Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Geoffs Genealogy Update 29 August 2007

I've spent quite a bit of time this week looking at the Blagg family of Cheadle, Staffordshire. Although they were (are) not Bankes descendants in the strict sense, one of their number married Arthur Ackland Hunt in 1879, and therefore the family feature on the pedigree. I had carried out some research into the Blaggs some time ago, and my interest in them has now been stirred again by the new contact I referred to last week, who is descended from Arthur Ackland Hunt.

The Blaggs were very prosperous people. They lived in Cheadle for most of the nineteenth century, and appear to have links to the Nottinghamshire Blaggs, who lived in the Mansfield area. Among the items I have managed to obtain are:

  • Transcriptive summaries of a number of legal documents relating to these people,
  • Census entries
  • Gravestone inscriptions
  • Biographical notes relating to a family member who was particularly well known.
  • A photograph of a sampler made by a family member in the nineteenth century
  • A photograph of the family home in Cheadle - sadly since demolished.

All this without leaving my keyboard. Amazing! You can see why I missed my internet access so much when it was denied to me for a few weeks.

The internet is a truly remarkable means to family history research, and we should all feel very grateful that we live in the internet age. It is important, however, that we treat the information we obtain with a degree of circumspection. The material I describe above comes from what I would consider to be reliable websites -, Nottingham University etc. I therefore feel pretty confident that it is accurate. However, not all websites are that reliable in terms of the quality of the information they display, so we shouldn't view them uncritically. This applies equally to my site - . Although I try to be as accurate as I can in compiling the information that goes online I am as prone to error as the next person! If you spot any errors on the website I'd be grateful if you would let me know.

Further excitement this week - I've been contacted by a lady who visited the website and is descended from our common ancestors Thomas Archer and Hannah Bide, who married in London in 1794. She is therefore my cousin, and I'm very glad to hear from her. I look forward to exchanging information with her and furthering our research. I'm sure that we shall be able to help one another very much.

Monday, 20 August 2007

Geoffs Genealogy Update 20 August 2007

I'm back!

At last I am able to resume posting to this blog!

If you have missed me over past four weeks, during which my internet services were not working, I'm sorry to have kept you waiting. I won't even try to explain why I was not able to receive internet & email services over this period. Suffice to say that although internet service providers are no doubt very good at what they do in normal circumstances, my experience is that they do not cope at all well when something unexpected happens.

Anyway, I'm back with a new ISP, so here goes ...

I spent ten days of the past four weeks on holiday. We went to Lake Garda in Northern Italy, and had a really super time. Jan and I were on the go for pretty much all of our sojourn in Italy - visiting places of great beauty and interest. Among our treats were visits to Verona and Venice - both quite superb cities. I'd love to go there again some time, but for now am grateful to have been to both places just for one day.

The main reason why we went to Northern Italy was to enable us to visit the ampitheatre in Verona and see an opera performed there. We did just that. We saw a fine performance of Verdi's Aida - lavishly produced and superbly performed. The only downer was the discomfort we - and the other punters - felt from sitting on the stone steps of the ampitheatre for five hours! Even the seat pad that we hired could not save our backsides from a quite uncomfortable experience. Next time we go we shall book reserved seats!

Also, since I last made an entry on this blog, the English football season has started. I'm back to my usual seat, supporting my local club, and enjoying that greatly.

I expect you are wondering whether we have had any interesting treeing developments these past few weeks. Well, as I have not been able to use the internet, and I haven't visited any records offices, you will understand that progress has been limited of late. However, there are a few items that I shall mention.

Over the past few weeks I have taken the opportunity to enter more records on to my family history software, and thus bring my records a bit more up to date. This has not generated any new information to speak of, but does mean that when we next update the geoffsgenealogy website there will be more information available to view on the family tree.

I had a letter from my cousin Pat, in Carmarthenshire. She told me off for not visiting her when we were down in her neck of the woods in May, and also sent me some very interesting material that she has gathered to add to the Guyatt research I have described in earlier postings on this blog. I shall be reverting to the Guyatts in the near future, and will certainly write to Pat very soon.

One of the joys of family history research is the contacts we get with fellow researchers who are interested in our lines of research. I have enjoyed two such contacts in the past few weeks. One was from a lady who is descended from Anne Deane, half sister to John Bankes, on the Fiveash line. We enjoyed an exchange of information which, I think, was of value to both of us. The other contact has occurred in the last few days. I have been contacted by a Bankes Descendant on the Hunt line. This person is descended from Arthur Ackland Hunt, the artist who features on my website. The Hunts are fairly closely related to my family, and I am delighted to have made contact with a member of that clan. We have already helped one another by exchanging information, and hopefully we shall be able to build on that in the future.

I'll keep you posted on these, and other developments as we go along. For now it is time for me to go to work, so I'll sign off until next week.