It isn’t clear how long Laura has been presented on the FamilySearch Tree as the illegitimate daughter of a ten year-old child.
She has two exclams –
Seven years ago, a contributor left a collaboration note for Elizabeth HARDWICK born 1837 (ticked green in the screenshot above) placing her correctly in the 1841, 1851 and 1871 census returns. In 1871, this Elizabeth is living with her parents, William and Ann Hardwick, at Cote Grange, Northallerton. Elizabeth is 31 years old and unmarried. Also part of the household are William and Ann’s grandchildren, Frederick FOWLER (6) and Laura HARDWICK (5).
Laura has two sources attached to her record on FamilySearch – her birth registration and baptism. The mother’s maiden surname is not given in the first and in the second her mother is described as a Singlewoman.
Her abode – Pill Rig – is significant. The family’s address in 1861 is “Pill Rigs…Sowerby under Cotecliffe”. The name has survived and you can see a photograph of a track to the farm on Geograph. The Google Satellite View below shows the farm’s proximity to Kirby Sigston, where Laura was baptized at St Lawrence’s Church.
If you go to ArchiUK you will be able to zoom out from Kirby Sigston to the places nearby where other players in the “Two Mother Story” lived.
In 1873 Elizabeth married George MOON, a widower and father of a daughter a year younger than Laura. In 1881 the quartet was enumerated at Clacks House, Osmotherley. George’s occupation then was “Corn Miller” but “Farmer” in the next three censuses. In 1911, George (77) and Elizabeth (73) were living at “Clack Pleasant, Osmotherley”.
In 1881 “Laura Moon” is fifteen but the only death registration I have found that fits, in Northallerton December Quarter 1886, is for Laura Hardwick, age 21. (Osmotherley is in the Northallerton Registration District.)
Pedigree Collapse (Tuesday’s post) gives Laura a dual relationship to her “false mother”, Elizabeth Hardwick born 1856. She is a first cousin with common ancestors William Hardwick and Ann FAWCETT and a second cousin with ancestors Thomas Fawcett and Jane MARWOOD.
So, what became of cousin Elizabeth? She rose above being feloniously assaulted (some sources say “raped”) when only four years old and traduced as an unmarried mother aged ten by FamilySearch contributors.
In the second quarter of 1878 she married William GRAINGER in Northallerton. Within a year their first child, Tom, arrived. He was followed by Harry, Annie, George, Hardwick and Louie. All the children reached adulthood but Harry died in 1905, aged 23.
William was a blacksmith for much of his working life but the 1911 census says he was an “Agent for Cakes and Manners”. Quite a career change. He died in 1927 aged 73 and just over a year later Elizabeth joined him in the next world, aged 72. If the five children who made it to 1911 were still alive then, their ages ranged from 32 to about fifty. That Elizabeth the Younger has been misrepresented on FamilySearch for so long suggests that descendants don’t have much of an interest in their roots. Not on FamilySearch anyway.