There’s Only One Harriet

The last of the TAYLOR children seriously misrepresented on the FamilySearch Shared Tree is Edmund, the seventh son of Francis and Mary nee BRAITHWAITE. He married twice and currently his first wife is Harriet Matilda WILSON.

On census night in 1871, Edmund is lodging with oldest brother Thomas in Victoria Place, Chorlton on Medlock. At the next census he is married to second wife Mary WILKINSON. Mary has yet to have a child of her own but is stepmother to Harry and Mary. The Shared Tree has Edmund and Mary marrying on 6 October 1880 and Harriet Matilda dying in April 1881.

Between 1871 an 1880 there is only one marriage registered in England and Wales that features our focus couple.

Free BMD Marriages

Harriet is 26 years old when she dies in the first quarter of 1879, less than six months after she gave birth to Mary. A calculated birth year of 1853 generates parents William Wilson and Harriet SPENCER in Bolton, Lancashire, but this relationship should be checked.

On the Shared Tree there are three sources attached to Harriet Matilda. The first is a Chorlton birth registration for Harriet Margaret WILSON in the September Quarter of 1844. Harriet Matilda’s birth is given as 1843 – in Pateley Bridge, Yorkshire. The second source, for the marriage, is correct in naming “just Harriet”. The third source is a death registration for Harriet Matilda Taylor in the June Quarter of 1881. FamilySearch shows the registration place is Chorlton and age at death 38. The GRO Deaths Index, however, doesn’t give the registration place and has a different Volume and Page number. Free BMD Deaths agrees with the GRO in giving Volume 8c and Page 392 and helpfully specifies Chorlton Registration District.

A Harriet date of death after Edmund has married again makes further investigation rather pointless, but a quick search of Free BMD Marriages shows just one Harriet Matilda WILSON marrying between 1860 and 1881 – in Bethnal Green, London.

A “member’s tree” on Find My Past offers a variant Harriet, born in Pateley Bridge in 1855 and dying in Bramley (Leeds) in 1879. I cannot find either event supported by civil registration. So, for me, there was only one Harriet Wilson destined to be Edmund’s first helpmeet.

Path 103 · Sand Hill Lane

Church Ravine

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