1. Courses Coming in April

    We have some very popular courses coming up for you in April:

    Progressing Your Irish Research Online

    Tutor: Chris Paton
    Start date: 5th April 2021
    Course length: 5 weeks
    * FULLY BOOKED * Booking now for November 2021

    Organizing Your Genealogy

    Tutor: Barbara Baker
    Start date: 5th April 2021
    Course length: 3 weeks

    As you research your family history, you collect information, charts, copies of records, notes, lists of sources searched, etc. Whether you are just starting your research or whether you have been at it a while, it is important to be organized and have a record keeping system. It should be easy to file and store information when you get it, and to find it long afterward. Good organisation and record keeping will help you assess what you have, what you have learned, and what you need to learn. This three-week course is designed to help you get organised, stay organised and be ready for research online and on location by developing good record-keeping habits.

    Old Handwriting for Family Historians

    Tutor: Susan Moore 
    Start date: 12th April 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks

    * COURSE OF THE MONTH *

    This course takes a practical approach to reading and transcribing old handwriting, starting with the records of the 19th century and moving backwards in time. Students will be given the opportunity to examine handwriting styles and develop an understanding of how handwriting developed over the centuries. The course will then focus on Secretary Hand, a commonly used form during the Tudor and Stuart period. Historians will come across Secretary Hand in many types of documents such as parish registers, wills and inventories. The course aims to equip students with their own set of steps to being able to read, and successfully transcribe, the handwriting in old documents, enabling them to read documents which at first sight might appear to be written using a different alphabet.

    The course most suitable for those who already have some understanding and practice with old handwriting in their own family history research, and some familiarity with parish registers, wills and inventories, as many of the documents examined will be from the 16th and 17th centuries. No prior knowledge of Latin is required, although the final lesson introduces the kind of Latin found in 16th century parish registers.

    Nonconformity – Its Records and History 1600 – 1950

    Tutor: Alec Tritton
    Start date: 15th April 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks
    * FULLY BOOKED * Booking now for October 2021

    Recording the Poor – From Parish to Workhouse and beyond

    Tutor: Simon Fowler
    Start date: 19th April 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks
    * FULLY BOOKED * Booking now for August 2021

    Discovering more about your Agricultural Labouring Ancestors

    Tutor: Janet Few
    Start date: 26th April 2021
    Course length: 5 weeks
    * FULLY BOOKED * New date coming soon

    17th Century Sources

    Tutor: Stuart Raymond
    Start date: 28th April 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks

    One of our Intermediate Certificate courses, students completing this course will gain a broad understanding of the problems encountered when researching in 17th century records. They will be able to locate indexes and finding aids, document copies and transcripts, and original records. In addition, they will appreciate the research value and practical application of the information found. The course gives significant emphasis to local and regional differences within records as well as to historical context. For genealogists the 17th century presents new challenges. These are not discouraging – if anything, challenges add interest and enthusiasm to research. Historically it is a fascinating period, and genealogically some familiar records continue to be used so the research is not with entirely new material. Themes within the course include: the structure of a gentry dominated society, the records created by 17th century civil and ecclesiastical government, and the problems created by the “Commonwealth Gap”. Sources for 17th century research are found in many formats, from original documents to print to microform to digital. This course presents 21st century techniques for finding ancestors in Stuart England and Wales and teaches record interpretation, analysis and planning.

  2. Agreement with the Society for One-Place Studies

    One Place Studies

    We are delighted to announce that we have come to an arrangement with the Society of One Place Studies for our course, First Steps to a One-Place Study.

    One-place studies are a fascinating blend of local and family history. They are frequently undertaken by family historians wanting to create a context for their ancestors. Through a one-place study, you can investigate the friends, neighbours and associates with whom your family may have interacted and you can begin to understand the community in which they lived.

    Janet FewJanet Few’s course, starting in August, is designed for those who are just starting on their one-place journey and for more experienced one-placers who would like guidance or inspiration, or who are seeking a more organised approach to their study. It will also be suitable for those who may not want to undertake a full-blown one-place study but who wish to investigate an ancestral area in more detail.

    The Society for One-Place Studies is the leading organisation for anyone researching in this area and Pharos Tutors prides itself in engaging tutors and forming partnerships with those who are the experts in their field. The Society’s mission is to advance the education of the public in one-place studies, to encourage and assist those interested in this field of research, and to promote the preservation and publication of material relating to one-place studies, maximising its accessibility to the public.

    We are now able to offer any student of the course, who is not already a member of the Society, free membership for one year when the course starts. We also offer any current members of the Society a discount on the purchase of the course.

     

  3. Courses Coming in March

    We have some great courses coming up for you in March:

    Practicalities of a One Name Study

    Tutor: Julie Goucher 
    Start date: 9th March 2021
    Course length: 5 weeks (4 teaching weeks and a reading / practice week)

    * COURSE OF THE MONTH * 

    The course is designed to enable students to explore the practical steps of maintaining and developing their one-name study through a variety of mediums and to give some context to the various considerations they will need to explore.

    Lesson Headings:
    – Understanding and making the best use of spreadsheets in your study
    – Genealogical Software, what to consider
    – Online Trees and other software
    – The next steps: Preservation and Sharing

    Scottish Research Online

    Tutor: Chris Paton
    Start date: 1st March 2021
    Course length: 5 weeks

    Scotland was one of the first countries to digitise its major family history records collections for accessibility online, and continues to this day to use such resources to promote a worldwide interest in family history for those with Caledonian connections. This course describes the major sites and record types that you will encounter in your research, and how to analyse the results. Most importantly it will inspire you to actively pursue your interest in Scottish genealogy and take it to the next level.

    Wills and Administrations; the riches of probate records

    Tutor: Linda Newey
    Start date: 1st March 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks
    * FULLY BOOKED * Booking now for September 2021

    Advanced Methods and Reports

    Tutor: Karen Cummings
    Start date: 1st March 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks

    This course provides students with the techniques and tools to ensure the best possible evidence for their pedigrees and trees, and is suitable for hobby and professional genealogists alike.

    We look at problems of identity and interpretation, standards for evaluation and analysis, and how to build a case for proof. We will consider the display of charts and genealogy research reports, showing the conventions and standards that are used and that enable written research to be of a high scholarly standard. Students will also practise writing short research reports.

    Before the Modern Census – Name-rich sources from 1690 to 1837

    Tutor: Else Churchill
    Start date: 2nd March 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks

    What do you do when the nominal census records that you have used so much are no longer there, when you cannot obtain names, ages, birthplaces and the household address of a family? And how do you supplement the deficiencies of parish registers?

    Your attention should turn to a variety of lists which at least reveal where someone lived at a particular time. Though this seems scant information, such facts can be vitally important especially in those years when children were not born and christened.

    Over four lessons you will learn about the introduction of newspapers, the earliest efforts at census taking, and what other records are considered to be useful census substitutes. Census substitutes are often quite local in scope and purpose. Many will be explained and advice will be given on how to search for local lists. You will come away with an understanding of how to make the most of census substitutes, some new online search skills, and an ability to assess and access these sources.

    Church and Community, Selected records 1540 – 1800

    Tutor: Emma Jolly
    Start date: 3rd March 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks

    Ickleton Parish ChurchThis course gives you the tools to understand the nature, jurisdictions and administrations under which different types of community existed in the past, and seeks to bring genealogy and local history closer together.

    You’ve found your ancestor in the parish registers, but was that parish rural or urban, a town or borough? How did that affect your ancestors’ lives and how will it affect your research? We look at the records of towns, such as burgess rolls, and the difficulties and pitfalls in tracing our early ancestors who migrated from rural areas / parishes to towns.

    You will learn about the many records of the diocese and its court, including visitation records, marriage licences and probate records. Also in this category are the records of disputes heard in the church or ecclesiastical courts, often know as bawdy courts due to the nature of cases they heard.

    Finally, we look at the records of boroughs in detail, including guilds, freemen, voting rights and merchant guilds.

    Are You Sitting Comfortably? Writing and Telling Your Family History

    Tutor: Janet Few
    Start date: 15th March 2021
    Course length: 5 weeks

    Writing your family history is the logical step after genealogical research, and sometimes while research is still in progress. To avoid gathering dust, a family story must be written to appeal to a broad spectrum of relatives and readers, to answer questions of relationships and to stimulate the sharing of knowledge. The history of a family blends a range of information: the ancestors and their stories, the places they knew, and the context of contemporary conditions and event. A good story, based on sound research, is a focal point of a family re-union, and it makes a great gift.

    This five-week course begins with advice on making decisions about what to write about, and what to include, and how to make some order out of the potential chaos of information. It goes on to discover the historical context and how to add interest into your story with background about what was happening nationally and locally and how this might have affected your ancestors. It looks at how knowledge about occupations can bring an ancestor to life, and how and why social history helps you to make sense of it all and frame your story. Finally in week five, you will discover how to add photos and other illustrations as well as options for publishing.

    If you wish to receive feedback and assessment on your writing, there is the option to submit a piece of writing of up to 3,000 words for marking. The best of the class may even be published on this blog!

  4. Becoming a Professional Genealogist

    Are you thinking of becoming a professional genealogist but don’t know where to start?

    We often receive questions from students who want to know what their next steps should be.

    They ask questions like:

    “Do I need a qualification to work as a professional genealogist?”
    “Do I need to become accredited?”
    “Are your courses accredited?”
    “Where do I start?” “Am I ready?”

    We have a great course that covers all of this:
    Professional Genealogist – Become one, become a better one

    The question of qualifications

    In the UK you don’t actually need any qualifications to set yourself up as a professional genealogist. You may think that’s a good thing, but isn’t it also a little scary? What would you look for in a professional genealogist?

    There are some great professional genealogists out there who have no genealogy-related qualifications, but they tend to be established in the field and have lots and lots of years of professionally varied experience.

    There are also a lot of “wannabie” professional genealogists starting out right now. How are you going to distinguish yourself from the rest? How are you going to demonstrate that you are working at the highest possible standards and are by far the better choice, compared to Mr X down the road? One of the best ways to do this is by following a formal training programme that is recognised by the industry.

    Our Advanced Certificate in Family History Skills and Strategies is a great example of a programme recognised by AGRA, the professional body for England and Wales.

    Aim for accreditation

    Working at the highest standards is all about providing the best quality of service to your clients. How do they know that the beautifully laid out family tree and 50 page report you have produced is not, in fact, riddled with errors? Organisations such as the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (AGRA) (with equivalents ASGRA in Scotland and AGI in Ireland) only grant full membership after assessment of examples of your professional work.

    Here are some of our top tips as you think about starting up:

    Be honest with yourself

    You have been working on your own family tree for years and have lots of experience but it is important to be honest with yourself about how much you know. We guarantee you don’t know everything yet.

    Be ethical

    Your clients will value honesty even if you can’t take every kind of job on right now. Don’t pretend to be an expert in things you are clearly not. Start small with the more common records and build up your knowledge.

    Be patient

    So, you’ve had some nice shiny business cards printed and your website has gone live. Surely now the queue of paying customers will begin to form? The harsh reality is no, it does take time and it takes longer than you think it might. Be patient and don’t give up!

    Next Steps

    If you are interested in becoming a professional genealogist and want to know more, take our Professional Genealogist – Become one, become a better one course. This four week online course covers everything from starting up in business, answering client enquiries and report writing, working out your rates and marketing.

    If you are looking for more detail on methodology and reporting try our Advanced Methods & Reports course (this is part of the Advanced Programme but can also be taken in isolation).

    If you are interested in taking a certificate programme in genealogy that is recognised by AGRA, see our Certificate Courses pages.

  5. Courses Coming in February

    We have some great courses coming up for you in February and early March:

    So You Think You Know FamilySearch – A Guided Tour

    Tutor: Barbara H. Baker
    Start date: 1st February 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks

    * COURSE OF THE MONTH *

    Discover what you don’t know about English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh resources at the FamilySearch website with the help of an experienced guide. Barbara Baker worked in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City for more than 30 years and is an expert in FamilySearch resources.

    Since its beginning in 1998, FamilySearch.org has been a leading family history website on the Internet. The website provides access to many of the records, indexes and resources available at the Family History Library, which has one of the largest collections of published, microfilmed and digitized British and Irish records in the world.

    In recent years technological advances have made it possible for you to search and browse formerly inaccessible records, check geography and boundaries and obtain research advice anywhere, anytime. All this information is free to anyone with the knowledge and navigating skills to find it.

    The lesson headings are:

    Week 1: Introduction to FamilySearch and FamilySearch.org
    Week 2: Exploring British and Irish data and resources at FamiySearch.org
    Week 3: The British and Irish collection at the Family History Library
    Week 4: The FamilySearch Family Tree and What’s New

    Introduction to One-Name Studies

    Tutor: Julie Goucher
    Start date: 2nd February 2021
    Course length: 5 weeks

    This course is an introduction to one-name studies, written with the guidance of the Guild of One-Name Studies and is suitable for all genealogists who have woken up to the knowledge that they have an interesting and unusual surname.

    You will learn about the history and study of surnames; which surnames are suitable for a study, what a one-name study consists of, and how to get started. We cover how to collect and analyse data from the core records. You learn about all the practical aspects of running a one name study; collecting data, how to publicise your study, data protection, publish results and make sure your study is preserved for others in the future.

    Victorian Crime and Punishment – Courts, police and prisons

    Tutor: Antony Marr
    Start date: 23rd February 2021
    Course length: 5 weeks
    * FULLY BOOKED * Booking now for June 2021

    Scottish Research Online

    Tutor: Chris Paton
    Start date: 1st March 2021
    Course length: 5 weeks

    Scotland was one of the first countries to digitise its major family history records collections for accessibility online, and continues to this day to use such resources to promote a worldwide interest in family history for those with Caledonian connections. This course describes the major sites and record types that you will encounter in your research, and how to analyse the results. Most importantly it will inspire you to actively pursue your interest in Scottish genealogy and take it to the next level.

    Wills and Administrations; the riches of probate records

    Tutor: Linda Newey
    Start date: 1st March 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks
    * FULLY BOOKED * Booking now for September 2021

    Advanced Methods and Reports

    Tutor: Karen Cummings
    Start date: 1st March 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks

    This course provides students with the techniques and tools to ensure the best possible evidence for their pedigrees and trees, and is suitable for hobby and professional genealogists alike.

    We look at problems of identity and interpretation, standards for evaluation and analysis, and how to build a case for proof. We will consider the display of charts and genealogy research reports, showing the conventions and standards that are used and that enable written research to be of a high scholarly standard. Students will also practise writing short research reports.

    The lesson headings are:

    Week 1: Evidence and Proof
    Week 2: Overcoming Problems in Genealogy
    Week 3: Laying out Your Tree
    Week 4: Writing up Your Research

    Before the Modern Census – Name-rich sources from 1690 to 1837

    Tutor: Else Churchill
    Start date: 2nd March 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks

    What do you do when the nominal census records that you have used so much are no longer there, when you cannot obtain names, ages, birthplaces and the household address of a family? And how do you supplement the deficiencies of parish registers?

    Your attention should turn to a variety of lists which at least reveal where someone lived at a particular time. Though this seems scant information, such facts can be vitally important especially in those years when children were not born and christened.

    Over four lessons you will learn about the introduction of newspapers, the earliest efforts at census taking, and what other records are considered to be useful census substitutes. Census substitutes are often quite local in scope and purpose. Many will be explained and advice will be given on how to search for local lists. You will come away with an understanding of how to make the most of census substitutes, some new online search skills, and an ability to assess and access these sources.

  6. Student Showcase: Telling Your Family Story

    This is the second in a series of blog post from students of Janet Few‘s Are You Sitting Comfortably?: writing and telling your family history (216) course.

    Janet says: “I have been tutoring the course for several years. Three years ago the option to submit an assessed piece for feedback was added. Since then, each time the course has run, several students have taken this opportunity and have sent in a section of their family histories. They are given about six weeks after the course finishes to do this. I have been in awe of what they have produced in a comparatively short space of time. It is a pleasure to be able to feature some of their stories on the Pharos blog“.

    This piece offering comes from student, Samantha Taylor, and tells the story of Farrington Family

     

    Our Farrington Family of Brightlingsea

    The town of Brightlingsea is almost an island, bounded by muddy creeks, with a single road connecting it to the county of Essex.  Brightlingsea Creek joins the river Colne just before it empties into the North Sea.  On its way from Colchester the Colne flows past Rowhedge, Wyvenhoe and Brightlingsea, and meets the Blackwater which has travelled from Maldon, past Tollesbury and around Mersea Island.  All these places were famed for their boatbuilding.  This enclave of the Essex coast was steeped in the traditions of seafaring since before the time of Henry VIII.  As a limb of the Cinque Port of Sandwich the townspeople were exempted from serving on juries and in the armed forces, safe from the press gangs, underlining the national importance of their occupations and skills.

    At the beginning of the nineteenth century the creek and hard would have been full of fishing vessels of every size, cutters, smacks and yawls (200 by 1861).  The livelihood of the town came largely from the oyster beds of the Colne and Blackwater estuaries, and fishing as far as the Dutch coast and the Channel Islands.  As an interest in yachting for sport and pleasure began around 1825, wealthy owners looked to the men of the Colne to not only build, but crew, their race winning yachts.  These hardy men, brought up on the sea, knew well the ways of wind and tide and the most treacherous network of sandbanks.  By the end of the century it was as well known for beach huts and boating.

    Well inland from the hard is the centre of the town.  The outline of Hurst Green and Chapel Road is strikingly recognisable, even on the earliest maps, and along with High Street and Church Road forms the very skeleton of the ancient settlement dating back to the Romans.  The grassy triangular Hearst Green looks likely to have been the scene of sports and fairs, and its surrounding dwellings were home to two of our families in 1841.  Joseph Farrington had married Susanna Kerridge in July 1840 and their first child, Joseph Thomas was born in the spring of 1841.  Susanna’s father, James Kerridge, a widower, had married Joseph’s eldest sister, Ann Maria Farrington in October 1840, and they were living with James’s son George, then 13.  Both Joseph and James were fishermen as were more than half of their neighbours.

    Certainly in the early part of the nineteenth century the majority of properties were leased from the Lord of the Manor.  As fishermen, I am sure they would have lived in the simplest houses, two up, two down, however large their family became.  James, Ann Maria and their three children continued to live in Hearst Green.   Joseph and Susanna settled in Chapel Road with their nine children.  After Ann Maria’s death in 1867, James lived with his son Robert’s family in Hearst Green and their neighbours in 1871 were Joseph’s son Thomas Joseph Farrington and his wife Jane (Wright).  Another of their neighbours was Jane’s father, Henry Wright, a widower, and her sister Charlotte.  By 1891 Thomas Joseph, Jane and their four boys had moved to 59 Chapel Road, a four room house, probably with a garden.  Thomas Joseph’s brother, George Farrington, his wife Maria Ann (Farrington) and their four children were their neighbours.

    As widows, Susanna (Kerridge) and Jane (Wright) both lived on the High Street, albeit 20 years apart.  In 1891 Susanna was living in a single room but there is no mention of employment, while in 1911 Jane lived as servant/nurse with the Harris family.

    The railway appeared in 1866 running along the river from Colchester and crossing Alresford Creek. This branch of the Great Eastern Railway must have made a tremendous difference to a town which until then could only be reached by one road, or by sea.  The town’s population had grown four fold in less than 100 years, from 1,020 in 1811 to 4,501 in 1901, and by 1874 had a gas works company and a water company.  More houses were built on the north and south of High Street, and later in the century our families could be found in Nelson Street, John Street, and Sidney Street where my grandmother, Marion, was born.

    Brightlingsea lies quite flat along the creek but gradually ascends towards the farmland behind.  On this gentle hill to the north and slightly west, a mile and a half from the town, stands All Saints Church.  Now a grade one listed building it dates back to the 12th century and is built on the site of an earlier Saxon church of which a small arch remains.  The churchyard extends to six acres and the tower, built of local flint in the late 15th century stands 97 feet high, an important marker to those at sea.  Inside the church runs a frieze of tiles commemorating every Brightlingsea native lost at sea, since its inception in 1872 by the Rev Arthur Pertwee, in response to the 36 local seamen lost that year in severe storms on the North Sea.  Each tile is inscribed with the name of the deceased and his ship.  Many members of the family were baptised, married and buried here including Marion, who was baptised on 23rd October 1902.   This little pen and ink drawing of the church was made by Joseph William Farrington in 1938 and given to his niece, my grandmother, Marion.

    Chapel Road, then and now, is the site of the Wesleyan Chapel, records of which go back to 1805, although the building you see today was probably constructed at the end of the 19th century.  Wesleyan Methodism began in the second half of the 18th century but grew in popularity most rapidly in the first half of the 19th century.  The simplicity of their creed appealed particularly to the working class communities like that of our fishermen.  Between 1841 and 1855 at least eight of Joseph and Susanna’s nine children were baptised at the Wesleyan Chapel along with James and Ann Maria’s three children.  The deaths of Joseph’s sister Eliza (21), Susanna’s brother George (22), Joseph and Susanna’s son Isaac (2), and James and Ann Maria’s son James (3) were recorded in 1849.  They would have been buried elsewhere, possibly at All Saints, as there was no burial ground at the chapel.  George, Isaac and James died within a month of each other and I wonder if this is evidence of the cholera epidemic of that year.  A note in the burial record says that George’s body was brought home from the Channel Islands in the ship in which he sailed, but he may have been ill before he left.

    “Brightlingsea men have never been afraid of going to sea.  Their smacks earned a wonderful reputation for daring (and sometimes for piratical practices) in the last century” wrote Hervey Benham in the ‘Last Stronghold of Sail’ (George G Harrap and Co Ltd 1948).

    It is hard for me to imagine the world of these fishermen as they slip between the pages of census return and parish register, just out of reach, but I have been able to give some substance to them through Hervey Benham and Garboard Streyke who wrote most evocatively of this way of life before engines and mechanisation changed it forever.

    In February or March many smacks would sail to Falmouth and the Channel Islands to dredge deep sea oysters and would be away for two or three months.  Others would travel to the Terschelling Light on the Dutch coast, more than 200 miles away, for as long as four months.  In the sprat season from the mid-August to mid-February the smacks would work in groups of six or seven pooling their catch.  Whether dredging or netting fish, their muscles would have strained with the effort of throwing and hauling the gear, and all while under sail.  The storms could be savage and the sea often bitterly cold.  The creek could freeze in the depths of winter.  On top of that they would need to negotiate the most treacherous network of shoals, the Gunfleet Sand, the Long Sand, and the Sunk.

    “Many persons who, whether on business or pleasure, have paid a visit to Wyvenhoe, Rowhedge, or Brightlingsea, must have looked with some curiosity on the black, rough-looking vessels known as smacks, with their crews of bearded and bronzed men, clad in canvas jackets and pilot-cloth trousers” wrote Garboard Streyke as the opening to ‘The Sea, The River, And The Creek’ (Sampson Low, Marston, Searle and Rivington 1884).

    Beneath their jackets a traditional, tight fitting knitted gansey and a waistcoat, and over their trousers, thigh length greased leather boots with wooden pegged soles, would have been worn, topped off with a hat, and oilskins if it was rough.  They must have looked much like the men in the photographs by Frank Meadow Sutcliffe, and I expect their wives also dressed similarly to the herring girls.

    The crews of four to six men would have started their day as early as four o’clock, before dawn.  Their meals would have been simple but nourishing, cooked on a small stove in the cabin.  Bread and cheese would do for breakfast and a bit of salt beef stew and dumplings, cooked in an iron pot, for dinner, and always washed down with tea brewed in the kettle with sugar, but no milk.  Although they may have frequented the many public houses in the town, when they were at sea not a drop passed their lips.

    It wasn’t just the harsh weather and inhospitable terrain the fishermen had to deal with.  On 21st December 1833 the Essex Standard reported that on Monday 16th December, the Magistrates in Colchester Castle heard depositions from the masters and crews of several vessels which had been molested in dredging for oysters off the coast of France.  One of the depositions was given by Shadrach Martin, master of the fishing smack Globe, describing how the vessel had been boarded by Frenchmen and taken to Granville.  Similar accounts were given by other masters who felt aggrieved by their treatment by the French when they were miles away from their coast, and considering that the French fishermen were not similarly violated when fishing off the British coast.  A letter was sent by the fishermen to the bench of magistrates, and one of the signatories was Isaac Farrington.  Born in Brightlingsea, he moved to Harwich with his young family and in 1884 his granddaughter Maria Ann Farrington would marry Joseph and Susanna’s son George.  As a result of the letter and the depositions the Magistrates sent a letter to Lord Viscount Melbourne requesting protection for the fishermen.  It was less than 20 years since the end of the Napoleonic wars.  William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne was a Member of Parliament for the Whig party and at the time Home Secretary, but would later become Prime Minister and a favourite of Queen Victoria.  Sadly I have not been able to find out if he acted in response to the letter from Colchester.

    UK, Apprentices Indentured in Merchant Navy, 1824-1910, TNA

    A life at sea started early and Joseph Thomas Farrington (14) and Thomas Joseph Farrington (13) were indentured to their father Joseph Farrington on 15th August 1855, as apprentices on the vessel  Rose, of Colchester.  I wonder if this infers that Joseph was at least the master of this vessel, if not the owner.

    Both brothers, Joseph and Thomas worked aboard the fishing cutter Globe,  which was registered in 1844 at Colchester but likely built at Wivenhoe around 1805.  Benham describes her as a ‘powerful cutter smack’.  At the time of the census in 1871 she was recorded at Dover with Thomas, aged 28, serving as Mate.  Joseph, aged 19, had been serving as A B Seaman in 1861 when she was recorded at Guernsey, Channel Islands.  The Globe’s Master, Hazel Polley was a neighbour of the Farringtons in Chapel Road.  Joseph Thomas was recorded aboard Tartar in 1871 at Swansea, and the following year he married and settled there.  In 1881 Thomas Joseph was recorded aboard the steam ship Castalia, built as a cross channel ferry but soon abandoned, as A B Seaman off Erith, Dartford, Kent.  George, the youngest of Joseph and Susanna’s sons, appeared in Newhaven, Sussex in 1881 aboard the fishing smack Queen Victoria as A B Seaman.

    Jane was born in St Osyth in 1849 to Henry Whybrough Wright, a farm labourer and Susan (Southgate).  By 1861, when Jane was 12, they had moved to Brightlingsea.  Jane married Thomas Joseph Farrington in 1869.  They had four sons: George Thomas, born 1871; Frederick Joseph (my great grandfather), born 1873; Thomas, born 1875; and Joseph William, born 1882.

    Jane was illiterate and my great grandfather’s birth certificate bears her ‘mark’, a simple and unsteady cross.  It is impossible to know what opportunities if any she had for an education or whether or not her family supported it.  A select committee report on Education of the Poor, 1818 said of Brightlingsea:  ‘The poor have the means of education, but appear very indifferent in taking advantage of them.’
    According to a House of Commons paper on education, by 1833 the town, with a population of 1,784, had four infant schools, six day schools and three Sunday Schools .  However the greatest change to the provision of education must have come with the 1870 Education Act which provided schools for everyone, known as Board Schools, although education did not become compulsory to the age of 12 until 1899.

    I like to think that Jane decided she wanted more for her boys, that the life of a fisherman was too hard and unrewarding.  Probably the combination of freely provided education and a declining fishing industry played their part, but I imagine she took the initiative while Thomas was away at sea.

    Their eldest son George was apprenticed to shipbuilding by the age of 19, and eventually joined HM Dockyard at Sheerness, Kent.  In the summer of 1895 he married Sarah Emily Underwood who was born in Tollesbury.  They had two children and continued to live in Kent until they died.  Before she married, Sarah was a draper’s assistant in Brightlingsea and in 1911 was living in Brightlingsea and running Farrington’s Drapers at 77 High Street, while George was living in Sheerness with his mother-in-law.  In 1939 they lived in Strood, Kent, and were listed as retired drapers.

    Frederick was apprenticed to shoemaking by the time he was 17, and by 1902, when my grandmother Marion was born, had his own boot making business in Brightlingsea’s High Street.  He had married Nettie Heaver in the autumn of 1899.  Their second child, Muriel was born in Chobham, Surrey in 1910, and in 1911 they were living in Berkhampstead, Hertfordshire.  At some point he visited the United States, perhaps to visit his younger brother, and was so enthusiastic he contacted Nettie and told her to sell all their furniture and pack ready to emigrate with their two girls.  However by the time he returned he had changed his mind.  Certainly by 1915 they had returned to Brightlingsea where Marion was at school, second from the left in the second row down in the photograph above.

    Thomas Farrington’s Master’s Certificate 1903

    Thomas did become a mariner and had achieved his Master’s Certificate in 1903 when he was 28.  Otherwise he is something of an enigma but it has been suggested that he died at sea on a yacht that sank off the coast of Carolina.

    Their youngest son Joseph William had become a mariner by the time he was 18, and living in Bightlingsea with his widowed mother.  However on 7th June 1905 he left England from the port of Liverpool and sailed to Philadelphia on the Friesland.  He didn’t return until 1927 when he sailed from Boston on the Aurania, arriving in Liverpool on 6th June.   An account of his adventures in North America, prospecting in the silver mines of Canada, was recorded in a US local newspaper.  Soon after his return he married Lily Martha Death on the 4th July in Chadwell St Mary, near to the home of his brother.  He and Lily settled in John Street, Brightlingsea where he worked as a bus conductor.

    Isaac Kerridge Farrington, born in 1891, was one of the four cousins living next door to my great grandfather, Frederick and his brothers, that year.  I was kindly sent some ‘Farrington’ related information by Margaret Stone, curator of Brightlingsea Museum and at the time had not worked out the relationship to my own family.  It was cheering to find the connection and satisfying to see the names Kerridge and Farrington come together.  His story, though, is as sad as it is familiar.  He was a corporal in the Rifle Brigade and was killed at Ypres on 10th July 1916.  He carried a small bible in his tunic which contained a request, written inside, that in case of accident it be returned to Miss Lillian Finch of 77 Nelson Street, to whom he was engaged.  The Brightlingsea Times included his photograph and a poem he had written while at the front, when they reported his death.

  7. Courses Coming in January

    December is a quieter month for us at Pharos, as we allow time for students and tutors to take a break. However, we have lot to talk about for January, some last minute Christmas gift ideas perhaps?

    Coming up in January:

    Introduction to Medieval Genealogy

    Tutor: Gillian Waters
    Start date: 5th January 2021
    Course length: 5 weeks (4 teaching weeks and a reading week)

    * COURSE OF THE MONTH *

    Don’t stop tracing your family once you have exhausted the parish registers. It is possible to trace lines back beyond the 1500s, and this course outlines some of the ways that you can break into medieval genealogy. It will help you create the foundations for researching medieval records, describe the nature of medieval records, on-line locations and finding guides that can improve your chances of finding direct or probable relations. It will also help you understand the geographical and political landscapes of medieval England, including general histories and the key events which generated records.

    The lesson headings are:

    Week 1: Starting out on Medieval Research – identifying families to track
    Week 2: Planning the move to Medieval Records – getting to grips with medieval pedigrees
    Week 3: Records of the Landed Classes- the structure of medieval society and the meanings of terminology
    Week 4: Reading week- a chance to do some background research
    Week 5: Medieval Church records, Military records and Taxation

    Advanced Military Research – 20th Century Conflict

    Tutor: Simon Fowler
    Start date: 4th January 2021
    Course length: 3 weeks

    This course follows on from our Your Military Ancestors course with a focus on the 20th Century (you do not need need to have taken the Your Military Ancestors course first).

    It covers the two world wars, the Boer War, the Korean War and other post-war conflicts, including for men who undertook National Service.

    As well as considering the records themselves, the course looks at their context, the purposes for which they were created and how different records relate to each other. We also consider non-military records at The National Archives and elsewhere that can help researchers. Although few records survive for civilians or those who served in the auxiliary services, such as the Merchant Navy and Home Guard, we will consider the records which are available.

    Apprenticeship Records

    Tutor: Stuart Raymond
    Start date: 6th January 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks
    * FULLY BOOKED *

    Researching Online for Advanced Genealogists

    Tutor: Peter Christian
    Start date: 6th January 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks

    The internet is now an essential research environment for family history: many indexes to genealogical records are now available only online, and the internet provides access to a wealth of information and contacts for family historians. This course examines the main types of internet resource which are useful in carrying out research in English and Welsh family history and aims to improve your search skills so that you can be more confident with your search results.

    Employment Records

    Tutor: Alec Tritton
    Start date: 7th January 2021
    Course length: 5 weeks

    Records of employment can do two things; reveal important facts for furthering the genealogical information about a family and provide vivid details of the way your ancestors lived. This 5 week course examines what is likely to be found in official and unofficial sources and where and how the information can be used as further insights into the lives and times of our ancestors.

    Lesson Headings:
    Week 1: The Professions
    Week 2: Merchant Seamen and Coastguard
    Week 3: Government employees
    Week 4: Town folk
    Week 5: Country folk

    Migration in the British Isles

    Tutor: Karen Cummings
    Start date: 18th January 2021
    Course length: 3 weeks
    * FULLY BOOKED *

    Discovering Your British Family and Local Community in the early 20th Century

    Tutor: Janet Few
    Start date: 26th January 2021
    Course length: 5 weeks

    Family historians often neglect the twentieth century as being not really history but there is plenty to be discovered about individuals and the communities in which they lived between 1900 and 1945. Twentieth century research brings with it the difficulties of larger and more mobile populations as well as records that are closed to view. This course sets out to provide advice for finding out about our more recent ancestors and the places in which they lived.

  8. Announcement of new tutor: Dr Richard Baker

    We are absolutely delighted to announce the appointment of a new Tutor at Pharos Tutors: Dr Richard Baker.

    Dr Richard Baker Pharos Tutor

    Dr Richard Baker joins us at Pharos Tutors

    Many of you will already know Richard. Richard is an experienced Tutor and Lecturer in all aspects of Genealogy, but his specialist interests are in Heraldry and Palæography. He lectures regularly at the International Heraldic and Genealogical Congresses and is an Academician of the Académie Internationale d’Héraldique, a Council Member of the Heraldry Society and President of the International Federation of Schools of Family History. He will be preparing a brand new course on Heraldry for Pharos over the next few months, which he will teach for the first time next year. Keep an eye on the website for the release of course dates!

    He is well-known within the genealogy community for his position as Principal of the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies (IHGS), a position from which he retired earlier this year. You can read more about Richard here.

  9. Scheduling the Intermediate Certificate in Genealogy

    If you are looking for a programme of online family history courses covering a wide range of genealogical sources then look no further than our Family History Skills and Strategies (FHSS) Intermediate Certificate programme. More information, including entrance criteria, can be found here.

    The Intermediate Certificate consists of ten courses, and you have three years to complete all ten:

    17th Century Sources (382)
    Apprenticeship Records (281)
    Before the Modern Census – Name-rich sources from 1690 to 1837 (381)
    Employment Records (380)
    Migration in the British Isles (314)
    Nonconformity – Its Records and History 1600 – 1950 (280)
    Recording the Poor – From Parish to Workhouse and beyond (203)
    Victorian Crime and Punishment- Courts, police and prisons (308)
    Wills and Administrations; the riches of probate records (205)
    Your Military Ancestors (224)

    We often get messages from students asking for help scheduling the Intermediate Certificate courses. In this blog post we give some top tips on how to make the best of your time without overloading yourself too much in one go. So, how do you know where to start?

    Man under stress because of too much problems. Abstract image with a wooden puppet

    Course Numbers

    First up there are the course numbers. These are a guide to the difficulty of the courses. 300 series courses are generally more difficult than 200 series courses or based within an earlier time period. We suggest you plan to take at least one or two 200 series courses first.

    Course Frequency

    Secondly we suggest that, if you can, you avoid taking more than one course at a time. We have had feedback from previous students complaining that the courses booked up too quickly and that they struggled to fit all ten into the time available. In the last few months we have doubled up on how often nine of the ten courses run. All but Apprenticeship Records now run twice a year (and Apprenticeship Records takes a higher number of students than it used to).

    Fast track

    Now that we have increased the frequency of our courses it is possible to complete the Intermediate Certificate programme in 18 months without having to take any courses simultaneously. This is not for the faint hearted, there is a short gap between some of the courses doing it this way. The best way to show you how this works is to show you how we have scheduled these. Both schedules begin with the Wills & Probate course. If you start with Wills and Probate in September, you can follow the path below:

    Sep.    Wills and Administrations; the riches of probate records (205)
    Oct.    Nonconformity – Its Records and History 1600 – 1950 (280)
    Jan.    Apprenticeship Records (281)
    Feb.    Victorian Crime and Punishment- Courts, police and prisons (308)
    Mar.    Recording the Poor – From Parish to Workhouse and beyond (203)
    Jun.    Your Military Ancestors (224)
    Jul.     Before the Modern Census – Name-rich sources from 1690 to 1837 (381)
    Sep.    Migration in the British Isles (314)
    Oct.    17th Century Sources (382)
    Jan.    Employment Records (380)

    The alternative route is:

    Mar.   Wills and Administrations; the riches of probate records (205)
    Apr.    Nonconformity – Its Records and History 1600 – 1950 (280)
    Jun.    Victorian Crime and Punishment- Courts, police and prisons (308)
    Aug.   Recording the Poor – From Parish to Workhouse and beyond (203)
    Nov.   Your Military Ancestors (224)
    Jan.   Apprenticeship Records (281)
    Mar.   Before the Modern Census – Name-rich sources from 1690 to 1837 (381)
    Apr.   17th Century Sources (382)
    Jun.   Employment Records (380)
    Sep.   Migration in the British Isles (314)

    This is how courses were scheduled for 2020 and 2021, future order subject to change depending on tutor availability.

    We hope this helps!

  10. Courses Coming in November

    Pharos Courses Coming Soon

    Coming up in November:

    Scotland 1750-1850 – Beyond the Old Parish Registers

    Tutor: Chris Paton
    Start date: 2nd November 2020
    Course length: 5 weeks

    * COURSE OF THE MONTH *

    This is the second course on Scottish research. If you have not taken Scottish Research Online you may want to check out its description first. This Beyond the Old Parish Registers course is an intermediate level course in Scottish family history for those who are going back beyond 1850. You should have some experience with research in the Old Parish Registers (OPRs) of the Church of Scotland and in using major websites for Scottish research. The course discusses sources that fill the gap when the OPRs are uninformative or missing; for example, records of parish and town administration, occupations, land transfer and taxation. Using these records involves several different locations, and you will learn how to check online finding aids and discover the most effective way to obtain records that may be available both online and offline. Lessons will cover:

    • Kirk Sessions records and parish poor
    • Burgh records and town poor
    • Occupations, taxation and early lists
    • Land transfer and the value of sasines
    • Land, inheritance and estates

     

    Advanced One-Name Studies

    Tutor: Julie Goucher
    Start date: 3rd November 2020
    Course length: 6 weeks

    Take one-name study skills to new levels. Whatever drew you into the investigation of a surname you are now deeply immersed in gathering and analysing data. You have mastered the practical aspects of managing your project and are eager to turn your discoveries into something of lasting value.

    This course is the third of three courses regarding One-Name Studies and builds on the initial learning from the Introduction to One-Name Studies course and the Practicalities of a One-Name Study course. We strongly advise you to take at least the Introduction to One-Name Studies course before taking this course, even if your one-name study has been running for some time.

    The course includes sections on the theory of one-name studies, a review of current published work on surnames, introduces more complex interdisciplinary analysis, and shows you how to bring your historical skills up to scratch. There is an emphasis on analysing data and synthesis or ‘adding value’ to your results, as well as working towards the publication of your findings.