Last night I spent some time working on Elizabeth LEWRY my 3x great grandmother. My goal was to fill in some details on her life (from the census) and find out who her parents were.
I already knew that she married Edward WALDER in Bolney, Sussex on the 19th December 1846, and together they had my 2x great grandmother Mary Ann WALDER and at least one other child. From the marriage entry I also know her father’s name was Thomas.
Everything went surprisingly smoothly, most of the census returns were easy to locate (except the 1841 I think it was, in which they were recorded as LOWRY on Ancestry.co.uk). I still need to find out more details on the birth and baptism of their children but that wasn’t on the agenda for last night. I was going backwards, not forwards in time.
Elizabeth was the daughter of Thomas LEWRY and Mary MANSBRIDGE who married in Bolney on the 8th August 1809, she was baptised in Bolney on the 10th April 1825, one of possibly seven or eight children. Thomas’ occupation is variously described over the year as either a labourer, higgler, huckster or poulterer. Thomas died in 1855 aged 68 and Mary in 1870 aged 80, both of them were buried at Bolney.
So that means I have added another set of 4x great grandparents to my family tree, and whilst I still need to do more work on this line I achieved what I set out to do and could go to bed happy (if somewhat later than I had planned).
One of the things that has been bugging me for a long time is the fact that I don’t have the maiden name for Ellen, my 3x great grandmother.
This came to light again as I was sorting through some census prints the other night, William and Ellen GEERING lived in Lewes, Sussex and it has been quite easy to trace them in the census after their marriage, which was between 1861 and 1871.
I say “after their marriage”, but I can find no entry of a marriage in the GRO marriage indexes for them. I suspect that they didn’t actually get married, but until I have carried out an exhaustive search I can’t say for certain.
I have just ordered the birth for William GEERING (my 2x great grandfather) who I believe from the 1871 census was their first child, born in Q3 1868 in the Lewes Registration District. This should give me his mother’s maiden name, but may not help prove whether they were married or not.
This will give me another name to search in the marriage indexes and also in the parish registers for Lewes. Also it should mean I can trace Ellen’s birth and her identify her parents.
It also gives me something to look forward to next week, the arrival of an envelope from the GRO, hopefully containing some answers.
As if to prove my point from yesterday that organising my files is going to make my research more efficient, I discovered something last night that had me throwing up my hands in frustration.
I was reviewing a report of my 3x great grandparents Ambrose VINALL and Sarah FRENCH. I had some census images that I had printed, but I hadn’t got digital copies, so I saved them to my hard drive. Looking closer at the images and the report I realised that the addresses were in Buxted.
Less than a week ago I had been wandering around Buxted, looking for my DRIVER and HEMSLEY ancestors, and I could have added another five or six addresses to my hit list. At least a couple of these addresses were places I remember walking past (Stonehouse and Maypole Farm), I could have quite easily got a photo or two whilst I was there.
In 1841 Sarah FRENCH was living with her parents Joseph and Hannah FRENCH in Buxted, Sussex. The specific address was Five Ash Down, I say specific, but there were several households at the same address, so probably better described as a community rather than an address. Anyway, when I got off the bus last week at Five Ash Down (opposite the Pig and Butcher pub) I would have sworn that I had never heard of the place before. Yet several months ago I had located three ancestors living there, but they had been forgotten in the intervening months. There was not a lot to see in Five Ash Down but I would have taken a couple of photos looking up and down the street if I had known.
Now I have two more things to do, go back to Buxted and get some photos, and set up a list (or a custom report in Family Historian) that will list all the places in an area that I am visiting, so I don’t get caught out again.
If you have been struggling to find you ancestor (or anyone else for that matter) in the 1901 census for England and Wales then it might be worth trying the brand-new version announced by Findmypast.com.
According to their blog, they are “confident our new transcription is the most accurate online and will reveal many individuals whose names have been wrongly transcribed by other websites”. Not only is there a new transcription to search but the census pages have been scanned at a higher quality as well.
Normally you won’t find me straying very far from their competition over at ancestry.co.uk when it comes to searching census returns, but it is always worth checking elsewhere when the individual you are searching for just doesn’t show up on one or other of the sites.
Wybrants KINGHORN was the eldest son of Thomas KINGHORN (3x great grandfather) and his first wife Alicia DALTON. It is an unusual enough name (I haven’t been able to find what it means or where it comes from yet), so I assumed it would stand out like a sore thumb. However after several hours searching last night (not quite into the small hours, but very near) I still cannot find him in the 1851 and 1861 census.
From the 1841 census I know he was born around 1832, in the county of Middlesex (most likely in Westminster or Marylebone). The birth year agrees with the age on the GRO BMD death index entry.
He married in Q2 1852 in the St Giles Registration District, London. Not sure who his wife was, because I haven’t ordered the marriage certificate yet, but I think I am going to have to if I really want to find him.
He died in Q4 1866 in the Marylebone Registration District, London, aged 34 years old. Again, I haven’t ordered a death certificate or checked probate records, so those are possible avenues of research to follow.
Try as hard as I might, I still can’t find him in the 1851 or 1861 census on Ancestry.co.uk (I had a quick look on findmypast.com with no luck).
In the grand scheme of things I shouldn’t be spending too much time or money on Wybrants KINGHORN, he is only my half 3x great uncle after all, but I don’t like to be beaten and I feel I need to find out so I can tell the complete story of his father Thomas KINGHORN.
If anyone finds him please let me know, meanwhile I will try some different websites and even more different spellings to see if I can flush him out, before I order a marriage certificate.