Tag Archives: worthing library

The TARGETT/HILTON story – Part Three: Where next?

4 Oct

Really this is no longer TARGETT/HILTON story, but just HILTON or SAUNDERS/HILTON story because the TARGETT side of the equation seems quite normal.

If truth I am unlikely to find out any more about the relationship between William TARGETT and Ruth HILTON before their marriage, although there may be something in the parish records that suggests that William was urged (or forced) to take responsibility for his actions and do the decent thing and marry Ruth.

I still need to find William and his parents in the census, prior to his marriage and unless they happen to have been living next door to Ruth HILTON there is probably nothing else that will provide a connection between the two.

The HILTON side is more interesting, and more of a challenge. Having no ages or parents names for Ruth HILTON’s parents is going to make things awkward, but there are still other places to look for clues.

I don’t expect to find a marriage for Ruth’s parents, at least not to each other. There is of course the chance that one or other of them died around the time of Ruth’s birth, which is why they never married, so I need to check for burials and in the GRO Death Index.

I would hope to find some mention of Ruth and her mother Eliza in the parish records for Duncton, Sussex. It seems likely that Duncton parish would have had to support Eliza if she or Ruth’s father were unable to provide for the child. So I need to check to see if there are any overseers records amongst the papers for Duncton parish.

My best bet however it to try and find Ruth in the 1841 and 1851 census. Hopefully she will be living with either one of the parents, or perhaps grandparents. In an ideal world Ruth would have been living with her mother in one census and her father in the other, but the chances of that seem very slim.

If that doesn’t provide me with enough clues, then I need to try and find Richard SAUNDERS and Eliza HILTON in the 1841 and 1851 Census. If Ruth is not with them then it is not going to be possible to say for certain they are the right people. Fortunately the names are not particularly common so it might be possible to produce a small list of likely suspects and narrow them down one by one.

This is going to take some carefully research, but I am confident that it will be possible to take both of these lines back further. I would be interested to see if there is a history of naughty young girls in the HILTON family, or whether there was some respectability amongst the earlier generations.

The TARGETT/HILTON story – Part Two: The baptism of Ruth HILTON

2 Oct

I have already mentioned that the other record I wanted to look up at Worthing Library was the baptism record for Ruth HILTON. I had found a very likely entry on the International Genealogical Index (IGI) and wanted to confirm all the details and fill in the missing data.

There was something curious about the entry on the IGI, the baptism date was given as 1837, just 1837, no day or month. I felt that it was probably a transcription error, but couldn’t understand quite how such a glaring error could have slipped through.

Ruth was baptised in the parish of Duncton, Sussex which ties in with one of the census entries I have found so far. When I loaded the microfiche I soon found that the entry on the IGI was correct, only the year had been entered in the date section.

Worse still, but not for me fortunately, the next baptism had no date at all. It looks like Ruth only got the year because she was at the top of a new page. The previous entry was from the 12th March 1837 and the one after the one with no date was from the 6th August 1837.

I would not be surprised if a date was missing from one of the early general registers, but after 1813 there was a printed page to fill in with all the relevant information, so it should have been obvious at the time that something was missing.

Apart from that the baptism record was quite normal, normal that is for someone who was illigitimate. Underneath the name Ruth was the word illigit and only Ruth’s mother’s name was given, Eliza HILTON. The occupation was entered as labourer, and I am guessing this refers to the father’s occupation not Eliza’s.

So using both the baptism and the marriage record I have both parents names, but that is all I have, no clue as to how old they were, whether they were ever married or remained single or where they came from.

The TARGETT/HILTON story – Part One: The marriage of William TARGETT and Ruth HILTON

1 Oct

I wrote the other day about William TARGETT and Ruth HILTON, the age difference between them and the closeness of their marriage to the baptism of their only daughter Caroline (or Emily Caroline). I felt there was an interesting story here waiting to be investigated, and in any case I needed to do more work to establish who their parents were (my 4x great grandparents).

The two parish records I checked at Worthing Library on Tuesday certainly shed more light on the situation, or rather added more fuel to the fire. Both records were on the International Genealogical Index at familysearch.org, but neither entry gave the full details that I needed.

First up was the marriage of William and Ruth in the parish of Heyshott, Sussex on the 27th September 1856. The first piece of new evidence was their ages; William was 37 years old and Ruth was only 19. So the census had been pretty accurate and my calculations were right, William was nearly twenty years older than Ruth.

I was not surprised to find that William was a bachelor and Ruth a spinster. William’s occupation was given as labourer, so again there was nothing unusual there.

It was the father’s details for the couple that proved the most interesting. William’s father was also William, and his occupation was also labourer. This pretty much confirmed what I had already suspected, William was the son of William and Charlotte TARGETT.

Ruth’s father’s details were in one respect what I had expected in that his surname wasn’t HILTON but SAUNDERS. Ruth HILTON’s father was Richard SAUNDERS and he was also a labourer. I had my suspicions that Ruth might be illegitimate when I found a baptism record that seemed to fit and it only gave a mother’s name. To be honest I had half expected to find her father’s name and occupation left blank in the register.

So although this is not an ideal situation for me. I have very little to work on to link Ruth’s mother and father together, but it could be worse, at least I have a father’s name to work with. The possible baptism for Ruth was the other record I wanted to check down at Worthing, to see if that might provide further clues.

A visit to the seaside on my day off (or rather a visit to a library near the seaside)

29 Sep

One of these days I am going to take a day off work and not get up the same time as I would if I was going to work. Still it gave me the opportunity to confuse the bus driver by going in the opposite direction to the way I would normally be going.

I know I was supposed to be heading to the East Sussex Record Office at Lewes, East Sussex, but I needed to do a couple of look ups in Worthing as well. So instead of jumping on a bus heading east out of Brighton, I jumped on one headed west.

Worthing Pier in the sunshine

Worthing Pier in the sunshine

Worthing Library was featured in the latest series of Who Do You Think You Are? and for good reason. In my opinion it has the best local studies collection of any of the West Sussex libraries and today it was more convenient (cheaper and quicker) for me than visiting the West Sussex Record Office at Chichester.

Not only did I find the two entries in the parish registers I was after, but I also came away with a copy of Wills and Other Probate Records by Karen Grannum and Nigel Taylor. This book published by The National Archives in 2004 had been withdrawn for sale for some reason (perhaps it has been republished since) and cost me just £2, a real bargain and something to read on the bus heading back to Brighton and Lewes.

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