Tag Archives: henry gasson

The death certificate of Henry GASSON

23 Aug

I’m taking a break from a bout of railway mania to have a look at the death certificate of Henry GASSON (my 4x great-grandfather) which arrived a couple of weeks ago. I wasn’t expecting any big surprises with this certificate, but rather to be able to confirm that I was looking at death and burial of the correct Henry GASSON.

The certificate showed that Henry GASSON a farm labourer aged 78 years died of pneumonia on the 27th November 1862 at Stable Houses, Lower Beeding, Sussex. The death was registered on the 1st December 1862 by Edward GASSON of Nuthurst, Sussex who had been present at the death.

The certificate pretty much proved I had the correct details. The age ties up with my Henry, and the place of death ties up with the burial in nearby Slaugham, Sussex where his wife had been buried. Everything seems to fit together quite neatly.

As well as proving that I was looking at the correct Henry GASSON it has also added another detail to the story of Henry’s life, that is the address in Lower Beeding. I didn’t know that Henry had spent some time in Lower Beeding, although it must only have been a brief time because in 1861 he had been living in Slaugham.

A quick bit of map research revealed the likely location of Stable Houses, Lower Beeding and it turns out that I go past it every day on the bus on my way to work. When the weather dries up a bit I might have to get off the bus on my way home and get a photo or two.

I don’t yet know whether there were any other GASSONs living in Stable Houses, and the certificate has raised another question, who was the Edward GASSON who registered the death? It is most likely that he was the son of Henry GASSON but there may well have been other Edward GASSONs around that could equally have provided the information.

All in all buying this certificate was a worthwhile investment, it has allowed me to confidently tie-up the loose ends around the death of Henry GASSON and has given me another piece of information to add to the story of Henry’s life.

Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.
Creative Commons Licence This work is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Boundary significance

3 Aug

I should have been doing some family history last night, but I got side-tracked into fiddling about with the “new” Ordnance Survey getamap website. It is not really that new and is an updated version of the old website where you can view portions of Ordnance Survey mapping.

I have been struggling to get the website to print any more than a few pixels of any map, but I think I have a work-around for that now. I was then trying to work out whether it was worth subscribing to the website (£30 per year at the moment) to get extra features, but I was then distracted into looking at the county boundary that I cross every day to and from work.

I was playing with the route creating facility, it is really quite good as not only will it show you the distance but also the elevation and tell you how long it ought to take to walk (and run or cycle) the distance, practising using the route that I sometimes walk between Horley to Gatwick Airport.

With Henry GASSON in the back of my mind I started to study the route of the Sussex/Surrey border. I am pretty certain that the border has been moved since Henry’s time, and I am positive that Henry wouldn’t have recognised the land surrounding the boundary. I am not convinced that he would have realised that there was a boundary there in the first place, let alone placed any significance on the fact that he was moving his family from one side to the other.

For my own part though the boundary seemingly holds a significance which I can’t really explain. Measuring the distance from my place of work to the boundary I worked out I could make my way back over into my native Sussex in just under 15 minutes. The closest point is just under two-thirds of a mile away, admittedly it is not a particularly appealing part of Sussex, being on the outskirts of Gatwick Airport, but it is Sussex nevertheless.

Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.
Creative Commons Licence This work is licensed under a Creative Commons
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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.
Creative Commons Licence This work is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
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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.
Creative Commons Licence This work is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
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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
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
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