Tag Archives: vital records

Conway – Bayman finds

Several months ago I discovered a couple of websites that focus on South African genealogy: Ancestry24 and Ancestor.co.za. Ancestry24 is a subscription service with transcriptions of original records or compilations–including parish baptism, marriage and burial records, voter registration lists and court records. Some transcriptions can be viewed without a subscription. Ancestor.co.za has a limited collection (the South Africa Death Records index, South African Newspaper Classifieds from 2007 and South African Settler Families Genealogy), but they supply digital images of original records on a pay-per-view basis (US$7.00 or 50 ZAR per record). It can take several weeks to receive the digital image, but the wait is worth it–and for people like me, it helps to control costs!

Using these two sites, I’ve made some serious headway on our Conway – Bayman lines–my father-in-law’s great-grandmother’s family. It started when I found Eliza Conway Bayman listed in the Death Records index at Ancestor.co.za. When I finally received the image, I was thrilled to see not just her death date and age, but also her birthplace (Mossel Bay), husband’s name (James William Bayman), all of her children and her parents’ names (Richard and Ann Conway)!

Using this new information, I found the death record for her husband, James William Bayman, on Ancester.co.za. Not only did it list the usual, but I learned that he was born in London, England, and had a previous wife (Catherine Margareta Styl) and children. And again, it gave the names of his parents (James William and Sarah Davis Bayman).

I have taken this information and tried to find more information on James William Bayman in England records on Ancestry.com, but haven’t had much luck yet. However, yesterday I found baptismal records on Ancestry24 for several of James’ children with both wives. (HINT: when looking at baptism and marriage records, pay attention to the witnesses. Many times they are relatives and can contain missing information.)


Isidore Silber

I just pulled out the death certificate for Isidore Silver that I have (mentioned in today’s other posting) because I hadn’t packed it with my stuff to take to Poughkeepsie (glad I decided to blog before leaving), and found another piece of evidence that makes me REALLY believe that this is the same Isidore Silber that I’m looking for. There are actually three reasons I think that this is the right person, despite the huge discrepancy in the parents’ names.

  1. Isidore and Sarah Schwartz Silber were living in New York City at the time, which is where this Isidore Silver died. I have census records that confirm this. All census records have their last name spelled as “Silver” which is understandable. Their children match my mother’s recollection of her aunt’s and uncle’s names, so I’m confident that the census records are a match.
  2. This Isidore died during the right time period, and a search of the New York City Death Index doesn’t give any other possibilities.
  3. Despite dying in New York City, the death certificate says that Isidore Silver was buried in Poughkeepsie. Most of the Silbers and Schwartzes (from my family anyway) lived in Poughkeepsie at the time.
  4. The most compelling piece of evidence, though, is something I discovered only yesterday. Isidore Silver was living at 342 East 80th Street at the time of his death, according the the death certificate. His wife’s older brother, William Schwartz, lived at 341 East 80th Street, for more than 20 years–just across the street!! (I found William in the census yesterday after going through some old letters in preparation for today’s trip, and finding a letter that said that “Uncle Willie” had a barbershop on East 79th Street and a son named Mac [who turns out to be Max in the census]).
I was looking forward to this weekend’s trip to Poughkeepsie, but I’m really excited now! I feel like there will be some big finds, and everything is falling into place right now!

Margaret McDonald–update!

I posted a message on the Wigtownshire message board at Ancestry.com about Margaret McDonald. I gave probably more details than anyone could want, hoping that someone would read it and suggest some piece of research that I had overlooked. What I got was beyond anything I expected! Sincere thanks to Bruce McDowall of Melbourne, Australia, for the following research tips he posted:

Hi Scott,

Margaret and Joanne made good suggestions. One would certainly favour the information from a marriage registration, but that is also sometimes incorrect.

I think I may have found the baptism record for your Margaret McDONALD in the Inch OPR. I have transcribed the following records from the LDS film:

“McDonald or Robinson / Charles McDonald and Barbara Robinson at Cairnryan had an illegitimate daughter born 17th July 1848 and baptized 6th Augt 1848”

“Jane McDonald / Charles McDonald and Margaret Adair Cairnryan had a lawful daughter named Jane born 22nd January 1849 baptized 11th Feb 1849′

“Charles McDonald / Charles McDonald and Margaret Adair at Cairnryan had a lawful Son named Charles born 25th December 1850 and baptized 11th Feb 1851”

“Thomas McDonald / Charles McDonald and Margaret Adair at Cairnryan had a lawful son named Thomas born 15th November 1852 and baptized 28th November 1852”

“Charles McDonald & Margaret Adair / Charles McDonald and Margaret Adair residing at Cairnryan were three times proclaimed in the parish Church of Inch 30th January 1848, in order to marriage, in presence of John Brown and Jane Brownlee residing at Kirk of Inch and William Wilson tailor in Stranraer.”

Unfortunately, the child to Barbara Robinson was not named in the register, but she does look like a very good candidate for your Margaret McDONALD. She would have been 2 years and 8 months on 31st March 1851, when the census was taken. I took a look at the LDS film of the 1851 census, and noted that, whist they are both given a 2 year olds, Margaret is listed before Jane.

Assuming Barbara Robinson carried her child full term, she would have conceived in November 1847. Presumably, none of those attending Church during the proclamation period in January 1848, knew that Barbara Robinson was pregnant to Charles. Perhaps she didn’t know herself. If this scenario is correct, there would have been considerable fuss when the facts came out.

Joanne Croft has already suggested that you pursue the Kirk Session records. This adds weight to that recommendation. Assuming Charles and Barbara were members of the Church, they would have been called before the Session, probably on three occasions. Hopefully, this is the case, and further, that there are surviving minutes. They are currently only available from the National Archives of Scotland, so if you can’t get to Edinburgh, you may want to hire a professional researcher to do a search for you. (They are being scanned with the view to being online via Scotlandspeople, but with no index, I’m not sure how this is going to work.)
A complication here is that 1848 was a time when many Wigtownshire folk had left the mainstream Church for the Free Church, so this couple may have been called before the Session of that Church.

I see that there is an unmarried 23 y/o Barbara ROBERTSON at Craigcaffie in the 1851 census. Perhaps she is the above Barbara Robinson.

Hope this helps, and I will be interested to know if you find the answer from the Kirk Session records. I had a similar situation, and resolved it through Kirk Session minutes.