I ordered a copy of the marriage certificate for quite specific reasons. In the big scheme of things it was not that important, there were no big mysteries to be solved. If anything it was more about establishing my personal connection with Brighton, Sussex. It has always surprised my that Brighton has not played a bigger part in the lives of my ancestors, but so far my family connections with the city have been few and far between.
Personally I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Brighton. It is the closest city to where I live, and as such provides many facilities that I need to access from time to time (such as the Brighton History Centre) and acts as a transport hub with buses and trains heading across the country, but Brighton is usually far too busy for my liking, especially at this time of year.
But that’s enough about me, back to my ancestors. Henry BATEMAN married Dorothy Isabella KINGHORN on the 9th November 1881 at St. Peter’s Church, Brighton, Sussex. Henry was 22 years old and he was a groom, nothing surprising there, every other record I have seems to have his as a groom, stableman or coachman.
Dorothy was 27 years old and had no occupation shown. Neither of them had been married before and the marriage took place after banns had been read. The only possible mystery comes from the name of one of the witnesses, Mary Ann WATKINS. I have no idea who she was or whether she was related to either Henry or Dorothy, but I guess if she is a relation I will discover her identity in due course. The other witness was Dorothy’s brother Graham (actually Abraham Graham) KINGHORN.
The only surprise was that they were both living at separate addresses. Henry was at 58 Hanover Street and Dorothy was at 47 Jersey Street. I had expected to find them living at the same address, but I guess I was wrong. It was my impression that they had moved together from Spratton, Northamptonshire to Brighton after Dorothy became pregnant, perhaps they were still trying to maintain at least some impression of decency and doing the right thing. In the 1881 census Dorothy’s brother Graham was living at 79 Hanover Street, which probably explains why they were in that particular part of Brighton.
This certificate has proved quite useful, I now have several things I need to do to follow up the information provided on the certificate:
- Visit St. Peter’s Church and get some photographs.
- Visit 58 Hanover Street and 47 Jersey Street and get some photographs.
- Search the parish registers for St. Peter’s Church for the dates of the banns.
- Search the parish registers for St. Peter’s Church for the baptisms of their children.
- Check Brighton street directories to see who else was living at 58 Hanover Street and 47 Jersey Street.
Also this certificate has given me a definite connection with Brighton, and one of it’s most famous landmarks, St. Peter’s Church. Every time I go past it on the bus, or get off of the bus there to make my way to Brighton railway station I will be able to look at it knowing that my 2x great-grandparents were married there.