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 Williams...my 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 Williams...my 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 Ancestry.com 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