Sunday, June 19, 2011

Finding the maiden names of females in England and Wales.

Attendance at our Thursday night classes has dropped drastically with the arrival of spring, but this past week I had 5 students. To see the contents of the class click this link. http://billbuchanan.byethost17.com/ Then click the link to England and Wales below my photo.

We ran into a technical glitch. We lost our internet connection for about 10 minutes, but we perservered and it returned.

Finding the maiden names of females is relatively easy in England and Wales. The census will show you approximately when the marriage occurred. Then use http://www.freebmd.org.uk/ to look for the marriage. If you are lucky there is only one person with the name you are looking for getting married in that locality in that time period. In marriages after 1900, it will actually give the spouse's surname. For example, searching for the wife of William Shipgood in 1900-1920, we find:

Surname  First name(s)  Spouse  District  Vol  Page 
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Marriages Sep 1913   (>99%)
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Forsbury  Mary A  Shipgood  Camberwell  1d 1947   
Holliday  Robert V  Smith  Camberwell  1d 1947   
Shipgood  William  Forsbury  Camberwell  1d 1947   
Smith  Florence  Holliday  Camberwell  1d 1947   
William's wife's surname is shown as Forsbury, so we know he married Mary A. Forsbury.

Prior to that date you need to do a little more detective work, by finding the husband in the next census and seeing which wife he is with.

For example, looking for the marriage of Thomas George Ing in London, about 1865, we find:
Marriages Dec 1862   (>99%)
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Ing  Thomas     Luton  3b 9_1   
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Marriages Dec 1865   (>99%)
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Ing  Thomas George     Bethnal Gn  1c 691   
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Marriages Sep 1866   (>99%)
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ING  Thomas     Berkhampstead  3a 519   
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The one in Bethnal Green is the only one in London. Clicking the link to the page number, finds these people's marriages on that page.

Surname  First name(s)    District  Vol  Page 
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Marriages Dec 1865   (>99%)
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Batt  Thomas    Bethnal Gn  1c 691   
Boulton  Eliza     Bethnal Gn  1c 691   
Forsbury  Martha Jane     Bethnal Gn  1c 691   
Ing  Thomas George     Bethnal Gn  1c 691   

So who did Thomas marry, Eliza Boulton or Martha Jane Forsbury? The 1871 census has the answer!

1871 Census of EnglandName Age in 1871 Birthplace Relationship Civil Parish County/Island
Thomas Ing 34  Paddington, Middlesex, England Head  Paddington  London [Coster monger]
Martha Ing 22  Paddington, Middlesex, England Wife  Paddington  London
Thomas Ing 5  Marylebone, Middlesex, England Son  Paddington  London
William Ing 4  Marylebone, Middlesex, England Son  Paddington  London
Location in 1871 Paddington  Kensington, St Mary Paddington

Obviously Thomas married Martha Jane Forsbury, and Thomas Batt married Eliza Boulton.

What work did a coster monger do? He sold fresh fruits and vegetables, usually from a portable stand or a wheelbarrow. (Sort of like Molly Mallone in the old song. "She was a fish monger, ... She pushed her wheelbarrow down streets dark and narrow, crying "Cockels and mussels! Alive, alive! Oh!") Some coster mongers were fortunate to work along busy streets with lots of hungry pedestrians; they were the equivalent of today's fast food outlets. McDonalds, Wendy's and so forth, didn't arrive in England until a century later.

Enjoy your English research!

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