Series Five’s opening episode – The Carpenter – sees host Andrew Martin welcome family historian and genealogical student, Jenni Phillips. She’ll explain how she got interested in researching her family tree, her love of local history societies, and she’ll be telling us about studying genealogy at the University of Strathclyde including a rather impressive house history project.
Listen to the episode
Also available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and others…
The Life Story – John Spring
Jenni has chosen to tell the life story of her 7x Great Grandfather, John Spring.
John was baptised in May 1730 in West Cholderton in Wiltshire, England – the son of carpenter and parish clerk Thomas Spring and his wife Mary. By 1756 John had married Kezia Wride.
Upon his father’s death in 1762, John inherits his carpentry business and timber yard, but by 1788 he’s noted as owning a number of cottages. Interestingly, it turns out that one of his tenants was Sir William Howe, the 5th Vicount Howe, who had a connection with West Cholderton, and John’s brother-in-law. Sir William Howe appears living in one of John’s cottages after a long career in the British Army, including active service in the American War of Independence.
John almost makes it to 90yrs old, dying in 1821, and loyal to his carpentry skills, he was buried in a coffin that he’d made for himself – a detail much to the interest of the local newspapers.
The Brick Wall – David Davies
It’s a tough brick wall in this episode, as Jenni has chosen to ask for help to find her 4x Great Grandfather David Davies from Swansea, Wales.
David was born circa 1797-1801, and during his lifetime he is noted as a shipwright, living mostly at New Street, Swansea. He marries a Rachel (possibly née Hopkins), and they are together in Swansea in 1841, and they appear at 57 New Street in 1851 and 1861, verified by the presence of children or grandchildren, but these census returns give different birthplaces; Swansea, and Carmarthenshire.
David Davies died on 24th September 1865 of ‘decay of nature’.
Jenni descends from David’s son John, and has seen many trees on Ancestry.com that also fail to reach back further. With the Davies surname being fairly common within Wales, and David Davies being a common combination, Jenni’s DNA matches are also too distant to really solve this one via autosomal tests.
- Where and when was David Davies born circa 1797-1801?
- Is there a baptism entry for him?
- Who were his parents?
If you think that you can help Jenni with a clue or a research idea, then you can reach out to her on Twitter at @JenniPh. Alternatively you can contact us and we’ll pass your message straight on.
Meanwhile, Jenni isn’t sure about Andrew’s offer of help….
- Andrew Martin – Host and Producer
- Jenni Philipps – Guest
- John Spike – Sándor Petőfi
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