A Sister Misplaced

In The Children of Francis & Mary (24 July), I pointed out that Sarah Butterick (child 7 on the Shared Tree) didn’t belong in the family of Francis TAYLOR and Mary BRAITHWAITE, claiming that she was illegitimate and that her father may have been a Mr. BUTTERICK.

Sarah has five sources attached to her record on the FamilySearch Shared Tree – her christening in Bridlington and four events that took place in the United States. The christening source does not name her father.

The GRO Births Index explains why.

The absence of a Mother’s Maiden Surname is usually an indication that the child is illegitimate. Confirmation is found in the Bridlington Parish Baptism Register.

A census search for unmarried Mary finds her in High Street, Bridlington, with her widowed mother Susannah, and two-year-old Sarah. Living just over a mile away is William BUTTERICK, his wife Ruth and their five-year-old daughter Mary. William is a blacksmith, ten years older than Mary Taylor. I have made the acquaintance of only one blacksmith and he was a Lothario. So, with prejudice, I accuse William of being Sarah’s biological father. Whether or not this can be proven beyond reasonable doubt, perhaps by the discovery of a bastardy order, the assertion that Sarah is the child of Francis and Mary BRAITHWAITE can no longer stand.

Landscape 121 · Martin’s Ravine

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