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Update 14/1/2017

An update on progress being made on our joint family history. Please come in, the water is lovely!


Total Individuals 2,946 Total Males 1,497 (50.81%)  Total Females 1,428 (48.47%)   
Total Living 899  Total Families 1,008  Total Unique Surnames 760  

1. December 2016

The new site went live. This not only updated the website and made it more usable on phones and tablets but it also introduced TNG, the program that keeps track of our ancestors and their data. From now on you will  be hearing a lot about TNG. Remember you need to register to see TNG (that is you need to register AGAIN, once for the website and once for TNG - this is for your privacy).

2. William Cook Halliday

This is my second cousing twice removed. For purely admin reasons his name was flagged by TNG as needing updating. I then spent a happy weekend finding out what I could about William. He was a driver in the Royal Artillery during the first world war and spent the last months of his life in Flanders in France. He died "from his wounds" in September 1918, 2 months before the end of that wasteful war and was buried in a British Forces cemetery in Northern France. His grave is anonymous, labelled as Driver William Cook Halliday, says nothing about him, his family, where he died or how he died. Nothing about his widow and family! The anonymity was because they were killing them and burying them on a production line.  1 million British and commonwealth troops were killed in WW1 and another 2.3 million were wounded. Taking all sides AND civilians into account more than 17 million people died in WW1 and another 20 million were wounded. That is more than 1/4 of the UK population now! I will keep going to see what else I can find out about William and post it on TNG.

3. Data Protection or what?

 I spent a few days over Xmas and early new year going through the online official sites of government BMDC data (Birthsm, Marriages, Deaths and Censusessss). They have all agreed that there are quite severe limits on what you can find out online and this is put down to data protection. It is agreed and accepted that the information on BMDC is public information, everyone is entitled to ask for and be given BMDC data on request (that's the law) but somehow online is classed as against data protection.  What makes it more nonsensical is that if you walk into any of the national repositories (Glasgow, Edinburgh, Belfast or London) you can ask for and be given data on BMDC right up until the start of that year and that limit only because they don't have it yet.  

It makes me spit blood that although I enjoy my trips to the Mitchell Gallery or to GRO in Belfast, I always forget some research or run out of time and yet there is no logical reason why this cannot all be done online. Just so you know, you cannot do ANY research on English BMDC online, only indexes, to see details you need to pay (a lot) for what may well be the wrong person. At least Scotland and Ireland let you see what you want online (within the data protection! limits).

4. Martin James Kilkie and his family

 Over the holiday we had a happy connection from Craig James Kilkie, born in Nottingham and now living in Dubai with his wife and daughters. He was doing some research on his name KILKIE and had got stuck. He found our stuff on facebook and contacted me. With only a little effort we put is work and ours together and he quickly joined his group into the whole tree.  Craig is my 3rd cousin once removed (ie his dad is my 3rd cousin, or his dad and I share a common great grandfather).  There are some interesting facts in Craig's stories which are on TNG if you are interested, including - what do we do when names change, who is family? Craig's daughters are legally Alexandra KILKIE JAMES and Isla JAMES KILKIE, his wife is Carla JAMES. The reaons for the various names are both personal choices (Carla) and local legal reasons (Alexandra and Isla were born in El Salvador and the Phillipines respectively). Also Craig's dad decided to change his first name from John Gerrard to Shaun. Good stuff?

5. Kilkie or Smalls. 

As part of my research on early Derry Kilkies I have been downloading all BMDC from Belfast. I have always searched for Kilkie, Kilkey and Kilky but recently after the various facts about SMALLS = KILKIE I have added Smalls to my searches too. It gets complicated as many Smalls are nothing to do with us, particularly outside Derry, but around Derry there are a couple of SMALLS families who regularly change from that to KILKIE then back and some KILKIE who do the same in the opposite direction. Makes life interesting but may explain some of the Kilkie families left in the UK who don't seem to have a Kilkie ancestor in NI - it may have been SMALLS. I will keep looking.

6. What is left? 

There are still a few living Kilkie who are not connected into our tree. Officially our tree is a one-name study and is registered with the guild for one-name studies. This is obvious and much easier than most other names, but I am determined to join these others in or explain why not. One group is around Derby and I hope to connect them this year.

7. Other branches. 

I concentrate (200 out of 3000) on Kilkie and do branches when I have time. As Kilkie is the surname that connects us all together the site is called Kilkie. However I would be very pleased if any of us wanted to develop their own branch line. TNG allows and even encourages this. Just follow the house rules to make sure we all keep friends.

8. Photos are important.

I have been sharing all of the photos I have access to on Kilkie.org. Interestingly I have more photos of ancestors than living family. Please upload images to your family on TNG it makes the families more alive and interesting if you can see them. Remember that today's facts will be your children's history. You are able to add them yourself, but if you want you can email them to me, put them on facebook or send them to me in a shoebox and I will put them up and return the photos.

finally , best wishes and happy new year.


PS if anyone fancies a kilkie.org email address they are free to us, just let me know.


Howard Origins

Howard is a common English language surname. Its origins are unclear. One theory is that it derived from the Norman-French personal name "Huard" or "Heward" adapting after the Norman Conquest of 1066. Another theory is that its origin may be pre 7th century Germanic from the personal name "Hughard" (prefix hug, meaning "heart"/"spirit"; suffix hard, meaning "hardy"/"brave"). Yet another theory is that the surname derived from the Anglo-Scandinavian personal name "Haward" (prefix ha, meaning "high"; suffix varthr, meaning "guardian"). The first public record of the surname is dated 1221 in Cambridgeshire. There are several variant surname spellings.

Our family connection is entirely East Anglian, beginning in Wickhampton, a sleepy village outside Great Yarmouth and ending in the castles and palaces of Westminster, Greenwich and elsewhere. The royal connection between our Howards and the royal line are disputed but have strong documented evidence. Even the purely academic connections are disputed but have interesting and involved stories resulting in proven family crests given by James II of Great Britain to the "pretenders" that we are descended from.

There are a number of different family crest for Howard and we are currently researching the disputed one awarded by heralds to the instructions of James II.




The connection between the families here is that Jill Avril Howard married John Field and their daughter Sarah Diane married Martin Kilkie in 1978 in Gravesend Kent.

The Howard surname is famous, but our little branch was once thought to be one of those unconnected spurs that might or might not trace back to "importance". History books are full of famous Howards and the East Anglian connection is particularly strong.

When carrying out our first researches into the local Gravesend Howards we were surprised to discover that someone in the immediate family (Probably Henry Joseph Howard) had made some initial researches and had a hand copied extract from a church register, this church being in Wickhampton between Norwich and Great Yarmouth.  As with all successful family history we have been lucky in that the vicars of the church in Wickhampton seem to have taken their administrative duties more seriously than most and documented everything - as a result we traced the Wickhampton Howards back to the late 18th century and beyond. Later back to 800AD and real royal connections, stronger indeed than the current british royal family!

The cover photo is from Milton Duck School primary top class in about 1913. Joe Howard (Henry Joseph is on the back row, far right.



House Rules

The TNG program allows all of us to contribute to the tree. It gives me the power to MAKE everyone else send me information or changes and then I let me DECIDE if it is good enough to add or not.

BUT I WON'T DO THAT.  The information collected in our family tree does not belong to me, it belongs to all of us. To be more exact it belongs to our descendants! As a result the program is set so that any family member who asks has the ability to add/change information in the database. 

But there are consequences and responsibilities of this power ...

1. Don't change things unless the correction is true!

  • Family history is by its nature unpleasantly honest. It  is full of issues or facts that each of us might wish were different or were secret, this makes the tree a work of fiction.  To me it is an important principle that our tree only contains facts, I propose this is the basis of all of our endeavours here.  Some family histories on Ancestry.com ignore this princple to protect people's feelings and as a result are so different from the facts that they effectively become fiction. One slight change and everything previous to the fiction incorrect too.
  • What this means is that facts in this database are as discovered, warts and all! There will be a temptation to change things that you think embarassing or not particuarly nice but please do not do this. Only CHANGE to correct information Never to hide it.  There will be ocassions when you decide that you know something that others shouldn't know, that is your choice but even then I would urge you to consider the loss of the information forever if you don't record it. There may be ways later that I can put time delays or something on some facts but at the moment things are IN or OUT.  
  • What will never be acceptable (or possible) is changing things that are in the database that are correct but you would rather we don't know. If anything is changed from a fact that we have documented then I reserve the right to put it back to what it was (a bit like Wikipaedia!).
  • If you make a big mistake and delete things you would rather not have, let me know as soon as possible and I can retrieve it.

2. Document where you aren't  sure!

  • Where you aren't sure about a fact please make sure you add a note to say who added the fact and what your reservations are. For example see the note I have placed on the connection between James Kilkie and George Kilkie. If there are questions you have about a fact or facts then also add a note. Remember that ONLY family members see the database - but also remember that ALL family members. It is better to document too much than too little.  
  • When you add a note, add your name at the end and remember this is a database where most of us share one of a few surnames, so put your birthyear at the end e.g. Martin Kilkie(1955).

3. Be polite!

  • I am sure it doesnt need overstating but many generations (hopefully) will use this database. Be direct in your notes here and on the Social wall but remember it may be read by any other member of the family. This doesnt mean secrets, but it suggests we are careful with the language used.


  • I am very keen to not only develop this common resource but to build a small army of family members who can take the job onto the next (and the next) generation. This requires we agree some common rules.  If you don't like the rules then please suggest improvements, they will be gratefully received. We need consensual rules. If you are interested in helping develop the resource, or even taking responsiblity for some part of it then please ask.



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