Historical Research

WWI Lives and a Wiltshire Muddle

I’ve been steadily researching. In fact, since the last time I posted about it, I’ve completed seven WWI lives for the local archives. I’ve just started a new one and am already off to a good start.

He’s a man called Reg Davis, the nephew of a Mrs Finch. That’s all I have to go on. I’ve discovered that Mrs Finch’s maiden name was Hewitt and that, if Reg was her nephew then he must be one of her sister’s sons, otherwise he’d be called Hewitt too. I’ve already found a fair bit, mostly online indexes, but I need to discover original records and certificates to link it all together now.

The WWI lives we’ve been researching are being published in a book by the local archives. We each get to pick our favourites for it. I believe it goes to press this November time which is when the volunteer researching is scheduled to end.

On the family tree front I’ve been doing a lot of poking around in Wiltshire, which is where the family name, one solitary branch of a huge tree, hails from. Find My Past has an awful lot of the Wiltshire parish records online now and it’s made it easier to get hold of things, though not quite so easy to tell if they’re the right ones.

Wiltshire, back in the 19th and 18th centuries was pretty much packed with Blakes. I have a tree that now has multiple generations of Blakes marrying Blakes, several ancestors who married multiple times, and lots of loose ends. There’s no incest going on with the same name marriages, they don’t appear to be cousins at all, it’s just that if you threw a stick in Wiltshire back then you’d hit someone called Blake with it.

It is very nearly as bad as the long line of John and George Smiths I have. Still, I’ve managed to get back to around 1760 so far, even though it’s a little convoluted.


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