A Bad Marriage

The paternal grandmother of Thomas CLARK, Sunday’s missing soldier, is Ann TAYLOR. On the FamilySearch Shared Tree she is married to Richard MARSHALL.

Ann has three sources: christening in 1838, 1851 census and civil marriage in 1856. Richard just has the marriage source; his parents are not given. That he is apparently eight years older than Ann isn’t much of a caution, but the bride being just eighteen should give pause. In Britain in the mid-19th century, both sexes could marry legally at puberty. Fourteen for males, twelve for females. Parental permission to marry was required if the parties were below “full age” (21). Widely accepted advice was for young women to wed between the ages of 21 and 25 and the average age at marriage for both sexes  in Victorian Britain was around 25.

Hindsight (after much research) is a wonderful thing, but let us begin the search for Ann’s Mr. RIGHT by accepting her birth in Bridlington in 1838 and that she was from a good, settled family that followed social norms. A simple query of Free BMD marriages in East Yorkshire between 1859 and 1863 gives just one result.

Bingo! A likely contender for Private Clark’s grandfather.

Expanding the search two years each way adds one other East Yorkshire “hit”.

The bad marriage.

Ann’s 1851 census source confirms that her father is Francis Taylor, as shown on the Shared Tree. The father of Ann who married first is another man.

It would be interesting to know if this John Taylor was a witness at the marriage of “our” Ann to William Clark.

I think this is evidence enough to end the Shared Tree bad marriage and unite Ann with her soldier grandson. A task for tomorrow perhaps. (I should point out that William is already represented on the Shared Tree with “Anne” and one child.)

I tried to discover what happened to Richard and Ann but their trail went cold after the birth of their first child.

William Clark had eight children with his Ann and when the 1911 census was taken he is living in Bickerton near Wetherby with daughter Sarah Ann, a Farm Manager’s wife. But William, now 74, is a widower and I don’t know yet when or where Ann died. William’s life ended in the Workhouse but not, it seems, sadly.

Insect 26 · Soldier Beetles

Rhagonycha fulva, Muston Cliffs

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