Friday, 15 June 2007

Geoffs Genealogy Update 15 June 2007

The fact that this is my first posting since 5 June is indicitave of the fact that I have been quite busy these past ten days. During this period I have made progress on several lines of research.

Firstly, on 7 June I went to the LDS Family History Center to complete my research into the Baptisms at Monkwearmouth, Co Durham, 1716-1823. I searched the last part of the microfilm, and found records of the baptisms of three of the children of George Bryan Heppell and his wife, Ann nee Liddle. These entries went beyond the basic information to record the birth dates of the children and their mother's maiden name. Very valuable information.

Having completed this research, I made a start on my next research enterprise - searching the records of baptisms at Newington, Surrey, for entries relating to my Smedley clan. I had already searched the IGI for these entries, and knew that the film should contain records of the baptisms of six daughters of William and Mary Smedley, so the discovery of these records was no surprise to me. What was a surprise, however, was an 'extra' Smedley baptism - their son, William, baptised on 20 January 1828. This came near the end of the register, after the girls' entries, and its discovery was quite a thrill. Once again, this register contained the birth dates of the children, and in the case of the entry relating to William, it included the annotation "Father deceased". I had surmised that William had probably died before the date of the 1841 Census, but here was a piece of information that narrowed down the date of his demise to within nine months! Especially valuable because up to the date of the introduction of Civil Registration in 1837 such events are often difficult to trace.

In addition to the above gleanings, I had some success on the Guyatt front. I mentioned, a few weeks ago, that I knew of a marriage at Eton in January 1844 between a certain James Guyatt and Elizabeth Holden. I believed that this James may have been the brother of "my" John Guyatt (bap 1827 at High Wycombe), but was surprised to see that he had strayed to Eton. Well, I ordered the relevant marriage certificate, which duly arrived the other day. As I had hoped, it showed that James was a hairdresser, and his father was John Guyatt, Carpenter. This fitted my man, but was not conclusive proof of his identity. However, the clinching evidence was the fact that the witnesses to the marriage were William Guyatt and Amelia Harding. Knowing that "my" James had a brother named William who married a lady named Amelia, I thought that this was probably the proof I sought. Sure enough, when I checked the Civil Registration Indexes online at Ancestry.com I found that in 1846 William Guyatt married Amelia Harding in London. Hey presto, two genealogical problems were solved by one document!

My research is "on a roll" at the moment! Hopefully, when I next update the blog I will have yet more progress to report.

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