Tag Archives: mitchell

Don’t neglect your orphans

18 Jan

I spent three or four hours last week trying to identify some of the orphans in my database. These are the individuals who are relations, but I am not sure exactly how they were related (Ernest John TROWER was one of these).

When I wrote about cleaning up my database I think there were fifteen or sixteen individuals or families that weren’t linked, now I am down to nine of them, unfortunately I don’t thing there is much more I can do with them without spending more money on certificates.

As well as tidying up my database, which is pleasing in itself, I have also discovered one or two interesting stories. These individuals seemed unpromising, mostly grandchildren of my ancestors, but as I discovered it was well worth investigating them. Embarrassingly a couple of the orphans were duplicates. One orphan was already linked elsewhere and there were two orphans who were actually the same person.

Walter Henry BOXALL was the grandson of James and Caroline BOXALL, born in Wales in 1897. I still don’t know who his parents were or why he was born in Wales when the rest of his relatives were seemingly all in Sussex, England. What I did discover was that Walter Henry was killed in World War One. His name appears on the war memorial at West Dean, Sussex (one of six BOXALLs named on the memorial). He is definitely worth ordering a birth certificate for.

James LEWRY was the grandson of Thomas LEWRY, but it wasn’t until I started investigating him that I discovered he was actually the illegitimate son of my 3x great-grandmother Elizabeth LEWRY. She married Edward WALDER in 1846, three years after James had been born.

Alfred MITCHELL married Violet Florence CHAPPELL in 1920 in Hampshire. There doesn’t appear to be a direct connection, but they had three children baptised in West Dean, Sussex. What interests me is the migration from Hampshire to Sussex, which seems to mirror the migration of my direct ancestors. I need to get the marriage certificate for Alfred and Violet find his father’s name so I can link them up. After that I want to find out if any other MITCHELLs migrated from Hampshire to Sussex.

Initially these orphans did not seem important, and whilst they aren’t direct ancestors they had some interesting stories to tell which no doubt did impact my direct ancestors, so don’t neglect your orphans.

The 1911 census reveals yet another puzzle

9 Jan

I have been going through my database trying to pick out all the people who I don’t have a 1911 census entry for. I know I should really run a query to do it but that is beside the point, it is good to manually go through the branches of my tree once in a while.

I now have a folder of images that I need to go through and capture all the details and add to the database, then I can run a query and see who I am missing.

One interesting puzzle turned up when I searched for my great-aunt Nellie Caroline MITCHELL. She was born in West Dean, Sussex in 1899. I had previously found most of the family, including my grandfather and great-grandparents in West Dean, but Nellie wasn’t there, and I didn’t think much of it at the time.

Now I have gone back and searched for her I have discovered the eleven year old Nellie as a patient in a home for sick and crippled children at 181 Priory Road, Hastings, Sussex, known as the House of Sacred Compassion.

I know very little about Nellie, I have a marriage for her back at West Dean in 1933 to a Frank CUTLER, so whatever was wrong with Nellie wasn’t fatal, but I have no idea what it was. It appears that she died in the Chichester Registration District in 1977, so she had quite a long life, but there doesn’t appear to have been any children from the marriage.

I can find virtually nothing about the House of Sacred Compassion online, so don’t really know what it was, but I assume it was a religious charity set-up to look after sick children. I suspect a visit to the library in Hastings or the East Sussex Record Office is going to be needed to find out more.

In the meantime I am going to have to question my mother and her brothers and sisters to see if they have any recollections of their aunt Nellie Caroline MITCHELL.

Susannah POCOCK: the known facts

16 Nov

Susannah POCOCK is my 3x great-grandmother, and her claim to fame is that she is the only one of my ancestors for which I have been unable trace a set of parents.

The purpose of this post is to put out the known facts about Susannah POCOCK in the hope that someone somewhere knows who here parents were, or that someone has an idea where to go next.

Although I am using the christian name Susannah, she has also been recorded under the christian name Susan and Susanna, although Susannah has been most commonly used.

The earliest reference I have to Susannah is her marriage in New Alresford, Hampshire on the 16th January 1832 to William MITCHELL. Both were living in the parish of New Alresford at the time, William was a bachelor and Susannah was a spinster.

The two witnesses at the marriage were Ann WESTWOOD and John LOCKETT. William MITCHELL’s mother’s maiden name was LOCKETT, so I believe that John LOCKETT was almost certainly a relative of William. Ann WESTWOOD was probably Ann LOCKETT who married Richard WESTWOOD in January 1816, so again probably another relative from the MITCHELL side.

Susannah appears in six census returns from 1841 to 1891, in Exton, Hampshire. The 1841 census information is not as precise as later years, because of the rounding of the individual’s age and the question asked about the place of birth. However the later years do provide more useful data.

Census Year Age Place of Birth Calculated Year of Birth
1841 30* Hampshire 1807-11
1851 43 Micheldever, Hampshire 1808
1861 55 Micheldever, Hampshire 1806
1871 62 Micheldever, Hampshire 1809
1881 72 Micheldever, Hampshire 1809
1891 83 Micheldever, Hampshire 1808

*her actual age could have been anywhere between 30 years and 34 years.

All this data (with the exception of the 1861 census) seems to indicate a birth year of around 1807-09 and almost certainly in the parish of Micheldever.

According to the GRO Death Index Susannah died in Q2 1898 in Droxfield Registration District aged 90, pointing to a birth year around 1808. She was buried on the 28th April 1898 at Exton, Hampshire. The entry in the burial register gives her age as 90 years, so once again giving a birth year around 1808.

So all this data points to the fact that Susannah POCOCK was born in Micheldever, Hampshire around 1808. The problem is that there is no record of a baptism in Micheldever for Susannah POCOCK around that time. In fact there is no Susannah POCOCK baptism anywhere in Hampshire around that time. Without a baptism record I am unlikely to find out who her parents were.

The Hampshire Genealogical Society (HGS) Baptism Index only records the baptism of two Susannah POCOCKs, one in 1785 and another in 1827. There don’t appear to have been any POCOCK baptisms in Micheldever during the years covered by the index.

The HGS Baptism Index only includes Church of England baptisms, so there is the possibility that Susannah’s parents may have been non-conformists, but there was no non-conformist chapel in Micheldever around that time. If they were non-conformists then they could have worshipped almost anywhere in the county.

So where does this leave me, I have three other leads to explore, which I will detail over the next few days. It is probably worth me following up the names of the witnesses at the marriage of William and Susannah, to prove that they were both on the MITCHELL side of the family.

It might also be worth searching the registers of all non-conformist chapels close to Micheldever and then gradually working further out. Also there is a possibility that the baptism in 1827 could have been a late baptism for my Susannah, so I should try and rule that one out of the equation as well.

If anyone has any other suggestions then please let me know, all suggestions are welcomed, although there are very few avenues that I haven’t already explored.

Two birth certificates arrive

12 Oct

The two birth certificates that I ordered last week arrived today and they were both as I expected. Whilst it is re-assuring that I was able to identify the correct spouses for two of my 4x great grandfathers, it does mean that in effect I didn’t actually need to order them.

The first one was the birth certificate of William GEERING my 3x great grandfather, this confirmed that his mother was Eliza RICHARDSON. He was born on the 21st August 1843 and the only other useful piece of information on the certificate was that he was born in the parish of St John under the Castle, Lewes, Sussex.

The second certificate was the birth of Alfred George MITCHELL in Bolney, Sussex on the 23rd February 1841. This confirmed that his and his sister (my 3x great grandmother) Harriet’s mother was Mary SMITH. There wasn’t really anything else of use on that certificate.

Although I had to buy these two certificates to confirm the identity these two of my 4x great grandmothers, it does feel a bit of waste, as I already knew pretty much all that was on them. Still, I have been able to follow up on Eliza RICHARDSON and identify her baptism and her parent’s marriage as well, so that makes me feel a little bit better about it.

On the way home with two of my 4x great grandparents

10 Oct

After about four hours at Hampshire Record Office in Winchester, Hampshire I am back on the train again making my way home, mentally trying to make sense of what I found.

The Hampshire Record Office, Winchester, Hampshire

The Hampshire Record Office, Winchester, Hampshire

I found all the information I was looking for with the WRIGHT family, but then I was only double checking most of it. I have written about this WRIGHT family before and the confusion that surrounds whether Henry and Sarah Ann were in fact married. As I need to find their parents for my Christmas Tree Project it is time to try again and solve this puzzle.

Both Henry and Sarah Ann WRIGHT were buried in Alton, Hampshire, but checking the monumental inscriptions for the parish it doesn’t look like their gravestone has survived, if there ever was one.

The MITCHELL side of things went quite well, I now have William MITCHELL’s parents (John MITCHELL and Elizabeth LOCKETT) and some details of William’s siblings. The family were where I was expecting them, in New Alresford and latterly in Old Alresford. I think I have found John MITCHELL’s parents (John and Olive MITCHELL) there as well, so that takes me back another generation.

The POCOCK side of things was not so straight forward, and I am still left with no parents for Susannah POCOCK, it doesn’t appear that she was baptised in Hampshire (according to the Hampshire Baptism Index), and certainly not Micheldever.

There is an elderly POCOCK couple living in New Alresford (or was it Old Alresford) who seem to be the only POCOCKs for miles around. My instincts tell me that this couple (Richard and Mary) are Susannah’s parents.

They don’t appear to have been married in Hampshire (according to the Hampshire Marriage Index) and Mary’s place of birth on the census was Lambeth, Surrey. So when I get home I will be searching for POCOCK marriages and baptisms in Surrey and Sussex.

All in all it was a successful trip, so far the trains have gone according to plan and the weather has stayed dry, despite a few threatening clouds. I have added two more 4x great grandparents to my Christmas Tree Project so I feel this morning’s optimism was justified.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 119 other followers

%d bloggers like this: