I wasn't expecting to find this when I received a marriage certificate in the post today.
The year of marriage is 1877 in the registration district of Exeter.
Mary Ann Vickery, age 22 which make her year of birth 1855 approx. William Brown, age 21, which would make his year of birth around 1856.
I can show a snippet from the certificate if required but the text is quite clear.
In my tree I have:
Mary (born 1852). William (born 1859).
Mary's birth is consistent in Mary ways:
- I have her birth certificate and it is 18 April 1852.
- Based on the census logs I have found to day they too coincide (1881, 1891, 1901, 1911).
- The year of marriage fits in with the birth of her children.
For William I only have two census logs for now (1881 and 1901).
On the 1901 image the areas are very clear:
Clearly Mary is 48 and William is 43.
OK, OK, one might ask:
- Is this marriage certificate the right one for this couple?
- Or, are the census logs the correct one for this couple?
I am going on the basis that these persons are the same. They got married in a Registry Office.
According to my records they would have been:
William - 1877-1859 = 18 years. Kind of young but I guess the age could have massages either way, most likely to being a bit older, but 21?
Mary - 1877-1852 = 25 years.
Was it common at this time to have such differencing with the facts (as in taking the birth certificate as fact)?
I agree with one of the answers provided in that census data can't be relied on by itself to establish ages.
- 1861 Mary is 10 and a servant but it says she was born in a different place in Devon.
- 1871 Mary is 19 and a servant but it says she was born in Taunton, Somerset.
- 1881 Mary was 28 (calculated 1853) - born Whimple:
- 1891 Mary was 38 (calculated 1853) - born Whimple:
- 1901 Mary was 48 (calculated 1853) - born Whimple:
- 1911 Mary was 54 (calculated 1857) - born Whimple: (oops - note that she died on dementia in early 1930s).
I should point out a Military pension record snippet for their son Robert Brown in 1907 that tells me these are correct (note the address):
I don't know why William Brown was not listed on the 1901 census log.
Interestingly on Mary's death certificate from 1932 it says that her husband was a "Tanner, Journeyman":
I think that William is then later found on the 1939 register as a Widower with his daughter (married) but I do not have the official images etc for that.
So I figured that maybe he was just travelling in 1901.