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Thread: What did your 4 x great grandfathers (Generation 7) do for a living?

  1. #41
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    Of my known 4th great-grandfathers (this generation are born between 1773 and 1807), one was a clerk in the US Treasury Department, one was a messenger in the General Land Office, one was a lawyer, and the remainder of whom I know anything were farmers (my father's direct male line has been in Washington, DC, since the early 1800's;other lines were in more rural areas, mostly).

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  3. #42
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    I've enjoyed reading this thread and decided to try to do mine. I've carried out some deep research on several lines over the years, to the extent that I felt I must have discovered the bulk of my 64 4x great grandparents. This was the first time I'd ever attempted to write out a full tree using a template, and what I discovered surprised me. It turns out that I only know the names of 11 out of 32 4x great grandfathers and 9 of my 4x great grandmothers, although in the latter case one maiden name is missing. So basically, I have info on less than a third of my ancestors that far back (20 out of 64) and the rest are a complete blank. Moreover, I only know a few of their occupations. I think the fact that I've researched some lines back a long way created a false picture in my mind. Can anyone recommend a single source for British records that could help me to rectify this (I have a limited budget for subscriptions). On the bright side, while I was compiling this meagre tree I came across an Irish ancestor that I didn't know about (from Galway). Adding the Irish flag here. I guess I may come across more of these in future given what Lucasz concluded about my ancestry being pan-Isles and my two dots on 23andme.
    Last edited by JonikW; 09-03-2018 at 10:43 AM.
    Living DNA Cautious mode:
    South Wales Border-related ancestry: 86.8%
    Cornwall: 8%
    Cumbria-related ancestry: 5.2%
    Y line: Peak District, England. Big Y match: Scania, Sweden; TMRCA 1,280 ybp (YFull);
    mtDNA: traces to Glamorgan, Wales, 18th century. Mother's Y line (Wales): R-L21 L371

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  5. #43
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    I don't have as much experience with English records of that era as some, so these are more thoughts.

    4 g grandparent is definitely where I started to lose lines.

    I just went through again, and I'm now confident I know the names of all 32 3xgreat grandparents (occupations mainly from censuses, with a few exceptions). One married couple was born and died in England, for another couple both were born in Wales, but married and died in the US, and two married couples were both born and died in Sweden. The remaining 24 were all married and died in the US, but two of the ggg grandfathers were born in Ireland.

    For the 64 gggg grandparents, I have the names and occupations for the 2 gggg grandfathers in England, and the names of the 2 gggg grandmothers. On one side that's from Church of England parish records and census (that gggg grandfather died in 1851, and his wife later), on the other side it's from non-conformist church records, wills, and a secondary source (a diary of someone in the same non conformist community that mentions some of my relatives from time to time).

    The best source for me for English records of this time period has been FindMyPast if the parish records you are interested are on it. A lot of the sites have some free records, so it's worth seeing what you can currently get for free on FamilySearch or MyHeritage.

    In addition to the English gggg grandparents, I have 4 (2 couples) born in Wales. One of these immigrated to the US, so I had US census data and naturalization data that was very helpful in leading me to where they were from in Wales and the ship record. The other we had knowledge of the farm they had lived on, which turned out to be true, and a somewhat uncommon first name. They were all in the census records and some parish records (one set were Calvinist Methodists, the other were Anglican), but again wills were helpful. There are pre 1858 wills on the National Library of Wales site.

    My newest find is that MyHeritage has a good collection of the Swedish household records, so I think I can identify this level of my 8 gggg grandparents in Sweden, and likely confirm that they were farmers. I got the prior generation this way, but need to follow through.

    I do not have the parents (4) for either of my ggg grandfathers who were born in Ireland. I have general place and surnames for one, nothing but his own surname for the other (it does seem likely to be from the North based on where the spelling of the surname seems to be).

    The remaining includes one couple born in France but who immigrated to the US. I have census records for them indicating that they were farming, but I don't know anything about where they were from in France or why they left, and have only a first name for the wife.

    So that's 11 of 32 couples. The other 21 are all in the US, and I have census records for most of them, some information from county histories, some land records, and the occasional probate record. The best documented (continuing back to prior generations) tend to be those in Quaker records.

    I am completely missing (but for assumed surname of the husband) information on 4 of the US couples. I have names and likely occupations for the remaining ones (to some extent guessing at farming based on land records, location).
    Last edited by msmarjoribanks; 09-03-2018 at 01:29 PM.

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  7. #44
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    For 4x great grandparents the parish records are a must. So with Welsh ancestors that's easy - most are on findmypast. I don't know if any subscription service has wide coverage in England yet.

    I found that teaming up with (distant) relatives researching in the same area significantly reduced costs - but it did mean losing some freedom to prioritise research.

    Have you listed the counties and parishes that need attention I wonder? And are there any natural priorities? - perhaps a relative who is keen to know more about their part of your tree.
    All 32 3xgreat grandparents were Welsh. Two 6xgreat grandparents from England and a few Irish or English surnames before 1800. Paper trail shows several C11th to C14th Anglo-Norman lines and C11th Norse-Irish lines.

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  9. #45
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    In particular on my father's side I'd like to trace my 4x from the Capel-y-Ffin and Llanigon area. Their surnames were Watkins and Lewis. I have a well-informed DNA match on that line who still lives in Wales but unfortunately has also been unable to make any real progress. On the other side, my mother was a Jones from Cwmbran. Again the 4x there are a complete blank, with names such as Lewis, Thomas and Evans who may have moved to the area for work. I also have several 4x from SW England that I'd like to trace and an Armstrong line that moved to England from Scotland in the 19th century. I've found my Armstrong 3x g grandfather on a London census with his family (wife was a Butler I was able to discover). He was born in 1819 but the location was listed simply as Scotland...
    Living DNA Cautious mode:
    South Wales Border-related ancestry: 86.8%
    Cornwall: 8%
    Cumbria-related ancestry: 5.2%
    Y line: Peak District, England. Big Y match: Scania, Sweden; TMRCA 1,280 ybp (YFull);
    mtDNA: traces to Glamorgan, Wales, 18th century. Mother's Y line (Wales): R-L21 L371

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  11. #46
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    Definitely check out what's on FindMyPast -- it has good records for some areas in England, as well as Wales. The Shropshire parish records are quite good, and a co-worker of mine (with a less common surname) made great progress (better than mine) for somewhere in the SW, if memory serves (I'm thinking Devon but could be completely wrong about that).

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  13. #47
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    Having just done x3, x4 has substantially more gaps.

    Father
    1. Chism - Unknown
    2. Bell - Farmer, Antrim, Ireland
    3. Dornan - Unknown
    4. Person Unknown
    5. Black Unknown
    6. Person Unknown
    7. Black - Unknown
    8. Person Unknown
    9. Goudy - Labourer, Antrim, Ireland
    10. Clawson - Labourer, Antrim, Ireland
    11. Blaney - Labourer, Tyrone/Derry, Ireland
    12. Creamer - Painter, Tyrone/Derry, Ireland
    13. T. Rice - Farmer, Fermanagh, Ireland
    14. W. Rice - Farmer, Fermanagh, Ireland
    15. E. Downey - Farmer, Fermangh, Ireland
    16. J. Downey - Farmer, Fermanagh, Ireland

    Mother
    1. Ross - Butcher, Antrim, Ireland
    2. Stewart - Weaver?, Antrim, Ireland
    3. Rice - Butcher, Down/Antrim, Ireland
    4. Muldoon - ? - Ireland
    5. Lockhart - Farmer - Antrim, Ireland
    6. Cochran - Labourer/Grower - Antrim, Ireland
    7. McKinley - Labourer - Antrim, Ireland
    8. Armstrong - Farmer - Antrim? Ireland
    9. John - Plasterer - Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales
    10. Needs - Labourer - Somerset, England
    11. Hamilton - Labourer - Tyrone, Ireland
    12. Irwin - - Labourer - Tyrone, Ireland
    13. Lindores - Carpenter - Scotland
    14. Unknown
    15. Morris - Carpenter - Unknown
    16. Blackwood - Gas Fitter - Unknown

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  15. #48
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    I hope this is an appropriate place to post this, given my earlier mention of my genealogy efforts at this level. I've said before that my mother was from Wales, with a Welsh surname but some English ancestry, while my father is from England, with an English surname but some Welsh ancestry. I recently found my late mother's first cousin through Gedmatch and he's started filling me in on a lot of the family history. He's just told me what he uncovered about that family's English, Wiltshire, line. It turns out my ggg grandfather there took his mother's surname because he was born illegitimately to a teenage mother in 1806. So my grandfather's maternal line in fact has an unknown surname. The speculation is that the father could have been a navvy on the canal because that was the year it passed through the village. There were several shotgun weddings on that side, but they did all end in marriage. So that's one dead end that I'll presumably never resolve. One thing I'm discovering to my surprise is how free and easy my ancestors were. And I'd been led to believe that all began in the 1960s...
    Living DNA Cautious mode:
    South Wales Border-related ancestry: 86.8%
    Cornwall: 8%
    Cumbria-related ancestry: 5.2%
    Y line: Peak District, England. Big Y match: Scania, Sweden; TMRCA 1,280 ybp (YFull);
    mtDNA: traces to Glamorgan, Wales, 18th century. Mother's Y line (Wales): R-L21 L371

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