Monthly Archives: January 2014

52 Ancestors #2 William Dungan

I was up in London last Wednesday and when I returned home I saw on Ancestry that one of their new records was “England & Wales, Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills, 1384-1858” . I knew from reading other people’s research that at least one ancestor had left a will in the 17th Century and was pleased to find it and see a scan of the will – even though I can’t really read the details it was nice to be able to pick out some of the names and match these to transcriptions I’d seen of the will.

Putting in other ancestor’s names from this time period (I’ll admit that when new sources appear sometimes I’ll just throw some names at it speculatively) I found a few more including today’s subject.

I have known very little about my 10th Great Grandfather William Dungan although there is a lot more information about his wife Frances Latham as she went on to be known as “The Mother of Governors”. He was a perfumer and was from the London parish St Martins in the Field. He was married to Frances Latham and had four children who emigrated with her and her second husband to New England. He died about September 1636. That’s about all I knew about him. With the will it’s still pretty much all I know for sure about him but it’s fascinating to see a document that he had such a close connection to. Searching online it seems that there is speculation about his background with some older theories being disproved so I’ll stick with my one concrete piece of evidence for now. I don’t even know if a perfumer was a maker or seller of perfume.

For years, whenever I’ve passed through Trafalgar Square I’ve looked at St Martins in the Fields and every time I wonder a bit about him. The church isn’t the same one he would have attended as it was rebuilt in 1726 and looking through the crypt (thich is now a cafe and gallery) the oldest stones and monuments I can see date from around this time. It’s well worth a visit if you’re going through London though and they often have concerts or exhibitions there as well as doing a lot of work with the homeless.

For those wondering where the pigeons are in the shots of Trafalgar Square they’ve disappeared in the last decade or so with banning the sale of bird food and then banning the feeding of the pigeons at all as well as the use of birds of prey.


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52 Ancestors #1 Susan Webb – The perils of being given work done by others

When I began my research I was lucky that there had been work done by various relatives on pretty much every side of the family. That’s great – isn’t it? Well maybe not, especially since none of them really recorded where the information had come from and if the information had errors, even small ones.

So my week one entry (technically it is week two but I’ll ignore that) for the 52 Ancestors Challenge is my third Great Grandmother Susan Webb. She married George Odell and the two of them emigrated to Canada with their children in about 1870 settling in Lambton County.

I’m not going to name names on who gave the information on them but I knew he was from Tingreth in Bedfordshire and she was from Stepney which is in London. So far so good and it pretty much made sense. I’m not sure how a woman from London married a man from Bedfordshire but they aren’t that far away so it could be possible.

As I’m now living in the UK I hoped I’d be able to visit Tingrith someday and found it on the road atlas – just off the M1. While I was looking at the map I noticed something interesting. There was a small village near it called Steppingley. It made me wonder if there may have been some misremembering or mistranslation along the line. When I checked the 1861 census I found them – and her birthplace was listed as Steppingley. Following this I was able to locate their marriage in Steppingley on 30 Sept 1853.

This made me realise I needed to use a much more critical eye on what I’m accepting. Unfortunately, I know I have fallen into the trap of grafting people to my tree and having to prune them out when I look at the logic later. I know I need to have a good clear out and am working to add sources to my information and evaluate with a clearer eye. I’ll still be interested in the research others have done but I think I’ll use it as a starting point for my own research if the sources aren’t clearly stated.

In an effort to pull together the sourced records I have for Susan Webb I’ve located the following:

Susan Webb

Father: William Webb

Mother: Ann Bunker

Married: George Odell (Son of James Henry Odell and Mary Mayles)

Marriage Date: 30 Sep 1853

Death: 27 Nov 1895, Enniskillen Township, Lambton County, Ontario, Canada

Cause of Death: Heart Disease, 30 minutes

Susan Odell (37) arrived in Canada from Liverpool on 27 Apr 1870 at Quebec on the “Austrian” with her husband Geo (37, labourer) Odell and children George (15, labourer), Phoebe (13, spinster), Henry (11), Susan (7), Wm (6), Jane (5), Anne (3), and Sarah (infant). There are several other Odells on the same page of the register that I will need to look into in the future.

Census Records:

1841 (England): Susan Webb (8) – living in Steppingley with her parents William (35) and Anne (35) Webb and siblings Sarah (15), Ruth (13), Amelia (10), Phoebe (5), and John (2)

1851 (England): Susan Webb (17, plaiter) – living in Steppingley with her parents William (48, Farm Labourer) and Ann (47) Webb and siblings Ruth (23, Pauper), Amelia (20, plaiter), Phoebe (15, plaiter), John (12, Labourer), and their grandson Daniel Webb (11 months)

1861 (England): Susan Odell (27, Lab Wife) – living In Woodend, Westoning (very close to Tingreth) with her husband George (28, Ag Lab) Odell and children James (9, Ag Lab), George (6, Scholar), Phoebe (4), Henry (2), and Susan (7 months)

1871 (Canada): Susan Odell (39) – Living in  South Fredericksburg Township, Lennox and Addington County, Ontario with her husband George (39, Farmer) Odell and children James (19, Farmer), George (16, Farmer), Phebe (14, Servant), Henry (12), Susan (10), William (8), Jane (6), Anna (4) and Sarah (2). All are listed as being Wesleyan Methodists and born in England

1881 (Canada): Susan Odell (48) – Living in Enniskillen Township, Lambton County, Ontario with her husband George (49, Farmer) Odell and children George (27), Henry (23), Susan (21), William (19), Janie (16), Annie (14), Sarah (12), and Thomas (9). Thomas is listed as being born in Ontario but the rest are all born in England and are listed as Episcopal Methodists.

1891 (Canada): Susan Odell (59) – Living in Enniskillen Township, Lambton County, Ontario with her husband George (60, Farmer) Odell and children Harry (32, Farmer), Annie (24, Dressmaker), Sarah (22), Thomas (18) and their daughter Susan Preastby (30) and granddaughter Ruby Preastby (9 months). Thomas and Ruby are listed as being born in Ontario but the others were all born in England and all are listed as Methodists. Susan Preastby is listed as married. All the adults are listed as able to read but Susan Odell is not listed as being able to write.

I also have:

Born : About 1834, Steppingley, Bedfordshire, England – deduced from various census records/marriage etc.

Baptised: 01 Jul 1849, Steppingley, Bedfordshire, England – I’ve noted this and I know it would have been from a trip to the Bedford Record office but I’ve not put the source clearly so I’ll put it as a probable for now

There is a story that the ladies of the Tingreth Manor House (the Misses Trevor) gave the family a trunk to be opened when they reached Canada but that this was lost over the side of the ship when disembarking. Makes for a good tale at least.

There is information about the family (including some photos) on

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What have I been up to

Well it looks like I was just about to go to Summer School in 2009 when I was last active so here’s a very brief update on the last few years.

2009 – Summer School was great and we had a lot of fun with the dying. Went up to Scotland over the New Year but all the rivers were frozen and the only paddling the group did was on the Wii in the lounge of the cottage we were staying in.

2010 – Had a great trip to Canada in June as I became an Aunt again – to a beautiful little girl. One of each flavour now. Had a brilliant time as part of the Crew at KnitNation. Had a great time in August at my Grandma’s five yearly reunion in North Bay.

2011 – Trip back to North Bay in February for Grandma’s funeral, it was nice to see everyone again but I wonder if we’ll have the reunion again without her. Didn’t go to the Association Summer School but went to the Heritage Weavers, Spinners, and Dyers conference in Calgary. Volunteered again on the KnitNation crew and managed to win a lovely prize at the Bingo while there. Celebrated ten years of marriage by DH going to a paddling symposium in the US – Not sure we’ve managed to be in the same place (or even the same country) for very many of the anniversaries so it’s now a tradition. Went to Top Gear Live and really enjoyed the show.

2012 – Spent far too much time at the Hendricks venue at the Brighton Fringe (well they had some great shows, and lots of gin). Had a holiday in June with my family in Tofino, BC for my Parent’s fortieth anniversary. I was a Gamesmaker for the Paralympics and had a great time in Event Services for the Archery and Shooting at the Royal Artillery Barracks. I also got to go to the technical rehearsal for the opening ceremony for the Olympics – although my knitting was confiscated by security so I had to sacrifice my needles for both my projects. We managed to get tickets to the Women’s Quarterfinals for the Beach Volleyball – great day out and a fun time. Had a fun time at Lee Valley when DH got his new boat in November – a custom paintjob of a Union Jack on a 2013 Jackson Star. Lots of interested looks and it was fun taking photos of him on the Olympic Slalom course. Another trip to Tog Gear Live in October then a Spinning weekend in the New Forest in November. Became an Auntie again (another nephew) and spend the New Year in Wales – where this time there was lots of water for the paddlers.

2013 – Kind of a mixed year…

On the negative side, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in March so had six sessions of Chemo from April to July followed by a mastectomy at the beginning of September and Radiation throughout November. The oncologists said it looks to have been successful so it’s Tamoxifen for five years and reconstruction surgery (including a free tummy tuck) sometime in late 2014. DH and I both lost our jobs – finding out on the same day which was a bit annoying. Mine wasn’t a surprise – we’d been advised they were proposing this in February and in May we found out that our department was being outsourced so my last date of work was Dec 27th although I’d been off on sick leave since June. DH finished at the end of May but started a new job in High Wycombe in the middle of July. I’ll be starting to look for work in High Wycombe as we’re renting a flat up here but we’ll be keeping the Brighton flat for the time being.

Treatment wasn’t too bad – Chemo was the worst but apart from one stint in the hospital with low blood counts it was OK. Occasional nausea and tiredness as well as the hair loss were the main side effects. I didn’t bother getting a wig – just used head scarves – and it was actually really comfortable since it was right in the middle of a huge heatwave in July. It’s grown back and is looking good now. I had a port-a-cath put in so that I could have blood tests and treatment more easily. It makes everything so much easier as they don’t need to look for veins – just put the special needle through the port – I’d recommend anyone going through any kind of long term treatment to ask their doctors about them. I was surprised at how little pain there was after the surgery and I was back on my feet (although taking it easy) really quickly. Make sure you do the exercises they gave you – I did for the first week or two then slipped into the habit of just using it as normal and making sure I stretched it when I had a chance. It worked for me – it might not work for others though. Radiation was the easiest treatment – it’s a lot of sitting around waiting for your turn on the machine – then they pose you on the table, read out a series of numbers to each other while they position you, then leave the room while the machine buzzes. I can’t thank the nurses enough – they do an amazing job and I’ve been really impressed with the treatment I’ve had from them and the NHS throughout this.

On the positive side for 2013 – I became an Auntie again in July – a little girl this time so my brother and sister have one of each now. I had a great visit back to Calgary in January and again for Christmas. My parents both came for a visit in May and Mom came again for three weeks around the surgery – although luckily I didn’t really need too much help getting around. I went to Summer School again – dying with Madder for the week and we made Turkey Red.

Hopefully 2014 will be better.

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Welcome Back

It’s been a while since I dipped my toes into blogland but I ran across an interesting challenge that I think will bring me back to it.

The challenge posted on is to do a blog post a week about an ancestor throughout 2014 – it could be something interesting about them or they could be causing a roadblock in your research, or it could just be a way to share something new.

I’m going to ignore the fact that I may have already filed the challenge as the first week of the year is almost over. Since I’m starting out with the blog I’ll dedicate the first week to sorting it out and giving my general research interests. I guess that means that my first week’s ancestor may be myself

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