Thursday, March 1, 2012

Carnival of Genealogy - 115 Flash family history

Jasia of Creative Gene is hosting the 115th Carnival of Genealogy. The challenge is to write a "flash family history" in 300 words or less.

Here it is in 300 words - my Crosby line.

All of my Crosby ancestors came from north of the Tyne, between Edinburgh, in Scotland, and Newcastle upon Tyne.

The Crosbys were Presbyterians from the north of Northumberland, only a few miles south of the Scottish border.

Marrying directly into the Crosby line are the Pickens, my Scottish connection, originally from Edinburgh, and the Gilroys, from Rock and Embleton in Northumberland.

These three families arrived in Newcastle upon Tyne in the 1830s, a quarryman/carter, a brass finisher, and a glass flint grinder.

Marrying into the Gilroy line were the Robertsons, who were in Newcastle by 1817. In this line is my only known Irish ancestor Sarah Robertson, maiden name unknown, born Ireland in the 1790s, and that is all I may ever know about my Irish ancestors.

The Marrs married into the Robertsons resulting in my GGgrandmother Eleanor, the tripe shop keeper. Her daughter Elizabeth was a butcher, continuing to run the shop after the suicide of her husband left her with 3 children under 15.

There were bricklayers, a blacksmith, a glassmaker, a ship builder, pitmen, and a keelman (an occupation made famous in the old song “Weel may the keel row”).

There were families where most of the children did not survive, and others that were prolific and more fortunate. There were early deaths of a father to insanity, and his son to suicide; there were young men whose lives were taken in the First World War, and my grandfather who survived it.

Many were named to acknowledge those who came before - some named for grandparents, and some carried surnames as middle names. There was Stoddard Baird, who was only a stepfather to my GGGgrandmother Elizabeth Gilroy (nee Hazon), and yet his name echoes down the generations from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s.

There it is, my first contribution to a Carnival.


  1. And a wonderful contribution it is! Thanks so much for participating in the COG, Anne. You did a marvelous job of writing a nice concise history of your family. This challenge wasn't easy but you make it sound like it was. Nice piece of writing!

  2. Nice entry into the COG, and what a fascinating family story it is.

  3. So well done! You did a marvelous job including the details that illustrate the lives lived. I especially liked the mention of Stoddard Baird. I too descend from a man who carried his step-grandfather's name.

  4. Anne, Wow, those border Scots just keep one on their toes, don't they? With this teaser, I will be looking forward to hearing more about your Cosby line.