Time for a new blog look

If you’ve previously logged into my page and are bewildered today, it’s because I’ve introduced a new look to my blog. For some time I’ve been feeling that my blog is a bit “squashed” and made it harder to read. Hopefully there’s not too much open space now.. Let me know what you think…is it easier to read?

The header takes up a bit more space than in my old-style blog but nearly all the images relate to my family history as I’ve used images of ancestral sites. I’d like to be able to link specific images with specific pages but that doesn’t appear to be possible. Happy for any tips if other WordPress people can offer some.

So what images will you be seeing:

The old red-roofed shed on my O’Brien family land in Ballykelly, Broadford, Parish Kilseily, Co Clare, Ireland.

Shore in Leith, Scotland, where my Melvin ancestors lived for many decades before emigrating: they could return now and be familiar with all these buildings.

Dorfprozelten, Bavaria from across the River Main, showing the village church, boats and vineyards: home of my Kunkel ancestor.

A beach scene from Achill in County Mayo because for me it typifies life on Ireland’s coast even though none of my rellies come from here.

A view over Dorfprozelten on the River Main, Bavaria. The river is a boundary and across the river is Baden.

Snow capped hills not far from near Drimuirk on south Loch Awe, Argyll, Scotland: McCorkindale country..

A view over Loch Awe from Kilchrenan parish: my McCorkindale ancestors moved from one side of the lake to the other but the north side (Kilchrenan) is where the McCorquodales came from in the long distant past.

A typical Irish scene in County Clare:patchwork fields.

Inveraray in Argyll, Scotland, home of Clan Campbell, and a focal point for families living in the area -they were inevitably influenced by this family. It is situated on Loch Fyne and my McCorkindales also lived at Ardkinglas at the top of Loch Fyne while my Morrisons lived across the loch from Inveraray.

Hmm, not sure all the images are scrolling randomly as intended, so please bear with me on that one..but at least you’ll get some.

I do hope you enjoy the new look.

Why order an LDS film of parish registers? Part 2: Edward Bethel Codrington

The death of Edward Bethel Codrington, aged nearly 8 years old

Against an entry in the Kilchrenan parish baptismal registers dated 25 August 1853, is the following:

William John Codrington 1855 from Wikipedia.

Edward Bethel Codrington son of William John Codrington of 110 Eaton Square London, Colonel Coldstream Guards and Mary his wife, born September 29th 1845, accidentally drowned in Lochawe at Sonachan (across the Loch) on Thursday August 18, 1853 and buried in the parish church of Kilchrenan August 22nd 1853, the burial service being performed by Revd F Sullivan, vicar of Kempton, Hertfordshire.

This entry naturally engaged my curiosity so I did some quick searching on Family Search, Ancestry, Findmypast, FreeBMD and Google. This is what I found along the way.

 

Wikipedia gives a synopsis of Edward’s father’s career in the Army and also as a Member of Parliament. It also refers to his career and also his position as Colonel in the Coldstream Guards and includes a photo of him in 1855, shortly after his son’s death. The wiki refers to his family, with data which has some inaccuracies, and states his “other two children died young” whereas in fact, only Edward appears to have died as a child while the other child assumed to die young was Jane who lived to marry. His wife was Mary Ames.

And what do we learn from the IGI in regard to young Edward?

WARD BETHEL CODRINGTON  
  Male    
       

 

       

Event(s):

  Birth: 
29 SEP 1845   Kilchrenan And Dalavich, Argyll, Scotland
  Christening:     
  Death: 
18 AUG 1853    
  Burial:     
       

Parents:

  Father:  WILLIAM JOHN CODRINGTON

Family

  Mother:  MARY

 

 The above birth entry has the date correct but not the location. The 1851 census clearly states that Edward was born in Northamptonshire. This is confirmed by the birth registration found on FreeBMD in the December quarter of 1845 in the district of Wellingborough on the border of Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire.[i] At the time of the 1851 census Edward and his siblings, Jane and Mary, were living with a range of 9 servants at East Ashling, ?, in Sussex. Findmypast places this in Westbourne Sussex and indexes Edward with no surname while Ancestry lists it as in Funtington parish (which is part of Westbourne), Sussex. All the children are listed as sons/daughters even though no parents are present. Ancestry “solves” this problem by linking them to the widow in the previous household, Elizabeth Brinkworth and identifying Mary, aged 9, as a wife!

The children’s parents meanwhile were enumerated at their grandparents’ house in 110 Eaton Square in the parish of St George Hanover Square, possibly because former Admiral Edward Codrington, the children’s grandfather died on 28 April 1851, less than a month after the census was taken. Presumably William John and Mary Codrington had left the children with the governess and other servants. The family reappear in the census records of 1871 and 1881 but couldn’t be found in 1861, presumably because Sir William was then governor of Gibraltar.

And what of poor little Edward drowned in Scotland, possibly while the family were on holidays? Despite being the first son, and named for his august grandfather Admiral Sir Edward Codrington, his existence goes unremarked in the various official documentation of his parents’ lives including the Peerage lists. Similarly the public family trees on Ancestry make no reference to him either. Nevertheless we can assume that it was his family’s importance that led his death to be acknowledged in the Kilchrenan registers. If he had been the son of a poor cottager or crofter would it have even been entered in the books?

Ironically however his life is noted in the Scottish records of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS). Their item PA 186 refers to photograph albums, originally owned by the Revd J B Mackenzie, which include inter alia a photograph of family graves at Kilchrenan as follows:-

One erected by John Williams, Merchant in Campsie, in affectionate remembrance of Margaret Crawford Mackenzie who died at Kilchrenan manse, 10 August 1861 aged 22.
Beside it the grave of Elizabeth Mackenzie who died at Kilchrenan on 17 December 1864 aged 61.
Also the small grave of Edward Bethell Codrington, only son of Colonel Codrington, Coldstream Guards and Mary, his wife, born 29 September 1845, accidentally drowned in Loch Awe at Sonachan House, 15 August 1853.

Once again we encounter an anomaly with the tombstone stating a different date from that in the parish register. The minister notes the death on a Thursday which is correctly identified as 18 August so either the day was mistaken or there is an error on the tombstone.

How frustrating to have walked through the Kilchrenan kirk yard only six months ago, knowing nothing of this story.

Kilchrenan kirk

 


[i] Births Dec 1845

Codrington Edward Bethell Wellingboro’ 15 378

 

Why order an LDS film of parish registers?

Over the years I’ve encountered many instances of people being happy to settle for what they find out about their family via the IGI. Ignoring the variability of patron submissions which are now excluded from the new Family Search, there are still plenty of reasons why you should order in a microfilm for the princely sum of $7.50.

Kilchrenan Kirk in 2010. Where do the stairs go -its a mystery.

I’ve recently been reviewing the Kilchrenan parish registers on LDS microfilm 1041069. These registers include baptisms (1751-1824) and marriages (1755-1858). To my disappointment there are no burial records of any sort, not uncommon in Scotland. It must be said that I have only a peripheral interest in this parish – my main focus is the parish of Inishail (later Glenorchy & Inishail) which is adjacent to Kilchrenan and also across Loch Awe from it. I’m really just trying to untangle the various McCorquodale families in the area.

So what interesting snippets can be found?

Example: the baptism of Mary MacCorquodale in 1824 appears to show that she is the lawful (legitimate) child of Lachlan MacCorquodale and Mary Rowan as shown in the IGI entry below (apologies for the severely spaced formatting).

MARY MACCORQUODALE (Female)
Birth:
22 OCT 1823
Christening:
30 JUL 1824 Kilchrenan And Dalavich, Argyll, Scotland

Parents:

Father: LACHLAN MACCORQUODALE
Mother: MARY ROWAN

In contrast the microfilm tells us that Mary was the “illegitimate daughter of Lachlan MacCorquodale and Mary Rowan servants at Lowr Achachenny born 22 October 1823” and baptised by W F (Revd William Fraser) and “ afterwards legitimated by the marriage of her parents on 28 December 1826”.

So the film tells us additional details: she is illegitimate, her parents subsequently married, at the time of her baptism they were both servants at Lower Achachenny. (There should be further information on this child and the parents’ relationship in the Kirk Sessions which are not available on film or online).

Subsequently Lachlan MacCorquodale had three children baptised in a batch on 29 December 1850: Isabella (born 1836), Margaret (born 1846) and John (born 1848). The latter two children were born to Lachlan and his second wife, Janet Livingston.

Another example relates to the baptism of a child conceived in adultery, which I won’t detail here.  Fortunately I found none indexed with the Minister’s “I” for incestuous.

Other more mundane instances detail the occupation of the father and where the family lived, sometimes varying from baptism to baptism.

Kilchrenan kirk yard -the graves of John McDonald and his wife Elizabeth (Betsey) McCorquodale and their son Charles Blois McDonald and the churchyard chook.

There are two baptisms of children (Charles Blois and Euphemia) to John McDonald and his wife, Betsey McCorquodale who was sister to my ancestor James McCorquodale (later McCorkindale). From this I learned that John was then innkeeper at Kilchrenan although he was later a fisher (1841) and gamekeeper (1851+). One other child was baptised in Muckairn parish and another in Glenorchy & Inishail, proving that our ancestors didn’t just stay in one place: they also responded to economic circumstances and opportunities.

There are also instances of baptisms of children whose parents lived in the parish of Inishail. Quite probably this was because it was easier to cross the Loch by the ferry than take the longer route to the Inishail church, especially in some weathers.

There was also a rather more complex entry which I’ll post separately. I hope I’ve convinced you of the merits of actually looking at the microfilm whenever possible, even in adjacent parishes just in case your relations turn up there.

In part 2 of this post I’ll illustrate more details of a specific, and unexpected, event recorded in the Kilchrenan parish baptismal registers.

Kilchrenan Inn