RIP Easy IGI Searches Online

I found this unfinished post just ‘laying around’ which reminded me just how much I miss the old IGI search on the Family Search website.  Not quite sure about their reasoning but in their attempt to improve, they basically made it worse.  I’m not going to moan about something that is provided for free but I just… miss it.  

Here is the old post (with a couple additions) which seemed to be a HOW TO FIND ANCESTORS BORN BEFORE 1837 or a recount of how I came to a conclusion but I’m not sure what I was trying to prove. It may be of some use to someone:

Thomas PALMER is listed on his son’s marriage certificate 1848 as a ‘Bookseller’:

A search of the IGI online (after census searches of son George’s approximate age) now identifies his wife as Ruth (and locale as Portsea):
The original baptism entry in the Saint John’s Chapel, Portsea parish registers gives further confirmation these are the correct people, as Thomas’ occupation is listed as ‘Book Binder’ (same field of work – books):
Back to the IGI to search for the marriage of Thomas and Ruth, which gives her maiden name as Ruth WRIGHT (married in Saint Mary’s Portsea):
This makes it easier to search the census records which then give me approximate birth dates for Thomas and Ruth.  Parish records can now be searched for the marriage (possibly more information); their own births/baptisms and other children of the marriage.  
Next Steps:
Find copy of Thomas & Ruth’s marriage entry in the Saint Mary’s, Portsea parish registers
Find copy of Thomas & Ruth’s baptism entries in Chichester, Sussex (church unknown)

Desperately Seeking John

A couple of months ago, I found out via an 1896 newspaper article that my ancestor, Alexander Ritchie BUCHAN, had a brother called John.  John was there when Alex died pulling in a fishing net but where was he all those other years?
18 foot shark caught in Otago Harbour 1894
Charles BUCHAN and his wife Jessie (Janet RITCHIE) migrated to New Zealand on the Rimutaka in 1893. All their children (except Charles), some of whom had begun their own families went too.  Peter, Jessie (married to John BUCHAN), Alex and William all arrived on the Rimutaka. John had never appeared with the family on the censuses and so I hadn’t realised he was missing.
A little bit of research proved that John was actually twin brother of William – born 11th July 1868 in Peterhead.  Was it just coincidence that he was away from home all those census nights?  Did he stay in Scotland or
A search of shipping lists from 1890 don’t seem to show John’s arrival in New Zealand so it seems likely that he migrated before the rest of the family.
RMS Rimutaka

A search of the IGI comes up with  9 other John BUCHANs born in Scotland in 1868 alone. I have scribbled down these parents names to avoid confusion as the long census search begins…

Edited to add:
Just reread an excerpt from Roy BUCHANs book about the family:

The Buchan family settled in Carey’s Bay, a mile from Port Chalmers. They fished in the comparative calm of the inner Otago Harbour instead of the hazardous and stormy North Sea. The main breadwinners were Jack, his brother-in-law Alexander and father-in-law Dade [Charles]. The younger two men would fish from an open boat in the harbour and Dade would sell the fish.

Could brother John actually refer to his brother-in-law John (married to Jessie)? The newspaper article mentions that Charles also gave evidence at the hearing which means he was probably also there (as the excerpt suggests).


At the end of my last post, I mentioned that I had no idea that Alexander Ritchie BUCHAN had a brother called John.

I did a ‘parent search’ on for Alex’s parents, Charles and Jessie (nee RITCHIE) and up he popped! While checking the information, I noticed that his birth date was identical to brother William’s but perhaps this was confused with a christening date (children were sometimes baptised in ‘bunches’).

I managed to download the birth entry on Scotlands People and sure enough, John and William were twins!

Birth record of Charles & William BUCHAN, Peterhad 1868
Anyone else found twins in their families?  I think this was the first instance I’ve come across.

Neighbouring Families – Part 2

This is a follow on from my previous post – Neighbouring Families.

! The results here are accurate, however not the William BROWN I was tracing (see previous post for correction).  I have chosen to leave this information here to help others.

Using FamilySearch, I searched the IGI for Sarah FERGUSSON with a spouse named BROWN.

Success: It listed Sarah marrying a John BROWN in Glencairn, 1826 (about 3 years before William BROWN was born according to the censuses).  This seemed a very good match indeed so I began to search for birth records of William and his brother, John.
No sign of William but I found a birth and christening record for John (parents John BROWN and Sarah FERGUSON) in the nearby parish of Keir, for September 1825.  However, this was a year before his parents’ marriage so although it is not impossible, I could not be sure. Perhaps the parish record will say whether the birth was ‘legitimate’ or not?  I bit the bullet and viewed the actual parish record on ScotlandsPeople.  The birth had been transcribed incorrectly and actually took place in December 1828 – remember ALWAYS view the actual record where possible!
Birth entry for John BROWN, son of John BROWN & Sarah FERGUSSON – December 1828
While checking my previous searches on ScotlandsPeople, I found an entry for William, legitimate son of John BROWN and Sarah FERGUSON of Snade Mill (the residence was indecipherable to me at first but the ordnance survey maps helped me a great deal) He was born on the 2nd December 1826 and christened the 6th December.

Birth entry for William BROWN, son of John BROWN & Sarah Fergusson – December 1826
Snade Mill (Cairn Water), Glencairn parish

Now I need to link this John BROWN to my James BROWN to prove these neighbours were also family.  I would also like to find the family connection to George BROWN who also lived at Woodhead throughout these censuses.

Next steps (edited):
  • Find a family link between these BROWNs and the BROWNs at Woodhead (see next post in the series)