Categories
Courses Society of Genealogists

What have I learned in April?

Where on earth did April go?

I spent the first week ws leading a Ffestiniog Travel tour to Mallorca, which despite Easyjet’s best efforts to throw a spanner in the works, went very well. As I was on the train to Gatwick an email popped up, EasyJet had cancelled the following mornings direct flight to Palma. I contacted the lovely office staff, who then spent the remainder of their Sunday afternoon rebooking 17 seats on flights from Gatwick to Palma, the result was 6 hours at Madrid airport, not an ideal start to the tour, but we survived. It was lovely to feel the sun on my skin again!

I then spent a week at home catching up with SoG work, and writing an assignment, before another trip away. This time to the New Forest to visit my sister, and look after my nephew for a few days.

I completed another Pharos Course towards my Intermediate Certificate: Before the Modern Census – Name-rich Sources from 1690 to 1837. I have just begun 17th Century Sources, and then have two final courses for the certificate in June.

I scored 78% on my third term assessment for Strathclyde’s Post Graduate Certificate in Genealogy, Heraldry and Palaeography. Not quite as good as the second term, but I am still pleased. Term four, with a focus on Family History Studies and Overseas records began just as I got home from Mallorca. With another week away, and a lot going on at Society of Genealogists I do not yet feel I have a handle on the work this term.

I read Steve Robinson’s The Girl in the Painting for the Society of Genealogists bookclub. Another great offering in the Jefferson Tayte series. Still ongoing is Tracing your ancestors from 1066 to 1837 : a guide for family historians by Jonathan Oates, but I didn’t take this with me on my travels, as it is a library book rather than on my Kindle so progress has been slow. I read the first in the Maze Investigations – The Genealogy Detectives series, Three Times Removed which I really enjoyed, and will suggest to the bookclub. I also indulged my love of Jane Austen fanfiction to read Shana Granderson’s Unknown Family Connections which had a slight genealogy theme.

Meetings, Webinars, Courses etc this month:

2 April
Hidden in the Newsprint
Mia BennettSociety of GenealogistsAn interesting look at the many things that can be found in newspapers to enhance family history research.
2 April
My Ancestor was a Liar: Ignorance, Half-truths or Wilful Deceit?
David AnnalSociety of GenealogistsWere our ancestors lying, or was it ignorance? Why did they give a different age in every census return? Some interesting thoughts.
13 April
Social Chat: Tall Tales from our Ancestors: Erroneous information & Family Lies
Else ChurchillSociety of GenealogistsA fun discussion about our ancestors and the information they left behind.
21 April
Stage 2 Skills Course. Class 1. I’m stuck. Techniques for localising the elusive ancestor
Else ChurchillSociety of GenealogistsI enjoyed hosting the first class of the first course I have put together for SoG. Having taken this course previously it was a reminder, but a useful one, that even when stuck there are always more places to look.
30 April
Posted in the Past
Helen BaggottSociety of GenealogistsWe read this Helen’s book for the SoG bookclub. This seminar was a more in-depth look at the recipients of some of the postcards in the first two books. Very interesting and it has inspired me to look out for old postcards sent to or from Pentrefelin.

Another very full month, lovely to spend some time away from home, and see the sunshine. I am going to have to get my head down to studying in May!

Categories
Courses Society of Genealogists

What have I learned in March?

I am settling in at the Society of Genealogists. The Stage 2 Evening Skills course I have arranged begins next month, and soon to be advertised are Stage 3, a course about researching ancestors in the seventeenth century and one on London geography and repositories.

I have gained another distinction in the Pharos Course Building on a Solid Foundation, and have been studying another course towards my Intermediate Certificate: Before the Modern Census – Name-rich Sources from 1690 to 1837. I’ll be handing in my assessments for this course once I am back from Mallorca in April.

I completed the assignments for this term at Strathclyde early in the month which left plenty of time for the big main assessment. As I mentioned last month it is another “do some genealogy” task. We have been given two individuals and scarce details about them and a common ancestor. The assignment is all about filling in the gaps. I really enjoyed working on this and hope to get a reasonable mark.

I finished Helen Baggott’s Posted in the Past for the Society of Genealogists book club. Still ongoing is Tracing your ancestors from 1066 to 1837 : a guide for family historians by Jonathan Oates.

I helped out in the Expert Booth at RootsTech for the Register of Qualified Genealogists, but it was very quiet! I also really enjoyed the 24 hours of talks on the HistoryForUkraine event, some great speakers and a lot of money raised.

Meetings, Webinars, Courses etc this month:

7 March
Using the FamilySearch Catalog
FamilySearchI struggle to use the Family Search catalog but there is a wealth of information in it and I really should use it much more. This helped me to find the information that is available.
12 March
Mummy, What did you do in the Great War? My ancestor was a woman at War.
Emma JollySociety of GenealogistsA fascinating look a the role women played during the first world war, and how to find the records.
15 March
Getting Started with Entrepreneurship
Dr Kate Smith of Credo AcademyStrathclyde UniversityA good confidence booster as I start my business.
15 March
Nature Reserve update: Gwaith Powdwr (springing into action)
North Wales Wildlife TrustIt was lovely to see all that is going on at Gwaith Powdwr and the work being done to view and protect bats.
16 March
Lunchtime Chat – Tracing Female Ancestors – Why are we neglecting half of our Ancestors
Else ChurchillSociety of GenealogistsIt is always very unpredictable what direction these chats will take. We ended up talking about how women took their husband’s nationality. I do enjoy hosting these.
26 March
New Ways of Using Census Microdata to Research Social History
Dr Lesley TrotterSociety of GenealogistsA very interesting talk about using census data to inform one place studies and similar research. Using databases is the key to analysis.

Between working for SoG, a Pharos course with a lot packed into it, an assessment for Strathclyde and starting to do some research for clients it has been a very full, but satisfying month.

Categories
My family

Robert Humphrey Hopkinson 1923-1986 – The update

It has been a busy couple of weeks. Else Churchill is packing a huge amount into the Pharos course that I am working on, together with client work, putting courses together for Society of Genealogists and an assessment due for Strathclyde University hasn’t left a lot of time for my own research.

Coming back to my To-Do list for my grandfather:

  1. Order birth certificate. Received. More detail completed for his birth.
  2. Locate death certificate. A copy received from my aunt and cousin. Detail completed in time time.
  3. Investigate using electoral registers when he moved from Foundry Lane to The Common. This will involve a visit to the Derbyshire Record Office in Matlock.
  4. Look at newspapers for more information about his accident. Nothing in British Newspaper Archive. Another for Derbyshire Record Office.
  5. Investigate if Richard Johnson and Nephew records are accessible and view them if possible. As far as I can tell staff records have not survived.
  6. Investigate if more information about pre-war work as a farm labourer is available.
  7. Order the will of Mary Barratt died 27 June 1957. Ordered
  8. Look for a baptism record.
  9. Learn more about RAF service. I know the family have the records but I have not read them yet.
  10. NEW Investigate records of Queen Mary Nursing Home. It appears nothing before 1940 survives
DateAgeEventPlaceSources
about 1870Richard Johnson and Nephew Wireworks built in Ambergate. “Richard Johnson & Nephew Wireworks at Ambergate was a major employer of men and women from Crich Parish.”16
1920-1921Ireland partitioned into the Free State and the province of Northern Ireland
29 June 19230Birth. Son of Thomas Humphrey HOPKINSON and Adelaide May STEWARDSON. Born Queen Mary Nursing Home, Derby. His father was a grocers assistant and the family lived at The Bungalow, Whatstandwell, Belper. His mother registered his birth on 27 July 1923. See Picture The Past for a picture of the nursing home. Derby, Derbyshire1, 2
28 February 19262Birth of spouse, Norah May BOWLERBelper, Derbyshire
27 February 19273Birth of sister, Adelaide “Myrtle” HOPKINSONBelper, Derbyshire
20 January 193612George V dies and Edward VIII becomes King.
10 December 193613Edward VIII abdicates to marry Wallace Simpson. George VI accedes to the throne.
20 May 193713Death of mother, Adelaide May Hopkinson, from throat cancer.Blackbrook, Milford, Derbyshire
03 September 193916Outbreak of World War 2
29 September 193916Occupation : farm labourerCrich, Derbyshire6
29 September 1939 – 15 October 194716Lived at 102 The CommonCrich, Derbyshire6, 13, 14
25-26 July 194118Selection for RAF 7
04 September 1941 – 14 September 194618Served in RAF Volunteer Force. Reached rank of Corporal. Trade ARM: Bomb disposalDispersal Centre: Hednesford7
10 May 194521Overseas military service commenced.7
Abt February 194622Marriage of sister to Herbert SlaterBelper, Derbyshire
29 November 194623Military discharge7
28 September – 12 October 194724Marriage banns calledBelper, Derbyshire13
15 October 194724Married Norah May Bowler at the parish church at 2:30pm.
He was working as a fitter at this time. Marriage witnesses William Leslie Webb and Glenda Ann Hopkinson.
Belper, Derbyshire13, 14
4 June 194824Birth of sonBelper, Derbyshire
27 August 195027Accident at work, Richard Johnson and Nephew wireworks. His arm was caught in a machine, badly mangling it and requiring extensive surgery. He worked as a die grinder.Ambergate, Derbyshire8. 9, 10
27 August 195027Lived at 7 Foundry LaneMilford, Belper, Derbyshire10
06 February 195228George VI died and Queen Elizabeth II becomes Queen.
15 February 195329Birth of daughterBelper, Derbyshire
02 September 195734Inherited £50 from great aunt Mary BARRATT11
196138Moved from 102 The Common to 53 Over LaneOpenwoodgate, Belper3, 4, 5, 12
11 August 196138Birth of daughterBelper, Derbyshire
28 December 196441Birth of sonBelper, Derbyshire
24 August 196845Marriage of son at St Peters parish churchBelper, Derbyshire
197248Marriage of daughter
August 197349Birth of grandchildDerbyshire
09 August 197450Birth of granddaughterKent
29 January 197652Death of fatherOpenwoodgate, Belper, Derbyshire
07 December 197753Birth of grandchildDerbyshire
16 June 197955Birth of grandchildDerbyshire
198057Death of sonOpenwoodgate, Belper, Derbyshire
09 September 198057Wrote a willBelper, Derbyshire4
198158Remarriage of daughter
07 December 198259Birth of grandchild
198360Marriage of daughterOpenwoodgate, Belper, Derbyshire
25 December 198562Birth of grandchildCheshire
11 August 198663Died at Derby Royal Infirmary from a chest infection and carcinoma lung. My father registered the death on 13 August 1986. Derby, Derbyshire1, 3
07 October 198663Probate, his estate was left to his widowManchester3, 4

I have left out some detail concerned living people to protect privacy.

There is plenty more I can learn but time to move on to another ancestor.

(c) Ruth Willmore. The link from Robert Hopkinson to Ruth Willmore

If you knew any of the people mentioned or have any other information you think I would be interested in I would love to hear from you. familyhistory@rhoshelyg.me.uk or comment below.

More about Robert Humphrey Hopkinson

52 Ancestors: Week 1 Beginnings

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021! The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. This week’s prompt, “Beginnings” is of course a good place to start. I am planning that 2021 is the year I begin again with my family history […]

52 Ancestors: Week 50 – Lines

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. I should have completed all 52 prompts by now, but I’m nearly there. I was not sure where to take this prompt and decided to type “Lines” […]

52 Ancestors: Week 2 Family Legends

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. This week the prompt is Family Legends. There are two stories I was told about my father’s side of the family. One that he was the oldest […]


References

  1. Deaths (CR) England and Wales. Derby RD. HOPKINSON, Robert Humphrey. 1986. Vol. 6. p. 736.
  2. Births (CR) England and Wales. Derby RD. HOPKINSON, Robert. 3rd Q., 1923. Vol. 7b. p. 1055.
  3. Testamentary records. England. 07 October 1986. HOPKINSON, Robert. Principal Probate Registry. Calendar of the grans of probate. https://probatesearch.service.gov.uk : accessed 20 December 2020.
  4. Testamentary records. England. 07 October 1986. HOPKINSON, Robert. Will.
  5. Hopkinson, Bill. (2014) My Great Grandfather2. Email, 22 October.
  6. 1939 Register, England. Crich Common, Derbyshire. HOPKINSON, Robert. Schedule 51/2. RG101/3084G/008/32. National Archives (Great Britain), Kew, England. Collection: 1939 Register. http://ancestry.co.uk : accessed 11 May 2020.
  7. Cresswell, Vicki. (2005) Re: Granpa. Email, 10 August, 10:38.
  8. Bowler, Bett. (2010) Re: Hopkinson. Email, 22 August, 15:27.
  9. Hopkinson, Bill. (2014) My Great Grandfather. Email, 21 October.
  10. Derby Daily Telegraph. (1950) Ambergate Accident. Derby Daily Telegraph. 28 August. p. 12c. https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000521/19500828/062/0012 : accessed 21 December 2020.
  11. Hawksley, Thomas Edgar (?). Probate calculations. BARRATT, Mary. 27 June 1957. Collection: Ruth Willmore.
  12. Directories. England. (1984) Phone book: Derby. British Telecom. p. 212. Collection: British phone books 1880-1984 from the collection held by BT Archives. http://ancestry.co.uk : accessed 26 October 2014.
  13. Banns (PR). England. Belper, St Peter, Derbyshire. 28 September 1947. HOPKINSON, Robert Humphrey and BOWLER, Norah May. Derby Records Office, Matlock, Derbyshire.
  14. Marriages (CR) England. Belper, Derbyshire. 15 October 1947. HOPKINSON, Robert Humphrey and BOWLER, Norah May. Vol. 3a. p. 130.
  15. Images: Photograph. Wedding of Robert HOPKINSON and Norah BOWLER. 15 October 1947. Belper, Derbyshire. Photographer unknown. Colourised by Ian Cresswell. Private collection of Vicky and Ian Cresswell, Belper. [Group photograph of wedding party outside St Peters Church, Belper, Derbyshire.]
  16. Patilla, Peter. Johnson and Nephew Ambergate Wireworks. http://www.crichparish.co.uk/newwebpages/wireworks2.html : accessed 06 February 2022.
  17. Images: Photograph. Robert HOPKINSON and Norah BOWLER with Ruth HOPKINSON. 1974. Location unknown. Photographer Bill Hopkinson[?]. Private collection of Ruth Willmore [Photograph of a couple holding a young child.]
  18. Images: Photograph. Wedding of Bill HOPKINSON and Vera TOMLINSON. 24 August 1968. Belper, Derbyshire. Photographer unknown. Private collection of Ruth Willmore. [Group photograph of wedding party outside St Peters Church, Belper, Derbyshire.]
  19. Images: Photograph. Bob and Norah HOPKINSON with son Bill HOPKINSON. 24 August 1968. Belper, Derbyshire. Photographer unknown. Private collection of Ruth Willmore. [Detail from Group photograph of wedding party outside St Peters Church, Belper, Derbyshire.]
Categories
My family

Robert Humphrey Hopkinson 1923-1986

As I have finally completed the #52Ancestors challenge I have decided to move on to a “do over” of my family history research, one ancestor at a time. For each one I will be checking the accuracy of my research to date from what I have learned, looking for any gaps in my knowledge about them and working out what else I can find out about them.

I have decided to start with my paternal grandfather Robert Humphrey Hopkinson.

(c) Ruth Willmore. The link from Robert Hopkinson to Ruth Willmore

Now though I want to focus on checking my research and identifying the gaps. One good way to do this is to build a timeline.

DateAgeEventPlaceSources
about 1870Richard Johnson and Nephew Wireworks built in Ambergate. “Richard Johnson & Nephew Wireworks at Ambergate was a major employer of men and women from Crich Parish.”16
1920-1921Ireland partitioned into the Free State and the province of Northern Ireland
29 June 19230Birth. Son of Thomas Humphrey HOPKINSON and Adelaide May STEWARDSON.Derby, Derbyshire1, 2
28 February 19262Birth of spouse, Norah May BOWLERBelper, Derbyshire
27 February 19273Birth of sister, Adelaide “Myrtle” HOPKINSONBelper, Derbyshire
20 January 193612George V dies and Edward VIII becomes King.
10 December 193613Edward VIII abdicates to marry Wallace Simpson. George VI accedes to the throne.
20 May 193713Death of mother, Adelaide May Hopkinson, from throat cancer.Blackbrook, Milford, Derbyshire
03 September 193916Outbreak of World War 2
29 September 193916Occupation : farm labourerCrich, Derbyshire6
29 September 1939 – 15 October 194716Lived at 102 The CommonCrich, Derbyshire6, 13, 14
25-26 July 194118Selection for RAF 7
04 September 1941 – 14 September 194618Served in RAF Volunteer Force. Reached rank of Corporal. Trade ARM: Bomb disposalDispersal Centre: Hednesford7
10 May 194521Overseas military service commenced.7
Abt February 194622Marriage of sister to Herbert SlaterBelper, Derbyshire
29 November 194623Military discharge7
28 September – 12 October 194724Marriage banns calledBelper, Derbyshire13
15 October 194724Married Norah May Bowler at the parish church at 2:30pm.
He was working as a fitter at this time. Marriage witnesses William Leslie Webb and Glenda Ann Hopkinson.
Belper, Derbyshire13, 14
4 June 194824Birth of sonBelper, Derbyshire
27 August 195027Accident at work, Richard Johnson and Nephew wireworks. His arm was caught in a machine, badly mangling it and requiring extensive surgery. He worked as a die grinder.Ambergate, Derbyshire8. 9, 10
27 August 195027Lived at 7 Foundry LaneMilford, Belper, Derbyshire10
06 February 195228George VI died and Queen Elizabeth II becomes Queen.
15 February 195329Birth of daughterBelper, Derbyshire
02 September 195734Inherited £50 from great aunt Mary BARRATT11
196138Moved from 102 The Common to 53 Over LaneOpenwoodgate, Belper3, 4, 5, 12
11 August 196138Birth of daughterBelper, Derbyshire
28 December 196441Birth of sonBelper, Derbyshire
24 August 196845Marriage of son at St Peters parish churchBelper, Derbyshire
197248Marriage of daughter
August 197349Birth of grandchildDerbyshire
09 August 197450Birth of granddaughterKent
29 January 197652Death of fatherOpenwoodgate, Belper, Derbyshire
07 December 197753Birth of grandchildDerbyshire
16 June 197955Birth of grandchildDerbyshire
198057Death of sonOpenwoodgate, Belper, Derbyshire
09 September 198057Wrote a willBelper, Derbyshire4
198158Remarriage of daughter
07 December 198259Birth of grandchild
198360Marriage of daughterOpenwoodgate, Belper, Derbyshire
25 December 198562Birth of grandchildCheshire
11 August 198663DiedOpenwoodgate, Belper, Derbyshire1, 3
07 October 198663Probate, his estate was left to his widowManchester3, 4

I have left out some detail concerned living people to protect privacy. Looking through the timeline I have most of the essential information but have the following to do list:

  1. Order birth certificate. This will provide more information about his parents and early home. It will confirm his birth date, though I am confident this is correct as his children told me.
  2. Locate death certificate. This will confirm his date, place and cause of death and may provide other useful information, we must have a copy of this in the family!
  3. Investigate using electoral registers when he moved from Foundry Lane to The Common.
  4. Look at newspapers for more information about his accident.
  5. Investigate if Robert Johnson and Nephew records are accessible and view them if possible.
  6. Investigate if more information about pre-war work as a farm labourer is available.
  7. Order the will of Mary Barratt died 27 June 1957.
  8. Look for a baptism record.
  9. Learn more about RAF service. I know the family have the records but I have not read them yet.
William Leslie Webb, Bob Hopkinson, Norah Hopkinson, William Bowler, Glen Hopkinson. Small bridesmaids Cath and Pen Curtis. Image coloured by Ian Cresswell. [15]

If you knew any of the people mentioned or have any other information you think I would be interested in I would love to hear from you. familyhistory@rhoshelyg.me.uk or comment below.

More about Robert Humphrey Hopkinson

52 Ancestors: Week 1 Beginnings

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021! The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. This week’s prompt, “Beginnings” is of course a good place to start. I am planning that 2021 is the year I begin again with my family history […]

52 Ancestors: Week 50 – Lines

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. I should have completed all 52 prompts by now, but I’m nearly there. I was not sure where to take this prompt and decided to type “Lines” […]

52 Ancestors: Week 2 Family Legends

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. This week the prompt is Family Legends. There are two stories I was told about my father’s side of the family. One that he was the oldest […]


References

  1. Deaths index (CR) England and Wales. Derby RD. HOPKINSON, Robert Humphrey. 1986. Vol. 6. p. 736. http://www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed ?
  2. Births index (CR) England and Wales. Derby RD. HOPKINSON, Robert. 3rd Q., 1923. Vol. 7b. p. 1055. http://www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed ?
  3. Testamentary records. England. 07 October 1986. HOPKINSON, Robert. Principal Probate Registry. Calendar of the grans of probate. https://probatesearch.service.gov.uk : accessed 20 December 2020.
  4. Testamentary records. England. 07 October 1986. HOPKINSON, Robert. Will.
  5. Hopkinson, Bill. (2014) My Great Grandfather2. Email, 22 October.
  6. 1939 Register, England. Crich Common, Derbyshire. HOPKINSON, Robert. Schedule 51/2. RG101/3084G/008/32. National Archives (Great Britain), Kew, England. Collection: 1939 Register. http://ancestry.co.uk : accessed 11 May 2020.
  7. Cresswell, Vicki. (2005) Re: Granpa. Email, 10 August, 10:38.
  8. Bowler, Bett. (2010) Re: Hopkinson. Email, 22 August, 15:27.
  9. Hopkinson, Bill. (2014) My Great Grandfather. Email, 21 October.
  10. Derby Daily Telegraph. (1950) Ambergate Accident. Derby Daily Telegraph. 28 August. p. 12c. https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000521/19500828/062/0012 : accessed 21 December 2020.
  11. Hawksley, Thomas Edgar (?). Probate calculations. BARRATT, Mary. 27 June 1957. Collection: Ruth Willmore.
  12. Directories. England. (1984) Phone book: Derby. British Telecom. p. 212. Collection: British phone books 1880-1984 from the collection held by BT Archives. http://ancestry.co.uk : accessed 26 October 2014.
  13. Banns (PR). England. Belper, St Peter, Derbyshire. 28 September 1947. HOPKINSON, Robert Humphrey and BOWLER, Norah May. Derby Records Office, Matlock, Derbyshire.
  14. Marriages (CR) England. Belper, Derbyshire. 15 October 1947. HOPKINSON, Robert Humphrey and BOWLER, Norah May. Vol. 3a. p. 130.
  15. Images: Photograph. Wedding of Robert HOPKINSON and Norah BOWLER. 15 October 1947. Belper, Derbyshire. Photographer unknown. Colourised by Ian Cresswell. Private collection of Vicky and Ian Cresswell, Belper. [Group photograph of wedding party outside St Peters Church, Belper, Derbyshire.]
  16. Patilla, Peter. Johnson and Nephew Ambergate Wireworks. http://www.crichparish.co.uk/newwebpages/wireworks2.html : accessed 06 February 2022.
  17. Images: Photograph. Robert HOPKINSON and Norah BOWLER with Ruth HOPKINSON. 1974. Location unknown. Photographer Bill Hopkinson[?]. Private collection of Ruth Willmore [Photograph of a couple holding a young child.]
  18. Images: Photograph. Wedding of Bill HOPKINSON and Vera TOMLINSON. 24 August 1968. Belper, Derbyshire. Photographer unknown. Private collection of Ruth Willmore. [Group photograph of wedding party outside St Peters Church, Belper, Derbyshire.]
  19. Images: Photograph. Bob and Norah HOPKINSON with son Bill HOPKINSON. 24 August 1968. Belper, Derbyshire. Photographer unknown. Private collection of Ruth Willmore. [Detail from Group photograph of wedding party outside St Peters Church, Belper, Derbyshire.]
Categories
Courses Society of Genealogists

What have I learned in February?

I have been learning how to set up and administrate courses for the Society of Genealogists. There is quite an overlap with setting up group tours for Ffestiniog Travel, but a substantial difference too. So, plenty to learn, and enjoy.

I have completed and passed the Pharos Course Apprenticeship Records and have finished Building on a Solid Foundation, though don’t yet have my marks back. The latter especially has been really interesting and made me consider my research techniques.

My Strathclyde course this month has mainly been about maps and geographic locations. There was also a fascinating “lecture” on old money, coins, weights and measures. I have passed the first assignment of the term, apparently our collaborative group worked together better than most who were set the same exercise. I just have some editing to do before handing in my second assignment of the term, so next month will be all about the big assignment for this Module. We have been given two individuals and a scarce details about them and a common ancestor. The assignment is all about filling in the gaps. I have already got stuck into the research and I am enjoying puzzling it out.

I am reading Helen Baggott’s Posted in the Past for the Society of Genealogists book club. I have also read Annie’s Ancestors by Sarah J. Homer this month. Also ongoing is Tracing your ancestors from 1066 to 1837 : a guide for family historians by Jonathan Oates.

Meetings, Webinars, Courses etc this month:

19 February
Same Sex Love, 1700–1957: History and Research Sources for Family Historians
Gill RossiniSociety of GenealogistsSadly cancelled. I’m looking forward to it being rescheduled.
19 February
Scottish Research Resources before 1800
Chris PatonSociety of GenealogistsA fascinating talk, in which Chris Paton made it clear that Scotland is not England. He then gave us a “toolkit” of resources for early Scottish research and explained many of the differences in terminology. A very useful session.
24 February
On the Right Track: Researching Railway Workers
Ian WallerSociety of GenealogistsIan provided many suggestions of places to research my railway ancestors. I do not have many, but railways are a big part of my life so I find them particularly interesting.
26 February
My Ancestor was on the 1921 Census – Well, they should have been!
John HansonSociety of GenealogistsJohn was able to provide insights into using the 1921 Census that anyone employed by Find My Past would not offer. I am very much looking forward to it being included in a subscription rather than pay per view.

It was a deliberate decision to slow down and take fewer classes this month. Pharos and Strathclyde are both keeping me busy studying and I needed to concentrate on settling into my new job as well as starting a business.

Categories
My family

52 Ancestors: Week 52 – Future

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. It has taken me longer than it should but here is the last post in this series.

I didn’t feel qualified to write about the future of our family, so I had a video chat with my nephew Matthew.

He told me that he plans to have one child, as he likes not having brothers and sisters as you don’t have to argue with them. He does like arguing with his Mum though, and when I asked if he thought his child would argue with him he said, “no, they’ll argue with their Mum.”

I asked if he thought he would live in England or Wales like his cousins but he hadn’t thought about that. He would like to see his cousins a couple of times a year as he does now.

Matthew’s career plans reflect the age in which he is growing up. He would like to be a part time gamer on YouTube, and part time scientist. He told me he would like to be the kind of scientist that invents things. His aims are to invent a kind of gun that when you shoot people it changes their age. His other ambition is to invent a time machine.

Matthew is very conscious that time machines would have to be used with care. His main purpose would be to go back in time to prevent murders and other bad things happening. He thought that getting murderers to hit something that prevented a killing taking place would be a good idea. He mentioned that very slight changes to the past could result in people being extinct so it would be important to make only very small changes. I think he has taken some lessons from “Back To The Future.”

Matthew thought that when he is an adult we will still be driving petrol and diesel powered cars, but they might be more eco. We might have sent people to Mars, but only just. Things will not change all that much.

Matthew pointed out that my blog about the future can only be a prediction, I would need his time machine to actually have a sneak preview and to be able to tell you what the future actually looks like.

Other #52Ancestors posts


Categories
My family

52 Ancestors: Week 51 – Holidays

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. Finally I’m at the penultimate blog in the series.

I have quite a lot of photographs of various family members on holiday. There are some I recognise, some with helpful notes on the back, and some that are probably ancestors with “holiday friends” who even they had forgotten the names of. Some tell me where they were visiting and some don’t.

I have picked these two pictures, as we know exactly when and where they were taken, and I know that they are my Grandma and Grandpa, Bessie and Eric Tomlinson.

I love that Grandma is wearing the same dress in both pictures! It is clearly much warmer in Cornwall than the northern most tip of Scotland too. Openwoodgate is the village just outside Belper, Derbyshire where they lived their entire married life. In fact Grandpa lived in no more than 3 houses, all in Openwoodgate, and two of them the halves of a semi-detached.

Ruth and Tony Willmore at John O’Groats 16 September 2018.[3]

Thirty five years later, the sign has been replaced, but the weather hasn’t improved. The photographer offering customised signs is replaced by dodgy selfies.

As far as I know Grandma never left the British Isles, and only ventured onto an aeroplane once, to go to the Isle of Man. Their luggage was delayed or lost so it wasn’t a good experience for her. For Grandma and Grandpa holidays usually meant coach trips. I remember that as soon as the Trent Coach brochure dropped through the letterbox Grandpa jumped on the bus to the travel agency so he could book the front seats on the coach.

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References
  1. Photograph. Bessie and Eric Tomlinson. 26 August 1980. Lands End, Cornwall. Photographer unknown. Collection: Ruth Willmore.
  2. Photograph. Bessie and Eric Tomlinson. 10 August 1981. John O’Groats, Caithness. Photographer unknown. Collection: Ruth Willmore.
  3. Photograph. Ruth and Tony Willmore. 16 September 2018. John O’Groats, Caithness. Photographer Ruth Willmore. Collection: Ruth Willmore
Categories
My family

52 Ancestors: Week 50 – Lines

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. I should have completed all 52 prompts by now, but I’m nearly there.

I was not sure where to take this prompt and decided to type “Lines” into Google. One of the suggestions was wires which made me think of my Grandfather, Robert Humphrey Hopkinson, who worked at Richard Johnson and Nephew Wireworks in Ambergate, Derbyshire.

Bob Hopkinson, as he was known, was born 23 June 1923 in Derbyshire, the son of Thomas Humphrey Hopkinson and Adelaide May Stewardson. When he was 3 1/2 years old his sister Adelaide Myrtle Hopkinson was born and 10 years later his mother died of throat cancer.

When WW2 broke out Bob was living with his widowed father in Crich. He was working as a farm labourer. I have not yet found his sister on the 1939 Register, but I believe she went to live with her mother’s family.

From 1941 to 1946 Bob served in the RAF.


After the war my grandfather was employed at Richard Johnson and Nephew wireworks in Ambergate. He worked shifts and was, I believe, a die grinder. The wireworks were a major employer for the residents of Crich.[1] They had a factory in Manchester as well as Derbyshire and during the war had supplied galvanised wire for the PLUTO pipeline (pipe line under the ocean).[2]

Advertisement. (1945) The Electrician. 01 June. p. v. https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/File:W._T._Henley_1945VP.jpg : accessed 06 February 2022.

In 1956 Richard Johnson and Nephew copper tape and steel armouring wire was used in the first transatlantic telephone cable. I can only imagine that my grandfather was involved in this in some way.[3]

In 1950 he was involved in an accident at work, his niece told me, “his arm was caught in one of the machines and it was only due to the quick thinking of another employee turning off the machinery that his injuries were not more severe. His arm was seriously ‘mangled’ and he spent some time in hospital. To save his arm the surgeons took some bone from his leg and grafted it to his arm. I don’t know if you remember he always walked with a slight limp and his arm was slightly misshapen but at least he could use it.”[5]

The local newspaper did not make the accident sound as serious as his niece. His arm still was affected over 25 years later. (c) Reach PLC. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.[4]
I think Bob Hopkinson is right at the back in the centre pane of the left hand window.
Jack Oldham’s retirement. Photo courtesy Crich Heritage Partnership[1]

Granpa retired in about 1984 and about ten years later the factory closed. Images of the closed factory can be seen here. https://www.derelictplaces.co.uk/threads/ambergate-wireworks.34614/ and here https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnorme/with/8408447021/ It looks very sad and neglected.

That has all changed again and the site is now home to a whisky distillery. White Peak Distillery have made their home at the former Johnson & Nephew Wire Works, in what is now the Derwent Valley UNESCO World Heritage site, with the still placed in what Bob Hopkinson would have known as the old Maintenance and Stores Sheds.[6] Their first whisky, Wire Works Whisky, was released just last week, and I cannot wait to try it. They also produce rum and gin. My next visit to Derbyshire will have to include a distillery tour so I can see where Granpa made wire and whisky is now made.

While writing this I have learned that there is another connection the Johnson and Nephew company. Our closest neighbours when we lived in Cheshire in the early 1980s were part of the Johnson family who had recently sold the company. It is a small world!

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References
  1. Patilla, Peter. Johnson and Nephew Ambergate Wireworks. http://www.crichparish.co.uk/newwebpages/wireworks2.html : accessed 06 February 2022.
  2. Grace’s Guide Ltd. Richard Johnson and Nephew. https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Richard_Johnson_and_Nephew : accessed 06 February 2022.
  3. Burns. Bill. Richard Johnson & Nephew. https://atlantic-cable.com/CableCos/RichardJohnson/index.htm : accessed 06 February 2022.
  4. Derby Daily Telegraph. (1950) Ambergate Accident. Derby Daily Telegraph. 28 August. p. 12c. https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000521/19500828/062/0012 : accessed 21 December 2020.
  5. Bowler, B. (2010) Re: Hopkinson. Email to Ruth Willmore, 22 August, 15:27.
  6. White Peak Distillery Ltd. The Wire Works. https://www.whitepeakdistillery.co.uk/waiting-for-whisky/ : accessed 06 February 2022.
Categories
My family

52 Ancestors: Week 49 – Handmade

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. I should have completed all 52 prompts by now, but I will do so as soon as possible.

There was never any question over who this prompt would be about. It always had to be about my Mum. She is one of the most talented needlewomen I know.

I have just had a look through her Facebook page and here are some of her makes from 2021. Many of the quilts and blankets are given to charities such as Project Linus.

All images above (c) Vera Hopkinson 2021.

I just had a quick look around our house for things Mum has made, there are the living room curtains, and two patchwork duvet covers. These are just a selection of what I found on a very quick look. I’m afraid I’ll offend her by what is left out!

I asked her how it all began. After all, she was crafting long before I was born. I remember wearing handmade clothes as a young child. There were some jumpers that were knitted in three different sizes so that I could wear them at the same time as my siblings.

Images: Photograph. Vera Hopkinson knitting. 01 July 2018. Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochant. Max Hopkinson.

“I have been sewing all my life, since before I can remember. I say that because I remember a pot holder at my maternal grandmother’s house that was always called “Vera”. It was a pretty scruffy thing and I remember asking, when I was aged about 8 why it has my name, and the answer was that I had given it to my Grandma as a Christmas present when I was 3. I can only assume my Paternal Grandmother who lived next door to us had been the one to get me to make it.

Some of my earliest memories are of being taught to use my Grandma’s treadle sewing machine. I wasn’t tall enough to reach the pedal, so she would sit me on her knee and she would operate the treadle while I guided the fabric under the needle. When I was about 7 she started teaching me embroidery and when I was 8 I was entering competitions run by the local Methodist church. I don’t think I ever won, but when I cleared out my mother’s house I found some of the work I had done, and I had difficulty believing I had been so young when I did it.

I learnt to knit in my early teens, and to crochet while I was a student. There aren’t many yarn or fabric crafts I haven’t had a go at. When my children were small I made a lot of their clothes, and they must have felt they were OK because 3 of them asked me to make their wedding dresses. In the event I only made 2, because the 3rd was having quite a short engagement and with my mother being very ill we decided time was too short.

I used to knit for my grandchildren, but now they are older they don’t really like handknits anymore! However, a few years ago one of them insisted in saving up any damaged to toys for my visits because she was sure “Grandma can fix it”

Now there is hardly a day goes by that I don’t get at my sewing machine, usually making patchwork quilts. All the family have several, and I make them for Project Linus, who give them to “Children in need of a hug”. In the evenings while watching TV I usually have either a crochet hook or knitting needles in my hands. During lockdown I gave a number of handmade blankets to people who had lost loved ones. I called them “woolly hugs” because I couldn’t give them the hug they really needed.”

Images: Photograph. Ruth and Tony Willmore. 07 June 2008. Tan-y-Bwlch station, Ffestiniog Railway, Maentwrog. [photographer unknown] Private collection of Ruth and Tony Willmore.
Embroidered by Vera Hopkinson, aged 8.

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Categories
Courses

What have I learned in January?

The end of last year felt crazily busy and it was good to take a break from everything over Christmas. You may have seen my 12 Days of Christmas blogs.

Term restarted on 7th January and I am now working on Module 3 of Postgraduate Certificate, focussing on Repositories, Geography and administration. I have been thinking about copyright issues, and working collaboratively. I am incredibly proud of having scored 97% on the end of term Assessment for module 2. The pass mark was 30%.

I am very excited to have begun working part-time from home for the Society of Genealogists on 24th January. I am an Events Assistant helping to organise and run the online, and in person, talks and events. I am really enjoying it so far.

I am also working on two more Pharos Course, Apprenticeship Records and Building on a Solid Foundation. As you can imagine my feet are barely touching the ground, though I did manage to walk a total of 116 miles over the month.

I am beginning to take on some private clients for genealogy work, while still getting all my paperwork in place. It is all very exciting!

I read, and really enjoyed, Janet Few’s Barefoot on the Cobbles for the Society of Genealogists book club. I finished the last of Steve Robinson’s Jefferson Tayte series in December and I’m looking forward to the next being published. I am currently reading Legacies: A Family History Mystery Thriller by Rosamunde Bott.

Meetings, Webinars, Courses etc this month:

04 January
Researching your family history: 1837-1911
Jessamy CarlsonThe National Archives This was actually towards the end of last year but I was double booked and missed it. I finally found time to view the recording. It was a useful general overview of how to conduct family history research. I found the reminder to always start by summarising what you know and proving it to be very helpful.
05 January
Managing Citations & Sources Lists in Zotero
Colleen Robledo Greene, MLISLegacy Family Tree WebinarsAnother that I was catching up with after missing out when it was originally aired. I was surprised that Colleen did not use the automatically generated citations, but stored her own formatted versions within Zotero as a note. I learned some useful tips including how to insert footnotes straight into Word.
08 January
Census surgery: behind the 1921 census
Audrey Collins and Myko ClellandThe National ArchivesA useful session explaining some of the history of census taking. Then focused on the 1921 census, and why the fertility question was removed. Detailed explanation of the newer questions – the orphan question, and the children grid. Myko made a great point that the census reveals that people have not changed in essentials. Horses, dogs, cats, goldfish and a tortoise were enumerated. Nationalities recorded include “Yorkshire man”
08 January
Archive Sources for Local History
Nicola WaddingtonSociety of GenealogistsNicola went through the many records, such as OS, tithe and farm survey maps, census records and electoral rolls, manorial records and many more that can be used to learn about local history which gives more depth to family history.
09 January
Discovering the Unindexed Records in the FamilySearch Catalog
James TannerBYU Family History LibraryI have realised that I am not using FamilySearch enough, it holds a vast range of records, and is free so I really should make more of it. This was a great help in learning how to find the unindexed records. It is like going to the archive and scrolling through a film of parish records to find the right people.
10 January
Using the FamilySearch Catalog
AnnetteFamily History Library WebinarsSimilar to the video I watched yesterday this reinforced how useful, and extensive, FamilySearch is. Good to see a live demonstration of using the search.
12 January
Virtual Common Room Chat:
New Year’s Resolutions – Organising your Family History
Else ChurchillSociety of GenealogistsThe virtual common room chats are really enjoyable discussions. A great perk of SoG membership. Great to bounce ideas off people and realise that I’m not doing too badly really!
15 January
Evernote – The Fundamentals
Graham WalterSociety of GenealogistsI don’t think Evernote is for me, most the suggestions were things that I already do within Legacy but I can see how this could be useful for others.
27 January
Introducing the 1921 Census of England & Wales
Myko ClellanSociety of GenealogistsA fantastic talk about some of the intricacies of the 1921 Census. It is great to see people’s personalities come through in something as mundane as a census return. I haven’t had time, or money, to find more than my grandparents and great grandparents until now.
31 January
Book Club Book 3
Barefoot on the Cobbles
Janet FewSociety of GenealogistsA thought provoking book and just fun to discuss it with others.