I've been stuck with my Gtx4 Grandfather, Henry Bowers, for a long time and have just re-freshed my determination to crack his origins. I'm wondering whether anyone can offer information or some fresh ideas on this?
What i know...
Henry Bowers married Ann Bailey on 27th October 1832 at Wicken. The couple had 8 children between 1833 and 1846. For whatever reason, there were no Banns recorded at Wicken between 1828 and 1833 (so close!), and the couples' ages and parents names were not noted.
Henry died on 22nd Feb 1847 of consumption in Wicken. His sister-in-law Sarah Bailey was present at his death. He is noted as 35 years old. Going by this date, he would have been born in 1811/1812 (depending on whether his birthday had passed or not, and if his sister-in-law knew his age).
This leaves me with just the 1841 census as a snapshot of his family life, and unfortunately doesn't reveal his parish of birth. The census does give the 'y' for the 'born in this parish' question. It also gives him the age of 29, which given the creativity of that census with ages, seems pretty odd if it wasn't accurate.
What i'm stuck on is...
Where was Henry born? There's no Bowers in the Wicken registers until his marriage to Ann Bailey in 1832. A few Bowers do turn up as the children of 'John' a shoemaker, in marriages either side of the 1851 census, yet John doesn't appear anywhere on the census at this time. There's also no reference to Henry being baptised in nearby Soham, and there are several Bowers in Burwell, but again, no Henry.
Having looked at that 1851 census (when of course, Henry is dead), i've looked to see where other Bowers name-bearers of a similar age were born and it brings up places such as Horseheath, Boxworth, Elsworth - all in Cambridgeshire, and Lakenheath on the Suffolk border. These places are all within 25-37 miles of Wicken, so not exactly next-door compared to all the other relationships i've researched during this period and area.
A fresh set of eyes and mind is gratefully received! :S