Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Bureau of Heraldry South Africa

The Bureau of Heraldry is the official heraldic department of the South African Government. The above coat of arms is their official armorial bearings. I recently had the pleasure of receiving an official coat of arms for my KZA Music Services which largely operates as a tuition service within the Teesside area of the UK. I am very thankful to this department for their professionalism and openness in accepting my business for armorial bearings. Their ethos to the international general public is clearly the way forward and a clear example to the other few remaining official heraldic authorities. Special thanks to Mr Marcel van Rossum OMBB Deputy Director of the Bureau of Heraldry for all his help, insights and advice regarding the greater Heraldic community and for his consistent professional approach in our dealings. A special thanks to Mr Gavin Schlemmer chief heraldic artist of the Bureau of Heraldry for his wonderful art work. Truly this official organisation is a breath a fresh air and taking heraldry into a wonderful new future. 

Friday, 3 November 2017

So who are these Scandinavians that occupy 20% of my DNA? The Eliassen family.

So I find myself rather curious about these ancestry.co.uk DNA results, 20% Scandinavian? The only obvious ancestral links I can see are the Eliassen family. Looking at my paternal roots, I see that my great grandfather Frank Henry Simms married Matilda Amanda Eliassen in 1914. I was able to order her birth certificate as seen here-

My great grandmother Matilda was born in 1884 in Hull to Elias Eliassen & Matilde Knudson. My great great grandfather Elias his profession was listed as merchant seaman. This is also confirmed by the Hull 1891 census where Elias is listed as a head of his household, occupation 'Sailor'. At this stage it lists two children with Matilde Eliassen namely Magdalene age 10 & Odin age 4.

Here is a photo of their son Odin, he served with the West Yorkshire Regiment and died at the battle of Loos, France 1915.

I was able to locate Elias Eliassen & Matilda Knudson marriage license dated 1884.
It lists their ages as both aged 29....i'm not sure if that was completely true. Curiously, there appears to be a discrepancy in who my great great grandfathers listed father is as he is listed as Elias Davidson. Was this his step father perhaps?  Matilde's father is listed as Olaf Knudson. 

One additional record was the 1911 census and here it again states that Elias Eliassen was born in Sweden and Matilde Knudson as born in Norway. It still lists their ages as the same, this time both aged 55....so perhaps its true? Also living with them as this stage was their children  my great grandmother Amanda Matilda Eliassen and her half sister Eugenie Reinhartdsen. So I suspect Matilda Knudson was married previously before she married Elias. 

Digging a little deeper into my great great grandmother Matilde Knudson I see she does indeed turn up on the 1881 Census but living in Southhampton and married to a Mr Reinhartsen.
He appears to be not in the census which makes me wonder if that meant he was offshore at the time of the census?

Matilde was residing at 11, George Street, Southampton St Mary, Southampton, Hampshire, England and listed as Matilda Reinhartsen Wife (Head) Married age 30 born about 1851. Occupation: Yachtsmans Wife born in Norway.

The census also mentions her son August J Reinhartsen aged 2 born 1879 - Southampton, Hampshire, England and these other persons-
Johan Olsen Brother Single Male 23 1858 Seaman Norway
Thomine Reinhartsen Sister In Law Single Female 25 1856 Servant Norway
Unten Neilsen Boarder Single Male 32 1849 Seaman Norway
Eugene Reinhartsen Daughter Single Female age 0 born 1881 - Southampton, Hampshire, England

From the following records I can see Matilde's son died in 1882 at the time she had moved to Hull.

England & Wales deaths 1837-2007 Transcription

Gender Male
Birth year 1879
Age 3
Death quarter 4
Death year 1882
District HULL
County Yorkshire
Volume 9D
Page 179
Country England
Record set England & Wales deaths 1837-2007

England Deaths and Burials 1538-1991 Transcription

First name(s) August Johan Anchor
Last name Reinhartsen
Event year 1882
Burial year 1882
Burial date 25 Nov 1882
Burial place Hull, York, England
Place Hull
County Yorkshire
Father's last name Reinhartsen
Mother's first name(s) Matilda
Mother's last name Knudsen
Country England

England & Wales deaths 1837-2007 Transcription

First name(s) THORVAL AUGUST
Gender Male
Birth year 1883
Age 1
Death quarter 3
Death year 1884
District HULL
County Yorkshire
Volume 9D
Page 177

So definitely seeing some Scandinavian links here although struggled to find exactly when and where in Sweden Elias was born.  

Thursday, 26 October 2017

The Simms family of Hull part 2

So today I was able to finally get some conclusive proof about my paternal origins and answer some questions about the Simms family of Hull. Having taken the ancestry DNA test a few weeks ago they provided some fascinating insights into understanding a bit more about my great grandparents Frank Henry Simms and Matilda Amanda Eliassen.

From my DNA result I could ascertain that i am carrying the Scandinavian markers of my great grand mother Amanda Matilda Eliassen. Her parents Elias & Matilde were from Sweden & Norway and came to England in the 1850's. My genetic markers were actually very specific to East Norway. The 30% Irish is due to my mother's family being Frizzell. Hugh Frizzell my great grandfather as we have already established his father James Frizzell was from Ireland. The 43% being from Great Britain is mainly the Simms & Bloxham lineage which are very old family lines. I have especially to thank cousin  Mark Hunter for bringing this to light and David Bloxham for finding the genetic DNA markers which confirm the Bloxham line.

So it would indeed appear that my paternal great great grandparents are indeed Charlotte Simms & Francis A Bloxham. David Bloxham (distant cousin) was kind enough to throw up this DNA table which shows that although we spring from different Bloxham lines we shared the same ancestor John Bloxham 1770-1842.
Finally nice to see how the Simms/Bloxham family fits into the full genealogical picture of my family. Irish, Scandinavian DNA might explain the red hair, blues eyes and obvious deep English roots.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

The Simms family of Hull part 1

So i'm now researching my paternal origins. The above photo shows  my paternal roots. This photo taken in Hull circa 1934 shows my great grandfather Frank Henry Simms centre back row and to his right my grandfather Harry Leonard Simms. Frank Henry Simms & his wife Amanda Matilda Eliassen married in 1914 and as you can see 20 years later they were the parents of 13 children. Although large families were the norm back then theirs still appears to be larger than normal as can be seen from this article taken from the Hull Daily Mail April 2nd, 1945 p.3

Clear the family as a whole committed themselves to the war effort during the difficult period of world war two. I note my grandfather who was their  eldest child Harry Leonard Simms born in 1914 was working in an aircraft factory in 1945. Several of his siblings were in service during the war......it would be interesting to do further research with the MoD regarding what my granduncles & Aunts did during the war.

Harry Leonard Simms I note married in 1955 his common in law wife Margaret Louisa Elizabeth Stella Dye (previous marriage dissolved).       

They had several children, their eldest child was my father Paul who was born in Hull in 1947 so clearly they had been together several years before they officially tied the knot. My father Paul married in 1971 to Christine Frizzell and my parents had three children in total, myself, Edward and Rosemary. Rosemary died as a baby. I'm effectively the eldest child of the eldest child of the eldest child leading back to Frank Henry Simms of Hull.

Interestingly Frank Henry Simms was born in Brailes in 1892, the son of Charlotte Simms my great great grandmother. On his birth certificate there is no father listed which did mean for decades there was no way of researching our paternal lineage.

Thankfully a distant cousin Mark has been able to shed some light on this closed area. It does now appear that the father is likely Frank Bloxham and to shed some light on this i have gone ahead with a DNA test with ancestry.co.uk to discover if this is the case. Results to be provided once they are available but as Mark has pointed out it seems very unlikely Charlotte Simms would have brought an Affiliation Case against Frank Bloxham if this was not the case. Attached is the news paper article that shows her case against Mr Frank Bloxham.

To be continued...