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Old 20-04-12, 22:54
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Default At last - no thanks to the parish clerk or vicar

The very first time I ever went to look at a PR microfiche, so long ago that I was too scared even to go into the Notts Archives but I did pluck up the courage to view it at the local history library (because it's part of the normal library), so, *cough* years ago, it was to look for the baptism of my 4xg-grandmother, Mary Wilkinson. I knew where and when she was born from the censuses, a little place called Blyth, so there weren't many baptisms per year to look for and it just so happened that the very first page I looked at was the right one. Mary Wilkinson baptised 5th Sep 1802, parents John and Mary Wilkinson of Hodsock.

Okay, now to find any siblings, especially older ones, and then look for her parents' marriage. No siblings baptised at Blyth, although there were some children of John and Elizabeth Wilkinson from 1804 onwards, but they were living in Blyth rather than Hodsock, so I wasn't sure if it was the same John. There was a Mary Wilkinson of Hodsock buried 12 Jan 1802, so I eventually came to the conclusion that she was probably my Mary's mother and died in or soon after childbirth, and that John married an Elizabeth some time after Mary sr died, and that they didn't get round to having Mary jr baptised for a few months. It did worry me that it didn't say deceased for her mother on the baptism, but later I came across a few baptisms of children whose mother or father was definitely deceased where there was nothing to say so in the baptism register.

So.... when I eventually bit the bullet and went into that scary place called the Archives, I spent many hours searching for John's marriage to a Mary in or before 1802, and his marriage to an Elizabeth in or after 1802. I found a few possibles for the Elizabeth marriage in indexes but looking at the images, the groom's parish would be wrong, or he would be a bachelor, or there was one where the banns were first called while his first wife Mary would have still been alive. Oh, and I found John and Elizabeth on the 1841 census, and Elizabeth on the 1851 where her birthplace was given as Carlton, which would be Carlton in Lindrick as that is near Blyth.

Today I thought I'd have another go at the Wilkinson family, and noticed some children baptised at Blyth who would be about the same age as John, with the same names as his sons, parents' names Joseph and Mary, abode Little Hodsock. Except the youngest's (baptised 1788) parents are Joseph and Elizabeth. Couldn't see a burial for Mary between the youngest of her children and the 1788 one, and I couldn't find a marriage for Joseph and Elizabeth either. Also one of Joseph and Mary's children was buried in Blyth in 1789 and it says "son of Joseph and Mary" on the burial, without saying that Mary was deceased. It would make more sense if the Mary buried in 1802 was this Mary, not John's wife.

And I found a John baptised in Gringley on the Hill in 1777, which fit nicely before the first of the children baptised in Blyth. Also a very likely marriage for Joseph and Mary in 1776 at Bole.

So, I wondered whether the vicar or parish clerk could have got the name of Joseph's wife wrong on Benjamin's baptism, and put Elizabeth when it should have been Mary.

In which case.... duh! Could John's wife have been Elizabeth, not Mary, when his daughter Mary was born? And the wrong name written in the register for her too? I finally looked for a John marrying an Elizabeth again, and I think I've solved it! John Wilkinson of Mansfield Woodhouse married Elizabeth Anderson of Carlton in Lindrick, at Carlton in Lindrick, 26 Jan 1802. Witnesses Samuel Wilkinson (the name of one of my John's brothers baptised at Blyth) and Robert Small. This must be the one I rejected because of the banns starting before Mary was buried. Also the groom's parish - but it could be he was living in MW at the time and then moved back to Hodsock.

I can't see any children of John and Elizabeth Wilkinson born at Mansfield Woodhouse, though I will have to check another day, so it looks likely to be my couple and I think this must be the answer at last!
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Old 21-04-12, 06:51
Lindsay Lindsay is offline
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I agree, it does sound likely, Kiterunner.

Vicars were certainly not infallible - I have one baptism in particular where the vicar seems to have totally scrambled the parent's names, although everything else fits. I'm 90% sure I have the right one but there's always that doubt!
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Old 21-04-12, 11:18
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Thanks, Lindsay.

Didn't have time to add this bit last night but one of the witnesses at Mary's wedding was Charles Saundby, who was married to Elizabeth Wilkinson (Mary's sister, or half-sister as I previously thought), so that ties Mary up nicely with John and Elizabeth Wilkinson, and one of the Wilkinson boys who was born in Blyth (i.e. one of John's brothers / half-brothers) is living in Mansfield Woodhouse on the censuses (Samuel - the same one who was the witness at John's wedding), so it makes sense that John could have been living there at one time.
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Old 22-04-12, 09:32
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Looks very hopeful, doesn't it? I have a few instances of this in my tree, though none for my direct line. The two I can think of are both written Elizabeth where it should say Mary!
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Old 12-08-18, 10:46
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My ex has a large family of 13 or so children, surname Robins. They were sometimes baptised singly, sometimes with similar-aged cousins and sometimes in batches when a new baby arrived.

There were just 2 I couldn't find records for, despite scrolling through pages and pages of microfilm. The church, St Leonards Shoreditch had pages for each DAY (whereas tiny village in Norfolk comfortably got all their baptisms for a century in just a few pages). It was only when it became easier to search online - and thanks to a blanket search for children born of a mother called Priscilla (which narrowed things down) I found one called Robbins and one under Robinson, which I'd completely missed when going through surnames on film. In such a populous area with so many parishoners I could see how mistakes could be made.
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