Author Topic: A bit of a tangent  (Read 503 times)

Offline Elliebean54

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A bit of a tangent
« on: Tuesday 09 January 18 16:24 GMT (UK) »
I wonder if anyone on here could help me with a slightly unconventional search for a possible ancestor?

I am looking for landowners on the Mendip Hills in the mid 19th century, specifically the Emborough-Chewton Mendip area, but googling hasn't been very productive and I'm not sure where to go to find the records.

The reason why is a speculative search for the father of my great grandfather.

He was born Arthur Moore in 1871 to Hannah Moore (b.1855), father unknown on the birth record, and Hannah wasn't married. She later married and had other children, but Arthur was raised by Hannah's parents. This is well known and researched family history.

They were from a farming family, but not landholders themselves as far as we know, so someone's tenants. Arthur is NOT a family name so I can't help thinking it may be his father's name. Also, Hannah had a father and brothers, why no shotgun wedding? There's plenty of them elsewhere in my family tree!
Of course it may simply be Arthur's father was already married, or even died. However, I know it's a cliche, but a higher status father such as the landlord/ local landowner could also explain why no marriage.

So any ideas the best way to find out if there was a local landowner (or his son) called Arthur at that time? It's a long shot and not something ever likely to be conclusively proved, but a curiosity none the less.

Any advice much appreciated  :)




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Offline josey

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Re: A bit of a tangent
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 09 January 18 16:58 GMT (UK) »
There is this
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Return_of_Owners_of_Land,_1873
but not sure where you'd get a copy...and there will be a lot of Arthurs  ::)
Seeking: baptism Philip Murray 1813 nr Chatham Kent, death Ralph James Dunn b 1808 1861 - 1868 in Newington 1861
IRE: Kik DRAY[EA], PURCELL, WHITE: Mea LYNCH: Tip MURRAY, SHEEDY: Wem ALLEN, ENGLISHBY; Dub PENROSE: Lim DUNN[E], FRAWLEY, WILLIAMS.
87th Regiment RIF: MURRAY
ENG; Marylebone HAYTER, TROU[W]SDALE, WILLIAMS Con HAMPTON, TREMELLING Wry CLEGG, HOLLAND, HORSEFIELD Coventry McGINTY
CAN; Nova Scotia [Halifax, Pictou]: HOLLAND, WHITE, WILLIAMSON

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Offline jim1

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Re: A bit of a tangent
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 09 January 18 17:05 GMT (UK) »
What you need is an illegitimacy order although not many exist. These are usually held at the CRO.
Even if you find someone named Arthur you're not really any the wiser.
Warks:Ashford;Cadby;Clarke;Clifford;Cooke Copage;Easthope;
Edmonds;Felton;Colledge;Lutwyche;Mander(s);May;Poole;Withers.
Staffs.Edmonds;Addison;Duffield;Webb;Fisher;Archer
Salop:Easthope,Eddowes,Hoorde,Oteley,Vernon,Talbot,De Neville.
Notts.Clarke;Redfearne;Treece.
Som.May;Perriman;Cox
India Kane;Felton;Cadby
London.Haysom.
Lancs.Gay.
Worcs.Coley;Mander;Sawyer.
Kings of Wessex & Scotland
Census information is Crown copyright,from
www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/

Online avm228

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Re: A bit of a tangent
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 09 January 18 17:22 GMT (UK) »
Honestly, it could be anyone.  Boy next door, Hannah's employer, rake she met at church/on market day.  I don't think the failure to marry tells you anything meaningful about the characteristics of the likely father. 

There's a 16 yr old Arthur Cook living in Hannah's home village of Camerton in 1871 - similar age to Hannah - for what that's worth. Where was Hannah in the 1871 census (not with parents Thos and Ann in Camerton)?.  Arthur's birth was registered Jun qtr 1871, so can't have been far off. Do you have the address at which the baby was born and/or Hannah's abode at the time of baptism?

Have you looked into whether DNA genealogy might help you?
Ayr: Barnes, Wylie
Caithness: MacGregor
Essex: Eldred (Pebmarsh)
Gloucs: Timbrell (Winchcomb)
Hants: Stares (Wickham)
Lincs: Maw, Jackson (Epworth, Belton)
London: Pierce
Suffolk: Markham (Framlingham)
Surrey: Gosling (Richmond)
Wilts: Matthews, Tarrant (Calne, Preshute)
Worcs: Milward (Redditch)
Yorks: Beaumont, Crook, Moore, Styring (Huddersfield); Middleton (Church Fenton); Exley, Gelder (High Hoyland); Barnes, Birchinall (Sheffield); Kenyon, Wood (Cumberworth/Denby Dale)

Offline lizdb

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Re: A bit of a tangent
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 09 January 18 17:26 GMT (UK) »
Agree with all that's been said.
Even if you found a landowner in the area with a son called Arthur of "the right sort of age", it proves nothing. And is hardly fair to label the poor chap as father of an illegitimate child!
Without any surviving written record 9eg bastardy order) then the secret of the baby's father died with Hannah.
Edmonds/Edmunds - mainly Sussex
DeBoo - London
Green - Suffolk
Parker - Sussex
Kemp - Essex
Farrington - Essex
Boniface - West Sussex

census information is Crown Copyright from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline Elliebean54

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Re: A bit of a tangent
« Reply #5 on: Tuesday 09 January 18 17:51 GMT (UK) »
Honestly, it could be anyone.  Boy next door, Hannah's employer, rake she met at church/on market day.  I don't think the failure to marry tells you anything meaningful about the characteristics of the likely father. 

There's a 16 yr old Arthur Cook living in Hannah's home village of Camerton in 1871 - similar age to Hannah - for what that's worth. Where was Hannah in the 1871 census (not with parents Thos and Ann in Camerton)?.  Arthur's birth was registered Jun qtr 1871, so can't have been far off. Do you have the address at which the baby was born and/or Hannah's abode at the time of baptism?

Have you looked into whether DNA genealogy might help you?

Agree with all of this. It's a speculative journey. Family history doesn't record where she was to give birth, for a long time it looked like she had disappeared completely possibly deceased, until her marriage and later children were discovered by a cousin of mine.
I also know her parents can't have pretended Arthur was their son because he went on to marry his first cousin, Hannah's sister's daughter. It would have been illegal if they'd pretended he was her uncle. Although I have wondered if they claimed he was a more distant orphaned cousin they took in or something. There's no evidence she ever returned to the family home.

Ultimately DNA would be the only guidance. I'm actually waiting some results myself at the moment but not over optimistic about this particular mystery - my family tree on that side has been traced back a long way, and one thing it's taught me is I'm related to everyone who has roots in the Mendip Hills. They all stayed in the area, at times married cousins, and virtually every local surname is in that tree!

Agree with all that's been said.
Even if you found a landowner in the area with a son called Arthur of "the right sort of age", it proves nothing. And is hardly fair to label the poor chap as father of an illegitimate child!
Without any surviving written record 9eg bastardy order) then the secret of the baby's father died with Hannah.

Also agree - it was only ever a speculative line of enquiry to satisfy my own curiosity. I'd never put a unproven suspect in the family tree  :)

Online avm228

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Re: A bit of a tangent
« Reply #6 on: Tuesday 09 January 18 18:43 GMT (UK) »
Found the baptism - I see that Arthur was baptised on the same day as his cousin Ann (1 month old in the 1871 census - she and her parents both in Thos and Ann's household).

Camerton,  23 April 1871

Ann, daughter of George Moore (labourer) and Mercy, of Camerton.
Arthur, illegitimate son of Hannah Moore, of Camerton.

His birthdate isn't endorsed, unfortunately, but is likely to be close to the census date (2 April 1871). If you don't already have it, Arthur's birth certificate might tell you where he was born (but it might be as vague as "Camerton").  It's just possible that it would give you some snippet of information as to where Hannah was living at the time - perhaps in service somewhere.
Ayr: Barnes, Wylie
Caithness: MacGregor
Essex: Eldred (Pebmarsh)
Gloucs: Timbrell (Winchcomb)
Hants: Stares (Wickham)
Lincs: Maw, Jackson (Epworth, Belton)
London: Pierce
Suffolk: Markham (Framlingham)
Surrey: Gosling (Richmond)
Wilts: Matthews, Tarrant (Calne, Preshute)
Worcs: Milward (Redditch)
Yorks: Beaumont, Crook, Moore, Styring (Huddersfield); Middleton (Church Fenton); Exley, Gelder (High Hoyland); Barnes, Birchinall (Sheffield); Kenyon, Wood (Cumberworth/Denby Dale)

Offline Elliebean54

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Re: A bit of a tangent
« Reply #7 on: Tuesday 09 January 18 23:04 GMT (UK) »
Found the baptism - I see that Arthur was baptised on the same day as his cousin Ann (1 month old in the 1871 census - she and her parents both in Thos and Ann's household).

Camerton,  23 April 1871

Ann, daughter of George Moore (labourer) and Mercy, of Camerton.
Arthur, illegitimate son of Hannah Moore, of Camerton.

His birthdate isn't endorsed, unfortunately, but is likely to be close to the census date (2 April 1871). If you don't already have it, Arthur's birth certificate might tell you where he was born (but it might be as vague as "Camerton").  It's just possible that it would give you some snippet of information as to where Hannah was living at the time - perhaps in service somewhere.

Thank you so much for your suggestion - I think, just think, I might have found her.

There's a Hannah Moore of the right age in service at a farm at Churchstanton for the 1871 census. It's a distance for those times, but not far past Taunton on the Somerset/Devon border, maybe 40 miles from Camerton. Is this feasible?
Also there's an older Thomas Moore in service in the same house. I don't think he's her older brother as I haven't found one of that name, but maybe another relative like a cousin?

It says her birth place was Churchstanton as well, but I can't find a record of a Hannah Moore born there, though if one turns up it rules this Hannah out. It lists everyone of the household as born there, including the servants, so I'm suspicious.

And there's an intriguing bit of oral family history that could be relevant. Whether or not this is my Hannah Moore.

Studying the records it's clear by this time Hannah's father was working in the coal fields and not farming anymore. I always assumed she grew up on a farm but she clearly didn't - a lot of the information on that side of my family tree I've inherited from a cousin who researched it over many years and I'm only now sifting through the evidence with a fresh eye, and at times adjusting interpretation and my previous assumptions.
Now why all this is relevant is the family history passed through Arthur's daughter was we were descended from an Irish farmworker who had travelled to England with his family to escape the famine. That information has been sitting at the back of my mind until now, wondering now and then why there's no recorded ancestor on that side born in Ireland and where the story came from.

The census says the farm was 500 acres "employing 14 men and 3 boys". Farmworkers. Goodness knows who or from where, and she was one of just 2 servant girls.

So just maybe?