Where there's a will, Irish ancestry and Stoke Damerel vs Gretna Green.
1. Where there's a will.........
Ancestry recently released more records on wills, specifically National Registry of Wills in England and Wales for the period from 1858 to 1966. This has provided us with lots of wills for famous people and allows us to be nosey, and indulge in a good bit of celebrity gossip. Dylan Thomas, Florence Nightingale, Lewis Carroll, Oscar Wilde, Winston Churchill to name but a few. Have a look but also make sure you check your own ancestors. The detail to be found in wills in very impressive and can give you that sought after next step, identifying relations (even those 'unofficial' ones!).
2. World Leaders with Irish ancestry
JFK hits the top of the list for world leaders with Irish ancestry. Second is Ronald Reagan followed by Barrack Obama. Perhaps more surprisingly Che Guevara was 4th! Who would have though he'd had Irish roots? The survey was conducted for Findmypast in both the UK and the US.
I always think polls like are completely pointless but extremely entertaining. I would like to see who else was on the list of 10 politicians that the 4000 respondents could pick from. Does anyone know who they were?
3. Another 4.6 million records for Ancestry
Ancestry continues its march for genealogy dominance, releasing another 4.6 million records. This time its UK, Poll Books and Electoral Registers, 1538-1893 that have been released. Whilst for most of us this may not help in our research, you just never know, and with more and more records coming online every week, that connection or verification you were looking for may well be available right now. It just goes to show that if you hit a brick wall, the answer may not be as far away as you think.
4. Stoke Damerel, the Gretna Green of the West
Findmypast launched Plymouth and West Devon parish recently and discovered that Stoke Damerel was an important marriage center, rivalling even Gretna Green. At its height, they were marrying 10-12 couples a day and averaged higher that Gretna does today.
This could be due to Stoke Damerel's proximity to Plymouth and its naval dockyards. With so many young men in service (whether volunteers or impressed) and seeing several wars over the years, it comes as no surprise that young lovers sought marriage so commonly. I have to say, I cant blame them!