Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Mixed Surnames in a Baptism Register

As an Online Parish Clerk I have been involved in transcribing hundreds of parish registers and other documents. I have had a great deal of help with this work by a small band of dedicated workers. We are reaching the end of the project having only a few years left in the baptism register for one parish, Plympton St. Mary, Devon. We started this work long before there were indexes on many commercial genealogical website. We continue it because many researchers do not have ready access to those sites and because we have found so many errors in transcriptions on these published lists. I have also been able to compile complete BMD lists for the past residents of my parishes which has helped dozens of researchers find several generations of their ancestors.

One transcriber, who was working on baptism records from the 1980s, recently told me “We have met the modern world with children born to 'partners'. . ." She encountered a number of couples where the surnames of both the father and mother were different. In some cases the children took the name of the father and some, the mother. One might assume all kinds of scenarios in these instances: where the parents were not married; where the natural parents were not living together but the father took responsibility; where one parent was a step-parent; or where one parent had changed their name after the birth of the child.

In times past, as I indicated in a post of September 15, 2013, vicars would only baptize children with the mother’s surname if the parents could not demonstrate they were married. We know there were also cases when a child baptized and/or registered with one parent’s surname changed it to the other’s many years later, as I explained in a post of February 4, 2014.

These latest entries seemed to be something different, however. We have no reason to suspect the parents were not married. Only one residence was given for the couple and there were no notes in the register commenting on their marital status. They seemed to just go by different last names at the times of the baptisms. My own daughter never changed her last name when she married either so I didn’t find this unusual.

Records showing parents with different last names can pose a problem with potentially finding the baptized individual in other records as it could be possible that the individuals might have later gone by surnames other than that shown in the baptism register. I have confirmed that each of the three children presented here were registered in the General Record Office with the same surname with which they were baptized. But on closer investigation other stories emerge. All information is in the public record and can be searched. The baptism entries are from the Plympton St. Mary baptism register (number 2712/2, 1983-1987) and used here courtesy of the Plymouth and West Devon Record Office, the copyright-holder. The entries show, left to right, the enrty number, date of birth, date of baptism, full name of individual baptized, father’s name and mother’s name at the time of the baptism.


Claire Rachel Wilcocks was actually born in 1974 so this 1985 baptism entry is for an adult. The maiden name of her mother, given on her civil registration, was Templeman-Rooke, not Brown as shown in the register. The name Brown is from a second marriage in 1980. Her mother and father were married in 1969. I have not found whether Claire’s father, Graham John Wilcocks died or whether the couple was divorced.


Patrick Roger Liam Shepherd was born just a few months before he was baptized but the use of his mother’s surname is curious. Additional searches revealed that Sandra’s maiden name, shown on Patrick’s birth registration, was Chappell. She married Roger G. Shepherd in 1971 and the couple appear to have had at least three children. Again, I have not found whether Roger Shepheard died before Patirck’s baptism, the couple were divorced or whether there are other aspects in the relationships at play here. Sandra went on the marry Neil Jones in 1996. This entry is curious in that Neil and Sandra were not married at the time of the baptism but he was considered Patrick father.


Sadie Yedermann has a similar story. Her mother’s maiden name was Trerise, not the Hopper shown on the baptism entry. Helen Trerise married Timothy J. Hopper in 1979. (Their names have been transcribed on Ancestry as Mellen Trerise and Timothy Mopper, just to add to the difficulties.) Sadie was born in October 1984, a full six months before she was baptized. A search for her parents brought up another marriage for a Timothy J. Hopper in 1985; so it appears the couple were divorced at some point, possibly between the dates of Sadie’s birth and baptism.

Much of this is supposition of course. Without copies of actual BMD registration documents we cannot be entirely sure of the dates and activities. But there is certainly more to their stories than the baptism records show. It begs the question about whether some past entries might be for families with similar histories, especially when a trail runs cold. A search for individuals in other records, both children and parents might reveal a more complex story than is first assumed in a single baptism entry.


Wayne Shepheard is a volunteer with the Online Parish Clerk program in England, handling four parishes in Devon, England. He has published a number of articles about various aspects of genealogy and is a past Editor of Chinook, the quarterly journal of the Alberta Family Histories Society. Wayne also provides genealogical consulting services through his business, Family History Facilitated

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Historical Family Interaction with Sir Henry Lopes and Family

In a previous post on April 28, 2015 I described my search for my great-granduncle, William John Shepheard. I found him working for and living with the family of Henry Lopes, at both their London home and in Wiltshire, at their country estate, Heywood House.

There is a great deal of information available for Henry Lopes, in published books and on the Internet. He was the son of Sir Ralph Franco Lopes, 2nd Baronet of Maristow in Devon, and Susanna Gaisford Gibbs Susan Ludlow of Heywood House, born on October 8, 1828 in Famerton Milliot, Devonport, Devon. Heywood was passed on to Henry following the death of his mother’s brother, Henry Gaisford Gibbs Ludlow, in 1876. His parents had died earlier, Sir Ralph in 1854 and Susanna, Lady Lopes, in 1870.

Henry was shown as a student at a private school in Exmouth, Littleham, Devon, on the earliest source I found, the 1841 census. In 1851 he was staying at a hotel in Brighton, with his parents, and indicated to be a “Student at Law”. He married Cordelia Lucy Clark in 1854, at the parish church in Egg Buckland, Devon. By 1861 he was practicing law at Monkton Farleigh in Wiltshire. They had three children by then and their home was Farleigh House. At the time of the 1871 census, Henry was staying at the Royal Hotel on College Green in Bristol, possibly at a legal conference as several other lawyers were also in the hotel. His title then was “Barrister at Law, Queen’s Counsel & Member of Parliament”. His wife and six children were at home at Cromwell Place in London. In 1881 I found Henry and Cordelia at the Cromwell Place home while their children were still in Wiltshire, at Heywood House. And, of course, that was where I found William Shepheard, working as a groom. By 1891, the family was all together at Cromwell Place and “Uncle Will” and his new wife, Jane, were living in the coach house at the rear of the property.

The history of Sir Henry makes very interesting reading, perhaps in part because of the connection with my own family. Uncle Will worked for the family certainly for over 10 years and quite possibly for close to 20. Another project will be to find employment records for the man, hopefully in the Lopes papers.

Sir Henry’s accomplishments are summarized in the Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 Supplement by James McMullen Rigg:

LOPES, HENRY CHARLES, first Baron Ludlow (1828–1899), judge, third son of Sir Ralph Lopes, bart. [see Lopes, Sir Manasseh Masseh, of Maristow, Devon, by Susan Gibbs, eldest daughter of A. Ludlow of Heywood House, Wiltshire, was born at Devonport on 3 Oct. 1828. He was educated at Winchester School and the university of Oxford, where he matriculated from Balliol College on 12 Dec. 1845, and graduated B. A. in 1849. He was admitted on 5 June 1849 student at Lincoln's Inn, but on 26 May 1852 migrated to the Inner Temple, where he was called to the bar on 7 June 1852, and elected bencher on 31 May 1870, and treasurer in 1890. He practised first as a conveyancer and equity draftsman, afterwards as a pleader on the western circuit and at Westminster. He was appointed recorder of Exeter in 1867, and was gazetted Q.C. on 22 June 1869. Returned to parliament for Launceston in the conservative interest on 9 April 1868, he retained the seat until the general election of February 1874, when he rendered signal service to his party by wresting Frome from the liberals. In 1876 he was appointed justice of the high court and knighted (28 Nov.) He sat successively in the common pleas and queen's bench divisions until his advancement in 1885 to the court of appeal (1 Dec.), when he was sworn of the privy council (12 Dec.) He was raised to the peerage, on occasion of the queen's jubilee in 1897 (26 July), as Baron Ludlow of Heywood, Wiltshire, and shortly afterwards retired from the bench.
 
Henry Charles Lopes, 1st Baron Ludlow (source National Portrait Gallery; downloaded August 25, 2015 from Wikipedia)
The old Lopes family residence in Wiltshire, Heywood House, is now  a business centre, renting out offices in the old home to individual business people, “mostly ‘high tech’ companies – in defence, telecoms, IT, control systems and software development, but also include companies in consultancy and other business services” according to their brochure. The coach house, where Uncle Will lived, is still there, also now converted to offices.
Heywood House and grounds (source Heywood House Business Centre website)

Heywood House – old coach house, home of William John Shepheard (source Heywood House Business Centre website)
Wayne Shepheard is a volunteer with the Online Parish Clerk program in England, handling four parishes in Devon, England. He has published a number of articles about various aspects of genealogy and is a past Editor of Chinook, the quarterly journal of the Alberta Family Histories Society. Wayne also provides genealogical consulting services through his business, Family History Facilitated

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Moving 3

Since my last post, we have finished our move to the new condo and the old house is up for sale. We are still settling in, trying to find a place for all the items we brought with us. We have sold, given away or discarded loads of stuff, some quite valuable, we thought, but for which there was limited or no interest to others to purchase it. So we have downsized in space and things.

This post deals with another ancestral line who also moved from Maryland in the early 19th century. Thomas and Ellen (Tunstall) Mayfield came to the US around 1811 we think, settling soon after in Baltimore. No passenger or other records have yet been found to confirm that date. They had two children born in London in 1804 and 1805. The rest of their seven children were all born in Baltimore. Ellen died there around 1833. Thomas was a medical doctor and presumably practiced in Baltimore. A family story states he fought for the US side in the War of 1812.

According to a biography of one of his sons, also a physician, Thomas and several of his children moved to Jefferson County, Indiana in 1834, where he farmed and practiced medicine until his death there in 1859.

It is very likely that Thomas Mayfield travelled to Indiana via the National Road, previously called the Cumberland Road. Work on it was started in 1811 beginning in Cumberland, Maryland. It was open to Wheeling, West Virginia by 1818 and to Indianapolis by 1829. It would later be extended to St. Louis, Missouri on the Mississippi River. Private toll roads already existed between Baltimore and Cumberland, Maryland where the new road to the west began.
 
Map showing the major towns and cities along the Cumberland or National Road downloaded August 18, 2015 from http://www.legendsofamerica.com/ah-nationalroad.html
A previous trail had been built in 1755, primarily for the military, by Virginia troops and British regulars. It was named after their commander, General Edward Braddock of the Coldstream Guards – Braddock Road. George Washington accompanied the Braddock expedition to the Ohio region against the French who occupied the lands. The road was the first major route to cross the Appalachian Mountains. The Cumberland Road generally paralleled the route set out by Braddock’s men but much improved for wagon traffic.
 
With the completion and improvements of the National Road, the northern interior was open to settlers the length of the Ohio River right into Indiana. Members of my Mayfield family were in all likelihood part of those groups that moved westward in search of new land and opportunity in that rapidly-developing state.

The move to Indiana was a major event in my family’s history. It was a way station for many branches of the family for at least a couple of generations. From there, many families eventually moved further west to Kansas and Oklahoma as those territories opened up. My 2nd great-grandmother, Hannah Tunstall (Mayfield) Miller-Watson was one of those later migrants, moving there with her second husband. She had lived in Cincinnati, Ohio with my 2nd great-grandfather, John Conrad Miller, and where three of her six children were born. The background picture on this blog is of Hannah’s family.
 
Map showing the major events and residence locations of members of the Mayfield family along with the route taken during moves to new locations
I’ll have more to say about those further migrations in a later Moving post here.

Wayne Shepheard is a volunteer with the Online Parish Clerk program in England, handling four parishes in Devon, England. He has published a number of articles about various aspects of genealogy and is a past Editor of Chinook, the quarterly journal of the Alberta Family Histories Society. Wayne also provides genealogical consulting services through his business, Family History Facilitated