27 September 2010

Research Diary: Weaverthorpe, Yorkshire

This post is a report on how my research on ETHELLs and GRICEs of my last First Friday Folder post is going.  Ah, the unexpected things I learn....

Having reviewed my folder on great-great-great-grandparents Joseph Ethell & Rachel Grice, and feeling well-prepared for my research, I arrived at the local Family History Center and set myself up at a microfilm reader.  My goal was Item 3 of FHL # 990,896: Bishop's Transcripts for Weaverthorpe, 1631-1852, Church of England, Parish Church of Weaverthorpe in Yorkshire, England.  My first thought was 'How inconvenient that I'm going to have to scroll through 2 whole items to get to the one I need, drat!'

I am still compulsive enough that I at least write down the title of every item on a film and annotate my notes about whether or not I read an item.  First, I wrote down the film number and what my general goal was: birth and marriage data on Joseph, Rachel, and their children.  Then, I wrote out the title entry for Item 1 and my note that I was not reading this one at all: whoever even heard of 'Helperthorpe'?  I need Weaverthorpe and so there. 

But the compulsive me, while rapidly scrolling through Item1 on my to Item 3, did a random stop and read one page.   And, there was a GRICE!  This is not a super common surname so I figured I'd better check this out before I went any further.  I ran Google maps on one of the FHC's computers and found that, wonder of all wonders, Helperthorpe is only 0.8 mile from Weaverthorpe! 

I had broken one of the cardinal laws of genealogy: know your geography before you do serious research!  Fortunately, the Genealogy Elf had given me a GRICE on my random stop.  Otherwise, I probably would have sent the film back to Salt Lake without knowing what I had in my hands.

Quickly reading backwards just 3 pages from my random stop yielded 4 more GRICEs, but the year was much to early to be of use to me now, so I went forward to an intermediate section title page which said "Helperthorpe -- 1790-1807, 1802, 1809-1812." As 1790 was where I had decided I would focus my reading in Weaverthorpe, this seemed like a good place to start my notetaking for Helperthorpe.  I saw that Helperthorpe must be a pretty small place because there were only 3 baptisms and no marriages nor burials for the entire year from Lady Day 1790 to Lady Day 1791.  I also found a notation for one year specifying that the marriages and burials for that year were recorded at Weaverthorpe.  So, clearly, these two locations are linked and I must consider them both in my ETHELL / GRICE quest.

I read through to 1850 in Helperthorpe and found 15 GRICE entries (including 3 children of a Wilson/Grice couple.  I can't yet connect any of these to my lines, but I've just begun!

Before I left for the FHC, I went to the GENUKI website and ran Weaverthorpe through the church database.   I searched for all churches within 6 miles of Weaverthorpe.  I quickly got a list of 26 churches (18 Church of England and 8 Methodist of one sort or another).  Here's a snippet of those search results:

I'm already pretty confident that my GRICEs & ETHELLs are connected to Weaverthorpe and to Lutton.  Now, I see that if I had run this search earlier when I should have, I would have also known to search in Helperthorpe and Butterwick.

At the FHC, I scrolled ahead to Item 3 to read Weaverthorpe. [I had already run Google maps on Hornby of Item 2 and found that it was 60 miles away and I don't feel a need to read it yet!]    I started reading/notetaking in the third section, dated 1760-1775.

There are more GRICEs here, but the script is different and it appears to be spelled 'grifse,' which I think is GRISSE, a possible alternative spelling.  I was hoping I was making a good assumption when I found this marriage record:
Banns of Marriage between Richard Grice & Ann Kellington were published on Tuesday ye 12th ye 19th & ye 26th of May by Mr Geo Lawson Mininster. / The above Richard Grice, spelled Grifse in ye Baptismal Register of Lutton, Batchelor & Ann Kellington also of Lutton Spinster, were married in ye Chapel of West Lutton by Banns on Wednesday ye twenty ninth day of May in ye year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred & eighty two by me...

Wasn't that nice of the minister to specify the exact name he wanted!  Altogether, I extracted 14 more GRICE entries this day.  I still can't confidently claim any of them, but I am starting to form family groups.  Once I get to the 1830s, I hope to find the link I need.

Whoops! I woke up with the sudden realization that I wasn't looking for GIB/GIBS/GIBB/etc.  That's the surname of Rachel's possible mother.  I think I would have come to my senses if I had seen a GIB, but it bothers me that I hadn't actually include the surname in my goal statement.  The little research I've done before on Rachel has never found any GIB (etc.) families anywhere near a GRICE or ETHELL.  

Well, I'm eager to get on with reading the Weaverthorpe film, but I won't make it to the FHC today after all.  Life gets in the way sometimes....  But, I've sat here instead and reviewed all the notes I've made so far.  I'll try again on Thursday!

  • Always run the church locations before reviewing any church records in England.
  • Always look at a detailed map and see the nearby towns, too.
  • Make sure the goals I specify for reading any film have all the surnames I'm looking for.

There are no page numbers in either of the two Bishop's Transcripts used here.  All the records are in rough chronological order.  The film is unusually clear and easy to read for the most part.

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