After my quick trip to Worthing Library last Tuesday I made my way back along the coast to Brighton and then on to Lewes, to the East Sussex Record Office.
I had several look ups to do here, such as the marriage entry for Thomas RUSSELL and Caroline GILES, but my main goal was to try and find the marriage of my 3x great grandparents William GEERING and Ellen NICHOLLS.
This is the marriage that doesn’t appear to be in the GRO Marriage Indexes, and I thought I would try the parish registers for Lewes just in case for whatever reason it never made it to the GRO Indexes.
Several parishes make up the town of Lewes, and I didn’t try them all, so there is a possibility that they were married in one of the others, perhaps they were non-conformists, perhaps they married somewhere else in Sussex, perhaps somewhere in Kent, perhaps somewhere in England, perhaps… I think you get the idea.
They could have married just about anywhere or they may never have got married at all. I could spend the rest of my life searching for that marriage. Lewes was my best chance of a quick answer, but having turned up nothing there I feel that I should move on. I have no problem with William, his father was Richard GEERING and he was born in Lewes.
Ellen NICHOLLS is the problem. I have pretty consistent data from the census which points to her being born in Chiddingstone, Kent around 1847 +/- 1 year. The problem is that I can’t find an entry in the GRO Birth Indexes for Ellen in the right place (Sevenoaks Registration District), and I can’t seem to find her in the 1851 or 1861 census.
My best hope lies with the baptism register for Chiddingstone, Kent but I really don’t feel that I can trust any of the information that I have already. Maybe she lied about her age, maybe her surname was spelt differently, perhaps she grew up in Chiddingstone, but was born elsewhere and maybe her first name wasn’t actually Ellen but some other spelling variant or something else completely different.
Ellen NICHOLLS is the closest thing I have to a brick wall at the moment, but there are still several things I can try before declaring her a brick wall. For starters I can order the birth certificates for her other children. I already have the certificate for their first child, my 2x great grandfather William GEERING, but perhaps later registrars got a different answer to their questions.