Here he is with our puppy Fluffy Lumpkin, three and a half months old.
The picture shows Greg with Abby, Elaine and Val.
Louise Doddrell left a message in the Bravenet Message Forum (see sidebar for link).
She is descended from Gertrude Hayes who married Robert Seymour Dunn, and we’re looking forward to an exchange of family history information.
Val went to a course for work in Johannesburg on Monday and Tuesday, and fell down the stairs at the Balalaika Hotel in Sandton on the way down to the parking garage. When she got to the car she found her arm wasn’t working, so she phoned me and Jethro to come and fetch her, as she couldn’t drive.
I took her to Sunninghill Hospital on the way home, and they put her arm in a sling and did all sorts of X-rays, and asked her to come back and see an orthopaedic specialist the next day. So yestyerday I took her back to the hospital for that, and she got an even more fancy cling, and they said a bone in her shoulder is cracked, so she will be sort of incapacitated for the next six weeks or so.
Today I moved 367 records of people from one genealogical program to another. Most of them were in material sent by cousins, quite a lot relating to the Nipper and Benoke families (descended from William and Ann Allen of Winscombe, Somerset). I hope to have a kind of consolidated pool of information about the descendants of William and Ann Allen to share with any members of the family who are interested. There are some related families about which we have very little information — Purnell and Hill, for example.
There was also some information sent by Diana Richter on the Beningfield and Grice families of Durban.
The other day I met John Sutherland of Australia, who was looking for his grandfather Robert Sutherland, some of whose children were born in Pilgrim’s Rest. I showed him how to look in the archives, but unfortunately there wasn’t much. There was a cryptic reference to a Robert Sutherland who had died in Mozambique, but not enough information to show that he was related.
We’re still having bandwidth problems, so if anyone writes e-mails and they bounce, try again at the end of the month, in case we’ve run out of bandwidth. In the mean time I’ll try to be sparing about looking at other people’s blogs and web pages, to try to make the e-mail last until the end of the month.
Yesterday I went to the LDS Family History Centre in Johannesburg, and looked at the microfilms of the parish registers of St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol. A lot were faint and illegible, but I did manage to find the marriage of John Hayes to Margaritta Jane Caple, and the baptism of their son William Wickham Hayes. John Hayes was the brother of my great great grandfather James Andrew Hayes.
The Caple (or Capel) family were from Winscombe in Somerset.
I’ve just had a phone call from Belinda Kalantar to say that her mother, Mary Jane Conway, had died a couple of weeks ago.
She couldn’t give details, as the phone line was so noisy (I’d only just reported the problem to Telkom when she phoned), and I’ll only be able to post this if there are enough clear seconds on the line.
Mary Jane Conway (born Parsons), or Jane, as she liked to be known, was born in Bristol, England, on 18 February 1928, so yesterday would have been her 79th birthday. She was my second cousin. Her mother, Nora Amy Hayes (1896-1982), was my father’s first cousin.
Since my grandfather, Percy Wynn Hayes, had died when I was 7, I knew very little about our Hayes relatives in the UK, but when we got interested in family history I tried to find out more, and wrote to a lot of Hayes families I could find in the Bristol and Somerset telephone directories. One thing I did know, that my father had a cousin with the rather unusual name of Herrick Hayes, whom he had met when he had gone to England for the Scout Jamboree at the age of 14. One of these letters was passed to Jane Conway, and she wrote to me and we have been in correspondence since 1981.
We never met until a couple of years ago, when Val and I took a holiday in England, visiting ancestral places, and we spent a day with Jane Conway and other Hayes relatives in Bristol and North Somerset.
In the photo are Josephine Tsegaye (born Hayes), her sister Catharine Stokes (born Hayes), Jane Conway, and Steve Hayes.
On that day we fetched Jane in Bristol, and went to visit Josephine at her home in Kelston, near Bath, and then Jane came with us and showed us the ancestral home at Axbridge, and Winscombe, where earlier generations of the Hayes and Allen families had lived
We hoped that one day we would be able to save up enough money to go and see her again, but, sadly, that was not to be.
Today I spent quite a lot of time making use of the OriginsNet free offer for 4 July, and seeing what I could find. The most useful things were the 1841 and 1871 censuses, though they are not fully indexed, and some of the images did not display properly.
But they seemed to have Bristol and Somerset fairly well covered, and I looked up my great great great grandparents, Simon and Rachel Hayes, in the 1841 census, and think I may have found a clue to a long-standing mystery.
Ages ago one of the first censuses we found (Bedminster 1851) showed John Hayes (son of Simon and Rachel) and a cousin staying with him, Elena Purnell, aged 17.
Ever since then we’ve looked for a Purnell connection, but have never found it in more than 20 years of searching.
But in 1841 Simon and Rachel were staying in a household that included Ann Purnell, aged 45, and two younger Purnells, and an Emily Tripp aged 4. This was in Paul Street, Bedminster, Bristol. It seems possible, then, that Ann was Rachel’s sister. We know what happened to her other two sisters — one married Giles Williams, and the other married George Hill, but what happened to Ann was a mystery. So now we have to find her marriage to a Purnell, to confirm this, and also that she had a daughter Elena, and another loose end will be tied up.