Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Big results, but more research required

Family-history results just published as chapter 6 of They Sought the Last of Lands, concerning my English Pickering ancestors, were unexpectedly spectacular in the sense that relatively rapid research enabled me to unearth and publish an ancestral line, through my paternal grandmother Kathleen Pickering, back to William the Conqueror.

It was funny (this might not be the right adjective) that this breakthrough should have occurred on the eve of a month-long breakdown of my Internet connection... which gave me the time, unintentionally, to write the above-mentioned chapter.

If you click the chart on the left, your browser should normally display a readable résumé of this ancestral line.

My interesting findings must not conceal the fact that chapter 6 of They Sought the Last of Lands, as it stands today, should be seen, not as a finished presentation, but simply as the beginning of a future project of research efforts. Here, to guide researchers who might be interested in helping me, is a list of various research items that are missing:

1. For the moment, I'm dismayed to admit that I haven't been able to unearth any UK census data concerning our Pickerings. Maybe this is simply because I haven't yet got around to searching with sufficient determination. It would be nice if someone were to tackle this task.

2. In an attempt to obtain the death certificates of the parents of William John Pickering [1843-1914], I've browsed through the reactions of the FreeBMD service, but there was an amazing quantity of individuals, in the second half of the 19th century, named John Pickering and Sarah Jane Pickering. These death certificates surely exist, but I'm not yet capable of tracing them.

3. Up until now, I have not found—nor even tried to find—church records of any kind concerning our Pickering and Latton ancestors.

4. It's possible that some of our Pickering and Latton ancestors in England were prosperous citizens who left wills. I have not yet attempted to search for such documents.

5. I have started to explore the possibility that there might be living descendants of the brothers Francis Henry Pickering [1845-1918] and/or John Edward Latton Pickering [1851-1926]. Besides, concerning the latter gentleman, who worked professionally in a domain where information about the past is stored preciously (a great law library), I find it hard to imagine that he wouldn't have left us personal documents concerning his own existence and his knowledge of ancestors.

6. I have not yet got around to examining in detail the numerous Internet messages of researchers concerned with Pickering ancestors.

So, there's still a lot of research work to be done.

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