More Genealogy as you walk, Blackpill, Swansea.

More Genealogy as you walk, Blackpill, Swansea.

Eva and I enjoyed our walk in North Wales with the bits and pieces of genealogy thrown in so much we decided to have a stroll a bit nearer home here in Blackpill, Swansea.

The first part of the walk was past the site of the now demolished building Llwynderw, it is a gated estate now, but in 1939 it was the household of Mrs Folland, widowed born in 1878, a widow of private means[1]. This house is not noted on the ordnance Survey map first series of 1830, however a familiar name which we walk by is another place ‘Lilliput’[2] seen on the same map[3], demolished in about 1962[4] as part of the development of Mumbles Road. The1851 census taken for Lilliput on Mumbles Road will find Mr. James Strick born Cardiganshire the head of the household aged 38 an insurance agent married to Emily aged 39, she was born Devonshire, they had four children all born Swansea age 8 down to 1, also living there were an 18 year old governess Fanny Suttril born Bridport, Dorset and  Susan Davies 21 year old servant from Llandeilo[5].

“Llwynderw was here” Eva.

Then we take in a bit of the route of the Mumbles Railway, you can have a look at a BBC history blog for some insights[6], one of the initial investors in the line was Benjamin French of Morriston and latterly of Neath, here he is in the 1841 census of independent means his address being the Parade in Neath, Mr. Benjamin French aged 70, not born in the county of Glamorgan, of Independent means, his wife (implied) Ann French aged 55, not born in the county either, Elizabeth French aged 15 not born in the county and Hannah Lawrence aged 20 not born in the county a house servant[7].

(Aside from the person details for the family historian, be aware that the 1841 census more often than not noted the ages of those over 15 were rounded down to the nearest 5, so Benjamin French could have been 75 to 79 years of age this is true for this page as looking at the rest of the census page all ages over 15 are multiples of 5, I’ve also noted the relationships are implied because this census did not record a household head or the relationship to that person, you can see the delineation between households with // on the records.)

Look back towards Lilliput with the road that replaced it.

The route of the railway is now the walking and cycle path, on the left as we walked back to Blackpill from the direction of Mumbles would have been a Smithy (Blacksmith) long gone now, nearby to the Woodman pub which is still there for a pint or two. Investigating these places, old maps hold a plethora of information[8], ways to emphasize other types of research you might be able to do. For instance if you had an ancestor from Blackpill they would have known of (or been)… “BLACKPILL CORPORAL’S D.C.M. Corporal Sidney Lloyd (154309), Motor-Transport A.S.C., son of Mr. and Mrs. I D. Lloyd, 3, Brookside-terrace. Blackpill, has been mentioned in despatches and recommended for the D.C.M. for gallant conduct in Egypt. Lloyd, who joined up in October 1916, took part in the capture of the Delhia Oases, and for over 12 months acted as Q.M.S. at Karga Oases. Before joining up he worked for his father, the well-known Blackpill blacksmith, and was one of the original members of the Mumbles V.A.D., doing duty as an orderly at the local hospital. Another brother, in the Welsh Guards, is serving in France.[9]  A glance at the 1901 census will give the family viz. David Lloyd married aged 45, Head of the Household, born Bishopston, Glamorganshire a Coach Builder (employing blacksmiths) his wife Sarah aged 46, she was born Swansea, Glamorganshire and their family of five sons including the above mentioned Sydney aged 12, born Oystermouth and attending school.[10]

Along the Mumbles Railway

Nearby in the same census was the Woodman Hotel where the Licensed Victualler was Sarah Maddams a widow aged 63, Head of the household born LLandeilo, Carmarthenshire and her daughters Edith Crooke married aged 39 born Bayswater, London and Lilian Mary Fitness married aged 24 born Fulham, London.[11]

The Woodman in the trees

The path we were walking near the Woodman was reported on in 1874 for a highway robbery! The highwaymen described as two ruffians, Anthony Burke and Edward Simons living on waste ground at Blackpill. They supposedly, had accosted a Mr. Henry Edward Clasham an apprentice to a tea broker in London but living at Brunswick Street Swansea, after he had met up with a friend at the Woodman on the way back from Mumbles to Swansea on horseback. The ruffians attempted to pull him off the horse and demanded a shilling which he gave them, he rode back to Blackpill and got the policeman PC Hodges who arrested Simons, Simons claimed it wasn’t him who committed the dirty deed.[12] More names to be researched if you were of a mind to.

Beware the HIghwaymen

Back to the walk for Eva and I, into Clyne Gardens and the connection to the well documented and well heeled Vivian family. The probate record for William Graham Vivian of Clyne Castle, Glamorgan and 7 Belgrade Square Middlesex, died 21 August 1912 shows his estate value was £1,000,000[13], 19th century industrialists did not live without ostentation.

Clyne Castle

Finally, a stroll home to our house built in the 1950’s on land which was stated in 1845 on the tithe map, as arable land, being the middle field number 206, the occupier and landowner was Berrington Jenkin Davies[14].

A short walk with plenty of genealogy for me, and for Eva a vestige of Clyne Forest, an important 11th Century Norman landmark[15], but all she cares about is playing among the trees.

11th Century Forest and Eva.

[1] 1939 Register, Wales. Llwynderw, Mumbles Road, Swansea, Glamorganshire. FOLLAND, Leah N. 21 September 1939. RG101/7288B/007/32 Letter Code: XIBE. Collection: 1939 register. The National Archives. : accessed 18 May 2021.

[2] University of Portsmouth. A Vision of Britain through time. : accessed 18 May 2021.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Baker, Mark. A Complete List of Lost Welsh Country Houses. : accessed 18 May 2021.

[5] Census records. Wales. Liliput Cottage, Oystermouth, Swansea. 30 March 1851. STRICK, James (head) HO107/2467/F. Collection: Census Transcript Search, 1841-1911. : accessed 19 May 2021.

[6] Carradice, Phil (2011) The Mumbles Railway. Wales History [blog]. 24 March.,Construction%20was%20completed%20in%201806%20and%20services%20began. : accessed 19 May 2021.

[7] Census records. Wales. Neath, Glamorganshire. 06 June 1841. FRENCH, Benjamin. HO107/1421/F. Collection: Census Transcript Search, 1841-1911. : accessed 18 May 2021.

[8] The National Library of Wales. Welsh Tithe Maps. : accessed 19 May 2021.

[9] South Wales Weekly Post.  (1918) Blackpill Corporal’s DCM. South Wales Weekly Post. 25 May. p.3c Collection: National Library of Wales Welsh Newspapers Online. : accessed 20 May 2021.

[10] Census records. Wales. Blackpill, Oystermouth, Glamorganshire. 31 March 1901. LLOYD, David (head). RG13/5084/F. Collection: Census Transcript Search, 1841-1911. : accessed 20 May 2021.

[11] Census records. Wales. Blackpill, Oystermouth, Glamorganshire. 31 March 1901. MADDAMS, Sarah (head) (head). RG13/5084/F. Collection: Census Transcript Search, 1841-1911. : accessed 20 May 2021.

[12] Cardiff Times. (1874). Highway Robbery at Swansea. 16 May. p. 3b. Collection: British Newspapers. : accessed 20 May 2021.

[13] Testamentary Records. Scotland. 27 September 1912. VIVIAN, William Graham. Calendar of Confirmations and Inventories p 418. Collection: Scotland National Probate Index (Calendar of Confirmations and Inventories), 1876-1936. : accessed 20 May 2021.

[14] The National Library of Wales. Welsh Tithe Maps. : accessed 20 May 2021.

[15] Swansea Council. Clyne Gardens. : accessed 20 May 2021.

Genealogy as you walk.

I’ve been quiet for a little while, with the easing of lockdown and the need to get going again we set off for a break to N. Wales in the motorhome. Eva the Jack Russell needed occupying as she was not allowed off the lead. Somehow, I had the foresight to pack my walking boots and here’s a bit of the adventure.

1st stop was Llanberis, the obvious walk was to the top of England and Wales, yr Wyddfa (Snowdon). There is a railway line to the summit, but it was closed due to the pandemic. Got me thinking, the owner of the land which the line cut through was a Mr Assheton-Smith of the Vaynol estate, he wasn’t happy (about 1870) thinking the railway would spoil the scenery[1] some genealogy on that family Charles Gordon Assheton-Smith can be found in the London Gazette[2] appointed to be deputy Lieutenant signed by the Lord Lieutenant of Caernarvonshire in 1906.

A random look in the 1911 census shows some residents of the village of Llanberis viz. John E. Davies aged 48, Head of the family Married, born Llanberis, Carnarvon, Shop Keeper, an Antiques Dealer, bilingual speaking both Welsh and English, his wife Elizabeth Davies 47, married 27 years they had had 7 children, 6 were still living, she was born Llanidan, Anglesey, bilingual also. Living there too were Margaret Clara Davies 26, their Daughter, Single, born Llanidan, Anglesey, bilingual. Buddug A. Davies 16, their Daughter, Single, born Llanberis, Carnarvon at School, bilingual. Goronwy Owain Davies 13, Son, born Llanberis, Carnarvon at School, bilingual, and Maelir Glyn Davies, 12, Son, Llanberis, Carnarvon, at School, bilingual.[3]

The area is overseen by the slate quarries, so here is a family of that industry in 1911 note the form is in Welsh. Robert Henry Jones aged 59, Penteulu (head of the family pen) Priod (married), born Tygwyn Waenfawr Plwyf Llanbeblig, Carnarvonshire, Cloddiwr Mewn Chwarel Lechi (excavator at the slate quarry) gweithiwr (worker), Cymraeg (speaks Welsh only) his wife Ellen Jones 49, Gwraig (wife) Priod 27 years, born Murmawr Llanberis, Carnarvonshire, y ddwy (bilingual), their son John Evans Jones 19, Mab (son), Sengl (single) born Murmawr Llanberis, Carnarvonshire, Myfyriwr Mewn Coleg (student at college) y ddwy (bilingual). They lived at Minynant Llanberis[4], it would be a project to find both the address now…

 2nd a quick stop at Betws y Coed, the railway had a major influence on the development of this area, again an arbitrary look found a Mr. C.E Clarke, he was a booking Clerk at Bettws y Coed, he was born 21 April 1874, joined the company 6 November 1891, his annual rate was £60 5/-, he transferred to Blaenau Ffestiniog on 1 February 1898[5].

We transferred ourselves to Gellydan near Blainau Ffestiniog a newspaper search is useful for biography in genealogy…” BLAENAU FESTINIOG. MEDICAL SUCCESS.—The son of Dr R. D. Evans, Mr Thomas John Carey Evans, has passed the primary examination for the Fellowship of the College of Surgeons, England. F.R.C.S. at an examination held from April 3rd to May 5th, at The Examination Hall, London. -The subjects were: Advanced anatomy, advanced physiology, and comparative anatomy. He is 18 years of age the average age to go in for the examination is 23…”[6] . The Motorhome site was in Gellydan, a tithe map search shows Robert Pugh [7] in the Tithe maps of Wales so if your are related to him you can see area walked.

Finally, Devil’s Bridge a walk through the farm fields, bothies along the Mynach and into the forestry all covered in snow the next day. Prompted a look at some local history which can be used for genealogy. I was walking around the former estate described in 1848 “EGLWYS-NEWYDD, or LLANVIHANGEL-Y-CREIDDYN-UCHÂV, a chapelry, in the parish of Llanvihangel-y-Creiddyn, union of Aberystwith, hundred of Ilar, county of Cardigan, South Wales, 14 miles (S. E.) from Aberystwith; containing 1131 inhabitants…This place derives the latter of these names from its relative situation in the parish, and the former from the erection of a church, in 1803, by the late Thomas Johnes, Esq., on the site of a previous edifice built here in 1620, by the Herberts of Havod, for the convenience of the family, and the accommodation of the miners employed in the adjoining district of Cwm Ystwith. Havod, the seat of the late Mr. Johnes, was originally the residence of a branch of the Herbert family, who, embarking in the mining adventures of the neighbourhood, built a house here, which, from the nature of the ground and the badness of the roads, being inaccessible except during the summer, obtained the appellation of “Havod,” signifying a summer residence.”[8] So we have the Herbert’s  Mr Thomas Johnes and later in the article Henry Hoghton Esq. all eminently searchable.

There is always plenty to keep the genealogist occupied!

If you think you would like a tour of the places your ancestors lived in Wales, get in touch, once things are opening up we can make that happen.

[1]Wikipedia.SnowdonMountainRailway. : accessed 08 May 2021

[2] Recorded in The Gazette (London Gazette), 23 February 1906 Issue:27889 Page:1356.

[3] Census records. Wales. Llanberis, Caernarvon. 02 April 1911. DAVIES, John E. (head). RG14 – PN34439 RD630 SD2 ED7 SN159. Collection: Census Transcript Search, 1841-1911. : accessed 08 May 2021.

[4] Census records. Wales. Llanberis, Caernarvon. 02 April 1911. JONES, Robert Henry (penteulu). RG14 – PN34439 RD630 SD2 ED7 SN196. Collection: Census Transcript Search, 1841-1911. : accessed 08 May 2021.

[5] Railway Employment Records, 1833-1956. CLARKE, C.E. Class: RAIL410; Piece: 1847. Collection: London and North Western Railway Company: Records; : accessed 09 May 2021

[6] Carnarvon and Denbigh Herald and North and South Wales Independent (1903).  Blaenau Festiniog.  Carnarvon and Denbigh Herald and North and South Wales Independent.  08 May. p. 5a : accessed 09 May 2021

[7] The National Library of Wales. Map of Maentwrog parish in the County of Merioneth. : accessed 09 may 2021.

[8] Samuel Lewis. “Edern – Eidda,” in A Topographical Dictionary of Wales, (London: S Lewis, 1849), 320-328. British History Online, accessed May 10, 2021,

Yr Wyddfa

Near Pontarfynach

Star of the show mo madadh beag Eva the Jack Russell

Nursing Genealogy. UK & Ireland, Nursing Registers, 1898-1968.

UK & Ireland, Nursing Registers, 1898-1968 digitised to  Queens Nursing Institute (QNI – district nursing) – digitised onto  The National Archives (TNA) (which I have been writing on in past weeks) – useful for military nursing records.  Royal Medico-Psychological Association (1891 – 1951) – trained and registered Mental Nurses or Attendants.  Royal British Nurse’s Association (RBNA) (1887-1966) – kept the first ‘list’ of qualified nurses. There are 10,000 nurses on this list held at King’s College London Archive – this is now available online as transcriptions of entries.  Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMNS) – early 1900’s military nursing.  The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) – you can now search for more recent nurses registered with the NMC here.

I will look at the first one for this blog post.

The UK and Ireland nursing registers 1898 – 1968 were created to monitor those working as nurses but, as the preface to the 1898 directory states “ …the compilers of the directory do not claim for it any authority analogous to that possessed by the medical Register… Anyone possessing this Directory can ascertain the experience or training of each nurse whose name appears in it” What is noteworthy in the early days is that it was not compulsory and that all those working as nurses were not necessarily registered.

However, the genealogist is not so much interested in the fitness to practice or training of a specific nurse, but biographical details to be found in any verifiable record. The early records relied on the veracity of the returns, and the cooperation of the ‘Matrons’ which was not always forthcoming.

Nevertheless, if your ancestor was nurse, I would say this is a good place to search.

The producers of the early directories would ask nurses who wished to be included to send relevant details. For instance:

The 1898 directory asked for:

  1. Name in full and address.
  2. Present occupation and date of entry to that.
  3. Probationer at Hospital… from 18.. to 18..
  4. Staff nurse ad Hospital… from 18.. to 18..
  5. Sister at Hospital… from 18.. to 18..
  6. Matron at Hospital… from 18.. to 18..
  7. Private nurse at.. from 18.. to 18..
  8. General training certificates received at Hospital… for … years training.

Any of the following certificates:

  • Midwifery certificate Hospital and date.
  • L.O.S certificate (London Obstetrical Society) Dates of certificate:
  • Monthly Nursing Certificate Hospital and date.
  • Massage Certificate. Hospital or institution, and date.
  • Medico-psychological Certificate: Date of certificate.
  • Give list of medals and badges held if any.
  • Any other qualifications or experience beyond what is given above.

There is potential for a wealth of genealogical, family history available.

A typical entry from 1898 is:

Young, Georgina Victoria.

Shotley Bridge District Nursing Association Co. Durham.

Queen’s District Nurse since Jan. 1895.

Probationer, Addenbrooke’s Hosp. (Cert. 1 year, 3 months training), May 1891 to August 1892.

Pupil Midwife, British Lying in Hosp. (Midwifery Cert.), January to April 1893.

Queen’s District Probationer Central Home Q.V.J.I.N. Bloomsbury WC. Aug. 1893 to Feb. 1894.

[Queens Nurse July 1894].

Queen’s District Nurse Bramley Yorkshire to January 1895.

Cert. L.O.S., April 1893.

Get in touch if you would like your nursing ancestors discovered.

Ancient DNA

John Colclough. 19 January 2021

Truncated for Bwrdd:

I was fascinated by Cheddar man, the Mesolithic skeleton discovered in 1903 at Gough’s Cave in Cheddar Gorge. His ancient DNA has helped Natural History Museum scientists depict one of the oldest modern humans discovered in Britain. He lived about 10,000 years ago, was a Mesolithic hunter-gatherer with dark skin, blue eyes and was about 166cm tall. After the DNA had been processed the local area was checked and a resident was shown to be ‘related’ to Cheddar man.

I cannot compare my DNA results to Cheddar man, his is not out there in my accessible world. But I haven’t let that stop me looking. Using online tools, I compared my DNA results to some other ancient people…

I share about 0.43% DNA with an individual found at Ludas-Varjú-dűlő, in The Great Hungarian Plain. Living about 3,200 years ago, they probably had light brown skin and brown eyes and predicted to have lactose tolerance, a response to a dietary focus on raw milk from domestic cattle.

Now, Loschbour man, found in Luxembourg, a pre-agricultural European circa 8000 years ago. A Mesolithic hunter gatherer, lactulose intolerant into adulthood, dark skin, and >50% probability of blue eyes, not unlike Cheddar man. Loschbour and I have about 0.28% DNA in common.

I match about 0.22%  very ancient DNA with the 45,000-year-old remains of an early modern human from Ust-Ishim, Siberia, appearance was similar to a modern Tibetan. They had 2% Neanderthal DNA, roughly the same as all today’s non-Africans. My proud connection to Neanderthal.

Found near Stuttgart, a female European farmer of circa 7500 years ago and I share about 0.17% DNA, she was from the LBK Culture, makers of distinctive banded decorated pottery. Lactose intolerant in adulthood, she had a > 99% probability of dark hair and brown eyes.

Hungary again, from Polgár-Ferenci-hát, a female living about 7,200 years ago in the Central European Neolithic period, lactose intolerant, dark skinned and brown eyes comparable to present day peoples local to Sardinia, we have circa 0.15% DNA in common.

Discovered at Sabinka, a male possibly blue eyed, fair skinned with light coloured hair, living about 3200 years ago, probably of the bronze age Karasuk culture around Minusinsk Basin, far eastern Russia. We share about 0.14% DNA.

Next, a small match, to the male Clovis baby, lived between12,500 and 12,800 years ago in Montana. Clovis culture is often characterized by the distinctive style on projectile points used by an early North American. We share 0.09% DNA. The match is more of a measure I suspect, of the origin of two paths one leading to Ireland and one to Montana, than me being an American.

Lastly, a Battle ‘Axer’, an adult male lived 3,700 years ago, buried at Lilla Bedinge, Sweden. Battle Axe Culture named from the distinctive shape of their axe heads. We share a small amount of DNA, 0.05%, minimal battle axe in me, but I’ve worked with one or two.

Another utility says, I’m 50% 45,000-year-old Hunter Gatherer, who chased the large herds as the climate warmed, 38% Farmer, who migrated after the last Ice Age 7,000-8,000 years ago, into the European continent from the Near East. Then 12% 3,000 year old Metal Age invader from the eastern steppes, lactulose tolerant, who brought domesticated horses, wheeled vehicles and metal tools.

Summing up, Hunter Gatherer, as a child I fished for trout in the local ‘burn’ in Donegal, I’d struggle killing a creature now. Farmer, all my great grandparents were ‘of the land’. Metal age invader, I’ve seen Deep Purple a couple of times. I let my imagination run…

Full text here:

Test your DNA with one of the commercial databases, receive your results, provided you are sanguine about using public data processing utilities you can let your imagination run free. Which I have…

I was fascinated by the story of Cheddar man, the Mesolithic skeleton discovered in 1903 at Gough’s Cave in Cheddar Gorge, Somerset. His ancient DNA has helped Natural History Museum scientists depict one of the oldest modern humans discovered in Britain. He lived about 10,000 years ago, was a Mesolithic hunter-gatherer with dark skin, blue eyes and was about 166cm tall. There is a good explanation of the extraction of the Cheddar man’s DNA on the Natural History website[1]. After the DNA had been processed the local area was checked and a resident could be shown to be ‘related’ to Cheddar man, in that there had been a common maternal ancestor to them both[2].

As it is, I cannot compare my DNA results to Cheddar man, he is not out there in the accessible world yet. But I haven’t let that stop me looking. Using a free utility called GedMatch I have compared my DNA results to some other ancient people.

Working from the largest (albeit in quite small amounts) percentage of shared DNA I have found the following, setting minimum parameters to try to eliminate chance matches, some of which the matches may well be.

DNA was sequenced from an individual found at Ludas-Varjú-dűlő, Hungary, a person with probably light brown skin and brown eyes living about 3,200 years ago, given the identifier BR2, classified now as Central European Genotypes. Within this period the trade in commodities across Europe increased and the importance of the Great Hungarian Plain as a node or intersection of cultures is indicated by the growth of heavily fortified settlements in the vicinities of the Carpathian valleys and passes linking North and South. The individual BR2 was predicted to have lactose tolerance, a response to a dietary focus on raw milk from domestic cattle. It has been postulated that this change/mutation happened circa 5,500 years BC, possibly in association with the Neolithic LBK culture within Central Europe, but it has also been shown its appearance is delayed until the more recent Bronze Age individuals, who lived only 1,000 years BC, including the BR2 person[3]. The BR2 DNA I share is shown on Chromosome 1, 3.5cM and 3.3cM on two sections, Chromosome 10, 5.2cM, Chromosome 11, 3.3cM and 4cM on two segments, Chromosome 14, 3.1cM, Chromosome 17, 3.8cM and Chromosome 21, 3.1cM, see Isogg wiki[4] for a definition of cM. The percentage total autosomal DNA we share is about 0.43%.[5]

The second match of note is to Loschbour man, who was found in Luxembourg, this person’s DNA indicated they were from pre-agricultural Europeans from circa 8000 years ago, and possibly one of the last of the culture, a likely Mesolithic hunter gatherer Lactulose intolerant into adulthood, dark skin, and >50% probability of blue eyes [6], so not unlike Cheddar man. The DNA analysis was used in a basis for proposing a ‘metapopulation’ in Europe of Western Hunter Gatherers (WHG)[7], I share 2 segments on Chromosome 2, 3.2cM and 3.4cM, Chromosome 8, 3.7cM, Chromosome 10, 3.1cM and o Chromosome 17, 5.7cM using the same calculations above about 0.28% shared autosomal DNA.

The oldest of the ancient DNA I can match to is a person found at Ust-Ishim,Siberia, so called Ust’-Ishim man the 45,000-year-old remains of one of the early modern humans to inhabit western Siberia. The fossil is notable in that it had intact DNA which permitted the complete sequencing of its genome, the oldest modern human genome to be so decoded[8]. It is noted that… “The most intriguing clue about his origin is that about 2% of his genome comes from Neanderthals. This is roughly the same level that lurks in the genomes of all of today’s non-Africans, owing to ancient trysts between their ancestors and Neanderthals. The Ust’-Ishim man probably got his Neanderthal DNA from these same matings, which, past studies suggest, happened after the common ancestor of Europeans and Asians left Africa and encountered Neanderthals in the Middle East.

Until now, the timing of this interbreeding was uncertain — dated to between 37,000 and 86,000 years ago. But Neanderthal DNA in the Ust’-Ishim genome pinpoints it to between 50,000 and 60,000 years ago on the basis of the long Neanderthal DNA segments in the Ust’-Ishim man’s genome. Paternal and maternal chromosomes are shuffled together in each generation, so that over time the DNA segments from any individual become shorter.” [9]

Comparing myself and Ust-Ishim man we share, on Chromosome 2, 3cM, Chromosome 6, 4.7cM, Chromosome 20, 3.9cM, Chromosome 22, 3.4cM, about 0.22% autosomal DNA shared, my proud connection to Neanderthal.

Next match I identified was LBK, Stuttgart, LBK being Linearbandkeramik Culture, a description of the distinctive banded decorated pottery associated with early European farmers[10]. The DNA was sequenced and reported that LBK was a an early (probably female) European farmer of circa 7500 years ago found near Stuttgart, Germany, the DNA analysis suggested they were lactose intolerant in adulthood, had a > 99% probability of dark hair and brown eyes, the DNA was part of a basis for describing a ‘Metapopulation’ Early European farmers (EEF)[11]. This individual and I share DNA, on Chromosome 6, 3cM, Chromosome 14, 5.3cM. Chromosome 15,3.1cM, roughly we share 0.17% autosomal DNA.

Heading back to Hungary, my DNA sequence has some vestige of the individual known as NE1, who was found at Polgár-Ferenci-hát, Hungary, lived about  7,200 years ago, this person very likely female, lactose intolerant, dark skinned and brown eyes comparable to present day peoples local to Sardinia, the DNA sequenced, there is some evidence from DNA to tentatively support the incorporation of local male hunter-gatherers into farming communities during the Central European Neolithic period.[12] NE1 and I share on Chromosome 1, 3.1cM, Chromosome 18, 3cM, and Chromosome 22, 4.1cM, thus sharing about 0.15% autosomal DNA.

Found in Sabinka, Russia was RISE493, this male lived about 3200 years ago, probably of the bronze age Karasuk culture which thrived from about 1200 to about 70 BCE—the dawn of the Iron and historical age—the Karasuk culture was located in the Minusinsk Basin, on the Yenisey River and on the upper reaches of the Ob River. Its creators must have been in touch with East Asia, for certain bronze objects, notably elbow-shaped knives, are related to those used between the 14th and 11th centuries BCE in China during the Shang period. Stone pillars topped either with ram’s heads, stylized animal forms, or human figures have also been discovered. Dzheytun, northwest of Ashgabat (Ashkhabad) in the Kyzylkum Desert, is the oldest known agricultural settlement in Central Asia. It possessed a thriving Neolithic flint industry[13]. The area in the present day is in Khakassia the far east of Russia. The male was possibly blue eyed, fair skinned with light coloured hair. [14] We share on Chromosome 1, 3.6cM, Chromosome 2, 3cM, and Chromosome 14, 3.6cM, so sharing about 0.14% autosomal DNA. Not far from Genghis Khan.

Next result was a small match, possibly little enough to be ‘noise’ or chance, but interesting, it is to the Clovis baby, a male baby lived between 12500 and 12800 years ago in western Montana USA. Clovis culture is often characterized by the distinctive Clovis style projectile point on an arrow or spear of sorts, they were probably the widest spread of the early N. American peoples about 13,000 years ago [15]. On Chromosome 7, the infant and I share 3.1cM and on Chromosome 9, 3.3cM or about 0.09% autosomal DNA in total, I’m not a native American but I might be more than one petulant multibillionaire springing to mind, if the match is valid it is more of a measure I suspect, of the origin of two paths one leading to Ireland and one to Montana.

Lastly Scandinavia, and indexed as RISE98, Sweden, an adult male lived 3,700 years ago, buried at Lilla Bedinge, in Grave 49. Someone of The Battle Axe Culture appearing in the archaeological record of south, central and west Sweden around 2800 BC, marking the start of the Middle Neolithic period. Named from the distinctive shape of the axe heads associated with this culture. They are most often made from polished flint stone as a curved shape resembling a boat. The axe heads are almost exclusively double headed and some examples show a great attention to detail. It is likely that these heads were of a ritual significance and were most certainly a symbol of status within the society. The ritual axe heads that have been found are often worked from black stone with angular sides and a pronounced lip, together with a rounded crushing end. The axes were deposited in burials as grave goods, and might have had a ritual or funerary significance, alongside being a status symbol for the wearer. Such axes were definitely a deadly weapon that gave the Battle Axe culture an advantage in warfare: numerous burials from the era display catastrophic, crushing head wounds, giving rise to the name “Age of Crushed Skulls”[16] a regional variation of the continental Corded Ware Culture [17]. A note on the Corded Ware Culture… “In historic and archaeological terms, the Corded Ware culture is crucial. It emerged as an offshoot of the Yamnaya culture, which today is considered to be the source of the Proto-Indo-Europeans and their language. Thus, as the Corded Ware culture spread eastwards and northwards, it displaced the Proto-Indo-European populations of Europe and brought with it a new language and advanced technology. Through these migrations a new world was created that would come to reshape the course of history”[18]. I share a small amount of autosomal DNA 3.5cM on Chromosome 18 about 0.05%, minimal battle axe in me, definitely not a crusher of skulls.

In another type of DNA analysis on FamilyTreeDNA (FTDNA), I’m 50% Hunter Gatherer, an Anatomically modern Human (thank goodness) arrived continental Europe about 45000 years ago following the large herds as the climate warmed[19], my Ust’-Ishim man above and possibly Loschbour too. FTDNA tells me I’m about 38% Farmer, 8,000–7,000 years ago, after the last Ice Age, modern human farming populations began migrating into the European continent from the Near East. This migration marked the beginning of the New Stone Age, modern humans practicing a more sedentary lifestyle as their subsistence strategies relied more on stationary farming and pastoralism, further allowing for the emergence of artisan practices such as pottery making[20].

The same era as NE1 above. My last bit of make up according to FTDNA is 12% Metal Age invader, the Bronze Age people, fitting nicely with BR2 above as these people were largely lactulose tolerant, also the bringers of domesticated horses, wheeled vehicles and metal tools[21].

To sum up, Hunter Gatherer, I used to go fishing for trout in the local ‘burn’ in Donegal as a child, I think I’d struggle killing a creature now. Farmer, well all my great grandparents were ‘of the land’ in Ireland. Metal age invader, I’ve seen Deep Purple a couple of times. So, I could have done all the above in this last paragraph. But as I said let your imagination run…

[1] Natural History Museum. Cheddar Man: Mesolithic Britain’s blue-eyed boy. : accessed 02 January 2021.

[2] BBC. Cheddar Man: DNA shows early Briton had dark skin. : accessed 02 January 2021.

[3] Gamba, Cristina et al. (2014). Genome flux and stasis in a five millennium transect of European prehistory. Nature communications. 5 (5257). October. : accessed 02 January 2021.

[4] Isogg. CentiMorgan. : accessed 02 January 2021.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Lazaridis, Iosif et. al. (2013). Ancient human genomes suggest three ancestral populations for present-day Europeans. Nature. 10 (1038). December. : accessed 02 January 2021.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Wikimedia Foundation Inc. Ust’-Ishim man. accessed 02 January 2021.

[9] Callaway, Ewan (2014). 45,000-Year-Old Man’s Genome Sequenced. An analysis of the oldest known DNA from a human reveals a mysterious group that roamed northern Asia. : accessed 02 January 2021.

[10] Hirst, K. Kris. Linearbandkeramik Culture – European Farming Innovators. : accessed 02 January 2021.

[11] Lazaridis et. al. (2013). Ancient human genomes suggest three ancestral populations for present-day Europeans. Nature. 10 (1038). December. : accessed 02 January 2021.

[12] Gamba, Cristina et al. (2014). Genome flux and stasis in a five millennium transect of European prehistory. Nature communications. 5 (5257). October. : accessed 02 January 2021.

[13] Brittanica. Visual Arts-Prehistoric cultures- Paleolithic cultures. : accessed 03 January 2021.

[14] Keyser, C. et. Al. (2009). Ancient DNA provides new insights into the history of south Siberian Kurgan people. Human Genetics. 126, pp.395–410 : accessed 03 January 2021.

[15] DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy. Clovis People Are Native Americans, and from Asia, not Europe. accessed 03 January 2021.

[16] Vuckovic, Alekska. (2020) The Battle Axe Culture: Piecing Together the Age of Crushed Skulls. accessed 03 January 2021.

[17] Fornander, Elin. (2013). Dietary diversity and moderate mobility – isotope evidence from Scanian Battle Axe Culture burials. Journal of Nordic Archaeological Science 18.  pp. 13–29.!/menu/standard/file/Fornander.JONAS18.pdf : accessed 03 January 2021.

[18] Vuckovic, Alekska. (2020) The Battle Axe Culture: Piecing Together the Age of Crushed Skulls. accessed 03 January 2021.

[19] FamilyTreeDNA. My Ancient Origins-Hunter Gatherer. : accessed 04 January 2021.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Ibid.

Census Genealogy

For Bwrrd October 2020.

When you go looking into your family’s history, then sooner or later you will need to examine a census return, it will give you a place and exact time where an ancestor was with a reasonable degree of certainty.

With that in mind here is an outline of the censuses of England and Wales.

The first known census of what is now England had been for William the Conqueror, becoming the Domesday Book in 1086. Over the next centuries there were various forms of census. However, attempts to take nationwide censuses were resisted until 1801 and thereafter there has been a census every ten years except 1941 superseded by WWII, but the need for identity cards resulted in the 1939 register of England and Wales.

 The 1801 census resulted from Government concerns about feeding the population, so what was recorded was numbers of people rather than their names to estimate the rate at which the population was growing or declining, what proportion was of working age etc. and then how to feed or manage the population, this persisted until 1831. Looking for names in these censuses will be a fruitless exercise.

The Population Act 1840 changed the nature of subsequent censuses. All households were given Schedules to record individual names with a warning that giving misleading information was fineable. A census enumerator would visit each household, ship or institution in an area allocated to them in a single day, and deliver the Schedule, returning on the Monday after the night of the census to collect and check the Schedules. These were then processed locally, then district wide, finally centrally in London for publication.

The census information available today is from these enumerators’ transcript books, the original schedules were destroyed except for the 1911 census in England and Wales.

Information available in the 1841 census:

  • Address
  • Surname and first name – (If, as happened in lodging-houses, hotels and inns, a person who slept there the night before went away early and the name was not known, “n.k.” was written where the name should have been.
  • Age – correct if 15 or under but rounded down to nearest five years if over 15.
  • Sex.
  • Profession, trade, employment or of independent means – Occupations were recorded as abbreviations, for instance Ag. Lab. (agricultural labourer), Coal M (coal miner) or H.L.W. (handloom weaver).
  • Born in the county of the census – Yes, No or Not Known.
  • Born on the island of the census – Yes, No or Not Known – for the Channel Islands and Isle of Man only.
  • Born in the country of the census (Yes or No, or sometimes S for Scotland, E for England and Wales, I for Ireland or F for Foreign Parts).

For the family historian there are problems with the 1841 Census. A few parishes are known to be missing from the records. The rounding issue in adult ages causes confusion and sometimes the householders or enumerators ignored the instruction to round down ages and inserted the actual age. In the 1841 census if an age ends in a 0 or a 5, its worth assuming a 5-year or more margin. A final note is that the writing is often very difficult to decipher in these documents and transcription is sometimes inaccurate.

From 1851 on, the head of household was asked to provide more information. The relationship to the head of the household was collected, correct ages noted and more birthplace detail. It’s important to be aware that not everyone listed at an address lived there, and not everyone who lived at an address was necessarily there on census night – this would include travellers and visitors. Data requested in all the 1851 to 1911 censuses was:

  • Address
  • Names -surname and first name, sometimes middle name or initial were given.
  • Age (exact).
  • Occupation.
  • Born (parish and county).
  • Born (country) – name of country given.
  • Relationship to head of household.
  • Condition as to marriage – married, single, widowed, widower.
  • Disability – ‘blind, or deaf-and-dumb’.
  • (From 1891 in the Welsh census, language spoken was added.)

As well as collecting the fundamental data, major changes occurred for the 1911 census. The Government had concerns about “fertility in marriage” so the years of marriage, numbers of children born, and living was recorded. Detailed occupational information was also taken.

An example, searching on a David Lloyd George in the 1911 census gives:

The postal address on the Schedule was 11 Downing Street, Westminster, D Lloyd George was signed on the return and the postal address 11 Marie Place, Dover., was written under the signature.

The residence had 24 rooms.

There were 8 persons living there, 3 males and 5 females.

These were:

1.David Lloyd George aged 48, Head of the household, Married , born Manchester, Lancashire, he was Chancellor of Exchequer, he did not report he was working at home, he was not born in a ‘Foreign country’ nor did he report any infirmities such as being “Totally Deaf”, “Deaf or Dumb”, “Totally Blind” “Lunatic” “Imbecile” or “Feeble Minded” (the actual words used in the 1911 census).

 2. Margaret Lloyd George aged 46, Wife of the Head of the household, Married for 23 years, 5 children born alive, 4 children still living, 1 had died, she listed no occupation, she was born in Criccieth, Caernarvonshire.

3. Richard Lloyd George aged 22, Son of the Head of the household, Single, he was a Civil Engineer, employed contracting, he was a worker not an employer, born Criccieth.

4. Megan Lloyd George aged 8, Daughter of the Head of the household, born Criccieth.

5. John Rowland aged 33, Private Secretary to the Head of the Household, he was Married (on the form he was noted as having been married 8 years, with 3 children born alive 2 living 1 having died, because this information was only to be entered for females this was crossed out on the original form, even the great and good make mistakes but useful family history), his occupation was Private Secretary to Chancellor of the Exchequer, he was born in Tregaron.

6. Sarah Jones aged 39, Servant of the Head of the Household, Single, a Housemaid, born Criccieth.

7. Annie Jones aged 25, Servant of the Head of the Household, Single, a Parlourmaid, born Llanystumdwy (the transcription in a genealogy site reads – Slanysteymding! Beware of transcription!).

8. Lizzie Jane Jones aged 16, Servant of Head of Household, Single, a Kitchenmaid, born Fourcrosses, Caernarvonshire.

Copyright prevents showing the actual return, but it can be viewed at your local library or archive via their subscription to the various genealogy sites.

Looking at the original shows probably 2 people completed the form, including possibly, Lloyd George.

Ages and places of birth enable further searching. The number of years of marriage and wife’s first name will help to locate marriage records. From the marriage record you will probably find the father and occasionally the mother and then there’s the 1901 census…

One document 8 names, a myriad of information, will work for your ancestors too.

British Army World War 1 Records

WW1 Records.

A bit of background…

At the beginning of the Great war in 1914 the peacetime army of Great Britain was about 234,000, with then a mobilization of 380,000 plus 313,000 from the Territorial Army, giving a nominal army of nearly 1,000,000 men from a population of 42.1 million[1], by the end of the war there had been well over 6,000,000 soldiers who had served in the British Army. All their records were maintained and stored by the War Office at the end of the hostilities[2], however bombing in 1940 resulted in destruction of probably 60% of these documents, the remainder, about 2,000,000 records were rescued, these are now classified as WO363 the ‘burnt documents’ in the National Archives[3], about 750,000 records were undamaged, records for soldiers who were discharged for illness or wounds, also including those in the British Army before August 1914 and who were eligible for an Army pension because their term of service came to an end in or before 1920 these are the unburnt documents  WO364 in the National Archive[4].

The reason for this preamble is if you had an ancestor involved in the British Army in the Great war there is about a 1 in 3 chance that some record of their service survived the second Total war of the 20th century. In the wider scheme of things, the destruction of paper records is little compared to the loss of life caused in war but to the family historian (and every other type of historian!) these records if you can find them are a vital source. Reason for which I hope to show you here…

Copyright will prevent me from showing an exact copy her but in a redacted form I will summarize one albeit a very fruitful one I discovered for a client. There were 20 pages in the record with some duplication.

The record is a UK, British Army World War I Pension Records 1914-1920 from WO363.

From the first page I know he was in the Territorial Force and the document is the Army Form B. 268A, it is a Discharge during the period of Embodiment document. On this page I get the Army Number and rank of the soldier. His full name and that he was in 4th Bn. The Welsh Regt and the Company he was in, in this case A.  His date of discharge ** April 1916 and place of discharge. There follows his age in years and months, and in a tangible delve into the past his height in feet and inches, chest measurement, complexion, eye colour, hair colour, any distinctive marks (such as scars etc.) his trade and civilian address where he intends to live, a cornucopia of detail.

Now I can get an insight into his character, his military conduct is noted (sometimes with a charge sheet). The Campaigns Medals and Decorations are recorded for example Mediterranean Expeditionary Force Gallipoli 1915-16 and his length of service over 8 years in this instance.

Because the form was official, he signed it, so his hand putting pen to the paper (copy) I can see and for me this is an even closer link to the person.

The next page in the set of documents I found was his Attestation into the Territorial Force, so I have his full name confirmed, his age at attesting, his full address and occupation at that time. Also, whether he had previously been in armed service. Finally, another signature, which can be compared with that of his discharge. This attestation also included the clause that he would become liable to be ‘embodied’ in a time of national emergency, a long way off when this particular form was signed in April 1908, I wonder if he had any inkling of what was to come, because the documents show he kept rolling along in the Territorial Force re-enlisting at least four times up until 1914.

The soldier’s statement of service in this period including his Territorial Army training is noted, so he can be placed in specific locations on certain dates, always useful, and on the document here, one sentence with huge connotations: “Welch Regt. 4th Batt. Mobilized rank Pte. 5th August 1914”.

His war service is then documented, he became part of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force 1915-16, this page would also document wounding or Gallantry, in this instance the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.

His next of kin and address is provided on this page too, more invaluable detail for the genealogist.

There will sometimes in the war service record be a medical history with height, weight, chest, physical development, vaccination marks, sight assessment, distinguishing marks, previous illnesses etc. This soldier had been in the Military Hospital in Devonport with influenza, had recovered.

A specific casualty Form in Active service was kept if you can find one, I found this soldier’s, which gives an insight into battle conditions. He had dysentery in Gallipoli, in August 1915, was taken to Cairo for treatment in September 1915, transferred to Mustapha in Alexandria in October 1915, developed Dermatitis in November 1915, and was eventually discharged back to his battalion, but survived another few months for his period of enlistment to expire in 1916 and home.

So, for this family there was enough detail to touch the past.

In other military records from the Great War, I have found names and dates of birth of children, marriage records which the army used to prove next of kin, prisoner of war details and sometimes copies of letters sent to the War Office by family members. One poignant set were the letters of a wife asking about her husband, another soldier had written to her to say her husband was missing in action, reading between the lines the friend of the casualty ended up in trouble, the War Office wanted to know the name of the soldier writing to the (eventual) widow. There were a set of about 10 letters in this file kept by the War Office.

All the information found moves the names of the people found from mere words on paper or a screen to a vision of the real person, which even in sometimes tragic circumstance helps connect us, and whatever your thoughts on war gives an idea of the life and sacrifice happening at the time.

If you would like to know more get in touch, there are a myriad of record sources…

Subjects I haven’t covered here and which I certainly will in the next months include: Army Officers, Navy, Air Force, Merchant Seamen, Government papers, Gazettes, War Graves…

[1] Marwick, A., 1990. Europe on the eve of war 1900-1914. 4th ed. Milton Keynes: Open University Press in association with Open University, pp.66,67.

[2] 2021. British Army WW1 Service Records, 1914-1920 (Soldiers). [online] Available at: <,%201914-1920%20(Soldiers)%20There,The%202%20Million%20%E2%80%9CBurnt%20Documents%20%E2%80%9D%20(WO%20363)> [Accessed 11 February 2021].

[3] 2021. British Army WW1 Service Records, 1914-1920 (Soldiers). [online] Available at: <,%201914-1920%20(Soldiers)%20There,The%202%20Million%20%E2%80%9CBurnt%20Documents%20%E2%80%9D%20(WO%20363)> [Accessed 11 February 2021].

[4] 2021. British Army WW1 Service Records, 1914-1920 (Soldiers). [online] Available at: <,%201914-1920%20(Soldiers)%20There,The%202%20Million%20%E2%80%9CBurnt%20Documents%20%E2%80%9D%20(WO%20363)> [Accessed 11 February 2021].

Officer Ancestor WW1

If your WW1 ancestor was an officer, then they are going to be listed in The Gazette, service personnel commissioned, promoted, posted or awarded a medal or other honour are “gazetted” (you can also be gazetted if you are bankrupted!).

The Gazette has been recording national and international events since November 1665, inaugurated as The Oxford Gazette. It is a prime resource which can be used to draw out a soldier’s career.  In times of conflict such as World War 1 it recorded despatches from the front, honours and awards for gallantry or meritorious service – as well as officer commissions, appointments and promotions, and casualties.

The Gazette website notes:

The Gazette is formally the combination of three publications: The London Gazette, The Belfast Gazette and The Edinburgh Gazette. The Gazettes are official journals of record.

As a publication, The Gazette consists largely of statutory notices. This means that there is some legal requirement for the notice placer to advertise an event or proposal in The Gazette.

There are over 450 different types of notice that are advertised in The Gazette, including:

  • 242 notice types required by law to be published in The Gazette
  • 82 notice types required by law to be published in The Gazette, as well as somewhere else (for example, a newspaper)
  • 54 notice types required by law to be published, but the law doesn’t specify where
  • 36 notice types that may be published in The Gazette
  • 41 notice types that are optional publication, so are not required by law to be published

The Gazette website provides information on these different types of notice and the legislation that governs their publication here.

The legal power to print and publish The Gazette is a prerogative power conferred on the Queen’s Printer by letters patent. Letters patent are a type of legal instrument in the form of a published written order, in this case issued by the monarch. The Queen’s Printer and the Controller of HMSO have historically been viewed as one and the same person, and it can be inferred that the functions of the Queen’s Printer are to be carried out by HMSO operating from within The National Archives, under the direction of the Controller and Keeper (who is the chief executive of The National Archives). The National Archives (HMSO) manages the publication of all three of the individual Gazette titles (London, Belfast and Edinburgh) for the Queen’s Printer, under a concessionary contract.

Notices printed in The Gazette are afforded legal standing, and The Gazette itself is afforded special protection by the Documentary Evidence Act 1882.[1]

Just as an example, a random search (not quite I searched for Captain Colclough) in a matter of minutes I found…

‘Admiralty, 23rd September 1915.

Royal Naval Reserve.

Lieutenant Robert John Williams to be – Lieutenant Commander. Dated 10th. August, 1915.

Lieutenant Frank Colclough Ree to be Lieutenant Commander. Dated 27th August, 1915.

Sub-Lieutenant Charles Jancey Davis to be – Lieutenant. Dated 10th June, 1915.’ [2]  

‘Admiralty, 28th December 1915.

Royal Naval Reserve.

In accordance with the Regulations for the Royal Naval Reserve, Lieutenant-Commander Frank Colclough Ree has been placed on the Retired List. Dated 27th December 1915.

To be temporary Engineer Sub-Lieutenant— Henry Charles Handcock. Dated 22nd December 1915.

Temporary Sub-Lieutenant David James to be temporary Lieutenant. Dated 28th December 1915’.[3]

Six names found already, and in a Colclough biography Frank Colclough Ree was in the Royal Naval Reserve and not long before he was retired, he was promoted. Food for thought?

A few other ways to find an officer might be in The National Archives which has manuscript army lists 1702-1752, service records 1764-1913, pension records – widow’s pensions, half-pay pensions, etc. and selected birth, marriage and death certificates for British Army Officers 1755-1908[4].

[1] The Gazette. About The Gazette. : accessed 21 February 2021

[2] The Gazzette. The London Gazette Publication date:28 September 1915Issue:29310Page:9549 : accessed 21 February 2021.

[3] The Gazette. The London Gazette Publication date:31 December 1915Issue:29421Page:13024 : accessed 21 February 2021.

[4] National Archives (Great Britain) Research guides: A-Z index. :

accessed 21 February 2021.

The National Archives

A lockdown plus has been access to The National Archive online, register, search discovery…

Exploring Discovery[1] channeling my narcissist, who would I happen upon driven by the Karma of my previous life?

Miss Mildred A. Colclough[2], she has 70, -seventy- pages of records, surely enough to look into her life. A nursing Colclough, why would I not look?

Here are some bits and pieces…

First snippet is she looks to have retired in June 1939, next page a letter to Miss Husband Principal Patron T.A.N.S. (Territorial Army Nursing Service) Royal Infirmary Glasgow, from The War Office London SW1. Accepting (among others) the resignation Miss Mildred Adelaide Colclough from 7th June 1939 and noting she was entitled to retain her T.A.N.S. badges.

A letter from her dated December 21st, 1921 from ‘The Disabled Officers Home and Club, 46 and 48 Westbourne Terrace, Hyde Park W.2.’ acknowledging her promotion. Handwritten and signed by her.

Letter confirming her promotion (named on a list) from Maud McCarthy matron in Chief T.A.N.S. 18th December 1923.

Personal letter from the above Miss McCarthy to ‘Miss Colclough’ congratulating her on promotion from Staff nurse to Sister, dated 18th December 1923, promotion effected from 10 November 1923, addressed to Miss Mildred A. Colclough, Sister T.A.N.S., Nursing Home 46 Westbourne terrace, Hyde Park.

Promotion recommendation headed 4th Scottish General Hospital. Career history trained at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital; Rochester. Enrolled 7.10.18, called up 22.10.18, age 35 demobilized 30.4.19. Reports ‘Very Good recommended for promotion’.

Letters acknowledging promotion process underway from above Miss McCarthy.

Date of arrival at 4th Scottish Hospital, Glasgow, 22 October 1918, permission for Miss Mildred Colclough staff nurse T.A.N.S. to be released from duty as no longer needed on 30th April 1919.

Document giving her Age and address in 1919 on demobilisation address 38 Netherby Road Edinburgh. Aged 23 last birthday, stationed at 4th Scottish General Hospital, the disability form, Army form Z 22.  –  W 3165a.

Notification of Gratuity Granted on account of cessation of service with satisfactory conduct.

Handwritten letter giving her insurance number 45956 as a member of ‘The Nurses Insurance Society’.

Document noting £7 insurance arrears contribution for civilian nurses in tempera Army employ.

Handwritten letter 20th October 1919, enquiry if she was entitled to Victory Medal Ribbon even though she had not seen overseas service, reply that she was not.

Territorial army nursing service document, she was previously Nurse at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital Rochester Kent, sent to 4th Scottish Hospital, address for pay was 4 Nelson St. Edinburgh.

War officer letter outlining her pay would be £40 first year annual increment £2 10/- and addition of £20 if undertaking to serve abroad. Also required to state if both parents were British.

Handwritten letter applying for TANS, stating she was 23, had completed 4 years of general training at Rochester and had had Theatre Sister experience, asking for London appointment if possible (went to Scotland), or overseas.

Handwritten letter 29 August 1918, stating her parents were British, her deceased mother was English, stepmother was Australian, father was an officer in the Accountant branch of the Navy for 18 years. A reference can be supplied by Mrs. Harold Fairweather, wife of Dr H Fairweather honorary surgeon at the hospital, their address was 11 New Road Avenue New Road, Chatham.

The snippets above all the pages accessible via The National Archives for Mildred give a fascinating insight into her adult life (I think so anyway).

The genealogical aspect kicks in, she mentions her parents, including her stepmother.

I spent an hour or two looking. Her probate shows she never married, died 1947 and had lived on the Motor Yacht Magnet Cubitt Yacht Basin Hartington Road Chiswick, London.

Her parents were Beauchamp Urquhart Colclough born Thayetmyo Burma 1867 died Surrey, England 1949, he retired from the navy with the rank of Paymaster Rear Admiral (check him in The National Archives too)[3] and Anabel Mildred Annie Gooch born Naas, Co. Kildare, Ireland died Hampshire England 1911, interestingly a remnant of the ‘empire’ as far as Mildred was concerned her parents were British and were in those times considered to be absolutely so. Her stepmother was Beatrice Sophie Pearson born new South Wales 1873 and declared to be Australian by Mildred.

Just for Colclough’s for now, my search quickly finds Beauchamp Urquhart’s father was Beauchamp Colclough born 1829 Dublin, died 1900 Hampshire a retired H.M. Navy Captain. His father was Beauchamp Urquhart Colclough born about 1800 Elm Grove Co. Carlow, Ireland, his father was Beauchamp Colclough born 1766 Lower, Kildavin, Carlow, Ireland died 1847 Chippawa, Upper Canada (another story here surely). His father was not surprisingly Beauchamp Colclough too, born about 1732 Kildavin, Co. Carlow died 1766 at Kildavin, this Beauchamp’s father was for a change, Henry Colclough born Duffry Hall, Co. Wexford about 1705 died Co. Wexford 1770, his father was Dudley Colclough born about 1670 Duffry Hall, Co. Wexford died there 1712, his father was Patrick Colclough born about 1645 Duffry Hall, Co. Wexford died 1691 he was in the Irish parliament at the time of James II in 1689[4]. Patrick’s father was Sir Dudley Colclough born about 1613 he died 1633 in France where he had escaped to, to avoid Cromwell’s clutches a friend it seems to Charles II’s mother which helped after the restoration[5]. Sir Dudley’s father was Sir Thomas Colclough born 1564 Rosegarland Co. Wexford died 1624 and buried at Tintern Abbey Co. Wexford, last for now Sir Thomas’s father was Sir Anthony Colclough born Bluerton Staffordshire about 1520 the first of us who ventured to Ireland[6]. So Mildred A. Colclough as well as our career shared some ancestors, that’s genealogy for you a winding path into the past.

[1] National Archives (Great Britain). Discovery. : accessed 26 March 2021

[2] War Office (Great Britain). Directorate of Army Medical Services and Territorial Force: Nursing Service records. COLCLOUGH, Mildred A 1914-1919. WO399-10476. National Archives (Great Britain),

Kew, England. Collection: WO 399 – War Office: Directorate of Army Medical Services and Territorial Force: Nursing Service Records, First World War. : accessed 26 March 2021.

[3] Admiralty (Great Britain). Naval Officer’s service record. COLCLOUGH, Beauchamp Urquhart CBE. ADM 196/12/513 . National Archives (Great Britain), Kew, England. Collection: ADM 196 – Admiralty: Officers’ Service Records (Series III). : accessed 05 April 2021.

[4] Library Ireland. The Irish Parliament of King James the second 1689. : accessed 05 April 2021

[5] See my blog

[6] Ibid.

Admiralty Nursing records

On from the nursing connection of last week, and persevering with The National Archives, here is some more exploration of the records and information you might find. I’m taking a bit of time to transcribe the records I’m accessing, with the hope of making them part of a nurse archive for genealogy.

While lockdown persists and the records are accessible online, I will outline some details you could find on your relation.

Before that, an interesting aside, we have a family story about my maternal grandmother in Ireland who continued to work as a nurse at Letterkenny Asylum after her marriage in 1916, the story goes she was ‘grassed up’ by a relation for working after she had married, and then as married women working was frowned upon she had to finish. The expectation was that if married, “…most women stayed at home to look after the children while their husband worked and brought in a weekly wage. The majority of working women were unmarried, and they were limited to roles in teaching, nursing or domestic work. For most, the expectation was that they would get married and have children…”[1]. Any other families have this type of memory passed down?

Back to the details you might find in the records in discovery[2].

ADM 104. Nursing Sisters Service Register[3] usually between about 1890 and 1929 in here will be:

The full name.

Date of birth.

Dates appointed to positions such as Nursing Sister and Head Sister.

Training Qualifications, the place they qualified with the length of time taken.

Date of appointment to specific positions:

              Noting the rank (Nursing sister or Head sister)

              Hospital (naval hospital) appointed to with date of arrival and date of discharge.

              Place (hospital) discharged to.

              Reason for discharge if appropriate often naming the nurse they were to replace.

Annual report produced in April or May noting:



              Tact in dealing with staff and patients.


              Sympathy with patients.


              General remarks including efficiency in:

                             Medical nursing

                             Surgical nursing.

                             Physical fitness.

                             Administrative capacity.

              Special notations. Such as details of promotions or demotions, transgressions, reports etc.

If appropriate a date of death also (if death in service).

Sometimes a home address with father’s name.

These records which were kept with true imperial precision were, in essence for pension and monitoring purposes, not to give the likes of me a telling insight into the person detailed and the person detailing, but they do.

An extract from the special remarks to illustrate…

Date circa 1915.

Miss B***t “Asks to be removed on account of discomfort in quarters caused by the unreasonable and ungovernable temper of Miss *******e, head sister states that in some instances latter was to blame but Miss B***t shows little tact with reserve sisters and she has no control over a very excitable temper, and it is not helpful. It would add to the efficiency of the hospital if a sister of tact and experience was appointed.”

The same year her report stated. Conduct: satisfactory, Ability: above average, Tact in dealing with staff: average, Zeal: above average, (Tact and) Sympathy with patients: above average, Temperament: Impetuous, quick tempered, very kind to patients. Medical nursing: above average, Surgical nursing: exceptional, Physical fitness: average, Administrative capacity: above average.

There is a lot of reading to be done between the lines, this however is exciting detail for any relative of this lady. Many of these nurses would have no direct descendants as they remained nursing and unmarried until at least late middle age but surely will have nieces, nephews, cousins etc.


If you need an assistance check my website out.

[1] Women in 1900. : accessed 08 April 2021

[2] The National Archives. Discovery. : accessed 07 April 2021.

[3] War Office (Great Britain). Admiralty and predecessors: Office of the Director General of the Medical Department of the Navy and predecessors: Service Registers and Registers of Deaths and Injuries. ADM 104. National Archives (Great Britain), Kew, England. Collection: Records of the Admiralty, Naval Forces, Royal Marines, Coastguard, and related bodies. : accessed 07 April 2021.

Mustering a post

Following on from the previous piece on WW1 army officers I will outline over the next few weeks a few more sources you might consider in your UK military ancestor search, I will just widen the time frame, and try to work logically.

First one to mention and the subject of this piece is:

 “The Soldier in Medieval England” a database formed out of a project headed by Professor Adrian Bell of the Henley Business School and Professor Anne Curry of the University of Southampton to challenge assumptions about the emergence of professional soldiery between 1369 and 1453. The database has grown with input from ‘citizen historians’ like you and I, among others. The datasets used are:

1.Musters Dataset, held in The National Archive a record of the army ‘mustered’ to leave the country between 1369 and 1450, kept and maintained to account for the money spent on overseas campaigns. A captain raised forces for the crown and had a contract specifying size of force, type of troops, length and location of service. The muster was to check if the captains had kept their side of the contract, if troops had not turned up, they had not ‘passed muster’. The database includes English garrisons in Calais, as well as garrisons in Wales, Scotland and England. There are also musters of ‘standing forces’, these would have been troops serving with the lieutenants of Gascony and Ireland.

2.French Garrisons. Data recorded for the soldiers who served in the English garrisons in Northern France, principally Normandy, at the end of the Hundred Years War from the capture of Harfleur by Henry V in 1415 to the fall of Lancastrian Normandy in 1450. Also holding data on garrison reinforcements, armies operating in the field or undertaking particular sieges in France during this period. These soldiers were regularly mustered and review on a monthly to quarterly basis dependent on the nature of service. The Musters occasionally include information on the geographical origins of the soldiers when the English rulers became concerned about the loyalty of local troops after the successes of Joan of Arc.

3.Protections Dataset, the letters of protection and appointments of attorneys granted and recorded on the Treaty (or French) Rolls , Gascon rolls and Scottish Rolls for the years 1369-1453. They are legal instruments that would be taken out by soldiers prior to undertaking military service outside England, in order to protect their interests whilst they were absent. The letter of protection protected an individual from prosecution or legal action whilst serving overseas; by letters of attorney an individual appointed legal representatives to act on his behalf whilst absent. However, both types of letter only indicate an intention to serve, and do not in themselves prove that service was actually given.

4. The ‘Agincourt roll’, was a part of the Musters dataset and now separate, it contains the names of some retinue leaders and men-at-arms (but no archers) who were with Henry V in the battle of Agincourt in 1415. Unlike the documents in the Muster dataset, created for accounting purposes, this list is a result of heraldic and genealogic interest of the Tudor age.

With many thanks to the project: Information on soldiers has been taken from the AHRC-funded ‘The Soldier in Later Medieval England Online Database’, [1].

Given all the above what can you discover?

Raise your hand anyone wouldn’t search on their own name you don’t need to be a narcissist!

I searched for John Colclough with first name variations and there I was not.

Take John out…

I found one Colclough.

Thomas Colclough, Rank: Archer, Service: Garrison of Rouen, Captain: John of Lancaster (1389 – 1435) duke of Bedford, Lieutenant / Sub-Captain: Handford, John, Sir (b. 1391) seigneur de Maisons-sur-Seine. Service date: 15 06 1435, Source type: Muster Roll, Reference: BNF, MS. Fr. 25772, no. 954.

With background research opening up who knows where this might lead.

For further reading try:

Was your ancestor on the Agincourt … – Medieval Soldier

English Knights at Agincourt

Exploring a medieval muster roll

Agincourt Carol – Wikipedia

The Battle of Agincourt – The National Archives

My genealogy services at

Genealogy services, family history, house history, DNA

[1] AHRC. The Soldier in Later Medieval England Online Database. : accessed 03March 2021


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