Guesswork Wives

Routine headstone listing a couple of days ago brought me to Robert Frederick and Martha.


Filey Genealogy & Connections recorded Martha as a HUNTER, but a note (not visible in the FST version) cautions that she is a “guesswork wife”. It is rare for Kath’s guesses to send one down a wrong path, but I found that Martha entered the world as a CHILD.

Her father, Henry, appears to have been the ninth of ten children born to Jacob CHILD and Eliza HOW. The GRO Online Index of Births gives HOW as the Mother’s Maiden Surname for all but one of the children. The odd one out has “STOW” – a mistranscription by the GRO, I suspect.

Most of the children can be found on the FamilySearch Tree, but their mother is given as Eliza HITINS in this pedigree. This Eliza has eleven sources attached to her page, none of which give her birth Surname. She seems to be another guesswork wife.

Elsewhere on FST, the marriage of an older Jacob Child to Eliza How can be found. This couple has six children – but Martha’s father Henry is without a wife (as I write this). The six or seven years difference in Jacob’s age is clearly enough to fool “the system” into thinking the two Jacobs are different individuals.

I’m not sure of the best, (most efficient), way to put these people on the straight and narrow. My immediate concern is to create a Martha CHILD (1884 – 1964) so that I can attach the headstone photo to her record as a Memory.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, “marriage horizons” of Filey-born men and women may have become much wider than those of their Victorian forebears. I wonder, though, about the serendipity involved in Robert Frederick finding his bride in Hertfordshire 230 miles south of Filey.

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