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  1. #1
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    Default Wesson in Snitterfield

    I have been researching the Wessons in this area.

    I suspect that John Wesson born in 1888 in Snitterfield, is my grandfather. It's a tough search since my grandfather changed his name to John Watson when he deserted from the army (likely in the early 1900's) and emigrated to Canada. For reasons unclear, he returned to England and signed up for WWI under the name of Watson. I know this: he had a brother, Walter, his father's name was Walter and there may be a connection to South Africa. All my research has been done online, so there are limits. I have used the National Archives and Ancestry.com, have searched census, military birth, death and marriage records.

    I know that Wesson is correct but "John" may be a fignebt of my grandfather's imagination (but I don't think so).

    I think what would help is any information of any of the Wesson sibs. Here is the most complete list, but I think Sarah's BD should read 25 (I found the marriage cert.):

    Census 1891
    Household Members: Name Age
    James Wesson 70
    Walter W Wesson 26
    Sarah Wesson 78
    James H D Wesson 18
    James T R Wesson 13
    Walter Wesson 7
    Bertram Wesson 5
    Leonard Wesson 3
    John Wesson 2
    Robert Wesson 1

  2. #2
    Geoffers
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    Welcome to the B-G forums

    Quote Originally Posted by jabwok
    I suspect that John Wesson born in 1888 in Snitterfield, is my grandfather. It's a tough search since my grandfather changed his name to John Watson when he deserted from the army (likely in the early 1900's) and emigrated to Canada
    Do you have a marriage record for your chap? Does it give any useful information to help identiofy other family members?

    Army records are held by The National Archives at Kew. Those in WO97, and WO96 (Militia) are to be made available online by 2011 and that may be the cheapest option for confirming the details of his service and desertion.

    What surname did your chap use in Canada?

    I know this: he had a brother, Walter, his father's name was Walter
    From the 1891 census that you have found, his dad was recorded as James, do you know if he was James Walter, or Walter James?

    I know that Wesson is correct but "John" may be a figment of my grandfather's imagination (but I don't think so).
    You've lost me a little here as you mentioned that John is your grandfather - or is there another John?

    The 1891 census to which you refer is
    RG12/2479 f10 p17
    Wootton Wawen
    It records in the household
    James WESSON, hd, widowed, 70
    Walter W Wesson, son, mar, 26
    Sarah Wesson, daur-in-law, mar, 28 (not 78)
    James H F Wesson, son, 18
    James T R Wesson, son, 13
    Walter Wesson, grandson 7
    Bartram Wesson, grandson, 5
    Leonard Wesson, grandson, 3
    John Wesson, grandson, 2
    Robert Wesson, grandson, 1

    Before going too much further, how sure are you that your John WATSON was born John WESSON? - I could easily imagine this as a simple name variant (standards of spelling then were not the same as today).

    One of the family James Henry seems to still be in Wootton Wawen in 1901

    RG13/2940 f9 p5
    Park Lane, Wootton Wawen
    James Hy Devonport WESSON, visitor, unm, 27, blacksmith, bn Snitterfield.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Thank you Geoffers,

    All know is that when he married my grandmother in 1915, he was using the name of Watson. Their marriage cert shows his father as Walter Watson. My grandmother, long dead, is the source of the name Wesson and the story he deserted from the army prior to his first emigration to Canada. He returned to UK to enlist under the name of Watson where he met and married my grandmother. My grandmother also remembers a brother Walter who may have emigarted to Canada after WWI

    The 1891 census I attached shows the father's name as Walter and James as the grandfather.

    Since my grandfather made up Watson, its not entirely certain that he didn't also make up John. He lived his life in Canada after leaving the army as John Watson. I have his medal card from WWI.

    James Wesson from 1901, I think is the son of James, and the uncle of my putative grandfather!

  4. #4
    Geoffers
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jabwok
    All know is that when he married my grandmother in 1915, he was using the name of Watson. Their marriage cert shows his father as Walter Watson. My grandmother, long dead, is the source of the name Wesson and the story he deserted from the army prior to his first emigration to Canada.
    Okedoke - do you know if your grandmother's information confirms that the family originally came from Warwickshire, making it more likely that you have the correct family?


    He returned to UK to enlist under the name of Watson where he met and married my grandmother. My grandmother also remembers a brother Walter who may have emigarted to Canada after WWI
    Quite a few of the family would have been of an age to have fought in WW1. Have you tried seaching for them using either the Medal Card Index
    or registers of seamen's services? - or to see if any are recorded as having died in WW1 in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) web-site. The surviving army service records from WW1 are being put online via Ancestry. As mentioned, earlier service records are being put online by 2011.

    The 1891 census I attached shows the father's name as Walter and James as the grandfather.
    My apologies, I obviously need new glasses.

    Since my grandfather made up Watson, its not entirely certain that he didn't also make up John. He lived his life in Canada after leaving the army as John Watson. I have his medal card from WWI.
    Any idea when he landed in Canada? Do you know if he emigrated alone? Have you tried searching the outbound passenger lists?

    I'll have another look in the 1901 census to see if other family can be identified.

  5. #5
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    Default Freebdm

    There is a John Claud Wesson b Sep quarter of 1888 in Aston Warwickshire Vol 6d page 354

    Could that be him?

    Regards
    Fiona

  6. #6
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    Default

    Possibly. I've ordered a Birth Cert. But the Claud part has thrown me.

  7. #7
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    Default Update

    Hi,

    The people you mentioned here the Wesson’s are related to myself. If you would like more info please message me.

    Thanks


    Quote Originally Posted by jabwok View Post
    I have been researching the Wessons in this area.

    I suspect that John Wesson born in 1888 in Snitterfield, is my grandfather. It's a tough search since my grandfather changed his name to John Watson when he deserted from the army (likely in the early 1900's) and emigrated to Canada. For reasons unclear, he returned to England and signed up for WWI under the name of Watson. I know this: he had a brother, Walter, his father's name was Walter and there may be a connection to South Africa. All my research has been done online, so there are limits. I have used the National Archives and Ancestry.com, have searched census, military birth, death and marriage records.

    I know that Wesson is correct but "John" may be a fignebt of my grandfather's imagination (but I don't think so).

    I think what would help is any information of any of the Wesson sibs. Here is the most complete list, but I think Sarah's BD should read 25 (I found the marriage cert.):

    Census 1891
    Household Members: Name Age
    James Wesson 70
    Walter W Wesson 26
    Sarah Wesson 78
    James H D Wesson 18
    James T R Wesson 13
    Walter Wesson 7
    Bertram Wesson 5
    Leonard Wesson 3
    John Wesson 2
    Robert Wesson 1

  8. #8

    Default

    Hi, welcome, nice of you to offer but did you notice this post is 11 years old? It could be that the O/P jabwok, no longer comes on here, or is doing their family history after such a long time

  9. #9
    Newcomer to Brit-Gen
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    Default

    I’ve made much progress and have met Wesson cousins on my last trip to the uk. My tree is on ancestry and I can give you access. Then we can figure out how we all fit together. If you do not have an ancestry acct, send me your email address.

    Judith

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