Tag Archives: marriage

Have I discovered Mary TROWER’s secret?

16 Jan

I wasn’t really sure why I ordered the marriage certificate for Emanuel MARX and Mary TROWER. In truth I didn’t really need to order it, but I am glad that I did.

I was certain that this was the marriage of my 3x great-aunt, but the information that Mary’s father was Henry TROWER and he was a farmer confirmed this.

For the record, Mary TROWER married Emanuel MARX on the 14th August 1884 at the Register Office in Pancras Registration District.

I was interested to find out more about the groom, according to the certificate his occupation was interpreter and was living at 183 Albany Street in London. His father was Bernard MARX and he was a clothier.

By the 1891 census Emanuel was described as a commercial traveller and he and Mary were living at 2 Priory Road, Hampstead, London.

Most interesting however were the details for Mary. No occupation was given, which is not that unusual, and her residence was given as H.M. Prison Kingston.

So Mary was living in a prison, which begs the question was she an inmate or did she work there? In the 1881 census Mary had been working in an asylum so it is possible she may have switched from one institution to another as a member of staff rather than as an inmate.

Another interesting research challenge to follow up. I seem to be gathering a few criminal connections, I am really going to have to spend some time studying criminal and prison records.

Robert and Mary DRIVER marriage, were they related?

11 Dec

One of the families that seems to have been well established in Framfield, Sussex was the DRIVER family.

Initial work using the Sussex Family History Group baptism and marriage index has taken my line back to around 1730 without too much trouble, and there are earlier DRIVERs there that are probably related.

One interesting piece of information that I have discovered is the identity of parents of John DRIVER, my 4x great-grandfather.

John was baptised on the 19th August 1788 at Framfield, and his parents were Robert and Mary DRIVER. There are at least three pairs of Robert and Mary DRIVERs in the Framfield parish registers, fortunately they are quite well spread out, so it is easy to tell the different families apart.

When I checked for a marriage for this particular Robert and Mary I was quite surprised to find that the marriage was between Robert DRIVER and Mary DRIVER.

The marriage took place in Framfield on the 9th October 1785 and was by licence. The chances of these two not being related seem incredibly slim, the question is how closely related. The marriage licence may well offer more evidence, and I can certainly see why there would have been a licence needed.

Another birth certificate and more questions than answers

8 Dec

The birth certificate for Rebecca BATEMAN arrived yesterday, and it wasn’t quite what I expected, in fact it has given me more questions than answers.

It should have been quite simple, Rebecca BATEMAN was the daughter of my 4x great-grandparents Thomas and Rebecca BATEMAN, born in Ford in the parish of Temple Guiting, Gloucestershire on the 10th December 1839. The reason for ordering this particular certificate was to find out the maiden name of Rebecca.

I had suspected it was TOWNSEND, based on the most likely marriage entry I could find on the International Genealogical Index (IGI). The birth certificate however gives her maiden name as TOWNLEY. Quite close, but not really close enough to be explained away as a transcription error or a mis-spelling.

As there is a baptism in Temple Guiting (also on the IGI) for a Rebecca TOWNLY at about the right date, coupled with the fact that the marriage I was looking at wasn’t in Temple Guiting, but about ten miles away, makes me think that the registrar was correct. I am clearly going to have to do some more work in this.

The other anomaly is the birth date (or baptism date). The certificate says that she was born on the 10th December 1839, yet there is a baptism record for Rebecca BATEMAN in Temple Guiting on the IGI, with a date of the 4th December. Either there is a transcription error on the IGI (most likely) or Thomas and Rebecca lied about (or couldn’t remember) their daughter’s exact birth date. Again more work needed on this family in the original parish registers.

So I think I have the maiden name of my 4x great-grandmother, which leaves only one 4x great-grandparent with no maiden name and three missing completely. Hopefully next year I can pay a visit to the Gloucestershire Record Office and do a bit more research on these branches of my tree. I have enough of a start to make it worthwhile visiting now.

Which WREN is which?

30 Nov

I was updating the details for my 4x great-grandfather Benjamin WREN last night, when I came across another potential stumbling block with the identity of his parents.

I knew from the census that Benjamin was born around 1803 in Framfield, Sussex. In the Sussex Family History Group Data Archive there is a baptism for a Benjamin WREN in Framfield on the 7th Jan 1803. His parents were Thomas and Sarah WREN, so whilst I was there I looked for other children of Thomas and Sarah.

I came up with another ten children, the earliest was Mary, baptised in 1768, and the last child was Hannah, baptised in 1810. I cursed my ancestors for giving me so much work to do when I wanted to get to bed, but something didn’t seem right.

The forty year time span seemed unlikely, and the last two entries were for Thomas senior and Sarah. So, much like the situation with the HOLMANs in Burstow, Surrey, it seemed like I had a couple of different Thomas and Sarah’s here producing children at the same time.

When I checked the Sussex Marriage Index things became a little clearer. There are three marriages of Thomas WREN to a Sarah around that time in Framfield. Firstly a Thomas WREN married Sarah HARTFIELD in 1764, then a Thomas WREN married Sarah CORNWALL in 1783 and lastly Thomas WREN married Sarah COLEMAN in 1800. The final marriage was by licence, which reveals more helpful information. Thomas WREN was a widower aged 60 and Sarah COLEMAN was a widow aged 36, both were from Framfield.

So it looks like Thomas WREN married Sarah HARTFIELD, had several children including a Thomas in 1772, but he was not the middle Thomas. Then Thomas’ first wife died and he married Sarah COLEMAN who was many years younger than him, carried on having children.

The question is which set of Thomas and Sarah’s were the parents of my Benjamin WREN? I can rule out Thomas WREN and Sarah HARTFIELD, as presumably she had died before Benjamin was born, because Thomas had re-married by then, but it seems like it could be either of the other two.

My next step will to have a look at burial records for Framfield, and hopefully the burials for Sarah WREN will help separate the two. There is also the possibility that one of the Thomas’ left a will which might help differentiate between the two.

Susannah POCOCK: could this be her mother (option three)

20 Nov

Susannah TAYLER/TAYLOR of Micheldever, Hampshire

There is a baptism in Micheldever, Hampshire on the 26th February 1809 for Susannah the baseborn (illegitimate) daughter of Susannah TAYLER/TAYLOR.

Why this might be Susannah’s mother

The right christian name, about the right date (a little later than I was expecting) and an unknown father who could have been a POCOCK, or perhaps Susannah TAYLER/TAYLOR later married a POCOCK who may or may not have been the father of my Susannah POCOCK.

Why this might not be Susannah’s mother

Despite much searching I have found no evidence to link Susannah TAYLER/TAYLOR to anyone by the name of POCOCK.

What do I need to do next?

I need to trace what happened to both mother and daughter, hopefully to find some connection with the name POCOCK, or at least to rule them out of the picture.

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?

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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