Don’t neglect your orphans

18 Jan

I spent three or four hours last week trying to identify some of the orphans in my database. These are the individuals who are relations, but I am not sure exactly how they were related (Ernest John TROWER was one of these).

When I wrote about cleaning up my database I think there were fifteen or sixteen individuals or families that weren’t linked, now I am down to nine of them, unfortunately I don’t thing there is much more I can do with them without spending more money on certificates.

As well as tidying up my database, which is pleasing in itself, I have also discovered one or two interesting stories. These individuals seemed unpromising, mostly grandchildren of my ancestors, but as I discovered it was well worth investigating them. Embarrassingly a couple of the orphans were duplicates. One orphan was already linked elsewhere and there were two orphans who were actually the same person.

Walter Henry BOXALL was the grandson of James and Caroline BOXALL, born in Wales in 1897. I still don’t know who his parents were or why he was born in Wales when the rest of his relatives were seemingly all in Sussex, England. What I did discover was that Walter Henry was killed in World War One. His name appears on the war memorial at West Dean, Sussex (one of six BOXALLs named on the memorial). He is definitely worth ordering a birth certificate for.

James LEWRY was the grandson of Thomas LEWRY, but it wasn’t until I started investigating him that I discovered he was actually the illegitimate son of my 3x great-grandmother Elizabeth LEWRY. She married Edward WALDER in 1846, three years after James had been born.

Alfred MITCHELL married Violet Florence CHAPPELL in 1920 in Hampshire. There doesn’t appear to be a direct connection, but they had three children baptised in West Dean, Sussex. What interests me is the migration from Hampshire to Sussex, which seems to mirror the migration of my direct ancestors. I need to get the marriage certificate for Alfred and Violet find his father’s name so I can link them up. After that I want to find out if any other MITCHELLs migrated from Hampshire to Sussex.

Initially these orphans did not seem important, and whilst they aren’t direct ancestors they had some interesting stories to tell which no doubt did impact my direct ancestors, so don’t neglect your orphans.

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