Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Records with Extras

A birth, marriage or death index will give you the date, or at the very least the year of an event. Finding the actual record in a register may give you more than you bargained for!  

This is the baptism record for the great-grandfather of the husband of my great aunt - 
William Gay was born in Midsomer Norton, Somerset in January 1819 to Theodocia Gay.

You can see that under the column "Quality, Trade or Profession" for all the others it is chandler or miner... but for William the clerk (or reverend) wrote "baseborn". Not illegitimate as most do... no.  Base born!!  Like he's the lowest of the low. It was a pretty common term in those days. 

Anne Roberts of North Bovey, Devon was the widow of Elias Clampitt when she married my 4x great uncle John King of Loddiswell. The couple married and resided in Wolborough, Newton Abbott. This is her burial record...

Anne King, Newton Abbot *the first death from Cholera Morbus, Oct 28, 1832.  

The clerk wrote a C.M. in the margin (Cholera Morbus) for Anne's records and on the next one for William Woodgate. I went a few pages ahead and there didn't seem to be any others marked with a CM through the next year. The clerk did make other notations, such as "thrown from his horse and found dead" and another "died in Exeter from a fall from a wagon". 

You see that it can pay off to find the record from the register. I wish all my ancestors records were written by clerks like that!


  1. It's such a FUN day when we discover those 'extras'! And yes, thank you to all the clerks that went the 'extra' mile! :o)

  2. It's all in the details, and a small detail can lead to a discovery that wouldn't have otherwise been made. Indexes by virtue or their purpose and structure cannott give such nuanced detail. Great Work.

  3. Yes, the records can hold clues. Ever so grateful to the clerks that paid attention to details and were very thurough.


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