Tag Archives: ospringe

Opening a can of worms at the London Family History Centre

25 May

Help! I really opened a can of worms when I started looking into the WRIGHT family in Alton, Hampshire at the London Family History Centre this weekend.

I had only been able to find GRO birth index references for a few of the younger children of Henry and Sarah WRIGHT in Alton Registration District. From the census I knew that the family had started in Kent, so I assumed the older children were registered there or somewhere in between Kent and Hampshire.

What I discovered when I started searching the Alton baptism register was surprising to say the least. Almost every child had a slightly different surname! I was sure they were the correct family because everything else tied up with what I already knew.

I had to go through the microfilm twice to make sure I had picked up all the baptisms. The first time I was just looking for the surname WRIGHT, the second time it was a case of carefully checking the other names and occupations. It didn’t help that the handwriting was rather smaller and indistinct, so some of the letters were not clear. The surnames I found were WRIGHT, SHORDEN, WRIGHT-SHALDEN, WRIGHT-SHAWADEN and WRIGHT otherwise SHORDEN.

My next step was to check the Ospringe baptisms, under a variety of different names and spellings, but the closest I could find was a Mary-Ann Hannah SHORNDEN in 1836. She could be their first child, but her fathers name is William not Henry.

Likewise the Ospringe marriages didn’t really come up with any likely marriages. There was a marriage of George WRAIGHT to Sarah COULTER in November 1836, where the witnesses were John and Lucy WREIGHT.

So where does that leave my search for my WRIGHT ancestors. Well, it explains why I have been unable to find them in the 1841 census yet. I don’t know what name to look for! Armed with another batch of names and spellings I hope I could find them, even if it means going through the census for Alton, Hampshire and Ospringe, Kent page by page.

I have however located a GRO birth index entry for Harriet WRAIGHT in Q4 1839 in Faversham District, which is a good match for my 2x great grandmother. I can now go ahead and order her birth certificate, that should make interesting reading to say the least.

For now I will wait until I have these two records before I start speculating on why they had such a variety of surnames!

Struggling with my WRIGHT ancestors

17 May

After yesterday’s marathon family history session I have taken it easy today, in fact I didn’t really get started until the afternoon. So this afternoon I have been focusing on my WRIGHT ancestors.

One of my remaining gaps from my challenge to find all my 3x great grandparents was the missing maiden name for Sarah the wife Henry WRIGHT, who were the parents of Harriet WRIGHT who later became Harriet MITCHELL when she married William Henry MITCHELL in Exton, Hampshire in 1860.

The problem is that I don’t know where to start looking for the marriage of Henry and Sarah. They surface in Alton, Hampshire from around 1841, although I have not been able to find a 1841 census entry for them anywhere, let alone Alton or Hampshire. By 1841 they should have had at least two children and possibly three.

According to the 1851 census the first child (Mary A.) would have been born around 1836, and the second (Harriet) around 1840. The 1851 census gives the place of birth for both of them as Ospringe, Kent, which is the same as that for Henry (he would have been born around 1811).

Henry’s wife Sarah (her GRO death index entry has her name as Sarah Ann) was ten years younger than him (born around 1821) and her place of birth differs in every census. It could be Harrow, Middlesex (1851), Alton, Hampshire (1861), Lincolnshire (1871), Deptford, Kent (1881) or none of the above!

Doing the maths it looks like Sarah was very young when she had her first child, maybe as young as fifteen or sixteen, so perhaps the marriage didn’t occur until some time later, after or as a result of that first child. Maybe it explains why they moved such a great distance from Kent to Hampshire. Unless of course someone was lying about their age.

So I really am clutching at straws, the marriage (if there was one) would probably have taken place before civil registration and the place of marriage could have been just about anywhere, especially if it was in the bride’s parish.

My only hope seems to be the parish registers for Ospringe, Kent although that seems a bit of a long shot, hopefully I should be able to find out more about Henry’s ancestors even if I don’t find a marriage record or baptism records for his children there. I suspect there is a can of worms contained there, just waiting to opened!

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