Researching family units occasionally throws up small surprises of particular types. Here are a couple from my recent efforts.
The married male head of a household in one census may have a wife with a different given name in the next. The ready assumption is that there has been a death in the family – and a second marriage.
In 1871, recently married Thomas WATKINSON is enumerated in Outhert’s Square, Filey, with wife Mary and first child Mary Jane. Ten years later this Watkinson family unit is living in Wenlock Place – Thomas, Mary and five children.
In 1891 Thomas and MARGARET are just around the corner from the previous address, with four of the five children, plus three more, and a lodger. But there hasn’t been a parent death or a second marriage.
In the record for Thomas in Filey Genealogy & Connections, Kath makes a note:
Haven’t yet worked out why his wife should be entered as Mary in familysearch.org when he married Margaret who lived until 1912.
This scrap of the page image is clear enough. And so is the marriage record.
“Mary’s” age is given as 29 in 1881 and Margaret is 39 in 1891. A search for birth records yielded nothing convincing for a plain Mary, one for Margaret WILES and another for Margaret WYLES. The first Margaret’s birth was registered in Driffield and the second in Bridlington. The Margaret of the 1891 and 1911 censuses gives her birthplace as North Burton, so Bridlington it is:
Find Margaret on FamilySearch Tree – but the parents are, as yet, childless. And the Mary Mystery has not been solved!
The second surprise type this week caused a gnashing of teeth. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) Surgeon WHEELHOUSE and Agnes Caroline COWELL had four girls. One died in infancy and, I think, only first-born Caroline Agnes married. She had two sons with George Herbert ROWE. The younger, Claude Hamerton ROWE, was in his early twenties when his grandfather Claudius died but he married Marjorie Eteson WAILES two or three years after the Wheelhouse grandparents had departed for the better place.
Claude is also playing a waiting game on FamilySearch Tree. Marjorie’s grandfather, George, hasn’t brought her to the church yet, to give her away. Indeed, as I write this, she hasn’t been born to Frederic Hill WAILES and Annie Beatrice WAILES. I don’t know about you, but I always find it discombobulating when two people with the same family name marry. As happens in most such instances, this couple is not related by blood, but they make extending the pedigree back in time more awkward. I’m a dab hand at mixing up same name grandfathers.