Tag Archives: shornden

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.

Have I found the marriage of Henry SHORNDEN and Sarah LAY?

25 Oct

Having just discovered the maiden name of Henry SHORNDEN’s wife, the next step was to use this information to try and find a marriage for Henry SHORNDEN and Sarah LAY.

It didn’t take long to find a likely marriage in the GRO BMD marriage index, the problem is that it shouldn’t have been in the marriage index.

Both Henry SHORNDEN and Sarah LAY were amongst those individuals married in Q4 1840 in the Gravesend Registration District. The International Genealogical Index has an entry for the marriage, which confirms that they were married to each other on the 25th December 1840 at Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Milton by Gravesend, Kent.

The problem is that according to the 1851 census there were two children born before the 25th December 1840, including my 2x great grandmother Harriet.

This raises several questions, such as it this the correct marriage? If it is then were the two children’s parents Henry and Sarah, or was one of them married previously? There are many possibilities, the two children may even be adopted.

The next step will be to check the marriage details, and see if I confirm that this is the correct marriage. Probably the easiest way to do this will be to order the marriage certificate, but I could also try and get hold of a copy of the marriage register entry.

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