By Ian Sewell
Well, I have finally finished updating the 1881 census into the society records After over 8 months I have added over 850 individuals of interest and recorded over 4,300 entries from tthe census with a code. Frustratingly there were over 1500 entries I could not link or could not find enough information on to warrant creating a new tree in the records. Some of these I hope to identify in the future. I will now move on to the parish records I have myself and look to bring in more as and when I can.
Since the last journal I have received some interesting emails regarding the use of DNA in tracing family trees. Susan McConnaughey Hedeen is researching the tree of one Timothy Sewell of Boston, Massachusetts and suspect that his father was Barnard Sewell and was baptised in Carlisle in 1695. To make sure, she wants to know if anyone in the society with possible links to this family would undergo anonymous YDNA testing for YSNP markers which could identify common links. I am not sure if there are currently any members with links back to Carlisle but if there are and you would be willing to take part then please let me know and I will put you in touch with Susan.
Glennis Sewell has been using the DNA testing that is available with Ancestry and has so far has linked to a number of people going back 8 generations. From what she says it seems that it has been very useful in her family. Personally I would like to try this but I know from my research that my grandfather Henry Sewell was illegitimate so it is not likely that I will be carrying any Sewell markers that will link me to other Sewells. I am, after all, a Sewell in name only.
Victoria Joule inquired if Jean Cooper was still a member as she had come across an article she had written in 2007 regarding Abraham Sewell who was committed to Broadmoor prison for the murder of his mother. It seems that her ancestor was Abraham’s brother. Unfortunately, the details I have for Jean were no longer valid so I could not help any further.
Finally, Christine James an ex-member is still looking for more details on Jenkin Sawell who was mentioned in a tax return of 1525 in Cornwall. I am sorry to say that our records in Cornwall are limited and do not go back that far.