To be honest I am not really sure what more I can do, it seems like I have checked every likely record to find a possible marriage, or two possible marriages for Mercy.
I have ordered her son’s marriage certificate, that may give me the name of his father, who may have been the STEADMAN that Mercy was supposed to have married, if not there is another man in her life that I will need to find out about.
The absence of any marriages in England and Wales (according to the GRO indexes) could suggest that the marriage took place elsewhere. There is no obvious sign of Mercy in any online passenger lists, but it may have been that she didn’t travel that far, so possibly Scotland or Ireland.
My searches of the GRO indexes have been confined to searching on FreeBMD. I need to actually check the indexes images in case something was missed in the transcription process, but I doubt it very much.
Likewise I should check with the local register office, just in case the marriage never made it into the main GRO index. The problem is that I don’t really know where the marriages might have taken place. It would guess it would have been in Sussex, in either Henfield or Brighton.
I could search for the death of a STEADMAN between 1884 and 1891, but the number of death certificates I would need to buy would be too expensive. Although I could start locally (Steyning Registration District) and work outwards, but the odds of finding the correct record are not good.
The only way I would know if I had found the right one is if Mercy (or another TROWER) was the informant, but of course I could find the right STEADMAN and not know it was the correct one if someone else had registered the death.
So, I think I will do three things in my attempt to solve the mystery surrounding Mercy’s life:
- Wait for the marriage certificate of Ernest John TROWER to arrive, and hope it provides more clues.
- Check the GRO index images to make sure Mercy’s marriage wasn’t missed in the transcription process.
- Search the local papers (Sussex Daily News and West Sussex County Times) from 1882 to 1891 to see if there is any mention of Mercy and either of her possible husbands.