Genealogy & Bibliography

shortbrist1947
shortbridgestreet

Above: contrasting views of Short Bridge Street, Llanidloes, taken in opposite directions.  The first looks towards the Old Market Hall in 1947, a particularly hard winter for the UK (family photograph).  The second looks towards White House, taken by G Jones, 2002.


Current Data Sources

A large genealogical research project is being undertaken by a group of volunteers run by Chris Jarman.  The results of their research are published on the Ancestry.com website.  One normally needs to be a paying subscriber to this service to view the data although most public libraries and local authority archives and records offices provide some sort of free access to interested parties.  


Sources for Original Family Tree Information…and thoughts about data

I wrote the few lines below about sources round about 2002.  At that point, while the internet certainly existed, it was not the all-round tool of family historians that it is now.  What has become the behemoth of ancestry.com was essentially a list-server for various (useful) email forums. I was lucky to live in London at the time, as it was still necessary to visit either a local records office, or the national one, in Islington, to consult the heavy, black leather-bound volumes of Birth, Marriage and Death indices.  As a relatively young man at the time, I often felt rather out of place there as - before the immensely popularising TV programme, "Who Do You Think You Are?" - this sort of thing was more or less the preserve of rather tweedy and dauntingly formidable ladies of a certain age.  I received more than one telling-off for putting a volume back just out of place, or for hanging on to another for a little bit too long.  However, the subsequent ordering of certificates from this original primary research did form the essential backbone of the work.  There were also micro-fiche readers in London to consult census data and other archives,  At that time, family history societies also did very good work - and made good revenue for themselves - in producing their own census transcriptions on CD and by transcribing into handy booklets the gravestone memorial inscriptions of their local churchyards.   A further and essential source of information - but which did need scrupulous cross-checking - were the members of the family history societies who had previously covered some of the ground.  I contacted them through the ancient art of letter-writing and waited days or weeks for replies.  Most did reply, though, and their kind letters and own family trees - produced to fascinatingly different degrees of professionalism - now exist as part of my own paper records.  They stand testament to the era before mine - when microfiche was the only new technology around.


All this has changed substantially with the relentless march of the commercial databases - notably the above-mentioned Ancestry.com.  The release of the 1901 census and the commercial placing online of the BMD records post-1837 were the two main defining events.  FreeBMD.com was a valiant attempt to try and keep the data available to everyone for nothing, but now the original data has more or less been commoditised, relatively cheaply, as part of Ancestry and the various imitators trying to pick up what crumbs escape from its voracious table.    While I do subscribe to Ancestry and use mainly the BMD and census information, what I don't do is put up my family tree information as a Member Tree.  From 2001 to 2005 I did publish details of about 2,500 members of my Jerman family tree on the version of this web-site that existed at the time.  I did this so that other Jerman researchers could quickly establish their own links and see what research I had done.  Unfortunately, I didn't really think this through and the law of unintended consequences started to apply.  Some people copied the data wholesale and uploaded it into the nascent Ancestry public tree areas.  Errors of mine and some hypothetical links that I'd established to test the water now find themselves immortalised on Ancestry.  One example is the claim - now shown on many trees - that a certain Trefeglwysian, Edward Jerman born 1646, is the common G (to the power n) Grandfather of most Jermans today.  This is certainly an impressively nice idea - but I've yet  to see any real proof.  The original link was posted by a Latter Day Saints member on the IGI and that can only be held to be wishful thinking.  

People's appetites and levels of patience have also changed.  Why wait months and years to create a family tree when you can copy someone else’s with a few clicks?  The tendency to hoover up data with little regard to its accuracy, provenance or context also worries me. 

I have gained an immense amount of pleasure from my and on-and-off dabbling around various extremities of my family tree - some of which are elucidated on these pages.  Part of the fun has been the thrill of the chase and I fear that by making all these data transparent, we are removing this as a possibility for future generations.  I'm not very sure what will actually be left for them to do.   

Sources used prior to 2002

  • My own research, started in August 2001, has included talking to living family members and establishing a basic family tree from birth and marriage certificates already in the family's possession.
  • Other certification was obtained through the Family Records Centre, London. I also used the commercial 1837online service to search the Birth, Marriage and Death indices since 1837.
  • Use of the 1851, 1891 and 1901 censuses for Montgomeryshire, published on CD by the Powys Family History Society and theMontgomeryshire Genealogical Society.
  • Use of the 1881 (CD) British Census, published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This same information is now available free of charge online.
  • The 1901 Census of England and Wales Online.
  • Much of the family tree information has been provided by other researchers in this area and the family tree shown on these pages is in some senses an amalgamation, and in some areas an extension, of a lot of work done by others. These individuals belong to one or either of thePowys Family History Society or the Montgomeryshire Genealogical Society and I recommend that anyone interested in this family joins these societies, receives their Registers of Members' Interests, and goes through the same process of contacting other researchers. Some of the information provided conflicts with that provided by others and it is my intention to try and resolve such conflicts as and when time permits, especially those relating to the confirmation of source material.
  • These two societies publish invaluable booklets of Memorial Inscriptions for various churches in the Montgomeryshire area.
  • Most of this work was done in pre-Ancestry.com days.  I am wary of publishing information on that site as I believe much of it lacks vital checks and, most importantly for me, lacks context.


Other Resources 

Other Jerman/Jarman (and variants) links

There are a few other sites and other internet resources of interest to researchers in this area. Those I have found so far are as follows:


Links to other families

Of particular interest to me are links to the Ashton, Breese/Breeze, Breyton, George, Ingram and Tilsley families.


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