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 – again 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
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