I wrote the other day about William TARGETT and Ruth HILTON, the age difference between them and the closeness of their marriage to the baptism of their only daughter Caroline (or Emily Caroline). I felt there was an interesting story here waiting to be investigated, and in any case I needed to do more work to establish who their parents were (my 4x great grandparents).
The two parish records I checked at Worthing Library on Tuesday certainly shed more light on the situation, or rather added more fuel to the fire. Both records were on the International Genealogical Index at familysearch.org, but neither entry gave the full details that I needed.
First up was the marriage of William and Ruth in the parish of Heyshott, Sussex on the 27th September 1856. The first piece of new evidence was their ages; William was 37 years old and Ruth was only 19. So the census had been pretty accurate and my calculations were right, William was nearly twenty years older than Ruth.
I was not surprised to find that William was a bachelor and Ruth a spinster. William’s occupation was given as labourer, so again there was nothing unusual there.
It was the father’s details for the couple that proved the most interesting. William’s father was also William, and his occupation was also labourer. This pretty much confirmed what I had already suspected, William was the son of William and Charlotte TARGETT.
Ruth’s father’s details were in one respect what I had expected in that his surname wasn’t HILTON but SAUNDERS. Ruth HILTON’s father was Richard SAUNDERS and he was also a labourer. I had my suspicions that Ruth might be illegitimate when I found a baptism record that seemed to fit and it only gave a mother’s name. To be honest I had half expected to find her father’s name and occupation left blank in the register.
So although this is not an ideal situation for me. I have very little to work on to link Ruth’s mother and father together, but it could be worse, at least I have a father’s name to work with. The possible baptism for Ruth was the other record I wanted to check down at Worthing, to see if that might provide further clues.