My 4th great grandmother Harriet Palmer married John Creber on 9 Jun 1794 at Marystow, Devon. Harriet was a spinster of the parish who made a mark rather than signed, and banns had been duly published without denial on 25 May, 1 Jun and 8 Jun. John was a sojourner to the parish, a bachelor who signed.
Their witnesses were Richard Creber and Samuel Martyn. I suspect Richard was John's father (baptised 1746) rather than his cousin (baptised 1778). His father was a carpenter (from his burial record) like John (from the 1841 Census). Samuel Martyn witnessed 37 marriages at Marystow from 1783 to 1804 so I suspect he may have been closer to the church than to either family.
I am unable to find a record of Harriet's birth or baptism.
For the 1841 Census, she and John were living at Tavistock, and her age was recorded as 65, suggesting that she was born in about 1776, but the Marriage Record makes no mention of her being a minor in 1794, and so I think it likely that Harriet was born no later than 1773. The 1841 Census also says that she was born in the county of Devon. Also, as commented by @vervet, ages on the 1841 census were supposed to be rounded down to the nearest 5 so a birth as early as 1771 might be plausible even if she knew her age accurately.
There was an Ann Williams living with John and Harriet on the 1841 census record but @vervet has investigated and found that she was the widow of John Williams with her maiden name probably being Brooming (born Bere Ferrers in 1785, a daughter of John & Agnes Brooming).
Harriet's death was registered in Q4 1844 at Tavistock (Volume: 9 Page: 358). I have not yet obtained her death certificate, but according to this guide, I am not expecting that to name her parents. As commented by @HarryVervet the new GRO index says that Harriet (indexed as Harriott) was aged 80 when she died so her baptism should be looked for from about 1764.
The best candidates I currently have for her parents are John Palmer and Grace Cole who:
- had marriage banns read from 13 Mar 1768 at Coryton,
- married at Milton Abbot on 8 Apr 1768 (Grace Cole of Milton Abbot married John Palmer of Coryton),
- had three children baptised in Marystow (while living at Milton Abbott) in 1769 (John), 1771 (Grace) and 1772 (Susanna), and
- had one child, Roger, baptised at Milton Abbot in 1774.
The names Harriet and John gave their seven children, all baptised in Marystow, include their own, but neither Grace, Susanna nor Roger, appear as names amongst their children so there is nothing to help tie Harriet to those parents and siblings:
- Mary Ann (1795)
- John (1797)
- William (1799)
- Henry (1801)
- Elizabeth (1804)
- Richard (1807)
- Harriet (1810)
Does anyone have any thoughts on how/where else I might be able to find Harriet's birth/baptism record and/or parents?
I've tried searching the available records for surrounding parishes but so far nothing appears more, or anywhere near as, likely as the above.
I could look through the images of the Marystow Parish Registers at FamilySearch to see if Harriet's baptism has missed being transcribed, or has been transcribed incorrectly, but I am unsure how to find the relevant images for baptisms for the few years around 1773. As an update I have just found these images available and better indexed at FindMyPast so I will perform my manual search there instead.