Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Illegitimacy, Divorce and Emigration Part 2


In my previous post I discussed how I figured out the parentage of children discovered in the census with grandparents. This was quite common as women could not get help from the parish without disclosing who was the father of the illegitimate child.
I have a photograph of a copy of one certificate where an amendment was made.

It is interesting to note that a few years later the census actually shows him as grandson.

So parish records and birth certificates may tell you who the parents were but unless you have a direct line ancestor it can become expensive to get certificates for all the extended family.

Henry and Mary Ann Dennis nee Gadsby had 3 children according to the 1911 census. Rebecca (who was born prior to their marriage), Elizabeth Ann and Lucy.
Elizabeth Ann Dennis married John Harris who is also a relation via another branch of the tree.
Rebecca is the mother of George Henry Dennis and is proving to be elusive.
Lucy married Frederick William Harby in 1891 and is with him in the 1891 census.
I could not find her in the 1901 census so was wondering if she had died.
However a look at my Ancestry tree hints suggested she may have divorced him. 
Documents pertaining to this divorce can be found in this record group on Ancestry. 
The National Archives has a research guide to help anyone who has not used divorce records for their research. It is important to note the years covered are very limited.
The file revealed in quite a lot of detail who the family were and what had happened. There were 2 children from the marriage and custody was granted to the mother.

Why was only one child, the daughter, living with the grandparents where was the other child?
A search in the 1901 census showed him living with his paternal grandparents.
I also found Lucy Harby as I now had a better idea of where she might have been living in 1901 just a year after the divorce case.

In the next part I will reveal where she was and how this linked up with an emigration.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Illegitimacy, Divorce and Emigration Part 1

Finding the missing links?

I want to discuss some of the challenges I have encountered. 
Trying to find out the parentage of illegitimate children and whether a relation on my husband's tree had left any descendants.

Sarah Gadsby, sister of my husband's 2xgt grandfather William Bemrose Gadsby had 3 illegitimate children Mary AnnThomas Richard and Emma.
Her eldest daughter Mary Ann also had a child Rebecca born several years before she married her husband Henry Dennis.

Trying to piece together relationships with the census and BMD records can be quite a challenge with these illegitimate children and it can be expensive to get birth certificates for them all.

The 1841 census did not include relationships but as these events took place in Lincolnshire I am able to access many parish baptisms online making the task somewhat easier.

Here is a table I created to help me explain

Census Year
Head of Household
Birth Registration
Betsy Gadsby
(Mary Ann)
Nathaniel Gadsby
1839 Bourn
Dec qt
Vol14  p274
Ann Gadsby
(Mary Ann)
Mary Plowright

Rebecca Gadsby
John Robinson
1858 Bourn
Dec qt
Vol7a p254
Rebecca G Dennis
Henry Dennis

George Dennis
Henry Dennis
1877 Grantham
 Mar qt
Vol7a p516
George H Dennis
Henry Dennis

Mabel Harby
Henry Dennis
1894 Melton Mowbray
 Mar qt
Vol7a p337

So Mary Ann has different names on the census but a search in the christenings for Castle Bytham finds these entries
8 Nov 1839 Mary Ann Bastd Daug of Sarah Gadesby Counthorpe  Page 91 No 723

29 October 1843 Thomas Richard Bastd Son of Sarah Gadesby Counthorpe Castle Bytham page 104 No number Entry 6.

Emma is not in this register and by 1861 she has taken her stepfather's surname.
In the register for Swayfield we find this entry
18 April 1858 Emily child of Sarah Gadsby single woman Page 47 No 373 (with a margin note Aged 11).

In 1871 census Emma is to be found in the workhouse for Bourne with 4 year old John Gadsby.
If we turn to the next page in the register for Sway field we find
1858 26 Sep r John William child of John and Sarah Robinson Swayfield Laborer Page 48 No 377

1858 23 Dec r Rebecca child of Mary Ann Gadsby Swayfield single woman Page 48 No 379

Did the birth of another child persuade Sarah to get Emma christened?

So I have managed to ascertain the parents for four illegitimate children but who are George H Dennis and Mabel Harby.

Again the registers provide the answer for George this time the Heydour parish
Page 33 No262 1877 January ? George Henry child of Rebecca Gadsby Oasby Received into the church March 29 77 (In margin Privately)

Mabel Harby was not born in Lincolnshire and her parentage came to light through a different set of records altogether. In fact I had overlooked that she was there with her grandparents in 1901 until I found her mentioned in records created regarding the divorce of her parents.
I will continue with this in my next post as the story is still unfolding.