29 July 2016

The Monument to the Joynes family in St Marys Churchyard Hendon

"...my Will is that I may be buryed in London Church Yard in the said County of Middlesex at the East End of the Chancell Building in a Grave of eight ffoot in depth to lye next to the Coffin of my late dear and beloved Wife Mary Joynes who was buried there in the beginning of September 1746 and that a Monument of Portland Stone may be set up there according to a draught prepared by me..."
So willed my 5x great grandfather Henry Joynes (abt 1684-1754) before his death. I had the opportunity recently to visit St Mary's Churchyard Hendon, where this monument now stands. I guessed it was a reasonable sized monument and it has Grade II listed conservation status, and therefore I was hopeful that I would be able to find it. And I did!

St Marys Churchyard Hendon
I spent some time transcribing the inscription on the monument, which actually commemorates five members of the extended Joynes family. I'm glad I managed to do this, because the inscription for Henry Joynes was extremely weathered and very difficult to see - I had to use my fingers to gently trace the shape of the letters to work out what they were. And the weathering will only get worse. It had also sunk on an angle, but at least didn't look likely to topple over any time soon.

The southern-facing side of the monument was dedicated to Henry Joynes himself:
Near this place lyes the Body of
He was Comptroller and Conductor
of the Building of Blenheim House
in Oxfordshire from 1705 to 1715.
He was Surveyor of
Kensington Palace and Gardens
from 1715 to the last of his Days.
He was Many Years Surveyor of
the Sewers in Westminster.
He departed this Life the 2nd Day
of July 1754, Aged 70 Years.
The side facing east had the most inscribed on it. In the top section was an inscription for Henry's daughter Frances:
this Life the 3rd Day of May
1749, Aged 28 Years
In the lower section of the east-facing side was an inscription in honour of Henry's wife Mary, and below that, her sister Elizabeth (noted as Henry's sister, but technically his sister-in-law):
Westward of this monument
lyes the Body of MARY
the Wife of HENRY JOYNES Esqr
who Departed this Life
the 29th Day of August 1746,
Aged 60 Years,
leaving three Sons,
and two Daughters FRANCES & MARY.
Also the Body
of ELIZABETH PEISLEY, his sister,
who Departed this Life
the 30th Day of September 1746,
Aged 63 Years.
On the northern side of the monument, in the top section, was an inscription for Henry's son Thomas:
this Life the 14th Day of Dec
1750, Aged 28 years.
This news article from the London Evening Post (Dec 13-15, 1750) explains the sorry circumstances of Thomas' death:
"On Thursday Night last, between Ten and Eleven o'Clock, Mr. Thomas Joynes, Son of Henry Joynes, of Kensington, Esq; and Brother to Mr Joynes, of the Middle-Temple, going along the Strand, some Villains stopp'd him, and took from him his Hat and Wig, then knock'd him down, and robb'd him of what Money he had in his Pocket. He got home to his Lodgings, went to bed, and the next Morning, the Family not hearing him stir at the usual Hour, went into his Room, and found him dead in his Bed."
These are not the only family members buried in the churchyard at Hendon, but disappointingly, I was unable to locate the others, being Samuel Joynes, son of Henry and Mary - "Mr Joynes, of the Middle-Temple" noted above, and also Mary Baumgarten née Joynes, daughter of Henry and Mary Joynes, and her husband Samuel Christian Frederick Baumgarten. There are many gravestones which are too weathered to read, and perhaps some of these commemorated these other ancestors. 

20 July 2016

The Battle of Fromelles

This is the gravestone of Amy Selina Weiss née Blanch, and Walter Herbert Weiss, her husband, in Rookwood Cemetery, Sydney. The gravestone also commemorates three of their sons - Frederick Albert Weiss and Erle Victor Weiss, who both were killed in action in World War 1, plus Harry Blanch Weiss, a POW in World War 2, who died while working on the Thai Burma Railway.

I am focusing here on Frederick Albert Weiss because he died in the Battle of Fromelles, which took place 100 years ago. Fromelles is a small village in France which, in 1916, was behind German lines. On the evening of July 19 1916 Australian and British forces attacked the German forces at Fromelles. By 8am the next morning the Allied forces withdrew, after the loss or wounding of some 5500 Australian and 1500 British soldiers. 

Private Frederick Albert Weiss, service number 3578A, was born at Anna Bay, NSW, in 1892, the second child and eldest son of Amy and Walter Weiss. Like his father, Fred was a school teacher - at the time of his enlistment he was an associate teacher at West Wyalong Public School, where his father was the headmaster.

He joined up at age 22 and he embarked for The Front in September 1915. After spending some time in northern Africa, Fred arrived in Marseilles on 28 June 1916. He was killed less than a month later on July 19th. An eyewitness from his battalion, Percy Dickson, stated that Fred was shot in the stomach, and then was probably blown up by the enemy's heavy shelling. They were unable to retrieve his body at the time due to the shelling. He was officially listed as missing in action on July 28, and this was updated to killed in action on September 2, 1917. His body was never recovered. DNA testing is being carried out on remains found in mass graves at Fromelles, and DNA from two Weiss family members has been submitted.

I am pleased that yesterday a close relative of mine was able to visit VC Corner at Fromelles, where Fred is officially commemorated, on the 100th anniversary of his death to pay her respects.

15 July 2016

Hints and Tips: Latin word resources for family history research

I've had photos of German Roman Catholic parish registers for ages that I've been meaning to go through and translate, and I'm finally getting around to it. Many old Roman Catholic registers are written in Latin, as are these.

My Latin knowledge extends mainly to those words used to describe plants (I'm a botanist), but not so much to those words which might be used in a parish register. However, I've found three very useful resources, which used in conjunction, I have been able to make sense of much of the entries I've been looking at so far.

The first one is the Latin Genealogical Word List from FamilySearch. It gives a great general overview of words that might come up in your family history research. 

The second one is a list of Latin place names. Without that I would never have guessed that Moguntiae actually meant Mainz, Germany.

The last one is Parish Register Latin: An Introduction, by C. Russell Jensen, available on Internet Archive. This one is a lot more comprehensive than the first resource listed here, and you could possibly teach yourself how to read the Latin reasonably well with it, if you had the time or inclination. For me though, the most useful part was the Latin-English Word List, starting on page 385. Often I can work out some of the letters in a handwritten word, and being able to look at words which might be used in the same context and/or start with the same letters can often help me decipher the likely word. 

Hopefully these resources might help you to make better sense of your Latin parish register entries as well!

14 July 2016

The Beringer mill

We were visiting friends up north, and on the way back we took a detour to visit where the Beringer family came from, in the Eltville area near Wiesbaden.

We found the old mill that used to be in the family on a street named "An der Lochmühle", on the way into the resort town of Schlangenbad. It has been rebuilt since my ancestors lived and worked there, though the general layout of the buildings on the land is very similar to what it once was. However it was good to see where it was, and imagine my ancestors there, and to walk past the creek that young Beringer children might have played in in summers of years gone by.

This plaque was on the side of the building behind the mill wheel. It reads:
Als Mahlmühle erbaut 1698
Neu errichtet 1937 durch
Hein A. Moeller"
which translates as "Lochmühle. Built as a grist mill 1698. Newly built in 1937 by Hein A. Moeller."

As well as seeing the mill, I checked out some of the local cemeteries, to see if there were any remaining headstones of long gone relatives. I wasn't expecting much, because in Germany graves can be recycled every 30 years or so, but I was rather hoping they might have kept old headstones. I checked three local cemeteries - Rauenthal, Martinstal and Schlangenbad, but sadly nothing there appeared relevant. Rauenthal had only new headstones, Martinstal had a couple of older ones amongst all the new, and Schlangenbad was a very quiet cemetery, way off up the hill from the town, with a number of headstones remaining from the time of my Beringers, but still there was no luck. 

I could have done much more exploring in the area, but we still had a good number of hours' drive before we would be home, and the kids were getting restless so I had to leave it at that. Maybe another time... 

06 July 2016

Walter McIndoe part 2

I'm still trying to sort out Walter McIndoe. I truly suspect that the Walter McIndoe born to Robert McIndoe and Bethia Duncan in Strathblane, Stirlingshire on 7th July 1763 is NOT the Walter McIndoe who lived and worked on Ladrishmore Farm, Kilmaronock, Dunbartonshire.

The Parish of Strathblane and its inhabitants (Smith, 1886) states on page 46 that "Walter McIndoe, son of Robert McIndoe and nephew of James McIndoe, last [laird] of Carbeth, was a merchant in Virginia, US, and died unmarried." 

According to A Dictionary of Scottish Immigrants to the USA (Whyte, 2009, p286), Walter McIndoe, nephew of James McIndoe of Carbeth, Stirlingshire, settled in Petersburg, Virginia, before 1821, and worked as a merchant. 

Walter McIndoe is listed for Petersburg in the Personal/Property Tax Lists for 1790 and 1799. As a result of the American Revolution a Loyalist Claim was placed by a W. McIndoe in Virginia in 1806 - it wouldn't be unheard of for a Scot to side with the British Crown. Walter McIndoe was still living in Petersburg, Dinwiddie County, Virginia, in the 1830 US Census, but no longer there by the 1840 Census, presumably because he died during that decade. Although none of these particular records  confirm this Walter McIndoe is Scottish, it all certainly fits in the timeline.

So, I am willing to provisionally accept that Walter McIndoe, son of Robert McIndoe and Bethia Duncan, did emigrate to America, and therefore that Walter McIndoe of Ladrishmore Farm is not the son of Robert McIndoe and Bethia Duncan. 

So this means I need to make some adjustments to my family tree, and find new parents for Walter McIndoe of Ladrishmore Farm. I'm not expecting it to be easy!