Family history gifts for Christmas

Category: General

As Christmas approaches some of you may be thinking about a genealogy gift to give to someone special or maybe you'd like to give your own family the nod about something you'd quite like them to buy you.

Last year, I posted some links to offer inspiration for the perfect gift and this is a quickie to remind you once again. Here's the link...

Christmas around the corner - genealogy gift ideas (UK)

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

Words, names, numbers and dates, not forgetting the Latin

Category: Handy Family History Links

Have you ever found difficulty in deciphering names in old parish registers written in Latin? If so, FREEREG has a useful guide to how these Latin names correspond to the spoken names which are, more often than not, the same as the names we use today. For instance, did you ever expect the Latin for Arthur would be Arcturus or Arturus? Jacobus is James, not Jacob as one might expect. Fida is Faith and Amabilia is Mabel.
Latin Names & Abbreviations

FREEREG also has a list of abbreviated Christian names which often crop up in old documents. Most are fairly obvious but you might want to be reminded that Gul. and Guliel are abbreviations of William, taken from the Latin, Gulielmus.
Real Names and Abbreviations

Next, there's a page dedicated to a few Latin words which often appear in old registers. For example, nupsit means married and parochia means parish.
Latin Words to Recognise

Lastly, there's a handy explanation of the minefield that is numbers and dates. You're shown the standard way to enter dates for genealogy records, different formats for Latin numbers and the oddity of the calendar change in 1752. To finish up, there's a brief explanation about Regnal years.
Numbers and Dates

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

Time for a moan - my content is NOT in the public domain

Category: General

Have you ever discovered your photographs dotted around the internet on other people's websites or family trees without so much as a courteous approach? Without accreditation, these images sometimes spread around the net and the source of the original content is lost completely. Quite often, a lot of time and effort has gone into capturing these images, not to mention the cost of travelling to some of these places to obtain the pictures. I don't know about you but I hate this level of audacity and it's something that gets right under my skin.

The family history community are, on the whole, very willing to share their efforts with others and quite often I've found it's been of mutual benefit. However, there still remain some 'leeches' out there who simply take and don't give back (or worse still, take without permission).

It only takes a minute or two to send an email and there's every possibility that in doing so, some good can come of it. For example, I recently contacted a distant cousin with whom I'd been in contact with in the past, to request permission to use her photographs for a particular project. In the course of our email discussion, she mentioned that transcripts of the parish records up to 1812 and graveyard records for Exton are now online. For anyone with Hibbitt ancestry, this will most likely be of great value as the majority of Hibbitts seem to trace back to this small village in Rutland. Many thanks, Caroline.

In an attempt to get others to play fair I've recently added a 'Copyright & Conditions of Use' page to my website. Please could I ask anyone already using any of my content from either my blog or my main website, that they add the required accreditation. Likewise, if anybody spots an image on my site that I've omitted to give credit for, please let me know and I'll readily rectify the situation asap.

Moan over!

On This Day...1st - 10th October

Category: On This Day...


1888 - Pearl Vera Dorothy Dando, daughter of my great-great-grandfather, William Elbert Dando, was born in London.


1863 - Joseph Clifford Dando, grandson of my 3 x great-grandfather, Joseph Dando, the younger, was born in Milestown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

1721 - my 5 x great-grandparents, John Free & Esther Bowtell, were married 290 years ago in Ashdon, Essex. The parish register recorded the event as follows, "1721, John Ffree Singleman & Hester Bowtell Singlewoman were Married Octobr the 3."

1791 - exactly 70 years later, another pair of 5 x great-grandparents, John Fryer & Phoebe Taysum, were married in the Church of St Mary, St Peter & St Paul at Westbury on Severn.


1828 - returning to Essex, my 3 x great-grandparents, Robert Ashby & Eliza Richardson, were married in St Botolph's Church in Hadstock, 183 years ago. Robert was a widower, his first wife having died almost 2 years beforehand.


1841 - John Fryer, son of Richard King Fryer and Esther Newton, was born in Fretherne, Gloucestershire.


1972 - it's now been 39 years since my grandpa, Charles George Hibbitt (Charlie), died in South Hams Hospital, Kingsbridge, Devon, at the age of 73.


1844 - George Hansard & Amelia Dando were married in St Luke's Church, Norwood, Surrey. Ten or so witnesses signed the marriage register.

1775 - John Dando (the elder), my 6 x great-grandfather, died in Dursley, Gloucestershire, 236 years ago. A monument commemorating his and that of his wife, Susanna's, memory hangs on the wall to the left of the pulpit in Dursley Tabernacle.

Pulpit in Dursley Tabernacle showing the monument to John & Susanna Dando on the left
Pulpit in Dursley Tabernacle showing the monument
to John & Susanna Dando on the left

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

On This Day...25th - 30th September

Category: On This Day...


Nellie Hibbitt1897 - my great-aunt, Nellie Gertrude Hibbitt (later Martin) [seen here on the right], was born in Queensboro, St Peters North, Drogheda, County of Louth, Ireland, where her father was stationed as a Coastguard.

1773 - 238 years ago, my 6 x great-grandparents, Lewis Burdon Horn & Ann Rigsby, were married in Shebbear in North Devon.


1909 - the marriage of George Arthur William Fryer & Mabel Annie Jane Lewis took place at Chepstow, Monmouthshire, Wales, just over a century ago. Richard was a carpenter at the time.


1874 - Francis Ann Pitcher (later Martin) died on 28th September, aged just 24, and was buried in St Andrew's Churchyard with her sister, Mary Jane, and parents, James & Esther Pitcher.

1870 - my 3 x great-grandfather, Joseph Dando, died in Belfast, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, 141 years ago.

1829 - exactly 41 years to the day before this, Joseph's first wife, Sarah Albinia Dando (nee Parker), died in Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire, and was buried on 2nd October at St John the Baptist, Old Sodbury, Glos.


1880 - Maria Tisdall, the wife of Joseph Spiers, the younger, died 131 years ago.

On This Day...15th - 24th September

Category: On This Day...


1800 - James Rouquet Phillips & Sarah Dando were married at St Augustine the Less, Bristol. Sarah was the only surviving daughter of my 5 x great-grandparents, John Dando & Ann (nee Brothers).

1746 - my 8 x great-grandfather, Thomas King, died 265 years ago. He was buried at St Mary's the Virgin Church in Fretherne, Gloucestershire. His tomb was recorded in the Historical Monumental & Genealogical Collections of Gloucestershire by Ralph Bigland but any marker there might have been is no longer visible.


1869 - the youngest child of my 3 x great-grandfather, Joseph Dando, was born 142 years ago. George Dando was born in Ireland and emigrated to America with his mother and her second husband when he was 4 years old.

1819 - Nathaniel Dando, the younger, was born in St Peter Westcheap, London.


1916 - my gran, Phyllis Grace Weaver (later Geake), was born 95 years ago at the home of her grandparents, 22 Ford Street, Tavistock, Devon.


1847 - Edward Warren died in Chepstow on the 19th September 1847 and his body was brought back to Fretherne for burial on 25th September.


1947 - the marriage of Basil Anthony Geake & Gertrude Toska Dorothea Bein took place at St Eustachius Church, Tavistock, Devon, 64 years ago. Basil was my grandpa's brother and his bride was from Germany.

Basil Geake & Gertrude Bein
Basil Geake & Gertrude Bein


1823 - the eldest child of Nathaniel Dando, the elder, and his second wife, Caroline (nee Hewitt), was born. The child's name was Augustus Dando and, according to the International Genealogical Index, she was a girl - the original sources still need to be checked. Sadly, the child died aged about 4 months.


1803 - Nathaniel's sister, Mary Dando, was born in Dursley, Gloucestershire.


1922 - Malcolm Douglas Mateo Dando & Sybil Flora Roylance were married in St Stephen's Church, East Twickenham, Middlesex. The service was officiated by the Rev. Canon Robert Stuart King who was married to Malcolm's elder sister, Ruby.

Sentimental Sunday: Hello Great-great-grandpa, how do you do!

Category: Ancestors Corner

Were your ancestors talented, did they bring a little sunshine into their friends' and neighbours' lives, or were they good-for-nothing scoundrels or somewhere in between? Imagine you could travel back in time and visit your predecessors. Who would you visit and why?

I quite like the notion of visiting bad-boy, William Elbert Dando, my great-great-grandfather. He may not have been a particularly pleasant person to know. Read his biography which outlines his escapades which include bankruptcy, assault, kidnap and bigamy. Nevertheless, I can't help thinking he might have had a certain charm in order to persuade those unsuspecting investors to dabble in his dodgy schemes. Was he a larger-than-life character or more sinister than that? The paper-trail doesn't reveal everything......Read more »

Site updates - Surname: Arnold, Bacon, Wagstaff, Avins, Garlick, Roylance, Walker

Category: What's New at

Family Tree section

  • Added a few facts and footnotes for my great-great-grandmother, Jane Arnold. More facts to follow at a later date.
  • Added facts and footnotes for my 3 x great-grandfather, George Arnold junior, as well as for his first wife, my 3 x great-grandmother, Mary Bacon, a new name recently discovered since ordering their daughter, Jane's, birth certificate.
  • Added Mary Bacon's parents' names, Samuel Bacon & Martha Wagstaff, together with Mary's two siblings, Sarah & Thomas Bacon.
  • Discovered the maiden name of George Arnold's (above) mother, Elizabeth Avins, who was the wife of George Arnold senior, my 4 x great-grandparents. Also added the names of George & Elizabeth's children.
  • Added the second wife of George Arnold junior, Mary Ann Garlick, with a few facts and footnotes. Also added this couple's children.
  • Added the names of Mary Ann Garlick's parents and sister.
  • Added Sybil Flora Roylance's parent's names, Robert William Roylance & Ellen Lillie May Walker. Also Sybil's grandfathers' names, George Thomas Roylance and William Walker.
Relevant place names: Nuneaton and Coventry in Warwickshire.

The Arnolds and Bacons were silk ribbon weavers. This was a major industry in Nuneaton during the 18th and 19th centuries but went into decline in about 1860.

Those Places Thursday: Lowestoft Sands - old photos

Category: Grandpa's Old Slides

Lowestoft Sands
Click the image to see a larger version.

Lowestoft is the most easterly point of the UK. This old photograph of Lowestoft Sands was probably taken by one of my grandparents, Charles George Hibbitt or Ivy Alice Hibbitt (nee Dando), some time during the 1950's or 1960's.

(From my grandpa's collection of old slides - see this post for more information.)

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

On This Day...8th - 14th September

Category: On This Day...


1916 - the 8th September sees the anniversary of the tragic death of my great-grandfather, Henry James Weaver, killed by accident in World War I. He was reportedly killed with two others by a bomb or hand grenade accidentally detonating in a soldier's hand while they were resting at the base in France after serving in the trenches. Henry was buried in Merville Communal Cemetery Extension and his daughter, my gran, visited his grave for the very first time in 1999 when she was aged 83. She'd been born 10 days after Henry's death.

Phyllis Grace Geake (nee Weaver) placing a wreath on her father's grave with her great-grandson
Phyllis Grace Geake (nee Weaver) placing a wreath on her father's grave
with her great-grandson

1919 - Alfred Joseph Hibbitt & Georgina Emma May Williams were married in the Register Office, Plympton St Mary, Plymouth, Devon, 92 years ago. Sadly the marriage was not to last and the couple were divorced in 1928.

1911 - Rosa P M Fryer was born exactly 100 years ago in Chepstow, Wales.


1888 - 123 years ago Thomas Williams & Georgiana Priscilla Jones Fryer were married in Tidenham in Gloucestershire. Thomas was a widower and one of the witnesses, George Fryer, was most likely Georgiana's youngest brother.


1851 - the youngest child of Richard Fryer and Ann Bailey Pitcher, Benjamin Thomas Fryer, was born at Penylan Farm, Llangattock Vibon Avel, Monmouthshire, Wales. I visited the farm a couple of years ago. The original house is in private ownership but the barns have been converted and the owners now run a B&B and self-catering holiday cottages. This video shows a series of photos of the sun rising over the Black Mountains seen from the front of the B&B. There are also wonderful views from the fields at the back of the farm house.

Views from the fields behind Penylan Farm
Views from the fields behind Penylan Farm


1856 - when Benjamin Fryer (above) was 5 years and one day old, his mother, Ann Bailey Fryer (nee Pitcher), died at Etloe, Awre, Gloucestershire. The cause of death was described as a 'visitation of God'!

1886 - Malcolm Douglas Mateo Dando was born 125 years ago in Marylebone, London. He was the son of my 2 x great-grandfather, William Elbert Dando, and Emma Sheriff.
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