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  De Castro Story - Genealogical records

Genealogical records

  1. A gem about dates
  2. Who is recorded and who is most important
  3. Computers??
  4. Some rules and guidelines
  5. GEDCOM files in HTML

  De Castro Story - Genealogical records - A gem about dates

A gem about dates

Every now and then there is a conflict in dates. These all come from the various source documents that have been used, and as has been pointed out these have been originated by different people at different times. There is a reason for this confusion and it is perhaps necessary to explain here that we are dealing with two date systems one according to the Jewish calendar and the other our own.

Our calendar is based on the Gregorian Calendar which traces a date back in time near the birth of Christ.

While this is used today by the bulk of the World as a standard date measurement there are others notably those of the Islamic nations, Jewish nation and Buddhist nation not to forget the Chinese.

Just to make matters interesting no one is certain as to exactly when Christ was born...For those who have the year 2000 come and go it is perhaps worthy to note that if known errors are taken out of the calendar then 2000 in fact passed in 1997 or there about so we are three years out some place. But that is not all...

The Jewish calendar is supposed to date from the Creation, which according to their reckoning occurred, according Gregorian calendar dates on 7th October 3761 BC Thus in simple terms one deducts 3761 years and 85 days from a Jewish calendar date you will find the equivalent of a Gregorian Date.

Hence any date found in the synagogue records would need converting to the system we use.

Equally so there is another odd occasion that we have to be aware of when we decide to convert dates from one system to another or from past period to current and I quote:

It is generally well known that the "standard" calendar year of 365 days differs from the "solar" year by an amount that makes it necessary to insert extra days occasionally (as a 29th day in the month of February) to get back in sync with the sun. The years in which such days are added are called "leap years". The rule for determining leap years that has been used in English speaking countries since 1752 (and from earlier dates in other enlightened areas of the world)...in fact the new calendar is called a "Gregorian" calendar after Pope Gregory XIII who requested that Catholic countries begin using it in 1582) may be stated as follows:

A given year will be a leap year if it is evenly divisible by 4 UNLESS the year ends in "00" in which case it is NOT a leap year UNLESS it is divisible by 400 in which case it IS a leap year.

Prior to the establishment of this leap rule, most of the Western world employed a rule which was just the first line in the above statement, that is every fourth year was a leap year. The effect of using this simplified rule over a long period of time was that the planting season, which was determined by the sun, would creep a calendar day earlier every 133 years or so. By 1752 the people of England and her colonies found they were some 11 days behind the people of the Continent, and what was more important as people planted their crops on days based on the calendar their planting times were starting to have an effect on the end crop.

Therefore, to correct the situation, all English subjects were asked to go to bed the evening of 02 SEPT 1752, get up the next morning on 14 SEPT 1752, and from that day forward use the new leap year rule for constructing calendars. So if in any persons family tree there is reference to a person being born on the 3rd to 13th September 1752 they were not!

Today this calendar change is just a curiosity for most of us, but to people of that day and genealogists today who have to deal with dates both before and after this adjustment it can cause some interesting problems.

Before ending this discussion, perhaps it should be noted another distinction between some old and new style dates

Prior to the implementation of the new leap rule, the first day of the new year was considered variously as Jan 1, Mar 1 and Mar 25 (e.g. according to some, 25 MAR 1645 was the day after 24 MAR 1644). This left some ambiguity concerning the year. Thus a person born in 1645 could have been born according to our dates in 1644.

So when looking at dates on trees and other records, if the record is not the original then one must with care look at the dates and try and work out if the author in fact corrected for some of these known calendar errors or left them as they were found.

In this record I have not changed dates given as I have no knowledge what the original researcher did.

While it may in the long run make little difference the oddity about the year could explain some strange dates one finds from time to time e.g. some one giving birth to a child some months after they died ?!?

The first question that should be asked is when did the new year start back then???.

Some of these oddities relate to England there are no doubt others in other countries that we do not know about.

This little gem was taken from some instructions on a genealogical computer system. So at times some confusion can exist.

  De Castro Story - Genealogical records - Who is recorded and who is most important

Who is recorded and who is most important

First note about who is recorded, how they are recorded, what is recorded and some general comments about how some decisions were made.

It is a reflection on our past that there were few obituaries written about the women of this world, this reflects the old (and in some cases current) thinking that only those who bear the name are of the family and only the males are important and then the eldest male is more important than any other. It is a bit like George Orwell "All the animals are equal but some are more equal than the others"

Well in these trees every person who can be related to the family is recorded. No special account is taken of a persons sex or date of birth. What matters is that the people being recorded are considered by the family to be members of the family, and as such have been included in this narrative and on the family tree.

If, in this family, one required a senior branch then in my view it is that descended from the eldest child who had children. This happens to be a female line and is the Morpeth Clan, however I would defy any one to state why this the first branch is any more important than the descendants of Alice Maud Mary (de Castro) Wortley the last branch.

We must not however discount the fact that in all families great store is placed by some people in being descended from the eldest male child and in particular those that still carry the family name of the family being recorded. In this family there seems to be a case of the males bearing daughters as if the law of averages was followed there should be a great number of people bearing the name de Castro in this country rather than the small number there is. This also applies to England where if one examines the phone book there are also very few in fact Richard de Castro maintains his son is the last person in that line to carry the family name.(There are other de Castro's listed in the English phone book but who they are I have no record.

It helps in certain occasions like family reunions to know who is the eldest person bearing the family name. This is also very important if a title or entailed property is involved, (which there is not). In the heritage of those descended from people of European origin, families up to very recently had their children adopt their fathers surname, the females on marriage changing theirs to that of their husband. This is the opposite to that adopted by people with Eastern origin where the mothers name was adopted. In today's world these traditions are changing. Indeed most people in this country would be surprised to know that when born no child in fact is given a surname, it is bestowed by the parents on the child. Indeed a recent court case found that the form used in the 1970's to register births that included provision for a surname to be recorded for the child was in fact incorrect and was withdrawn from use. At Marriage the relevant forms signed give those being married an option to change their name, this is not confined to the female or to the surnames either party had before marriage.

The Spanish have the tradition of the Family name becoming a combination of the husbands and the wife's. The children are given this name on their christening.When the child marries the female parts of their names are dropped off and the process starts again. However there are exceptions such as when the wife comes from a more important family in which case the wife's name comes first and is carried on by the children, in addition it was not unusual for the child to have its godfathers name incorporated into the family name. This makes searching for family in these countries a very frustrating and interesting past time.

  De Castro Story - Genealogical records - Computers??


The main genealogical record for the family is stored on a computer system. Originally this was one called PAF put out by the Church of Latter day Saints and was acquired in the mid 1980's In 1999 this was changed to one called Family Tree Maker which is a 1999 system and is more suitable. This system is designed to produce and receive details from other genealogical systems using a special file called a GEDCOM file. This is a standard way of exchanging data devised by the people who sell the system. Thus if you have a genealogical system on your computer and that can accept a Gedcom file then we can exchange data.

For those not up with computers think of the systems as a huge deck of filing cards. Each card is called a record as it contains all the details we know about an individual. Each record has provision to store standard information such as the Surname, given Names, Titles, Birth, Christening, Death dates and places photos notes and other details. Each record/card is linked to those associated with it and in some systems is given a number which has no meaning other than to the system. It is by this number that it links the various cards of information together..

With each marriage a separate record (card) is used to hold the two numbers of the people concerned as well as the marriage details. The person being married is then given their own card (record) In the case of a female party then that person retains her surname within the system. This Marriage Record is also given a number and that number is stored on the individuals records thus allowing one to be traced to another. It also allows either party to have a number of marriage records. In the event of children then the child has, like its two parents, its own record and this is cross linked to its parents on the relevant marriage record. The computer keeps control of all the linking and has its own way of recording who comes first and what all the relationships are

Having all this information on a computer means that it is a very simple matter to add change or delete records or to change the sequence of any information this is especially important as new information comes to hand

With manual systems every thing is kept on paper and on charts so if a new child is found or the birth dates are in the wrong order then it is a massive task to re-write every thing.

With the computer it is possible to start at a specific person and ask it to list all the recorded ancestors held and this it will do showing the parents, grand parents great grand parents for each parent listed. My children's trees go back 14 generations on some branches. This tracking back is called an ANCESTOR listing or chart. A DESCENDANCY CHART is where one specifies a given person and tells the computer to list all the known descendants. This it does in generation sequence and the tree that is attached to this document is a descendancy listing starting at the earliest recorded de Castro. The small box charts at the start of each family recorded also originally came from the PAF system. The children are listed in the order held in the files so if we have an incorrect birth date then the child is held in the wrong order but this is very easy to correct once the correct information is found.

As time progresses and some information is located covering some of the connected branches e.g. the Lara's and Lopes and Ransford's etc. then there will be descendancy listings added to this record starting at the earliest recorded member of that family till it joins the de Castro family. In some cases when cousins marry over a number of generations then the links can become quite complicated.

In the descendancy listing it lists the child recorded as being the first born first. With females the female always retains her maiden name on the listings, that is, where we have a record of it.

The listings are just that. There are some very complex programs that attempt to set the tree out in the same style as the hand drawn ones but these consume huge amounts of paper, the de Castro one that was printed was 30 page wide and 20 long. I started a printing of all the 2200 cross linked people I have recorded, but stopped it when I was informed it would use over 900 sheets of paper being some 25 mtr long and 9 mtr high?

Where possible or where confusion exists we have used official records to check out some of the dates of birth. The listing sequence of the children of Charles Daniel de Castro has been taken from the official Government records and copies of certificates have been obtained for these people. The sequence does not agree with some earlier ones produced by some members of the family, they unfortunately were wrong. The names I have used are those on the certificates when I have them Thus William Wearing de Castro is recorded as William Knox de Castro as that is how his birth was registered. (Perhaps he was christened William Wearing after his birth was registered?)

  De Castro Story - Genealogical records - Some rules and guidelines

Some rules and guidelines

In all families there are situations which exist which can cause some problems so it has been necessary to make some decisions regarding these situations. These rules used here have been generally used by other persons engaged in recording their family history's and indeed I have adopted them in recording other families my children are related to.

MARRIAGE: In the old system I used it was not possible to list the parents of children unless we in fact married the parents. The new system allows some flexibility as to the relationships of the parents. It is of no great concern to me what these relationships are and what process was followed if any to establish them. I simply record what I find out or what I am told.

ADOPTIONS IN: This is a reasonably common occurrence and these people are recorded on the tree as if they were the natural children of the adoptive parents. The old system had no means of recognising an adoption the new one does. In these more liberal times I am told of adoptions and thus can record the fact on the system, such information is held in the background of the system. Some people I have been involved with say the adopted children are not members of the family, they forget that the adoption laws were in general passed to legally give the adopted child the same rights in every way as any natural children. Today I do not think people have trouble with this. I certainly have no interest in the origins of a child, If I am told a child is adopted then I can record the fact. If I am not told then so be it is up to the individuals concerned, In fact it is not important to me as the law on the subject is clear. To me the important thing is to record those whom the family consider to be members of the family.

ADOPTIONS OUT: As was bound to happen with the relaxed attitude to adoption and the new laws regarding the ability to trace the natural parents there has been an occurrence, not in this family, where a child adopted out many years ago made happy contact with the birth mother. In this case there followed a request that the child, and its family be recorded in the tree concerned. If we follow the above rule for ADOPTED IN children then it follows that a child adopted out is no longer a part of this family. However if the intent is to record all those persons CONSIDERED to be part of the family then in this case following agreement from all parties involved the child was added. We added the child bearing the surname of the people who adopted it.

STEP CHILDREN FOSTERED ETC.: As the computer can store multiple marriages then it will store step children, It depends on what detail and what line you are reporting as to which children and families will report. Some will show on some trees and some will not. It depends on the relationships being reported. Again a difficult case came up in another family where a female married a person with two children from a previous marriage. The ages of the children were 9 months and 18 months. The mother had abandoned the husband and later died. Two years after the marriage the husband died. As is normal in most cases no adoption was involved. The step mother raised the children and the only relations they ever came into contact with were relations from the step mothers side. At a family reunion the question came up " should they be invited?" and should they show on the tree drawn up for the occasion. In this case the answer was yes because of the circumstance, again the correct surname of the children in question was used..

CHILDREN THAT DIED YOUNG: In going through Birth and Death and Cemetery records it has occurred that a child that died as a baby has been recorded. In some cases when asking that family to assist with details such as birth, marriage and death details such a child has been omitted by the parents. Often there are very good reasons for this to occur. There have been some parents who have been upset to find that a record of such a child exists and we have been asked to omit it from the record. We respect these reasons. I have a number of cases where I have such details but which are not recorded on any tree. In other cases the parents having hidden the birth from surviving children for years took the opportunity to give tell them about the brother or sister the did not know about. As one mother said "the tree is the only record that the child ever existed". If via the public record I have uncovered a child that died young and the parents have not told their other children then I am sorry if any inconvenience has occurred. However what I have recorded is a matter of public record. Generally well before a question of publication comes up I have been in contact with the family in question and have asked them to comment and to contribute to what is recorded.

OTHER DETAILS: With one family I have researched there is a marriage that a person did not want recorded. Again the request was accepted. In general however what ever we find in public record is recorded in the tree and history, unless a reasonable request is made to omit the details, and providing that request is reasonable then it will be generally be followed. We found the suggestion made by a person to omit all details of the Jewish origins of the family unreasonable to say the least unacceptable. This subject has been covered. The details are not a record of the beliefs of a family what ever their origins As said it is very hard to record the facts known about our early ancestors without recording that they were of the Jewish faith. Good lord if they were not we possibly would all be Spaniards living in Spain? Charles Daniel became a Minister in the Anglican faith It is a matter of public record and an official part of this countries history, it would be stupid to omit the fact. Generally however such matters are of no concern of this record.

OVER ALL: I and others have tried to obtain details of the family as we know it. Any omission is simply because we did not know the details. If something has been included that is incorrect then the reference or person who advised the information was wrong. Some things in the story may not conform with what you have been told. I have tried to check out what I have been told. If any one who thinks they should be listed and is not then it is because I was not told about you or have never found reference to you give me the details and you will be added..

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