My to-do list goes out the window

5 Jan

Well it hasn’t quite yet, but I did get rather distracted yesterday and almost completely forgot about what I was supposed to be doing. It was inevitable that something more interesting would come up, and it did.

I decided to make a late Christmas present to myself of a six month subscription to the 1911 census on findmypast.co.uk. I knew I had plenty of relations (and a few ancestors) to find, but wasn’t really expecting to find anything out of the ordinary.

A couple of interesting things turned up which I wasn’t expecting, like the fact that Thomas DRIVER my 2x great-grandfather re-married after the death of his first wife. His first wife Ellen VINALL died in 1899 and he married Harriett DEACON in 1908, something that I probably wouldn’t have found out otherwise.

The biggest surprise of all was the re-appearance of my 3x great-aunt Mary TROWER. She is the only one of the thirteen children of Henry and Jane TROWER (my 3x great-grandparents) of Henfield, Sussex, who I had not been able to “kill off”.

She had fallen of the radar after the 1881 census, where she had been working as a nurse at Colney Hatch Lunatic Asylum. I had no idea what she did after that, did she marry? Did she have any children? Did she leave the country? When did she die?

Now I know a bit more. She turned up in 1911 at her brother-in-law and sister’s (James and Martha SUMMERFIELD) house in Newdigate, Surrey. She was a widow and her married name was MARX (once again I am blessed with an uncommon surname).

It didn’t take long to find her marriage in 1884 to Emanuel MARX. According to the 1891 census he was a commercial traveller from Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Emanuel died at the end of 1891, and by the 1901 census Mary is on her own down at Brighton, Sussex. Everything suggests there weren’t any children.

As the couple were married in Pancras Registration District I expected to find them in the London Parish Registers at Ancestry.co.uk, but they are nowhere to be found. I suspect this means it wasn’t a Church of England marriage, the easiest way to find out will be to order a copy of the marriage certificate.

So at last I know when Mary died as well. Her death was registered in Reigate Registration District in Q3 1918, but I am not sure if she would still have been with the SUMMERFIELD family at the time. It would be interesting to get her death certificate to see where exactly she was and perhaps locate her place of burial.

I am glad I bought that subscription to the 1911 census, it has answered a long standing question, which I had actually forgotten about, so it was well worth the money on that count alone.

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