Newsletter 12 from Jennifer Topham, of Malmesbury, England
Recent births and deaths, old awards, and website "Ancestors on Board"

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The Risdons of Somerset
Newsletter No 12.
February 2007

Hello everyone!

Firstly, I hope you all had a very good time over the festive period, and, secondly, apologies for this being a February rather than a January newsletter.

There are two announcements this time. Firstly the death of Alice Bertha Risdon nee Larsen who died on 26 December 2006. Alice was the widow of Walter Uttermare Risdon, and mother to Leon who, with his daughters Erin, Nancy and Holly, attended RDD1. Then on 30 November 2006 Keelan Risdon was born - a great grandchild of the above Alice and the late Walter. Keelan (a girl?) is the child of Reese Douglas Risdon and his wife Stacey, who live in Canada.

Tim Collins (at RDD2) has recently given me copies of the Certificates of Competency for Thomas Bishop, who was a Ship’s Captain sailing on the route between London and New Zealand, where two of his children were born. Now, between us, we are hoping to find similar certificates for Edwin Bishop Barnett who was also a Ship’s Captain. The later sailed ships from England - probably Cardiff - to the West Indies and America. Edwin beached one of his ships near Galveston, USA to save the vessel from breaking up during a storm. For this he was awarded a beautiful pocket watch with a wonderful inscription from the insurers of the cargo. I have kindly been given a photo of this watch which is still owned by Edwin’s descendants. As this watch is valuable, I will not mention the holder’s name for safety reasons. Edwin’s grand-daughter-in-law writes super letters full of news and information and is very interested in everything I find concerning her branch of the family. Both Thomas Bishop and his nephew Edwin Bishop Barnett were descended from the marriage of Richard Veysey and Rebecca nee Risdon.

From the sea to the land, I have found another holder of the Military Cross in the family. This time it was awarded to Frederick George Batty during the first World War, but I have not yet looked at the London Gazette website to find out what he did to win the award - watch this space! Frederick was the husband of Freda Blanch Power who descends through the Marsingall / Bernard line, so of interest to Julian Bernard (Canada) who I have mentioned in a previous newsletter.

A wonderful website called Ancestors on Board, which is an on-going project, has recently come on line. They are transcribing and putting on the internet all the ship’s passenger lists for people leaving from the UK and sailing to ports worldwide. Currently the coverage is for 1890 to 1909 with the next ten years due very shortly. This is going to be a fantastic site and will work well in conjunction with the Ellis Island immigration site. Have a look if your family travelled - I’d be interested to know if you find anything.

Once again, I am appealing for your interesting family stories to put in these newsletters as well as all the births, marriages and deaths. Help me keep these newsletters alive!

With best wishes

2 Orchard Court, Arches Lane, Malmesbury, Wiltshire, England SN16 0ED
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