Author Topic: India - John Beckwith ?c1760 - ?  (Read 98 times)

Offline ansteynomad

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India - John Beckwith ?c1760 - ?
« on: Friday 19 June 20 17:00 BST (UK) »
My 4 x great grandmother was Elizabeth Beckwith, born on 16 June 1805 in Fort St George, Madras (as it then was) and baptised there on 29 June 1805. Her parents are shown as John Beckworth and Elizabeth. 

I have followed Elizabeth through her long and eventful life via her marriage to the feckless Joseph Bodycote, who eventually abandoned her and her children, to her eventual death in Leicester Workhouse in 1884. The marriage entry from 1 May 1820 is beautifully written, but gives no details of the parents of either party.

There is a suggestion that little Elizabeth’s mother, also Elizabeth, died in 1808, possibly giving birth to a son Benjamin, and that John re-married in very short order to Catherine Gibbs (nee Gopp?), who then gave birth to a son Thomas John Beckwith, who was born at Fort St George in May 1809 and died in Salt Lake City in October 1902.   

There is lots on line about Thomas's family, and a suggestion that Thomas and Elizabeth’s father was Lt John Beckwith of the 79th Regiment of Foot (Liverpool Volunteers) born in or near Liverpool in c 1760. However, this regiment was apparently disbanded in 1784, which would not explain his presence at Fort St George in the last decade of the eighteenth and first decade of the nineteenth centuries.

I’m getting very bogged down trying to get another generation back – can anyone shine me a light?

Thank you.

Offline GrahamSimons

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Re: India - John Beckwith ?c1760 - ?
« Reply #1 on: Friday 19 June 20 18:11 BST (UK) »
Was he in the East India Company army? Some records are online, others at the British Library. The FIBIS website may help
Simons Barrett Jaffray Waugh Langdale Heugh Meade Garnsey Evans Vazie Mountcure Glascodine Parish Peard Smart Dobbie Sinclair....
in Stirlingshire, Roxburghshire; Bucks; Devon; Somerset; Northumberland; Carmarthenshire; Glamorgan

Offline ansteynomad

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Re: India - John Beckwith ?c1760 - ?
« Reply #2 on: Friday 19 June 20 18:24 BST (UK) »
This is what I don't know.  I have given all the information I have and of course any search is complicated by the presence of the illustrious military family of Beckwith and I am struggling to think that he could be anything to do with them, given that his fifteen year old daughter married a private soldier of dubious origins.

I used to belong to FIBIS.  I could never find anything about him in their resources either.

The British Library/India Office resources seem to link now to FindMyPast and I don;t have a sub, so I'll see if I can find someone who has.


Offline ansteynomad

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Re: India - John Beckwith ?c1760 - ?
« Reply #3 on: Friday 19 June 20 19:14 BST (UK) »
FindMyPast gives us a number of baptisms and burials of John and Elizabeth's children plus John's marriage to Catharine [sic] Gibbs on 23 April 1808. I'm told there is nothing there re his military career. Would he have been in the Fort if he were a civilian of some sort?

Offline GrahamSimons

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Re: India - John Beckwith ?c1760 - ?
« Reply #4 on: Friday 19 June 20 21:00 BST (UK) »
A lot of the BL material isn't on line. I've spent a couple of days there and made some excellent discoveries, but I've also found that getting a professional to do the work is cost-effective once you see how much more they get done in a day than us mere mortals, and if you factor in train fares as well.
This book helps:
FIBIS research guide No. 1: Researching ancestors in the East India Company Armies
and provides links to LDS microfilm
Simons Barrett Jaffray Waugh Langdale Heugh Meade Garnsey Evans Vazie Mountcure Glascodine Parish Peard Smart Dobbie Sinclair....
in Stirlingshire, Roxburghshire; Bucks; Devon; Somerset; Northumberland; Carmarthenshire; Glamorgan