I have stayed away from the entangled CARTER families for a couple of days, leaving them in the adventurous hands of ‘homebuilt’. I visited them this morning and was pleased to see one family had become two. Several children were living on the wrong side of the tracks but all the heavy lifting had been done (thank you, James) and it was a simple matter to send Elizabeth, Hannah and Edward over to Malton and add poor Robert to the Bridlington folk. I despatched Ann to the cyber-orphanage. I am convinced her mother is someone other than Mary Thompson or Mary Stephenson. Someone may give her a home eventually.
There is work still to be done but both families look healthier after the surgical procedure. Look back to last Monday’s post to see the way things were. As I write, the two Carter families look like this –
The stage is now set for the story of James Robert Carter and the Two Donkin Sisters.
In 1821, they were christened 49 days and about the same number of miles apart – and their mothers were called Mary.
Their wives were also called Mary and the couples chose the same names for three of their children.
Perhaps we should not be surprised that the two families became tangled on the FamilySearch Shared Tree.
The first thing I did this morning was to extract all Yorkshire Carters from the 1881 Census as an Excel file and sort them by birth year, first for “John” and then for “Mary”. It was no surprise to see the men “twinned”. Three hale Marys, all widows, separated the wives.
Interesting that George should be living next door to his parents. (His wife and children are on the next page.)
Huntingdon John laboured on the railways for much of his life while Flamborough John worked the land. The agricultural labourer’s life would be shorter by sixteen years.
The railway man was a widower for seventeen years and lived for most of that time in Norton with his youngest son Thompson, daughter in law Sarah Ellen, and five grandchildren. The family’s move to Norton shortened the distance between the two Johns at death by almost twenty miles.
Efforts are being made on the Shared Tree to tease the two families apart. I am not acting alone, so a certain amount of chaos can be expected. I will let you know when I think it is safe to pay the Marys and Johns a visit.