Thursday, 18 July 2013

Fanny HALSTEAD b1843

Now I am the first to admit that I have often been critical of some of the family trees on the Ancestry website but not all are tarred with the same brush.

In trying to resolve what happened to Fanny HALSTEAD b1843 Halifax, Yorkshire (and some of the rest of the family come to that) I resorted to Ancestry just to see if there were any clues.

What I stumbled onto was a real goldmine. A tree full of sources that included Fanny and her siblings. But it also had the details of the ancestors for a couple of generations and that has enabled me to link many other minor trees in the database together.

There are a couple of interesting things that I noticed. There are at least three HALSTEAD-HALSTEAD marriages in there and all of these families left well before the start of the passenger lists in the UK in 1890.
Ironically I still haven't found out what happened to Fanny after the 1871 census!

John Hanson

Saturday, 25 May 2013

John HALSTEAD b1794

John HALSTEAD (1794-?) is the progenitor of Chart 20 and whilst working on cleaning up some of the database I have managed to take John back a further generation to his parents Isaac HALSTEAD and Elizabeth.

There are a number is other children, several of which are already in the database and will therefore all link up further

The children of Isaac HALSTEAD and Elizabeth were all born in Gargrave and are

John (1792-?) married Sarah SHACKLETON
Robert (1794-1802)
Richard (1796-?)
Nathan (1798-?) married Ann STOTT (there is no trace of them after 1851 and I believe that they went abroad)
Alice (1800-?) married William TWISTLETON in 1825 their daughter Ann TWISTLETON is already in the database
Isaac (1803-1803)
Catherine Rycroft (1806-?)
Isaac (1809-?)

This led me to a family tree on Ancestry where I have been able to trace some of the children - some of which are already in the database! The tree goes back to a John HALSTEAD (b1667) so I will have to do some more research on this one.

Will have to wait a while for the parish records to appear online as Gargrave is in North Yorkshire and their records (I suspect) will form part of the Yorkshire records due to go on announced at Who Do You Think You Are Live in February 2013

Thursday, 9 May 2013

To Keep you posted

Even since the last update a few weeks ago and my plans to add the details of the wills that I have things have changed. I did make a start and have got as far a John in the alphabetical list of first names.

However a spate of enquires and the release of Version 5 of Second Site (the software that is used to build the website from The Master Genealogist database).

New enquiries are always welcome - even if it is to only point out an error. One of the biggest problems with a one-name study of this size is trying to sort out the common first names. for example there are over 1,700 births, marriages and deaths between 1837 and 2005 that mention John as a first name.

The recent enquiries have enabled more information to be added to the master database on recent descendants and whilst these are living people their details will not appear on the website but they are included in the master database. the more interesting ones are from


The next website update will be on Sunday 12th May and will include the new features of Second Site 5

John Hanson

Monday, 15 April 2013

Website update - May 2013

My apologies for the delay in this latest website update. I know that many of you follow the blog, and use the website for their research, even if we haven’t been in contact. This is due to a number of personal reason as well as trying to do too many things at the same time and not just with the Halstead research.

My aim from now on is to update the website on the first weekend on every month so that you can plan your next visit. If you do find any mistakes then please let me know. Better still if you can add more information to what is already there. Have you broken a brick wall that we have? or have you progressed a family further back?

So what has been going on in the world that affects the Halstead research?

I have spent some time re-organising behind the scenes the vast amount of information that has been accumulated over the years, much of it by the Trust's benefactor Ray Lewis-Jones. Unfortunately Ray never had a proper filing system and finding anything was like opening Pandora’s Box. All of it has been scanned but I recently came across some more material that had slipped the net and now needs to be added.

I have also been re-organising the vast collection of digital copies of certificates, wills, etc that I have. The details of the birth, marriage and death certificates that we have are already listed on the website. I plan in the next month to add a page detailing the people for whom we have copies of their wills.

The major websites of Ancestry and findmypast continue to add new material at a rate that it higher than I can keep up with at times! A lot of this material is parish registers and therefore of great interest as a lot of it comes complete with images of the originals.

findmypast now has material from the Canterbury Cathedral Archives, Cheshire, Hertfordshire, Manchester, Plymouth and West Devon, Westminster and of course all of the Welsh parishes. Of interest to the Halstead research is that they announced at Who Do You Think You Are Live in 2013 that they have won the contract to digitise, transcribe and put online the material in the Yorkshire Digitisation Consortium, which comprises six archives but not West Yorkshire. when this will be remains to be seen but I will update you as soon as I know.

Ancestry have recently added the Lancashire Archives, based in Preston, to their list of archives with material online with them. However the quality of the transcripts and linking of the images does leave a little to be desired at times. This is only the first pass of the process and I usually wait for the major update before I have a look at it. the current material there seems only to cover the parishes that are available in microfilm or microfiche formats in the archives themselves. This now means that Ancestry now has parish records online (with original images) for the London Metropolitan Archives, Liverpool, Manchester, West Riding Yorkshire, Dorset, Warwickshire (but not Birmingham) and Wiltshire.