On Tuesday morning I noticed the post Yorkshire Vital Records Online on Lorine McGinnis Schulze's blog, Olive Tree Genealogy. I was excited because I have a brick wall in Yorkshire: my great-grandmother Elizabeth Armitage's parents, Abel Armitage and (probably) Eliza Hartley. I clicked through from my blog reader with anticipation, hoping that Lorine would point us to a free resource. Not so. The records were available on Ancestry. I don't have Ancestry at home so I made a mental note to go to the public library or the Family History Center (FHC) soon.
On Monday I posted a newspaper image and transcription, Armitage Reunion, July 4, 1922. On Tuesday morning I read an email from Joyce Humphrey, another Armitage descendant through Abel's second wife, who wrote to thank me for posting the article. Joyce and I have been corresponding irregularly for a year or so. We've shared some of our findings and, in particular, the difficulty of not finding death records for Abel or his second wife, Ann. They disappeared from Jefferson County, Ohio, after the 1880 census.
In the email I sent back to her I mentioned that Ancestry had several new databases for Yorkshire records and that I'd look at them when I got to the library or FHC.
She wrote back that she had Ancestry at home.
Then I sent information that I thought would help her: Abel's locations in the various censuses; probable name and possible marriage date for his first wife; birth dates of their first two children and locations; possible marriage date for Abel's second wife; etc. I wasn't sure how much information she had but I suspected that she wouldn't know Abel's first wife's surname. She said she'd look for Abel later that night. I spent the rest of Tuesday on on things and promptly forgot about the Yorkshire records.
Late Tuesday evening when I checked my email I noticed two from Joyce, one of which had an attachment. She sent transcriptions and images of four records she'd found in the Yorkshire collections at Ancestry. They included the marriage record for Abel Armitage and Eliza Hartley plus baptismal records for both. In addition, both records named the fathers and their occupations.
To say I'm excited is an understatement. Finding this information closes a nearly five-year quest for Elizabeth's parents. Hooray for Joyce, that excellent researcher!
In a future post I'll go into more about how I went about my part of the search for Abel and Eliza.