Tag Archives: 1841 census

Death certificate of Ann GEERING

16 Apr

It seems every month I describe a certificate I have received as the most important one for my research or the most interesting one. The death certificate of Ann GEERING certainly fits into both categories, as it has given me critical evidence about my GEERINGs.

This has been the only certificate I have ordered this month, not because of the price increase, but because I wasn’t really sure which, if any, I would need next.

I mentioned the discovery of an Ann GEERING in Lewes, Sussex in the 1841 census in a previous post. This lead me to wonder whether she was my 5x great-grandmother, the wife of James GEERING, who I had previously thought had died much earlier.

The certificate provides enough evidence for me to safely say that Ann was my 5x great-grandmother. Ann GEERING died on the 2nd May 1844 in Lewes, Sussex. The cause of death seems rather unusual to me, paralysis was the official cause, but there is no suggestion as to how this paralysis came about or whether it had been a long term medical condition.

The death was registered by Eliza GEERING of St Johns, Lewes who was present at the death. Eliza is probably my 4x great-grandmother, wife of Richard GEERING. Ann had been living with Richard and Eliza (and their children) in 1841.

The really important piece of information was her occupation, she is described as “Wife of James Geering Chemist”. I have no doubt that this is James GEERING (my 5x great-grandfather) from Hailsham, Sussex. This fact provides me with the link between the GEERINGs in Hailsham and Lewes that I have been looking for.

Now I also have an age at death for Ann, from which I can calculate an approximate year of birth, which I had previously not known. Unfortunately it also raises the question that troubled me in my previous post, why were James and Ann seemingly living apart, and were buried in separate towns? Answers on a postcard pleaseā€¦

Who is the Ann GEERING that I have found in Lewes?

1 Apr

I made another (possibly) significant discovery in my GEERING research, which once again was something that I had previously discovered, but hadn’t quite realised the significance at the time.

My 4x great-grandparents Richard and Eliza GEERING were living in Lewes, Sussex at the time of the 1841 census. Their listing is a bit confusing as the household is arranged in age order, with all the males first, then all the females.

Where you would normally expect to find husband then wife, in this example it is the husband, then eldest son, then next son, etc. As it is the 1841 census there are no relationships shown, but from other sources it is possible to identify everyone, with one exception.

There is a 65 year old woman by the name of Ann GEERING living with the family. Again, being the 1841 census it means that her actual age could be anything from 65 to 69, as it should have been rounded down. The only other piece of information is that she wasn’t born in Sussex.

Richard’s mother would have been Ann GEERING and the Ann in the census would be about the right age. Unfortunately Ann died before 1851, so I can’t find the relationship, marital status, exact age or place of birth from the next census.

Ann was buried in Lewes on the 7th May 1844 and was aged 67, so at least I can work out a rough year of birth. Also, as it is after 1837 I can order a death certificate, which might detail the nature of the relationship with Richard and tell me about her occupation.

There is one problem, that gives me cause to doubt.

If this Ann is the mother of Richard, then why was she in Lewes, when her husband James was still alive and well in Hailsham?

She might have just happened to be visiting on census night, Richard and Eliza also had a two month old daughter, so Ann might have been helping them look after her or the rest of the children. It might be the other way round, did James usually live in Lewes and just happened to be visiting Hailsham on census night.

I could accept this explanation if it wasn’t for the fact that Ann was buried in Lewes, and James (her supposed husband) was buried in Hailsham when he died five years later.

Had there been some sort of disagreement and they were living apart? or was it just a question of the cost of taking James’ body back to Lewes. I shall probably never know, but at least I could order the death certificate for Ann in search of more evidence.

So, not only am I finding new records to investigate, but I am also having to go backwards and retracing my steps by visiting sources that I have already checked.

Searching for the WRIGHT family at the London Family History Centre

14 Oct

Today I was back at the London Family History Centre, trying to fill in a few missing ancestors in my Christmas Tree Project, but most of all trying to put the lid back on the can of worms that I opened there back in May this year.

All in all it was quite a successful day, I think I have added another four or five of my 4x great grandparents, including the parents of Ellen NICHOLLS whose lack of marriage in Lewes, Sussex has been causing me some consternation. Once again though it was the WRIGHT family that has been most surprising.

I have Henry and Sarah (or Sarah Ann) WRIGHT living in Alton, Hampshire from about 1842. Their eight youngest children were baptised and registered in Alton using various surnames: WRIGHT, SHAWNDEN, SHORDEN, WRIGHT SHAWNDEN, SHAWDON WRIGHT and WRIGHT otherwise SHORDEN.

I had taken this as indicating the Henry and Sarah had probably never married, and there was some confusion over whether they should use the father’s name (WRIGHT) or the mother’s name (SHORDEN or some variant thereof).

What I discovered in the Ospringe, Kent parish registers was a baptism on the 1st October 1809 for Henry son of William and Anne SHORNDEN. This was exactly the opposite of what I was expecting, and my many hours of searching the 1841 census for Henry WRIGHT have probably been wasted. Tonight I shall be seeing what comes up for Henry SHORNDEN in the 1841 census.

So this has left me wondering whether Sarah was Sarah WRIGHT, or whether the WRIGHT surname was just plucked out of nowhere for whatever reason. I still couldn’t find a marriage for Henry and Sarah in Ospringe, but I didn’t really expect to. Now I have Henry’s parent’s names (and some siblings for Henry) and hopefully I will be able to find them in the 1841 census (and later), which might enable me to discover more information about the family.

As well as searching for Henry SHORNDEN in the census, I also have a handful of notes that need sorting out, on top of what I still have left from my trip to the Hampshire Record Office last Saturday. Looks like I shall be busy catching up for the next few days.

I should have been filing, but got distracted

16 Sep

Last night I was supposed to be filing, but I couldn’t help adding another pair of 4x great grandparents to my tree. I was looking at me tree wondering when the birth certificate for William GEERING would arrive, when I noticed that I didn’t have parents for William’s father-in-law William GREEN.

It was once again surprisingly easy to find the information I was looking for. There were two William GREENs of the right age in Seaford, Sussex in the 1841 census, so I had to find further evidence of his father’s name. William’s marriage to Charlotte TEMPLEMAN was in 1843 in Seaford, so I thought I would either have to wait for a marriage certificate or until I could get to a record office.

I was check the West Sussex Record Office’s holdings to see if they had the bishop’s transcripts (they do) and noticed that the Seaford marriages are on the International Genealogical Index. That gave me the evidence I needed (I will confirm the entry is correct on the original register eventually), his father’s name was Charles GREEN, that narrowed down my choice and I had his parents in the 1841 and 1851 census.

From the Sussex Marriage Index it looks like Charles GREEN married Mary TUCKNOT in Seaford on the 10th June 1811. Charles was an agricultural labourer, so no surprise there. He was from Seaford, born around 1788. Mary was from nearby Bishopstone and was slightly younger than Charles. So far from the census I have found seven children including William, but like the LEWRYs yesterday I still have some gaps to fill in.

I seem to have quite a few ancestors now from the Seaford area, and I am wondering now if perhaps I should go and pay it a visit this weekend rather than go to a record office. I am sure a visit to the church would be quite productive and I can always go for a walk on the hills to the east if I get bored of the town. In the back of my mind is the thought that as the seasons change my opportunity for going exploring is getting less and less, so I might just seize the opportunity and spend a day exploring Seaford this weekend.

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