6

Jane Glasson married John Short in Whitstone Parish, North Cornwall, England, 6 Jan 1821. http://www.cornwall-opc-database.org/search-database/more-info/?t=marriages&id=587662

Her headstone in Millwood, Knox County, Ohio, USA gives a year of birth as 1799.

They had a son, John, baptized in Jacobstow Parish, (also North Cornwall) 9 July 1826. http://www.cornwall-opc-database.org/search-database/more-info/?t=baptisms&id=3710376

They had a daughter born in Cornwall, Anna/Anne, for whom I cannot find a birth record, but know of her existence through records in the USA (I'll save that for another question).

Jane's maiden name, Glasson, is supported by 2nd-hand evidence from the biography of her husband in America (page 664): https://archive.org/stream/centennialbiogra00lewipu#page/664/mode/2up

The Glasson surname is very common in south/west Cornwall, but unheard of in North/east Cornwall in the 19th century. There has been extensive research done on the Glasson families of Cornwall (see Penwith genealogy board: http://azazella.proboards.com/board/11/glasson), but none of these families seem to be missing a Jane.

Witnesses to the Banns of John Short and Jane Glasson's marriage in Whitstone were Henry PAYNTER and Anthony ARTHUR. The former was a farm owner in Whitstone Parish. PAYNTER was the witness to several marriages during the early 1800's, both family and seemingly non-family. I suspect that Anthony ARTHUR was a labourer on the farm, as his occupation is listed as such in the birth record of his daughter, Sarah Ann, born 4 Nov 1821 in Whitstone. He married Susanna WARREN at Whitstone, 29 March 1821. 

There does seem to be a connection between the ARTHUR family and GLASSON family in Crowan. Anthony ARTHUR was born to Anthony and Ann (WARREN) in 1797 (married at Crowan in 1793) there. There was a large GLASSON family in Crowan at that time. Could it be that Jane GLASSON is a cousin of Anthony ARTHUR or Susanna WARREN?

The closest birth record that I have for Jane(or Jenifer, a common nickname) (searched 1770-1810) (http://www.cornwall-opc-database.org/search-database/more-info/?t=baptisms&id=1394845 http://www.cornwall-opc-database.org/search-database/more-info/?t=baptisms&id=1394940) is in 1791 & 1793 in Paul, to John and Constance. Both of these Janes have been claimed by other families:

  1. daughter of John and Constance (1793) married William Edge at Stoke Damerel, Devon, 12th May 1812
  2. Jennifer daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth was buried at Madron 19th June 1799

So out of this information, I have three questions: 1) What was Jane Glasson doing up in Whitstone in 1821, apparently so far from 'home'? and 2) What is the likelihood that her baptism record is missing or she was never baptized? and 3) if Jane was not originally from North Cornwall, would the banns witnesses be even more likely to have been people she knew from home, or strangers?

  • I've upvoted your well researched and well written question but note that it ends by asking three questions which can be problematic for focussed Q&A. I want to encourage you to ask more questions. – PolyGeo Dec 30 '16 at 21:43
  • Thanks PolyGeo- in the future then I should refer to say, the first lengthy question and post each of the (3 in this case) questions separately? – DRShort Dec 31 '16 at 1:30
  • 1
    I say this with a little reservation, but I think yes. Provide the background and ask the most important question to you first, and then give it a little time (perhaps a day, maybe only an hour or two) to see whether you engage a potential answerer. If you do, then their answer may answer another of the questions anyway or otherwise show that it no longer needs to be asked. Then, if you need to, copy the link from your first question into the start of a second question as background, and then ask the second (and later the third) question. – PolyGeo Dec 31 '16 at 1:36
1

This addresses a question which was not asked explicitly, but is crucial to the solution of the other questions posed within: how can you know you've identified the correct person named Jane Glasson, and not some other person?

Here are some suggestions for further research, and some ideas for you to think about. First let's start with a brief overview of the research cycle, as outlined in this article from FamilySearch:

  1. Identify what you know.
  2. Decide what you want to learn.
  3. Select records to search.
  4. Obtain and search the records.
  5. Evaluate and Use the information.

(after step five, return to step 1 and repeat)

To evaluate the information you have, one useful tool is Elizabeth Shown Mills' Evidence Analysis Process Map (PDF) which she talks about here in her QuickLesson 17: The Evidence Analysis Process Map.

Another important tool is Inferential Genealogy, where we go beyond the information which is on the surface of a single record, and dig deeper, combining information from many records to build a conclusion. In his video class, (handout here), Dr. Tom Jones, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA warns against "Kinship Acceptance", which he defines as "The uncritical use of kinships determined or accepted by others."

What immediately leaps out at me is that John Short's biography that you found on the Internet Archive is an authored work -- where did the author get the information about John's wife's maiden name? Does he cite his source?

Let's assume for the moment that he was he looking at the same parish record as the one you found. If so, you are accepting his kinship determination that the parish record from Cornwall belongs to the couple he is writing about. What if he is wrong?

In a case like this, I would suggest widening my search, looking in all record groups that I could find that might mention anyone in the couple's immediate family. For England, references like FamilySearch's England Record Selection Table can help; so can the England Wales Checklist published by oneplacestudy.org. For a print reference work, Mark D. Herber's book Ancestral Trails describes all the various record types that might exist.

When reviewing records on the US side, you can consult works like the United States Record Selection Table in the FamilySearch Wiki, Kory Meyerink's work Printed Sources, Mills' Evidence Explained (it's not just about citations), and Christina K. Schaefer's The Hidden Half of the Family: A Sourcebook for Women's Genealogy, which outlines the changes in the law in the USA and highlights possible sources where women's names might appear in records.

You're on the right track when you ask about identifying the witnesses to the marriage. Widen the search and investigate anyone -- friends, associates, and neighbors -- who might be connected with the couple. See QuickLesson 11: Identity Problems & the FAN Principle for an example of how Mills identified a woman on a marriage record named Mary Smith (a very common name).

Another thing to try is working up a list of surname variants for Glasson in case records have been mis-indexed or mis-transcribed.

Also, beware of searching too narrowly when it comes to Jane's age. One important thing to consider when doing inferential genealogy is the principle Judy G. Russell talks about in her webinar "How Old Did He Have to Be?" By knowing the law, we can make better estimates of someone's age, when the age is not stated explicitly in the records. How old did she have to be, in order to marry in 1821? Is it possible that you've missed a baptism because she was not baptised when she was a baby, but baptised later on? Perhaps it isn't common for this time period, but sixty years later, I have registers with siblings born two years apart who were baptised on the same day.

Re-examine everything you have on the couple -- analyze the information, and question everything, and search more widely. As you think of new questions, write them down so you won't forget to explore them later.

  • 1
    Thanks very much Jan, I am very appreciative of this site and the members efforts to provide meaningful answers- not just ancestor collecting! – DRShort Dec 30 '16 at 21:47
  • 1
    To answer one point that you brought up: "John Short's biography that you found on the Internet Archive is an authored work -- where did the author get the information about John's wife's maiden name? Does he cite his source?" the biography was published in 1891, I do have the original printed book, and the ancestor written about was still alive and in good health at the time- so I believe that the information is based on an interview with John Short. – DRShort Dec 30 '16 at 21:51
  • It would be useful if you could edit this information into your question, and add the name and publication date of the book as the label to the link. – Jan Murphy Dec 31 '16 at 17:37

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.