Monday, September 5, 2011

Collin families of Essex, Family History research

My exciting news from over the weekend is that I had a breakthrough on part of my family history research. I’m not going at it 100% like before, not now that I've done the big part of the project, but I am concentrating on one line, the Collin families of Essex. I have wheelwrights and manor houses, Saffron Walden and Quendon, Chickney Collins families and wills. 

I’m trying to find the father of a Great-times-three or four grandfather, a Harvey Collin of Harlow in Essex. I have a strong suspicion that it is a William Collin a wheelwright of Quendon, who married a Sarah Harvey a couple of years before Harvey was born, my Harvey then went on the become a wheelwright and the family carried on the trade turning it into coach building then bicycles and then car repairs, and now there is a Collins bicycle collection in the Harlow museum. (From where this photo comes.)

But that’s another story. I’d been spending a lot of time looking at a collection of Collin families in Saffron Walden in the 18th century. For some reason I was convinced that my William of Quendon and his son, also called William, were related to this group and yesterday on Family Search I found a reference to a third brother. I had Joseph 1682 and a brother Nicholas Collin, sons of Joseph Collin 1647, son of William Collin 1620, son of Nicholas Collin of Chickney 1558 and so on… but I’d not found the Joseph and Nicholas siblings as having a third brother. Yet the clues were all there: wheelwright as a profession, the names, the nearby places, my grandfather said we were descended from the Collin family of Saffron Walden, which is another clue and which set me no the local area hunt in the first place.

Anyhow, on the Family Search site, someone had made an entry putting William as a third brother. It doesn’t say that this is the same William as lived in Quendon, but that’s for me to prove, or not.

Last year I’d some hours’ worth of work going through some online parish registers for Essex, actual scans of the books so you’re left to read the handwriting for yourself and make up your own mind. I’d done Saffron Walden, looking for Collins (note how the name changes over time due to the use of plurals) and made a list. I now need to go and check it again in case I missed this William’s birth.

If you’re also looking for Collin or Collins or Collen families in Essex, then take a look at my Collins Family History page which is the start of a list of 27 parishes in Essex that I have looked at trying to find Collin ancestors. These pages are part of my bigger site, and there are also links off to ‘The Great Scott Hunt’ if you want to get involved in that mystery. Am I related to Scott of the Antarctic as my great-grandfather said I was, or is that just myth?

But, as they say, that really is another story.