I tried not to get sucked in, honestly I did

24 Apr

I was getting along quite nicely with updating my to-do list when I succumbed to temptation and decided that I ought to try to clear one of the items. It looked so simple:

Add step children of Edward and Jane (BURTENSHAW?) GASSON from 1881 census RG11/1063 folio: 74, page: 13

Of course I couldn’t just add census events for the two children, for starters I had to add them into my family tree in the first place. They were step-children so that meant Jane had probably been married before, so there was another husband to add as well. The fact that she had married Edward Gasson (my 3x great-uncle) was a clear indication that her first husband had probably died as well.

In short there was a whole lot more work involved in that single item than I had first envisaged.

It wasn’t particularly difficult work, after all everything was focused around the parish of Bolney, Sussex which I have some experience of and a useful set of parish register transcriptions. Although it was more work than I had intend it was quite an interesting little diversion, and to be honest I am pleased that I did it.

Jane Linfield had married David Burtenshaw in Bolney in 1873, they had three children Edith Jane (born 1874), William (born 1876) and Alice Louisa (born 1877), although only two of those were on the 1881 census.

William Burtenshaw was baptised on the 28th June 1876 and sadly was buried on the 1st July 1876. The age given in the parish register (according to the transcription) was just 38 hours. I think that is the first time I have ever seen anyone’s age recorded in hours.

That wasn’t the end of the sadness for Jane. The third child, Alice Louisa, was baptised on the 15th July 1877 and although she was recorded as the daughter of David and Jane Burtenshaw, the occuption given (presumably for Jane) was widow. David Burtenshaw had been buried at Bolney on the 4th July 1877.

It was such a sad story, albeit on the edge of my family tree, but well worth the time invested.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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3 Responses to “I tried not to get sucked in, honestly I did”

  1. Anne30 April 25, 2012 at 2:09 am #

    It’s hard not to get sucked into the stories sometimes isnt it? This week I have just found out that a great – great mother was a Brazilian Hat maker at the age of 10 years in 1841. So was her mother and her females siblings including her 3 and 5 year old sisters.
    It was common for women and children to compete this work at home and at it’s peak the income was made was greater then their husbands and older sons could earn. I think of her seriously having to contribute to the family income at such a young age.

  2. Yolanda Presant April 25, 2012 at 3:51 am #

    Yes, I often wonder what I would say or do if I was there when these things happened. The remarkable thing is that these people just kept on having children, maybe that is what kept them going.

  3. nmcmahon89 April 25, 2012 at 9:59 am #

    How sad for Jane that her daughter Alice was born after her father died. I think I have a similar tale; my 3x-great-grandfather Ralph Gray died on the 21st March 1877. His youngest son Ralph was born in 1877, and registered in Q1. I haven’t got his birth certificate yet to actually confirm his date of birth, so I don’t know if Ralph Sr ever got to meet his son – it’s a lot of money to pay just to confirm one date.

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