Mysteries “Settled”

I recently found some Settlement Orders on Ancestry. These relate to the Poor Law regulations operating before 1834 when workhouses were introduced nationally. Before 1834, care of the poor was the responsibility of the parish, and there were rules about who was eligible. If you weren’t eligible, you were “removed” to the parish which was responsible for your settlement.

The one that interested me most was for Mary Micklethwaite who was to be removed from Emley to Denby in 1803. The document detailed how her husband Jonathan was serving with the 84th Regiment of Foot (who I think were in India at the time). This matches the Mary Stead who married Jonathan Micklethwaite in Huddersfield in 1801.

This solves the Micklethwaite/Stead mystery. Joseph Micklethwaite was born about 1803 but I couldn’t find a baptism. I did find that some of his descendants used the surname Stead. I then found a baptism for a Joseph Stead to Mary Stead in Emley in 1803, but I couldn’t work out how Mary was related. Now it seems likely that Mary had Joseph by an unnamed father whilst Jonathan was in the Army and Joseph was baptised with Mary’s maiden name. So Joseph’s branch of the family can be linked (by name, not by blood/DNA) to Jonathan.

A second settlement document in 1806 for Mary mentions that  she is pregnant. I had a branch for a William Micklethwaite that I hadn’t been able to progress. Now I find that there’s a birth for a William Stead to Mary Stead in Emley in 1807. It all ties together. There are 2 less unexplained branches!

Mary died in 1820, and it seems highly likely that Jonathan married Judith Inman – another mystery sorted.

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