Categories
Pentrefelin wildlife

12 Days of Christmas #12

Today was another kaleidoscope of weather! Hail, rain, sunshine, the lot! I still haven’t work out what the finches are that are gathering on the wreath I made for them. They have a wide black stripe from their head, over their eyes and down their wings.

The Society of Genealogists 12 days of Christmas, concludes with 12 Drummers Drummed up excitement for the release of the 1921 Census.

I think most genealogists with English or Welsh ancestry are looking forward to tomorrow! There has been much debate about the costs of viewing the 1921 census (£2.50 for every record transcript and £3.50 for every original record image.) but it is comparable with the 1939 Register and 1911 census when they were first released. An immense amount of work has gone into scanning, transcribing and indexing the records so that we can use them. Personally I think the costs are reasonable, and in the not too distant future the census will be included in the FindMyPast subscription and eventually on other websites too.

Like, I suspect, many genealogists, I have a list of people I will be looking for tomorrow, including two of my grandparents. I just hope that https://www.findmypast.co.uk/ can cope and doesn’t crash.

On the twelfth day of 12 Days Wild I went out at dusk to try to take pictures of both the sunset and a starling murmuration. Unfortunately the starlings really didn’t seem to want to leave the tree this afternoon. They were very loud though, lots of chatter.

I have a Beanies Coffee 12 Days of Christmas calendar. Finally Day 12 was another Salted Caramel flavoured “All-in-One”. It would be nice to think that these will all get used when I travel in 2022. Fingers crossed.

Christmas is all packed up, and as soon as the Christmas jumpers, socks, doormat and facemasks have been through the wash everything will be back in the loft ready for next year. My Christmas tree is acclimatising to the outdoor world with a few days in an unheated greenhouse. It has been fun, and I’m ready to begin my studies and work.

Categories
Pentrefelin wildlife

12 Days of Christmas #11

We had hail today, and blue skies, and rain. One of those four seasons in a couple of hours type days. I watched the birds on the various feeders outside my office window. I only have to look up from my computer and I can see them. I’ve spotted blue tits and sparrows today. A group of 4 or 5 little birds that looked like sparrows but with longer tails spent some time on the wreath I made.

The Society of Genealogists 12 days of Christmas, continues with Eleven Pipers Piped in Ireland. They take the opportunity to remind us that the SoG library contains many copies and transcripts of Irish records made prior to the fire that destroyed so much in 1922. Incredibly useful for anyone with Irish ancestry.

On the eleventh day of 12 Days Wild I finally found some fungus!

I went for a walk through Criccieth, where hidden away there is a delightful space dedicated to nature. I found the fungus there. I know it is some sort of bracket fungus but I had to do some research to learn more.

With some help from Google and the Wildlife Trusts website I am fairly sure that I found turkeytail, or Trametes versicolor. Apparently it has been used to decorate both tables and hats!

I have a Beanies Coffee 12 Days of Christmas calendar. Day 11 was two more favourites: Cinnamon Hazelnut and Irish Coffee. I used up the Christmas Baileys cream in the latter. Yum.

Well tomorrow the Christmas decorations come down, and then my new boss says I have to start concentrating on studying and setting up a business. I have a Pharos course in Apprentice Records starting tomorrow and Strathclyde term begins on Friday.

Categories
Pentrefelin wildlife

12 Days of Christmas #10

We finally had sunny weather today. Hooray! It was a pleasure to go for a walk and I bumped into several neighbours making the most of it.

The Society of Genealogists 12 days of Christmas, continues with Ten Lords were a-Leaping Round the Peerage. As far as I know none of my ancestry made it into Burke’s Peerage. How about you?

On the tenth day of 12 Days Wild I continued the winter scavenger hunt provided by The Wildlife Trusts which I had begun at the weekend. I still don’t think I have any chance of finding snowdrops or frost.

The sunshine meant that there was finally a chance to see clouds against a blue sky, rather than just a wall of grey. I thought I could see an elephant’s face.

It has been ages since I have seen a robin or spider, but I will keep looking. I finally caught a starling murmuration on camera, but you will need to look closely!

I have a Beanies Coffee 12 Days of Christmas calendar. Day 10 was my favourite Gingerbread and my least favourite Coconut Delight.

Whilst I was out I also tried to take some “then and now” pictures of Pentrefelin. You can see the “then” on the Francis Frith website: https://www.francisfrith.com/pentrefelin/photos. How do you think I did?

A lot has changed in both scenes. The Post Office is now just a family home, where about seventy years ago a phone box and petrol pump can be seen. The Church Room has disappeared behind a newer house and the trees lining the lane have gone, with just a few stumps remaining.

Categories
wildlife

12 Days of Christmas #9

What a wet miserable day! I made it outside for a walk, just to get some miles under my belt for Operation Bletchley, but definitely more a day to be inside. Not even snow which would be novel, just varying rain showers from light drizzle to a downpour!

The Society of Genealogists 12 days of Christmas, continues with Nine Ladies Dancing in Banbury. The online data includes a “History of Banbury Historical & Antiquarian notices” . The collection of local records is very varied and is increasingly online.

On the ninth day of 12 Days Wild I spent my walk looking for a feather or some fungus, but the wet and windy weather was against me. I had a look at some of the events and courses being offered locally and considered signing up for a foraging course: https://www.smallwoods.org.uk/en/coedlleol/events/online-courses/ but I really do need to focus my time on genealogy so I have decided against it for now. I am looking forward to rejoining Carole on local nature walks later in the month though. https://www.facebook.com/events/443595600557549

I spotted what I think might have been a bird of prey flying above, what do you think?

I have a Beanies Coffee 12 Days of Christmas calendar. Day 9 was two of my favourites: Creamy Caramel and Cinnamon Hazelnut which both went down a treat this morning.

Categories
wildlife

12 Days of Christmas #8

Happy New Year to you! Did you see the London firework/laser/drone display at midnight? Wow!

2022 certainly looks exciting from where I’m sitting right now. This year I should achieve the Pharos Family History Skills & Strategies (Intermediate) certificate and be well on my way to a Postgraduate Certificate in Genealogy, Heraldry and Palaeography. I would hope that this year I will become an AGRA associate and launch a genealogy business.

The Society of Genealogists 12 days of Christmas, continues with Eight Welsh Maids A-Milking. They suggest using their extensive collection of directories to look up Welsh farming ancestors amongst others.

Here is my 3rd great grandfather Thomas Hopkinson in Kelly’s 1881 Directory.

On the eighth day of 12 Days Wild I did a winter scavenger hunt provided by The Wildlife Trusts. Why not download your own copy. There are a couple of things I have no chance of finding in the mild weather we are having. I’m fairly sure that the animal tracks I found were a dog, but still an animal!

I did see a starling murmuration late in the afternoon, but didn’t manage to take a photograph. There aren’t many birds in them just yet.

I have a Beanies Coffee 12 Days of Christmas calendar. Day 8 was Mint Chocolate and Very Vanilla instant coffees which both went down a treat this morning.

References:
  1. Directories. England. (1881) Kelly’s directory of Derbyshire, 1881. London: Kelly’s Directories Limited. p. 1158. https://www.ancestry.co.uk/ : accessed 09 August 2021.
Categories
wildlife

12 Days of Christmas #7

Happy New Year. We aren’t planning a celebration here, just a quiet evening in with the cats. I really don’t know what happened to today. Once of those where I just don’t feel like I have go much done.

Operation Bletchley starts tomorrow, and I’m really looking forward to it. I’d be very grateful if you would consider sponsoring me, just click on the link: https://events.soldierscharity.org/s/9699/25059

The Society of Genealogists 12 days of Christmas, continues with Seven Swan Memorial Inscriptions in Soho. Swan is a lovely surname! Memorial Inscriptions are invaluable to genealogists, and that is why I’m very slowly transcribing those in my local graveyards.

On the seventh day of 12 Days Wild I spotted a dead badger by the side of the road. I reported it to Badger Found Dead which is helping to evaluate the link between bovine tuberculosis and badgers.

I had an email later in the day to say that they would be collecting the remains.

My walk today was in Porthmadog and I didn’t take any pictures.

I have a Beanies Coffee 12 Days of Christmas calendar. Day 7 was double chocolate and Amaretto Almond instant coffees which both went down a treat this morning.

Categories
wildlife

12 Days of Christmas #6

Daily lateral flow tests are still negative, despite how many family and friends seem to be infected at the moment so I am looking forward to our regular pub quiz tonight. I am also looking forward to the start of Operation Bletchley on Saturday. I will need to walk at least 80 miles in January, and solve up to 60 codes. It is great fun, and a good fund raiser for ABF The Soldiers Charity. I’d be very grateful if you would consider sponsoring me, just click on the link: https://events.soldierscharity.org/s/9699/25059

The Society of Genealogists 12 days of Christmas, continues with Six Geese were A-Laying at Bury St Edmunds School.  It is thought that the boys played a game called Goose Latin, similar to Pig Latin. School records can be a very useful source.

Belper Cow Hill Girls School 1908 Admission book

This school admission book confirmed my great great aunt, Alice Green’s father’s name, and their address at the time. [1]

On the sixth day of 12 Days Wild I finished a wreath for the birds. I hope they like it! Pinecones smeared in lard and peanut butter, apricots, raisins and some seasonal greenery. I can see it from my office, and have already seen a few birds around.

Here are the instructions that I loosely followed: https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/actions/how-make-christmas-wreath-birds

I have a Beanies Coffee 12 Days of Christmas calendar. Day 6 was a Salted Caramel “All-in-One” There should be 6 “All-in-One” and 12 instant coffees so hopefully some to enjoy tomorrow.

References:
  1. Belper Cow Hill Girls School. Admissions. GREEN, Alice. 1908. D3002_5_1 http://www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed 07 March 2021.
Categories
wildlife

12 Days of Christmas #5

Twixmas is rapidly approaching New Year. While many people are beginning to crave the routine of getting back to work I’m realising that my future stretches out in front of me without structure imposed by others. University terms and deadlines will provide some, but I can study, blog and research at any time of day that I like. Ensuring that I put in enough hours might become a challenge, though maybe the challenge will be knowing when to stop.

The Society of Genealogists 12 days of Christmas, continues with Five Gold Wells Wills rather than Rings.   The Society holds an index to the wills for the Diocese of Bath and Wells that were destroyed in 1942 including people with the surname Gold. It is a reminder that if the obvious records can not be found there is always somewhere else to look. If a birth certificate is not available maybe there was a birth announcement in a newspaper?

On the fifth day of 12 Days Wild I began making a wreath for the birds which I will hang in the apple trees outside my office window. Who knew how sticky apricots and raisins get when threaded on florists wire.

Tony thought I had gone quite mad when I mixed lard and peanut butter, then stirred in bird seed. I spread the mix onto pinecones I have been collecting on my walks. Tomorrow, after a night in the fridge I plan to wire them onto the wreath as well as bits of greenery I have been collecting. All picked up from the ground, not picked off trees!

I have a Beanies Coffee 12 Days of Christmas calendar. Day 5 was a Mint Chocolate “All-in-One” Hopefully there will be some more regular instant coffee tomorrow.

Categories
My family wildlife

12 Days of Christmas #4

The Society of Genealogists 12 days of Christmas, continues with Four Calling Birds in the Bristol Poll Book of 1852.   This inspired me to have a look at the Society’s collection of Poll Books. I found my 3rd great grandfather, John Middleton Downes. On 24 November 1868 he had the choice of voting for The Right Honourable Lord Viscount Milton, Henry F. Beaumont Esq, Walter Spencer Stanhope Esq or Lewis Randle Starkey Esq to represent the Southern Division of the West Riding of Yorkshire in parliament. Lord Milton and Mr Beaumont were elected. The poll book shows John Downes voted for winning candidates.[1] William Roddie only voted for one candidate. Several of the names listed with John Downes are familiar from my research in Wickersley.

On the fourth day of 12 Days Wild I focused on feeding birds. I cleaned the bird bath and moved to in front of my office window. I cleaned and refilled the window mounted bird feeders and replaced the empty tub of Flutter Butter.

I have a Beanies Coffee 12 Days of Christmas calendar. Day 4 was again Salted Caramel “All-in-One” so I decided to drink it this morning. The milk powder means that the coffee is a little sweeter than I prefer, and has that slightly odd taste that comes from processed milk. The “All-in-One” instant coffees are ok for emergencies and travelling but I wouldn’t choose them at home.

References

[1] The Poll for the Southern Division of the West Riding of County of York. DOWNES, John Middleton. 24 November 1868. Collection: Poll books. Society of Genealogists, London. https://sogdata.org.uk/ : accessed 28 December 2021.

Categories
My family wildlife

12 Days of Christmas #3

The Society of Genealogists 12 days of Christmas, continues with Three French Paupers in Westminster. This draws attention to settlement certificates and examinations. I have not yet used these in my own family history research but I am aware they can be a mine of information.

On the third day of 12 Days Wild and I focused on food waste, or rather not wasting food. I had bubble and squeak for tea last night, which made a second meal from left over Christmas dinner vegetables. One of my favourites. Today I made stock from the turkey carcass and froze the left over meat and cauliflower cheese. The Wildlife Trust have lots of suggestions to avoid food waste here: https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/actions/reduce-food-waste.

I have a Beanies Coffee 12 Days of Christmas calendar. Day 3 was Salted Caramel “All-in-One” which, like yesterday, I have put aside with my travel kettle.