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Cambridge alumni record mistake?

Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:00 am

I’ve got a bit of a genealogical dilemma and would welcome thoughts:
My 5th great-grandfather Marmaduke Ward’s Cambridge alumni record says he enrolled at St John’s College aged 18 in 1729 (making his birth c.1711) and was born near Chesterfield, the son of Joseph, gentleman of Derbyshire.

The only record in the entire UK (and it is a fact that not all records have survived) for a Marmaduke Ward born within five years of this time is a baptism at Killamarsh 8 miles from Chesterfield on 23rd October 1710. This is all perfect, except his father’s name is George.

Checking through the Killamarsh parish records book, there are no Joseph Wards. Marmaduke disappears (fitting with him going to college and relocating).

Marmaduke, moved to Norfolk, named his firstborn son George. Of his seven children only his younger son Marmaduke married. Marmaduke Jr. named his firstborn son George as well. Neither of them named any sons Joseph.

Question, how likely do you think it is that a Cambridge clerk misnamed Marmaduke’s father as Joseph?

Cambridge alumni record mistake?

Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:29 am

Is Joseph from a transcription, or is it in the original handwritten entry? Unless it’s the latter, suspect a transcription error. My advice is never trust a transcription, always try to see the original handwritten version.
If it was from the original, mistakes do occur, and just because it is the only Marmaduke you can find, doesn’t prove there was only one. There could be others who’ve not made it on-line yet!

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Re: Cambridge alumni record mistake?

Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:40 pm

We can see the entry from Alumni Cantabrigienses in several places, this is a good one to do it
https://archive.org/stream/p1alumnicant ... 2/mode/2up

It's also repeated with his details on the Clergy Database (under "Comments")

I don't know the exact sources used, there is also
Admissions to the College of St. John the Evangelist in the University of Cambridge part 3 (published 1903)
https://archive.org/stream/admissionsto ... /mode/2up/

Here there is some sort of transposition of names - Marmaduke Mower and Edmund Ward, which is commented on in the appendix
https://archive.org/stream/admissionsto ... /mode/2up/

We can see the Norwich Consistory Court will of Marmaduke Ward here (need to be logged in)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903 ... cat=410095

There must be various articles about tracing clergy online, or in book form, here is Anthony Camp (on FamilySearch Wiki)
https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Cl ... of_England

Mentions the possibility of there being a baptismal certificate among the ordination papers.

The Norfolk Chronicle of 7 April 1906 has, in it's Norfolk + Norwich Notes and Queries, a piece about the Ward family and claims that Marmaduke was of the family of Ward of Beauchief Abbey!
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