Having left the WRENs behind for now, I moved over to West Sussex to have a quick look at the parents of my 2x great grandmother Caroline TARGETT who married James BOXALL at West Dean, Sussex in April 1876.
Caroline appears to have been an only child, her birth was registered in Q4 1856 in the Westhampnett Registration District and she was baptised at Singleton, Sussex on the 11th January 1857. Both the baptism and the birth registration give her name as Emily Caroline TARGETT although all subsequent records have her as Caroline.
Her parents were William TARGETT and Ruth HILTON, who were married in Q3 1856 in the Chichester Registration District. The International Genealogical Index says that it was in the parish of Heyshott, but I still need to order the marriage certificate because it doesn’t give the father’s names on the IGI.
I think I have found William’s parents, he was probably the son of William and Charlotte TARGETT and was baptised in Singleton on the 1st November 1818. Ruth’s parents are not obvious, so I really need to get a copy of the marriage certificate (or find the parish register) before I can go any further back on her side.
Observant readers will have noticed the very short gap between her parent’s marriage and the baptism of Caroline, but this is not the most interesting bit of scandal here. The 1861, 1871 and 1881 census all point to the fact that Ruth was about twenty years younger than William. I know it is a bit of cliché, but I am going to say it anyway, William was old enough to be her father.
I expect I will never know for certain what the circumstances were that brought these two individuals together, although I think the birth of Caroline so soon after their marriage is a pretty good indicator. I would like to say that it was a case of true love bridging the age gap, but more than likely it was a case of William doing the decent thing and marrying the young women he had got pregnant.
This is certainly another story that warrants further investigation, aside from just finding out who Ruth’s parents were. Still at least this pair of 3x great grandparents got married and they left me some evidence to follow up, unlike some others I could mention.