Blog

  • Brown Update
    After my visit to the Belfast City Cemetery a couple of weeks ago I have added a bit to the relevant page, including a photo of the unmarked grave of James Robert Brown in November 1918. He was one of many victims of the so-called Spanish Flu.
  • August 2022
    I’ve been at PRONI 4 or 5 days over the summer but most of my work has been focussed on my wife’s family. One thing I did try to do for my own family was to locate my great grandparents wedding at St Anne’s Church/Cathedral in Belfast. I waded through hundreds between 1892 and 1897 […]
  • Jacksons and McKees
    I have been working for ages on a particularly tricky group, the Jacksons of Raffrey (especially the townland of Barnamaghery). After 3 or 4 days at PRONI wading through original documents and microfilm I have managed to untangle the Jackson family which is “right” for my wife.
  • Clarks update
    I’ve added a little to the section on the Clarks. Next week I will be visiting Scotland for the first time in years and hope to visit Newtonmore.
  • George Patton
    I have begun to upload information about George Patton of Corporation Street in Belfast.
  • Pattons
    Coming soon… the Pattons of Corporation Street in Belfast I have been researching my wife’s family and have found it interesting, so I intend to share what I have learned when I can. Be patient- some of us are still at our place of work every day despite sickness all around.
  • July 2021
    I managed to get myself a slot at PRONI this week and despite the utter lack of carparking in the area currently succeeded in entering the building. I was able to look at a large map from the late 1780s, showing the estate of a Mr Johnston in the Drumbanagher area. It shows locations of […]
  • Missing in Action
    I’m sorry if anyone has been trying to contact me and is awaiting a reply. I’ve been having trouble access emails (and still can’t).
  • Smiths and Smyths
    I’m pursuing a couple of DNA links on Ancestry to a Sarah Jane Smith or Smyth who died in Belfast in 1922. Her family came from Bessbrook, she being born there around 1850. Her husband was also named Smith and he came from the same locality which confuses things but I think it likely that […]
  • Transfer
    I hope that my host will change smoothly over the next few days, though there may be changes to the background and I am uncertain whether images will transfer easily or will need inserted manually. I they need transferred manually I think that will take some time to achieve.
  • Deaths
    Sorry to announce to all my friends and distant relatives that Dad died on Sunday. He was well looked after at the care home and died without pain or fear. My sister and I attended him for his final night. Uncle Bill’s (Dad’s brother) widow, Martha, died in late October. She was a lovely, friendly […]
  • Dead Computer
    I was balancing a few bags at my car boot today on leaving school and my computer bag, button undone, fell out on to the ground. Out came my Asus Transformer and it hit the ground. I thought it would be OK as it lives in a soft leather cover but apparently not. When I […]
  • John Douglas the railway carter
    I hope to be in contact with decsendants of John Douglas, the eldest son of Charles Douglas the blacksmith. John moved to the Glasgow area where he was a railway carter. His wife had 13 children, many of whom died very young indeed. 
  • More News
    I’ve added a bit to the McRobbie page, based upon information supplied by Jan Dawson last year. My thanks to her. I’ve also tried to add information from James Quigley regarding a wartime mission but for some reason the text has not saved three times.
  • DNA
    I’ve got the results of my DNA test from Ancestry. It confirms that Jean Davis and  I are close relatives and I think I’ve found a Hanlon relative on Mum’s side. I’ve sent messages to a Bennett and to an Adam as well. If there is anyone else reading who has taken the test maybe […]
  • Diary
    I hope to add bits of Dad’s wartime diary quite soon. Him keeping one, of course, was a breach of military law but lots of people did it and had his troopship been sunk en route to India the enemy would have been denied invaluable gossip abnout Deanna Durbin anyway.