Sunday, August 20, 2017

More about 7th Great Grandmother Syllina [Birkett] PORTAS - 1648-1720

Since 2014 I have been tracing my 7th great grandmother Syllina who married William PORTAS in 1679 Wold Newton, Lincolnshire, England. I started with finding her marriage record, but couldn't read her maiden name. That stopped me from going backward to her parents. A few months after that find, I found myself in Lincolnshire, England at the tail end to a long trip to Berlin and Venice. Anyway, I went to the Lincolnshire Archives where a wonderful researcher helped me read the old parish register page using a UV light. BINGO! The name BURKETT could be seen. Blog post about that is here.

Learning Syllina was a Burkett sent me to searching for her baptism record. What would be my chances of finding it? Very well as it turns out. Knowing she was from a certain area in Lincolnshire really helped even though I didn't know the parish where she was baptized. I found her in Ludborough and the baptism record showed both parents names...John and Margarett.

This brings be to my 2017 Family History Library (FHL) research trip in Salt Lake City, Utah. The FHL has changed so much since I was here in 2015. Most––if not all––of my Lincolnshire parish films are digitized and available for download. This has been a great help because I don't have to keep going up and down from a reader machine to mess with films. I just sit at my laptop, look up the parish records, scan the pages for what I want and when I find it...I hit the download button. My images are saved to my hard drive and I can then move them into any folder I choose.

I found Syllina's baptism record on Lincs to the Past website of Lincolnshire Archives and sent away for it. When I received it a couple weeks ago, I was thrilled and reworked it for this blog. The image is a little hard to read, but being from 1648 it is a good as it can get for that age. So I decided to also get another from FHL because they seem to have enhanced a lot of their digitized film images. Well, for me, when I found it here in FHL, it was pretty much the same, but I downloaded it anyway.

So in the image below, you can see her name spelled Sylena. Her father's name is John and mother's name Margarett. That is a big break. Spellings don't matter, but for the sake of my consistancy, I will spell her name Syllina.
Syllina's baptism record.
Sylena Burket daughter of John Burkette & Margaret bapt Dec 2__ 1648, Ludborough, Lincolnshire, England.
I haven't been able to see her full date of baptism, but can kind of see a "2" or is it a "20"? Well, that is about as good as it will get. 

Below is Syllina's marriage record to William Portas. It is 26 Jan 1679, Wold Newton, Lincolnshire. It is a parish not too far from Ludborough and I believe they were both in service in Wold Newton and that is where they met.

I enlarged the image. I asked one of the LDS floor personnel for help. We checked on names being used in Wold Newton during that time. Nothing came of our efforts. Names we came up with were Colbert, Cuthbert and others similar to that. I decided to get a high resolution image from the Lincolnshire Archives. When it came, my heart was pounding for the thought of the answer. Nothing. That image wasn't any better. I made contact with one of the Lincolnshire mail listers and he said the use of a UV light might produce the results. So almost nine months later the name was revealed by UV light. BIRKET. Who would have thunk? [Image was taken by me and use in November 2013 and July 2014 blog posts.]

In 2015, my previous trip to FHL, I found Syllina's burial record. Because I had her Will, I could approximate the date of when she was buried. Blog post on her Will is here. Syllina was buried 31 Oct 1720 in Tetney, Lincolnshire. She was widowed.

Sillina's burial record. Sillina Portis Widd bur. 31 Oct 1720 - Tetney, Lincolnshire, England.
Having her baptism, marriage, and burial records is quite an accomplishment for almost 10 years work. It does pay off. Below is the marriage record for Syllina's parents, John Burkitt (remember spelling doesn't matter) and Margarrett Cat_?

It took me a long time to figure out what was written in the first two lines of this overlay of the Kirkby cum Osgodby parish record of 1640. I found the parish information through and found the image on Lincs to the Past. I sent away for a high resolution image which is below. Anyway what it says is John Burkitt of Holton Le Claye and Margarrett Cat_ spinster of Addlethorpe was married by lisence 8 Oct 1640. Margarrett's maiden name is cut off at the seam. Married by license could mean they were either not of age or their parents didn't give permission. But in both cases I don't know why because they were both of age...John 21 and Margarrett 22. So your guess is as good as mine except it might be that neither belonged to that parish. That is most likely the case. 
Nicolas Birket and Margarett Cater's marriage record.
Syllina was baptized eight years her parents married. This leads me to believe there were a few siblings born before her, but I haven't found them yet. I did find four baptized after her. Yet the biggest question is what wasn't showing...Syllina's mother's maiden name. And you know a genealogist just can't let that go unsolved.

In the search field on, CATER is the surname that came up. I don't know how anyone could figure that out from what was showing, but never the less, as it turns out her maiden name is just that. 

How do I know for sure? It wasn't easy at first because I thought Margarrett's parish was Theddlethorpe and a look at that parish's film turned up nothing in the way of any CATER. Then for some reason, I looked at the marriage record again and Theddlethorpe suddenly became Addlethorpe! I got on that parish register and there it was...the name CATER. I saw it first at the bottom page of year 1610... George CATER, church warden. On further searching I came up with Margarrett's baptism record... Margarett CATER daughter of George baptized January 1618. I couldn't make out the day, but close enough...I got the answer that I wanted.

I am pretty sure I also found John Burkett's baptism. Upon another search on, I found several Johns, but picked out the one closest to Addlethorpe which was Ingoldmells. It is only a few miles apart and that was the most likely one to be my 8th great grandfather. He was baptized 20 Jun 1619 and his father is Nicholas. Now I can't be positive this is the right information, but the ages are close as well as the parishes. So you decide.

On further search I found Nicholas Burcet married Anne SWEETE on 1 Oct 1617 - Ingoldmells. Anne was baptized 9 Jun 1594 at Anderby and her father is Robert SWEIT. And this is where the research is a little dicey...most of the parish record pages can't be read or are missing or are in Latin. There are several Robertus which is causing some confusion. It will take some more time to sort them out since I found three Roberts and their dates of vitals don't come together like I would have wanted them to.

So this is where the Syllina story will end, I believe. 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Great Grandfather Buschick is Really Great Grandfather Voigt

I just switched names on two pictures in the family album: two great grandfathers, August F. Buschick and Henry Voigt. It has been quite a few years now since I received the family album; it's been years since I scanned all the pictures in it. It was about time I got the correct names under the great grandfathers.

The great grandfathers, side by side, on first page, and great grandmothers on the backside. Years ago I had put question marks next to their names: August Buschick? Henry Voigt? thinking their wives were back-to-back to them. But I wasn’t sure back then. One would think the grandfathers on one side of that first page would match up to the grandmothers on his back side. I penciled the names on the first page because there was no identification. I guess it could be they had never met their grandfathers since both died before either mom and Flo were born. On the great grandmother's side the writing is either my mother’s or aunt Florence’s. I knew the grandmother’s were correctly identified because both mom and aunt Flo were old enough before they died to remember them. So that is how the album pages have been for many years.

As it turns out the position of the pictures should have clued any of us on who was who. Position 1 on the great grandfather's page matches with position 1 on the great grandmother's page, not 1 with 2 (or back-to-back) positions as originally thought possible. As confusing as it was, it is moot now because they are properly identified in the album...finally! Henry Voigt is Henry, and August is August F. Buschick.

Recently I went to the Chicago History Museum Research Center (CHMRC) where I was told a picture of my great grandfather Buschick existed. Why would they have a picture of him there? Well, between the 1850s and 1880s, he was involved in and owned a steam boiler manufacturing business in Chicago and became somewhat well-known for one reason or another. 

The clerk brought my request over to the table. I donned the required white gloves, and opened the large envelope containing the infamous picture. One look and immediately I knew I had the wrong identification of him back home. The picture is a little different then the one in the album. It could be a little older, but he is wearing the same suit. Still they are the same person and that's what counts.


This must be the writing of a business partner or employee: A.F. Buschick; My old Supt. on the front and on the back is A.F. Buschick; 15 years my supt   GKS [?] 1885. (August died in 1883.) I believe the writing from a person who worked for, or with, August had to be correct. I don't think he would have known my great grandfather Henry Voigt who was a carpenter in another part of Chicago. [Incidentally, the picture has been catalogued in CHMRC as A.J. Buschick. I mentioned the correct initials to the clerk. I hope she has a chance to correct it.]

For several years, I knew the CHMRC had a picture of my great grandfather, but things got in the way and I just never got over there until recently. This image confirmed I had to switch the identifications in the album. Big problem: the image of Henry identified as August Buschick is out on’s family trees and there are too many trees to try to correct. It is also on one of my earlier blog posts. I have since made a note on that post. I just hope someone who is reading this blog post owns one of those online trees and will correct the error. I am truly sorry this has happened, but it does and is now corrected. This is what genealogists/family historians do…correct errors as we research.