Thursday, February 11, 2016

What's On - Friday 12 February - Thursday 18 February 2016


Enjoy your gene-week.  Take time to stop and smell the roses or admire the gum blossoms.  

There's lots on - from Oral History to Deciphering Old Handwriting.  Break down those brickwalls.  Meet other gene-friends.  Share your research. Help someone.  

Enjoy!



Thursday, February 4, 2016

What's On - Friday 5 February - Thursday 11 February 2016


Transforming Tindale - A travelling exhibition from State Library of Queensland (SLQ) - at Arana Hills Library until 20 February



The Transforming Tindale exhibition has finally been installed at our library and is attracting a lot of attention which is very pleasing. The exhibition explores the legacy of Norman Tindale’s 1938 anthropological expedition to Aboriginal communities. These records are both a source of contention surrounding the treatment of Aboriginal Australians, and a valuable resource for relatives. If you are not able to visit the library to see the exhibition you can explore the virtual exhibition online here.


#genealogyselfie



How is your research going this week?  I have ordered and received a couple of inter-library loans through my library which I hope will help me with a couple of roadblocks and/or just give me more information about my ancestors and the lives they lived.  




But I do seem to be a bit stuck.  Which is why I'm looking forward to hearing fellow-genie Chris Schuetz deliver his Where did they come from?  Where did they go? sessions at Moreton Bay Region Libraries soon.  Chris has suffered the same problems as the rest of us and has this to say:

Early in my family history research, many of my ancestors seemed to come from nowhere, and their descendants later disappeared. As I came to know more about typical movement patterns, people started turning up. Other countries have well-worn patterns of movement, but Australia (quiet about much of its own history) does not. And few people know about movement back in the home country. I put this session together to help people with their disappeared ancestors, to help them find them too.

Sounds like just what I need.  Thank you Chris!

If it sounds like just the ticket for you too you might want to put these dates in your diary now.  Please call the library to book a place so we put out enough seats won't you?

Arana Hills Library - Wednesday 17 February 2-3pm Ph: 3351 3401
Albany Creek Library - Thursday 18 February 10-11am Ph: 3264 5267

I'm a bit sorry that I'm going to Sydney this weekend and missing out on GSQ'S Grand Opening and Family History Fair and the fabulous Writing and Publishing workshop that my own Society, QFHS, is hosting.  But it will be lovely to catch up with my dear old Dad. ("Not so much of the old!" I can hear him protest)

Have a wonderful week everyone.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sepia Saturday 315: 30 January 2016



This week's Sepia Saturday prompt gives us plenty of room to manoeuvre but I'll just stick with the temperature theme, given my current condition.


Young ladies checking the oven of the combustion stove to see if their cake is cooked. They are participating in the Domestic Science class at Stanthorpe State School. The girls are wearing caps and aprons. Negative number: 194280 Copied and digitised from an image appearing in The Queenslander, 9 March 1933. Picture courtesy of John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Out of copyright.

I write this post to you from the oven that is Brisbane.  Many of your in more northern climes would be huddling up next to the oven to defrost your tootsies or your mitts.  It is after midnight here in BrisVegas and it is a balmy (barmy) 24 degrees Celsius. Perspiration pours from my brow and I have done nothing more exerting this evening than running my fingers over the keyboard and mouse, after preparing dinner.  

I look at the stove in this picture and am prompted to look for an old toy of mine ... I don't know where I got it from but I happily spent many hours playing with it when a child although it was way too big for any dolls-house.  It's missing a few hotplates now but I still have the coal scuttle and shovel.  I love it dearly.  




I do delight in collecting old cookery books too and was fascinated to find one at last year's Lifeline Bookfest called Snacks from the Radiation Research Kitchen.



I am not quite sure when this little pamphlet would have been published but it boasts recipes from the "Radiation Research and Demonstration Kitchen which is completely fitted with the most modern equipment for extensive research and experimental work in cooking."

Wait for it.  Here they are - the examples of modern equipment.




Haven't we come a long way?

Here are some of the recipes in the book:

Cigarettes of Ham
Kidneys a la Turque
Kromeskies (che?)
Liver Rolls (mmmm mouth-watering)
Savoury Eclairs (who knew?)
Waterlily savouries 

But because we live in the Banana-bender state I think it is only fair that I share with you the recipe for.....wait for it...

Baked Banana Steak

Ingredients
1/2 - 3/4 lb fillet steak
Salt and pepper
Grated nutmeg
2 bananas (small) - we call them lady fingers in Queensland
1 teaspoon sugar
2 or 3 slices of bacon
Water

Garnish
Parsley or water-cress

Method
Choose a tender piece of steak 1in. thick.  Wipe it and split it open, leaving one end uncut so that it opens like a book.  Season with sat and pepper and a little grated nutmeg.  Cut the bananas in slices, lay them on one side of the opened steak, sprinkle with the sugar and cover with the other half of the steak.  Place thin slices of bacon on top and fasten together with a small skewer.  Place in sa small meat tin with a little water and bake in the oven for 25 minutes, with the "Regulo" at Mark 8.  Serve garnished with parsley or watercress.  

Go on - dish that up for dinner - I dare you.

Look!  Here are some New South Welshmen from Murwillumbah harvesting bananas. Don't chop your fingers off chaps!  My husband's grandfather Robert William Daw lost a few of his fingers while learning the ropes on a banana farm as a young man - the perils of manual labour.

One man is standing on a ladder unwrapping a hand of bananas growing on the banana palm, while another man stands on the ground holding two cut bunches of bananas.  Negative number: 204439  Courtesy of John Oxley, State Library of Queensland.  Out of copyright
Right.  That's enough from me.  I've managed somehow to go from ovens to bananas to amputation.  This heat has sent me troppo.  Time for bed. 

To see what others have cooked up this week go here.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Lucy Forfar's Will

c) Banksy
From acwozhere on Flickr - you can see the licence here

I've been fishing this week, just like this Banksy piece of artwork which I think has since been painted over :(   ....looking for more details on the Forfars of London.  Today, I received Lucy Forfar's will via email from the lovely people at the Probate Search office.

This is my transcription of the will:


On the 24th day of October 1866 the Will with Codicil thereto of Lucy Forfar formerly of but late of No. 9 Westbourne Terrace Road Harrow Road in the County of Middlesex Widow deceased, who died on the 3rd day of October 1866 at Spring Grove aforesaid Isleworth in the said County was proved in the Principal Registry of Her Majesty’s Court of Probate, by the Oath of William Wise of Spring Grove Isleworth in the said County Gentleman the sole Executor the sole    one of the Execut   named in the said Will he having been first sworn duty to administer, power being reserved of granting Probate of the said Will and to

 the other Execut    named in the    


the other Executor having renounced the Probate and Execution of the said Will   

Effects under £200 

This is the last Will and Testament of me Lucy Forfar of No. 9 Westbourne Terrace Road Harrow Road at London in the Country of Middlesex widow I desire that my funeral and any other debts or expenses arrears shall be duly paid.  I give and bequeath all my wearing apparel and any jewellery or trinkets I may be possessed of unto my own sister Harriet Margaret Wise to act with in any way she may think proper and the residue of my property I give and bequeath unto my son George Forfar ? where at attains the age of 21 years but should my said son die before attaining the age of 21 years but leaving a widow or a widow and child or children I ? bequeath the said residue in favour of his having a widow, only to act absolutely on her reaching the age of 21 and in the other case of his leaving also a child or children to it or ? absolutely in equal portion on their respectively reaching the age of 21 and in the mean time to Mr William Wise in trust for their use ?? interest to be applied towards their maintenance but should my son George die ? before reaching the age of 21 without leaving a widow or issue I then give and bequeath the residue of my property unto my sister Harried Margaret Wise and I herby appoint Mr William Wise of Spring Grove Isleworth Middlesex sole Executor of this my last will and testament.  In witness whereof I the said Lucy Forfar the testatrix gave to this my last will and testament set my hand this first day of September in the year of our Lord 1866 Lucy Forfar (Ls.  – signed sealed and acknowledged by the said testatrix as an for her last will and testament in the presence of us present at he same time who at her request in her presence and in the presence of each other have ? subscribed our names as witnesses – Eliza A. Beard – Julia Annette Collins.  

Proved at London 24 Oct 1866 by the oath of William Wise the sole Executor to whom ? was granted.

I have put question marks for words I can't read.

So I learned that William Wise is the husband of Harriet Margaret Wise, Lucy's sister.

I didn't learn anything about how Lucy's husband, Robert, died unfortunately.

Oh well.

And of course now I have two new names to ponder over - Eliza A. Beard and Julia Annette Collins.

Bridge House, Little Venice, W2
From Ewan Munro on Flickr - licence is here


I think 9 Westbourne Terrace would be quite close to this place, Bridge House, as it is 13 Westbourne Terrace so you get an idea of the place Lucy would have been working in.  

The Ballin sisters were the daughters of Captain George Ballin, Quartermaster of the Artillery Company of London for many years.


Thursday, January 28, 2016

What's On - Friday 29 January to Thursday 4 February 2016

Transforming Tindale in the box
What's in the box you may very well ask?  Transforming Tindale - that's what. So I haven't got much time to chat this morning.  I've to get to work and mount an exhibition, that's what.

Transforming Tindale is a thought provoking journey into the Tindale collection, what it means to Aboriginal people and its place in Queensland’s history.


Transforming Tindale is on display at Arana Hills Library from 29 January (today tomorrow- eek!) to 20 February.  For more information click here.

There are lots of other great events coming up this week including one featuring fellow bloggers Helen Smith and Pauleen Cass and experienced English researcher Pauline Williams at GSQ called Putting Your Ancestors in context. Enjoy! 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Bannockburn, the Forfars and House of Commons Parliamentary Papers

Houses of Parliament by Alex Loach found on Flickr here - some rights reserved.  Here's a link to the licence

Those of you who have been reading my blog of late will know that I have been researching the Forfars in Scotland - Bannockburn to be precise, which is near Stirling.

I've been slowly building up a picture of their life using many different resources.  I've been going through old correspondence from fellow family history researchers (pre-internet days), I've been Googling, I've been going to the QFHS library and looking at Directories for Stirling (Duncan & Jamiesons and the Threepenny Guide to name a few), Monumental Inscriptions for East Stirling, Stirling Parish Burials,  Stirling Burgess Lists, Scotland's People, Ancestry, Family Search - you name it, I've scoured it.  I've downloaded wills.  I've ordered wills.  I've emailed Archives.  I've ordered inter-library loans.  

In short, I am possibly possessed (see earlier post about Insane Asylum).  

I've read extracts from TC Smout's A History of the Scottish People 1560-1830 to my poor unsuspecting husband in bed on a Sunday morning.  He was possibly hoping for something else but in the end, defeated, became quite interested and possibly identified with the Distress of the Weavers.  I borrowed two books from the lending library collection of QFHS - Scottish Genealogy Conference Papers from the First Australasian Scottish Genealogy Conference in September 1996 and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry by Kathleen B. Cory. Hmmmm.

Today I thought I would tackle the National Library of Australia's eResources again.  I spent a lot of time searching the British Newspapers section but without much satisfaction.  Then I hit on the House of Commons Parliamentary Papers via another website called Connected Histories which came up in a list of Google results.  I figured out that I had access to the House of Commons Parliamentary Papers (hereafter called HCPP) through my National Library of Australia card and away I went.

Well - perhaps that is an exaggeration.  I blundered my way around and consequently hope that I might provide you with some guidance in using the HCPP for your own research.

I must have spent at least an hour ineffectually searching the database.  I am by no means an expert at the end of just one day but here are a few tips to help you find what you are looking for....

First of all - when on the family history trail I acknowledge that the hunt can be quite exciting.  Do take a moment to breathe and look around at where you are...which in plain English means "When all else fails, read the instructions". 

How often have we punched in something to the Search box, then, if we're lucky get some results, and then don't know how to "look" at what we're looking at, as it were, at or obtain a better result.  

Let's really look at the HCPP collection.

This is what the Home page of HCPP looks like...you can see the enticing Search button in the top left hand corner.



Press the Search button and you are presented with a multi-faceted search function.  


You can narrow down your search by Subject - either an alphabetical subject list...I'm interested in carpet weavers/manufacturers in Bannockburn, so I chose carpet as a subject..check out the list here...


Who knew there could be 50 subject headings about carpets for goodness sake???

You can search by a hierarchical subject list.  I chose Industry, then Manufacturing and then Textiles. Look at all the yummy subjects that produces...


Of course, I didn't do this at the beginning, I just blundered on in and did a fairly ineffectual Boolean search - something like Bannockburn NEAR carpet - for goodness sake.  Do learn from my mistakes won't you?  I'm going back to do my searching again.

You can limit your search by Years e.g. the lifetime of your ancestor/s.

You can limit your search by type of publication e.g. just reports or just Hansard.  

You can Sort your results by earliest or latest date or Alphabetical Title.

You can choose to Display 20 or 50 results at a time.

Then when you get the Results, if you're like me, you'll want to leap straight into the Full Text of the document and start reading and then you waste a lot of time wondering where on earth there is any reference to Bannockburn or carpet manufacture.  

Stop.  Read the Screen.  Breathe..





Can you see these very important words just above the original text?  Pages containing highlighted words are indicated with an orange box.  You don't have to plough through all 1802 pages...you can just click on the pages that have a little orange box around them.  Fabulous!!!  Joy !  Rapture!  Bliss!


Oh and now I hear you say, why on earth would I want to look at HCPP. Boring! Actually they're not.  You get marvelous analysis and reportage on HCPP....history from the horses's mouth as it were.  For example, I have discovered that the Carpet Weavers Friendly Society of Bannockburn was founded in 1831 with, I think, 80 members (it's a bit difficult to read the print). (i)  By 1887 they had 17 members. (ii)  That's one way of measuring the decline of an industry.  

Or, if statistics don’t appeal, and you want to hear what it was like to work in thecarpet-weaving industry, this is what Thomas Ellis, aged forty from the Milton Old Mill (Woollen) had to say in 1833.
“He has been foreman ever since Mr Kerr has had the mill.  It employs twelve children; the youngest ten years old.  Working hours from six to eight, with two intervals of one hour each.  There has been no accident since he has been here.  Has never given a child more than just a “skelp on the head”.  All the children here have got parents, with whom they reside in the neighbourhood.  They have no school to go to.  The work is fully long.  There is no time for anything else."
Jane Read, aged 11 had this to say:

“Likes being at the mill “fine”.  Can’t say she is very tired.  It “licked by some whiles” but not much, “just a skelp or so on the lug” to keep her at work.  Can’t write.  Was at school before she came to the mill.  Has not been since.  Earns 2s. 9d per week.  Likes best the way she is now than to have less work and wages.”  
Mr Mackintosh gathered evidence for the Chair of the Factories Inquiry Commission Thomas Tooke and wrote:

“A very small mill, standing alone.  There is no bothy, however.  The children live with their parents in the neighbouring village of Bannockburn.  The machinery is not boxed, and there is very little room to pass between some of it.  No “stour” or dust proceeds from wool, as from flax, nor is there the heat of the cotton mill; but the quantity of oil used (commonly in small mills whale oil) produces a very offensive smell.  The workers are of necessity very dirty.Out of nine girls employed here, not one could write.” (iii)

How to make a librarian/blogger cry.


Image from page 277 of "A dictionary of arts, manufactures and mines : containing a clear exposition of their principles and practice" (1845) - from here.  I'm not sure whether this is a three-plyimperial Scotch and two-ply Kidderminster carpet-loom or a  Brussels carpet-loom, Perhaps someone can enlighten me.

Then there is this from D. Barry to the Chairman of the Central Board of Factory Commission: 

Each weaver is attended by a draw-boy, from eleven to fourteen years of age, who has generally been a piecer to a slubber or rove-spinner.  These boys stand as long as the weavers work, from whom they draw up, over pullies, certain portions of the warp to form the pattern, at every traverse of the shuttle.  They work from six to eight; never sit, except at meals; and earn 3s 3d per week.  They are hired and paid by the weavers, who themselvers work by the piece, and earn from 11s to 12s per week each.  All the people employed appear to be in health.  The draw-boys generally become carpet-weeavers themselves, having first learned some lighter kind of weving.  (iv)

You can see some photos of the Mill today on Flickr here.

You can see a picture of carpet close here which apparently is near where the Forfars had their carpet factory according to this paper written by Jim Mackison of Newcastle upon Tyne here.

I hope this helps you use the Search function of the HCPP collection effectively and produces great results.  

Have you used the House of Commons Parliamentary Papers for your research before? Do you have a National Library of Australia card to access eResources?

Endnotes
 i Title: Friendly societies (Scotland). Report and abstracts by the Registrar of Friendly Societies in Scotland.
Document type: HOUSE OF COMMONS PAPERS; ACCOUNTS AND PAPERS
Collection name:
Session: 1852-53
Paper number: (907)
Volume/page:
CH Microfiche number: 57.736
Subject: Poverty and social administration -- Social welfare -- Friendly societies -- Friendly societies (Scotland)
Source: House of Commons Parliamentary Papers
Record URL: http://gateway.proquest.com/openurl?url_ver=Z39.88-2004&res_dat=xri:hcpp&rft_dat=xri:hcpp:rec:1852-029923
Full Text URL: http://gateway.proquest.com/openurl?url_ver=Z39.88-2004&res_dat=xri:hcpp&rft_dat=xri:hcpp:fulltext:1852-029923


 ii. Title: Friendly societies, industrial and provident societies, and trade unions. Reports of the Chief Registrar of Friendly Societies, for the year ending 31st December 1886. Part C. Appendix (K.)--Trade Unions.
Document type: HOUSE OF COMMONS PAPERS; ACCOUNTS AND PAPERS
Collection name:
Session: 1887
Paper number: (310) (310-I) (310-II)
Volume/page:
CH Microfiche number: 93.606-610
Subject: Poverty and social administration -- Social welfare -- Friendly societies -- Friendly societies
Source: House of Commons Parliamentary Papers
Record URL: http://gateway.proquest.com/openurl?url_ver=Z39.88-2004&res_dat=xri:hcpp&rft_dat=xri:hcpp:rec:1887-063915
Full Text URL: http://gateway.proquest.com/openurl?url_ver=Z39.88-2004&res_dat=xri:hcpp&rft_dat=xri:hcpp:fulltext:1887-063915

 iii. Title: Factories Inquiry Commission. First report of the Central Board of His Majesty's commissioners appointed to collect information in the manufacturing districts, as to the employment of children in factories, and as to the propriety and means of curtailing the hours of their labour: with minutes of evidence, and reports by the district commissioners.
Document type: HOUSE OF COMMONS PAPERS; REPORTS OF COMMISSIONERS
Collection name:
Chair/author: TOOKE, Thomas
Session: 1833
Paper number: (450)
Volume/page:
CH Microfiche number: 36.146-157
Subject: Industry and industrial society -- Labour and employment -- The employment of women and young children -- Employment of children -- Factories
Subject: Industry and industrial society -- Manufacturing industries -- Factories and workshops -- Factory legislation -- Factories
Source: House of Commons Parliamentary Papers
Record URL: http://gateway.proquest.com/openurl?url_ver=Z39.88-2004&res_dat=xri:hcpp&rft_dat=xri:hcpp:rec:1833-014207
Full Text URL: http://gateway.proquest.com/openurl?url_ver=Z39.88-2004&res_dat=xri:hcpp&rft_dat=xri:hcpp:fulltext:1

iv. Title: Factories Inquiry Commission. Second report of the Central Board of His Majesty's commissioners appointed to collect information in the manufacturing districts, as to the employment of children in factories, and as to the propriety and means of curtailing the hours of their labour: with minutes of evidence, and reports by the Medical Commissioners.
Document type: HOUSE OF COMMONS PAPERS; REPORTS OF COMMISSIONERS
Collection name:
Chair/author: TOOKE, Thomas
Session: 1833
Paper number: (519)
Volume/page:
CH Microfiche number: 36.158-160
Subject: Industry and industrial society -- Labour and employment -- The employment of women and young children -- Employment of children -- Factories
Subject: Industry and industrial society -- Manufacturing industries -- Factories and workshops -- Factory legislation -- Factories
Source: House of Commons Parliamentary Papers
Record URL: http://gateway.proquest.com/openurl?url_ver=Z39.88-2004&res_dat=xri:hcpp&rft_dat=xri:hcpp:rec:1833-014208

Full Text URL: http://gateway.proquest.com/openurl?url_ver=Z39.88-2004&res_dat=xri:hcpp&rft_dat=xri:hcpp:fulltext:1833-014208


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Was Lucy Swait insane? or the importance of reading census entries fully



Hanwell Lunatic Asylum 1848 from Illustrated London News, January 15, 1848, p. 27



That got your attention didn’t it?  Nothing like a cheeky headline to make you read my blog.

So, this weekend I have been delving into the Forfar line again.  FindmyPast were having a free-for-all this weekend, so I thought I would take advantage of it and look as much as I could into the Forfars in Bannockburn and the Forfars in London.

I am particularly interested in fleshing out the story of Robert and Lucy Forfar and their son, George, who was my great-great-grandfather.  He was the father of Walter William Forfar who I have blogged about a bit here and here and here.
  
This weekend produced a lot of data, so it’s a bit difficult to know where to begin.

First of all and most importantly, it has finally sunk into my thick skull that Lucy’s maiden name is SWAIT and not SMART as I had originally thought.

This realisation comes about from actually seeing the marriage register where Lucy’s name and the name of the two witnesses (her father and step-mother) are quite definitely SWAIT.

In the process of confirming that (looking up SWAITs in the Census), I also discovered two new names to the list of names I am researching: RAVENHILL and REMNANT.  Aren’t they great names??

So let me explain…

All Saints' Church in Isleworth The London Apprentice Public House and Garden is to the left of the picture- Picture courtesy of Maxwell Hamilton on Flickr

Lucy Swait was born 21 December 1820 and baptised at All Saints Isleworth (a new-to-me place name) in 1821 on 28 January.  Her parents were John SWAIT and Sophia RAVENHILL and they were married 12 September 1811.  

John and Sophia also had the following children:

1814 George born 5 September and baptised 2 October

1817 Maria born 3 May and baptised 6 July

1822 John born 20 November 1822 and baptised 29 December.  John died in 1829 and was buried 22 January.

1825 Henry born 5 April and baptised 19 June and

1829 Harriet Margaret born 27 August and baptised 18 October.

Sophia Swait died 1834 and was buried 26 January when Lucy would have been just 13.  January must have been a bit of a sad old month for poor Lucy being the anniversary of her baby brother's and then her mother’s deaths.

After Sophia died, John Swait remarried, this time to Deborah REMNANT in August later that year.  The 1841 census shows them living with Harriette aged 12, John aged 5 and Margarita who is 4 months old at Silver Hall. Hmmmm - lots of food for thought there.  John is described as a Coachman.  You can read more about Silver Hall here under U for underground.  Deborah's parents James and Mary were living at Figgs Marsh at the time.


On the right is Sarah Robinson, Orphanage Laundress. On the left is her sister-in-law, Mrs Gaskell. Margaret McLellan, Mrs Dixon's sister, site between them from Flickr Child Action North West 


In the 1841 Census I found Lucy at the Hanwell Lunatic Asylum in the Parish of Norwood.  Hence the title of this blog post.  Her occupation is described as Laundress.  I ponder and ponder over this, because she married Robert Forfar the very next year. How did she get out of the asylum to marry Robert?  Were laundresses going through a rough time - was she a pauper rather than a lunatic? 

I don’t really have the answer to the mystery of how Lucy met Robert but I am here to tell you that when I looked more closely at the Census records for the asylum, I did realize that Lucy was working at the asylum, rather than there as an inmate.  I included the photo above which I found on Flickr to remind us that even though she was a laundress, dress standards were probably still very strict.  Imagine doing the laundry dressed like this today.  Aren't we lucky??? I found all sorts of glorious information about the Asylum with the aid of dear old Google.  Lucy was working in the men’s section of the asylum where there were about 380 patients and 120 staff to look after them.  There were all sorts of inmates. Their occupations ranged from stableman to schoolmaster, sailor to pirate, watchmaker to juggler.  I kid you not!

And yes I looked for a Forfar and yes I found one, but not Robert.  It was a John Forfar aged 55 and an upholsterer.  Not too far-fetched an occupation not to be a relation of some sort to Robert (his family were weavers and drapers) so that bears further investigation.  

Hanwell Asylum was pretty brand spanking new, having only opened in 1831.  It was the “first purpose-built asylum in England and Wales” according to Wikipedia…and at one time the world’s largest, so of great interest.  

When Lucy worked there John Conolly would have been Superintendent. Conolly is famous for abolishing mechanical restraints at Hanwell.  Here is a map of the asylum.  


Asylum layout" by John Weale (1791-1862)
As mentioned, Lucy and Robert marry 30 January in 1842 at St James Westminster (also known as St James' Piccadilly according to Wikipedia), the same church that John and Deborah Remnant married in.  This time John is described as an Omnibus Proprietor.  John Forfar – Robert’s father is listed as deceased. William Blake was baptised in this church in 1757 - just so you know.


Interior St James' Piccadilly by Steve Cadman on Flickr

On 23 October 1848 George, Robert and Lucy’s son is baptised at the Episcopal Church Bannockburn, Stirling.   Robert and Lucy don’t seem to stay in Scotland – perhaps it was just a visit.

The next time I find a record of them is in the 1851 Census.  George seems to be staying with his step-great-grandfather James REMNANT (remember Deborah who married Lucy's father?  James is Deborah's father and Lucy's step-grandfather - I know, weird) in Mitcham, Surrey.  In turn James seems to be staying with his sister-in-law Elizabeth FRANKS.  James is described as being on Parish Relief, a former Ag Lab aged 90.  How come he is left holding the baby? Well maybe he isn't holding the baby.  Maybe it is Harriet Franks aged 28 unmarried who was looking after George.  Anyway - it's all very odd.

In the same census (1851) Lucy is working as a Nurse at 56 Grove Terrace in Barking, Ilford for the solicitor Edmund Griffin.  

I can’t really find Robert at all at thist time.  I did find a Robert Forfar in an 1852 Poll Book working as a printer in Pitt Street.  The only reason I am paying attention to this record is that his name is right alongside someone called Robert Galloway and Galloway was Robert’s grandmother’s maiden name.  I am wondering if perhaps he changed occupation from stone mason to printing.  Just a thought.

In the 1861 Census, George Forfar is a school boy at the Byron House School in Ealing.  This became Ealing Grammar School and closed in 1917 according to this website.  I have written to the Ealing Local History Library to ask if there is any further clarifying information about Robert or George Forfar as they hold the letters and accounts for the Byron House School as per this listing on the National Archives catalogue here.

Once again – no sign of his father anywhere and Lucy is now working as a servant at 152 Westbourne Terrace Paddington for Mr Ballin, a gentleman of independent means,and his three sisters.  Read the census more closely Alex - Roseth (Rosetta in later census) Ballin aged 56 of independent means and her three sisters!

Lucy’s father John SWAIT and his second wife Deborah seem to be going from strength to strength.  In the 1861 Census, John is now a Victualler at Twickenham Road running the Chequers Inn.  He is living with Deborah, Mary Ann aged 25 who is helping her parents run the business, Amelia aged 15, Susan E aged 12, Arthur aged 11 and Helen aged 8.  You can see what the Inn looked like here.


Death notice Lucy Forfar Morning Post 6 October 1866


Lucy died in 1866 and her name can be found on the register, the probate calendar as well as a death duty register.  It is worth looking at all three documents.  The death duty register gives me her address – Harrow Road. William Wise was the executor of her will.  I assume he was a fellow employee from his occupation described on the census at the time.  She is described as a widow in the probate calendar so we can assume that Robert had died by this time.  She leaves a modest inheritance of effects under £200.  And yes, I have ordered a copy of the will in case it gives more information.

In the death notice we learn that Lucy was 46 years old and Robert is described as being from Bannockburn.  Perhaps he returned there.  I have joined the Central Scotland Family History Society.  There seem to be some members already researching Forfars in Bannockburn - perhaps they can help too.

In the 1871 Census, at the age of 80, John Swait is still running the Chequers Inn with Deborah and their daughter Helen aged 18 and John Cooper the Ostler. What a survivor! I found a burial notice for him the following year on 28 March 1872.

I’d like to tell you more about the Forfars in Bannockburn but I’d better leave that for another post.

Please tell me if you have any bright ideas about how I can find out more about Robert Forfar.  Are you as mad about family history as me?