Tag Archives: lay

Joseph and Hannah LAY: an update

14 Jan

Following the discovery of a likely baptism record for my 3x great-grandmother Sarah LAY (the wife of Henry SHORNDEN/WRIGHT) I have been poking around looking for more details on her parents Joseph and Hannah LAY.

Things have not been quite as straightforward as I had hoped. I have found a likely couple in the 1841 census, in fact I think they are the only couple of that name in the 1841. The problem is that they are living in Reigate, Surrey with no obvious connection to Deptford, Kent (where Sarah was baptised).

This is not as neat as I would have liked, it doesn’t rule them out, but makes my life a lot harder trying to prove they are the correct parents. This hypothesis ignores the fact that one or both of the parents may have died before 1841. However Deptford and Reigate are only about 20 miles apart, so it is not that long a journey and not completely inconceivable.

The other fly in the ointment is that Joseph and Hannah were married in Reigate in 1824, two years after Sarah’s baptism. Again this doesn’t rule them out and may actually explain why Sarah wasn’t baptised in Reigate. The Vicar at Reigate would presumably known that her parent’s weren’t married.

Joseph and Hannah had several other children in Reigate after they were married. Hannah appears to have died between 1841 and 1851, and Joseph remarried between 1851 and 1861. Joseph’s second marriage could be useful because it was after the start of civil registration, so his marriage certificate should have his father’s name on it, where the parish register recording the first marriage probably won’t.

What I really need to find now is a record that links the Reigate LAYs to Sarah. That might be a witness on a marriage certificate or an informant on a death certificate. It seems unlikely that Joseph or either of his wives would have left a will, but it is worth checking that as well. I certainly need to check the 1841 census for Reigate very carefully just in case Henry and Sarah SHORNDEN/WRIGHT is hiding in there.

Staying up late with Sarah LAY

11 Jan

Why is it that so many of my most important genealogical discoveries happen late at night, when I should be going to bed? Last night it was the turn of Sarah LAY, the wife of Henry SHORNDEN/WRIGHT (and my 3x great-grandmother) to keep me up half the night.

Like her husband Henry I know quite a bit about her already and many of the same questions that apply to Henry also apply to Sarah. One important difference (other than not going to prison) is that I was missing Sarah’s baptism, but I believe that mystery has now been solved.

Although I had a rough idea of her year of birth and her father’s name (from her marriage certificate) what I was missing was a place. Sarah is one of those people whose place of birth changes between every census:

  • 1851 – Harrow, Middlesex
  • 1861 – Alton, Hampshire
  • 1871 – Lincolnshire [at least that is the best I can make out]
  • 1881 – Deptford, Kent

Then of course there could be Ospringe, Kent (where Henry was baptised) or Milton next Gravesend, Kent (where the couple married). To be honest Sarah could have been born/baptised almost anywhere in the country, but most likely within the South-East of England.

I had a quick search of the new FamilySearch.org website, which came up with a hit for Deptford, Kent. The father’s name was correct and the date was about right, in fact there was nothing about it that gives me cause to doubt it is the right one.

Knowing that Deptford is now part of London (in the borough of Lewisham) I wondered why it hadn’t come up when I had searched the London, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906 on Ancestry.co.uk, but when I browsed the baptism register for St. Paul’s Deptford it soon became obvious why it hadn’t come up.

The transcription had been mangled, although it wasn’t really Ancestry’s fault, the Rector who had filled in the original register had transposed the surname and abode boxes. It didn’t help that their address was quite unusual, “Loving Edwards Lane”, so their names ended up well and truly mangled.

Instead of Sarah being the daughter of Joseph and Hannah LAY she was transcribed as Sarah daughter of Joseph Louis and Hannah Jane Edwards. All quite straight forward to untangle once you know what you are looking for.

This is an important lead in the search to find out more about Henry SHORNDEN/WRIGHT as I now have another set of relatives to track down which might in turn lead me to Henry and his family in the 1841 census.

Also this means I now have another direct ancestor on my family tree, Sarah’s mother Hannah, my 4x great-grandmother. All I need to do now is find out what her maiden name was and hopefully I can also push both the branches of my tree back a few more generations.

However that will have to wait, I have promised myself that I will try to get an early night tonight!

Another Christmas Tree Project update

25 Nov

Time has nearly run out for my Christmas Tree Project, I think I have about two and a half weeks before I have to stop and get it printed.

I did a trial run a couple of days ago, creating a large scale pdf chart that I should be able to get printed, at a normal print and copy shop without too much hassle. Using my Family Historian software it is quite straight forward to create the chart.

The research side of things is still ongoing, I have pretty much given up on find the three 4x great-grandparents that are still missing, although I may still be in with a chance of finding the mother of Sarah LAY if I can find her baptism record.

I still need to order a birth certificate for one of the children of Thomas and Rebecca BATEMAN to try and confirm Rebecca’s maiden name, although I am pretty certain it is TOWNSEND it would be nice to confirm it once and for all.

Other than that it is pretty much a case of filling in more gaps. Most recently I have been working through my ancestors making sure I have all the birth, baptism, marriage, death and burial details for them where possible. Most of these are not going to be exact dates, because I can’t afford to buy dozens of birth, marriage and death certificates.

In terms of census details I don’t think there is much more that needs finding, as I think I already have most of them, but I will have to have another check in a week or so just to make sure.

Next week I need to start work on the actual text scheme that is going to appear in the boxes on the chart. I am thinking about leaving out photos, because I don’t have enough of them, but I need to make a decision on that soon.

Even with the information that I have on my the tree so far I think it is going to look quite impressive, or at least I think it will, whether my relatives will be similarly impressed remains to be seen.

A SHORNDEN/LAY marriage certificate arrives, but what to do next?

3 Nov

The marriage certificate for Henry SHORNDEN and Sarah LAY arrived yesterday, and it has already been scanned and filed away. For once this appears to be a pretty straightforward marriage certificate, no unexpected surprises, in fact it confirms much of what I already know.

Henry SHORNDEN and Sarah LAY were married on the 25th December 1840 (I wonder how much it would cost to get married on Christmas Day now?) at the parish church in Milton next Gravesend, Kent. Henry was a bachelor and Sarah a spinster, but unfortunately their ages are only given as “full”. Both gave their residence as Milton.

I was pleased to see that Henry’s rank or profession was given as “Cutler”, that ties in nicely with information from the census and baptism records from Alton, Hampshire. Not surprisingly Sarah has no rank or profession shown.

Henry’s father is William SHORNDEN, this matches the information from the Ospringe parish registers, and he was a labourer. Henry’s profession and the name of his father mean this provides a nice link between the Henry from Ospringe, Kent and the one from Alton, Hampshire, adding to the evidence that suggests they are the same person.

Sarah’s father was Joseph LAY, and he to was a labourer. Joseph would be another of my 4x great grandfathers. That leaves me with only three left to find, including Joseph’s wife.

Interestingly neither Henry nor Sarah signed their names, I am sure this led to much of the confusion with different surname spellings once they got away from their native Kent. The other interesting thing is that the witnesses were William and Mary Ann WICKER, could these be relations of either the bride or the groom?

So where now? Well there are still two questions to be answered:

1) Where and when was Sarah born and who was her mother? I have an approximate date of birth (1821), but no definite place for Sarah’s birth, Kent seems most likely, so I need to check all the baptism registers for the places previous mentioned, Milton next Gravesend, Ospringe and surrounding parishes for a daughter of Joseph LAY.

2) What about the two daughters that Henry and Sarah had, who are shown in the 1851 census as being born before the couple were married? These two girls were most likely Henry and Sarah’s daughters, but as well as checking all the above parishes for their baptisms, I need to check for a variety of different surnames as well. It would be nice to find the family in the 1841 census, but their appears to be very few SHORNDENs in the south of England that year.

This family are certainly one of the most challenging I have worked on so far, they are the first case I have in my tree of a name change, rather than just different variants. I do feel however that this is a story worth investigating and I will probably try and put together a full report on the family once more of the facts emerge.

Weekly Genealogy Preview (for week 45)

1 Nov

This wasn’t a good week for research, but a good week for organising. Another chunk of my stuff to sort folder has been sorted. I have ordered the marriage certificate for Henry SHORNDEN and Sarah LAY, and have discovered I am missing quite a bit of data on the ancestors I already have in my Christmas Tree Project.

  • Continue working on my stuff to sort folder, I cleared quite a bit last week, and I think this week I will try and sort the few United States census pages that I printed out a few years ago.
  • For my Christmas Tree Project I need to start filling in some of the gaps in my research, probably by trying to find all the GRO Index references for birth, marriages and deaths that I am missing.
  • I should get the marriage certificate for Henry SHORNDEN and Sarah LAY this week. That should be interesting and may well generate some more follow up work.

Another certificate ordered in the search for the SHORNDEN/WRIGHT family

26 Oct

I have just ordered the marriage certificate for Henry SHORNDEN and Sarah LAY. I decided that it would be far easier and quicker to sit and wait for the certificate to come to me, than go out trying to find a copy of the entry in the parish register.

I am hoping that this certificate will confirm that the Henry SHORNDEN I found in the Ospringe, Kent baptism register, son of William and Ann SHORNDEN, is the same one that ended up in Alton, Hampshire.

More importantly I should give me the name of Sarah’s father, which may just be enough to enable me to find her baptism, and then both of her parents. I really have no idea where Sarah came from, as most census entries for her give a different place of birth.

Now I just need to sit back and wait, I can’t really do much more on that part of my tree without that certificate. I can’t help but wonder what further surprises it is going to turn up!

Weekly Genealogy Preview (for week 44)

25 Oct

Last week was mainly about consolidation. Very little was actually added to my family tree whilst I spent my time planning some next moves for finding the last of my 4x great grandparents. This week I need to get those plans documented and ready to implement over the next few weeks.

  • Continue working on my stuff to sort folder, last week I discovered a collection of parish register transcriptions that weren’t on my spreadsheet, so that will be my focus this week.
  • Prepare a plan for identifying the parents of Susannah POCOCK, ready for a visit to Hampshire Record Office.
  • Decide whether I should order a copy of the marriage certificate for Henry SHORNDEN and Sarah LAY or whether to try and locate a copy of the parish register.
  • Start working on Phase II of my Christmas Tree Project, by preparing a query in Family Historian to identify the gaps in my research for all my ancestors.
  • Prepare for a visit to the West Surrey Family History Society Family History Fair at Woking, Surrey next weekend, to make sure I get the most out of the day.
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 118 other followers

%d bloggers like this: