Tuesday, 30 April 2013

World War One Soldier's Story - Reginald Leslie Duncan from Barnsley

Reginald Leslie Duncan is a bit of a mouthful - let's call him Reg ... I hope that's OK.  He's the OH's first cousin 3x removed, one of our most closely related WW1 soldiers, so I think we are allowed to be friendly.  He's also a lot younger than me, or at least he was when he died, which is one of those really strange thoughts that you get sometimes in family history that makes your insides shiver a bit and you have to insist you have something in your eye - it couldn't possibly be a tear for someone who's been dead for ninety-seven years.

This is Reg.  Like I said ... young isn't he?
Reginald Leslie Duncan from the Barnsley Independent 5 Aug 1916
The title of this post says he was from Barnsley, I'm not telling fibs, but funnily enough Reg was actually born in Malton, North Yorkshire.  His father Herbert Duncan had married, in Barnsley, a girl called Maria Cocker, a Lancashire lass.  They'd been quite young, Herbert was 23 years old and Maria only 19.  Herbert was a tailor and Maria gives her occupation as a seamstress before her marriage, I suppose they may have met at work.  They were married for eight years and then in 1888 she died.  There were no children to the marriage and I expect Herbert just wanted a change of scenery to take his mind off his loss. 

When I found him on the 1891 census he was living in Old Malton with his new wife, Elizabeth, daughter of John Rollinson, the landlord of the Hare and Hounds pub in Newbegin, Malton.  They had married at the end of 1890. 

Cyril (or George) Duncan their first son was born early in 1892, followed by Doris in 1893 and then Reg in 1895.  Something must have changed because Herbert and Elizabeth's next child, their third son, Horace, was born in Barnsley in 1897.  Their fifth and final child, Clara was born in 1899 also in Barnsley.  The address given at the baptisms of both these children and the family's address in the 1901 census was 77 Sheffield Road.  In Barnsley Streets Volume 1 Herbert's business is listed at this address from 1896 to 1909.  The family then moves to 25 Pontefract Road where we find them in 1911.
1911 census return for 25 Pontefract Road, Barnsley (from Ancestry)
Cyril has followed his father into the Tailoring business, along with the eldest daughter, Doris.  Reg, who is 16 years old, is working in the Glass Trade and young Horace is working as an Iron Moulder in a Foundry.  The 1911 census returns give the additional information, not collected on any previous census, that the length of the marriage between Herbert and Elizabeth was nineteen years and that of their five children all were still living. 

Within a few years all three boys had enlisted to fight in the 'Great War'.
Recruiting posters (from the Imperial War Museum)
When war broke out in August 1914 most people thought that it would be 'over by Christmas' and when Lord Kitchener appealed for volunteers thousands of Barnsley men rushed to join up. 

Reg's service number was 13/252 so he was one of the earlier men to enlist into the 13th Battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment, soon to be known as the 1st Barnsley Pals, in the autumn of 1914.  I have been unable to find his service records or those of his brother Horace, service number 13/1434, so they must have been amongst those lost during the fires of the blitz in World War Two, however the story of the Barnsley Pals has been well documented by Jon Cooksey in his book of the same name.  Horace might have joined up a little later, judging by his number, but then he wasn't 18 until the beginning of 1915 - unless he stretched the truth when he faced the recruiting officer of course.  T!here are many stories of young men sent for a walk around the block coming back with a year added on their age

The men who had grown up together and worked together now trained together, firstly camping in the Civic Hall in Barnsley town centre, then moving up to a newly built camp at Silkstone and then on to Penkridge in Staffordshire.  By late 1915 they were on Salisbury Plain waiting to be sent overseas, surprisingly not straight to France but to Egypt for the first few months of 1916.  To a couple of young men, Reg now 21 years old and Horace, just about to turn 19, it must have been a great adventure. 

We know that the Barnsley Pals arrived in France in March 1916 and they would no doubt have been kept busy training in mock trenches and getting ready for the 'big push'.  Everyone, including the Germans, knew it was coming.  The plan was for the British to make make a concerted attack on the their part of the line in attempt to relieve the pressure on the French further south.  They had been fighting hard all spring at Verdun.  Follow my links to read more about this on the Long, Long Trail website.

The Pals would have had a few stints in the trenches before the final attack.  In the weeks beforehand the wire and emplacements on the German side of No-Man’s land were supposed to have been blown to pieces by the bombardment of the British artillery, so being in the front line was probably very noisy and of course very dangerous.  Reg was obviously doing a very good job as he had already been promoted to Sergeant.  I suppose having his younger brother in the same battalion meant he could keep an eye on him and their parents were probably reassured that Reg would look after Horace.

When the day came, the 1st July 1916, the men were ordered to advance at a walk, to keep their lines.  This may have been confidence that the German defences were destroyed, but it was almost certainly because the generals were concerned that many of the Pals battalions were going into action for the first time that day. 

Some men had been detailed to crawl out of the trenches ahead of the attack to lie in wait in no-man's land for the signal, but most of the Barnsley men were not in this group, just half of the 14th Y&L, the 2nd Barnsley Pals were in the very front line.  The remainder of the 2nd Barnsley and the whole of the 13th Y&L, the 1st Barnsley Pals were in the second line about 100 yards behind the front markers.  Reg and Horace and their comrades were following the Accrington Pals, the 11th East Lancs who set off as the signal was heard.

The men were heavily laden with equipment as it was expected they would be taking over the German trenches and working to make them good so the fight could be continued from there.  Unfortunately the wire had not been destroyed and the German trenches were deep and well reinforced.  As soon as the bombardment stopped, just before the signal for the advance, the Germans came out of their bunkers, set up their machine guns and waited.

Here's an extract from the War Diary of the 13th Y&L, the 1st Barnsley Pals:

7am -  The advance was carried out in perfect order under a terrific hostile artillery  bombardment and Machine Gun fire … all ranks advanced as steadily as if on a drill  parade. Major Guest, Lt. Heptonstall and three men of B Coy reached the German front line. Major Guest and the three men were killed and Lt. Heptonstall was wounded in the side but fell into a shell crater where he remained till nightfall when he managed to crawl back to our lines.
9am -  Orders were received for C Company and D Company  to advance as a support … they were stopped by verbal orders from the Brigadier who had now received information that all our preceding waves had been decimated.
(This extract from Andrew Jackson's Barnsley Pals website)

None of the 1st Barnsley men got through the wire to reach the German trenches. 

Meanwhile back in Barnsley reports were published in the local newspapers, the Barnsley Chronicle and the Barnsley Independent, praising the brave soldiers and congratulating them on the success of the 'big push'.  It took a few more days for the real stories to come trickling back to Yorkshire.

On the 5th August 1916 the Barnsley Independent published a large piece on Reginald Leslie Duncan entitled "Barnsley Sergeant Falls, Killed by Chance Shot".  Apparently Horace and Elizabeth had only just received definite news that Reg had been killed, despite the fact that 'rumour had been current for the past week or two that he fell in the great attack".  Messages from a close friend and from Horace had 'helped prepare the parents for the sad official news".  The article also reproduced a portion of a letter from Reg's captain explaining that they had been moving around a great deal since 5th July and he hadn't been able to get hold of the addresses of the next of kin.  Captain Gwney writes,

"I am sorry to have to confirm the rumour that your son, Sergt. Reginald Duncan, was killed on July 1st.  He was killed by a shell, and died instantaneously without any pain or knowledge at all.  Your son was killed by quite a chance shot and his death is a very deep grief to us all.  He was a fearless and splendid N.C.O. in whom I had absolute confidence, and his death has made a gap in our ranks that we never shall fill".

L: part of the article printed in the Barnsley Independent on 5 Aug 1916
R: the dedication from 'his loving sweetheart' in the Barnsley Chronicle on 19 Aug 1916
The article also mentions that Reg used to work at Redfearn's Glassworks and that Horace had transferred to the 13th Y&L from the Territorials to join his brother.  The eldest brother Cyril was with the Royal Army Medical Corps in France.

The following week a memorial from his parents was printed in the Barnsley Chronicle and the week after that it was followed by a poem from 'his loving sweetheart and her family'.  That same week the Chronicle prints a shortened version of the article used by the Independent, mainly the letter from his captain.  Finally on 26th August a smaller picture of Reg appears on the front page of the Chronicle as part of an array of photos of killed and missing men. 

There had been losses in Barnsley before the 1st July 1916, but nothing on the scale of the casualties from that day and those which followed.  The Barnsley Pals book lists over 200 killed or who subsequently died of wounds sustained on the first day, 74 of them are listed on the Thiepval Memorial as they have no known resting place.  Reg was a little luckier ... if that is the right word.
The grave of R L Duncan at Colincamps (thanks to RE for this picture)
Reg was buried in the Euston Road Cemetery at Colincamps, which was about three miles behind the lines on 1st July 1916.  Look at the way the stones in the background of the picture above are almost touching each other or are overlapping.  This is an indication that the cemetery was used immediately after a big battle, when a large grave would have been prepared in advance for the casualties who were laid out side by side.  Around 500 men were initially buried here.  Later burials in the same cemetery are more spaced out and after the war more than 750 other burials were collected into the cemetery from outlying areas. 

Reg's brothers made it home and both marry after the war.  His sister Doris marries during the war and her husband also survives.  Elizabeth dies in 1925 and Herbert in 1933, both are buried in Barnsley Cemetery, they remained at 25 Pontefract Road until their deaths.  There were schemes set up after the war for relatives to visit the battlefield cemeteries, hopefully some members of Reg's family were able to go and put flowers on his grave.  The photo above was taken by a more distant relative, Reg's second cousin 2x removed (and the OH's fourth cousin once removed), who kindly sent me a copy. 

Despite not having Reg's service records it is still possible to find out a lot about what his experiences would have been from regimental records and battalion war diaries - and of course we are very lucky in Barnsley that so much work has been done on the Barnsley Pals battalions already.  

*Update: R Duncan is remembered on the Redfearn Brothers' Glassworks War Memorial Plaque now on display in Barnsley Town Hall in one of the glass cases on the first floor landing.  Given the information we have about him this must be the right man.

Monday, 29 April 2013

How mobile were our ancestors? - Benjamin Bateman's other children

I've been in touch with a descendant of James Bateman, the brother of my 4x great grandfather William Bateman.  I wrote about William in a blog a little while ago, explaining that I had spent many years thinking he came from Sheffield, when actually he was from Shelf, near Halifax.  I wrote about James just recently, explaining how he moved from Bradford to Bitchburn in Durham and then back to Bradford again.  One of our worries about connecting the two men was the nine year gap between them ... did we have the right Benjamin and Elizabeth (aka Betty)? Were there other children in that gap?  Or did Benjamin spend a lot of time away from home whilst he was a Militiaman - which was his occupation at James' baptism in 1811?

What we knew:

Benjamin Bateman and Betty Benn, who were both from Shelf, were married 7 June 1802 in St John's Halifax. 
William was baptised 7 Nov 1802 at the same church, son of Benjamin Bateman, of Shelf, a Coal Miner.
James was baptised 24 Nov 1811 at the same church, son of Benjamin and Elizabeth Bateman of Southowram, Militiaman.

Both William and James moved to Durham for work - James returned to Bradford within 10 years. 
William's children by his wife Ann (children's names often indicate the names of parents and siblings) included Jane, Elizabeth, Henry, James, Sarah, another Henry, William, Martha, Mary Ann, another Mary Ann, yet another Henry, Eleanor, John Thomas and Agnes.  William's wife's parents were Henry and Jane. 
James' children by his wife Mary included Elizabeth, Samuel, Benjamin, Daniel, Abel, John, James and Mary Ann.  James' wife's father was John. 

What this suggests:

Both men have daughters called Elizabeth quite early on, this suggests a confirmation that this was their mother's name.  William's second son is called James, this could be after his brother.

It does seem odd that William didn't have a child called Benjamin.  Of course he may have done and the child died young, didn't appear on a census return and I haven't found the baptism or burial yet. 

One obvious place to look for missing records is in the Non-Conformist registers, just because a family celebrates some event in an Anglican church it doesn't mean they didn't use the chapel as well.  It might well depend on convenience, being nearer than the Church of England church or the friendliness of the minister and the congregation if the family moved to a new town or village.

What I found next:

On the BMD Registers website I searched for any mentions of Benjamin Bateman.  This website specialises in Non-conformist registers.  One result struck me straight away, Daniel Bateman baptised 1805 in Yorkshire, father Benjamin. 

Daniel Bateman's baptism entry in a Non-Conformist Register on BMD Registers
I bought the image (£2.50) and saw that his parents were Benjamin and Betty Bateman, of S. Owram and Benjamin was a Collier.  This all fits with what we know about the Bateman family.  So Benjamin wasn't in the militia in 1805.

Two further hits on BMD Registers suggested that two children, surname Butterfield, had a grandfather called Benjamin Bateman.
Sarah Butterfield's baptism entry in the Thornton Methodist Register (from BMD Registers)
Again I bought the record and saw that the children's mother was called Ann and that her parents were Benjamin and Betty Bateman.

I looked for Ann Bateman marrying Miles Butterfield and found that with very little trouble on Ancestry.  They married in 1835 at St Peter's Bradford.  Tracking the family forward through the census I found that the Butterfields also move to Durham and in 1841 are living in the same street (Chapel Row, Shildon) as James.  In 1851 they are living in the same house (23 Thornton Street, Bradford) as a George Bateman, born around 1825 in Huddersfield or Thornton (depending on which census you read), whose father is Benjamin Bateman (proven by George's marriage entries), and again in the same street as James Bateman.  

Ann's baptism in St Peter's Huddersfield in May 1818 led me to baptisms for two more daughters to Benjamin and Elizabeth Bateman at the same church, Sarah in 1815 and Martha in 1816.  In all three cases the residence given was Fartown, a small village between Halifax and Huddersfield.  Benjamin's occupation is given as Collier or Coal Miner in all these entries.  This narrows his five year stint in the militia to between 1806 and 1813. 

Map indicating the birth places of Benjamin Bateman's children (based on a snip from a Bartholomew map)
Benjamin Bateman and Elizabeth Benn appear to have had at least seven children.  William b.1802 in Shelf, Daniel b.1805 in Southowram, James b.1811 in Southowram, Sarah b.1814 in Fartown, Martha b.1816 in Fartown, Ann b.1818 in Fartown, and George b. 1822 in Thornton near Bradford.

Neither Ann nor George call a child after their father, though to be fair George appears to only have one child, Abraham Bateman born in Bradford, or Thornton.  So maybe William was not unusual in neglecting to call a child after his father.  Ann's second daughter is called Elizabeth though, so mother was popular with everyone!

I've found a burial for a Daniel Bateman in early 1807, son of Benjamin Bateman a soldier in Southowram, which fits with the suggested time period for Benjamin's militia service.  He died before James was born in 1811, but maybe he was remembered to the later children as James calls one of his sons Daniel. 

I haven't yet found out what happened to Sarah and Martha.  It needs another lucky find like the Non-conformist baptisms with the grandparents' names to link them up, as they probably married before the introduction of marriage certificates which give the father's name in 1837.
I measured the distances travelled using Google maps, which follows modern roads - my ancestors may have walked or used water transport or caught a carrier's cart so the distances might well work out quite differently.

It is 3.7 miles from Shelf to Halifax - so quite a way to walk for the earlier events.  I did get the impression in the Halifax parish records that there may have been a 'chapel of ease' at Shelf, which would have been used for the baptisms if not the marriages.
It is only 1.9 miles from Southowram to Halifax, so they moved nearer to the large town - it doesn't look as if you could cut across from Shelf to Southowram, there's a valley in the way!  This is the period when Benjamin is a militiaman - was there some kind of barracks at Southowram? 
The next few children are born in Fartown, near Huddersfield.  From Fartown to Huddersfield is 2 miles, quite a short trip to the church for the girls' baptisms, and it is 5.7 miles from Southowram to Fartown, so Benjamin didn't travel very far to find work when his time in the militia was up.
The longest journey is from Fartown to Thornton, that's 11.8 miles, so still walkable in a day for even small children (I've done 10 mile sponsored walks with Cub Scouts before).  I'd be happier if I could find a motive for this change of residence  by Benjamin and Elizabeth - but the fact that Ann's husband comes from Thornton and her first two children are born there whilst her birthplace is plainly given as Huddersfield in the census returns supports this being the right family.

Benjamin and Elizabeth moved around quite a small chunk of West Yorkshire in their married lives - enough to yet again prove that our ancestors didn't just stay in one village all their lives.  Their sons travel further, going to Durham in the North East of England for work and I have some information that one of their grandsons, another Benjamin, went to America.  That'll make a good story for another blog post!

I just need to find the burials of Benjamin and his wife to finish off this chapter of the Bateman story.  They are being a bit elusive though ...

Thursday, 25 April 2013

World War One Soldier's Story - Bernard Dyson Oldroyd from Darton

My first request - sort of.  My friend GB and I were transcribing in Barnsley Town Hall yesterday and she had brought her Family Book for me to see - I'm so jealous she has that many family photos - and she knows who they are too!  I have an album, but most of the names are guesses - note to self ... label those photos before it's too late!

I knew we had a mutual Oldroyd connection - well her husband and mine anyway, so I mentioned I'd found some WW1 service records for a member of that family - Bernard Dyson Oldroyd is actually distantly connected to my OH's family twice by marriage - that's beginning to happen a lot as the Barnsley side of my family history spreads sideways.  He is also GB's husband's 2nd cousin once removed. 

Bernard was born in Woolley, Darton, near Barnsley in 1893.  He was the eldest surviving child of at least nine children to George Kitson Oldroyd and his wife Martha, maiden name Oates.  They had married in Thornhill, near Dewsbury in 1891, which was George's place of origin, however his father had moved away from there when George was a child, firstly to Outwood (1881) and then to  Staincross (1891) where he was a butcher.  I can only assume that George met Martha on a visit to relatives in the Thornhill area, and as was usual they would have married in her home parish church.  George gives his residence as Darton when he marries and their first child, Albert, who dies young, is baptised at Darton church.  The family must then move to Woolley as from 1893 onwards that is their church of choice for the next few years.
St Peter's Woolley with West Bretton
In the 1901 census George Oldroyd is a "Pump Man in Coal Mine" and the family are living in Top Row, Woolley Colliery.  Despite its name Woolley Colliery is just half a mile from the church in Darton and about three miles south of the actual village of Woolley and its church - however the parish boundary runs just south of the colliery meaning the occupants of the pit houses had to walk quite some extra distance for their family celebrations. 

The houses in Top Row look smaller than the ones in Low Row, those appear to have an extra offshot portion.  This would probably have reflected in the rents charged for the houses, with face workers and men with more responsibility being able to afford the slightly larger houses, nearer the pit. 
L: Woolley Colliery, showing Top Row 1906         R: Darton, showing Church Street 1906    (from Old Maps)
In the 1911 census Bernard, aged 17 and his 16 year old brother Robert are both Pony Drivers down the pit.  The family is living in Church Street, Darton, which runs diagonally between the church and the railway line in the right hand map snip above. 
Bernard Oldroyd's Attestation in 1915 (from Ancestry)
Bernard enlists "for the duration of the war" on 15 August 1915 - giving his address as Church Street, Darton.  He is 22 years old and his occupation is noted as Miner.  He joins the Royal Engineers in the 40th Signal Company.   I can find no definite record of his brother Robert joining up - but there are medal cards for at least four Robert Oldroyds in the Ancestry collection.

Bernard begins his service as a Driver, and is sent to France on 1 June 1916.  On 20 March 1917 he 'remustered' have been trained or tested and his rank was changed to Pioneer.  A note on the Great War Forum discusses the meaning of this rank - most men recruited to the Royal Engineers at the start of the war had some particular trade or skill, but later unskilled men were recruited and trained up to maintain the trenches, installing barbed wire, laying duck boards, building bridges and laying communication cables.  They had to do a lot of work at night time, it would have been too dangerous during the day - even so as many as 10% were killed.  Men with particular skills, such as carpenters were given the rank sapper.
A note from Bernard Oldroyd's Service Records certifying his change in rank (from Ancestry)
I wish I could read more of the above note - the ink seems to have been washed off in parts, and the edge is burnt, but at least Bernard's record is amongst the few that survived the blitz in World War Two.

"I certify that No 106843 Driver ? Oldroyd is in my opinion fully qualified in the main items laid down in AF8?? as a Pioneer and I recommend ?? remuster ?? rate of Engineer Pay from 20th March. Present Rate 4d Date of ? 13th Sep? Date 11th Mar 1917"

Bernard was awarded a Good Conduct Badge on 16 August 1917 - this was an inverted rank chevron worn on the left sleeve and was awarded for two years "trouble free" service. Thanks to the British Military Badge Forum for that snippet of information. 
Protection Certificate issued when Bernard was discharged in 1919 (from Ancestry)
The next date noted on Bernard's records is his discharge in January 1919.  The above certificate notes his address again as Church Street, Darton, Barnsley and that he was born in 1893 and that his medical category was A1.  There is another form in his service records where he declares he wasn't suffering from any disability brought on by his service in the war - this would have been completed so that he could not claim a pension at a later date.

He doesn't waste much time when he gets home.
1919 marriage entry from All Saint's, Darton for Bernard Oldroyd and Kate Makinson (from Ancestry)
Bernard marries Kate Makinson in September 1919, just nine months after getting back to Darton.  Had he been seeing her before he went overseas in 1916?  Had they been writing back and forth for three years, did he have a photograph of her to remind him of home?  Did she have a photo of him looking very proud and smart in his uniform? We'll just have to imagine that they did.  The witnesses at the wedding were Bernard's brother in law John Singleton and Kate's sister Emily. 

Bernard and Kate had five children, between 1920 and 1939.  They died within a short time of each other in the Halifax area in the early 1970s.  They would have celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary in 1969.  I wonder if there's a report in a local newspaper? 

Bernard seems to have had an uneventful time during the war, but any service in the trenches is bound to have left him with difficult memories for the rest of his life.  I'm glad he was able to come home and settle down with his wife and family, so many did not. 

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Bradford to Bitchburn and Back Again - James Bateman's travels

Now I've moved around a bit in my life, Durham to the West Midlands, to Doncaster, Sheffield and now Barnsley, but we sort of expect that nowadays, distance really isn't a problem and moving house when you get a better (or just a different) job is just one of those things. 

But did you realise that our ancestors travelled too?  It's one of those fallacies about working class people in the past, that they never went anywhere.  I can assure you that they most certainly did. 

To be honest Bradford, West Yorkshire to Bitchburn, Durham is one of the shorter journeys I've found in my family tree - but it's the fact that James Bateman went back to Bradford after quite a short time away that interests me.  His brother, my 4x great grandfather, William Bateman, moved north and stayed in Durham for the rest of his life, but James didn't.  So what was the different experience of the two brothers?

William and James were the sons of Benjamin Bateman of Shelf, near Halifax and his wife Elizabeth (aka Betty), maiden name Benn, also of Shelf, who married in Halifax in 1802.  William was baptised in Halifax on 7 November 1802 to Benjamin Bateman of Shelf a Coal Miner.  Shelf was the place I confused with Sheffield for so many years after misreading William's 1851 census entry.
James Bateman's baptism at St John's Halifax on 24 November 1811 (from Ancestry)
When James is born Benjamin's occupation is given as Militiaman.  All men between the ages of 18 and 45 were eligible to be in the militia - names were drawn by ballot when the militia was called out and men served for five years.  Men named could provide substitutes so it wasn't as equitable as it was supposed to be.  1811 is the middle of the Napoleonic War so we shouldn't be surprised to run into a few active militiamen at this time.

William is in Durham by 1827 because in September of that year he marries Ann Hutchinson in Heighington, which is a small village about three miles south of Shildon and seven miles north of Darlington.  Although there are nine years between the brothers James follows William into matrimony just four years later when he marries Margaret Binns in October 1831 in Bradford.  She dies childless within a few years.
1837 Marriage Entry for James Bateman and Mary Sutcliffe (nee Clough) in Bradford (from Ancestry)
James marries again in 1837 to a widow, Mary Sutcliffe, and as this is just after the introduction of civil registration and the changes to the format of marriage certificates we can see that his father is Benjamin Bateman, a Miner and her father is John Clough, a Comber.  Neither James nor Mary can write their names, they mark the register with crosses instead.

Mary brings two children by her first husband to the marriage, William aged 4 and Grace aged 2 who were both baptised in Thornton by Bradford according to Family Search.  James and Mary's eldest two children Elizabeth (b.1838) and Samuel (b.1840) both give Thornton as their place of birth on subsequent census returns.  Then suddenly in 1841 James and his family appear in Shildon.
1841 census entry for Chapel Row, Shildon (edited to show headings) for
James Bateman and family (from Ancestry)
This is without doubt the right family, not only are the two Sutcliffe children present, but also Mary's father, although his name has been written down as John Cluff.  An easy mistake, if none of the family could write and the census enumerator wasn't familiar with the Yorkshire name Clough no-one would have put him right.
Chapel Row in Shildon, a curving street with at least two Methodist Chapels nearby (from Old Maps)
The preponderance of Methodist Chapels in Shildon gives me an idea as to why I am unable to find baptism records for James and Mary's children in the West Yorkshire records on Ancestry. 

Abel Bateman is baptised in the Methodist Chapel at Thornton, Bradford in 1846, but he's the only one I can find.  Trying BMDRegisters I found some hits for Benjamin Bateman which tempted me to spend a £5 to see if they fitted the family, but nothing late enough for James.  With one child definitely baptised in a Methodist chapel it suggests the others might have been and it's just that those records are not available online yet.

One of the hits for Benjamin Bateman on BMD Registers suggested he and Betty (well that fits) were the grandparents of Jonas and Sarah Butterfield.  So a Bateman daughter, that I don't know about yet, married a Butterfield.  That can't be hard to find. Sure enough a Miles Butterfield marries Ann Bateman on 2 March 1835 in Bradford.  What has this to do with James Bateman in Shildon.  You'll see in a minute.
1841 census entry for Chapel Row, Shildon for
Miles Butterfield and family (from Ancestry)
It's another one of those "Nooooo!" moments.  Also on Chapel Row in Shildon in 1841 is Miles Butterfield, his wife Ann and their two children Jonas and Sarah, who we know were baptised in Thornton and have a Benjamin and Betty Bateman for their grandparents.  So two Bateman brothers and a brother in law have moved from West Yorkshire to Durham.  Miles is a Miner at this point. 

I noticed that both families have a few lodgers as well, a collection of unrelated male labourers living in their households.  It does all suggest a crowded boom town, with a lot of work available and money to be made by letting out any spare room you might have.

Why would James Bateman, his wife, four small children and an aged (65 years old) father in law travel from Bradford to Shildon looking for work?  Miles too has small children, but if you look closely you can see that Elizabeth his youngest child, just eight months old, was actually born in Durham, there's a Y at the end of her entry whilst her parents and siblings have Ns showing they were born elsewhere.  So the family have already been in the North East for a little while.

James and Mary's next child, Benjamin, is born in Bitchburn, and he was the clue which helped me join together the two families of Batemans.  Bitchburn or Beechburn is about seven miles north west of Shildon, just to the south of Howden le Wear. The mine at Beechburn didn't open until 1845, but the railway got there earlier according to my notes from various books on the history of railways in the North East of England.  Three of my earlier blogs trace a walk the OH and I did in the area a few years ago and there are all kinds of pictures and maps.  Try here, here and here.

We know that William Bateman was already in Hargill Hill, very near Bitchburn, by 1840 as his daughter Martha (one of them, he reused the name when this one died young) was born there.  Maybe he had contacted James (how? neither of them could write) to tell him there was plenty of work on the railways in the North East, so James had come up, firstly to Shildon and then following the line northwards towards Witton Junction and Howden le Wear. 

James' next child, Daniel, is born in Castle Eden in 1844.  Castle Eden is about 20 miles due east of Howden le Wear and is in Durham, despite what it says on James' 1851 census return!
1851 census entry for James Bateman back in Bradford at 19 Thornton Street (from Ancestry)
Judging by the birthplace entered in the census return above the family has returned to Thornton in time for Abel's birth in February 1846.  I did wonder if their return might have something to do with the death of Mary's father John, or some desire by him to return home to die, but as deaths don't have ages noted that early in the indices I can't tell if any of the many John Cloughs dying between 1841 and 1851 is the right man. 
The baptism of Abel Bateman at Thornton Methodist Chapel in 1846 (from Ancestry)
You'll notice on Abel's baptism record above, that although there is a space for Mary's parents to be entered, it is blank.  I suggest this might be because they are now both dead (or the minister just forgot to ask her who they were!). 

In the 1851 census James now gives his occupation as Mechanic and all five of the older children are working in the woollen industry, the Sutcliffes as weavers and the Batemans as Spinners. Maybe this is why they've come back to Bradford, there's more work for the rest of the family, including the women. 
1851 census (edited to join two pages) for Miles Butterfield (from Ancestry)
Just a few doors away at 23 Thornton Street are the Butterfield family, sharing a house with a George Bateman and his wife Grace.  Checking this relationship I soon found the marriage of George and Grace in Bradford in November 1848.  George's father was ... (wait for it!) ... Benjamin Bateman, a Miner. 

Despite what seem like a wide time spread for all their children, if they married at the age of 21 years old Benjamin and Elizabeth (Betty) would still only have been around 45 years old when George was born which is not an unreasonable age for her still to be having children.

We can see that the Butterfield's too are now employed in the woollen industry, Miles and his eldest daughter Sarah being Power Loom Weavers, and the next daughter Elizabeth, a Piecer in Worsted Mill.  But look at the birth places of Miles' children.  Elizabeth and her sister Priscilla were born in Durham, then two children in Thornton and then two more in Durham again - and we might even suggest that  Chilton is a mistranscription of Shildon, remember none of the adults at least can write and the two words do sound very similar.  So they came back to Thornton, changed their minds, went back to Shildon, changed their minds again and came back to Bradford to live just a few doors away from James Bateman again.  Families eh?

So why did James (and Miles) move from Bradford to Durham and back again?  Up to the North East to Durham for plenty of good, well paying work and extra income from lodgers when they were young and only had small young families and then back to Bradford for suitable work for the girls of the family and the growing number of younger family members as at the same time the labouring work in the North East became less plentiful or less well paid or became too heavy for the men as they got older.

Why did William stay in the North East?  Well he had married a girl from there unlike his brother, so that's one reason, and by the time he started to slow down and was looking for a change from the quarrying and stone work, he'd got himself a pub to run in Hargill Hill and then another in Witton le Wear, so he no need to return to the woollen mills.

Problem solved ... probably.

Monday, 22 April 2013

World War One Soldier's Story - Alonzo Swallow

From the first moment I found Alonzo Wilson Swallow marrying Florence Larkin, the OH's first cousin 4x removed I've been fascinated by his name.  Middle names aren't that common amongst the working classes of Barnsley in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and you must admit Alonzo initially strikes you as a fairly unusual name for a chap from South Yorkshire! 
Marriage Certificate for Alonzo Swallow and Florence Larkin 13 Apr 1914 (from Ancestry)
Alonzo was living at 50 Station Road, Barnsley and Florence at 22 Baker Street, Barnsley when they married on 13 April 1914.  His father, George Swallow was a drayman or teamster or miller's carter depending on which census you read, and Alonzo himself gives his occupation as Corn Miller on his marriage certificate.  There was a large Corn Mill on nearby Summer Lane, run by the Barnsley Co-operative Society, Alonzo and his father may have both worked there.
Barnsley Corn Mill on Summer Lane (from YOCOCO)
Further research showed that George Swallow had a younger brother Moses Alonzo Wilson Swallow, who died aged only 6 months old in 1869.  Moses Swallow was our Alonzo's grandfather, and his wife was Sarah Ann Wilson, who incidentally had an illegitimate child in 1859 who was baptised Alonzo Wilson but who died within a few months.  It looks like Sarah reused the names of her lost baby together with her husband's name for their second son, who also unfortunately died young.  She didn't give up though as her next son is called Wilson Swallow (b.1877), then there's a Moses Swallow (born and died 1879).  The Swallows youngest son was called Archduke Swallow (b.1881) - I wish I knew what was the inspiration for that name!

A quick search of FreeBMD for anyone called Alonzo up to 1869 reveals that the name was in use from the beginning of civil registration in 1837 but started to become more popular in the mid 1850s, with 30 or so babies a year being the name by the mid 1860s mostly in the growing industrial areas of the Midlands and West Yorkshire.  So it wasn't as uncommon as I'd first thought.

Back to the war - Alonzo and Florence are living at 69 Farrar Street, Barnsley when he enlists in the 2/5th battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment on 14 December 1914.  Florence's brothers Walter and Thomas had joined up in September and were both in the 13th York and Lancaster, the 1st Barnsley Pals and his uncle, Wilson Swallow is in the Army Service Corps.  Alonzo is, at this point, 25 years old and he and Florence have no children yet.  He, along with all the other men in Barnsley who joined up in the rush to volunteer in 1914 and 1915 must have thought they were off on a great adventure - and remember, everyone thought the war "would be over by Christmas", he wouldn't have wanted to miss out.

Alonzo and Florence do have one child, a son, George, born in the final quarter of 1916, so he must have managed to visit home a few times from the various training camps around the country.  In July 1916 Alonzo is punished for overstaying his leave by 52 hours - he is Confined to Barracks for seven days and has to forfeit four days pay.  Florence must have been visibly pregnant by then, it would be nice to think he wanted to stay with her a little while longer and that's why he got into trouble.  I hope he managed to see his son before he was sent overseas.
Detail from Alonzo Swallow's Service Records (from Ancestry)
The 2/4th and the 2/5th battalions did not go to France until January 1917 (information from the Long Long Trail website) meanwhile Alonzo had been transferred to the West Riding Divisional Cyclist Company in the previous November.
Detail from Alonzo Swallow's Casualty Form (from Ancestry)
After his arrival in France on 15 January 1917 he is transferred again, this time to the 18th Corps Cyclist Battalion but he is still attached to the Yorks & Lancs.  Cyclists were used as messengers and to patrol vulnerable areas such as the banks of canals. 

The next note is that he was Killed in Action in the Field on 22 October 1917.  This date ties in with the 1st Battle of Passchendaele which took place from 12 October 1917 - the 2nd Battle of Passchendaele began on the 26 October 1917.
Barnsley Chronicle 3 Nov 1917 (from Barnsley Archives)
An item appears in the casualty lists in the Barnsley Chronicle in November 1917.  The paper gets the Swallow's address a little bit wrong, putting 9 Farrar Street instead of 69, but we do get confirmation that he had worked at the Co-operative Flour Mill on Summer Lane, Barnsley.

His captain has written to Florence,
“Dear Mrs Swallow, Please accept my sincere and heartfelt sympathy for you in your sorrow. Your husband had served since 1914 and I have always found him cheerful and willing under all conditions.  Believe me I cannot find words to express my feelings, and I know how much you will feel the loss of such a noble husband.”

Captain Harold Gummer was a local man, from Rotherham, and had probably known Alonzo from the very start of his service.  I found his medal card on Ancestry and it says he was in the 5th Yorks & Lancs and attached to the Army Cyclists Corps.  As far as I can see he survives the war.

In the same edition of the Barnsley Chronicle an entry appears for Alonzo in the Deaths column - a poem is dedicated by his parents and "his brother[s] Walter and George somewhere in France".  Walter may be Florence's brother Walter Larkin, but George must be Alonzo's own brother George James Swallow (b.1892).  I can't pick his medal card record out of the several dozen George Swallows who served, and his service records must be amongst the 60% lost in the blitz in the Second World War.  However he survived the war and married in Barnsley in 1919.

Alonzo Swallow is remembered on the memorial wall at Tyne Cot, a large cemetery in Belgium, seven miles north east of Ypres.  We visited the cemetery in 2009 and were able to find Alonzo's name on panel 154 as indicated on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website.
Swallow A W - entry on the Memorial Wall at Tyne Cot
Nearly 35,000 officers and men who have no known grave are remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial. 

In 1918 Florence was sent her husband's few personal effects. 
The return of Alonzo's property in March 1918 (from Ancestry)
As he has no known grave I can only imagine that he either left the items, letters, photos, cards, his wallet and watch with a friend when he went out on patrol - or maybe he was buried by his comrades, but his grave was subsequently lost as the ground was fought over again and again.  He was 27 when he died - he'd been married for less than three years and had barely seen his wife and child for most of that time.  It's nice to think he had photos of them and family letters to read and re-read while he was away from home.

Look at Florence's address on the top of the form above - it's 22 Baker Street, the address from which she got married.  I think she must have had to go back to live with her parents as she would only have had a small pension to live on.  She may have left little George with her own mother while she went out to work. 

Oddly enough, I know who is living in the Swallow's old house in 1919.  When George James Swallow, Alonzo's brother, marries Eliza Ellis at St George's church in Barnsley in March 1919 she gives her address as 69 Farrar Street.  What a co-incidence! 

Florence married again in 1926 to a William Hannam in Worsborough.  They had one child, a daughter, Alice born in 1929.  Florence died in Barnsley in 1980 aged 88 years old.   

Come back sunshine - all is forgiven

After a couple of really nice days I thought spring had arrived ... but it was not to be.  This morning I woke to grey skies again and it's cold, so cold.

Last week I had some kind of bug, almost a cold, lots of sneezing and a bit of sniffling, but it didn't develop into anything much.  All the energy I had has gone again though and this morning I can add pains in my joints again, especially my left shoulder, right wrist and left big toe (it's not funny - such a little joint, but it makes walking ouchy!).  The shoulder is so bad I had trouble getting dressed - there's one for ATOS - I'm not even hungry and that's always a bad sign.  I eventually ate something at 2pm - followed by a rush to the toilet within half an hour - another bad sign.

Another hospital appointment landed on the doormat today - a nerve function test for 1st May.  The results of my abdominal scan were within normal limits, a bit of this and a bit of that, but nothing to worry about, said the other doctor's letter that came today too. 

Trying to be positive - they are still investigating - the helpful lady locum doctor may have left my local surgery, but the wheels she put in motion are still turning.

The day before yesterday I was going to sit outside in the sun and plant some vegetable seeds, I shouldn't have wasted that lovely day doing Open Uni revision.  The weather forecast looks poor for the next week or so - I think I might have to do indoor gardening.

Currently huddled on the bed, dressed, but wondering why as it was so much warmer IN bed.  The cat is snuggled against me, so at least my left knee is warm.  Just noticed the daffodils I brought in last week, when they were drooping from lack of rain, have died in the vase - says it all ...

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Genealogy Apps for Android - still a way to go

This morning I noticed that my trial version of GedStarPro, an Android genealogy app that I had downloaded for my tablet, had expired.  I could still read the data on the tablet, but not update it from my PC.
William Satchell Hutton's individual information screen from GedStarPro
GedStarPro displays the necessary information for carrying your family tree around with you, but it doesn't have some of the functionality I have been used to in the past on my old Windows phone using Pocket Genealogist.  Unfortunately the developer of that program has no plans to produce versions of Pocket Genealogist for Windows Phone 7, let alone Android.

Although I had scoured Google Play using the terms genealogy, gedcom and family tree this app was the best I had found a month or so ago.  Today I thought I'd try again ... you never know.

This morning I looked at Family Bee, ezGED Viewer, FamilyGTG, GedTreeFree and compared the facilities they offered to GedStarPro.  There was another option, GedFamilies, however it did not offer a free trial.  There are also an assortment of linked viewers which allow you to see your Ancestry tree, or your Geni account for example.  I do not use an online tree so these were not suitable for me.

I decided to use my Halls&Huttons Gedcom to test the various apps.  A Gedcom is the standard for moving genealogical data around from one program to another.  This particular one is fairly large at 3.32Mb and contains 3965 individuals.  I use Family Historian on my PC which works directly from the Gedcom format and it also allows me to link to an assortment of images and other files - ideally I would like to be able to view these on my Samsung 2 7.0 tablet.  As many of them are census images it would be nice to be able to see them at a large enough magnification that I can read the entries.  Pocket Genealogist allowed you to upload linked images and provided an external viewer which included a zoom facility to do just this.

GedTreeFree was advertised as displaying family tree diagrams; unfortunately I could not get it to open more than the first person in my tree, so further investigations were called off and it was uninstalled.  An onscreen message suggested my tree was saved in a format that was not currently compatible with the app, but that I could contact the developer to enquire further if I wished.  Not today, thank you.

FamilyGTG looked colourful and the sample screenshots showed a variety of views of the information.  It even hinted that pictures could be displayed.  I installed the free trial version.

On opening the app it searches automatically for Gedcom files on your device. It quickly found my test file and I touched to open it.  A pretty screen opened showing the list of individuals in my tree.  Where was search? Or should I just scroll to Hutton?  Search was in the menu on the bottom left, and it allowed me to enter a part of a name, for example Hutton or William, and retrieved the matches.  Despite the visible example of formatting in the individuals' list it wouldn't accept Hutton, William and entering William Hutton only brought back two people where multiple first names fitted - William Hutton Potts for example.
William Hutton's information on the FamilyGTG app
Once I'd found the right William Hutton (my Master Mariner, star of several of my previous blog posts) and moved onto the screen shown above I couldn't easily work out what to do next - yes his family was displayed, but where was his vital information, birth, marriage, death and so on?  Again the option was in the menu - under Edit Information - not the most likely place in my opinion - and when displayed it only showed a few items including the vital events, his occupations from the census (no other census information, not even residence) and a note.  His baptism appeared under the heading Religion.  Looking at an ancestor I know married more than once, William Harle, multiple spouses were displayed but there was no indication as to which of the children belonged to which wife. 

Also in the menu were options to add a bookmark or a photo and display a tree.

Add a photo allowed me to select an image from either my Dropbox or my Gallery - which I did and it displayed filling the screen ... however once that had been done the option changed to Remove Photo, so you can only add one picture.  I tried adding a birth certificate to another family member, but had great difficulty picking the right certificate out of 60 odd in the appropriate folder in the Gallery option on my tablet.  When I eventually managed to attach a distinctive coloured certificate (my father's red one with genuine George V postage stamp!) it did display very well and I could read it.  A census image might still not work though, it's just too big and there is no zoom functionality.

It was when I asked FamilyGTG to display a family tree that I really decided this app was not for me.  You have to go through the menu at the bottom left again ...

The diagram option in FamilyGTG
Oh dear, it truncates the names displaying my ancestor as William Satche, and even when I turned my tablet on its side I still only got William Satchell Hut.  The spouse(s) are not displayed either.  Not useful I'm afraid - far too many of my relatives went in for more than one forename and limiting the display like this limits its usefulness.  But I do like the little thumbnail picture of William on the tab with his name.

Incidentally when you touch the tree icon on the upper toolbar the app displays the first person in the tree - which is unfortunate as in my Gedcom it's my first husband - not someone I want to be reminded of that often - and although using my Go Back option did return me to William Hutton it was a shame that the clearly displayed icon didn't do what you thought it would and display the tree of the person on the screen.

(In October 2013 Family GTG contacted me to report that they had made some amendments to their app.  They noted that they had added an icon to lead directly to a person's details, enhanced the search facility and amended the tree view to display the person on the screen, not the first person in the tree.  Some edit and export functionality has also been added.  I have not yet tried out their amended version - when I do I will link that post here, but in fairness to them it seemed right to point out that they are making efforts to improve their app and they took the time to track me down to let me know!)

Next ...

ezGED Viewer was a little bit reluctant to start - maybe I should have opened it from the Gedcom file not just opened the app.  After a couple of false starts a screen displayed which offered me the option to view Individuals, Families, Reports, Sources, Database Info or Change GED - I picked that one and navigated to my test Gedcom file. 

This time choosing Individuals gave me the usual listing of the people in my file.  Search was the familiar magnifying glass icon at the top right and the only option available was clearly stated - Surname.  I searched for Hutton, and then scrolled down to the right William.
William Hutton's information displayed by ezGED Viewer
A lot more information was displayed, the snip above only shows the first screen full, scrolling down there were a total of five and bit screens full of information presented.  Unfortunately the last three screens lengths were filled with buttons labelled Multimedia Link - I hadn't made any attempt to set up the Gedcom with the linked pictures from my Family Historian programme so I didn't expect an image, however clicking any one of the buttons I just got the format, title and last updated date and time for each image - none of the associated information, for example citation, source, other people associated with the image.  So fairly pointless really.  There was no option to add an image.

Nothing happened when you touched any of the data items shown in the snip either ... they did not expand to show the rest of the associated information.  One of the reasons William Satchell Hutton has so many lines of information is that I've recorded each and every one of the ships he served on, information taken from his Master Mariner's application and the Lloyds' Captains' Register.  All that can be seen above is a series of dates.  Nope, not helpful.

There's a little Home icon displayed at the top left, which is handy, this gets you back to the screen with the various options I described above. 

In the Reports option on the home screen you could choose to display a 5-generation descendants tree (that was the only option available).  You had to pick your starter person from a drop down list - unhappily I have four William Satchell Hutton's in my tree (I know you'd think it was an unusual name, but once they've got one they like they keep recycling it in my family!)  After a bit of trial and error I found the right one.

The 5-generation descendant display in ezGED Viewer
I quite like this - nothing fancy, does what you expect.  You can even get to the individual records in the tree by touching the names, pretty good.  Shame it's a separate operation to produce the above display.

Back on the Home screen I tried Sources next.  This gives a list of your sources as would be expected, but I suppose it does make a difference how you saved them in your original desktop program.  Mine tend to be one source per event if there's an image or other object attached - that just makes it easy for my web program Gedmill to process.  In ezGED Viewer this produced a long list of Baptism entries, Census returns and Marriage entries; the search icon was visible so I tried it but putting in Hutton just returned me to the individual list, it did not search the sources. 
Source detail for a census return entry from ezGED Viewer
Clicking on a census source at random - well nearly so - turned up a screen which showed the full title I had given the source in Ancestral Sources when I uploaded it to Family Historian and the transcript of the entry.  Another good feature for this app, but again unfortunate it doesn't link to the individual entries and the transcript is cut short - checking on a larger family, one of those Victorian specialities with a dozen children, only the first two were visible, this is misleading and not at all useful.  The big Multimedia Links buttons appear again and ended up on the same fairly pointless screens when touched - maybe they are a work in progress and will link to images in a future incarnation?  I did try a test image, saving an image (the 1851 census) associated with William and his mother to the same folder as the Gedcom, closed and opened the app - however nothing changed and the appropriate Multimedia Links didn't open the image.  Maybe I need to load my images onto my tablet 'loose' so to speak, all in the same folder as my Gedcoms - I'm afraid this is not how I keep my data in Family Historian, I have folders in each family project for different types of image which contain hundreds of images - 599 associated with the Halls&Huttons Gedcom alone. And if it is dependant on the way the images are linked in the Gedcom I would have to change that too - no, sorry too much adaption for little return.

Next ...

Family Bee was available as a free trial and a paid for app.  I downloaded the trial and opened the app - it immediately hunted for my Gedcom and copied it to its own folder.   The documentation suggests using Dropbox to update your files that way Family Bee will find the most recent version and update its copy. 

You can pick white text on a black background or black text on white, I went for the second option as it looks less glaring to me.  Some people may prefer the other option. Touching the name of my Gedcom opened an individuals list immediately, and there was a clear search box at the bottom of the screen with the cursor flashing away happily.  I entered Hutton, W and it jumped to the beginning of my William Huttons.  Result - the best search I've seen so far.
William Satchell Hutton's information in Family Bee
Choosing my Master Mariner again (well he does have a lot of information to display) the next screen, shown above, displayed his family, parents, wife and children, AND all their vital event dates and places.  Swopping quickly to William Harle (the test case for multiple wives) the display shows each marriage separately, as Marriage (1 of 2) and Marriage (2 of 2) followed by each wife and the relevant children.  Very good indeed.

Back to William Satchell Hutton for an examination of the little 'i' icons in the right hand margin of the screen shot above.  The one after William's name opened an Individual screen for him with a listing of his Occupations and then his Events.  Each one had its own little 'i' (for information I suspect) and these now opened a further screen.
The detail of the 1861 census event for William Satchell Hutton
This screen displayed not only the title and transcript, but also William's age, the full address of the census entry and the date of the event, items conspicuously missing from the ezGED Viewer version.  And all linked to the individuals too!  Things were looking up.

The menu at the bottom left gave options to add a note to the person I was on (a warning did pop up explaining this facility was in beta, experimental, version as yet), or I could look at existing notes, return to the individuals' list or choose another file.  You can apparently email the notes to yourself - but I didn't read all the instructions for that option today.  Back on Family View the menu was slightly different offering a tree view, descendants, add note again, view notes again and return to the Individuals' list.  There was also a More option ... this was getting quite exciting ... More offered me Choose File, About DB, Settings (to change the text colours, I'd already done that), Online docs (opened the webpage with instructions) and Mail Developer (for contacting the developer) - quite comprehensive.

The only drawback is no images - not even one.  Ah, well you can't win 'em all.

Finally ...

GedStarPro - now I have left this until last as it is the one I've been using in a trial version since I got my tablet.  The first image in this blog (the dark blue one!) is of the individual display page for William Satchell Hutton, but how does it compare with the other apps on offer?

Firstly it is dependent on a conversion program running on a PC, unlike the others which all run directly from a Gedcom.  I'm not so bothered about this as that is exactly how Pocket Genealogist used to work - part of the process was to do with converting the images linked to my Family Historian program to fit on a phone - however the difference is that although GedStarPro also converts and copies across all my images it does so at such a small size that the census pages and most of the parish records are unreadable on my 7" tablet.  Every one of the apps I have tried so far stores the information on the tablet's own memory rather than on the SD card and when I did contact the very cooperative developer of GedStarPro to ask about this he quite candidly said that it was all to do with the sheer number of different devices that can use an app and how they all work differently.  In other words, this isn't going to change anytime soon.  The full size images for my Hall&Huttons tree come to half a Gb so they aren't really something I want to store on the tablet's working memory anyway.  Fine on the external SD card and in fact that is where I currently hold a copy of everything, just for reference.

William Satchell Hutton's family page on GedStarPro
The search on GedStarPro works well, from the list of individuals accessed from that People icon at the top of the screen I entered Hutton, W and it jumped me down the list to the beginning of my William Huttons.  Selecting him gives the screen above which displays vital events, birth, marriage and death including impressively, addresses as well as places.  Less detail for the children than Family Bee, just their birth year, but touch a name and the app jumps straight to their family page.  Note that a small image is displayed next to husband and wife, touch this and it opens a facility to browse the images attached to that person.
Image display facility on GedStarPro
You can move back and forth amongst all the images attached to that person, and where there is a note associated to the image that will be displayed as well.  Unfortunately as you can see above William's birth certificate is rather too small to read.  Photos of people are OK this small, but as a reference to documents it just doesn't work.  Clicking the X closes the facility returning you to the screen you just left.

Navigation back to the parents from a child is via the Parents' buttons on the left of the screen by each person and you can also swop spouses - a pop up menu appears and asks you to choose the next focus.  Where there is only one spouse that button is greyed rather than blue with a red border.

There are four main screens, you can access them through the couple icon at the top left or by swiping across the screen. Individual - which lists vital events, census entries, births of children, occupations and other events in chronological order (the individual display for William Satchell Hutton is the first example image in this blog post).  Touch any event and a series of other screens open one from another with additional details - the test 1861 census event led firstly to a page showing the principals in the event (in a census that was just William but on his marriage it shows him and his wife) with the address and place repeated - the clever bit being that this is linked to Google maps and should when touched show you the location in question.  It doesn't work with my tree because of the way I've stored the addresses - for example Bishopwearmouth, Dur (using Chapman County Codes).  Then there's a button for the source - this displays the full title of the census image as I entered in Ancestral Sources plus some codes against the label Surety.  There is full online documentation for this app, which explains the terminology, but I'm really just looking at usability today. 
Source Details for the 1861 census on GedStarPro
Then another button labelled Source Details opens the page shown above which is where the transcription of the census entry turns up along with a handy thumbnail link to the associated image - if only the final image size was bigger than a large postage stamp!

There is no quick way out of this series of source screens, you have to use the back button until you get to the individual screen again.  From there you can swipe through to the two diagram screens, the 3-generation ancestor diagram, from where you can jump to any of the people shown, and the 3-generation descendant diagram, the same. 
3-generation descendant diagram showing some photographs (GedStarPro)
Each of these diagrams does show a small thumbnail image against each name, which when they are photos of people is quite nice, but if the default image is a census return or certificate (because that is all you have for that person) then it's a bit pointless.

Look back at the top any of the four main screens, there are three icons - the People one gets you back to the index of individuals, the Favourites allows you to save names to a list for quick access and Lists gives you direct access to Sources, Repositories and Images from their own full listings - and also Research Tasks, which is not applicable to me as Family Historian doesn't support them.  You can't add a note to the program, however using the menu button, that's the little tower of three dots in the very top right, you can export a person's information to Catchnote or Evernote (should you have them installed on your device) where you can use all the functionality of those apps to edit the information, add a photo or a voice recording etc.  I haven't tried this yet, so I can't comment.

So at the end of all that which app did I decide to keep and/or pay for?  I bought GedStarPro and Family Bee in the end.  Each cost around £6.70 (converting $10 via Paypal or Google Play) and I am still hopeful that one day one of them will offer everything I want in a genealogy app.  Currently none of the apps I have looked at today do, but as one of the main reasons for buying a tablet rather than a new phone was to carry around my genealogy in an accessible manner I had to choose something.

To all the developers of the above programs - I'm sure I haven't mentioned all your features and some of them are not appropriate or applicable to my Gedcom or the way I use Family Historian.  I've tried to be fair and this is all just my opinion remember - for a free program ezGED Viewer wasn't bad at all, of the two I bought I think I like Family Bee a little better than GedStarPro, if only because, oddly, it doesn't have any pictures, so I don't get disappointed when I can't read them.  FamilyGTG needs work - truncating the names in the diagrams is a glaring error, but at least you can add a token photo of ancestors where you have one, just to make things a bit more interesting.

Please comment if you use any of these apps, or indeed can recommend any others.
Thanks for reading.