Thursday, February 16, 2012

Just the Facts Ma’am

I know, I know. The previous blog post was pure fiction and aspiring professional genealogists should just stick to the facts. But this aspiring genealogist imagines that these subjects of research, these people discovered in primary sources and attached to impersonal dates and places, were living lives and experiencing emotions not too unlike those experienced in today’s modern world. Every now and then it is fun to think past the raw data and do a bit of storytelling, helping those not thrilled by genealogy to feel the awe of the astonishing facts that we saga seekers find in family history. At RootsTech, Ian Tester proclaimed that family historians are craftsman, and encouraged saga seekers to take raw material and add creativity, “transforming the bare facts of genealogy into the astonishing tale of you and your family.”

So here are the primary sources backing up the “astonishing tale” of Ann and Alfred’s saga presented in the previous blog post.

This burial entry was found in the Holy Trinity Parish bishop’s transcript in the city of Coventry in the county of Warwick:

Church of England, James Barker burial, 19 October 1826, Coventry, Warwickshire bishop’s transcript for Holy Trinity Parish, FHL microfilm 0502211.

And so was this one:

Church of England, Jane Barker burial, , 23 October 1828, Coventry, Warwickshire bishop’s transcript for Holy Trinity Parish,, accessed October 2011.

The shortcoming of the burial records is the limited information given about the deceased, so only presumptions can be made that these children were Alfred and Ann’s. Future research will include looking for additional references to these children as well as looking for other Barker families residing in the Holy Trinity Parish at that time.

Suffice it to say, one-month-old Jane was probably buried before she was baptized, and James’s age at his death lined up with his baptism date.

So Alfred and Ann’s saga fills out more. They were married in that big, beautiful church and four years later had buried half of their children beside that big, beautiful church.


  1. I could follow your posts forever! Thanks for making them so informative and fun to read. Have you already posted a picture of the church?

  2. Great fun and information. When do you find time?