Monday, November 16, 2015

Alfred George Palmer, cousin to my grandma, Alma May Palmer.

(photo kindly provided by Angie Hodges on Nov 16, 2015)

On November 13, 2015, while searching on UK Ancestry where I'm currently a member, I discovered Alfred George Palmer. Alfred is my 1st cousin, 2xs removed. He was the son of Henry George Palmer, brother of my great grandpa, Herbert Henry Palmer. They were the sons of George Palmer my great great grandpa.
Alfred died at age 21 on May 31, 1916 in the Battle of Jutland.

The above shows the list of ships Alfred worked on.

HMS Broke where Alfred died.

I had a great time searching online for any information I could find.
This image is from Panel 3 in Stoke sub Hamdon, England, on top of Ham Hill, at the memorial built to remember the men who died in WWI.
Here is the LINK to the website.

From the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

The above shows Alfred's name on the right hand side.
By entering Alfred's name and date of death into the Google search engine, I discovered a wonderful website:
It contains a letter sent to Alfred's family with details of his death.
The site is written by Angie Hodges, and after an inquiry sent to her on the weekend, she kindly replied today and sent me the photo at the top of this post.
Although it's a blurred image I'm thrilled to have it, as I have no other image of Alfred.
Isn't it amazing what happens if you begin to research into your family tree?
You never know where you will wind up.

March 30, 2016  I added Alfred Palmer's details to "Lives of the First World War" website today.
The 100th anniversary of the Battle of Jutland is this year, 2016.
By Loretta Williams Houben

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Somerset, land of my ancestors.

These are my Palmer relatives.
I've mainly been blogging about the Williams side, but it's time to write about the Palmers.
Here's how the people above are related to me.
Florence (Bellamy) age 43 and Herbert Henry Palmer age 42 are in the middle, surrounded by their children on their way to the new country of Canada.
My grandma, Alma May (19) is on the right of her father in the cloche hat.
Notice the warm clothes all are wearing in the month of July!
The youngest children, Violet on the right, and Harry in front of his dad, are the twins, age 5.
John, (11) is on the left with Norman (17) beside him.
On the right is Sydney (9).

Today I found an interesting item on Ancestry, UK site.
I'll write about that in a separate post.
But I want to include a link to a post about Somerset England here.
It has beautiful photos and posts about this beautiful land where my ancestors lived since the 1600's.
Yes, I've been able to trace the Bellamy family back that far.
I've had an exciting 2 months searching Ancestry's records.

The above shows how I can trace back to the Bluetts in 1669.
I think I have many things to research.
By Loretta (Williams) Houben

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Friday, November 6, 2015

Remembering great uncle William J Williams.

Today, November 6, 2015, I searched again on UK Ancestry site for records of William Williams, and I actually found two more I had never seen.
I am very pleased. I would love to become a life long member of Ancestry.
It's so easy to search their records.
I created the above collage today.

The above record is from the army register of soldiers' effects.
Notice the "to whom authorized" box on the right.

Notice the red pen notation on the right.

Here is a close up; it shows Bro: Sole Legal, Robert David Williams, HMS Violet.
That would most likely mean the parents, Joseph and Elizabeth Williams, are dead.
So this is another big clue.

By Loretta Williams Houben

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Ancestry UK web site for genealogy research.

The above tree chart from Ancestry UK shows an 8th great grandfather, branching off through the Palmer/Bellamy/Bluett side all the way back to 1699!
Recently I tried out Ancestry for the first time, after Paul Williams, grandson of Robert David Williams, contacted me on August 30th. He found my Williams family tree by trying out one month's trial on Ancestry, and since then we've been emailing back and forth catching up on information.
I decided to try out Ancestry too, after they sent me a deal for one month that I couldn't refuse; only $2.00 Canadian for access to all their files.
I began to dig for Williams info but it's really difficult to find. I still haven't discovered the parents of Joseph Williams. So I began to dig around on the Bellamy side of things and I hit pay dirt!
The thing with Ancestry is that it's so easy to use. They do all the hard work. When you type a name in to search, voila! The name and dates are matched with other family trees, and those trees have more names and dates. It's so neat.
Of course they don't all match, so you choose "ignore" and the tree disappears.
I feel very important now that I've discovered the above branch of my Bellamy tree.

Here is a nice photo of Robert David Williams, discovered in my Dad's collection!
Yes, my Dad had this photo since 2004, when his mother passed away. Apparently Robert kept in touch with his brother John (my Dad's father) and he sent him a lot of photos!
I now have more old photos of him, than I do of my Grandpa when he was young.
Don't you think he looks quite dapper?

And just look at this! I'd never seen it before, but there it was sitting in my Dad's box.
This is Robert David Williams, and his young wife, Rose (Horrell).
I believe this is taken in 1920, and that is their first son, Robert Jr, born on December 22, 1916, so he would be nearly 4 years old. Little William Frederick, born June 6, 1920, is sitting on his mother's lap. William is Paul's father, the one I've been communicating with who lives in Perth, Australia.
I just love this photo. I immediately scan the photos and email them to Paul. He hasn't seen most of them, so it's a goldmine for him too.

This is the back of the photo.
When I read the name, "Aunty Nell" I nearly dropped the photo!
This is my grandpa's first wife. She died in 1926. So her hands would have held this.
Amazing. I guess my grandparents must have really been attached to Robert to have kept all the photos he sent to them, living far away in Canada. But it appears that no photos of Grandpa's family crossed the ocean to Robert or else they weren't saved so carefully.
Anyhow, I'm thrilled with all that's come to light recently.
I'm having the time of my life!
By Loretta Williams Houben

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

My great grandparent's marriage certificate.

I am quite excited! I'm nearly 100% sure this is my paternal great grandparents, Joseph and Elizabeth Williams. I had found them listed online a few years ago, and double checked the names and information, and the ages. I also asked my genealogy group that I meet with once a month downtown if this would be them, and based on all the information, they said yes.
It turns out I didn't need to mail away for the copy, I just filled everything out online!

It began with a bit of detective work.
FreeBMD is a fantastic site. I discovered it quite a few years ago.
Just click on the link and use it for yourself.
Of course, this doesn't show you the actual certificates, as they are not digitized. 

North Wales BMD provided more clues. 

To verify all that I'd discovered, I clinched it by finding the information on FindMyPast
That is a marvelous site which I've been enjoying using all year.
Finally I ordered online from the general register office in Great Britain.
It was extremely easy to do. I ordered it on Sept 11, and it arrived on Sept 23.

The above is a close up of the copied part of the marriage certificate.
It states that Joseph is 30 years old, a bachelor, and his profession is "slate labourer". He was living in Dolgarregddu, Festiniog at the time of the marriage. The certificate is signed in the presence of John Williams, which I assume is his father.
Elizabeth's maiden name is Roberts, which I already knew, and she is 26, and a spinster, also living in Dolgarregddu at the time of the marriage. Her father's name is John Roberts. A witness is Mary Jane Roberts which may be her mother.
The date of the marriage is August 3, 1883.

The marriage took place on a Friday.
How I wish I had a photo of the young couple!
To date, I haven't un-earthed any photos of them at all.
But this is quite exciting news, and I'm thrilled I'm now a "real" genealogist.
By Loretta Williams Houben

Friday, September 18, 2015

John Griffith grandfather.

My grandpa, John Griffith Williams on the left above, was born
on February 17, 1888 in Blaenau Festiniog, North Wales, to Joseph and Elizabeth Williams.
This is the earliest photo I have of him.
He appears with his family on the Welsh 1891 census, age 3. 

John was known as Jack. He is 2nd from the left in the front row, with a friend known only as "Jones" in this photo. Date unknown.

I don't know the name of the ship, or the date John came to Canada.
But he arrived in 1910, so the above information may be true.
It shows a John Williams sailing from Liverpool on April 21, 1910, to Quebec, Canada, on the Corsican, part of the Allan line steamship company.
This was found on FindmyPast website.

Ticket # 33652 shows a John Williams, which I like to imagine is my grandpa.

An old postcard found online showing the SS Corsican.

John at an early age, most likely in Canada, on his horse Tim.

John, with dreams of being a cowboy.
He settled in Three Hills Alberta, on Hugh Parry's ranch.
I'm not sure if that is Hugh on the left or not.

By Loretta (Williams) Houben

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Elizabeth Ellen great aunt in North Wales.

My great aunt, Elizabeth Ellen Williams, is a mystery.
She appears on the 1891 Welsh census, age 6, making her year of birth 1885.
The census states she was born in Merioneth, Festiniog.

The only other clue I have for Elizabeth is this one.
My grandma kept this postcard of Blurton Church, which is in Blurton, Staffordshire.
The church is now known as St. Bartholomew and is still in operation.
My grandma calls Elizabeth "Eloner". She states she is Jack's sister.
So this is the correct Elizabeth. 

Sadly, Elizabeth Ellen's baby died by falling into a tub of hot water. Seeing as the baby is buried in England, it wouldn't have taken place in Wales, as my grandma stated above.
The baby is buried to the side of the door, by the "very old fashioned church".
I assume Elizabeth and her family were living in Stoke-on-Trent at the time.
When I checked out the map, it isn't really that far from Blaenau Festiniog.

Here is a recent photo found online.

Here is a Google map photo found online. This may be the closest I'll ever come to the little baby's grave. This would be my dad's little cousin.

One more picture of St. Bartholomew's Church.
I might try contacting someone at the church through their website.
If I hear anything back, I'll post it here.

By Loretta (Williams) Houben

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Joseph and Elizabeth Williams' children.

This is one of the earliest photos I have of the three Williams brothers.
My paternal grandpa, John Griffith, is on the left.
Robert David is seated in his navy uniform.
William Joseph is on the right.
I find it unusual that they all had a middle name.
The photo was taken at 59 High Street in Blaenau Festiniog, North Wales.
This would have been before 1910, the year in which John sailed for Canada for a new life on the prairies.

Isn't John handsome? I don't know the date of this photo.
It was either taken before he left for Canada, or shortly after he arrived.
I will write about each of the brothers separately, but wished to have them all in one post.

I discovered this photo today, Sept 9, 2015, in my Dad's box of old photos.
I'd never seen it before. It was taken in a studio in Stonehouse, Plymouth, which is part of Devon in England. I searched online and discovered the photographer, George Thomas Bayley,
in Kelly's Directories for 1902.
This is young Robert David Williams, a sailor in the navy.
The ship's name is HMS Warrior.

William Joseph Williams, who went to war 100 years ago, and gave his life at age 19.
This is part of a professional photograph.
The brothers all have similarities.
I don't have a photo of their sister, Elizabeth Ellen, known as Ellen or Ella.
She is the mystery!
Now that I've been in contact with Paul Williams, a grandson of Robert, I have hope that one day I'll find Ellen's descendants. Paul is my 2nd cousin, and we have been emailing back and forth now for over a week. Genealogy research is never boring!

By Loretta (Williams) Houben

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Joseph and Elizabeth Williams, my great grandparents.

Welcome to my Williams/Palmer genealogy page.
I've decided to put everything I've learned since 2011 in one spot so it's easy to access.
My great grandparents, Joseph and Elizabeth (Roberts) Williams appear on the 1891 Welsh census.

This is a cropped part of the census, showing Joseph Williams on Line 4, age 37, occupation quarry slate man, born in Caernarvonshire, ? (I can't figure out the rest of the writing).
His wife is Elizabeth (shortened spelling by the enumerator) age 34, born in Porthmadog, Caernarvonshire, North Wales. They have three children at this time.

Elizabeth Ellen, age 6, born in Merioneth, Festiniog. 
(which would mean she was born in 1885)
John Griffith, (incorrectly listed as "Thom") age 3, born in Merioneth, Festiniog, 
on February 17, 1888.
Robert David Williams, age 1, born in Merioneth, Festiniog, on February 21, 1890.

They lived at 394 Geufron Terrace, Blaenau Festiniog, North Wales, in the county of
Merioneth, and they all spoke Welsh.

I cannot locate the family on the census after 1891. Joseph and Elizabeth had one more son,
William Joseph Williams, born in 1898 in Merioneth, Festiniog.

I don't have Joseph and Elizabeth's date of marriage, but hope to solve that mystery soon.
I don't know when they died, or where they are buried.
I don't know the names of their parents or their siblings.

I am hopeful though, as on August 30, 2015, a relative of the Williams family contacted me through where I have my Williams family tree on public view. It turns out he is a grandson of Robert David Williams and he is supplying me with photos and details of dates.
I'm completely thrilled with this major break through, so I thought it was time to create a blog for my Williams family clan.

By Loretta (Williams) Houben