December 23 - Christmas Sweetheart
The topic suggested for today was Christmas Sweetheart. Since, I don't have a sweetheart, I will share two stories about Christmas that involve genealogy.
One year not too long ago (can't remember the year exactly but post 1995 - the two boys in the story are grown up and have children), I was going to be alone at Christmas. When my friend Brenda heard that, she invited me to come to her place for Christmas Day. The food was good and tasty and it was great not to be eating alone. We played a spirited game of trivial pursuit with her boys. This was all fun but what I remember most was that we did genealogical research. Brenda had the 1881 British census on CD. We had fun doing searches on both our families. Brenda and I share a love of genealogical research. We have gone on short research trips together as we are both researching people in common in Markham Township, York County, Ontario. Thank you Brenda for those great memories and your friendship.
Christmas 2000 - I was preparing a short family history for my siblings - focusing on my parents and their direct lines up and down. As Christmas approached, everything was coming together quite well when I received an e-mail that truly was a gift. I subscribe to the Rootsweb web mailing list for Gloucestershire England. From time to time, I had responded to queries mainly focusing on methodology. One of the reader's saw my name and sent me an e-mail wondering if we had any family connections. John listed his direct line. I couldn't see a connection, so I wrote him back (off-line) with mine.
On December 20, 2000, John wrote back.
Thank you for your Email. Do you believe in Father Christmas? Well you should, for your GGGF James was the brother of my GGGF Edwin.
They were the sons of Richard Iles and Patience nee Blandford and were baptised at Elkstone in the parish of Brimpsfield as EYLES. James was baptised 4.9.1823 and Edwin 25.12.1825 - with Isaac in between on 12.12.1824!
So far I have traced no less than 16 children of the marriage - poor Patience, she was certainly well named!
He provided me with an important detail -- where in Gloucestershire I should be researching my Iles family. John had given me the necessary clues I needed to successfully research parish registers and census records at my local family history centre. Thank you for your great gift, John.