Week 9 of #52Ancestors already! I struggled with this week’s prompt, Females. The obvious is to write about the strong women in your ancestry and I didn’t want to do that, I have some strong men on my tree too! I was looking through my family tree and realised I have a long list of women who are currently UNKNOWN surname. Marriages currently not found.
Those marriages that for one reason or another are not found and the woman remains unknown. It’s not so difficult when you can order a birth certificate for the children, (after 1837) and find her maiden name and then search for the marriage. But when you are relying on parish registers, pre 1837, the mother’s maiden name wasn’t entered on baptism records of the children in England and earlier on you are lucky to even find a first name sometimes.
Every so often I like to pick a few and search for them. I picked one this morning:
Samuel STANDEN married Ann UNKNOWN in about 1750. The evidence I have so far is that their daughter Ann married Hugh VINCENT, my x5 great grandfather in 1776 in Cuckfield, Sussex and Samuel was baptised in Cuckfield. His children were baptised to Samuel and Ann. I had searched high and low and couldn’t find a marriage for them anywhere. But today, looking at the family I had found for Samuel, I noted that some of Samuel’s siblings were entered on to the register as STANDING so I searched for a marriage for Samuel STANDING and found the following:
3 March 1749 in Cuckfield, Samuel STANDING and Ann RAPLEY. Looks most likely and looks like one ticked off the list once I have searched a bit further for her family to try and verify this marriage as the one I am looking for.
There are a number of reasons why a name has not been found on initial searching; they have married out of county, it may be information given to me by a contact that I have not had time to verify, it may simply be down to the lack of records online at the time the searching was carried out or like the one above, a change in spelling of names between records. If the vicar wrote the name down wrongly, the couple may not necessarily have known, if they were unable to read and write.
This serves as a timely reminder that nobody ever finishes their family tree, there is always something to go back years later, and research again. Especially with new records being added to the subscription sites all the time. Who knows, maybe in time I will eventually find who Michael HALL married in Edenbridge, Kent and was mother to Jeremiah Hall!