It’s Saturday night – time for Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun over at www.geneamusings.com. Our mission, should we choose to accept it is to:

1)  Determine who your most recent unknown ancestor is – the one that you don’t even know his or her name.

2)  Summarize what you know about his or her family, including resources that you have searched and the resources you should search but haven’t searched yet.

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

My most recent unknown ancestor is #56 on my ancestor list is the father of my great-great  grandfather Robert Hunter (ca 1816-1888). I haven’t spent a great deal of time on my Hunter branch to date so I don’t have a great deal of information on Robert Hunter himself. Census records suggest Robert was born around 1816 in Ireland and his death record suggests he was born around 1821 in Ireland. Family lore suggests it’s possible he was born in Scotland, and that it was probably closer to 1821 than 1816. From the various records I have found, and family lore, I think he and his wife Hannah Dool came to Canada around 1840. I know they settled in the Brampton, ON, area and he was a weaver by trade. He died on May 29, 1888 at 67 years of age. His wife, Hannah, was listed on the 1901 Canadian census as having been born on January 21, 1823 in Ireland and emigrated to Canada in 1841. She died on October 22, 1908.

As I haven’t spent much time on this branch, I know there are a lot of stones I have yet to turn over. I have done basic searching for census information and I have death records, but at this point I have nothing much beyond that. And without knowing for certain where they came from – though it does appear to be Ireland –  it is going to be challenging to discover who Robert Hunter’s father was. A name like Robert Hunter isn’t going to make it easier! Once I get around to researching the Hunters in more detail, I may be able to better determine if I have any overlooked leads in the information I do have.


I followed the discussion about the LAWeekly story on the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree today but couldn’t get near my computer until now.

For me, genealogy is about the children. Both my own,  who I hope will grow to someday have an interest in their history, and the uncountable generations of children who grew up to have their own children to create my genealogy. With that in mind, here is my great-great grandmother Alice Jane Burton Johnson (1848-1928) and one of her several grandchildren, Alice Lumsden.

These are two of the faces of my genealogy.

My great-great grandfather John Johnson (1847-1939).

My great-great-great grandparents, James Barker (1816-1902) and Hannah Taylor (1821-1892).

It’s Saturday night – time for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, courtesy of Randy Seaver over at Genea-Musings. Tonight’s fun involves Wordle:

1)  Go to the Wordle site – www.wordle.net and create your own unique Wordle  – it’s a word cloud.  You can use either a clump of text, enter your own words (say, surnames, or given names), use a blog page address, or something else.  Your choice!  Be creative with the fonts, colors, backgrounds, and layout. 

2)  Save it as an image (I used Print Screen, pasted it to a Word document, used the Windows snipping tool to edit it, and saved it to a file).  Tell us how you did it.

3)  Show us your handiwork!  Add the image to a blog post of your own or on a web page of your own.  Tell me in a comment here where it is.  

First I tried using my blog address. I found the results to be interesting:I then published a surname report for my Family Tree Maker database and extracted the names I am currently researching from the report.  Then I pasted it into Wordle and, voila:

It becomes obvious pretty quickly which families I have spent the most time on!

To get the images from Wordle to my blog I used the Snipping Tool that came with my computer. I think it worked pretty well. I chose the colour scheme because it seemed to go well with my blog colours!

Once again we’ve made our way around to Saturday and I have found myself with a few free minutes. Time for Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun over at Genea-Musings! Our mission is to:

1) We all know that Blogger (www.blogspot.com) was down for 20 hours from Thursday afternoon to Friday morning. What did you do with yourself during that time period?

2) If we lost our blogging platforms for awhile (but not the Internet as a whole), what would you do with your genealogy time? What projects would you start, continue working on, or try to finish instead of blogging?

During that time period I was mostly thankful that I use WordPress instead of Blogger! And, even if I used Blogger, it wouldn’t have impacted me that much since I was at work or asleep for much of that particular 20 hour period.

I don’t get much time to blog at the best of times. Two very small children, an almost full-time job, and a house mean my “free time” is at a bit of a premium. If I was unable to access my blog for any period of time, I have plenty of other things to keep me busy.

In the realm of genealogy, I would primarily continue to do work on my various family branches. Since my blog is mostly intended to be a respository for my ancestors’ biographies, there is no end of research required to gather the necessary facts to write them. Due to time constraints, these days I am mostly concentrating on hunting down the low-hanging fruit found in census and birth-marriage-death records. There’s always something to search for or input into my tree.

I have also recently started keying records for Ancestry’s World Archives Project. By the evening – which is when I usually have my genealogy time – I’m often too tired to “think”. I find keying records doesn’t require as much analytical thought as research but gives me the feeling I’m doing something genealogically related.

Finally, I would continue with the organization of all my genealogy information. My paper-based records have an overarching organization to them thanks to a course I took some years ago. Not everything I have collected since then has actually been filed, though. I would also work on more consistent organization of my digital files.

John Ansted, Jr. was my great-great-great grand uncle. His sister Dionysia was my great-great-great grandmother. John intrigues me because he was the eldest of a family of seven and he was the only son. He worked with his father at the family business (Clark, Ansted & Co., fruit brokers) until his death a year before his father’s passing. The business then was handed down to his two sons.

According to his baptismal record, John Ansted, Jr. was born on May 21, 1821. He was baptized on December 28 of the same year at Saint Botolph Aldgate in Middlesex, London. John’s mother, Dionysia (Northeast) Ansted passed away shortly after the birth of her second daughter (my great-great-great grandmother) in 1827. John’s father married Jane Ann Mary Sharpe on January 15, 1829, when John was about 8. John appears with his father and step-mother on the 1841 census. They were living at Portland Place on Clapham Road in Lambeth, Surrey. John, Jr. is listed as a clerk.

The Saturday, October 30, 1847, Times of London included a marriage announcement for John Ansted, Jr. and Harriett Elizabeth Burton:

On the 27th inst., by the Rev. W. H. Beauchamp, John Ansted, jun., Esq., of the Grove, Clapham-road, to Harriett Elizabeth, second daughter of Thomas Burton, Esq., of the Grange, Langley, Norfolk.

According to FreeBMD records, the couple was married in Norfolk. Harriet’s brother, Thomas Burton, Jr., married John’s sister Dionysia about six months later.

In 1851, John is listed on the census with his wife and young family. They are living at 15 The Grove in Lambeth, Surrey. John (29) and Harriet (29) are living with their son Edward (2). Also living with the family are Harriet’s sister Emily (35) and a cook (Emma Nicholls), housemaid (Hannah Hussey), and nurserymaid (Maryann Hussey).

In 1861, the family was living at Balham Terrace, Streatham, London. John (39) and Harriet (39) now have five children: Edward (12), Dionysia Mary (9), Alfred (7), Ernest (3), and Florence (1). Also with the family are four servants. Sadly, Ernest passed away in November 1861 at four years of age. Florence died in 1865.

I have also discovered that there were two other children born to John and Harriet. Laura Harriet Ansted died at 6 months old in 1856 and Burton Ansted died at 7 weeks old in 1861. The thought of losing four of seven children saddens me – I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for them. Obviously, childhood mortality was much higher in the mid-1800s than it is today and losing one child or several would have been much more common. However, the Ansteds were quite well-to-do and one would have thought that would offer some protection over those living in more reduced circumstances.

In 1871, the family was living at the Lodge, Upper Tooting, Streatham. John (49) was listed as a fruit broker. Harriet (49) is listed as a ‘fruit broker’s wife’. The only child at home now is Alfred (17). The family also has three servants.

On April 7, 1876, John passed away at his home. All of his effects, as outlined in the National Probate Calendar, passed to his wife.


ANSTED John. Effects under £2000.
19 June. Administration of the effects of John Ansted the Younger late of the Lodge Upper Tooting in the County of Surrey Fruit Broker who died 7 April 1876 at the Lodge was granted at the Principal Registry to Harriet Elizabeth Ansted of the Lodge Widow the Relict.

In 1881, Harriet (59) is heading the household, which still resides at the Lodge in Upper Tooting. Living with Harriett are her unmarried son Edward (32, fruit broker) and her unmarried daughter Dionysia (29). Also in the home are son Alfred (27), also a fruit broker, and his wife Mary Bridger (30). Harriett’s sister Annie Burton (50) is also living with the family. They employ three servants.

In 1891, Harriet (69) continues to head the household at the Lodge. Edward (42) and Dionysia (39) are both still unmarried and living with their mother. Harriet’s sister Annie Burton, a schoolmistress, continues to board with them. The family employs two servants.

In January 1901, Harriet passed away. She was buried in the Norwood Cemetery in Lambeth.

The 1901 census later that year shows Edward (52) and Dionysia (49) living together. They now reside at 292 Balham High Road in Streatham. Also living with them is Ellen Lund (22). I am not sure how she is connected to them. They employ two servants. That same year, Alfred (47) is living with his wife Mary (50) at 7 Nevern Manor, Kensington. They employ two servants.

Dionysia Mary died on March 26, 1907.

In 1911, Edward (62) is living with his aunt Annie Burton (81) at 292 Balham High Road. The household employs three servants. Also that year, Alfred (57) and Mary (60) are shown as living at 7 Nevern Mansions. The census return indicates it is a flat with 7 rooms. They have two servants. The saddest part of their census return is the notation that they had one child born living, but the child died.

Edward was the first of the two brothers to die. He passed away on September 17, 1917 and his considerable estate went to his brother:

ANSTED Edward of Eastcheap-buildings Eastcheap London died 17 September 1917 at 292 Balham High-road Surrey Probate London 3 November to Alfred John ansted equire. Effects £14970 3 s. 7d.

Alfred’s wife Mary Bridger (Philby) Ansted died on May 9, 1927 and Alfred died on October 4, 1936. As they had no living children, his estate was probated to, I believe, one of his nephews and to a director of the company. I am uncertain if there is any other relationship there.

ANSTED Alfred John of 7 Nevern-mansions Nevern-square Middlesex died 4 October 1936 at 251 Leigham Court-road Streatham Surrey Probate London 30 November 1936 to Alfred Walker Frank Burton civil servant and Daniel Charles Benwell company director. Effects £20485 9s 6d.

And there ends the Ansted name – at least for this branch of the family. If anyone ‘out there’ knows differently, I would love to hear from you!

It’s Saturday again (how did that happen?!), which means it’s time for Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun over at Genea-Musings. The mission tonight is:

1)  Think of the genealogy related wishes you have – what education, database, or information would make your genealogy research dreams come true?  Be specific – as many wishes as you want to list!
2)  Tell us about some of your genea-wishes in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a status or comment on Facebook.

My first wish is simple – I wish I had more time for my genealogy research. Between an almost-full-time job and two small children, however, I can wish all I want and it’s still not going to happen. I do enjoy the little snippets of time I get here and there, but it does make it much more difficult to really get into the research and follow a trail. Stopping and starting is much less efficient.

My second wish is for the Montreal Star newspaper to be digitized so that I can browse it from the comfort of my own home. I would like to search for obituaries and other information on a number of my ancestors to hopefully help fill in some of the gaps I have in their lives.

My third wish would be to visit some of the places my ancestors come from. I have been to some of them but there are others that I would some day like to see – Thurton, Nofolk, England; certain parts of London, England; Eastham, Massachusetts, USA; and Uxbridge, Ontario – among others. There are more to come, I’m sure!

My fourth wish is related to my first – I would like to finish the National Institute of Genealogical Studies certificate I started years ago. I’m finished all but one of the first set of nine courses. Progress on those stopped when child #1 arrived!

My final wish – for the moment – would be to attend RootsTech. I enjoyed reading everyone’s tweets and blogs this year and was quite envious of everyone who attended. I don’t know how likely it is – given two very small children – but a girl can wish. Right?

My great-grandmother Gertrude Ethel Thomas (1875-1971). The photo is undated.

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.

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