Technology Marches On

About fifteen years ago, as an undergraduate student at BYU, I found an old book in the university library about one of my family lines, the Skenes of Scotland. It was called Memorials of the Family of Skene of Skene. I discovered that since it was out of copyright protection, the copy center in the library could actually photocopy the whole book for a pretty nominal fee- I don’t remember how much it was, but as a starving student it must have been pretty cheap. So I had it copied and basically it’s sat in a binder on my shelf ever since. This morning in trying to clear some of my office clutter I was examining papers and thought about how long it would take me to scan all those copied pages with my flatbed scanner. It made me cringe. Luckily I...

Read More

John Carter of Broadwell

Last night I attended an exhibit from Christ in You Ministries called The History of Christian Scriptures. Looking at a 1607 Geneva Bible, I turned some pages and found some handwritten notes on a blank page. It was a family bible! I snapped a couple of pictures with my phone. I don’t know these people but maybe they’re in your family tree! I know this isn’t a great shot. I took a slew of pictures, but it wasn’t an ideal camera or ideal conditions. If you’d like the others I took, let me know. John Carter born, at Broadwell May 1642 he dyed September ye 16 1722 he attained ye ful age of 4 score & as much as from May untel ye time he dyed Giles Carter His Book who departed this life October the Seaventeenth — – —...

Read More

Cumbria vs. Cumberland

Well, in my quest for Real Places® I’ve run into a maddening problem. I like things just so, I’m afraid. So I want my place names to be orderly too. Family Tree Maker has a list of ‘real’ places built in. It’s not comprehensive but it’s large and many place names are automatically recognized and plotted on the map. Unfortunately, some of the places on the list are not correct. That’s right. Not correct. GPS coordinates sometimes seem a little off, but in some cases the actual name doesn’t jive with the ‘real’ place name. Some towns in England that should be hypehenated aren’t. Some are vice versa. Now this. Cumberland is a historic county in England. By historic I mean no longer existing. It was...

Read More

What You’re Seeing is a Welsh Place Name Not a Keyboard Accident

The first time I stumbled across an ancestor who was born in LngtwgDyfrynWysg I decided some older relation had given up trying to type in the correct name and this was just gobbledegook. Luckily I tried taking pieces of the place name and searching for them- Dyfryn then Dyfryn Wysg which got me to Llangatwg Dyffryn Wysg (which is listed in some English gazeteers as Llangattock-Nigh-Usk) Don’t assume the place name is completely made up. It might be just a letter or two off.

Read More

No Fitche Castle After All

Sadly, in my quest for Real Places®, I ran across an ancestor supposedly born at Fitche castle. This kind of thing is always exciting to me. Unfortunately, it’s not true. Thank you for the copy which proves it to be the pedigree which my great-uncle Fred. had drawn up with a grant of arms in 1890 and which was added to, the latest item being the marriage of my parents in 1896. In those days they still believed in the myth of Fitch’s Castle and that the Widdington branch was the elder to that of Steeple Bumpstead. Years later I made a claim to the undifferenced arms by correcting the pedigree which the College of Arms then had registered in their archive. The original of this vast pedigree used to hang for years in the wating room of the offices when...

Read More

Welsh Place Name Clues

In trying to find a Real Place® for Flambere-Mayre, Wales, I hit gold online that also may have also provided a good clue for deciphering other Welsh placenames. Yes, it looks as if it must be a reference to Llanbryn-mair. It is not uncommon to see the “ll” represented as an “fl” (as in Shakespeare’s Henry V, where there is a character called “Flewellin”, which is obviously an attempt to reprsent the Welsh pronunciation at the start of Llywelyn). But the “bere” that follows is rather more unusual! So Fl- may point to Ll- as you’re looking at Welsh places. -bere may be -bryn.

Read More

Where is POFFI?

I’ve run across a few people in my genealogy that had listed as the place for an LDS sealing, the acronym POFFI. After a bit of searching I found a nice discussion thread that explained it. POFFI is the abbreviation for Office of the President. (or Presidents Office) It was used for ordinances from 1846 until 31 Dec, 1909 Prior to the erection of any Utah temples, most marriage sealings took place in the Office of the President of the Church; at that time, Brigham Young. Some however, took place outside the Office in local congregations. They are still considered POFFI since they were performed by Brigham...

Read More