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20 votes

No trace of grandfather in 1891 or 1901 census?

I note that Charles Thomas Gigg was baptised on 13 Feb 1887 at St James Norlands, Kensington. His mother is given as Hannah Sarah Gigg, of 5 Mary's Place, single: Source: Ancestry.co.uk, London, ...
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19 votes

England - What are some possible reasons an ancestor would name his accountant in his will as a beneficiary?

That does not list the beneficiaries, it lists the people to whom probate was granted, which is the executors of the will. If there had been no will, or if they were not the named executors, then it ...
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19 votes

England - what are some possible reasons that my ancestor only listed his daughters in his will and none of his sons?

The obvious thing to check is whether the other children had died prior to the will being drawn up. Transcription To help you in this case, I have transcribed the will below: Extracted from the ...
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16 votes
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England - What are some possible reasons an ancestor would name his accountant in his will as a beneficiary?

As Tom says in his answer, the people mentioned are the executors of the estate. The record you are looking at is the National Probate Calendar, which is basically a detailed index of probate and ...
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14 votes

What "hidden" clues are there in the GRO Indexes of births and deaths?

Understanding precisely how the GRO indexes are organized can give us key information about individual entries. The marriage index is a whole other kettle of fish, so this answer pertains only to ...
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13 votes
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Meaning of “dofhoadayne” in 1648 Will of William Noake from Longburton, Dorset, England?

It says "Doth Ordayne" as in "I doeth Ordain this my Last Will and Testament" example - William Shakespeare's Will of 1616 - "I, William Shackspeare of Stratford-upon-Avon in the county of Warwick, ...
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12 votes
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What might word "wise" mean on 1764 Marriage Record of John Smyth and Sarah Osment from Stoke Damerel, Devon, England?

I think (having looked at the full page on FindMyPast) that it probably actually says "were" so that it reads: John Smith Captains Clarke of his Majestys Ship Firm and Sarah Osment of St Andrews ...
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11 votes

What is the first word in this baptism record?

Imprimis is Latin for "firstly". The word commonly appears in lists in parish registers and wills, preceding the first item.
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10 votes
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Was William Chichester recorded as Judge in 1841 Census at Dymock, Gloucestershire, England?

Annoying...! I think the word is "Indep", meaning "Independent", as in "Of Independent means". "I" and "J" do seem to be very similar in many hands and I'm not sure what to say the difference is. I'...
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10 votes
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Reading comment in 1825 baptism register?

The note reads: "According to the Cert[ifica]te of the Rev[eren]d G. Morland transmitted to me 30th August." An Act for the better regulating and preserving Parish and other Registers of Births, ...
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10 votes

Average time between birth and baptism in the Church of England?

I decided to perform a little experiment with some data from the relatively small parish of Caunton, Nottinghamshire. The baptism register from 1785 to 1812 reliably recorded the date of birth. During ...
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10 votes
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Would having the exact same GRO Birth Index reference mean two children born to the same parents were twins?

Yes, it is fair to infer that Mary and Sarah were twins. The indexes were compiled quarterly, meaning that children born over nine months apart should appear in different quarters. If one was ...
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10 votes
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Take a punch at this (or...identifying a boxer?)

The "B" page of "Find your boxing ancestors" on boxinghistory.org.uk lists several Butlers but only three with the first initial "G" (as his shorts appear to be monogrammed "GB"). The first of these, ...
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10 votes

What does "living 15 Rich. II" mean for the year an ancestor was alive in England?

This format of this date is called a Regnal year. It was commonly used in England, and is simply the number of years into the reign of the named monarch. A list of regnal years of English monarchs is ...
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10 votes

Privacy restrictions for ordering death certificates in England?

First I feel obligated to say that there is no such thing as a UK death certificate. There are death certificates for England & Wales, then there are death certificates from Scotland, and there ...
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9 votes

Deciphering an Intended Marriage from England around 1800

"Know all men by these presents, that we George Dutton of Coddington in the County and Diocese of Chester, farmer, and Robert Ruscoe of Aldersey in the same county, farmer, are holden and firmly bound ...
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9 votes
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What was the weather like?

Newspapers are the obvious source but thin out as one gets further back. One resource that is clearly a labour of love, records Historical Weather Events in the UK, collected (it looks like) from a ...
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9 votes
Accepted

Did bigamous marriages need to be annulled?

Professor Rebecca Probert ("a leading authority on the history of marriage law and practice in England and Wales" to quote the blurb on her book) has written a useful book: Divorced, Bigamist, ...
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9 votes

Looking for marriage of Annie Elizabeth to James Spencer Ward, ca 1900 in Cheshire?

Interestingly, James and Annie's headstone seems to hold some key information about Annie's ancestry and therefore her marriage. It can be found on FindAGrave: As you can see, the Wards were buried ...
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  • 18.5k
9 votes

Were bodies shipped overseas to be buried?

It would have been very uncommon, if it ever happened, in the 1600s. And if it did happen, I imagine it would have only have been for a person of significant wealth or importance. The journey across ...
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  • 18.5k
9 votes

What is the house number on this 1891 Census record?

The UK and Ireland censuses are available from multiple places: Ancestry, FindMyPast, and MyHeritage to name a few. FamilySearch has transcripts, but it links to FindMyPast for the images. I can ...
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8 votes

Is FreeBMD complete for England in the 1880s? (Or, finding Annie Louise Deady)

Coverage of the birth registrations on FreeBMD is given in "Coverage Charts - Births" - these look complete for the years around 1884. However, I am unclear how well the data in Ancestry reflects that ...
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8 votes
Accepted

What is written after John Lark's name?

The words after John Larke's name are "Single Man" it's just the top of the a doesn't go all the way over. Compare to "Single Woman" after Elizabeth's name. I would interpret it as meaning he was a ...
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8 votes

What does 1851 UK Census "Relation to Head of Family" entry that looks like "Depen" mean?

It is Dependent. Formal adoption in law did not exist in Britain until 1926. The change in law being brought about after the large number of orphans created by the First World War and the Influenza ...
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8 votes
Accepted

Why might name Ferdinando be found in early 17th century Cornwall baptisms?

According to the Oxford Dictionary of First Names: Ferdinand ♂ From a Spanish name, originally Ferdinando (now Hernán), which is of Germanic (Visigothic) origin, derived from farð ‘journey’ (or ...
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8 votes
Accepted

Was it common for parents to baptise a baby/child if they knew he was sickly and likely going to die soon?

To answer the question about baptising sickly children - yes, absolutely. The Church of England has an abbreviated form of the Order (i.e service) of Baptism to be used in homes etc. in such ...
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