Tag Archives: birth certificate

Two birth certificates arrive

12 Oct

The two birth certificates that I ordered last week arrived today and they were both as I expected. Whilst it is re-assuring that I was able to identify the correct spouses for two of my 4x great grandfathers, it does mean that in effect I didn’t actually need to order them.

The first one was the birth certificate of William GEERING my 3x great grandfather, this confirmed that his mother was Eliza RICHARDSON. He was born on the 21st August 1843 and the only other useful piece of information on the certificate was that he was born in the parish of St John under the Castle, Lewes, Sussex.

The second certificate was the birth of Alfred George MITCHELL in Bolney, Sussex on the 23rd February 1841. This confirmed that his and his sister (my 3x great grandmother) Harriet’s mother was Mary SMITH. There wasn’t really anything else of use on that certificate.

Although I had to buy these two certificates to confirm the identity these two of my 4x great grandmothers, it does feel a bit of waste, as I already knew pretty much all that was on them. Still, I have been able to follow up on Eliza RICHARDSON and identify her baptism and her parent’s marriage as well, so that makes me feel a little bit better about it.

Another birth certificate arrives, but doesn’t really help

18 Sep

Great excitement usually accompanies the arrival of certificate from the GRO (well at least for me anyway) and today was no exception. The envelope contained the birth certificate for William GEERING my 2x great grandfather.

William was born in Lewes, Sussex in 1868 that much I knew already, more precisely it was on the 24th August 1868 in Sun Street, Lewes. Sun Street is an address I hadn’t come across before in my research, but apart from the exact date and place the reason I wanted this certificate was to find out his mother’s name/maiden name.

I had previously been unable to locate a marriage in the GRO Indexes for William’s parents, and with a name like GEERING it should have been easy. I hoped that having his mother’s maiden name would help in the search, but so far it hasn’t.

In the space for the mother’s name it says Ellen Geering formerly Nicholls. I am pretty certain it says NICHOLLS, it would take quite a stretch of the imagination to make it anything else. So this implies that William’s father (also William) had married Ellen NICHOLLS, but still no entry in the marriage index is forthcoming.

I switched to the census, perhaps I could find Ellen NICHOLLS in the 1861 census (her future husband was unmarried in 1861) but nothing obvious stands out. There is one possible hit in 1851, but that is not really in the right area.

I tried the GRO Birth Index, and again no Ellen NICHOLLS in the right place or time frame, this really is starting to look very mysterious. The 1871, 1881 and 1891 census all give her place of birth as Chiddingstone, Kent and her age is pretty consistent, giving her year of birth around 1848.

So what has gone wrong here? Why is Ellen causing me such a problem? At least I have a maiden name now, but it is a maiden name that I don’t feel I can trust, at least not until I see it in writing somewhere else.

So what next? I need to widen all my searches on both the census and the GRO Indexes, in case one of the pieces of information is wrong and try some different census indexes. I need to visit the East Sussex Record Office and search the parish registers for a marriage entry (maybe it missed the GRO Indexes) and also for any sign of banns for the husband because I am sure he would have been in Lewes.

Such a disappointment to not have all the pieces fit into place, this looks like it could be a major obstacle to finding all my 4x great grandparents. Then again I wouldn’t want things too easy, would I?

Did my 3x great grandparents get married?

11 Sep

One of the things that has been bugging me for a long time is the fact that I don’t have the maiden name for Ellen, my 3x great grandmother.

This came to light again as I was sorting through some census prints the other night, William and Ellen GEERING lived in Lewes, Sussex and it has been quite easy to trace them in the census after their marriage, which was between 1861 and 1871.

I say “after their marriage”, but I can find no entry of a marriage in the GRO marriage indexes for them. I suspect that they didn’t actually get married, but until I have carried out an exhaustive search I can’t say for certain.

I have just ordered the birth for William GEERING (my 2x great grandfather) who I believe from the 1871 census was their first child, born in Q3 1868 in the Lewes Registration District. This should give me his mother’s maiden name, but may not help prove whether they were married or not.

This will give me another name to search in the marriage indexes and also in the parish registers for Lewes. Also it should mean I can trace Ellen’s birth and her identify her parents.

It also gives me something to look forward to next week, the arrival of an envelope from the GRO, hopefully containing some answers.

Better news with a marriage certificate, but more confusion

6 Jun

The disappointment which accompanied Harriet WRIGHTs incorrect birth certificate was reduced slightly by the arrival of the marriage certificate for William GEERING and Emily GREEN. They were married on the 29th June 1890 at the parish church of Sutton cum Seaford, Sussex.

I needed their marriage certificate to identify Emily’s parents, my 3x great grandparents. Previously I hadn’t been able to confidently identify her parents, there were a couple of options, so I had to bite the bullet and order the certificate.

Now I know that Emily’s father was William GREEN, and from this I have discovered that her mother was probably Charlotte TEMPLEMAN, both were from Seaford. There is however one troubling problem….

The ages shown on the marriage certificate for both bride and groom were different from the ages given on census returns, both before and after their marriage. Normally I would trust the marriage certificate over a census return, but in this case the census returns are pretty consistent across the years.

The marriage in 1890 gives their ages as 21 (for William) and 20 (for Emily). Their census ages in 1891 were 23 and 27 respectively. I did wonder whether the ages 21 and 20 were simply indicating whether they were “of full age” or not, implying that Emily was under 21, but if anything they would be the other way around.

The baptism record for Emily GREEN (daughter of William and Charlotte GREEN) shows she was baptised at St Leonard’s Church, Seaford on the 20th January 1862, and that she was born on the 17th December 1861. So Emily was nearer 29 years old when she married, not 20. Curiously though I can’t find a birth entry in the GRO BMD indexes.

I clearly need to do more work on both the bride and her parents to satisfy myself that I am looking at the correct individuals, although I am pretty confident that they are the correct couple. I especially need to check the parish register for the marriage entry, to see if an error has occurred on the certificate.

A disappointing search for Miss WRIGHT

5 Jun

I was quite excited when I realised that Harriet WRIGHTs birth certificate had arrived today, but this soon turned to disappointment when I discovered that it wasn’t my Harriet WRIGHT (not unless some serious name changing has gone on).

The certificate I ordered turned out to be for Harriet the daughter of James and Tammy WRAIGHT, born 17th September 1839 in Faversham, Kent. The date and registration district looked correct for my Harriet, and the WRAIGHT could well have been a variant of WRIGHT.

Like I said unless there has been some serious name changing going on, which I very much doubt, this is not my 2x great grandmother. So I am going to have to re-think my next step. I was hoping to follow this up with a visit (to Canterbury or London) to check the parish registers for a baptism, but unless I can find some more information on this family I have nothing much to go on yet.

Time to review the evidence and start delving into the 1841 census again, spreading my search wider, and doing the same on FreeBMD as well. I am sure there is nothing unusual about this family, just that they didn’t know how to spell their names!

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