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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.

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