Friday, 17 October 2014

On holidays, but the hunt never ends...!

Although on holiday this week, the genie bug never ends, and so I've slotted in a couple of sneaky explorations tied into my family history.

Down periscope...
A few months before my mother passed away last year I had a conversation with her about her brief residential stint in Barrow-in-Furness, shortly after she got married in 1968. My father was a submariner, and so just three weeks after getting wed in Carrickfergus, she had to up sticks from Northern Ireland to join him in England - it was here in the midst of winter that yours truly was soon conceived as their first child, although my mum returned to Ireland to give birth to me there. So the first quest in Barrow was to find the house where they resided, and where I spent my first happy months as a confused embryo! The house was still there, and I snapped a couple of pics - it occurred to me later that place of conception should be a field on Family Tree Maker! My mum had also spoken fondly of a local pub, called The Periscope, which I hoped to take my boys and wife into to toast her time there, but it turned out that the building was unfortunately knocked down last year, with nothing more there now than a car park and a concrete foundation where the premises once stood.

The second part of the trip was to drive up to Egremont, to try to find the address noted on a death certificate at which my grandfather was stated to reside at as his usual residence. This is quite an odd one - Ernie Graham did briefly live in Carlisle after separating from my grandmother in the early 1950s, but in 1954 he moved to Pembroke in Wales to work, and we were always led to believe that he had stayed in a pub there for the next 18 years. He died in an industrial accident in 1972, but the death record noted an Egremont connection. I did find the house, located in a fairly small housing estate, and the next thing was to try to find who was actually registered there, both in the mid-1950s (in case the address was a last known address for him by the informant), and in 1972. The local library turned out not to have any street directories or electoral records, so I travelled four miles north to Whitehaven, acting on information in a leaflet given to me in Egremont that the archive there was open on Mondays. It wasn't (clearly the leaflet was published before the opening hours were revised). Very annoying, but one to chase up on at a future stage...!

Anyway, a few wee pics from Whitehaven, and one of us lost en route home, where we suddenly found ourselves next to Scaffell Pike :)


Now available for UK research is the new second edition of the best selling Tracing Your Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians, whilst my new book British and Irish Newspapers is also now out. And please consider purchasing the great new version of Caledonia by The Libations at 79p via - all profits go to help fund Scottish foodbanks

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