of the 1881 census the family was living in Outremont Village (now part of Montreal). Thomas (64) and Dionysia (53) were living with those of their children still at home: Clara (24), Helen (20), Amy (15), Frederick (12), Charles (10), Edith (26), Clement (18) and Leonard (16). Thomas is listed as a Gentleman but several of the children were employed.

By the 1891 census, the family is living in Montreal Centre. Thomas (75) and Dionysia (63) were living with son Charles (21) and Amy (25). Thomas is listed as an ancien fermier (former farmer), while Charles is a plombier (plumber).

1891 census

Thomas passed away on February 22, 1898 at 82 years of age and was buried 2 days later. The widowed Dionysia did not long outlive her husband. She passed away on August 10, 1898 and was buried the following day. (Her death occurred 71 years to the day of her mother’s burial.) Thomas and Dionysia are buried together in Montreal’s Mount Royal cemetery, along with their son Clement and daughter Clara.

The August 23, 1898 issue of the Times of London included Dionysia’s death notice:

BURTON – On the 10th Aug., at Montreal, Canada, DIONYSIA, widow of THOMAS BURTON, late of Thurton, Norfolk, and second daughter of John Ansted, late of 19, Clapham-road, and Mincing-lane, City, aged 71.

Dionysia intrigues me even more now that I have something more than merely birth and death dates for her. It’s not a lot of additional information, but it’s enough to paint a bit of a portrait of a life.

From an early start as a motherless child, she became a mother to 13 – twelve of whom survived to adulthood. She lost one child in infancy and survived the deaths of at least four additional children (Thomas, Edith, Margaret, and Clement). I have not found death information for two of her children so am uncertain as to when exactly they died. She gave birth every two years from when she was 21 (exactly 9 months after her marriage) until she was 43 and she lived to see her youngest child into his late 20s.

In her early 40s, with a husband in his early 50s, they made the decision to leave what appeared to be a comfortable life to come to a country that was very much in its infancy. A month long ocean crossing, where she would have had charge of 11 children including a 4 month old infant, would likely have been challenging. Even in cabin class, I can’t imagine the journey would have been easy. 

The family does not appear to have been as prosperous once in Canada. The census returns no longer show servants, so I suspect Dionysia had to do more of the household work herself. While she had grown daughters able to assist her, it was probably a steep learning curve for someone who had been educated to speak several languages and appreciate art and music. Additionally, the only Thomas Burton I have found in local city directories show him employed as a gardener. While that leads me to believe it is the correct person, it certainly doesn’t suggest the same sort of social standing they likely would have commanded back in England.

I will probably never know exactly who Dionysia was – although I do hold out hope that someday I may at least find a picture of her. I believe she was, at a minimum, a strong woman. I am proud to be her descendant.

Related posts:
Dionysia’s grandfather: Thomas Ansted (ca1764-1846)
Dionysia’s father: John Ansted (1789-1877)
The best laid plans…: Update on the Ansteds
Australia Day 2011 – Clark & Ansted
The Ansteds of London

It’s Saturday night, which means it’s time for Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge as posted at Genea-Musings. The mission this week is to:

1)  Go to genea-blogger Randy Majors website (http://www.randymajors.com/).

2)  Add his blog to your RSS reader, if you don’t have it already.

3) Read his blog post AncestorSearch using Google Custom Search – BETA.  See the link at the top of the page that says “AncestorSearch using Google Custom Search – BETA?”  Click on it.

4)  Test out his Custom Google Search form to help you find online information about your ancestors, especially for their marriages. 

5)  Tell us about your results – was this useful? Did you find something new?  How can Randy improve it?

6)  If you like Randy’s Custom Search, add it to your Bookmarks or Favorites.

Having done 1-4, here are my results for 5:

I started by searching for Dionysia Ansted’s marriage to Thomas Burton, since those are the lines I’m currently working on. The only hit I got was for 123people.co.uk and it linked back to one of my own posts. That didn’t really surprise me since I’ve found very little for them online previously. A search for Dionysia’s parents’ marriage also turned up nothing.

I decided to try a different line just to see if the results would be better.

I chose to search for William Davey (Davy) and Sarah Neal (Neil). The first two hits were for my own blog, but the fourth result was for a rootsweb page I had not seen before relating to marriages in Peel County, Ontario in 1905. It was not for William and Sarah’s marriage, but for the marriage of their daughter Elizabeth Davey to David Locker. Interestingly, that is not who I have Elizabeth marrying and some of the other information – like her age at marriage – has me scratching my head. I haven’t spent a much time on the Daveys beyond my direct line, but I guess I will have to now – there’s a mystery to solve!

Finally, I decided to search for Henrietta Salter and John Fee. The only results I found were from my own webpage. So I went back one generation and tried Thomas Fee and Charlotte Williams. A couple of the early results were from my blog but there were also results from a genealogy.com forum and a query from the Quebec Family Histories Society. I may actually try contacting the posters despite the fact they are older queries – one never knows.

All in all, Randy’s search form seems to work quite well and I intend to spend some more time experimenting with it. Thanks to both Randys for this challenge!

My great-grandmother Margaret Johnson (r) and her older sister Anna (l) in 1906.

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