Some of you may recall a post I made back in July 2020 which was similarly titled as The Babb Garden of Eden – Babb Unabridged. I had the best intentions of pushing through several thousand records in an attempt to solve the great riddle of how the Babbs of Devon are connected to each other. It is, after all the last vast untapped portion of our tree and is also the apparent home county to virtually every Babb in the United States.
The sad truth is that I got overwhelmed and didn’t get very far (just about 50 records). Covid anxiety and the terrible state of American politics took over and I just didn’t have the mental bandwidth to pursue it. Flash forward 15 months and my life and mood has stabilized. I’m now fully vaccinated and got my booster recently due to my status as a two time cancer survivor.
So, I’m feeling plucky decided to restart my effort again. My process is first to filter on FamilySearch for the earliest record (1500 in this case) up to 1840. I do this for two reasons. First, to avoid the 1841 Census records which both explode the number of records. Second, I have already included all of the Census Records from 1841-1911 in previous research for the first edition of Babb Unabridged. This way I’m not repeating myself.
I then download every remaining record in Devon County from FamilySearch.org by exporting them to Excel. You only get 100 entries at a time and it started with a list of 4769 records or 47 lists to download and merge into a single file. From there you can filter for just “Principle” records to eliminate duplicates of other individuals on the same record. This took me down to 3119 records.
Some quick handy work with sorting and creating two new columns that unify the 4 Date and place columns for Birth, Marriage, Death and Burial. This makes it easy to sort first by year and then filter by city. I start with the oldest records first and work my way through one town at a time. Some towns are rather small with very few records and others can be quite large.
First Stop: Seaton
Seaton was a bit of a surprise for me as I had no records in the town prior to this find. It had cleared out Babbs prior to 1841 so I had never noticed it in the past.
Seaton lies along the South East portion of Devon County just to the west of the mouth of the Axe River, which is referred to as Axmouth. In the 2011 Census it held 8413 Residents.
Using the query techniques described above I am left with this view of the Seaton’s 44 Records which date back to 1586. They are the first to appear in these indexes, thus it is where I started.
There are many gaps in the record especially in the early years. These 44 records provided 10 fragmented trees which have all been aptly named in the Master Tree as “Devon Pedigree (Seaton YYYY). The Y represents the date of the earliest record in that lineage. You can easily find all them on the Master Tree by searching for “Devon Pedigree (Seaton”. This will give you a list of them where you can peruse to your hearts content.
There is one tree I was able to build out for 4 generations before the paper trail ended:
From here I continue to move on to the next city, hoping to find connective tissue as I go. Although I wasn’t able to link to a modern line from this location I have learned enough to know just to keep working and some of it will eventually fall into place.