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Don't think they WERE married!

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Don't think they WERE married!

Postby DesparateAnge » Fri Nov 18, 2016 6:29 pm

Evening everyone,
I've been researching for the past 33 years, on and off. Just returned - and remembered WHY I stopped some years back! Well I had the sleepless nights, racking my brain for WHERE to look next. Here's the problem! My paternal GreatGrandparents - Frances Hancock b. c.1865 Fen Ditton, Cambridge; wife Orpha/Ellen/Helen Batstone (found her using all 3 of these names) b. c.1861 Chard, Somerset. I say 'Wife' because I have searched high and LOW and found nothing since discovering them about 13 years ago. There are no older members of he family left to ask. If anyone has any idea where I can look next, and I find what I need, I'll give you some of my Lottery win - when that happens, and as long as it's over £5 million.... :-)

Thanks all,

Ange
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Re: Don't think they WERE married!

Postby midshipman » Fri Nov 18, 2016 7:16 pm

Hi Ange, did quick search and found Ellen Orpha Batstone born September quarter 1857 in Chard and Francis Hancock. Neither have the same details that you state in your topic entry.

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Re: Don't think they WERE married!

Postby DesparateAnge » Fri Nov 18, 2016 8:59 pm

Hiya midshipman, WELL!!! Looking at the census info you're right - I don't know whether, when they was speaking with the Enumerators on Census day they was just having a bit of fun or they genuinely didn't know when they was born?? I've got Orpha in various census as being born in 1857 AND 1860, Francis born in 1855 and 1860. In 1891, Orpha was 'Helen' in 1901 she was 'Orpha', as she was in the 1911 census. Question I have about the 1911, I thought it was the head of the household that was to complete the form? Well on Orpha's form, it was a totally different name that signed the bottom right hand corner!! Confused? I am. . .

Thank you,
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Re: Don't think they WERE married!

Postby carobradford » Fri Nov 18, 2016 10:05 pm

Variation in order of forenames and lack of certainty over age are pretty standard stuff. If you have recently returned to family history after a number of decades you will need to get used to being as unspecific as possible when searching for relatives, using wildcards liberally and specifying age ranges as wide as you can.

Our working class mid 19th century ancestors had little, if any, formal education and were not surrounded by written documentation or the modern day obsession with "identity". The census was supposed to be taken in writing using forms delivered to each head of household - not by oral communication with the enumerator. If the householder couldn't manage the form himself, he might have got a more literate child or a neighbour to help him, or even the enumerator himself if he got really stuck. The enumerators must have had a really tough task interpreting some of the writing and making a stab at the right facts to enter in their summary books.

Lack of a marriage is not a particularly uncommon situation either. Sometimes it was because of the inconvenient existence of an uncongenial spouse; more often it was because a first child arrived inconveniently early and it was easier just to pretend.

The missing marriage is a nuisance, but not a total obstacle in this case. I have had a quick look at some online sources and have constructed a rough outline of Francis and Orpha's origins. If you would like me to pass some of this on in the way of clues I would be happy to do so, but I don't want to spoil your fun!
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Re: Don't think they WERE married!

Postby DesparateAnge » Fri Nov 18, 2016 10:14 pm

carobradford wrote:..... If you would like me to pass some of this on in the way of clues I would be happy to do so, but I don't want to spoil your fun!...


Hi Carobradford, well it's only the marriage (or not, lol) that's missing for me for this 2. That's something I learned tonight though re. Orpha in 1911 - she'd had 8 children, 5 died. I was only ever aware that there was 3 in he 'marriage'.
Thanks

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