Thursday, August 25, 2005

3 months away today!

I have made some progress on the car. After much scouring of cyberspace, located a company in Derby who make instrument panels. They happened to have one for a Scenic in stock and posted it pronto, so that arrived this morning - at first glance all the correct elements are there.

Trotted down to the local Renault dealer and booked the car in for tomorrow to have the new panel installed. Then called VOSA and got the next slot (Wednesday 31 9am) for a re-test. Assuming the car passes muster this time, then I can attempt the final registration hurdle, and with any luck, the car will be done well before I head for Spain at the end of September.

If all goes well with the re-fit tomorrow, then we'll bugger off to Hereford/Wales for a few days R&R (no not Regulations & Recriminations!).

Had thought some birth family tree certificates might have trickled in today, but made some surprising progress with census information from 1881 and 1901, particularly with my great-great grandmother's JONES siblings and their progeny. It seems that most of them left Wales and either went to Newton-Le-Willows, which is just around the corner from where I'm staying now OR the main contingent moved to central London. A scattering also in Coventry and Cheshire/Merseyside. There's also a great-great aunt WILLIAMS working as a parlour maid in Hertfordshire.

It is interesting to contemplate that when my great-grandfather came to London as a medical student in the late 1890s, he would have had a family support circle of aunts, uncles and cousins pretty close to hand.

Something else I've noticed is that most of the males I've entered into the tree during the 18th and 19th centuries are younger than their wives. On the other hand, my great-grand-mother Hannah, who was 6yrs older than her husband, managed to lop a year or so off her age at every census. That's made her difficult to trace through birth records.

You can also see the progress of technology and economic opportunity conferring new roles on each generation. Prior to 1850 I see mostly labourers, then drapers, joiners and iron workers, followed by (in 1901) a doctor, police constable, motor fitter and chromo lithographic artist.

1901 is the wall I've run up against in tracing the family forward. I don't have any names of those born after that census apart from those in Australia. I know where one WILLIAMS was living in 1922 but that's it. I don't have enough data to track females who may have married, and then there's the factors of WWI and II...

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