The “final” accounting of our Loss in Devon

I’ve finally finished entering the stubs of the estate documents that miraculously remain after the Nazi Bombing which is known as the “Exeter Blitz” of 1942. This was perhaps the most discouraging task I’ve tried to accomplish in my 20+ years of Genealogy. To have a fragment of information of the lost records, but not enough to know who they left their estates too is extremely depressing to a Genealogist! It is like a permanently closed candy store that still has their best treats on display in the window. They are right there, but just out of reach and for some unknown reason the spotlight still shines on them.

To have this effort coincide with Russia trying to reenact WWII, has left me not wanting to go further. I’ve had to force myself to finish this effort. I know that there is happier data on the other side, but I’ve struggled to come back to this gruesome task.

Regardless, I’ve finally come to the end of this collection and am ready to share the results. I was able to match 49 of the 87 records to existing people in the big tree. That is way better than I expected. However, this is met with a bittersweet understanding that we now cannot know who they left their estates to. So, these are only partial successes.

I added 25 new people into the tree from previously unknown lineages. A number of them predate any known records for their respective areas.

There are 12 people with which a match was simply impossible. Most of them relate to extremely common names such as John, Mary and Elizabeth. With too many matches it becomes impossible to discern one from the other.

There was also one duplicate record that had been recorded in a secondary registry.

So, here it is a formal accountancy of the records we lost in WWII. If anyone in the future invents a working time machine, please go back and record these records!

I’m moving on from this desolate place in search of pastures filled with Sunflowers! By the way, if you think the colors are hard to bear, imagine how much worse it would be with a tank aiming at you.

Is this the final accounting? Who knows? I plan to continue the search through local records to see if there is more information to glean.

Round and round we go! Where we stop? Nobody knows!

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