Author Topic: Same couple or not and how to prove it  (Read 3458 times)

Offline c-side

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Same couple or not and how to prove it
« on: Saturday 25 July 15 23:19 BST (UK) »
As there’s a lot more on the ‘net now than a few years ago I decided to go in search of some of my missing persons.

One of these was Catherine Stoker born c 1724.  As an adult she lived in South Blyth, was married in Earsdon church and all her children were baptised there.  But I’d never found her baptism.

I found a suitable candidate living in North Blyth and baptised in Bedlington in 1725.  Her parents were Robert and Margaret Stoker and parish records showed that she had a twin brother, Robert.  There was no marriage for her parents and no sign of other siblings.

I made a mental note not to confuse her parents with a Robert and Margaret Stokoe from South Blyth who appear on the same branch of my tree at about the same time.  Then I looked more closely.

The S. Blyth Stokoes were married in Earsdon in 1721.  Their children baptised in Earsdon were – Ann 1722, John 1728, Aaron and Moses (twins) 1730, Benjamin 1732 and Margaret 1734.

There is a gap between 1722 and 1728 where the twins, Catherine and Robert, would sit nicely.  Also three of Catherine’s sons were named Aaron, Benjamin and John.  This makes me think that the Stokoes and the Stokers could possibly be the same.

BUT if that was the case why is she shown in Earsdon marriage records as Stoker when the rest of the family are shown in the same church records as Stokoe.

Any thoughts?


Christine

Offline Ruskie

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Re: Same couple or not and how to prove it
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 26 July 15 00:19 BST (UK) »
The surnames sound so similar they could easily be confused.

I would look at the Earsdon marriage to see if the vicar was not a regular or was new, and may not have known the family - perhaps he misinterpreted or miswrote the surname?

It is tempting to believe they are the same family.

Although you cannot find Catherine Stoker's birth, presumably you have checked to see if there is a Stoker family in the area at the time christening children to see if she might fit, and to eliminate them.

Offline sillgen

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Re: Same couple or not and how to prove it
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 26 July 15 08:47 BST (UK) »
Have you looked at the original entry or just a transcript?     Very easy to misread Stokoe for Stoker and vice versa.


Offline StanleysChesterton

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Re: Same couple or not and how to prove it
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 26 July 15 10:00 BST (UK) »
Even in the same parish/church names can be spelt differently for a number of good reasons.  Have you looked at the list of rectors over those years, did they change?  Even if they didn't change it might be that whoever wrote the list out made a mistake.  e.g. is one transcript from the parish records and the other from bishops' transcripts?

The parish record isn't necessarily written down on the day, as it happens.  Some are "from memory" up to a month later - and it might've been different people who did it - and it might've been a busy day, or they were pre-occupied.

If it were me I'd like to consider who was doing the writing down - and try to see the originals to see if I made a different spelling from any of the entries.
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Offline c-side

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Re: Same couple or not and how to prove it
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 26 July 15 18:42 BST (UK) »
Thanks for all your responses.

Firstly - yes, all my Northumberland research is from original PRs - I am fortunate to live only a few miles from the archives  :D

As to the vicar - it's about 15 years since I last looked at this branch and I couldn't say whether the same one was involved in all the records.  I will check this out on Wednesday at my next visit to Woodhorn.  Not sure that vicars signed their records in the 18th century but I can check out the handwriting.

And yes, I did look for other Stokers in Earsdon when I was looking for Catherine's baptism and didn't find any.

It is easy to confuse the two - even today, when everyone is literate, the two names can be mixed up.

Christine

Offline Tickettyboo

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Re: Same couple or not and how to prove it
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 26 July 15 21:15 BST (UK) »
I 'really' understand your wish to find something 'definite' to pin down her baptism.

As has already been suggested, a change in handwriting could mean a change in clerk/vicar whoever wrote in the register and that 'could' explain the different surname. Plus of course, as we all know, mistakes are not always down to transcriptions but happen in the originals too. I find when transcribing that the ends of words/names are more likely to be scribbled and therefore often more difficult to read. If a vicar had made a note of the baptism on a scrap of paper then he/ a parish clerk had written it up later then the error could have crept in at that stage.

Nothing that can be 'proved' in the above, but it may push the baptism you find into the "having checked all the available options this is the most likely" category.

Other than that, the only other possibilities I can think of (straw clutching again) are wills, marriage bonds and a real long shot, perhaps something in parish accounts maybe a payment to a family of either name in the relevant parishes?

Based what you already have, I say that this baptism falls into the 'quite likely' category.

Boo

Offline Tickettyboo

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Re: Same couple or not and how to prove it
« Reply #6 on: Sunday 26 July 15 21:34 BST (UK) »
Just a thought, if you have these Stokoes in Earsdon with a 'gap' in children being born/baptised, are there any Stokoes in the burial register for the relevant period that could explain the gap?

Sometimes even being able to discount a family is a step forward.

Boo

Offline c-side

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Re: Same couple or not and how to prove it
« Reply #7 on: Sunday 26 July 15 22:05 BST (UK) »
They say elimination is just as important as discovery - but somehow never as satisfying!

Like I said it is many years since I looked at this part of my tree until I found this Catherine.  I need to revisit Earsdon records though this does not fill me with joy - they are horrendous in places.

Christine

Offline Ruskie

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Re: Same couple or not and how to prove it
« Reply #8 on: Sunday 26 July 15 22:18 BST (UK) »
Any other Stokoes in the area? :-\ (just to eliminate)