A Clerical Error

The boy who would be an estate agent and poultry farmer (Saturday’s post) cannot be found in the GRO Births Index. However, FamilySearch serves up his christening details in a Record Hint.


Curiously, the birth of a Nugent boy was registered in Bedford in the September quarter of 1867. His name…


Henry’s mother, Mary Susan Boyd, was the widow GOGERLY when she married Mariner John Venables NUGENT in Calcutta. Her maiden surname was BETTS. The GRO printed Index clearly shows “John Venables” so it isn’t a recent transcription or digitization error.

Less a mistake, more a case of several economies with the truth – on the Shared Tree Mary S B Betts was born in Calcutta on 26 July 1826. In 1871, the Bedford census enumerator noted her birthplace as the Channel Islands. In 1891, a widow again and living with recently married Henry and Hannah, she claimed to be 63 years old, born “At Sea”.

None of these errors and narrative inconsistencies matters much. I wonder if the families Betts, Gogerly AND Paliologus knew each other in Calcutta. And how does a Mariner gain an entrée into ex-pat Bengal society?


I did some more work on the Paliologi today, putting the five sons of Nicholas and Annie Elizabeth DRIVER on the Shared Tree.

Theodore, St John Lower’s older brother, was obviously of more interest to me now, after seeing the photo of a possible ancestor’s tomb inscription. He was just Theodore in the few sources that mentioned him – until I found a record of his aunt Sarah’s will, made in Middlesex Hospital a short time before her death in 1890.

I Sarah Paliologus leave and bequeath to my nephew Theodore Constantine Paliologus two thirds of what I possess and one third to my cousin Rose Marie Laura Kallonas. I declare before God that this is my last Will and Testament.

I wonder, named after the last Byzantine Emperor?

Find Sarah Isabella on FamilySearch. Take a closer look and you will notice that her mother was born Mary Jane Sophia DRIVER, and nephew Theodore’s mother is Annie Elizabeth DRIVER. In a gene pool as small as that of the British occupiers in Calcutta, it is a relief that mother and grandmother from opposite sides of the track are not related by blood. Annie’s father was Garret and Mary’s, John, their connection a mystery, to me at least.

Mary Jane Sophia and Nicholas Paliologus senior married in St John’s Cathedral, Calcutta, on 12 January 1824 and I was pleased to see one of my favourite early British photographers had captured it in the 1860s.

St John's CathedralKolkata_SamlBOURNE_BL
courtesy The British Library

Samuel Bourne India Photographs. On the Shared Tree, he waits at the altar for Mary TOLLEY. In 1911 the couple, aged 76 and 66, were enumerated at a house in The Park, Nottingham, that they  (I guess) had named “The Bright Lands”. Living with them was their unmarried daughter, Constance, born in Simla in 1870.