View Full Version : SMITH (really!) in Sharnbrook
14-03-2005, 12:48 AM
My great grandmother (Elizabeth Smith) was born in the village of Sharnbrook in 1869. According to the certificate for her marriage to William Richard ARTER on 9 Nov 1890 in Northampton, her father was William SMITH, a bricklayer.
However, in the 1881 census, the only Elizabeth Smith I found in the village was shown as the daughter of James, a labourer and born in 1867. Luckily they had the foresight to call the son who followed Elizabeth by the name Forsberry; this made following this family a little easier - until he left and went north to work as a carter. :)
Does anyone have any info on the SMITHs of Sharnbrook, please? I understand some were prominent in the local Baptist church.
28-11-2007, 8:31 AM
Looking on BVRI I found the following family which would seem to be right because of the name Forsbey. Could yoour GGM have been Christened Mary Elisabeth but called Elizabeth perhaps?
SMITH, Fanny Chr 1864 Engl Bedf Sharnb
SMITH, Ellen Chr 1868
SMITH, Mary Elisabeth Chr 1868
SMITH, Forsbey Chr 1870
SMITH, Harry Chr 1872
and this other family has a Harriet Elisabeth
SMITH, Mary Jane Chr 1870 Engl Bedf Sharnb
Fa: James SMITH
SMITH, William Charles Chr 1872
SMITH, Harriet Elisabeth Chr 1873
As for a family with fater William I was not so lucky.
28-11-2007, 10:31 AM
There is also on the 1871 census of St Sepulchre Northampton (not too far distant) an Elizabeth SMITH, aged 1 year, born Sharnbrook, described as a niece:
RG10/1484, folio 20, page 31
14 Herbert Street
George BRITTEN Head Mar 52 Invalid Higham Ferrars Northton
Catherine do Wife Mar 40 Soldrope Beds
Sarah P do Daur Unm 18 Fitter Stanwick Northton
Mary A E do Daur Unm 13 do Harrold Beds
Elizabeth SMITH Niece 1 yr Sharnbrook do
Could this be your Elizabeth??? It looks as if the same Elizabeth could be a visitor in the 1881 census of Sharnbrook in the household of a Maria Whithall although the age is a couple of years out.
Have you considered that your Elizabeth may be illegitimate and that the father's name shown on her marriage certificate is a spurious one?? I can't find a William SMITH who is a bricklayer in Sharnbrook in the census records of 1851/61/71/81 at all. Sharnbrook parish registers have been transcribed onto microfiche by the Bedfordshire FHS (although I am not sure what dates are covered) and I think it may be well worth your while to look through them as there are several Elizabeth SMITH birth registrations in Bedford reg district (includes Sharnbrook) around the time your Elizabeth was born. Alternatively you could order the film of Sharnbrook parish registers from your nearest LDS Family History Centre to view there.
28-11-2007, 10:26 PM
The Maria Whittall that Elizabeth Smith was with in 1881 was wife of John Whittal of Kennel Hill, Sharnbrook. John Whittall b 1810 married Maria Margetts of Rushden in 1832 at Sharnbrook. John's sister Sarah married into my Partridge family. Their parents were John Whittal & Elizabeth Brittain who married in 1798. All documented in my tree.
The 3 year old Elizabeth Smith daughter to James Smith & Mary are living next door to John & Maria Whittall. James Smith married Mary Woods 15/June 1861.
Joseph Smith b 1797 shoemaker & deacon of Sharnbrook, married Mary Ann Whittall, again daughter of John Whittall & Elizabeth Brittain. Their daughter Ann b 1821 married Jethro Whitmee in 1849. From an email to me in October 2006, it states the witnesses to this wedding were John Archer & Elizabeth Oiley.
Other Smith, Whitmee, Oiley names appear in an extract from the Sharnbrook baptist church book emailed to me at same time,
Regards John Partridge
03-12-2007, 11:46 AM
I would like to than you for your replies. I have nearly sorted it out.
Sarah Ruth DARNELL (b Souldrop) - not to be confused with Sarah Darnell (her sister!) - married William Smith and moved to Rushden, Northants so William was not a brickie in Sharnbrook after all.
Sarah had 3 children with William; when she was with William she was known as Sarah, when with her birth family she was called Ruth.
In 1871 she was in Sharnbrook with her father Daniel and these 3 children. I now have Elizabeth's birth certificate which shows she was born in Shanbrook in April 1969. It shows no father's name, but the mother's name as Sarah Ruth Smith. As the youngest of Sarah's other 3 children was born in 1863, William must have died or left the scene around 1863 - 1864.
Elizabeth was brought up by Sarah's sister Catharine (married to George BRITTEN) and this has been confirmed from family knowledge and a mysterious 'Grandma Britten' has been mentioned as part of Elizabeth's early years. Another family story, that Elizabeth's 'sister' married Thomas Singlehurst (a prominent man in Northampton), falls into place as it was one of Catharine's own daughters who did this.
The other Elizabeth SMITH (also born in Sharnbrook in 1869) and shown as a visitor was from another family altogether. I followed her for a while until I realised I was looking up the wrong tree.
There appear to be no useful records at the Bedford Records Office for Sharnbrook so I now need to follow up the records for Rushden to identify a definite date for William's death - there are about 17 potential candidates according to FreeBMD. If I can ever find the Northampton Records Office off the Queen Eleanor Interchange, it will be cheaper to drive up there and look in the parish records than it would to buy the certs!
It would be nice to find a possible candidate for Elizabeth's true father but this is likely to be impossible. I presume that Sarah was embarrassed about this illegitimate child and rejected her but Sarah's sister adopted her, although Elizabeth did keep her Smith surname. I have been through so many twists, turns and reverses in this saga that I don't really want to try to make any sense of the story yet.
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