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.

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