Monday, 23 May 2016

Arthur Montague Murch, born 1878

Arthur Montague Murch was the seventh child of John Benjamin Murch and Charlotte Webb.  His birth was registered in the March quarter of 1878 (so he could have been born in 1877) in the Dover Registration District of Kent, England.

He appears with his family in the 1881 and 1891 censuses in Waterloo Cottage, Cambridge Road, St James (Kent).  His mother, Charlotte, died when Arthur was only ten.  His father, John, was a shipwright and, by the 1891 census, two of Arthur's elder sisters (Kate and Elizabeth) were teachers, while his eldest sister (another Charlotte) ran the house.

In the 1901 census, Kate has taken over the running of the house for her widowed father, while Arthur
remains at home as a 23-year-old commercial clerk.

By 1911, the family has moved to 34 Oakwood Gardens, Ilford, Essex.  Kate is still running the household at 42, younger sister May is a secretary for a barrister's office, and Arthur is still at home, still single, but now a bank clerk.

He features in the Murch Surname Study.

© 2016 Ros Haywood. All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

A-Z Challenge 2016: Reflections

April 2016's A-Z Challenge was a first for the Murch Blog.  More than just one first: the Murch Blog did not even exist before the Challenge!  I realised that it was all very well gathering piles of names and records about Murches in times-gone-by.  I needed to expand the horizons of the Murch Surname Study.

I had never quite been able to grasp the concept of telling stories about my ancestors.  For me, the raw data was the most important thing.  Stories and anecdotes were very nice if you happened to come across them, but they weren't to be made a priority.  In fact, I entered the Murch Blog into the A-Z Challenge with the vague idea that I would just put names and dates down in each blog post.  But each individual I chose to write about made me want to write more about them, to identify each ordinary name and turn it into an extraordinary person.  Because to me, being a secretary in a time when girls were supposed to stay at home until they got married - that's extraordinary.  Being written about in the local paper as being 'trustworthy and faithful' - that's extraordinary.

OK, so the blog didn't garner many views.  But I didn't expect that from this blog.  I had in my mind the picture of some desperate genealogist somewhere who had almost given up on finding Hephzibah, or Queenie, or Robert, or Violet - and then they came across my blog.

Happy researching! I'm glad I could help.

© 2016 Ros Haywood. All Rights Reserved

Saturday, 30 April 2016

A-Z Challenge 2016: Z is for Zacharie Murch 1628

Zacharie Murch was baptised on 29 September 1628 in Hennock, Devon, England, the son of Hugh and Elizabeth Murch.  This seems straightforward and, if you were looking for a Zacharie, you probably feel confident that you have found the right one.

But look at the deaths, and your confidence slowly evaporates.

  • Zacharye Murch died in 1648 in Hennock.  Could this be your man, aged only 20?  The parish burial register gives no indication of age
  • Zacharie Murch died in 1674 in Hennock.  Could this be your man, aged only 46?  The parish burial register gives no indication of age
  • Zacherie Murch died in 1677 in Hennock.  Could this be your man, aged only 49?  The parish burial register gives no indication of age

This is where a Surname Study would come in: they would ALL be 'your man'.  Even if you weren't running a Surname Study, my advice to you would be to write them ALL down.  Further research might show which one was which.

© 2016 Ros Haywood. All Rights Reserved

Friday, 29 April 2016

A-Z Challenge 2016: Y is for Young Child Murch
Have you read my 'C' post: 'C is for Child Murch buried 1750'?  It dealt with the sad circumstance where a 'child of Gideon Murch' was buried in 1750 without so much as a name - and of course, no gender either, so I don't even know if I'm mourning a 5 x great-uncle or a 5x great-aunt.

Well, it happened again - and to the same family. In 1754 another of Gideon and Elizabeth's children was buried (on 30 October).  Yet, once again, frustratingly it was given neither a name nor a gender:

(Yes, it's the same clerk as before.)  He does write 'infant' against somebody else's entry, so Gideon's 'young child' may not have been a new baby.  But that's all I know at the moment. *sigh*

© 2016 Ros Haywood. All Rights Reserved

Thursday, 28 April 2016

A-Z Challenge 2016: X is for eXtended Family
You've been spending ages (possibly years) working on your own family tree, and in fact genealogy is getting a little bit stale.  That's how I was beginning to feel, after 30 years of research.

Enter the Murch One Name Study (also known as a Surname Study).  Think of the times you have searched through a parish register, line by line, and discounted those with different given names or in different locations as being 'not yours'.  Well in a Surname Study - they're ALL 'yours'!  Suddenly you go from having tunnel vision to having a whole new extended family.  And, far from cramping your style, it makes you realise just how many folk are (or were) out there who are just as deserving of your love, care, and attention.  You don't so much develop different ways of researching - it's just that everywhere you turn, you are guaranteed to find individuals and families who belong in your Surname Study.  And then you can look at your own biological ancestors with renewed energy.

You have extended your horizons.  It's wonderful!

© 2016 Ros Haywood. All Rights Reserved

A-Z Challenge 2016: W is for William Samuel Searle Murch 1853
William Samuel Searle Murch was born in 1853 in the Devonport area of Devon, England, to Edward Murch (a tailor) and his wife Catherine.  In the 1871 census, he is 17 and still living with his parents, working as a photographer, but later that same year he married Hannah Hoskin Remfry, also from the Devonport area.

In the 1881 census, William and Hannah had four children.  It is possible that the photography did not pay enough to keep a family of six, so William has changed his career, and is now a "Skilled Labourer in HM Keyham Yd".  Keyham Yard, also known as the North Yard or Steam Yard, was officially opened in 1853 and is part of the extensive Devonport dockyards.  The Yard was extended in 1895 by 118 acres, a 10-acre tidal basin and a 35-acre closed basin, and three huge docks which could accept the larger (war)ships being built.  The extension was opened in 1907.

Boundary stone for the Keyham Yard

But the Arts called again, and in the 1891 census, William is a teacher of music.  He and Hannah have added three children to the family, and are living in Monument Street, Devonport, although maybe the 'teacher of music' was merely a filler, because on the 1901 census William is back in the dockyards, working as a machine driller - a job which he continues in and is listed as having as far forward as the 1911 census.

William features in the Murch Surname Study.

© 2016 Ros Haywood. All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

A-Z Challenge 2016: V is for Violet Isabelle Murch 1897
Violet Isabelle Murch was baptised in Dawlish, Devon, England on 31 October 1897.  Her father, Henry Frederick Murch was a journeyman painter, and her mother was named Alice.  But by the 1901 census, Henry Frederick has died, and Alice is living as a widow, with three-year-old Violet Isabelle, with Alice's mother- and brother-in-law in Portland Place, Exeter.

Further research has shown that Henry died (aged only 27) and Violet was born in the same quarter.  Did he ever get to see his baby?

© 2016 Ros Haywood. All Rights Reserved

Monday, 25 April 2016

A-Z Challenge 2016: U is for Ulalia Murch buried 1651

Look at the image below, which comes from the burial register of Hennock, Devon.  It has been transcribed as 'Ulalia Murch'.  Do you agree that it is 'Ulalia'?  It was quite a favoured name in Devon in the 17th century, also being spelled Eulalia and Eulalie.

© 2016 Ros Haywood. All Rights Reserved

Saturday, 23 April 2016

A-Z Challenge 2016: T is for Thomas Alfred Murch 1877
Thomas Alfred Murch first appears on the 1881 census, living with his family in Llanfaelog, Wales.  His father, John, was a coastguard, which explains why there are seven children under the age of 10 (in 1881), yet their births are in different places: Somerset, Cork (Ireland), St Mawgan (Cornwall), and Llanfaelog. Thomas's mother, Jane, also came from Cork.

But that's where the trail goes cold.  Thomas does not appear in the 1901 or 1911 censuses, and the entire family does not appear in the 1891 census (then later they are in Holyhead, Anglesey).  I cannot find an early death for Thomas.  Is it possible that he became a coastguard like his father and moved all over the place?  Were the family in Ireland in 1891, visiting family?

Thomas features in the Murch Surname Study.

© 2016 Ros Haywood. All Rights Reserved

Friday, 22 April 2016

A-Z Challenge 2016: S is for Samuel Murch 1778-1849
Samuel Murch was my 4 x great grandfather, and obviously a good person.  I say 'obviously', because I have found two little pieces about him in local newspapers:

Exeter & Plymouth Gazette, 30 Oct 1841:
Column devoted to the Agricultural and Industrial Association Dinner at Subscription Room, Canniford's London Tavern
"To the Journeyman who has worked longest in the employ of the same master, £1. - Samuel Murch, Sen., 38 years employed in the Ottery Factory, 18 years during the time of the present respected proprietor, Mr. Newbery."
and his death notice:
Small article from Exeter & Plymouth Gazette (Saturday January 20, 1849) in Deaths column:
"Jan.16, at Ottery St. Mary, Mr. Samuel Murch, in the 71st years of his age.  He was employed 44 years in the Ottery Factory, - the last 26 years in the silk department of the present proprietor.  He was a trustworthy and faithful servant."

Samuel had his faith to sustain him.  Or did he? It seems as though the Murches were constantly searching for ‘the truth’.  The Murch family were nonconformists: Protestant Dissenters, then Presbyterians, then Congregationalists – and nonconformists were often associated with being hard workers and entrepreneurs.

Samuel features in the Murch Surname Study.

© 2016 Ros Haywood. All Rights Reserved

Thursday, 21 April 2016

A-Z Challenge 2016: R is for Robert Murch 1687
Robert is my  7 x great grandfather.  He is also one of my ‘brick wall ancestors’.  A ‘brick wall ancestor’ is usually an end-of-line ancestor – the furthest back you can go on one particular line; you’ve looked and looked and looked, and you just can’t find a connection to go further back.  Robert lived in Ottery St Mary, Devon, England (I think).  He certainly married there: 24 December 1712 to Elizabeth Bastone (whose parents were Gideon and Mary Bastone).  He certainly had children there: Mary 1713, Elizabeth 1716, John 1718, Gideon 1721, Robert 1723, and Josiah 1725.

But as for his parents?  Well, there’s a Robert christened 22 February 1682, with parents Robert and Dorothy.  And there’s another Robert, with father Emanuell.  Which one do you think is ‘my’ Robert? Or should I just keep looking?

Robert features in the Murch Surname Study
© 2016 Ros Haywood. All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

A-Z Challenge 2016: Q is for Queenie Gladys Noyse Murch 1901
Queenie Gladys is one of those females that would be left out of a Surname Study by some managers.  She wasn't born a Murch, you see - but I think that she spent most of her life, and more of her life as a Murch, so I include her in my Study.

Queenie Gladys Noyse was born in 1901 in the West Ham Registration District of London (hovering over Essex at one point) to Ernest and Mina Noyes.  Since Ernest came from Bow, and Mina from Shadwell, and most of the children were born in Leyton, Essex, there was probably a distinctive Cockney accent within the home.  She married Sydney Samuel Murch in 1920 in the Thanet Registration District of Kent, England.

Queenie features in the Murch Surname Study.

© 2016 Ros Haywood. All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

A-Z Challenge 2016: P is for Phillis Emma Murch 1860-1863
You may have decided to read this post because you thought "That spelling is incorrect!  It should be 'Phyllis'!"  Welcome to the wonderful world of genealogy and family history, where spelling can get VERY creative, and you shouldn't dismiss a record because "it's not the way I spell it".

Phillis Emma Murch was born in the late spring or early summer of 1860 in the Colchester Registration District, Essex, England.  She died and was buried just before her third birthday, on 18 March 1863.  She may have lived a very short life, but she manages to teach us (as genealogists) something very important.  Many people in 1860 were illiterate, so the official who registered the name spelled it the way he thought it should be spelled, and maybe the parents didn't know that it was wrong.  How many times have you come across marriage certificates where both the bride and groom made an X instead of writing their name?

And it's not just way-back-when that it happened, either.  When my maternal grandfather went to register the birth of my mother, he had such a thick Devon accent that the registrar wrote him down as 'William Rupert Ball', when his name was actually 'William Hubert Ball' (and he wasn't illiterate).  One of my Haywood families was enumerated in the 1861 census as Howard.  I wonder if there were any thick accents in that crowd?  And one of the best is a lady who also features in the Murch Surname Study: Susaner Murch.  Yes, she is actually spelled 'Susaner'.  It happened in Devon - can't you just hear the accent?

Phillis/Phyllis features in the Murch Surname Study.

© 2016 Ros Haywood. All Rights Reserved

Monday, 18 April 2016

A-Z Challenge 2016: O is for Olive Frances Murch 1891
Olive Frances Murch's place of birth is difficult to pin down.  On the 1911 census, she was born in Birmingham, Warwickshire.  On the 1901 census, she was born in Balsall Heath, Worcestershire.  The GRO (General Register Office) has her registered in the Aston Registration District, which covers Birmingham.  Wherever she was born, on both the above censuses she was living with her aunt and uncle, Ellen and George Newbold, who ran a pub in Balsall Heath (which is part of Birmingham).  By the time Olive was 20, she was working as an insurance clerk.

This goes to show how careful you have to be with assigning a county to a town/city.  Most genealogists will recommend that you write down only what was there at the time, even if the boundaries have moved since then.  (A nightmare in point is the city of Bristol, which is variously written as being in Somerset, Gloucestershire, Avon, and its own county of B&NES - Bristol and North East Somerset.)

Olive features in the Murch Surname Study - which covers a LOT of counties!

© 2016 Ros Haywood. All Rights Reserved

Saturday, 16 April 2016

A-Z Challenge 2016: N is for Nelly Murch 1856
Nelly was registered as Ellen Murch in the December quarter of 1856 (October-November-December) in the South Molton Registration District, Devon, England.  I was quite prepared to look for a Helen, because Nelly/Nellie is often a pet name for Helen, but at the same time I know that some children were (and are) registered under what we would consider to be a pet name, such as Tom, or Ben.

On the 1871 census, Nelly is still at school, living with her parents in Parsonage Lane, South Molton.  Her father is listed as 'Carrier'- but it does not state what he carried!

From there, it is difficult to find her on the census, mainly because of her name.  On the 1881 census, there is an Ellen of the right age.  On the 1891 census, a Helen.  Or she may have got married and changed her surname (although I cannot find a record of a marriage for her).

So Nelly/Ellen/Helen remains a mystery.  But that's what genealogy is all about.  Mysteries, the thrill of the chase, and finally (and hopefully) the genealogist's 'Happy Dance' when you find the elusive record.

Nelly features in the Murch Surname Study.

© 2016 Ros Haywood. All Rights Reserved

Friday, 15 April 2016

A-Z Challenge 2016: M is for May Adeline Murch 1880
May Adeline Murch was born in 1880 in Dover, Kent, England, where she lived with her parents, John and Charlotte, in Cambridge Road. Her father, born in Devonport, Devon, was a shipwright.  Charlotte died in 1888, when May was only 8 years old.

May worked as a secretary in a barrister's office, living at 34 Oakwood Gardens, Ilford, Essex, England, with her widowed (and elderly) father, sister Emma, brother Arthur, and niece Sybil.

May features in the Murch Surname Study.

© 2016 Ros Haywood. All Rights Reserved

Thursday, 14 April 2016

A-Z Challenge 2016: L is for Livingstone Murch 1895-1916
Livingstone MURCH was the youngest of seven children born to Ebenezer MURCH and his wife, Sarah. (The unusual name of ‘Livingstone’ is easily explained: it was his maternal grandmother’s maiden name – Flora LIVINGSTONE.) He was born on 9 April 1895 in Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland, and as a teenager worked for the Post Office as a telegraph messenger while living at home with his parents at 49 Collins Street there.

The Aberdeen Daily Journal of 19 June 1912 reports Livingstone, age 17, to be ‘defending his title’ as the champion of the swimming contest ‘Scottish 100 Yards Junior Championship’. It seems only natural, then, that he should sign up for the Navy…

Three days before his 21st birthday in 1916, Livingstone signed up as a fitter. Six months later, he was dead – drowned as his first (and only) ship went down. HMS Flirt was sunk as a result of a raid by destroyers and torpedo boats from the German navy on the Dover Barrage. Livingstone’s body was never recovered. He is remembered on Panel 15 of the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. He was awarded the Victory medal and the British War Medal for campaign service, which were given to his family.  

HMS Flirt

Livingstone features in the Murch Surname Study.

© 2016 Ros Haywood. All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

A-Z Challenge 2016: K is for Kate J M Murch 1877
Kate J M Murch was born in 1877 to Henry James Murch and Susan Dickason in Balsall Heath, Worcestershire, England.  In the 1881 census the family is living at 6 Balsall Heath Road, Kings Norton, Worcestershire; Kate’s father Henry is a saddler.

By 1891, her older sister, Alice (now aged 24) is enumerated as a Professor of Music, while their father is listed as a “brown saddler”.  This mystified me at first.  A 'brown saddler' made riding saddles - but there was also such a person as a 'black saddler', who made saddles for carts and gigs - in black leather.  

Kate Murch features in the Murch Surname Study.

© 2016 Ros Haywood. All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

A-Z Challenge 2016: J is for Jerom Murch 1807-1895
Jerom Murch was born in Honiton in 1807.  He married Anne Taylor in 1830 and on the 1841 census he has been enumerated as a 'Dissenting Minister' (this was Unitarianism), living in the Parade in Bath, Somerset, England with his wife, three children, and four servants.

By the 1851 census, none of the children is recorded as being at home (although the four servants are still there), and Jerom is now recorded as a 'Unitarian Minister of Lewins Mead Chapel, Bristol'.

By the 1861 census, he has now become 'Magistrate for Somerset'.  On the 1871 census he is recorded as a 'Landowner Magistrate', and his servants, instead of being merely 'male' or 'female', are now recorded as 'Butler', 'Lady's Maid', 'Cook', and 'Housemaid'.  He became Mayor of Bath 1863, 1864, 1876, 1877, 1886, 1890, 1892.

On the 1881 census, now aged 73, he has added a footman to his staff, and Jerom is described not only as a Magistrate, but also Deputy Lieutenant and Alderman.  When aged 83, he is now described as 'living on own means' on the 1891 census.  Jerom was knighted on 21 May 1894.

Sir Jerom died in 1895.  There is an excellent (short) article on his life at Murch Family Worldwide

Sir Jerom features in the Murch Surname Study

© 2016 Ros Haywood. All Rights Reserved

Monday, 11 April 2016

A-Z Challenge 2016: I is for Isabella Murch 1853

Isabella Murch's birth was registered in the Marylebone Registration District, Middlesex, England in the September quarter of 1853 (July, August, and September).  If you have never lived there, there is often some confusion as to how you pronounce 'Marylebone' (and there is still confusion if you have!).

 Here's my ever-popular potted history of the name:

 1.  Named after a church called St Mary-by-the-Tyburn (because the church was next to the Tyburn stream/river, which went from Hampstead to the Thames).
2.  13th century, almost all the aristocracy in England speak French as their main language: it becomes St-Mary-a-le-Bourne (bourne being French for stream)
3.  We slowly get St Marylebone

So, technically it is Marry-leh-bon
Some people prefer Marry-le-bone
Other people prefer Marly-bone

Isabella features in the Murch Surname Study.

© 2016 Ros Haywood. All Rights Reserved

Saturday, 9 April 2016

A-Z Challenge 2016: H is for Hephzibah Murch 1840
Hephzibah Murch was born 9 January 1840 in Ottery St Mary, Devon, England to Samuel Murch and Johanna Yeates.  In the 1851 census, she is living with her parents and siblings in Yonder Street, Ottery St Mary, only five doors down from the Independent chapel, and is a lacemaker at the young age of 11.  She is still there in 1861, but is now a silk weaver.

Hephzibah married Charles Walter Bovett from Wellington in Somerset on 6 June 1862 in Ottery St Mary, and all eleven of her children were also born in Ottery St Mary.  The children didn't all stay in Ottery St Mary, however; Charlotte went to Wales, and Lucy went to Massachusetts!

If you are wondering where the name comes from: 'Hephzibah' is from the Bible.  She was the wife of Hezekiah, King of Judah, and was the mother of Manasseh.

Hephzibah Murch features in the Murch Surname Study, and can be found on WikiTree as Murch-110.

© 2016 Ros Haywood. All Rights Reserved

Friday, 8 April 2016

A-Z Challenge 2016: G is for Gideon Murch christened 1721

(btw, this is the Gideon who was father to ‘C is for Child Murch’)

Gideon Murch was christened 10 May 1721 in Ottery St Mary. His parents were Robert Murch and Elizabeth Bastone, and Gideon was their fourth child (and second son). His baptism took place in the local Church of England church, as his family were Protestant Dissenters.

He became a weaver when he grew up, so it is assumed he was also apprenticed as such as a young boy. Apprenticeships usually lasted seven years, during which the apprentice was not allowed to marry, and (depending on his master) his behaviour would have been strictly proscribed.

Gideon was aged about 12 when the first key invention made itself known in weaving. John Kay's 'flying shuttle' impacted the lives of both Gideon and his father Robert. At first, the new shuttle must have been awe-inspiring, allowing weavers to move faster and complete wider cloths. The way Gideon had learned to weave was with a bobbin holding yarn which was pushed from side to side by hand across a series of taut
strings of yarn which made up the warp of the cloth. This technique sometimes even needed two weavers, one on each side, to catch the bobbin with the weft yarn, if the piece of weaving was so wide that one person could not stretch across it. John Kay’s ‘flying shuttle’ changed all that. Only one weaver was needed, because all he had to do was move a lever, and the bobbin would throw itself across the warp.

The 'flying shuttle' was connected by cords, so it did not need a second person standing opposite; a single weaver could manoeuvre the shuttle. The cords were attached to something called a ‘picking peg’, which itself was attached to shuttle boxes on both sides of the piece of fabric being woven. These boxes were attached to each other by a long board, known as a ‘shuttle race’. If a weaver became skilled at using the ‘flying shuttle’, he could even weave the cloth using only one hand.  

Flying Shuttle marked at ' I '

Gideon features in the Murch Surname Study.

© 2016 Ros Haywood. All Rights Reserved

Thursday, 7 April 2016

A-Z Challenge 2016: F is for Frederick Murch 1866
Frederick was born in 1866 in West Alvington, Devon, England to William Henry Murch and Jane Jarvis.  The seventh of ten children, the 1881 census finds him working as a messenger boy in a shoe shop in Willesden.  His father was a carpenter, his mother a dressmaker; older brother Charles was a stonemason. 

Every family member was born in Devon, where father William Henry had a farm of 140 acres and had 4 employees - so why did they move to London?

Frederick features in the Murch Surname Study.

© 2016 Ros Haywood. All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

A-Z Challenge 2016: E is for Edward Bryer Murch 1873
Edward Bryer Murch was born in the spring of 1873 to John Murch and Emily Goff in the Westminster area of London, England.  He was the eldest of five children.

On the 1881 census he was living in Brentford, Middlesex, England with his parents, siblings, Aunt Sophia and cousin Elizabeth, with the family mistranscribed by the enumerator as MINCH.  Edward's father, John, was a trunkmaker.

In 1889 there was an outbreak of influenza which killed a million people.  Edward's mother, Emily, died in 1889 aged only 42 - perhaps she was a victim.  A John Murch is also recorded as dying in 1889, aged only 39 - could this be Edward's father? The age is right. Edward was 16.

Edward's only sister, Emily Margaret (aged 10) was sent to live with her Aunt Sophia, and appears with her on the 1891 census in Tottenham Court Road, London.  Sophia is now listed as a portmanteau maker.  Maybe she took over the family business?

Edward features in the Murch Surname Study.

© 2016 Ros Haywood. All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

A-Z Challenge 2016: D is for Daisy Blanche Murch 1892
Daisy Blanche Murch was born in late 1892 in Greinton, Somerset, England.  The youngest girl of six children, she can be found on the 1901 census, living with all her siblings, her parents (Albert Charles Murch and Ellen Harrington Murch) and her maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Wood, in Greinton.

Her father, Albert Charles, was a farmer from Chilton Polden, also in Somerset.  Her mother, Ellen, was the only 'foreigner', having been born in Tiverton, Devon.  Also in the house were a visitor, Charlotte Salter, and a servant, eighteen-year-old Fanny Godfrey.  The farm was quite large, being 380 acres and, in Albert's father's time, needing eight men to work it, although fifty years previously it had been a third of that size.

By 1911 Albert was no longer farming the land, and he, his wife, three of the children had moved into Bridgwater, 17 Queen Street to be exact.  Daisy Blanche is recorded as a student at eighteen years old, which suggests she may not have been at school, but at college or even university.

She features in the Murch Surname Study.

Further details of Daisy Blanche's life are covered by a 100-year privacy rule.
© 2016 Ros Haywood. All Rights Reserved

Monday, 4 April 2016

A-Z Challenge 2016: C is for Child Murch buried 1750
No, this isn't some sort of weird-and-wonderful name in my family tree, but a rather sad tale.  Gideon Murch and his wife, Elizabeth, had eight children.  Or did they?  Gideon and Elizabeth were nonconformists, and records of their children's baptisms exist in the nonconformist registers.  However, a burial also occurs which makes me wonder if all of their first three children survived.

Gideon and Elizabeth were married in 1744 in Ottery St Mary, Devon, England.  Their first child, Elizabeth, arrived in 1745, followed by baby Samuel in 1748, and James in 1749.  But then there is a curious 1750 entry in the burial register: A child of Gideon Murch.  So who was it? Elizabeth, Samuel, or James (or even a sickly baby)?  The clerk at the time did not even leave a clue as to the gender of the buried child, and I have a dreadful feeling that the nonconformist graveyard in Ottery St Mary has been concreted over.  (Hopefully, someone can tell me otherwise).

So, somewhere, there is a poor little mite (boy or girl) who was buried under the name 'Child'.  Almost like those parents who register the birth of their child without having given it a name yet, so in the indexes it is down as 'Male' or 'Female'.  At least by modern 1822, the burial register said "infant son of Samuel and Mary Murch".

© 2016 Ros Haywood. All Rights Reserved

Saturday, 2 April 2016

A-Z Challenge 2016: B is for Beatrice Murch 1864-1934
The first of my theme is Beatrice Alexander Murch.  (The 'A' post was for All Aboard! and was the introduction to this theme.)

Beatrice was born in 1864 in Colchester, Essex, England. 

On the 1881 census, she is living with her widowed mother at 124 Cromwell Road, Colchester. Her mother, Harriet M Murch from Corlee, Mayo, Ireland, is not recorded as having an occupation, but Beatrice, aged 17 and unmarried, is working as a dressmaker.  Since I cannot find either female on the 1871 England & Wales census, then possibly they are in Ireland.

Beatrice married in Colchester in 1890; her husband was Thomas George C Rich from Ipswich, Suffolk, England, and two years younger than her.  On the 1891 census, the young couple is living with his widowed mother, Emma Rich in 1 Sea View Cottages, Walton le Soken, Essex, and Thomas is a smith's striker (the smith would heat the metal and give directions, the striker would wield the hammer and shape the metal).

They are still in Walton le Soken on the 1901 census, living at 13 Broomfield Cottages with a small son, William Henry, aged 7 and born in Walton on the Naze.

Beatrice died in 1934, aged 70.  She features in the Murch Surname Study.

© 2016 Ros Haywood. All Rights Reserved

Friday, 1 April 2016

A-Z Challenge 2016: A is for All Aboard!
This is the first year for this blog.  Not just the first time it has been entered into the A-Z Challenge, but also the first time it has seen the light of day.  I run the Murch Surname Study, and realised that the A-Z Challenge just might be an excellent way to broaden its horizons.
The A-Z Challenge runs in April every year.  Participating blog authors take the alphabet as their cue and write brief posts every day on the letter of the alphabet designated for that day (we take Sundays off).  So, for instance, Day 1 is on a topic starting with A, Day 2 is on a topic starting with B, Day 3 is on a topic starting with C, Day 4...but I'm sure you get the idea.  Here is a graphic which lists the days and their letters:

My genealogy blog, GenWestUK will deal with genealogy trivia (like Recusant Rolls, Sacrament Certificates, and the Toleration Act).  My writing blog, The Writing Desk, will deal with aspects of noveling I have come up against (such as Revision, Scrivener, and Test Readers).  

And posts for a Surname Study where every surname begins with M? Not possible! So I thought 'outside the box'.  Why not take the given names of members of the Study?  So I have B is for Beatrice, G is for Gideon, L is for Livingstone...and there's Robert, Samuel, and Theodore as well.  The posts may be briefer in the case of people I don't know much about - but they'll be there.  And they might help someone who's desperately seeking Susan, Susanna, or Susaner (yes, really.  She was baptised Susaner Murch in Devon in 1709).

© 2016 Ros Haywood. All Rights Reserved

Monday, 21 March 2016

A-Z Challenge 2016: Theme Reveal

This will be the first year of entering this blog into the A-Z Challenge.  It will also be the first year I am entering TWO blogs into the Challenge: GenWestUK has been a participant for four years previously.  My theme for that blog will be Genealogy Trivia, which always seems to go down well and I get a lot of fun writing the posts (and learning some weird and wonderful stuff!).

And the theme for this blog?  Some may think it difficult, when it's a Surname Study about one surname - so all the days would have to begin with M is for Murch.  So I am going to concentrate on given names, like A is for Aaron, B is for Beatrice, C is for Charlotte and so on.  All members of the Murch One Name Study.

© 2016 Ros Haywood. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, 20 March 2016


This blog is going to be for the 2016 A-Z Challenge.  However, I want to customise it before I unleash it on the world ha ha.  I am trying the 'Murch Header' that I designed and created a while ago - but I am beginning to realise that having writing behind writing might not be a good idea.

Update:  So I decided to remove the 'Header' from the background, and make the background plain white, while putting the 'Header' in the header spot.  Much better.

Update 2: I went ahead and opened it to the world and, more importantly, submitted this blog to the 2016 A-Z Challenge and its Theme Reveal tomorrow (21 March).  Now it feels real!

© 2016 Ros Haywood. All Rights Reserved


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