Tag Archives: shornden

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.

The birth certificate for Henry SHORNDEN arrives

24 Oct

The birth certificate for Henry SHAWNDEN (probably Henry SHORNDEN later WRIGHT) arrived today. Another pretty quick turn around from the GRO considering there have been two 24 hour postal strikes this week.

As usual the certificate brings with it as many questions as answers. Henry was the son of Henry and Sarah (possibly Sarah Ann) SHORNDEN (my 3x great grandparents) and he is the eldest child I have been able to trace a birth registration and baptism for.

Henry was born on the 10th January 1842 in Alton, Hampshire and his birth was registered on the 25th January 1842. He was baptised in Alton on the 6th February 1842. When his birth was registered the surname was spelt SHAWNDEN and when he was baptised it was spelt SHORDEN.

Within a couple of years the surname WRIGHT was being used for Henry’s brothers and sisters. Initially in combination with the surname SHORNDEN (or variants thereof) and then on its own. In the 1851 census the family are listed as WRIGHT. I have not yet traced many of the children in later years to find out what surnames they used when they got older.

The name of Henry’s mother is given as Sarah SHAWNDEN formerly LAY, and that is probably the key piece of information to take away from this certificate. This not only tells me that Sarah’s maiden name was LAY, but it also implies that Henry and Sarah were married after all.

This gives me another name to use to search for a marriage, baptisms of their two older children (including my 2x great grandmother), their whereabouts in the 1841 census, birth registrations and a marriage entry in the GRO Indexes.

Only slightly worrying thing is that Henry’s father’s occupation is given as bricklayers laborer which is not what I was expecting. Henry’s baptism entry has his father recorded as a cutler, this puts the seed of doubt in my mind, whether I have the right people, but I am pretty certain that this is the correct family, because of the overlap or combination of surnames for later baptisms.

I suspect that Henry’s father did whatever he could to earn a living. In the 1844 edition of Pigot’s Hampshire Directory he is listed as a cutler and grinder, but in later years he is a chimney sweep and a lodging house keeper. I suspect one job wasn’t enough for Henry’s father to support the family, so he did whatever he could to bring in some money.

The birth itself was registered by Henry’s mother Sarah, she couldn’t sign her name so just made her mark. This is probably the reason why the spelling of the name changed so much, she probably had no idea how to spell it. At least the surname LAY shouldn’t give me too many variations.

So what now? The next step is to search for any marriages for Sarah LAY and Henry SHORNDEN before 1842, also search for baptisms and birth registrations for the two children possibly under the surname LAY instead of SHORNDEN or WRIGHT. I am not sure what to look for in the 1841 census or where. I think it is safe to assume somewhere in the south of England, but possibly not necessarily confined to Kent or Hampshire.

At least I feel as if I am making some progress now, another piece of the puzzle slots into place. I would be interested to see what the other birth certificates say, whether the spellings and details changed depending on who was actually registering the birth, but with another seven children registered after Henry that is not the sort of thing I can really afford to do, just to satisfy my curiosity.

Christmas Tree Project Update

19 Oct

Most of my work last week was focused on trying to find the 4x great grandparents for my Christmas Tree Project. All in all it was quite successful, but I have still have quite a bit of work to do.

The present state of play is that I am still missing four individuals, there are another three 4x great grandmothers where I have no maiden name for, only a married name, and there are a couple of connections I have made that are not as strong as I would have liked (like the parents of Ellen NICHOLLS).

The missing individuals are the parents of Susannah POCOCK, and the parents of Sarah Ann the wife of Henry SHORNDEN.

I don’t know Sarah Ann’s maiden name, I thought she was the SHORNDEN and Henry was the WRIGHT, but I have since found that to be wrong. Now I need to find out if Sarah Ann was the WRIGHT.

Logic would suggest that if they didn’t use Henry’s surname, then they used Sarah Ann’s instead, but logic and the WRIGHT/SHORNDEN family don’t seem to sit together well in the same sentence.

Tonight I have ordered a copy of the birth certificate for Henry SHAWNDEN, who I believe was the first of their children to be registered and baptised in Alton, Hampshire in the first quarter of 1842.

This promises to be the most eagerly awaited birth certificate yet (apart from my illegitimate grandfather’s one). If I were a betting man I would put my money on Sarah Ann being a WRIGHT, but then again I wouldn’t be surprised if I lost it all.

I just hope that the Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union settle their differences quickly so my certificate doesn’t get held up in the post too long.

I am going off the SHORNDEN family

17 Oct

I really am starting to go off the SHORNDEN family. Apologies to any SHORNDENs reading this, but they are my ancestors too so I think I am allowed to get annoyed with them.

Not only does it look like Henry SHORNDEN was a criminal and changed his name and moved to Hampshire, but it is beginning to feel like he did it with the intention of making my research as difficult as possible.

Several things are starting to annoy me. Like why can’t I find the family in the 1841 census, there should be four of them at least, Henry and Sarah (possibly his wife) and their two children Mary Ann and Harriet.

And why was Henry’s sister Marianne baptised twice? First on the 31st July 1808 as the daughter of William and Ann SHORNDEN and then again on the 25th December 1808 as the “spurious” daughter of Ann SHORNDEN. Did William deny she was his daughter?

Why can’t I find a birth registration for Harriet? What happened to Mary Ann after the 1851 census? I have a baptism in Ospringe, Kent for Mary-Ann Hannah SHORNDEN in 1836, could this be Henry and Sarah’s first daughter? Well possibly, but her parents are given as William and Sarah, was Henry also known as William? Had he already started changing his name by then?

I know I need to go to Kent and look for some answers, but I don’t trust the information I already have. I think I will trade-in this family for a better one. A nice family that stayed put in the same parish, knew how to spell their name and didn’t get up to anything naughty or illegal. Anyone want to swap?

Did Henry SHORNDEN change his name to hide his criminal past?

15 Oct

I have been trying to make sense of some of my notes from the London Family History Centre today, in particular I was trying to work out what was going on with Henry SHORNDEN/WRIGHT.

While I think I have located Henry’s baptism in Ospringe, Kent I would like to prove a connection between Henry SHORNDEN in Kent and Henry WRIGHT in Hampshire, other than the fact that some of his children were baptised and registered under the surname of SHORNDEN or some other variant.

I thought I would try a search on Ancestry.co.uk on the Criminal Registers they released earlier this year. I searched for Henry SHORNDEN and only one result came up. A 28-year-old called Henry SHORNDEN was tried at the County Sessions at Maidstone, Kent on the 4th January 1838. My Henry SHORNDEN would have been 28 in 1838 and he was last heard of in Kent (he first turns up again in Hampshire in 1842), this has to be my 3x great grandfather.

His crime was larceny, of which he was found guilty and was imprisoned for 12 months. To me this seems a perfect reason for him to move away from him home and change his name once he got out, to try and hide his past.

So now I need to find out what it was he actually did, whether there was any mention of a family and where he went to prison. Perhaps he was imprisoned in Hampshire, which is why he ended up in that part of the world? I still haven’t done anything about finding out more about Wybrants KINGHORN’s criminal activities, and now I have another criminal in my tree to investigate.

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