Wells Cathedral, England By Mattana (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Wells Cathedral, England By Mattana (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Recently, FindMyPast had a free weekend, so I of course set aside time to explore the website and all that it has to offer. Free weekends are a great time to test out a website and see if I’ll add it to my subscriptions!

FindMyPast has a lot of British records, so I decided to look into my maternal line; specifically at my 3rd great-grandmother, my most recent British immigrant. Her name is Hannah (Stock) Gainer Brion.

I knew of her life in the United States more than I did of her brief life in England and I had a vague idea of her parents names because of that.

Now, even though I started with Hannah, I ended up focusing my research on her parents: Forest and Tryphena (I LOVE it when people have unique names mixed with a common surname!). Mainly because there wasn’t much on Hannah’s English life because the family moved to Michigan sometime between 1851 (1)“1851 England Census,” database, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 March 2015), entry for Hannah Stock (age 1), Westbury. Somerset; PRO HG107/1934, folio 90, p. 14; Wells Union registration district, Wells district, ED 5, household 59., when Hannah was a year old, to 1855, when they show up in the 1860 census record with a five year old son born in Michigan (2)1860 U.S. census, Macomb County, Michigan, population schedule, Clinton, p. 383 (penned), dwelling 2787, family 2917, Forest Stock and family; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 March 2014); citing NARA microfilm publication M653, roll 553.. There really wasn’t much, then, on Hannah’s life in England besides a census and a birth record(3)“England & Wales, Free BMD Index: 1837-1915,” database, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 March 2014), birth entry for Hannah Stock; citing Wells Oct-Nov-Dec 1850, vol. 10:505..

So on to her parents! I do find a marriage record for Forest Stock and a Tryphena Hockey (4)“England & Wales, Free BMD Index: 1837-1915,” database, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 March 2014), marriage entry for Forest Stock and Tripphena Hockey; citing Wells, Somerset County, Oct-Nov-Dec 1849, vol. 10:793. in the database- yay! A maiden name! That, however, doesn’t lead to much on Tryphena (YET!), but I do find more information on Forest, who was a farmer according to the two censuses I already mentioned.

Forest was baptized 30 May 1825 in Westbury, Somerset, England and his parents are noted as William Stock and Ann (5)“England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975,” databse, Ancestry,com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 March 2015), baptism entry for Forest Stock, 30 May 1825; citing England, Births and Christenings, 1538-1975, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah; FHL Film 1526056, item 11, p. 32., but I don’t find him with his parents again but may have found him in an 1841 census but I need to connect him to those people he’s with somehow.

And that seemed to be about it for records (so far) in England. This was a surface search though, so keep that in mind. I wasn’t digging too deep at this point.

However, as I filled in the information on my Ancestry.com tree, I noted some things coming up. And here, to me, is a very sad story. Forest and Tryphena moved to America between 1851-1855, as already noted. I imagine that the reason they moved was because of the farming and land opportunities that America had that England did not. Of course, then the Civil War began. Although relatively new to this country, Forest obviously felt pretty strongly about this war because he enlisted in a Michigan regiment(6)“U.S. Civil War Solider Records and Profiles, 1861-1865,” database, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 March 2015), entry for Forest Stock (Co. C., Mich. 1st Inf.), enlistment date 3 Dec 1861..

And died.

In 1865, there is a Forest Stock listed who died in Florence, S.C. of disease(7)“U.S.., Registers of Deaths of Volunteers, 1861-1865,” digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 March 2015), entry for Forest Stock, 8th Mich. Vol, 24 Jan 1865; citing Registers of Deaths of Volunteers, compiled 1861-1865, pg. 105; NARA Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1780’s-1917, RG 94..

So here he was, still in a relatively new country that broke out into war and he decides to participate, leaving his wife and young family at home. And then, in an even more foreign place, he dies of disease. I can’t imagine how hard that had to have been and it broke my heart a bit for this family that was trying to make something of themselves in a new place.

Now, did I learn all of this through records found only on FindMyPast? Well, no. I did not. In fact, every record I found on FindMyPast, I could find on Ancestry.com (I have the world subscription) and then some (you’ll note that all my citations are from Ancestry.com, not FindMyPast). So, although my weekend research did give me new results that I wouldn’t have found without the focus I had, thanks to the free weekend, I do not feel a subscription is necessary; yet. Maybe I didn’t look with the right people to see the unique records that I know FindMyPast has, nonetheless, no new subscription.

At least my wallet was relieved.

 

Did you find anything new and interesting because of the free FindMyPast weekend? Or do you already have a subscription to FindMyPast and wish to share about it? Please comment below!

 

Happy hunting!

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Sources   [ + ]

1. “1851 England Census,” database, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 March 2015), entry for Hannah Stock (age 1), Westbury. Somerset; PRO HG107/1934, folio 90, p. 14; Wells Union registration district, Wells district, ED 5, household 59.
2. 1860 U.S. census, Macomb County, Michigan, population schedule, Clinton, p. 383 (penned), dwelling 2787, family 2917, Forest Stock and family; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 March 2014); citing NARA microfilm publication M653, roll 553.
3. “England & Wales, Free BMD Index: 1837-1915,” database, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 March 2014), birth entry for Hannah Stock; citing Wells Oct-Nov-Dec 1850, vol. 10:505.
4. “England & Wales, Free BMD Index: 1837-1915,” database, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 March 2014), marriage entry for Forest Stock and Tripphena Hockey; citing Wells, Somerset County, Oct-Nov-Dec 1849, vol. 10:793.
5. “England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975,” databse, Ancestry,com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 March 2015), baptism entry for Forest Stock, 30 May 1825; citing England, Births and Christenings, 1538-1975, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah; FHL Film 1526056, item 11, p. 32.
6. “U.S. Civil War Solider Records and Profiles, 1861-1865,” database, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 March 2015), entry for Forest Stock (Co. C., Mich. 1st Inf.), enlistment date 3 Dec 1861.
7. “U.S.., Registers of Deaths of Volunteers, 1861-1865,” digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 March 2015), entry for Forest Stock, 8th Mich. Vol, 24 Jan 1865; citing Registers of Deaths of Volunteers, compiled 1861-1865, pg. 105; NARA Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1780’s-1917, RG 94.