Mystery Monday – The Jowetts in Basford Cemetery

I haven’t done a great deal of research into the Jowett side of my family up to yet, other than a basic gathering of names from the Census and a handful of certificates.

Browsing in the Nottinghamshire Archives some time ago I came across a memorial inscription in Basford cemetery, Nottingham for my 2x Great-grandparents Edmund Jowett and his wife Theresa (nee Bates). It records the deaths of Edmund in 1908, his wife Theresa in 1932 and two of their sons, Thomas and Henry, who sadly both died at the age of five just over a year apart.

I was puzzled by the reference to Theresa as I can 270d6a1964b744cf0682321e3b9518bd600c47d67e6945f888ed6a08c827fa38remember my Grandmother telling me that Theresa had remarried and that she “wasn’t a Jowett when she died.” I assumed (never a good thing in genealogy!) that Theresa had been buried under the name Jowett and had therefore not remarried at all. Also all four burials share the same reference number: 1185 so I’d assumed (again!) that they were in the same grave.

I’d put this to one side and not followed up with any more research, but a couple of weeks ago I began to search the actual burial records for Basford, looking for any of my ancestors names. I found an Edmund Jowett (died 1908) and a Theresa Hallam (died 1932) in grave 4 of section F1. Theresa had purchased the grave in perpetuity Further on I found Thomas (died 1880) and Henry Jowett (died 1881) in grave 34, section K3.

I thought at first I’d got the wrong family in the memorial inscriptions, but on checking all the dates of death match up and there is no other family in Nottingham with the same names in the census records. I’ve also found a marriage between a Theresa Jowett and John Hallam in Nottingham in 1914 which helps tie things together.

However, I still don’t understand the differences in the records, so I’ll be asking for some help next time I’m at the Nottinghamshire Family History Society meeting as well as ordering the relevant certificates to back up what I hope I’ve found. A visit to Basford Cemetery may also be on the cards!


Motivation Monday – Top Ten for 2016

My genealogy ‘to-dos’ are numerous & I never seem to make much progess, probably because I’m too easily distracted by those pesky shaking leaves* on Ancestry!

So I’ve decided to list the top ten things I could really do with getting to the bottom of and hope that a list will keep me focussed!


  1. Finish searching the French online records for my Oldham family in Calais. The Census and Birth/Marriage/Death records are all freely available online. I’ve found the family in 1866, but also need to look further back to see if the previous generation spent time there and also if any of them went to Australia.
  2. Transcribe sections of Joseph Woolley’s diary and finish reading/copying the remainder at the Nottingham Archives. Continuing with the Oldham family, but this time in Clifton, Nottinghamshire. Joseph Woolley was a framework knitter from Clifton, as well as his own business his diary documents he commented on his neighbours and local events. I need to transcribe the pages I’ve already photographed and finish reading the remaining sections in the Archives.
  3. Finish checking the Methodist records at the Nottinghamshire Archives. I’m mostly looking for Oldhams in these records, but other family names have cropped up too.
  4. Make use of the Nottinghamshire Family History Society’s research room. To find more Oldham information, specifically Thomas Oldknow Oldham’s birth/baptism around 1834. Also check their online databases.
  5. Finish reading Percy Richardson’s war diary and finish the blog posts.
  6. Tidy and reorganise documents, certificate and books. Before ordering any more!
  7. Check out parish records on Find My Past. Look for my May family in Frant, Sussex from 1600 working backwards.
  8. Visit some local churchyards to look for gravestones. Sawley, Moira, Donisthorpe, Church Wilne, Draycott, Basford, Ashby-de-la-Zouch & others aren’t too far away to visit and record any memorial inscriptions.
  9. Look for tithe maps and census information for Pilsley. To find out who lived in and/or owned my late father-in-law’s farmhouse.
  10. Start scanning photos. I received a Doxie Flip as a Christmas present so I’m intending to scan and share many of my photos.

So – lots to do!

*if you have your family tree uploaded to Ancestry, they kindly add a little ‘shaking leaf’ to any family member they may have records available for, which is usually enough to distract me from doing what I’d orginally logged on to do in the first place!

Tuesday Tip – Looking again… and again…..

Visiting Nottingham Archives for the first time in a while over the summer, I realised they’d moved the shelves around.  The microfiche indexes, which I had gone in to look at, had moved round the corner to a different shelf; in their place I came across a transcript of memorial inscriptions for Basford cemetery, completed by the Nottinghamshire Family History Society in 2005.  I’d not spotted this before & as I have family in that area of Nottingham I had a quick look through it.

I was delighted to find my 3x great grandparents Edmund & Sarah Jowett ( nee Morton) mentioned in it, as I’d not found a record of their burial before.  The grave stone also records the sad and very early deaths of three Jowett children; Doris Elsie who died aged just 12 months in 1897, Doris Winifred Jowett aged 17 months in 1907. and Winifred Jowett Robinson in 1920 aged 13 months.  I have no record of these three children and I’m not sure how they fit in to the family – I would guess that they are the grandchildren of Edmund and Sarah – but I have yet to find out who their parents were.

It also revealed which side of her family my grandmother had to thank for her middle name of  Winifred – which she hated!

I’d also spent time in the past looking for a remarriage of Sarah Jowett, as I’d previously been told that she had remarried after the death of Edmund – “she wasn’t a Jowett when she died.”  But from the inscription it seems she didn’t remarry & was buried with her husband & two of her children in October 1896.

So it’s always worth a quick recheck of the shelves  in your local archives even if you think you’ve exhausted what they have to offer – you never know!

Time Consuming Research

We’re now three episodes into the ninth series of ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ on BBC1.  They’ve all been good so far; I particularly liked Gregg Wallace’s episode and how the research uncovered a much deeper story than the one passed down through his family.

But the programme does tend to give a distorted view of how difficult and slow genealogical research can be.  The celebs turn up at various archives to meet a researcher who has all the answers ready for them, but they don’t mention the hours of previous research that has been done to arrive at that point.

I’ve recently spent a full two and a half days in Nottingham Archives looking through their Methodist birth & marriage records for the family members I’ve failed to find in the C of E records.  The later Non-Conformist records haven’t been micro-filmed yet, so it feels like a treat to be looking through the original registers.

Anyway, after all those hours of searching I have still only managed to find more distant relatives in them, Gervase Oldham’s daughters’ marriages are the closest ones. I also spotted some Bucknalls, who I’ve been looking for on behalf of my Great-Aunt.  I still have several more Methodist records to check and then there’s the Baptist ones to start!

I don’t see this as a waste of time, the registers are fascinating in themselves, and if you can’t find your family members in the obvious ones, you have no choice but to be thorough and work your way through the lot!  But WDYTYA gives the impression that the answers are immediately available, which they very often aren’t. I wonder how many people are put off researching their trees further when they realise it won’t all be handed to them on a plate?

Catch 22

I’ve been browsing through the Methodist baptism & marriage records over the last couple of weeks at Nottinghamshire Archives.

Whilst looking for my ancestors, I came across an entry which made me smile.  On 20th April 1946,  Harold Major married  Biddy Stevenson at the United Methodist Church, Redcliffe Road, Nottingham.  Harold was a Sergeant in the Royal Army Service Corps, which of course, makes him Sergeant Major.  Should he earn a promotion, he could be Sergeant Major Major and following that, Major Major!

If you’ve ever read Joseph Heller’s Catch 22, you’ll know why this tickled me!