March 2007

A brand new website for Burke’s Peerage has just been launched. Specialists in Irish and British online genealogy,
The Origins Network ( have totally
re-designed the Burke’s Peerage Online service
(, making it much easier to search
the rich genealogical database and to access an extraordinary range of detailed articles and essays on many aspects
of the culture and traditions of the British Isles.


Dear Paul,

My grandmother’s maiden name was Fetherstonhaugh and I have spent many years researching the family. I have come to the belief now that we are descended from Theobald Fetherstonhaugh of Mosstown B.1808 . My enquiries however have him marrying Jane Barlow in 1849, and AJ Fetherstonhaughs book has him desribed as a coroner in Westmeath.

I have a death certificate from a William Fetherstonhaugh (B. 1840 Westmeath Ireland) who was my G.G.G.Grandfather. His parents were Theobald Fetherstonhaugh and Mary Kelly. The occupation listed for Theobald on the cert. is Sugar Planter.

I have many reasons for believing these to be one and the same person, not the least being that he is the only Theobald in the right place at the right time to have been the father of this child (William). Cuthbert Fetherstonhaugh’s “After many days” talks about a “house full of pretty cousins” who were Kellys, I wonder if this is where Mary fits in? Further to this, Theobald was 41 years old before he married Jane. I wonder what he was up to prior to this?

Mary Kelly was born around 1821 so was quite a bit younger than Theobald but I doubt that this was uncommon. She married John Murphy and came to Australia with her husband and William (17) and his young wife Mary Tone.

I can only imagine two possibilities for her having a new husband and a child by a different father.

1. She and Theobald were married and then he disappeared presumed dead. This was my first thought because his occupation of sugar planter would have taken him overseas. Perhaps he was one of the Fetherstonhaugh men described in After Many Days who left for Eldorado in 1853.

2. She was seduced by an older and powerful relative (Theobald) and was left holding the baby, so to speak. An unmarried mother might think that leaving for Australia would be a good solution.

I have had no luck in finding

Birth records for William

Marriage records for Theobald and Mary Kelly

Marriage records for Mary and John Murphy or

Marriage records for William and Mary Tone

Can you shed any light on this. I have no doubt, given the family names that we are descended from the Mosstown family of Fetherstonhaugh but I am frustrated beyond belief that I cannot prove this one last link.

Any direction that you can offer would be most appreciated.

Yours faithfully,


My mother-in-law purchased a family tree from an estate sale some years ago,

with the intent of aiding my wife in producing her own family tree (which

hasn’t really happened). I noticed the family tree around our house, which

is about a 30″ tall roll drawing, and thought I’d look online to see if it

would be beneficial to anyone since it contains no information about my

family. (Behold, I found a website all about the Featherstones!) What I have

is the “Family Tree of William & Sally Featherstone of Farndale England”.

It’s obviously not an original, but I thought I’d ask to see if its of any

use to you.


-Matthew A Brennan

Here’s the announcement from the LDS Family History Directors::

Discontinued Access to Databases
The following email was sent today to Family History Center Directors from the Family History Support Center.

Discontinued Access to Databases

For many years, has provided free access to patrons of family history centers around the world. Ancestry has informed the [LDS] Church that as of April 1, 2007, it will discontinue this free access to the full service.

Free access through to the following databases will continue:

1. Index and images for the 1880, 1900 and 1920 U.S. censuses
2. Full name indices for the British 1841-1891 censuses (England and Wales)
3. World War I draft cards indices as created and miscellaneous other databases

Free access is likely to be discontinued for the remainder of the databases including:

1. Index and images for the 1930 U.S. census
2. Index and images for the 1901 British census (England, Scotland, and Wales)

At this point, is not offering an option for family history centers to independently purchase commercial or library site licenses. Patrons, of course, may choose to subscribe directly to

Free access to online databases is important and we therefore intend to add many new databases to Much of the data preparation will be accomplished through the online indexing program available at We encourage you to visit the website to learn more.

Volunteers have already begun indexing the 1900 U.S. census and other projects. Other censuses and vital record collections will be indexed as soon as the 1900 U.S. census project is completed. The more volunteers that participate, the sooner access can be provided. Since access to databases on is free to all, we anticipate that this will be of great interest to individuals around the world. We are also exploring opportunities to provide broader access to additional databases from other online service providers.

Please inform patrons regarding our plans to provide access to records and invite them to help by participating in the FamilySearch Indexing projects. We will communicate as more information becomes available. Thank you for all that you do on behalf of our patrons.

Family History Center Support

FFHS representatives met recently with the GRO (General Register Office)
management team for the DoVE (Digitisation of Vital Events) project to review
progress on the project. The most important news we learnt was that a system is
now being developed to enable the indexes to the digitised records to be
searched via the internet, and these should be made available progressively from
April 2008.

Work is well advanced on digitising the historic birth records (those from
1837-1934) and over 40 million of the 70 million records have already been
processed. These have been loaded on to the EAGLE (Electronic Access to GRO
Legacy Events) database. The EAGLE project will introduce a more efficient
system of recording and tracking customer orders within the GRO at Southport, and
its implementation is imminent.

Yet another bird’s name has been chosen as the acronym for the third project
– MAGPIE (Multi Access to GRO Published Index of Events). This will provide
online indexes to the newly digitised records, and will be accessible via the
internet, hopefully by April 2008. The FFHS has accepted the GRO’s invitation
to take part in user testing this new internet facility, although its search
capabilities may be more restrictive than the wide-ranging possibilities we
have asked for.

By April 2008, the historic birth indexes will have been loaded onto EAGLE
and the historic death records (those from 1837-1957) should also have been
loaded. This means that those indexes will be accessible via the MAGPIE system
on screen terminals at TNA at Kew (as well as via the internet) when the ONS
facilities at the Family Records Centre close. Subsequently, the loading of
the historic death records will be followed by the modern birth and death
records, then the historic marriage records (those from 1837-1945) and the
modern marriage records.

For those records that have not been added to the MAGPIE project by April
2008, access will be available at Kew, as an interim measure, to the images of
the existing indexes on microfiche and on computer. The original vellum and
paper indexes will be moved to TNA at Kew, but will not be on open access.
As a separate process, the Registrations Online project that deals with
current registrations (2007 onwards) will provide indexes of these on terminals
at the FRC by July of this year, with an interim search capability that will be
more basic than that eventually offered by MAGPIE.

We will continue to keep you informed of developments in this important

Geoff Riggs,
Federation of Family History Societies
6 February 2007

Roberts birth date in 1848 (from Census 1861)
There is one Robert born in the Dec Quarter of 1846 registered in Worcester District which would mean the record from the Census is at least 1 or 2 years out by date. If this is the correct Robert.
From death records in Worcestershire we have a list of all after or just before Roberts Birth date
From Death records
GEORGE FEATHERSTONE Dec 1841 Worcester WOR 18.382 272
GEORGE FEATHERSTONE Mar 1842 Droitwich WOR 18.255 274
THOMAS EDWARD FEATHERSTONE Sep 1845 Worcester WOR 18.333 759
ROBERT FEATHERSTONE Mar 1847 Worcester WOR 18.509 676 (could this be Robert’s father or even the Robert born in 1846)
BETSEY FEATHERSTONE Mar 1848 Worcester WOR 18.502 1209
EDWARD FEATHERSTONE Sep 1849 Pershore WOR 18.328 193
MARY ANNE FEATHERSTONE Sep 1849 Worcester WOR 18.405 579
PHILLIP FEATHERSTONE Sep 1849 Worcester WOR 18.403 664
ALBERT FEATHERSTONE Jun 1850 Worcester WOR 18,388 72

1861 census RG 9/2092/136/page 1 Worcester Workhouse
Robert Featherstone age 13 a pauper born Worcester City

In theory Robert should be found in the 1851 census as he would have been 3 years old.
A search using Ancestry does not find a Robert of that age born in Worcester.

Does this mean he was recorded with the incorrect name or the age was wrong.