Generations

I have finalised, as of now, the archival record that connects me with my great, great grandfather, Samuel Ford.  The publication, Generations is now available for download.

This is the second of a series of books which I intend to publish through the internet as open source material.

Again the proviso is that the material is used for educational or family history purposes only and that it is not used for any commercial purpose.

I would also caution those who would like to add the material to one of the popular commercial ancestry websites.  I have not provided the material of my own research to such sites.

A Ship Has Been Sighted: The Story of Samuel Ford

I have decided to publish the material I have collected over the previous fourteen years concerning the Ford/Wright genealogy.

As things turned out the Ford heritage is very much tied to Margaret Wright who married Samuel Ford on Cumbrae sometime in 1815.

The new addition to the site, including an appropriate change of name, is downloadable on the proviso that the material is used for educational or family history purposes only and that it is not used for any commercial purpose.

The Story of Samuel Ford may be found here.

Blanks, Missing Records, and Other Defects ..

So what happens when the family researcher comes up with a blank, when the search engines return a ‘nil’ response?

The reaction can be unsettling to say the least.  But sometimes the way out is a simply email.  When I could not find a marriage certificate I finally contacted the national actives.  The result was welcome but also gives some insight why your best attempts to locate the missing data are not without good reason.

Read more here.

 

For the record ..

Following my last article, There are Records and then there are Records, I have been contacted by a reader who quite legitimately questioned my rationale behind a statement I made with reference to the birth of Susanna Ford.

The point of concern was the fact that the source upon which I was relying, that is the birth certificate of Susanna Ford, was in fact a ‘collective’ record rather than an ‘individual’ record of Susanna’s birth.  The point being made, how can I assert that such record is correct given the number of years between those who appear on the collective record?  This is a thoughtful question and deserve a considered response particular given the subject matter of the previous article.

My latest article may be accessed here.

 

Smuggling

Surrounded as it was by the expanse of the Clyde estuary Cumbrae was perhaps the most logical place to station a revenue cutter early in the 18th century.  Although the island did not boast a particularly safe anchorage, something which was later rectified, the island was central to the activity of smuggling.  The island was however a sentinel guarded the passage into the Western heart of the Scottish mainland.

The island’s centrality eventually lead to the stationing of the Royal George revenue cutter on the island in the latter part of the 18th century where it remain until 1820 when it sailed away never to be replace.

There is no real evidence suggesting that Cumbrae was the heart of smuggling activities across the Clyde, although, given the times, those with a fishing boat may well have indulged.  Rather, as far as Samual Ford was concerned, the sudden influx of a large revenue crew worked in his favour in a rather unexpected way.

The influx of a large crew needed to sail the Royal George resulted in turn a demand for house.  The solution, which appears to have only happened only on Cumbrae, was a distribution of land to those connected with the Royal George.

When the government initiated what was called the ‘preventative service’, it effectively sold the rights to investors, most of whom were farmers simply because farmers had the finance needed for such a large investment.  The deal proved beneficial to the investors and the number of preventative cutters, later called revenue cutters, increased as did the famers, and the governments, coffers.

But the benefits did not end there.  The crew of the revenue fleet, called mariners rather than seaman, could expect to double their wages through the distribution of the proceeds from seized contraband and impounded vessels.  The result was, for the island of Cumbrae, a distribution of those proceeds across the island.

The question i have addressed in my latest posts has been the issue of initial problem, namely smuggling which you can find here.