This is an update on my earlier blog on my DNA tests
. Since the blog was written in 2014 four other Grannums have undertaken DNA tests and we all have close paternal matches – in addition three of them match as genetic cousins. Because of the genetic evidence suggesting that were possibly related within about 5 generations we used personal and online indexes and linked documentary evidence to join two previously unknown family groups, rewrite the family tree for one family and take both families back several generations to the 1840s. The testers have joined the FamilyTreeDNA Grannum project at https://www.familytreedna.com/groups/grannum/about
All family historians will hit a brickwall where they can’t find more information on a person. My brickwall is William Crannum who was resident in Barbados in 1735 but I don’t why he was in Barbados, how he got there or where he came from.
The earliest record I have found is the baptism of Andrew to William and Ann Granham on 13 June 1742 in St Thomas parish church, Barbados; they were resident of St James’
13 June 1742, Andrew the son of William and Ann Granham ???h of St James Parish & baptiz’d in St Thomas Church. Barbados archives, RL1/49 p23.
All genealogists and historical researchers will have unfinished work. For every piece of information found there will be at least one new question to find an answer for. Some questions will be easier to answer than others and thanks to the internet and growth of online historical catalogues and indexes and digitised archives many are far easier to find now that in the past. But many will still elude you. These get put to one side and many will be forgotten.
Clifton, Yvonne and Anthony on a picnic (place and date unknown but possible late 1920s)
Looking at my family tree the other day I remembered that I had a gap for my grandfather’s brother. My grandfather (Clifton Winnington Grannum) died in the Second World War and over the past 40 years or so the family had lost contact with his brothers and sisters. They had met his sisters (Dorothy) Edmee and (Joyce) Yvonne and their children but I don’t think that they had met his brother. In fact they were uncertain about his name and so on my family tree I had written Robert Anthony Grannum (he was known as Tony). I wrote ‘Robert’ in my wiki article about my great-grandfather Reginald Clifton Grannum and an MGrannum in November 2010 amended it to Reginald. While I was researching my great-grandfather I noted that he had taken extended leave in 1911 and 1913 and assumed that this was due to the births of his two youngest children and that there were probably born in either British Guiana (where he was working and living) or Barbados (where his family lived). Continue reading
Findmypast has recently launched indexed images for people who served in the British army during the First World War. Read their blog for more information.
These service and pension records are held by The National Archives (UK) in two collections:
- Soldiers’ Documents, First World War ‘Burnt Documents’ (reference: WO 363). This collection comprises the main set of service papers for soldiers who served in the British army and were discharged between 1914 and 1921; there are some earlier papers. Unfortunately, 60% of these records were destroyed in the Second World War and the surving records are known as the ‘burnt documents’. There are papers for about 300 soldiers of the West India Regiment (most relate to discharges before 1914) but it seems that the rest of the records for soldiers of the West India Regiment and for the British West Indies Regiment were destroyed.
- Soldiers’ Documents from Pension Claims, First World War (reference: WO 364). This collection is commonly known as the ‘unburnt documents’ and comprises service papers and other records for soldiers who discharged mostly between 1913 and 1921 through length of service or because of medical discharges. These include details for soldiers discharged from the West India Regiment, the British West Indies Regiment and of West Indians who served in the more familiar British regiments. You will find papers for many Jamaicans in the British West Indies Regiment who were discharged in 1916 suffering the effects of the cold (frostbite). They were travelling to Alexandria, Egypt aboard the SS Verdala and were equipped with tropical clothing. However, they needed to travel in convoy and were diverted to Halifax, Nova Scotia during the winter!
The two collections have been available online on Ancestry in partnership with The National Archives for a few years but I did find some new information and records. Continue reading
I had heard about DNA tests as a genealogical tool for many years but costs were quite high and I was not convinced of their value to my research or for wider Caribbean genealogical research.
However, because of documentaries such as BBCs Motherland in 2003 Caribbean genealogists increasingly asked me if DNA tests would be useful for their research and help them reconnect with their African ancestors; I added several slides on DNA to my talks.
As the price came down I thought about taking a test – so that I could understand what was involved and if the results could actually help someone to extend their family tree or link them to their ancestral home. I was also curious if such tests would help answer these three questions:
- I do not know where my Grannum / Cranham ancestors came from and so maybe these tests would help to narrow down place of origin
- Maybe I would find a match with someone in Europe which would help me to continue my research
- My family had lived in Barbados for over 250 years. Was I mixed-race?
[This article was originally posted on The National Archives wiki Your Archives (now archived)]
Reginald Clifton Grannum, is my paternal great-grandfather.
Born: 17 April 1872, St Michael, Barbados, to Edward Thomas Grannum and Mary Elizabeth Armstrong, nee Jordan
- 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:
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.
[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 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.