Monthly Archives: March 2014

Reginald Clifton Grannum, Colonial Civil Servant, 1872-1946

[This article was originally posted on The National Archives wiki Your Archives (now archived)]

Reginald Clifton GrannumReginald Clifton Grannum, is my paternal great-grandfather.

Born: 17 April 1872, St Michael, Barbados, to Edward Thomas Grannum and Mary Elizabeth Armstrong, nee Jordan

Married:

  • Alice Edith Simpson (c.1876 – 13 March 1900), married 7 November 1896, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada – no children
  • Ada Laura Austin (18 Sept 1872 – 25 April 1966), married 16 March 1903, Glastonbury, Somerset – 4 children
    • Clifton Winnington Grannum (1906-1940)
    • Dorothy Edmee Grannum (1907-1991)
    • Reginald Anthony Grannum (1911-?)
    • Joyce Yvonne Grannum (1914-?)

Died: 7 January 1946, St Helier, Jersey

A case study using Colonial Office records held at the National Archives

Reginald Clifton Grannum was a career colonial civil servant serving in a number of colonies in the Caribbean and Africa between 1892 and 1930. Because he was in the colonial civil service during the 19th century it is possible to discover a wealth of information about his life and career and many clues leading to information about his family.

To find out more about his life I used five main sources:

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Don’t believe everything you read: story of Winston Churchill Millington, DCM

I am doing some research on Caribbeans who served in the First World War for a talk in October. I want to include some case studies for people who received gallantry awards. I ran an internet search and found a lot of websites mentioning a Winston Churchill Millington. The websites say he served in the British West Indies Regiment (BWIR) in Egypt and Palestine and received a Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM). Many of the web sites include a photograph of him and one links to a photograph on Flickr with him receiving the medal from Major-General Chaytor.

I was immediately suspicious because most of the websites said more-or-less the same thing and none provided more detailed information such as battalion in the BWIR, regimental number and date of announcement of the award in the London Gazette.

There is a habit for websites to repeat information without first verifying it and I hoped to find out more.

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New dataset: tithe apportionments

Today I received TheGenealogist’s latest newsletter and they have just launched a new dataset: an index and images to the Tithe Apportionments for England and Wales held by the National Archives in the collection IR 29. This is a survey of all landowners and occupiers who held land and who were liable to pay tithe for the upkeep of the parish church. The apportionments and accompanying maps (in IR 30) were established under the Tithe Commutation Act 1836 aimed to change payments of tithe (a tax to support the church) from in-kind to money in the form of tithe rentcharge. These tithe apportionments were created to record liability to pay tithe rentcharge. The National Archives has produced a short guide to these and associated records.

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Grannum one name study

[This was copied from my Guild of One Name studies profile page on 8 March 2014]

About the Grannum one-name study

I started researching my own family in 1987 and thought that with such an unusual name that this would not be difficult!

Flight Lieutenant Clifton Winnington Grannum in Sudan 1936
Flight Lieutenant Clifton Winnington Grannum in the Sudan 1936

At the time I could not find much information before the birth of my grandfather. However, because Grannum, and its variants, is extremely

uncommon I decided to extract all entries I could find. I registered the name with the Guild of One-Name Studies in early 1988.

Origin of the surname

From my research I believe that the name originated in Barbados in the 18th century. Indeed, all the Grannums I have been in contact with have come from the Caribbean and in particular Barbados.

There were Granhams and Garnhams in Barbados in the 17th and early 18th centuries but these were isolated individuals and do not seem to have been related or to have left descendants in the islands. The surname Grannum can be shown to have been in continuous use in Barbados since the 1780s.

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