Research at the LDS Family History Centre

Val is on leave and last Friday we went to Johannesburg and did some research in the LDS Family History Centre in Parktown.  One of the things I always enjoy when going to the LDS Family Centre is the walk through the garden between the car park and the reading room. It is a pleasant place with ponds and lots of shady trees, and is especially enjoyable on hot summer days.

Garden at the LDS Family History Centre

Val was checking Methodist records from the Cape Colony, looking for the Stewardson and Morris families of Damaraland (now part of Namibia), who were said to have had Cape connections, and to have been Methodist missionaries.

I (Steve) was looking at microfilms of the parish registers of Lancaster, Lancashire, England, where the Cottam and Bagot families came from. I managed to find a fair number of entries relating to the siblings of my great-great-great grandmother, Maragaret Bagot, who married Richard Cottam in Lancaster in 1835, and I’ve been reconstructing the families from the parish records.

We also met Gwyneth Thomas there, who is indirectly linked to the Stewardson family through the Gunning family of Walvis Bay — John William Gunning married Charlotte Caroline Stewardson (sister of Val’s great great grandmother Kate Stewardson who married Fred Green) exactly 135 years ago today — they were married at Omaruru on 13 April 1875. Gwyneth Thomas is descended from John William Gunning’s younger sister Sarah Petronella Gunning (1845-1930) who married Thomas William Thomas in Cape Town.

We’ve been trying to exchange GEDCOM files with Gwyneth, but though hers reached us OK, ours seems to get mangled in the transmission, and ends up unreadable.

Sharon Cottam visits her father’s old POW camp

I don’t know if she is related (possibly by marriage?) but I was interested in this item on the BBC, describing how Sharon Cottam had been taken to visit the places where her father, Flight Lieutenant Ted Nestor, was a prisoner of war in World War II.

But whether she is related or not, it makes intersting reading, and is illustrated by drawings and cartoons showing life in a POW camp, and how some of his fellow inmates plotted their escape.

 

Lancaster families

Yesterday I spent a couple of hours in the LDS family history library in Parktown, Johannesburg, looking at bishops transcripts of parish records from Lanacaster, Lancashire, England.The families i was looking for were Cottam, Bagot (or Bagott) and Mashiter.

Some of the pages were damaged, so I wasn’t able to read the full record, and none of the people I found in the records appeared to be related — yet. But in some ways the Bishops Transcripts were more useful than the original registers, as they showed separately the baptisms, marriages and burials that took place in  the different chapelries in the parish.

The main family I’m looking for is:

Family Group Report
For: Richard Cottam  (ID=  225)
Date Prepared: 19 Sep 2008

NAME: COTTAM, Richard, Born ??? 1812 in Heaton with Oxcliffe, Died ???

MARRIED, to BAGOT, Margaret, Born 22 Jan 1811 in Lancaster, LAN, ENG,
Died ???; FATHER: BAGOT, John; MOTHER: MASHITER, Dorothy

CHILDREN:
1. M  COTTAM, John Bagot, born 30 Jul 1836 in Manchester, died
3 Jun 1911 in Durban; Married 8 Jul 1858 to HERBERT,
Adelaide; 8 children
2. F  COTTAM, Mary, born Oct 1838 in Manchester, died ???;
Married 27 Jan 1859 to WORRALL, John Stringer; 6 children
3. F  COTTAM, Betsey Jane, born May 1839 in Manchester, died
???; Married 15 Jun 1863 to BENNETT, Stanley Cracroft; 1
child
4. M  COTTAM, James, born Jul 1841 in Manchester, died ???
5. M  COTTAM, William Henry, born 15 Jun 1843 in Manchester,
England, died 15 May 1914 in Natal; Married ??? 1878 to
JACKSON, Harriet Mary; 1 child
6. F  COTTAM, Lucy, born Oct 1845 in Manchester, died ???;
Married May 1874 to TRAVERSE, Thomas; 1 child
7. F  COTTAM, Sarah Ellen, born ??? 1850? in Manchester, died
???
=====================================
Residence Information
From ??? 1843 Until ??? 1858
Address: 6 London Road, Manchester, Lancs, England UK
=====================================
Occupation Information
Worked as Ironmonger from ??? 1843 until ??? 1858
=====================================

I’m especially interested in finding Richard Cottam’s parents, as that might link him to a lot of other Cottams that lived in the area.

Cottam and Bagot and reading novels

I went to the LDS Family History Centre in Johannesburg today and transcribed more baptism records for the Cottam, Bagot and Mashiter families.

I reread Rider Haggard’s novel Allan Quatermain, and found that family history made me enjoy it more, as it had links with my great grandfather Wyatt Vause and Val’s great grandfather Daniel William Pearson. I’ve written about it more fully in my LiveJournal.

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