Banns and Marriage

Some marriages we look at in family history are performed under licence (usually for reasons of speed or prestige) but most are performed under banns – banns are read out in the appropriate churches (where the participants are resident) on 3 preceding Sundays.

Banns can be the only record that a marriage took place if the actual marriage records have not survived, but they have to be regarded with caution as sometimes banns have been read but the marriage has not actually taken place.

I am collecting Micklethwaite marriages in the West Riding from the Ancestry records (see earlier blogs) and looking at banns was getting tedious as they have no indication of marital state (those dreaded words widower or widow, which incidentally don’t always appear depending on the vicar), nor do they have witness names (which can help identify a family). I had given up looking.

However the combination of Ancestry and the vicar of Cumberworth in 1798 has caught me out – he recorded the banns and marriage together, so the marriage appears under banns on Ancestry. Maybe all churches did this before the pre-printed banns and marriage registers were introduced – I’m working backwards in time so I should find out eventually.

Thanks to Sue I now have seen these records – and the mystery of which Julia Micklethwaite married William Tyas is solved. Another tiny piece of the jigsaw in place – leaving only the bigger mystery of who Julia’s father Joseph was!

Early Micklethwaites

Some weeks ago I was searching Google Books for Micklethwaites and found reference to William son of Gilbert de Micklethwaite. Neither John nor I have any references to Gilbert, so this was a mystery. Some books on Google, and this was one, are indexed but not transcribed, so I had to find a copy of the book.

Off I went to Ripley Library and requested it via the Inter Library Loan service. They rang me last week to say it had arrived – 3 cheers for Inter Library Loan and Ripley Library!

The entries in the book show that in the late 12th Century Gilbert de Micklethwaite lived near Wetherby (Yorkshire) and had a son William – he in turn had a son also named William, who appears to have taken the surname Hallesire.

Google shows no matches for Hallesire as a surname – did they die out or take another surname?

I do not have any other records of Micklethwaites who have come from Wetherby, but it just shows that once upon a time there were some.

BMD Problems

A friend emailed me on Saturday evening – could I look for his great grand-mother – she seemed to have disappeared. Given that Saturday night TV isn’t the most interesting I had a look.

My friend referred to Louisa Lewis (nee Scott) who was with her husband Augustus and their children in Chesterfield in 1901. It was easy to find them in 1891 but they weren’t on the 1911 census – not a surprise for Augustus as my friend had found his death in 1902. I soon found the children in 1911, all living together with the eldest daughter who had married – she was transcribed as Thirza on the 1911, Horiza on 1901 and Theresa on the 1891 but I digress! The children being together suggested that Louisa had died too, but there was no suitable entry on FreeBMD.

My suspicious mind then wondered whether Louisa had remarried, and eventually FreeBMD turned up a suitable pair of husbands (either William Henry Richards or Robert Nunn), and so I looked in 1911 for Louisa under either of the surnames Рagain no luck.  I wondered if she had died after all, after her remarriage, and indeed a suitable death showed up. I emailed my friend and he found an entry for Robert Nunn, widow, on the 1911.

So he has gone away happy, and is getting the certificates to prove the matter.

It turned out he had in fact gone down the same route that I did without success – but he had used FindMyPast, where I had used FreeBMD (or the Ancestry mirror as the FreeBMD server was overloaded yet again). He had found Louisa’s marriage as Chesterfield 7b 1592 – I had it as 7b 1593 – so his set of husbands didn’t match.

Which all goes to show:

  • It’s far more interesting to do this sort of thing than watch Saturday night TV
  • The quality of transcription leaves a lot to be desired – at least FreeBMD have some quality controls
  • Always go as far back towards the source documents as you can – errors abound
  • 2 heads are better than 1

Falling Over Information

I’m fascinated by how you can just fall over things on the web.

Some months back, I was looking for information about¬† the famous Canadian photographer F W Micklethwaite (see Wiki) and saw a marriage for Hetty Ann Bahnforth married in Orillia, Ontario, Canada to Charles Alfred Walter – her father was given as Mitchell Micklethwaite, who was my 3x great uncle. At that stage I didn’t know he had any children. From that small piece of information I was able to piece together another part of my tree. Frederick William Mitchell Micklethwaite was born in 1841 and baptised in Paddock, Huddersfield on the 19th July 1843. He survived the cholera outbreak which killed his father John and older brother Allen. He married Ellen Broadbent in 1862 and they had a child Hetty Ann in early 1865 but Mitchell died in November of that year. Ellen was remarried in 1869 to John Thorpe. Hetty Ann married William Wallis in Huddersfield in 1886 but he died in 1893. She next married William Henry Bamforth in 1895. They had a son William Harold born 1897, but in 1906 they emigrated to Kamsack, Saskatchewan, Canada. Then in 1926 she married Charles Alfred Walter, who died in 1948 in Vancouver, Canada. There are still several pieces of the puzzle unresolved – why did they emigrate, when and where did Hetty Ann die, and what became of William Harold Bamforth after his WW1 enrolment? All this because I chanced upon something and followed it up.

Then a few days ago, a link was posted on one of the email lists I belong to, which detailed V2 rockets in WW2. My late father Frank spent his time in WW2 photographing the development of English rockets and I knew he had visited Germany around the end of the war to photograph a test firing of a V2. And there it was on this site – a whole page on Operation Backfire as I discovered it was called. I am now in touch with the folks behind these web pages – all because I chanced upon a link to the V2 rockets and followed it up.

As it says on someone’s tag line “it is by logic we prove, it is by intuition we discover”. So follow your own intuition and see where it leads you!