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Was my ancestor a bigamist?

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Re: Was my ancestor a bigamist?

Postby eurogordi » Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:30 am

Thank you ianbee. You have potentially saved my family from the shame of 18th century bigamy!

Although I now need to do further research, I suspect that Ayliffe White who was apprenticed in 1725 is the son of Thomas White, brother of my 7x great grandfather Ayliffe White.

Thomas was born at Kington St. Michael, Wiltshire in 1672 and is believed to have died by 1749, but there is little information about him. However, if my supposition is correct, this "new" Ayliffe followed his grandfather, great and 2x great grandfather to one of London's Inns of Court.

Due to the rules around apprenticeships at that time, a clandestine marriage would not be out of the question for someone who was still under the control of his employer in every aspect of life. It's all starting to fall into the place at last!

The names of (London) Ayliffe and Susannah's other children all match the names being used by various branches of the family. I will need to do some more research into Thomas and hopefully find out if he did indeed marry and have a son Ayliffe who, in turn, had a clandestine marriage in 1728.
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Re: Was my ancestor a bigamist?

Postby ianbee » Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:10 am

It does look like brother Thomas could be the answer.
If you can, have a look at the will of Thomas White of St Mary le Strand, Tallow Chandler.
Proved 12 May 1749, Prerogative Court of Canterbury.

There was a Thomas White in White Hart Yard in the 1730's (St Mary le Strand rate books again)
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Re: Was my ancestor a bigamist?

Postby eurogordi » Fri Aug 03, 2018 2:14 pm

Thank you once again ianbee. The will of Thomas White (Tallow Chandler) was made in 1736 with probate granted in 1749. It mentions his wife (Elizabeth) who was also responsible for probate, daughter (Mary), son-in-law (William Surass?) and, crucially, a son called Ayliffe. Furthermore, the will mentions Thomas's brother, Ayliffe White, but doesn't give a residence, although I'm guessing this must be my 7x grandfather.

What has excited me the most is that Thomas White refers to "my son Aliffe White he being so irked and disobedient", and his behaviour certainly affected Ayliffe's inheritance, receiving 5/- rather than 20/- bequeathed to his sister. The Inner Court register of admissions does not list Ayliffe being formally admitted, so perhaps he gave up his apprenticeship to marry Susannah Robinson in secret and subsequently fathered several children.

What is clear is the existence of a hitherto unknown Ayliffe who had clearly rebelled against what his father and possibly the wider family expected of him. Why he gave his uncle's address, St. Giles in the Field, when he entered a clandestine marriage is a mystery, but perhaps he had gone to live with an uncle who was more sympathetic than his own father.

So I have to be content at not finding a bigamist marriage after all (I still have one in my family tree elsewhere!), but have discovered an equally interesting member of my family tree
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