Monday, 12 June 2017


I am writing this post as a follow on from one that I put up on my own blog earlier this month. 
This is also about my experience over the weekend whilst working on the Family Search Family Tree and I suspect I am not alone in having this experience.
I had looked at a new record set on Find My Past and was relating it back to an ancestor on the Family Search Family Tree which led to further research on this individual and his family.

Richard Carrot the son was attached to his parents but his siblings have been added today. 
There are others using the name Richard Carrot in this area so at the moment much of the family is speculative with sources attached but not proven relationships. I have accessed the parish registers to confirm christenings, marriages and burials. However Richard and Elizabeth are common first names and useful census records are rare before 1841. How do I know I have the right family?

So here is a map of the area courtesy of Google maps.
Richard Carrot and Elizabeth Hall married in Pickworth in 1777. Elizabeth was christened in Walcot 1778 and Richard in Folkingham 1783 but what about Matthew in Swaton 1785.
Another marriage can be found for a Richard and Elizabeth Aldridge in Horbling in 1761. 
Horbling is closer to Swaton so could they be the parents of Matthew?
First I need to look for likely children of Richard and Elizabeth nee Aldridge in Horbling or nearby. The only one I have found is for a Thomas in 1765. I have not found a burial for Elizabeth in Horbling but a Richard was buried in 1776.  These records do not record ages and relationships the only distinguishing information recorded was that the occupation of Richard prior to his death was Tollbar keeper.
A search of newspapers at this time did not reveal any useful information as family announcements cannot yet be found in the local newspaper.
So I stick by my current conclusion in the absence of anything to refute this or providing more information.

Matthew was used as a first name by Richard the son for one of his son's. Matthew senior married Mary Dewey in Edenham but the couple do not appear to have had any children. I can find no christenings and by 1841, the first census showing relationships, they are too old to have any living with them.
Looking at the parents, grandparents and siblings of Mary's father on the Family Search Family Tree I discovered several different transcriptions of the surname. The dates and place are the same and a look at the digital images at Find My Past will confirm they refer to the same individuals.

If we are to correctly identify individuals and attach all the relevant sources we need to be aware of these alternative transcriptions and identify them for what they are when reconstructing families.

Our ancestors did like to use the same first names from generation to generation and we must always consider that each record may refer to a different individual. When John died as a baby or young child it was often the case that the next boy would be called John. It can also be seen that the sons may both want to use the first name of their parent for their own children. In my own family I have found William Roberts used 3 times by the parents in the register of christenings but only one burial. Was the second child christened twice. The second christening was private which may have possibly been due to the child being sickly. There were only 2 births registered, consistent with the first two christenings, and only one death registration and burial.

I have added explanations to the tree in the discussion and merge fields so that it is clear what I have concluded here. Even with birth and death certificates I would be unable to be certain that I have made the correct conclusion.

In conclusion whatever we use we need to make a considered analysis of the information available. Even when we have access to original records we may only make assumptions regarding those who have proceeded us. However showing the source of the information upon which we base our conclusion will add weight to a well thought out proof.