Tag Archives: newdigate

Time never stands stills in genealogy

26 Jan

Whilst going through my files and getting everything up to date I turned my attention to the SUMMERFIELD family. The family connection is through another TROWER, this time it was Martha, who was sister of Mercy and Mary, who I have mentioned many times already.

It didn’t seem that long ago that I last did some research on James and Martha (although I see it was back in May 2008 that I visited Felbridge, Surrey in search of gravestones), but so much more information is available online now in such a short time, that my research has been left behind.

Starting with their marriage, although James was from Rusper, Sussex and Martha was from Henfield, Sussex the marriage took place in London (it looks like Martha must have been working up in London). Previously I only had the GRO BMD index reference for the marriage, but now of course the London Parish Registers are available on Ancestry.co.uk, including the entry for James and Martha.

The 1911 census has added even more information to their stories. In 1911 they were living in Newdigate, Surrey with their two children Sidney Ambrose (born 1894) and Raymond James (born 1907). The census also revealed that there had been another child who had died by the time of the census, so I have added the task of find him/her to my to-do list.

The eldest son Sidney Ambrose was killed during the First World War, although apparently not whilst on active service. Fortunately his service record survived and is now available on Ancestry.co.uk, although as you can see below it didn’t escape unscathed.

Burnt Documents

It is not going to be easy to pick out the details from these scraps of paper, but it is going onto my to-do list. Hopefully I can find out the details surrounding Sidney’s death.

There are still the updated GRO BMD indexes to search on Ancestry.co.uk, hopefully they will enable me to find descendants of the surviving son Raymond James (possibly even living descendants), another item for the to-do list.

I was surprised that so much more needs to be added to my family tree in such a short time, and it worries me what else needs updating. It also makes me think I need to establish some sort of regular review, either once each new database goes online or after a fixed period of time.

My to-do list goes out the window

5 Jan

Well it hasn’t quite yet, but I did get rather distracted yesterday and almost completely forgot about what I was supposed to be doing. It was inevitable that something more interesting would come up, and it did.

I decided to make a late Christmas present to myself of a six month subscription to the 1911 census on findmypast.co.uk. I knew I had plenty of relations (and a few ancestors) to find, but wasn’t really expecting to find anything out of the ordinary.

A couple of interesting things turned up which I wasn’t expecting, like the fact that Thomas DRIVER my 2x great-grandfather re-married after the death of his first wife. His first wife Ellen VINALL died in 1899 and he married Harriett DEACON in 1908, something that I probably wouldn’t have found out otherwise.

The biggest surprise of all was the re-appearance of my 3x great-aunt Mary TROWER. She is the only one of the thirteen children of Henry and Jane TROWER (my 3x great-grandparents) of Henfield, Sussex, who I had not been able to “kill off”.

She had fallen of the radar after the 1881 census, where she had been working as a nurse at Colney Hatch Lunatic Asylum. I had no idea what she did after that, did she marry? Did she have any children? Did she leave the country? When did she die?

Now I know a bit more. She turned up in 1911 at her brother-in-law and sister’s (James and Martha SUMMERFIELD) house in Newdigate, Surrey. She was a widow and her married name was MARX (once again I am blessed with an uncommon surname).

It didn’t take long to find her marriage in 1884 to Emanuel MARX. According to the 1891 census he was a commercial traveller from Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Emanuel died at the end of 1891, and by the 1901 census Mary is on her own down at Brighton, Sussex. Everything suggests there weren’t any children.

As the couple were married in Pancras Registration District I expected to find them in the London Parish Registers at Ancestry.co.uk, but they are nowhere to be found. I suspect this means it wasn’t a Church of England marriage, the easiest way to find out will be to order a copy of the marriage certificate.

So at last I know when Mary died as well. Her death was registered in Reigate Registration District in Q3 1918, but I am not sure if she would still have been with the SUMMERFIELD family at the time. It would be interesting to get her death certificate to see where exactly she was and perhaps locate her place of burial.

I am glad I bought that subscription to the 1911 census, it has answered a long standing question, which I had actually forgotten about, so it was well worth the money on that count alone.

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