View Full Version : Going further back with parish registers...
20-06-2008, 6:31 PM
Ok, so I have found the baptism record of my g-g-g grandfather, and this lists his father's full name and mother's given name. The family came from a tiny village in rural Gloucestershire, UK, but the surname is prolific there (the parish cemetery is knee-deep in Jefferis's!!!).
As the baptismal record shows no age or place of birth for the parents, how do I take the next step, as I can't be sure that baptisms that seem to fit according to name and rough year of baptism actually do belong to the right branch of this particular, rather overly-reproductive family?
It doesn't help that most of the males are named Thomas, and most of the females are Mary, or Ann, or Mary Ann, or Mariann!!!
Any thoughts would be appreciated,
20-06-2008, 7:45 PM
In cases like this it comes down to basic hard work. ;)
Try to thin the field by killing off as many possibilities as you can.
This may be done by checking the burial registers for deaths soon after baptism, checking tombstones to see if they were buried with other family members and can be discounted that way. Does a couple seem to be having children too early or too late in life? Check wills, newspapers etc.
Gradually you can eliminate most of the competing names and end up with the right couple, sometimes you end up with perhaps two or three in which case it is possibly best to trace all their lines without adding them in until you get the breakthrough that shows the true candidate.
It could be that an occupation gives the required clue, or a location or a hundred and one other minor details.
21-06-2008, 12:04 AM
Unfortunately, I think this is where many of us grind to a halt.
I have Charles, baseborn son of Sarah, that is all it says other than the dates.
Problem is, brothers George and William both had a Sarah born within three years of each other so which Sarah is Charles mother?
Both Sarah's go on to marry and have families that do not give me any sort of clue. I know George and Williams parents going back in the Parish Records to the 1600's but there is this hiccup in the middle :confused:
As Guy says it is hard work trying to connect children to parents and those parents to their parents. I try and draw a chart or tree and follow the lines of the births, marriages and deaths within the dates span.
Thomas and Mary marry and have Thomas and Mary Ann. Thomas jnr and Mary Ann jnr marry others and 20 odd years later each have another Thomas and Mary Ann each, they marry and have........
so life goes on and sometimes you just have to accept there maybe a gap in a generation and just logically work with names and dates.
Tain't easy but all this hard work is supposed to be fun.;)
21-06-2008, 2:18 PM
Are they likely to have left any wills?? If there are headstones in the parish, that suggests that they could have been of sufficient consequence to have made wills. Gloucestershire Archives have an online searchable database for wills (ww3.gloucestershire.gov.uk/genealogy/Search.aspx) so you may just be lucky. The National Archives Documents Online site also has an online catalogue of wills and if you are lucky enough to find any, they can be downloaded for £3.50 each.
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