has only been during the past 14 years that I have turned my attention towards
collating information on U.S. born Covingtons. All my early work concentrated on
those born, married or died in the United Kingdom.
living in England and restrictions of funds were the main reason for
concentrating on the U.K. but since the expansion of the internet and access to
on the Worldwide Web my horizons have expanded.
said apart from kind contributions from numerous U.S. based Covingtons, most of
the information from the U.S. has not been confirmed by my own direct research.
For the U.K., I have personally logged details on every Covington recorded in
the General Register Office files.
is no simple road in genealogy, no idiot's guide unless you are happy enough to
just follow the UK General Register Office records. You will need to use all the
resources available, if you wish to finish your tree (personally I believe it is
impossible to completely finish a tree). My project has just aimed at recording
the lives of anybody named Covington. It is not true genealogy, in that I have
not tried to follow all the branches of a tree, just the one's named Covington.
most budding Covingtonists, I would recommend either
a lengthy download of data from this site or applying to me for the whole lot on CD,
to start you on your way. Your skills will then be tested to provide the
branches away from the Covington line, or in some cases back to other parts of
my database contacts have been exhausted, I suggest that you consider making
contact with some of the following:
major library has many genealogy books worth a read, particularly those which
give the meanings of names.
Family Records Centre, 1 Myddelton Street, Islington, ECIR 1UW. is a major
source of material. By referring to their many Indexes you can order one of a
variety of certificates to help your study along. But beware it can prove to be
expensive, particularly if you order the wrong John Smith birth certificate.
A full birth, death or marriage certificate costs £7 each (Mar 2009).
The building also houses the Census records.
A birth certificate will give you: place & date of birth, sex, full
names, parent's names, including mother's
maiden name and father's occupation.
marriage certificate shows: place & date of marriage, names, ages, marital
status, occupations and addresses of bride and groom, names and addresses of
both fathers and names of witnesses.
death certificate gives: place, date, cause of death, full name, sex, age at
death, occupation of deceased and name of informant.
GRO also keep Service Records, births, marriages and deaths for Army, Navy and
Air Force as well as Consular, Overseas and Adoption Records.
is at www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/
Society of Genealogists, 14 Charterhouse Buildings, Goswell Road, London, EC1 is well worth
checking out, particularly the Great Card Index and Boyd's Marriage Index. A
full day searching costs £18 (March 2009 price) for non-members and you will
need to provide one of the standard forms of personal ID. It will help if you
are well prepared, having already got a good knowledge of your family tree.
Annual membership is £45 for UK members & £27 for Overseas members
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints can be found at 64-68 Exhibition
Road, South Kensington, London SW7 2PA. Their Family History Centre, amongst
other fascinating documents provides access to the International Genealogical
Index. Well worth a visit and no need to become
a Mormon !
LITTLE DEEPER INTO FAMILY HISTORY
you have compiled your family tree, you may look at the sheets of paper in front
of you and ask the following question about each individual on your chart;
"Who was he, or she? What were they really like? How did they
live?" "What sort of an environment did they live in?"
known, I have included a brief pen-picture about some individuals but this only
tells you a very small amount about the person. It tells you little about his
lifestyle, his surroundings, or the state of the country at the time of his
life. Nowadays we take so much for granted that our ancestors couldn't possibly
enjoy. Take out electricity, motor cars, running hot & cold water,
television, overseas holidays, city centre stores and supermarkets from our
current lifestyle and our existence would seem a little bland. However, if one
believes the saying "You don't miss what you've never had", we can be
happy that our ancestors were not too disillusioned with their lot.
particularly sad element of their lifestyle was the enormity of the number of
child deaths which occurred. It seems quite commonplace, for a couple to lose 3,
4 or 5 children before they were 1 year old. It is difficult, nowadays, to
relate to this situation, as very few birth or early childhood mortalities
occur. Today, when they do happen, they are usually classified as still-births
or blamed on cot death, very occasionally some serious physical ailment, such as
heart, lung or kidney malfunction is responsible. However in years gone by many,
now insignificant illnesses such as Measles and Whooping Cough resulted in
infant death. Many simply didn't make it through the trauma of actual
childbirth, where few, but the offspring of the very rich, would have been
delivered by a qualified physician.
to the 1851 census, out of 1000 live births, 154 died before reaching 1. In 1986
it was 9.6 deaths per 1000. Those that did survive circa 1841, lived to an
average age of 41. Today the average age at death is nearer 75.
example of how we often forget how things used to be struck me when I was
researching my Great Grandfather's life. I had found that he had been a driver
in the Royal Artillery. Not a bad job, I thought, chauffeuring the Colonel
around, perhaps, or maybe even driving the ammunitions truck. But no, because in
1880 there were very few limousines or Bedford trucks, so Driver Covington was
actually in charge of a team of horses pulling a gun carriage. Many of his
family were agricultural labourers or straw plait workers, both of which were
working in a very labour intensified industry, no tractors or combine harvesters
in those days. No wonder they died so young!
a good place to start when trying to get a wider picture of your Covington is
the place where he or she lived. Whilst the majority of buildings over 200 years
old have long since disappeared, you will usually be able to visit the church
where your ancestor was baptized, married or buried. A visit to the nearest
library can help with useful background information, sometimes old street maps
and photographs add to your view of what life was like.
be only satisfied with the local environment, it is interesting to find out What
taxes were payable?, Who was King or Queen? (Would your ancestor have actually
even seen a picture of the Queen?). Who was Prime Minister? Were we at war? What
schooling was available? (many children started work at 9 years of age right up
to the end of the 19th century). If nothing else, it makes History a much more
interesting subject than I can remember it being during my schooling years
An interesting approach is to list your own lifestyle, showing
your job description, salary, pastimes, food, holidays, means of transport,
communication, entertainments and clothing, and then trying to compare them with
your chosen ancestor. It is only when you begin to see how your ancestors lived
that you perhaps feel a little less dissatisfied with your own lot!
AND SOME MORE USEFUL SOURCES
How to start researching your family tree.
You will find links to other "Getting Started" sites on this page. Also
included on the Getting Started page are links to Genealogical Forms for
keeping track of what you learn, The Most Common Mistakes Made in
Genealogical Research and much more to help you begin the search!
& Secondary Resources
Understand what the difference is between a
Primary and a Secondary Resource can be hard. This page explains it all.
Information and Date Formats
Here you will find a lot of information on
old calendars, date changes, double dating, more. There is a section on
determining birthdates. We also have provided links to sites where you
can look up dates to find out what important events occured on those
Finding maiden names can sometimes be a
problem and family histories often use nicknames. The English had
certain patterns that were used to name sons and daughters. Hopefully
you can find some help in the links below.
Seventeen Ways to Find a Maiden Name
Given Names & Nicknames
Naming Patterns in England, 1700-1875
Czech (Bohemian and Moravian) Given Names/English Counterpart
Dutch/Frisian Names with English Translations
Foreign Name Cross Reference - for Czechoslovakian, German,
Hungarian, Polish or Slovakian equivalents
Cyndi's List of Links to Name Sites
Census Records are definitely going to a
part of your research. This can be done in a lot of different ways. Here
is a list of good online Census Resources.
The USGW Census Project
The USGenWeb Archive Census Project
Surname to Soundex Converter
Cyndi's List of U.S. Census Info
Census Information from GENUKI - For England, Scotland & Wales.
Cyndi's List of Census Related Sites Worldwide
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), has a great web site, The Official
Federal Land Patent Records Site . They provide live database access to
Federal land conveyance records for the Public Land States. Image access
is provided to more than two million Federal land title records for
Eastern Public Land States, issued between 1820 and 1908.
and Passenger Arrival Records
There can be a lot of information available
to you if you can find the immigration papers of your ancestor. Here are
some "how tos" and links to site with actual lists online.
A list of what those old occupation really
of old Documents
The care of old, fragile documents can be
hard to figure out. This problem extends to Bibles, photographs,
newspaper articles and books. Some links to professional restorers.
Just a few of the many sites that do
professional restoration of old photos.
Just Black and White
Cyndi's List of Photographs and Memories - not just links to
preservation sites, but many other interesting things as well.
Information & Maps
Maps can be a valuable genealogical tool.
Some geographical research will probably become necessary in your search
as early county lines were in flux, towns and townships changed names
and other geographical changes occurred. You might need to know what was
located near to a certain river and other things like that. This page
also includes terms used in
old land measurements.
to Write and Use Queries
Queries can be a big help to you in your
online research. Find out what they are, how to write them and how to
make them more effective.
Programs for Genealogy
If you really want to say with this hobby,
there will probably come a point when you will want to purchase a
computer program to make keeping track of all that paper a whole lot
easier. Read up on the programs available.
Information for Researchers
Here you will find: Information on English
Common Law in 18th Century Virginia, Relationships of Cousins Explained,
Definitions of Some Unusual Death Items and a Guide to Reading Old
Handwriting (with some links).
Here are links to other pages that will help
you either get started or get over the brick wall. I have also provided
links to specialty sites like document preservation, old photograph
preservation, bible preservation, passenger & ships records, special
ethnic sites and much, much more. Good luck and happy researching!
About.com Genealogy - Resources, Links, How-tos, Articles, Chat,
Forums, and More
Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet - Links to every
topic you can think of.
Family Search Internet Genealogy Service - This is the online
version of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Family
Genealogy Exchange & Surname Registry - Lots of great info and there
is even a Kid's Corner!
Genealogy Gateway - A great deal of good info and links to many,
many other sites.
Treasure Maps - The How-to Genealogy WWW Site
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