genealogy of the Jeffrey and Nott families
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Site Objectives

My initial objective when I first stated researching my family history was simply to find out who my ancestors were as although I knew were my grandparents I knew nothing about previous generations but with the aid of a few certificates passed down the family and the internet, I was soon able to build up a reasonable tree. Sure there were some gaps but it was a decent start.

Then by using both free and subscription sites, a picture started to emerge of not only my direct ancestors but of their families as well and I soon noticed the same surnames cropping up, particularly of my Durrant ancestors of Erith, Kent, where a number of marriages occurred between the same families. So my focused widened to include anyone in those families no matter how distant they were and this has evolved into a sort of limited one place study for Erith, Kent.

When researching my own direct paternal line, I inevitably hit a few brick walls and began collecting data on any Jeffrey or its many variations in spelling in case they fitted into my own tree. Little did I know there are thousands of individuals with these surnames and I was only looking at South East London and Kent but before I knew it, I had started a surname study for the Jeffrey etc name and have registered this with The Surname Society

My mother's maiden name was Nott and a number of researchers have sent me information on this family who have spread far and wide from their roots in Veryan and Gorran in Cornwall and I am attempting to pull all the strands together and build up a global Nott tree. I have also registered the Nott name with The Surname Society.

So as time has gone by, this site has developed with four main objectives

(1) To research my own family tree and any one vaguely connected to them

(2) To research families of Erith, Kent.

(3) To become a major resource for those researching the Jeffrey etc surname

(4) To become a major resource for those researching the Nott surname

If you can help in achieving these lofty ambitions, please get in touch.

How I go about it.

No doubt different family history and surname researchers have their own methods of researching and recording their work. This is how I do it and does involve a duplication of effort but it works for me.

(1)  I use "Family Historian" as my main method of recording all my research and keep everything in one project as there is a degree of overlap in all four of the site objectives listed above.

(2) For publishing my research on the internet (i.e. this website), I use "The Next Generation of Sitebuilding " (TNG) and for consistency override the program generated ID's and substitute for those produced by Family Historian. These ID's are also used in the various spreadsheets I have compiled, more on this below.

(3) Although not currently a subscriber, I have a public tree on "Ancestry" as I have found some useful information can be gleaned from the hints section even for non subscribers.

(4) I do subscribe to "Find My Past" as I find the link up with "Family Historian" via the hints button helpful and access to the 1939 National Register a great research tool. My main use for "Find My Past" are census entries where I also save a copy of the image to "Family Historian". Details of the census entry are entered into "TNG" (this website) but for copyright reasons I do not save the image.

(5) I use "FreeBMD" and more recently the "GRO Birth and Death" indexes extensively. "FreeBMD" has wider coverage and does include marriage indexes but "GRO" does show full names and for births the maiden name of mother (only shown in "FreeBMD" from 1912 onwards). However "GRO" infant deaths do have a major flaw in that age at death is shown as years instead of months where death occurred in first year of birth. Where I suspect age at death should be in months, I cross check with "FreeBMD" which generally shows age at death as 0 for early deaths.

(6) The variations in spelling of surnames has been an issue for me as on one hand it is easier to have a consistent spelling which aids when checking if already recorded or for duplicates but on the other hand should I not be recording how the individual actually spelt their name. The problem with the second approach is that many of the records available e.g. census returns (apart from 1911), parish registers and to some degree GRO certificates are not completed by the individual but by a clerk, cleric, enumerator etc who may record what he hears or thinks how the surname is spelt. I have adopted for a consistent approach for all surnames apart from my Jeffrey etc surname study where I use the most likely spelling based upon the documents available as it is clear in many cases that a certain spelling has always been used. For more detail on how I handle spelling variations, refer to Surname Spellings feature story.

(7)  In trying to ensure I do not record duplicate entries, I have recently created Excel spreadsheets for births, marriages and deaths for Jeffrey etc surname compiled from "GRO" index for births and deaths and "FreeBMD" index for marriages. On the assumption that each individual has only one entry for births and deaths and one entry for each marriage, I refer to these lists before making any new entries as well as searching my "Family Historian" database for similar name, birthdate and location entries. However, this is in its early stages and with so many William or Frederick or George born around the same time in similar locations, it is likely duplicates may occur.

To Be Continued