HistoryOwl Blog

Why are Catholic witnesses useful for family historians?

If your ancestors were Catholic, their christenings and marriages were witnessed by sponsors (also called Godparents in the case of christenings or simply witnesses at marriages). They were often relatives of the parties in question and genealogists collect information about relatives. The problem is that Catholic church register indexers have often chosen not to capture information about such witnesses.

What has caused HistoryOwl to evolve?

In pre-digital times, there were only two species of owl. The first were the sort that sat in trees and said "too-wit too-woo". Well, strictly speaking (according to the Wildlife Trust), a male said twit and the female (he hoped) responded with twoo. There were many sub-species of these for which you'd need to visit the Natural History Museum to find out more.

Jumping to conclusions

One of the reasons researching family history is both satisfying and frustrating in equal measures is that it does not run predictably and this post is a story about how this happened to me during my own research. One of my lines is the surname Brown, not exactly an unusual surname and I was fully aware that pitfalls might await me as I aimed to shake out mine from the many others. We are in 19th Century Liverpool and I have proven via various pieces of evidence that my ancestor William Brown was born about 1794.