Author Topic: How do you unravel similar names in families?  (Read 3038 times)

Offline Rhiaden

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How do you unravel similar names in families?
« on: Sunday 08 November 15 13:55 GMT (UK) »
I have been confusing myself for days trying to figure out one section of a family, and I was wondering if the more experienced members had advice for when they run into this.

The basic problem I have is that there are many shared first names, and surnames within a small time period.

The specific problem I have is this:

In about 1842, James Spong was born in Chobham, Surrey, England to James Spong and Harriett (confirmed via 1851 census).
In 1845, James Spong was born in Chobham, Surrey, to Isaac Spong.

In 1873, James Spong (Father James Spong), married Elizabeth Gosden (Father James Daborn) in Chobham, Surrey.

So far, so good.

In 1878, James Spong (Father Isaac Spong) marries Elizabeth Spong, in Chobham, Surrey.  Listed as Widower/Widow, so, once I found this, I go looking for the death record of James Spong.

I think I have found the death record, in 1875. 
I have dug and dug around, and tied myself in knots trying to find the second James Spongs first marriage.  The problem I am having is that I know the ages on census forms are not entirely accurate all the time, for a variety of reasons, and also the names/relationships may not be entirely correct, and that "James Spong" may actually have been called something else, but just used the name James, or may have had the name James, and then used something else because his father and one of his children were also called James.

There is also the problem of the uncertainty of who actually married who in that period, as often searches will bring up multiple potential spouse names.

When I use Ancestry, or Findmypast, or MyHeritage to find matches, it seems everyone else is having the same problem.

It is also slightly problematic as these marriages and deaths have fallen between census periods, so in the 1871 census, they were all unmarried, and by 1881, they had married, had their spouse die, and remarried.

Currently I am working on trying to unravel the children of the marriage, as I know that any children born to James Spong (Father Isaac) after 1878 are with his 2nd wife Elizabeth, and that her children from her first marriage were moved to live with their grandparents when their father died.

Any tips for how this is usually unravelled would be gratefully received.

Lawrence/Logan/Spong/Gosden/Jope

Offline keyboard86

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Re: How do you unravel similar names in families?
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 08 November 15 14:18 GMT (UK) »
Hi a possible marriage/death of spouse for James Spong father Isaac?

Marriage June qtr 1873 Chertsey 2a 77
James Spong to ( on same page)  Mercy Ann Spong

Death September qtr 1877 Chertsey 2a 23 Mercey Ann Spong aged 28
Keyboard86
Pelly/Pelley/Kingsbury/Challis/Nalder/Rochester/Raydenbow

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Offline Rhiaden

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Re: How do you unravel similar names in families?
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 08 November 15 14:24 GMT (UK) »
Thank you so much.

I will follow that trail and see where it leads!
Lawrence/Logan/Spong/Gosden/Jope

Offline 3sillydogs

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Re: How do you unravel similar names in families?
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 08 November 15 14:52 GMT (UK) »

 ;D ;D  It is enough to drive you around the bend.  I also have the same first names father to son and then uncles and cousins and so on  in the same generation until I don't know if I am coming or going.   ::)

Makes it fun though doesn't it ;D
Paylet, Pallatt, Morris (Russia, UK) Burke, Hillery, Page, Rumsey, Stevens, Tyne/Thynne(UK)  Landman, van Rooyen, Tyne, Stevens, Rumsey, Visagie, Nell (South Africa)


Offline BumbleB

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Re: How do you unravel similar names in families?
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 08 November 15 15:20 GMT (UK) »
So we have

June quarter 1873 - Chertsey
James Spong marries Elinor Wilcocks or Mercy Ann Spong
James Spong marries Lucy Crane or Elizabeth Gosden (but we know that he marries Elizabeth Gosden and that his father is James Spong)

September quarter 1875 - Chertsey
James Spong aged 27 dies

September quarter 1877 - Chertsey
Mercy Ann Spong dies aged 28

June quarter 1878 - Chertsey
James Spong (widower - father = Isaac) marries Elizabeth Spong (widow - no father named)

So - James son of James dies in 1875 aged 27, leaving a widow = Elizabeth, who then marries James, son of Isaac.




Transcriptions and NBI are merely finding aids.  They are NOT a substitute for original record entries.
Remember - "They'll be found when they want to be found" !!!
If you don't ask the question, you won't get an answer.
He/she who never made a mistake, never made anything.
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Milner - WRY
Appleyard - WRY

Offline janan

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Re: How do you unravel similar names in families?
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 08 November 15 15:27 GMT (UK) »
There is also a marriage in Chobham on Sep 5th 1861 James Spong (father Isaac) to Jane Mepham



Jan ;)
ALL CENSUS DATA INCLUDED IN POSTINGS IS CROWN COPYRIGHT, FROM  www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

bedfordshire - farr, carver,handley, godfrey, newell, bird, emmerton, underwood,ancell
buckinghamshire- pain
cambridgeshire- bird, carver
hertfordshire- conisbee, bean, saunders, quick,godfrey
derbyshire- allsop, noon
devon - griffin, love, rapsey
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Offline philipsearching

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Re: How do you unravel similar names in families?
« Reply #6 on: Sunday 08 November 15 15:30 GMT (UK) »
So we have

June quarter 1873 - Chertsey
James Spong marries Elinor Wilcocks or Mercy Ann Spong
James Spong marries Lucy Crane or Elizabeth Gosden (but we know that he marries Elizabeth Gosden and that his father is James Spong)

September quarter 1875 - Chertsey
James Spong aged 27 dies

September quarter 1877 - Chertsey
Mercy Ann Spong dies aged 28

June quarter 1878 - Chertsey
James Spong (widower - father = Isaac) marries Elizabeth Spong (widow - no father named)

So - James son of James dies in 1875 aged 27, leaving a widow = Elizabeth, who then marries James, son of Isaac.

Elizabeth Spong is probably the "widow Spong", but a word of caution - it has been known for a bride to sign the register with her new name.  The only way to be certain is to obtain the certificate (or church register entry) to see if it names her father.
Please help me to help you by citing sources for information.

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Offline carol8353

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Re: How do you unravel similar names in families?
« Reply #7 on: Sunday 08 November 15 15:33 GMT (UK) »
Do their jobs help to sort them out,or an address that they were living at on a death, marriage or census entry?
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Offline BumbleB

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Re: How do you unravel similar names in families?
« Reply #8 on: Sunday 08 November 15 16:10 GMT (UK) »

Elizabeth Spong is probably the "widow Spong", but a word of caution - it has been known for a bride to sign the register with her new name.  The only way to be certain is to obtain the certificate (or church register entry) to see if it names her father.

A good point - Elizabeth Gosden did sign the register in 1873 as a 27 year old spinster, and gives her father as James Daborn.

Elizabeth Spong, widow, did sign the register but there is no age entered for either party, nor is there a father named in 1878.

Both parish register entries are available to view.
Transcriptions and NBI are merely finding aids.  They are NOT a substitute for original record entries.
Remember - "They'll be found when they want to be found" !!!
If you don't ask the question, you won't get an answer.
He/she who never made a mistake, never made anything.
Archbell - anywhere, any date
Kendall - WRY
Milner - WRY
Appleyard - WRY