My 7th great grandmother Blanch Hambly married John Geach on 25 Apr 1688 at Menheniot, Cornwall, England. John had been baptised on 15 Mar 1658 at Menheniot.

There are two candidates for Blanch's christening:

  • Blanch Hambly who was baptised on 21 Jan 1657 at Menheniot, as the daughter of Jacob
  • Blanch Hambly who was baptised on 27 Dec 1670 at Menheniot, as the daughter of John

and I am trying to decide which was married on 25 Apr 1688. I have not found a marriage for the alternative Blanch.

John and Blanch named their children:

  • Catherine (1688)
  • William (1690)
  • Mary (1692)
  • another Catherine (1694)
  • Joseph (1696)

which seems to give no clues to Blanch's parents names because:

  • I am unable to find a baptism or marriage for Jacob although he did baptise three other children at Menheniot
    • Peter (1640)
    • Frances (1643)
    • Elizabeth (1650)
  • John was christened on 30 Jul 1626 at Menheniot and he married Francis Sweete on 27 Jan 1656 at Menheniot. Francis had been christened on 2 Apr 1632 at Menheniot. John and Francis had christened five other children at Menheniot:
    • Jane (1659)
    • Catherine (1661)
    • Lovedy (1661)
    • William (1664)
    • Elizabeth (1666)

To me the 1657 baptism of Blanch, daughter of Jacob, being very close to that of John in 1658 makes me think she is more likely.

However, the Blanch baptised in 1670, has a sister Catherine, which is a name that appears twice in Blanch and John's children.

Does anyone have any insights into evidence that I could use to develop more confidence about which Blanch Hambly married John Geach at Menheniot in 1688?

All records listed above can be found at http://www.cornwall-opc-database.org/.

  • I have a comment that is tangential to the question, which I will leave in the Conference Room.
    – Jan Murphy
    Commented May 24, 2015 at 8:23

1 Answer 1


Parish registers can only get you so far. You need to look at other sources.

My first tack would be wills and probate since they often contain very useful genealogical information. A quick search of the Cornwall Archives catalogue shows 12 wills for Hambleys in Menheniot, several of which were made during the period of interest, which might mention Blanch or her siblings or parents before or after her marriage:

AP/H/423    Will of Thomas Hambly of Menheniot  1617
AP/H/692    Will of John Hambly of Menheniot    1626
AP/H/913    Will of Peter Hambly of Menheniot   1636
AP/H/1340   Will of John Hambley, bachelor, of Menheniot    1661
AP/H/1532   Will of John Hambley of Menheniot   1667
AP/H/1636   Will of William Hambly, yeoman, of Menheniot    1670
AP/H/1914   Will of Christopher Hambly, carpenter, of Menheniot 1678-1679
AP/H/4065   Will of Ann Hambly of Menheniot 1714
AP/H/7270   Will of Susanna Hambly, spinster, of Menheniot  1809
AP/H/7348   Will of Elizabeth Hambly of Menheniot   1812
AP/H/7405   Will of Edward Hambly, gentleman, of Menheniot  1814
AP/H/8230   Will of Joseph Hambly, yeoman, of Menheniot 1843

Nephews, neices, and cousins are also often mentioned in wills, so also look for wills in the Sweet and Geach families.

These records are not available online, but if you cannot get to Cornwall you still have options. Cornwall RO provides a reasonably priced copying service. Archdeaconry of Cornwall wills have also been filmed by the LDS, and can be ordered and viewed at any Family History Center in the world.

  • 1
    I had looked for Wills, but in my haste, I had taken the list at cornwall-opc.org/Par_new/l_m/menheniot.php to be all that were available. Thanks for reminding me that a more thorough search is easy and necessary.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented May 24, 2015 at 22:40

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