Tag Archives: reigate

Joseph and Hannah LAY: an update

14 Jan

Following the discovery of a likely baptism record for my 3x great-grandmother Sarah LAY (the wife of Henry SHORNDEN/WRIGHT) I have been poking around looking for more details on her parents Joseph and Hannah LAY.

Things have not been quite as straightforward as I had hoped. I have found a likely couple in the 1841 census, in fact I think they are the only couple of that name in the 1841. The problem is that they are living in Reigate, Surrey with no obvious connection to Deptford, Kent (where Sarah was baptised).

This is not as neat as I would have liked, it doesn’t rule them out, but makes my life a lot harder trying to prove they are the correct parents. This hypothesis ignores the fact that one or both of the parents may have died before 1841. However Deptford and Reigate are only about 20 miles apart, so it is not that long a journey and not completely inconceivable.

The other fly in the ointment is that Joseph and Hannah were married in Reigate in 1824, two years after Sarah’s baptism. Again this doesn’t rule them out and may actually explain why Sarah wasn’t baptised in Reigate. The Vicar at Reigate would presumably known that her parent’s weren’t married.

Joseph and Hannah had several other children in Reigate after they were married. Hannah appears to have died between 1841 and 1851, and Joseph remarried between 1851 and 1861. Joseph’s second marriage could be useful because it was after the start of civil registration, so his marriage certificate should have his father’s name on it, where the parish register recording the first marriage probably won’t.

What I really need to find now is a record that links the Reigate LAYs to Sarah. That might be a witness on a marriage certificate or an informant on a death certificate. It seems unlikely that Joseph or either of his wives would have left a will, but it is worth checking that as well. I certainly need to check the 1841 census for Reigate very carefully just in case Henry and Sarah SHORNDEN/WRIGHT is hiding in there.

Another day spent walking

28 Jun

This Saturday I spent most of the day walking again, but this time there were no genealogical connections. Also for a change it was Surrey not Sussex where I was walking, it wasn’t a route of my choice and I wasn’t on my own.

My good friend Chris had picked the route and was my walking partner for the day. The weather was perhaps a little too warm, although there was some cloud, but it stayed dry, which it has been more or less for several weeks.

The walk began at Dorking railway station, we followed the A24 north for short while before heading east out onto the hills. Before climbing Box Hill we had to cross the river, there is a footbridge but I never miss the opportunity to cross the river by the stepping stones. It occurred to me that these were the only stepping stones in Sussex or Surrey that I was aware of, but I am sure there must be other examples.

Stepping stones at the foot of Box Hill

Stepping stones at the foot of Box Hill, Surrey

The climb up Box Hill is quite a challenge, it is not as high as Wolstonbury Hill which I climbed nearly two weeks ago, but the ascent is a lot steeper. Most of the path up the hill consists of steps, otherwise it would seem almost impossible to reach the top.

The views from the top of Box Hill are quite spectacular, and well worth the effort. Unfortunately there was still some mist in the distance, but closer to the hill places like Dorking were clearly visible.

Dorking from Box Hill, with trig point as well

Dorking from Box Hill, with a trig point as well

From Box Hill the walk continued eastwards and eventually southwards down off the North Downs, towards the village of Brockham. From here we walked east again, to Betchworth (where we stopped at the pub from a drink and a bite to eat).

I was quite impressed by the church at Betchworth, such a beautiful building, I hope I can find an excuse to come back and spend some more time here.

St. Michael's Church, Betchworth, Surrey

St. Michael's Church, Betchworth, Surrey

From Betchworth we continued east again, across the tip of Reigate Heath and the golf course (past the windmill) and onto a seemingly tiny place called Skimmington (with a busy pub).

The windmill on Reigate Heath

The windmill on Reigate Heath

From here we continued, yes you guessed it, eastwards again. Up onto Reigate Park and then down through the streets (of Reigate I guess) towards Earlswood railway station, where we spent a rather dull hour waiting, having just missed the train. To keep myself amused I ending up taking photos of the clouds overhead.

Clouds over Earlswood

Clouds over Earlswood

All in all it was a very satisfying walk. From Dorking to Earlswood was about 11½ miles, the majority of which was flat after coming down off the hills. Perhaps the best part for me however was the fact that it was all pretty much new territory to me (after coming down of the hills) so I actually had to use my map reading skills on occasion!

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