Still here….

Well this has been quite a hiatus, 18 months since my last update! I have dabbled in and out of family history but have struggled for motivation to follow a specific family line. Mostly because of frustration due to lack of evidence to be really confident of going back further. By evidence, I mean researched records or documents to verify that the facts that I find are connected to my ancestor. I’m possibly going to bore you a bit with this post, but bear with me, this is important if you actually care that your research and family links are accurate, and to know when it is time to just admit you cannot (at this time), go back any further with any degree of confidence that you have correct information.

For example, on my Jubb line, I have hit a brick wall after Thomas, my 3 x great-grandfather. For those of you on Ancestry, you would be forgiven for believing that Thomas’s father was Richard and that Thomas was baptised in Leeds in January 1789. Most of the other people researching this line on Ancestry have that information on their tree (because it pops up as an Ancestry ‘hint’). The date fits, so it could well be correct. However, so could any of the SIX other Thomas Jubb baptisms in parishes close to Thorne that I have found by searching, since before Ancestry was even invented let alone giving us hints! There might even be more that I haven’t found but I think I have snagged them all. I’ve contacted all of my fellow researcher on Ancestry to ask if they would mind sharing what other information they have to prove the the Leeds baptism is definitely our Thomas. None of them have any other information apart from that baptism register, none of them have considered (or probably even found) the other baptisms. in fact most of them have just copied the information from other trees without even looking for any evidence themselves. This is a huge problem in Ancestry, some researchers just blinding accepting and copying information without making sure the person they have copied it from has a source for the information, and more importantly researching that source to make sure it is the right one. Hints are great but that is what they are, hints. You should always look at the source on the tree that has the information, make sure it is a valid source and not just another member’s tree. Then you need to check that source yourself.

So, how would we ever know in the Thomas Jubb situation, which baptism is the right one. Well, firstly let’s be honest, we probably never will be absolutely certain but we can try to be as sure as it’s possible to be. As Thomas was a cordwainer (or shoe maker), we could try to find an apprenticeship indenture which would probably name his father and place of origin. Another idea is to look if the father’s occupation is given on the baptism record. If any of the fathers have the same occupation, it could be an indication and give you a lead to follow. Sometimes too it is a process of elimination, we could search burial records to see if any of them tie in with the names of the baptisms, after all if the baby baptised in Leeds was also buried there two years later, I think we can safely conclude he’s not our guy. Similarly marriage records in the parishes of the baptisms, if Thomas baptised in Rawcliffe also marries in Rawcliffe, he also is not our guy. Another idea is to search newpaper archives for the area to see if your family are mentioned for any reason. Sadly, with Thomas I haven’t had any luck with any of those ideas and so I find myself at the genealogist’s nightmare, a brick wall. I just don’t have a scooby which of the 7 Thomas Jubbs baptised between 1788-1791 in the area are him. I need to leave that end well and truly loose….for now!

There are lots of places to find information that might lead to a breakthrough but it is not all available online. A lot of the interesting stuff you would probably have to seek out in archive offices and it will rarely be indexed, so you’re just gonna have to trawl through in the hope of spotting a familiar name. I have been there and it is a dangerous place! Before you know it, you’ve found something fascinating that you just can’t stop digging into. The problem is, it’s nothing to do with what you went to the archive for….it’s just fascinating. Beware of rabbit holes!!

I’ve found I have traced back most of my family lines as far as I can do so confidently at this time and so have been branching out and researching other family members, uncles, aunts, cousins and so on, I’ve found some interesting stories which I’ll share as blog posts over the coming months. I’ve also been looking at my DNA matches which can be interesting. I’ve recently discovered the Leeds method of sorting my DNA matches and have managed to sort a lot into family groups, which could be useful for future research. Who knows what information some of the people I am distantly connected to may hold.

I’ve neglected the website for far too long now though, so I think I need to just pick a branch and climb back up into it, to put some leaves on it to make it more substantial and interesting for us all.

To that end, next up are the Stringers. Eliza Stringer was my great grandmother via my grandfather William Jubb, so William’s mother.. I don’t have much information about this family line, so I’ll have a good rummage about and see what else I can dig up on the Stringer branch of the tree. Watch this space, I’ll be back.

5 Comments

    1. Thanks Jackie. I can’t understand why other people aren’t really. Some of the hints and records that come up are obviously right and that’s great, easy work, but some are just too ambiguous, lots of the same names in families etc. I like to be as sure as I can be that I’ve got the right person.

  1. Wow, it’s wonderful how thorough you are. Good luck with the research , I look forward to reading more of your posts.

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