Our first Sussex Tree (1611)

This is a new one on me. While looking through old Will Index records, I noticed a hit in Sussex, England (97km/60mi Southwest of London along the southern coast. Seeing only a single record I decided to go ahead and follow up on it to knock it off the list.

While there are a good number of Babbs who have migrated to Sussex as their lineages spread out, none of them seemed to have originated here. I consulted my predecessor, Ian Babb’s notes and found a single page on this family unit.

That changes today. Let’s get to know them:

Sussex Pedigree (South Harting 1611)

The paper trail starts off very strong for this family unit with the marriage of William Babb & Elizabeth Wild. They went on to have at least 10 children, all of which is well documented. In 1615, the Then the trail runs cold. I can’t speak as to why, but as there is no gap in the records, they either moved, or died out.

Something peculiar in the records appeared. The records encompassed every spelling variation I could imagine (Bab, Babb, Babbe, Babbs). The plural and singular form were found for the same people on different records as well with about a 50/50 split.

While researching the family, I also see a family in Rye, which is on the opposite side of Sussex in the east. There is a 32km/20mi distance that passes through the much larger town of Chichester, which functions as the County Seat (I don’t know if there is an equivalent phrase for that in the UK). I’ll get to the Rye Babbs next, and we can talk about them another day. For now, meet the family!

The future of Genealogy

Lots has changed in the last 20 years in the world of Genealogy. I attended a conference 2 weeks ago and attended (virtually) a speech by the people at Ancestry.com. The subject What’s in store for 2023 at Ancestry. The presenter explained that 2022 was the biggest year in the company’s history. They added 5 billion records to their collection. In 2018, the company had a total database of 10 billion records and currently stands at 30 billion total.

This year they expect to add 15 billion records and are using a very advanced AI to interpret the handwriting and provide an initial index. The AI has become so advanced that they were able to index the 1950 US Census in just 9 days! When the 1940 census was first released it took 8 months!

What’s more, they are getting at the older records so the chances of finding additional generations is increasing rapidly. Artificial Intelligence can actually read those 16th Century wills that we all struggle with. So, in a few years, I could see them providing every word transcriptions. Wouldn’t that be something?!

As a final note the presenter mentioned that 70% of their database was exclusive to Ancestry, meaning that they just aren’t scanning stuff that everyone else already has.

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