One Sarah or Two?

The birth families of Job Charles CHAPMAN and the IBBERSON sisters were scattered (and incomplete) on FamilySearch. I wanted to bring them together so that I could attach the photographs of the St Oswald’s memorials to their records on the Shared Tree. I happened upon two Chapman girls called Sarah who were alive at the same time and had the same parents. Or so the records indicated.

Every life is precious and should be acknowledged, but my first instinct was to put just one Sarah on the Shared Tree, to be on the safe side. But then I found that christening sources had generated a FamilySearch record for both, though without placing them in the same family unit. When I brought them together, I triggered a duplicate child warning. In my limited experience, these can be readily dismissed, when weeks, months or years pass between the death of one and the birth of the other. But with these two girls…

Here are the GRO digital records of the handwritten birth register entries: –

CHAPMAN, Sarah, Mother’s Maiden Surname: MEABE (sic). GRO Reference: 1840 S Quarter in FROME UNION Volume 10 Page 346.

CHAPMAN, Sarah, Mother’s Maiden Surname: MEAD. GRO Reference: 1841 D Quarter in FROME UNION Volume 10 Page 388.

Is it safe to assume that “MEABE” is a misreading of MEADE? The mother, Anne, is sometimes Ann, sometimes MEAD, occasionally MEADE. So why shouldn’t she be MEABE also?

Here are the christening records as displayed by FamilySearch.

Sarah1_christening_FST

Sarah2_christening_FST

The census is consistent in giving the birthplace of all the Chapman children as Rodden, a small village just outside Frome. It has a small church (All Saints) – so why would James and Anne take their babies 35 miles to be christened? The answer is – they wouldn’t. There is a Baptism record at Somerset Archives, accessed via Find My Past, giving the same date and the same parents for Sarah 1 but indicating that the family residence and place of baptism was Rodden. It also gives father James’ occupation – Slubber. I can only think that Rodden register entries were collected with those from dozens of other parish churches and placed in a Preston-Plucknett chest. (You may have a better explanation.)

Here is the death registration for Sarah 1: –

CHAPMAN, Sarah, Age at Death (in years): 1. GRO Reference: 1842 M Quarter in FROME UNION Volume 10 Page 297.

This is consistent with a record for her burial at Rodden on 18 January 1842.

The 1841 census records three children at Wallbridge Gate: Phillip 3, Emma 2 and Sarah 1.

In 1851, expecting her to be eleven years old, we find Sarah is aged 10. This would not be a caution if she was the only Sarah in the family but, in 1871, she tells the enumerator that she is 29. This year difference becomes significant if she is a second Sarah. (A record of Sarah 2’s death remains elusive.)

It seems clear to me that two little girls called Sarah were born to James and Anne. So, is the registration of Sarah 1’s death in the first quarter of 1842 and the birth of Sarah Two in the last quarter of 1841 a problem? If you don’t have a death date for someone, reckoning on three days before burial may prove to be correct in more than 50% of cases. But if Sarah 1 died on Christmas Day (say) and December was particularly cold a delay before her burial may have been necessary. The weather was not so inclement that Sarah 2’s birth couldn’t be registered “on time” in nearby Frome. But frozen ground, or a coroner’s inquest, could account for the late registration of Sarah 1’s death. (It isn’t difficult to imagine the family suffering the death of one girl child, quickly followed by the birth of another. The parents’ emotional state may have determined the naming of the newcomer. Sarah could live again.)

As I have been writing this and doing some more online searches, I have found a One-Name Study Tree that includes this Chapman family. It is a joy to behold because it is powered by Darrin Lythgoe’s genealogy software – but it also accepts that there were two girls called Sarah. Here is a screenshot: –

ChapmanFamily_Philo_screenshot

If you want to explore further, visit The Philo Family. And find the Rodden Chapmans on the FamilySearch Shared Tree here.

A Misunderstanding

There is a note in Filey Genealogy & Connections to the effect that Job Charles CHAPMAN was a bigamist.

In the 1901 census, he is enumerated at Fern House, on Filey Foreshore, a Lodging-House keeper, aged 50. His “housekeeper” is 51-year-old Teresa IBBERSON, a single woman.

The note:-

1901; living at Fern House with sister in law. Written over status: marr which was crossed out and bigamist written over. Ellen’s sister Teresa was entered as wife. This was also crossed out and sister in law entered.

The page image (© TNA) tells a different story.

1901_ChapmanIbberson

Job, a Somerset man, married Teresa’s sister in Leeds in 1880 when he was 29. Ellen was six years his senior and died aged just 52 in 1898.

In 1881, not long married, Job and Ellen are enumerated as “Visitors” at widow Ferguson’s fine residence, No.7 The Crescent, Filey. A third visitor is Teresa, her occupation given as “Ladies Maid”.

In 1891, Job and Ellen are keeping Ackworth House on the Foreshore Road. Ellen was born in Ackworth near Pontefract, so perhaps she bestowed the name upon this building. Theresa is a grocer in Murray Street.

Thirteen years after Ellen’s death, Job and his housekeeper are still in partnership in 1911. The Find My Past transcription doesn’t give Teresa any work to do but the page image shows a faint ditto flourish indicating that she is a lodging-house keeper too. The couple has downsized to St Kitts, a short distance south along the Foreshore Road (now “The Beach”).

20191015StKitts

On the 1911 census form, Job indicates that St Kitts has 18 rooms.

When they retired from the business of looking after summer visitors to Filey, Job and Teresa downsized again, to a modest property in Queen’s Terrace, Filey.

20191015ElevenQueensTce

They both died at the house with the blue door in 1927. Teresa departed first, in February, and Job followed eight months later. Job and the two sisters sleep together in St Oswald’s churchyard, an eternal ménage à trois.

20191015EllenTheresa

Job’s inscription tells us that he was “for 35 years Tyler of the Royal Lodge of Freemasons No.643”.

At rest. So mote it be.

William Holland

1802 Wednesday

Overstowey

Still snow, a vast quantity fell last night and now it continues to snow… What terrible weather this is for all kinds of birds, no food to be found anywhere and man, cruel man, adding to their calamity by hunting after their lives in every quarter, the whole region resounds with pops and explosions.

From Paupers & Pig Killers: The Diary of William Holland, a Somerset Parson, 1799-1818 edited by Jack Ayres

Jack Ayres says in his Introduction that William’s family can be traced back to John Holland, Duke of Exeter, d. 1446. FamilySearch does not take you back that far. The Y- line begins to lose its way at Pirs HOLLAND [KCWB-RVH] (1501-1553) and his wife Catrin ferch RICHARD b. 1501.Other lines have some high ranking individuals and an idle wander through William’s pedigree took me at least as far back as Roger CONIAS [MVD9-YFK] of Richmond, Yorkshire born 1110. (Your mileage, if you take the journey, may differ depending on the generation leaps you take.)

Start with William.