Tag Archives: gasson

The death certificate of Catherine GASSON

28 Aug

Catherine GASSON (née HOLMAN) was the wife of Henry GASSON, making her my 4x great-grandmother. I ordered her death certificate at the same time as I ordered Henrys and largely for the same reason, to make sure that I had found the correct individual.

Looking at the certificate there isn’t really any doubt. Catherine died on the 2nd December 1858 aged 64 years at Warninglid, Slaugham, Sussex. Her occupation is given as “Wife of Henry Gasson an Agricultural Laborer”. So her age, address and her husband’s name and occupation all match up.

The cause of death was recorded as “Disease of Liver 2 Years Jaundice Certified” and her death was registered by her husband Henry (who was present at the death) on the 6th December 1858.

So the certificate served it’s purpose, or at least the purpose I had intend. I am now confident that this Catherine was my 4x great-grandmother and was the same Catherine buried at Slaugham on the 12th December 1858.

The Warninglid mentioned on the certificate is a small community within the parish of Slaugham rather a particular house or farm, so the certificate doesn’t really help to pin-point where they were living a great deal, but it is better than nothing.

I am pretty certain that I have previously checked monumental inscriptions for St. Mary’s Church, Slaugham but I certainly need to check again and if possible make another visit to Slaugham and Warninglid. Last time I visited I was just passing through and not fully aware of the GASSON connections, now I have some concrete evidence I can go back and explore some more.

Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.
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From the family album: My grandfather at work

1 Aug

I mentioned painting and decorating yesterday, so below is a photograph of one of my painter and decorator ancestors at work, my grandfather Charles Percy GASSON.

Unfortunately I don’t know where or when this photograph was taken, but I am guessing some time in the mid 1950s and probably somewhere in the vicinity of West Grinstead, Sussex. The glass roof is quite distinctive but I suspect it may well have been replaced by something easier to maintain by now.

Henry GASSON – some migration questions

28 Jul

I mentioned the other day that I have a particular fondness for my 4x great-grandfather Henry GASSON because he was the one that brought my particular GASSON line over the border from Surrey into Sussex.

It happened some time around 1830 and as migrations go it wasn’t particularly spectacular, being only about 15 miles or so in distance but even so it was quite a big jump, not just to the neighbouring parish. It wasn’t as if it was only Henry and his family that made the move, there seem to have been several other GASSON families that migrated southwards over the border about the same time, and in the big scheme of things it is just part of the gradual movement of my GASSON line westwards from Kent into Surrey and then southwards into Sussex.

Whilst I am waiting for the two death certificates I ordered to turn up I will take a closer look at this particular migration and try to answer a few questions:

  1. Exactly when did Henry and family move to Sussex?
  2. Was their move straight from Horley, Surrey to Nuthurst, Sussex or was there somewhere in between?
  3. How many other GASSON families moved from Surrey to Sussex around that time?
  4. And what were their relationships to Henry GASSON?
  5. Did any other families that moved from Horley to Nuthurst around that time?
  6. Were there any related GASSON families already living in the Nuthurst area?
  7. Can I identify any particular reason for this relocation?

My main resources for this will be parish registers and census returns, but there may also be some rate books that will help me narrow down some details. The good news is that I work in Horley and travel back home through Horsham, so can make use of the libraries in both of tho se places, although I will probably still need to visit the West Sussex Record Office and the Surrey History Centre to dig a little deeper.

Of course it goes without saying that if the distance is only 15 miles or so then it would make for a good days walk. I may not be able to follow exactly in their footsteps with any certainty, but by using some old maps I could probably find a route that would have been available to them at the time.

Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.
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Henry GASSON – time to spend some money

27 Jul

Having found my 4x great-grandfather Henry GASSON in the 1861 census and confirmed that he didn’t die in 1860 there is only really one other likely death registration in the GRO indexes. This one is in Q4 1862 and like the 1860 one it is in the Horsham Registration District, so everything seems to fit quite nicely.

There is a burial entry in Slaugham (according to the SFHG Data Archive) in December 1862 for a 78 year old Henry GASTON which is quite possibly my Henry. The dominant spelling of the surname was GASSON around this time, but variations such as GASTON are still to be found from time to time.

There is only one thing that isn’t quite right and that is the fact that the burial register records Henry as coming from Beeding. This probably isn’t a problem because Lower Beeding is a couple of miles west of Slaugham, so it is quite possible that Henry was living nearby (there were certainly other GASSONs in Lower Beeding at the time) and was brought back to Slaugham to be buried with his wife.

I still need to check the burial entry against the original register (or at least a microfilm of the original) but I am pretty confident that this is my Henry GASSON. Confident enough to put my money where my mouth is and get out my wallet and order the death certificate. I might even splash out and order the one for his wife Catherine at the same time.

Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.
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Henry GASSON – more census lessons learnt

26 Jul

In an effort to fill one of the small gaps in my family tree I have been trying to find out where and when my 4x great-grandfather Henry GASSON died and where he was subsequently buried. Henry GASSON holds a special place in my heart because it was he and his wife and children who brought my particular GASSON line over the border from Surrey into Sussex sometime around 1830.

What limited work I had done previously had left Henry in Slaugham, Sussex in 1851 and I had been unable to find him in the 1861 census. There was only one death registration in the GRO indexes between 1851 and 1861 (in Horsham Registration District in Q1 1860), so it seemed quite likely that this was my Henry, but I never pursued it further at the time.

Picking up from where I left off several years ago I decided that I needed to find a bit more evidence before I invested my hard-earned money in a copy of the death certificate for the 1860 death registration. It didn’t take long (with the help of the SFHG Data Archive) to find a burial at Horsham, Sussex in February 1860 for a two-year old Henry, clearly this wasn’t my 4x great-grandfather.

So back to the drawing board, but armed with this information it seemed likely that Henry should be somewhere in the 1861 census, waiting to be discovered. I headed back to Ancestry, Findmypast and The Genealogist and still no sign of my Henry. There was a Henry of the right age in Rye, Sussex but that was too far of a leap geographically. There was a Henry in Slaugham, Sussex but he was too young.

Then remembered my experience with FreeCen several months ago, and how it had come to my rescue. I was lost for words when once again FreeCen delivered the goods and came up with my Henry GASSON. He was the correct age and living in Slaugham, how could I and the three big names in online genealogy have missed him?

Now I knew where Henry was it was easy to find him on Ancestry, Findmypast and The Genealogist. The biggest surprise to me was that the transcribers for all three sites had made the same mistake, they had all recorded his age as 26 years and not 76 years. I know the numbers are not particularly clear (the vertical check mark on the left doesn’t help) but there is no horizontal stroke across the both of the 7 that would have made it a 2. Although I would have to admit that the top horizontal stroke looks a little rounded, but that doesn’t really make it into the number 2.

I shouldn’t really have been surprised that FreeCen had the correct age, after all I have had success before, but what really did surprise me was that all the other three sites had interpreted it the same. I know I would have found Henry eventually on any of the three main sites if I had persevered and dug a little deeper beyond the index entries, but to be honest I wouldn’t have expected such a large error on Henry’s age, perhaps a few years but not fifty years.

My next step would almost certainly have found him because I was going to progress to tracing all his children in the 1861 census. Henry is lodging with one of his married daughters, but the fact she was married might have slowed things down, plus Henry and his wife did have fourteen children so it might have taken me a while to get around to tracing the right child.

I would have been much simpler for me to have searched FreeCen at the start, something that I must remember in the future.

Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.
Creative Commons Licence This work is licensed under a Creative Commons
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