Tag Archives: baptism

Susannah POCOCK: could these be her parents (option two)

19 Nov

Thomas and Rebecca POCOCK of Madehurst, Sussex

Interestingly Thomas and Rebecca POCOCK of Madehurst, Sussex had a daughter Susannah who was baptised in Madehurst on the 17th January 1808. They also had at least two other daughters, Harriet baptised 1806 and Rebecca baptised 1810.

Why these might be Susannah’s parents

Their daughter Susannah was born about the right time, and there is an obvious match with her christian name and surname.

Why these might not be Susannah’s parents

The problem is that Madehurst is in the wrong county, admittedly Sussex is next to Hampshire, but there is still quite a distance between Madehurst, Sussex and Micheldever, Hampshire. This doesn’t mean they didn’t move, but so far I have no evidence to suggest that they did.

What I need to do next

I need to find out what happened to Thomas and Rebecca, did they ever leave Madehurst? Also what happened to the two other daughters. If only I could find some link with Micheldever.

Susannah POCOCK: could these be her parents (option one)

18 Nov

Richard and Mary POCOCK of New Alresford, Hampshire

In the 1841 census there is a couple, Richard and Mary POCOCK, living in New Alresford, Hampshire. Richard was born around 1778 and Mary was born around 1783. Richard was from Hampshire, but Mary was born in Surrey. I have only been able to find one child for them, who was Laura Eliza baptised in New Alresford on the 18th November 1818.

Why these might be Susannah’s parents

Not only are these the only POCOCKs of the right age anywhere near Micheldever, but they were probably in New Alresford between 1818 and 1841. This puts them in the same parish that Susannah was married in at the same time as she was married, 1832.

Why these might not be Susannah’s parents

So far I have nothing else to connect Richard and Mary POCOCK with Susannah POCOCK, other than probably being in the right place at the right time. I have no idea where Richard and Mary were around the time of Susannah’s birth, and I don’t know where they were married, there was no entry for them in the Hampshire Genealogical Society Marriage Index.

What do I need to do next

If I could find a marriage for Richard and Mary then I might also find the baptism of Susannah, whether that would lead to a connection with Micheldever or not is another problem. I also need to find out what happened to Laura Eliza POCOCK, if she married who were the witnesses?

Susannah POCOCK: the known facts

16 Nov

Susannah POCOCK is my 3x great-grandmother, and her claim to fame is that she is the only one of my ancestors for which I have been unable trace a set of parents.

The purpose of this post is to put out the known facts about Susannah POCOCK in the hope that someone somewhere knows who here parents were, or that someone has an idea where to go next.

Although I am using the christian name Susannah, she has also been recorded under the christian name Susan and Susanna, although Susannah has been most commonly used.

The earliest reference I have to Susannah is her marriage in New Alresford, Hampshire on the 16th January 1832 to William MITCHELL. Both were living in the parish of New Alresford at the time, William was a bachelor and Susannah was a spinster.

The two witnesses at the marriage were Ann WESTWOOD and John LOCKETT. William MITCHELL’s mother’s maiden name was LOCKETT, so I believe that John LOCKETT was almost certainly a relative of William. Ann WESTWOOD was probably Ann LOCKETT who married Richard WESTWOOD in January 1816, so again probably another relative from the MITCHELL side.

Susannah appears in six census returns from 1841 to 1891, in Exton, Hampshire. The 1841 census information is not as precise as later years, because of the rounding of the individual’s age and the question asked about the place of birth. However the later years do provide more useful data.

Census Year Age Place of Birth Calculated Year of Birth
1841 30* Hampshire 1807-11
1851 43 Micheldever, Hampshire 1808
1861 55 Micheldever, Hampshire 1806
1871 62 Micheldever, Hampshire 1809
1881 72 Micheldever, Hampshire 1809
1891 83 Micheldever, Hampshire 1808

*her actual age could have been anywhere between 30 years and 34 years.

All this data (with the exception of the 1861 census) seems to indicate a birth year of around 1807-09 and almost certainly in the parish of Micheldever.

According to the GRO Death Index Susannah died in Q2 1898 in Droxfield Registration District aged 90, pointing to a birth year around 1808. She was buried on the 28th April 1898 at Exton, Hampshire. The entry in the burial register gives her age as 90 years, so once again giving a birth year around 1808.

So all this data points to the fact that Susannah POCOCK was born in Micheldever, Hampshire around 1808. The problem is that there is no record of a baptism in Micheldever for Susannah POCOCK around that time. In fact there is no Susannah POCOCK baptism anywhere in Hampshire around that time. Without a baptism record I am unlikely to find out who her parents were.

The Hampshire Genealogical Society (HGS) Baptism Index only records the baptism of two Susannah POCOCKs, one in 1785 and another in 1827. There don’t appear to have been any POCOCK baptisms in Micheldever during the years covered by the index.

The HGS Baptism Index only includes Church of England baptisms, so there is the possibility that Susannah’s parents may have been non-conformists, but there was no non-conformist chapel in Micheldever around that time. If they were non-conformists then they could have worshipped almost anywhere in the county.

So where does this leave me, I have three other leads to explore, which I will detail over the next few days. It is probably worth me following up the names of the witnesses at the marriage of William and Susannah, to prove that they were both on the MITCHELL side of the family.

It might also be worth searching the registers of all non-conformist chapels close to Micheldever and then gradually working further out. Also there is a possibility that the baptism in 1827 could have been a late baptism for my Susannah, so I should try and rule that one out of the equation as well.

If anyone has any other suggestions then please let me know, all suggestions are welcomed, although there are very few avenues that I haven’t already explored.

Time to declare a brick wall in the search for Susannah POCOCK

14 Nov

Having spent several hours at the Hampshire Record Office in Winchester today, I feel that I have pretty much exhausted all my options in my search for the parents of Susannah POCOCK and have no option but to officially declare her a brick wall.

Despite having good data from the census and her death and burial which places her birth in Micheldever, Hampshire around 1808, I have been unable to find a record of her baptism, which is probably the only way I am going to be able to find the name of her parents.

Although I am going to declare Susannah a brick wall there are a few leads that might be worth following up on, in fact there are three possible children or parents that could be a match. I will post about them over the next few days, in case someone recognises them.

I sought the advice of a member of staff at the Hampshire Record Office, and she confirmed what I already thought, that I have pretty much exhausted all the possible avenues of research.

It looks like I am going to have to live with a gap in my Christmas Tree Project at least for the foreseeable future anyway and I am sure that the gap in my tree will become a talking point in itself. The story behind the gap will probably be more interesting than the lives of some of my other ancestors.

Things could get messy in Burstow

12 Nov

I was filling in gaps for my Christmas Tree Project last night, and it was going quite well, I was mainly focusing on Sussex baptisms, and added several 5x great-grandparents as I was going along. Then I started looking at some Surrey baptisms.

I was working on Henry GASSON and Catherine HOLMAN, who married in Burstow, Surrey in 1814. I have their ages and places of birth from the census, so it wasn’t too difficult to find their baptisms on the Surrey Baptism Index CD from the West Surrey Family History Society.

Henry GASSON was born in Charlwood, Surrey around 1786, he was baptised in Charlwood on the 11th February 1786. He was the son of John and Ann GASSON/GASTON. Catherine HOLMAN was born in Burstow, Surrey around 1795, she was the daughter of William and Elizabeth HOLMAN and was baptised in Burstow on the 12th July 1795.

The worrying thing was that when I looked for other children of William and Elizabeth HOLMAN in Burstow, I found another 16 children. That seemed rather a lot, not impossible, but rather unusual. Some of the names were duplicated, and there was a group of four children all baptised on the 21st October 1790. The baptism dates ranged from 1765 to 1795.

Further information came from checking the Surrey Marriage Index CD (also from the WSFHS) that I bought at Woking a couple of weeks ago. William HOLMAN married Elizabeth STREAP at Burstow on the 17th October 1764, and then on the 1st January 1779, a William HOLMAN married Elizabeth HUGGETT.

This could be a serious problem, I am hoping that I can find a burial for an Elizabeth HOLMAN before 1779, and the first William married another Elizabeth, otherwise I am going to have a devil of a job picking out which pair of William and Elizabeth HOLMANs had which children.

I really need to have a look at the original parish registers on microfilm/fiche, to check the accuracy of the index and look for other clues. Interestingly there is a will on The National Archives DocumentsOnline for William HOLMAN, farmer of Burstow, Surrey. That has got to be worth spending £3.50 of my money on.

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