Tech Tuesday: Quickly transcribe old wills and documents with speech recognition software

Category: General

OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software is very efficient for use in converting the printed word into editable, machine-encoded text. But how do we deal with old, handwritten documents? My husband bought a dictation machine a few weeks ago and I thought I'd put it to the test by transcribing my 5 x great-grandfather's 4-page, handwritten will.

The Olympus VN-8500 PC Dictation Machine
The Olympus VN-8500 PC Dictation Machine
and a copy of James Rice's Will
(Click the image to see a larger version.)

The gadget is the Olympus VN-8500 PC Dictation Machine with Nuance's Dragon NaturallySpeaking Recorder Edition software. Purchased from Argos, the machine itself is amazingly small and as light as a feather......Read more »

Site updates - Surnames: Arnold, Orton, Jeffery, Martin, Bragg, Brock, Rice

Category: What's New at Hibbitt.org.uk

Family Tree section

Relevant place names: Nuneaton in Warwickshire, Thornbury, Shebbear & Bradford - all in North Devon, and Slimbridge & Coaley in Gloucestershire.

Resources > Biographies section

  • Having finally transcribed the will of James Rice, I added a biography page for him which includes the full transcript.
Resources > Family Tree Reports section

  • Updated all the family tree reports. This is a work in progress and further additions are made as and when time permits.
[Note: All content on the Hibbitt Family History website and blog is copyrighted. Click here for conditions of use.]

Follow Friday: Photo Books from Shutterfly.com

Category: Handy Family History Links

A couple of months ago, I created and ordered a book from Shutterfly.com and gave it as a Christmas present. I couldn't blog about it before as I didn't want to give the game away.

Anyhow, I thought I'd write about how pleased I am with the product - the finish is excellent. I ordered the 8x11 inch hard photo cover book and created a Custom Book rather than using the Simple Path. Although a bit fiddly and time-consuming because everything is done over the internet, the results are absolutely worth it. The pages are glossy and my photographs came out exceptionally well.

Called 'Ancestral Trails - Pathways to the Past', my theme for the book was the homes and districts where my paternal ancestors lived and worked using modern day photographs. I'd taken most of the photos on family history trips. I also added text and labels to explain the pictures.

Because I live in the UK, the postage and packaging almost doubled the cost but I can highly recommend the product and the service and I'm glad I ordered an extra copy for myself.

So, without further ado, here are some images of the book.

Shutterfly Photo Book
Front Cover

Shutterfly Photo Book
(Click the image above to view a larger version.)

Shutterfly Photo Book
(Click the image above to view a larger version.)

Shutterfly Photo Book
Even this close-up doesn't quite do the actual quality of the book justice
(Click the image above to view a larger version.)

Shutterfly Photo Book
Back Cover

Disclaimer - this is my own personal opinion and I have no affiliation to Shutterfly.

[Why Follow Friday? This phrase has been included in the title in order to take part in Daily Blogging Prompts at Geneabloggers]

[Note: All content on the Hibbitt Family History website and blog is copyrighted. Click here for conditions of use.]

Family Recipe Friday: Hodge-Podge

Category: Mrs Beeton's Cookery Books

(From the SOUPS section of my gran's 1894 publication of 'Mrs Beeton's Cookery Book and Household Guide' - see this post for more information.)

HODGE-PODGE.

INGREDIENTS.-2 lbs. shin of beef, 3 quarts water, 1 pint table-beer, 2 onions, 2 carrots, 2 turnips, 1 head celery, pepper and salt, thickening of butter and flour.

Mode.-Put the meat, beer, and water in a stewpan ; simmer for a few minutes, and skim. Add the vegetables and seasoning ; stew gently till the meat is tender. Thicken with butter and flour, and serve with turnips and carrots, or spinach and celery.

Time, 3 hours, or rather more. Average cost, 6d. per quart. Sufficient for 8 persons.


[Why Family Recipe Friday? This phrase has been included in the title in order to take part in Daily Blogging Prompts at Geneabloggers]

[Note: All content on the Hibbitt Family History website and blog is copyrighted. Click here for conditions of use.]

On This Day...27th - 31st December

Category: On This Day...

27th DECEMBER

1933 - my great-aunt's first husband, Edward Jenkins, was tragically killed in a mining accident in Coedely, South Wales, when the roof of the mine collapsed.

1746 - William Free & Martha Hawes, were married in St Botolph's Church, Hadstock in Essex. William was my 4 x great-grandfather and Martha was his first wife.

28th DECEMBER

1851 - Stephen Dando, the son of my 5 x great-grandparents, died in New York in his eighties. He was described as having "beautiful white locks".

29th DECEMBER

1834 - Thomas Henry Banister & Caroline Worgan were married in St Paul, Bristol, 177 years ago.

30th DECEMBER

1752 - Mary Dando, the daughter of my 6 x great-grandparents, was born in Dursley, Gloucestershire. She later moved to New York and became her nephew's (Stephen Dando above) housekeeper .

1813 - my 4 x great-grandparents, Richard Fryer & Ann Jones, were married by Licence with the consent of parents in the Parish Church of Arlingham, Gloucestershire.

Richard Fryer & Ann Jones' Marriage Allegation dated 23 June 1813
Richard Fryer & Ann Jones' Marriage Allegation
dated 23 June 1813

31st DECEMBER

1839 - Jane Clark was believed to have been the third wife of my 3 x great-grandfather, Joseph Dando's, six wives. She died of pulmonary consumption at the age of 33, 172 years ago. Jane is buried in Saint Peter Churchyard, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.

[Note: All content on the Hibbitt Family History website and blog is copyrighted. Click here for conditions of use.]

On This Day...21st - 26th December

Category: On This Day...

22nd DECEMBER

1802 - Benjamin Pitcher, the younger & Sarah Rice were my 4 x great-grandparents and they married in St Bartholomew's Church in Coaley, Gloucestershire, this day 209 years ago.

St Bartholomew's Church, Coaley
St Bartholomew's Church, Coaley

1828 - a few years later, Richard King Fryer & Esther Newton celebrated their marriage at Gloucester St Mary de Crypt.

23rd DECEMBER

1859 - my great-great-grandparents, Stephen Free & Mary Ann Ashby, were married at Hadstock in Essex. Stephen was a widower and he was 44 years old at that time. Mary was 16 years old and 8 days.

1903 - Noel Leigh Stuart King was probably so named because he was born in Leigh on Sea, Essex, so close to Christmas.

24th DECEMBER

1793 - John Dando, the son of Stephen Dando and Elizabeth (nee Jones), was born 218 years ago in Dursley, Gloucestershire.

25th DECEMBER

1862 - John Pitcher & Jane Willmott chose Christmas Day to get married in Claines, Worcestershire. John's sister, Mary Ann, had married Charles Newbold Hibbitt in the same church just 18 days beforehand when John had been a witness.

26th DECEMBER

1810 - my 4 x great-grandmother, Elizabeth Raynor, married Thomas Avins in Chilvers Coton, Warwickshire. Thomas was the first of her two husbands.

1676 - 335 years ago, Thomas Pitchard & Alice Powell were married in All Saints Church in Newland, Gloucestershire. The groom was resident at nearby Clearwell and the bride was from Redbrook.

1878 - William A Thompson & Charlotte Dando tied the knot in Manhatten, New York. Charlotte was a widow who had previously been married to John Jones.

1872 - Edith Ellen Martin was born in Bradford, Devon, 139 years ago. She was the illegitimate daughter of my great-great-grandmother, Grace Martin (later Smale). Edith was like a mother to my gran when she and her husband, John Luxton Martin, took in my gran, Phyllis Grace Weaver, when she was 8 or 9 after Grace died. Grace and her husband had been caring for Phyllis since their daughter, Florence (Phyllis' mother), had died a few years earlier.

[Note: All content on the Hibbitt Family History website and blog is copyrighted. Click here for conditions of use.]

Flip-Pal in the UK

Category: General

Hoorah, hooray, my new Flip-Pal finally arrived yesterday! It's taken more than 3 weeks to come and I wouldn't recommend the company I bought it through but I had no other way of getting hold of a Flip-Pal in the UK. At over 140, I don't often indulge myself by paying over the odds but I decided to treat myself just this once and so I went for it. See the comments section in my previous post if you want to know where I ordered the Flip-Pal from.

Family Recipe Friday: Custard Sauce (For Puddings or Tarts)

Category: Mrs Beeton's Cookery Books

This is perhaps something that might go down well with the Christmas Pudding. (The recipe comes from my great-grandmother's 1909 publication of 'Mrs Beeton's Every-Day Cookery' - see this post for more information about the book.)

CUSTARD SAUCE (For Puddings or Tarts).
INGREDIENTS.- 1pint of milk, 2 eggs, 3 ozs. of castor sugar, 1 tablespoonful of brandy, bay-leaf if liked.

METHOD.- Boil the milk and bay-leaf, add the sugar, and cool slightly. Beat the eggs well, pour the milk on to them, and strain into a jug. Have ready a saucepan of boiling water, in which to place the jug, keep stirring until the mixture thickens, but do not allow it to boil, or it will curdle. Stir in the brandy, and serve.

TIME. - 25 to 30 minutes. AVERAGE COST, 6d to 7d.

[Why Family Recipe Friday? This phrase has been included in the title in order to take part in Daily Blogging Prompts at Geneabloggers]

[Note: All content on the Hibbitt Family History website and blog is copyrighted. Click here for conditions of use.]

On This Day...10th - 20th December

Category: On This Day...

10th DECEMBER

1903 - my great-great-grandfather, George Geake, died at the age of 66 and probate was granted to his daughter, Maria, on 14 January 1904. He left 18 12s. 7d.

1844 - John Fryer & Sarah Watkins were married in St Mary the Virgin's Church, Arlingham, Gloucestershire, 167 years ago.

12th DECEMBER

1915 - it was a war-time wedding when my great-grandparents, Henry James Weaver & Florence Smale, married at St Andrew's Church, Curry Rivel, Somerset. The couple had very little time together as Henry was killed in the war less than a year later.

Henry J Weaver & Florence Smale
Henry J Weaver & Florence Smale.
Possibly a wedding photograph.

13th DECEMBER

1876 - Henry Weaver's sister, Annie Arnold Weaver, was born in Curry Rivel, Somerset.

1897 - 114 years ago, Percy Smale, was born in Tavistock, Devon.

15th DECEMBER

1856 - Percy's mother, my great-great-grandmother, Grace Martin, was born in the village of Bradford in North Devon.

1843 - another great-great-grandmother of mine, Mary Ann Ashby, was born in Hadstock in Essex.

1784 - 10 year old Thomas Dando died and was buried in the Cemetery at Rodborough Tabernacle near Stroud, Gloucestershire.

16th DECEMBER

1895 - my great-uncle, Alfred Joseph Hibbitt, was born in Portsea Island, Hampshire, 116 years ago.

17th DECEMBER

1759 - John Ball died at the age of 59 and was buried in St Briavels Churchyard, Gloucestershire, a few days later.

20th DECEMBER

1790 - my 4 x great-grandparents, Luke Hibbitt & Mary Leerin/Leeson (the surname is ambiguous), were married in St Peter & St Paul's Church, Exton, Rutland, 221 years ago.

1802 - my 4 x great-grandfather, Joseph Dando, was born in Bristol. He was the eldest son of Joseph Dando, the elder, and Ann, nee Murch.

1976 - Arthur Leslie James Fryer died at the age of 66 and was buried in Chepstow Municipal Cemetery.

[Note: All content on the Hibbitt Family History website and blog is copyrighted. Click here for conditions of use.]

Family Recipe Friday: A Plain Christmas Pudding for Children

Category: Mrs Beeton's Cookery Books

(From my gran's 1894 publication of 'Mrs Beeton's Cookery Book and Household Guide' - see this post for more information.)

A PLAIN CHRISTMAS PUDDING FOR CHILDREN.
INGREDIENTS.- 1 lb. flour, 1 lb. breadcrumbs, ¾ lb. stoned raisins, ¾ lb. currants, ¾ lb. suet, 3 or 4 eggs, milk, 2 oz. candied peel, 1 teaspoonful powdered allspice, ½ saltspoonful salt.

Mode.- Let the suet be finely chopped, the raisins stoned, and the currants well washed, picked, and dried. Mix these with the other dry ingredients, and stir well together ; beat and strain the eggs to the pudding, stir these in, and add just sufficient milk to make it mix properly. Tie it up in a well-floured cloth, put it into boiling water, and boil for at least 5 hours. Serve with a sprig of holly placed in the middle of the pudding, and a little pounded sugar sprinkled over it.

Time, 5 hours. Average cost, 1s. 9d. Sufficient for 9 or 10 children. Seasonable at Christmas.


[Why Family Recipe Friday? This phrase has been included in the title in order to take part in Daily Blogging Prompts at Geneabloggers]
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