It's time to meet another one of our Wonderful WikiTreers! This week's member is Mike Butler.
Mike became a Wiki Genealogist in January of 2018 and is a part of our England and Scotland projects. He joins in with the Kiwi Crew for our quarterly marathon events.
What are some of the surnames you are researching?
Butler, Kelson, Henson, Alford, Gobbe, Harrington, Dunn, Webster, Irvine, Oates, Black, McCruedy, Tremain, Meneer, Edmonds, Makepeace – these are my great-great-grandparents. 15 of the 16 came to or were born in New Zealand.
What are some of the locations you are researching?
Somerset, Dorset, Angus and Fifeshire.
When and how did you get interested in genealogy and family history?
I started looking at family history in 2011. I had decided it was time for a trip to Europe and knew about the Irvines of Drum but the rest of the family history was unknown to me. Clearly I had not been listening to the right people because when I started making discoveries my sister was able to add quite a lot from what she remembered.
Who's your favorite ancestor and why?
Alexander Irvine 17th of Drum. He was a key actor in the Jacobite Rising of 1745 and was lucky to escape with his life. He spent most of the last 15 years of his life in hiding in a secret room in Drum Castle.
Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down or one you hope to bust through.
My 3rd great grandmother Ann Baldwin or Balding. Her marriage record has the name as Balding and I could find no birth records till I tried a phonetic search and her baptism as an Ann Baldwin came up. Ann was illiterate and would have no idea about how her name should be spelt.
I hope one day to find the name of my 4th great grandmother who was the Bengali mistress of John Herbert Harington. None of the records of the children I have been able to locate give her name.
What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?
Dog agility – I have 3 dogs alas none currently competing. Idol is a heading dog, Toby a huntaway/Staffordshire bull terrier cross and Static is a very small papillion puppy (currently asleep on my shoulder). I have been competing for more than 25 years and did a few years of judging.
When younger I was a keen tramper but now I make do with driving up back roads. My recent holiday included over 1000km of gravel and dirt roads.
I have done several very long walks raising money for charity with my dogs – the longest was 2326km. We have raised over $40,000 over the years. The next (and last) will be in 2021 to celebrate my 70th birthday.
[Interview continues in comments.]