They Also Served

A few years ago, I created a page on my web site dedicated to those Micklethwait(e)s who lost their lives fighting for their country.


I have now created another page on my website to honour those Micklethwaite(e)s/Micklewhites/Michaelwaites who fought and survived. It is not complete – for that I need your help. Most of the records on the subscription sites like Ancestry and FindMyPast refer to WW1 or earlier campaigns – there is little available for WW2. So your memories of what your Micklethwaite (etc) parents or grandparents did in the war will be of great help. Please contact me with details or corrections.

Loyalists in the Bahamas

I have known for some time that there are Micklethwaites/Micklewhites in the Bahamas (other than Sir Michael Caine of course!)


Richard Micklethwaite, son of Christopher and Jane, died in 1802 on Eleuthera Island having been granted land there. Henrietta Micklethwaite was also given a land grant but was not his wife. I do not yet know if or how they are related. It seems that slaves from the estate of one or other of them took the name when they were granted their “freedom”, and, as in many parts of the world, the name Micklethwaite was not easy to pronounce and spell, and the descendants of the slaves generally have the name Micklewhite.


Thanks to fellow members of the Guild of One Name Studies, I have now learnt that Richard and Henrietta were “loyalists”, that is, they supported the British in the American Revolution, and so were expelled when the colony gained independence. This is why they moved to the Bahamas. I still have to find out when they emigrated to America.


It is interesting to note that some descendants of the slaves have now moved back to America!

Two Heads Are Better Than One

Yet again, my genealogical experiences bear this out.


Kate found me through my website. She relates to Walter Joseph Micklethwaite who emigrated to Maryland in America in the 1860s. We compared notes. She corrected me on my acceptance of Ancestry’s transcription of Deane – examining the census image showed it should be Diane. Then she pointed me to a FindAGrave entry which confirmed that Rev Franklin Clark Micklethwaite of New York (see my earlier post) is related to this family.


I started to type in reply that I hadn’t found Walter’s emigration, and decided t have another go. Within a few minutes I had turned up the entries in the Castle Garden site which has emigration entries for New York pre-dating Ellis Island. Walter and his brother Alfred emigrated in 1865. Walter’s bride-to-be followed in 1867, followed a couple of months later by Alfred’s wife and children.


So between us, we’ve filled in a bit more of the picture.

Family Tree Analyser

I think I have blogged in the past about the LostCousins website, an excellent way of finding other people researching your ancestors. It can be hard work inputting your ancestors on to the site, so anything which helps is a bonus. This is where Family Tree Analyser (henceforth FTA) comes in.


There’s an additional LostCousins (LC) connection in that the developer of FTA is active on the LC forum, so many people on the forum have been helping gets the bugs out of FTA and work out more and more helpful features. Development is rapid at the moment!


One of the great features for me is the colour-coded reports showing who has missing BMD or census data. As I write this blog, work is on-going on how to best get more ancestors into LC.

Read all about it here – or on the LostCousins Forum.


A Guilty Conscience and the Howsams of Haggworthingham and Grimsby

Well, it’s February since I last posted. That’s why I’ve got the guilty conscience! To be fair, this is a genealogy/family history blog, and in that time I don’t seem to have done very much in the way of research – where has the time gone?


One thing I’ve been looking at is the family tree of a friend. He is descended from the Howsams of Haggworthingham, Lincolnshire. Apart from the Michaelwaites, Lincolnshire is new territory for me. Google Maps was a great help until they “improved” it – I now use Bing. From Haggworthingham, my friend’s branch migrated into Grimsby. There were far more people who married twice than in my own tree, so it was much harder work. I also made some classic errors and went up completely the wrong branch at one point.


I’ve also been looking again at some of the brickwalls in my own tree, and this business of the wrong branch rears its ugly head again. Whilst I found some useful public trees on Ancestry for the Howsams, some were, dare I say, a little fictional. This was also true for one or two of the trees I looked at on my side. For example, I have a Thomas Malpass born about 1790. Several trees show him married to a Mary Wade. The reason is straightforward – FamilySearch has only one marriage for Thomas –  to Mary Wade. The real marriage however, backed by certificates, is to Mary Ash, but FamilySearch has mis-transcribed this and he is shown there as Thomas Walpass. You do have to be very, very careful at times. This hobby is not as easy to get right as the adverts would have you believe.

WSO and Mickelthwate at the Carnegie Hall

I’m delighted to pass on the news that the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra under their musical director Alexander Mickelthwate have been invited to perform at the Carnegie Hall in New York City on Thursday May 8th 2014. Here’s a link. If you’re able to go, please let me know how good the show was.

Website Relocation

My webhost ( has announced that it is closing. I am having to relocate my website. My new website is: – the public bit is important!!

If you want a shorter link, try


I hope, when all the website, computer, health and tooth problems subside, to return to do some family history research!

Computer Problems

Since July my main computer, a Toshiba laptop running Windows XP, has become more and more unreliable. It now doesn’t want to charge the battery when the computer is running, and is difficult to persuade to do so when the computer is off. Fortunately, I have backups.

So the time came to buy a new laptop – the problem is what to buy. I looked at Apple but was unwilling to pay 3 or 4 times what I’d have to pay for a Windows machine. Linux machines are not competitively priced either. Microsoft seems to have a monopoly. Windows 8 doesn’t have a good reputation amongst my contacts, so reluctantly I went with it and bought another Toshiba. I am unimpressed.

The new Toshiba keyboard seems flimsy and the spacings and key positions have changed again. I am getting numerous spelling errors and key omissions – thank goodness for spell checkers! The touchpad does not behave as I would like – I haven’t yet worked out whether this is my settings, the hardware or the operating system.

In my opinion, Windows 8 deserves its poor reputation. The start screen is suited to a mobile phone, not serious computing, It took several days before I had a working system after the lengthy installation process, Windows Updates wouldn’t. One Control Panel screen told me I had automatic updates set, the next said I didn’t. When eventually it did update, it was 669MB, about 1/16th of my monthly allowance. My brother-in-law bought a Sony a few months ago. On that, the OS was pre-installed and the computer was ready-to-run out of the box – why can’t Toshiba do that?

Finally, there’s the issue of all my Windows XP programmes that no longer work on Windows 8. I have found a solution. VirtualBox from Oracle allows you to run a guest operating system under a different host environment. So I have XP running in a virtual machine within Windows 8. So I can still run my old XP programmes. Eventually, I would like to migrate them to Windows 8. That’s a long term aim for when I’m fully back to a working system, which may take many weeks yet as I have to re-install all my old XP stuff. I did try Disk2vhd, but I don’t have the skills or energy to get it to work. VirtualBox also runs on Linux and Apple hosts, so that might be an option if you don’t follow my route.

So at some stage I hope to return to family history research. Watch this space.


Update (18th Oct) – I read today that the update for Windows 8.1 will be a non-trivial 3+ GB (yes, GB not MB). That’s 1/3 my monthly allowance. I get less and less impressed by the day.

Micklethwaites Reunited

Our Meeting of Micklethwaites on Saturday was quite an event. We had 16 pre-arranged attendees for lunch plus 4 who came just for a drink. These included some 3rd cousins who hadn’t met before.


On top of that, I had sent a press release to several local newspapers and to Radio Sheffield. The Barnsley Chronicle published an article, and Radio Sheffield rang me for a live interview. As a result, we had another 16 people turn up, all of whom were able to give me new information.  Amongst them were some 2nd cousins to someone in the lunch party who we were able to reunite.


On top of that (!), we reunited 2 (as yet unrelated) Susan Micklethwaites who had been in the same class as school.


Everyone wants to know when the next one is – probably late next September – I’ll keep you posted!

Web Site Unavailable

My web site at is currently not available. They are working on the issue and hope to resolve it soon. Sadly it’s still not up this morning after at least 24 hours. What do I expect for a free site!

I will have to investigate alternatives if the issues are not resolved quickly as I could do with the site being available for the Meeting on Saturday.

Apologies for the inconvenience.

[Edit: Original post 26/9/13. Normal service has now been resumed 30/9/13]



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