Author Topic: Letchford, Derby  (Read 2087 times)

Offline CivilizedServant

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Letchford, Derby
« on: Monday 25 October 10 03:17 BST (UK) »
This is one of my main brickwall's on my father-in-law's side...  it's a bit convoluted so please bear with me!

I have a 'Constance Florence Letchford' who married James William Arthur Houghton in Lambeth on 29 January 1901; on the marriage cert she gives her father as 'John Letchford' Blacksmith...  incidentally, none of the witnesses were 'Letchford's'. 

I also have the birth cert's for a couple of James and Constance's children which also give the name of their mother as 'Constance F Houghton formerly Letchford'

At the 1901 census Constance and John were living at Paris Street, Lambeth.  Constance's dob is estimated at 1874 and her birthplace given as Derbyshire.  At the same address (in a different household) lived 2 sisters Mabel and Ruth Letchford born circa 1881 and 1883 in Bradwell Bucks.

Through searching earlier censuses I have found that Ruth and Mabel's parents are Henry and Mary Elizabeth Letchford (nee Cooper).  Henry was born circa 1851 in Rochester, Kent and Mary Elizabeth was born circa 1849 in Derbyshire.

I have also found some baptisms for children of Henry and Mary Elizabeth Letchford in Derbyshire - Harry 1873, Rose 1875 and Mary Elizabeth 1871.

My problem is that I can't find a birth /baptism for a Constance Letchford (or any derivative) and I can't find her on any census prior to the 1901 census (I do have her and James at 1911 in Derby)... 

Here's where my puzzlement with  Mary Elizabeth Letchford Jr born circa 1871 comes into the frame...   I can find her at 1891 living as a servant in Willesden - just around the corner from 'parents' Henry and Mary Snr but I can't find Mary Jr at 1881 or at 1901 or 1911.

What I'm wondering is if my Constance Florence and Mary Elizabeth could be one in the same person!  I can't find a death for a Constance Houghton that fits...  Also, my father-in-law never knew of his grandmother being referred to as Constance but as Mary!   

I have seen a few of the marriage registrations for some of the Letchford siblings and they seem to use each other as witnesses - not Constance though.  Also, I can't find a John Letchford - Blacksmith at all so am I right to assume that Constance fabricated her details for some reason?

Can anybody throw any light on any of this please?

Thanks... phew!

Wheeler - London / Liverpool
Watmough / Shaw - Liverpool
Houghton / Letchford - Derbyshire
Hunter / Simpson - Scotland

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Offline johnxyz

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Re: Letchford, Derby
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 26 October 10 07:51 BST (UK) »
It's all rather odd. Mary Elizabeth jnr seems to vanish and Constance Florence seems to appear. I would though be very wary of the convenient solution without further evidence - especially since Mary E is not with the family in the 1881 census.

Are Henry and Mary snr in the 1911 census, and if so what does that say about the number of children born / living / dead ?

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Offline CivilizedServant

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Re: Letchford, Derby
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 27 October 10 22:09 BST (UK) »
Thanks for the reply Johnxyz

Henry and Mary Snr don't appear to be together from 1901 onwards...  I can find Henry at 1901 who is still an Engine Smith (born Rochester) married to an Annie Caroline.   

At 1911 he is a widower living with a housekeeper and 2 very young children.

A possible death for Henry is in 1926 at Medway Kent.

I can't find Mary after 1891 - her death, subsequent marriage or on a census.

... and I can't find a Mary Jr at 1901 or 1911 or what would appear to be a marriage for her under the name 'Mary'!!!
Wheeler - London / Liverpool
Watmough / Shaw - Liverpool
Houghton / Letchford - Derbyshire
Hunter / Simpson - Scotland

Offline johnxyz

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Re: Letchford, Derby
« Reply #3 on: Thursday 28 October 10 14:25 BST (UK) »
If I understand the logic, you have

Mary Letchford daughter of Henry & Mary snr, baptised Derby St Werburgh 1871, untraced in 1881 census, reappears in 1891 near but not with Henry & Mary snr. Then no further trace. No death and no marriage.

1881 census (you don't quote this explicitly but I assume you have it) gives  Mabel associated with Henry & Mary snr, Harry, and Rose. Also a baptism for Mabel in IGI, but patron submitted and no source quoted.

In early 1901 Constance Florence appears. No traceable earlier record, either baptism or census.  Father given as John, but no other record of him has been found.

1901 has in same house, but different households, Constance Florence and Mabel, plus also Ruth who was born in same town as Mabel.

Finally Constance seems to have been known as Mary.

I think we each have our own standard of proof that we wish to work to. I'd judge it very likely that Constance is Mary. In a way the fact that John Letchford also seems to be an invention supports this theory. I would still though want to explore every possible avenue to see if there is any other cross-check.   

The only other lines of enquiry I can think of are:
    whether Henry left a will?
    the informant on Henry's death certificate
    a bit more tenuous, but what part of Derby did she move back to in 1911?
    any link to the family's earlier life there?
    Did any other Letchfords also move back to Derby?

I suspect though none of this will add anything. In those circumstances I think I'd run with the view that Mary and Constance are the same, but would document very carefully why I'd taken that view. 
 

Offline CivilizedServant

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Re: Letchford, Derby
« Reply #4 on: Thursday 28 October 10 17:37 BST (UK) »
Hello Johnxyz

I think you've captured my 'logic'...   of course, it could be the case that 'Constance Letchford' is a totally made-up name borrowed from 2 of the Letchford sisters that boarded in the same house in 1901 around the time of her wedding.  This still doesn't explain what happened to Mary Jr - or why 'Constance' was known in the family as 'Mary'  - my father in law was very shocked to see the full birth cert's for his mother and uncle where their mother's maiden name was given as 'Constance Florence' as he'd never heard her referred to by this name.

I haven't yet obtained Henry's death cert but I will.

By 1911, 'Constance' and husband (who was from Manchester) lived in Leman Street which is south-west to the centre of Derby; I'm not sure how far away this is to St Werburgh's.  By 1915 the family had moved to Liverpool (the West Derby area).

I've also put a request out for an electoral roll look-up at one of their addresses in Liverpool to see what names were actually living with the family.

Many thanks for your input
Wheeler - London / Liverpool
Watmough / Shaw - Liverpool
Houghton / Letchford - Derbyshire
Hunter / Simpson - Scotland

Offline silentnoise3

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Re: Letchford, Derby
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday 02 May 18 14:06 BST (UK) »
I know this is an old topic but it would appear CivilizedServant was correct. I'm pretty sure I have come across Constance in the 1939 register living with her daughter Florence and her husband Robert Wheeler. Her name listed is Mary Elizabeth Houghton.
Jenkins/Jenks/Jinks/Jinkins -  (England | Cheshire | Nantwich, Acton)
Forsyth - Carlisle
Houghton - Liverpool/West Derby