Well, I'm pleased to say I was right!
Last week I told you that I believed I had cracked the problem of pushing the Guyatt family history a bit further back in time. If you recall, I had sent for a birth certificate that I believed would prove that Rosa Hannah Guyatt (b 10 Dec 1849) was the daughter of John Guyatt and his wife Caroline (nee Smedley). I'm pleased to report that the document fulfilled my expectations! This being so, we had established that "our" John was born c1826 at High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. His spouse was born c1822 at Walworth, Surrey.
Armed with this information I have obtained a veritable plethora of Guyatt and Guyatt related census entries, which I am sorting through slowly but surely. I have also noted a number of Smedley baptism entries, all from the parish of St Mary, Newington, Surrey, which appear to relate to siblings of "our" Caroline Smedley. Obviously, I need to look at the relevant parish register to begin to substantiate this, and it may be a while before I can do this.
The censuses tend to show that the Guyatts moved out of High Wycombe after the mid nineteenth century. By using Ancestry.com I have tracked a number of them to London. In one case the family arrived in the capital via Norwich!
Boosted up by this success Helen (my daughter) and I made the journey to Bucks Record Office at Aylesbury on Friday. We were able to find the baptisms of John (in 1827) and his many siblings in the parish register. The same source yielded up the burials of several of the children, and also of their father - another John Guyatt. He was buried in 1837, aged 53, so was born c1784. Unfortunately we do not know where he was born, and as he died before the date of the 1841 census we cannot ascertain whether he was born in Buckinghamshire or not.
One strange thing was that although we were able to find the baptism of John (b c1826)'s brother, James Guyatt, we could not find this marriage, or the baptisms of any of his children. Very odd. Maybe he was a non-conformist? We have traced the family in census records, so we know that they existed!
Helen and I had a good day at Aylesbury, looking at a great variety of records and receiving great help from the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies staff. The unfortunate thing was that we were unable to track down any more generations of our Guyatts. It seems likely to us that they were only resident in High Wycombe for a short period.
Once again, this research has proved that our forebears were a very mobile lot! I know that many people assume that our forebears did not move around much, but our Guyatts well and truly dispel that notion.
See you next week.