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  1. #1
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    Default Missing marriage record

    On 29th April 1851 Wedmore, Somerset my great great grandfather Thomas Sweet (DOB 1818) married Elizabeth Birch a widow. Her father was Thomas Bacon. I found a baptism record for ‘Betsy’ Bacon 2nd Jul 1815 Wedmore - father Thomas Bacon. What I am struggling to locate is the marriage between Elizabeth (or Betsy) and a man with the surname Birch. I assume they also married in Somerset. Any help would be appreciated.

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    I haven't managed to find this either, but while searching I found some surname variants which might be worth following up if you haven't already. In the 1841 census I think I've found Elizabeth as Elizabeth BEAKON (HO107/932/7 fo45 p17), and in 1851 as Betsey BURCH (HO107/1936 fo101 p6). Both these entries are in Theale, and have her working as a servant rather than in her own family home. While looking at BMD entries I also came across the variant BURGE, which seemed more common in Somerset than either Birch or Burch.

    Anyway, if that is Elizabeth/Betsey in 1841, it means her marriage was after that, so it should appear somewhere in the BMD indexes.

    There is one more thing that might help. With the GRO's birth indexes showing mothers' maiden names, I looked for the Birch/Bacon combination, and found a Mary born in Mar qtr 1847 in the Axbridge district, with a possible death the same quarter. I've browsed through C of E baptisms and burials at both Wedmore and Theale and not found her, but if you can find her parents somewhere else nearby in 1841 or 1851, that might be somewhere else to look.

    If you can't make progress any other way, it might be worth ordering Mary's birth certificate to find out who the father was. You could stipulate that the mother must be Elizabeth/Betsey, to reduce the chances of paying for one that isn't relevant.

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    Devsom (21-10-2018)

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    Thanks for the help I had given up trying to locate the 1851 census. As Elizabeth was still living in Wedmore but was a widow I decided to see how many Birch/Burge’s had died in the Wedmore area between 1941 and 1951. I think have found the only possible man who could have been Elizabeth’s husband. An Edward Birch died in Theale, Wedmore in 1848 aged 33. Unfortunately I still can’t locate any marriage records.

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