Author Topic: Tips for confirming family members pre-1837 (GRO)  (Read 731 times)

Offline Zakerias

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Tips for confirming family members pre-1837 (GRO)
« on: Tuesday 12 April 22 18:16 BST (UK) »
I wondered how members of the forum usually tackle confirmation of ancestral links pre-1837?

For example James Goodson's (b. 1814 Wartnaby, Leics) father was Francis Goodson. I know this as it's stated on his marriage certificate to Jane Wormall on July 13th 1840. There's a good possibility that Francis Goodson was b. 1786 in Freeby, Leics to James and Ann.

However, that "good possibility" is purely based on proximity. Freeby is 3 miles from Melton Mowbray (where the marriage of James and Jane took place) and Wartnaby is 4 miles from Melton Mowbray.

I feel uneasy continuing with my family history past this point due to lack of evidence. Is there something I'm missing? How do users of the forum address this issue? Am I justified in making ancestral connections based on loose evidence?

Offline california dreamin

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Re: Tips for confirming family members pre-1837 (GRO)
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 12 April 22 18:57 BST (UK) »
Perhaps some food for thought:

Tithe/ Land tax records/Rates: particularly if a family stayed in one area for many generations
Estate papers:  Did this family live in an area that was owned by 'landed gentry' or wealthy land owner?  Therefore, are they named and do they turn up in papers to do with the wider estate?
Settlement/Removal Certificates: These documents proved an individual's parish of settlement, enabling him or her to move to other parishes, perhaps to find work.  Settlement certificates could be issued for individuals or whole families. Removal Orders named families to be removed back to original parish.
Wills:  Always worth a look even if you feel the family were from a labouring class.  They have may have some few items to pass on or indeed a property.  They may have been named in someone else's Will
Newspapers: Disputes? Land issues? Arrested? Marriage/birth announcement?
Military/Militia records
Family naming patterns

CD


Offline Pheno

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Re: Tips for confirming family members pre-1837 (GRO)
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 12 April 22 19:13 BST (UK) »
Also the absence of records proving they were someone else and not your ancestors.

Follow James & Ann descendants to see what you can find.

Check the presence of any other Francis Goodson's in Freeby.  If no others found then your assumption is quite likely but if there is more than your one around you will have to narrow the field a bit.

Pheno

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Offline goldie61

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Re: Tips for confirming family members pre-1837 (GRO)
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 12 April 22 21:53 BST (UK) »
Where does James say he was born in the Censuses?
It's possible his father, (and/or mother) was still alive, at least by 1841.
Have you tried to track them down?
What about their burials? Have you found these?
They may have moved around Leicestershire, and not be buried in the village they were born in.

What about siblings of James?
Do you know of any? have you tracked them down in the Censuses? Where do they say they were born?
Perhaps one of the witnesses at his  marriage was a brother or sister.

As california dreamin has mentioned, look at family naming patterns.
What were the children of James and Jane named?
And the children of any siblings.

Wills have also been mentioned.
These can be one of the best providers of genealogical information.
It was not always what we would consider wealthy people who left wills.
As well as looking for Goodwin wills, look also for any from Jane's side.
Her father may have left bequests for her, and his grandchildren.
Don't just look for any who you think might be their fathers - maiden aunts and bachelor uncles also often left bequests to their nephews and nieces.
 

And yes, you are correct.
It's never a good idea to base your family history on 'loose assumptions'.

"The Genealogical Proof Standard" says, "The three primary standards of proof are proof beyond a reasonable doubt, preponderance of the evidence and clear and convincing evidence."
Google it for more information.

By the way, I'm not sure why you've put "(GRO)" in your heading.
You will need to look at Censuses, wills, and pre 1837 records in parish registers, not the GRO.
You will need to use sites like familysearch.org, (free when registered and signed in), FreeREG.org, findmypast and ancestry. Leicestershire wills are on findmypast evidently.
Lane, Burgess: Cheshire. Finney, Rogers, Gilman:Derbys
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Offline Guy Etchells

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Re: Tips for confirming family members pre-1837 (GRO)
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 13 April 22 07:29 BST (UK) »
I wondered how members of the forum usually tackle confirmation of ancestral links pre-1837?
In the same way as I confirm links post 1837, I search for every record I can access when I discover the person, then having found them check every record that I come across (and note it) when I am checking for other ancestors.
Records are being released and/or being made more easily available as the years go by, even after over 60 odd years of researching, much of it through paging the original registers I still come across the occasional entry I have missed  in a register or record.
For example James Goodson's (b. 1814 Wartnaby, Leics) father was Francis Goodson. I know this as it's stated on his marriage certificate to Jane Wormall on July 13th 1840. There's a good possibility that Francis Goodson was b. 1786 in Freeby, Leics to James and Ann.
However, that "good possibility" is purely based on proximity. Freeby is 3 miles from Melton Mowbray (where the marriage of James and Jane took place) and Wartnaby is 4 miles from Melton Mowbray.
In such cases I start with checking maps if I am not conversant with the area. Look for routes between the locations, was there a deep river blocking the path or a mountain etc. Was there a reason to go to a place where the two people could have met, such as a market town. Was there transport to connecting the places or would the person have to walk or provide their own transport? Try to put yourself in their shoes and think what you would do given the choices.
I feel uneasy continuing with my family history past this point due to lack of evidence. Is there something I'm missing? How do users of the forum address this issue? Am I justified in making ancestral connections based on loose evidence?
I would worry if you did not feel uneasy, it shows you have an open mind to the possibility of being wrong, which is always a possibility.
Having said that donít use that as a reason not to proceed you could find your subjects popping up in another personís record as a witness etc.
Nothing in family history can be proven 100% there will always be small possibilities of error or even hidden truth (for example a mother might not be truthful about the man who conceived her child) we can only build our trees on the information available, which is why we should keep our eyes open to any future reference that may cast doubts on earlier assumptions.
Cheers
Guy
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Offline Top-of-the-hill

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Re: Tips for confirming family members pre-1837 (GRO)
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday 13 April 22 11:03 BST (UK) »
  Make a note in your tree that the link is not definite, so that future researchers or even you, yourself remember to keep checking for new sources.
Pay, Kent
Codham/Coltham, Kent
Kent, Felton, Essex
Staples, Wiltshire

Offline LizzieL

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Re: Tips for confirming family members pre-1837 (GRO)
« Reply #6 on: Wednesday 13 April 22 12:31 BST (UK) »
Also the absence of records proving they were someone else and not your ancestors.

Follow James & Ann descendants to see what you can find.

Check the presence of any other Francis Goodson's in Freeby.  If no others found then your assumption is quite likely but if there is more than your one around you will have to narrow the field a bit.

Pheno

I agree with this approach, I often have to use it to try and identify relationships.

Incidentally I have found two Francis Goodson marriages in MM.  Both bachelors, one signed name, the other made his mark, so not the same person
FG  #1 of Sysonby bac married Mary Hallam of Sysonby (state not recoded) at MM on 25 Nov 1812
Ann and Robert Goodson were two of the four witnesses. All signed
FG #2 of Freeby bac married Mary Dain wid otp at MM on 2 Feb 1818. Both bride and groom made mark. A Mary Goodson was one of the three witnesses.

James's birth year of 1814 ( if accurate) fits better with the 1812 marriage and Sysonby is closer to Wartnaby than Freeby.

1841 has a Francis G age 50, Mary G age 50 and William G age 25 in MM. Mary nbic. William would be born 1812 - 1816, so this record fits better with the 1912 marriage, unless William was Mary Dain's son and assumed his stepfather's surname. He might be worth investigating
Berks / Oxon: Eltham, Annetts, Wiltshire (surname not county), Hawkins, Pembroke, Partridge
Dorset / Hants: Derham, Stride, Purkiss, Scott, Sibley
Yorkshire: Pottage, Carr, Blackburn, Depledge
Sussex: Goodyer, Christopher, Trevatt
Jersey: Fowler, Huelin, Scott

Offline LizzieL

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Re: Tips for confirming family members pre-1837 (GRO)
« Reply #7 on: Wednesday 13 April 22 13:27 BST (UK) »
And more cats among pigeons  ;D

Baptism of a Francis Goodson on 19 Apr 1785  at Harby s/o William and Elizabeth
Harby abt 6.5 miles north of Wartnaby

and in 1841 in Wartnaby
Francis G 55 and Lucy G 50

Berks / Oxon: Eltham, Annetts, Wiltshire (surname not county), Hawkins, Pembroke, Partridge
Dorset / Hants: Derham, Stride, Purkiss, Scott, Sibley
Yorkshire: Pottage, Carr, Blackburn, Depledge
Sussex: Goodyer, Christopher, Trevatt
Jersey: Fowler, Huelin, Scott

Offline LizzieL

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Re: Tips for confirming family members pre-1837 (GRO)
« Reply #8 on: Wednesday 13 April 22 13:34 BST (UK) »
baptism in Wartnaby
James Gulston (from transcript) 18 Nov 1818 s/o Francis and Lucy
Berks / Oxon: Eltham, Annetts, Wiltshire (surname not county), Hawkins, Pembroke, Partridge
Dorset / Hants: Derham, Stride, Purkiss, Scott, Sibley
Yorkshire: Pottage, Carr, Blackburn, Depledge
Sussex: Goodyer, Christopher, Trevatt
Jersey: Fowler, Huelin, Scott