Craven Ancestors

I have been giving quite a bit of attention lately to my Craven ancestors.

I was very lucky in my family history search when I discovered a link to the Craven families through my 2xGt.Grandmother. I say lucky because there is so much information about the various members of this family to be found on the internet.

I have been able to get back to John Craven who was born 1485, this far but unfortunately no further. There just doesn’t seem to be anything more about him anywhere. I wonder if any of you out there have ever discovered anything more about him? Or, are we all stuck with this same John?

I have to admit that this family tree  connection gave me entree into a whole range of aristocracy. The website I like best for this kind of information is because this site always gives you a list of citations. You can see just where all the information comes from and this gives you confidence in the results.

There are other sites who deal with Royal and Aristocratic connections but don’t cite the sources and this always makes me wary of using their genealogical information.

Naturally the ancestors closest to you are more important in that they probably have more impact on your genes, but, through marriages you are going to end up with literally thousands of leaves hanging on your family tree. I have to confess that it is quite a thrill to find that you have people who you have read about in your history books actually on your tree.

Sometimes I stop and think, how is it possible that I have [at this time 28,800] thousands of people on my family tree but the answer is that each generation you go back you are sort of compounding the total. On top of this people had much larger families in days gone by and by the time you have added each of the siblings and their spouses and then their children and so on and so on there is no wonder that you end up with big numbers.

When you have members of the peerage on your tree you are going to find the same families cropping up all over the place because they tended to marry and inter-marry within their own specific sphere. Thank goodness I have software that allows for merging because I very often have put the same person in the records, coming in from a different angle and if the software didn’t merge these duplications then I would have the same names over and over which would be very confusing.

The Curse of the Name George

From the benefit of hindsight I recently noticed a strange anomaly with the name George within the MAWER family.

I had been posting new individuals onto my MAWER line and noticed that some families who named one of their sons George seemed to lose him and as they seemed dead set that they wanted a son named George they waited until the next son came along and he was baptized George.

The first George to die young among my ancestors was born to George and Frances MAWER, he was born in 1763 and only lived until 1768, and the very next child was a son so he was duly named George, being born just after the other George died, in 1768.

The next George was born 1767 to John and Ann MAWER and he died before 1768, and lo and behold another son was born in 1768 and called George.

The next family tragedy in line was to George and Ann MAWER, their first son George was born in 1800. I don’t have a death date for him but he must have died young because the next child was another son born 1803 and he was named George.

The final set of Georges that I found in my Family History research was born to a CURTIS family. The man John CURTIS married a MAWER lady, their first George was born 1813 and died 1813 and their next and successful attempt to have a George was born 1820.

It is only when we can look back at our list of ancestors that we see patterns emerging although the families concerned probably were not aware that their ‘George’ tragedy had happened before to other people.

It just seemed odd to me that these problems with sons called George happened,other sons within the various families thrived, so why did this happen? Also why were people so hooked up on repeating names of children who died. I have seen the same determination with various female names as well.

Personally I might have thought it a bit of a jinx.


I don’t know if anyone else dislikes the newest setup of the International Genealogical Index, but I do.

I seemed to have a lot more success with the old style, finding ancestors I was looking for, place details which would help me in my search.

Going back over some old family history research I re-checked it and if I had obtained the details from the old style IGI, sometimes I just didn’t get the same information coming up with the new style.

To begin with we were given a choice of new or old but that choice seems to have been withdrawn now and I for one am not a happy bunny!

As I have mentioned before, every so often I like to recheck my information and when I don’t get confirmation that sets me wondering whether I just dreamed the first details. I know I didn’t because I always take a note of where I got family history research information so that I can re-visit the appropriate site.

Maybe I am missing something here, perhaps I am doing something wrong but I cannot imagine what. Has anyone else been a bit disenchanted with the changes?

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