From blog to book…

History recorded in a book – I like it! (Ha! ha! I just reread this and thought “How dumb does that sound?? Of course history is recorded in books – many of them!” However, I guess that’s where the mind goes when one spends so much time trolling the internet and tapping on computer keys. So I decided to leave the comment…) Anyway, this is my goal – to record my family history on paper, not just on website or computer pages. And, as I mentioned in an earlier blog, this blogging is a means to an end. I have the advantage of much of my family tree having been researched and I am even in possession of one hard-cover publication detailing one specific line plus several soft-cover booklets to help me on my journey.

A few of my myriad of notes.
A few of my myriad of notes.

As I delve into family history and the births, marriages and deaths of my predecessors I want to know about their lives… were they born into happy homes? how did they get along with siblings? did they marry the person of their choice? did they have loving spouses? how & of what did they die?  and so the questions go on… and on… and on…

I read many novels and my favourite would be historical sagas where the reader becomes a friend (or otherwise) of the characters. I wonder if I can write one of these using facts I am able to glean from my ancestry? I did a distance writing course a few years ago and did draw up the outline for my historical saga… the course finished and so did I 😦

However, I am now inspired once again, so on these pages (posts) I hope to bring the beginnings of a book (or two or three) following my family history through the ages. It may be haphazard but I will commit myself to a minimum of one post each week so follow along with me and become inspired yourself!

And to help me I will now do a Google search on Family History blogs – as with just about everything today, there are sure to be some there that will aid and abet me in my quest!

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Making of the Mothers

Having just traced the Fathers for 11 generations I thought I’d follow that up with the Mothers…

So, here we go from my mother following the maiden names with married names in brackets, birth-death dates & place of birth.

  1. My mother: Coralie Constance Ward (Robbins): 1923 – 2013 – Kawhia, NZ

    My mother, Coralie Robbins (nee Ward)
    My mother, Coralie Robbins (nee Ward)
  2. CCW’s mother: Audrey Constance Place (Ward): 1899 – 1979 – England
  3. ACP’s mother: Fanny Maria Ward (Place): 1856 – 1938 – England
  4. FMW’s mother: Maria Biddles (Ward): 1818 –

And, do you know, that’s where this line ends… now an interesting point to note is that my grandparents (ACP & her husband, Richard Ward) were cousins.  I can trace my grandfather’s side back a couple more generations but I see I must now check out those websites for “Miss Biddles” and her forefathers/mothers….

Next time… more on my mother’s side because I have less information on that… maybe mother >father>mother>father >etc.

Do let me know if you’re game to do the same!

Ah-ha – thanks to genealogy.com I can add one more generation:

5. MB’s mother: Ann Norman (Biddles) b 1798 – no further details

Update as of 26 Sept (2015): I have just found a website http://www.werelate.com and have traced the “mothers” back another 5 generations – yay! This website includes birth, marriage & death dates (most birth & death dates are approximate) and locations – all Leicester, England.

6.  AN’s mother: Hannah Elkington (Norman): 1761 – 1819

7.  HE’s mother: Mary Martin (Elkington): 1736 – 1792

8.  MM’s mother: Hannah Hubbard (Martin): 1714 – 1787

9. HH’s mother: Mary Groocock (Hubbard): 1683 – 1725

10. MG’s mother: Alice d 1702 – (no further info available for her, so here my current search ends.)

Now I must inform my niece that her name, Hannah, goes back a long way in the family!!

Following the Fathers

I thought today that I would “practice what I preach” and follow my father’s line through the fathers just to see how far back I can go without too much research.

To make it a bit interesting I’ll add a fact about each generation. At this stage I don’t have photos to add but they can be inserted at a later date.

  1. My father: Donald Campbell Robbins: 1922 – 1992 – Spitfire pilot WW2

2. DCR’s father: Donald Ross Robbins : 1888 – 1964 – Milk supplier

3. DRR’s father: Benjamin Conrad Robbins (4th) : 1857 – 1953 – Mayor of Hawera & Tauranga

4. BCR’s father: Benjamin Robbins (3rd) : Sea captain, born in Nova Scotia

5. BR’s father: Benjamin  Robbins (2nd): 1790 –

6. BR’s father: Joseph Robbins: 1757 – 1839

7. JR’s father: Benjamin Robbins (1st) : 1732 – Married Mayflower pilgrim. Drowned in Lobster Pond, Nova Scotia.

8. BR’s father: Jeduthan Robbins (2nd): 1694 – 1740 – Born in Plympton, Massachusetts.

9. JR’s father: Jeduthan Robbins (1st): 1667 – 1721

10. JR’s father: John Robbins: (no birth or death dates) – “John became a hopeless cripple”

11. JR’s father: Nicholas Robbins: (no birth or death dates) – Shoemaker probably from Channel Islands.

Wow! that’s quite impressive – 11 generations, not including three existing ones. I must admit that that was easy as the work has been done by previous family genealogists 🙂 I can see there is plenty to work on to make an interesting storyline but that is a good start.

For further research there are a multitude of search engines, many of them free.  The further one goes back in history, the harder it becomes to unlock information, of course, but that’s where the fun is – actually finding something new!

So, go for it… I’m now going to see how far back I can trace my Mother’s maternal line just for fun!

Family History

Not a favourite photo but sure is a favourite place!
Not a favourite photo but sure is a favourite place!

Hi there,

I had another “aaah!” moment this morning when I logged in to complete this post I began yesterday – it wasn’t anywhere to be found!!  I was sure I “Saved Draft” but…  I will  begin again, though, and if you are of the mature generation, like me, I want to encourage you to do likewise as these hurdles can be overcome!!

Anyway, today I wanted to talk a little about Family History.  Have you researched yours? I guess I’m fortunate in that much of mine has been done and published in various forms.  I will use the information I have but will also take a more novel approach, I hope.

I have found that I have some famous forebears…. at least 3 US Presidents, a couple of well-known actors and scientists and even Sir Winston Churchill, I believe! These folk all come from the Mayflower Pilgrims and I can trace my lineage back through three pilgrims.  Now, I know I share these links with a million or so others but I can join “The Mayflower Society” if I so wish, and there is just so much information to be gleaned from a multitude of websites.

Closer to home here in New Zealand, my great-grandfather was mayor of one town (Hawera) and one city (Tauranga) and has a street and a park named after him.  And two men I knew well played very active parts in defending New Zealand – one grandfather fought at Gallipoli in the 1st World War and my father flew Spitfires in the 2nd World War.

And, as one would expect, in between all these “claims to fame” there are the “skeletons in the closet”.  Because so much of my history has been researched and documented, it’s these “skeletons” that I am going to focus on – just because they make reading interesting, and we all know that a good novel always contains a bit of “spice” of one sort or another!

If you are just beginning research into your family history and there hasn’t been much done before you I suggest you take one family line at a time, e.g. your follow your father’s line and his father, and his father and so on as far back as you can.  There a numerous sites – some free, some subscribed – which are immeasurably helpful.  I learned of many of these at a course I attended – another good option to get you started. In fact, there is so much information available it becomes quite daunting and confusing but keep a notebook to record everything and the jigsaw will eventually come together.

And that’s it for now…

Remember “Think like a proton and stay positive!”