Just Williams

I made another attempt today to discover where William ALDEN originated. In the 1881 census, he gives his birthplace as “Hornsey”, Yorkshire. I took this to be Hornsea. In 1891 he offers “Hatfield”, possibly Great Hatfield just four miles from Hornsea. In 1901 it is back to “Hornsey” and in 1911 “Hornsea”. Both William and Ann are wayward in giving their ages but a fuzzy search for William in Skirlaugh Registration District between the start of civil registration and 1843 doesn’t find him.

Looking again at the census, I was distracted by a William Alden working as a Carter in Skipsea with a calculated birth year of 1840, between one and three years older than Ann’s future husband may have been. He gave his birthplace as Thorpe, in Norfolk. The fact that Ann’s parents had married in Skipsea 29 years earlier gave me pause. (Perhaps she met him while visiting relatives and fell instantly in love.) After searching for this William in the Norwich area records, and coming up blank, I’m still wondering.

I also looked in newspapers for a Norfolk William who may have been driven from the county of his birth by a shameful deed. I found a William Alden, who could conceivably have been our man’s father, committing suicide by throwing himself from Whitefriar’s Bridge into the River Wensum. This was in 1856, the place of demise just a few miles from Thorpe. (It was suggested at the coroner’s inquest that “the deceased had suffered from a kind of religious fanaticism, and had also been much depressed in spirits”.)

I think I’ll let Ann’s William rest in peace, with his secrets buried with him in Filey churchyard.

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A Missing Marriage

The funeral of Ann ALDEN took place 102 years ago. She was buried close to her son William, who had died eleven years earlier, and her yearling nephew William Edwin. (A cross marks their spot.)

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On the 1911 census form, William wrote that he had been married for 46 years and that he and Ann had eight children, of whom one had died. I have found the birth registrations of seven children, so one is missing.

I have been unable to find a civil or parish record of the marriage, so that is missing too.

Ann’s firstborn, Joseph, arrived on 11 April 1865, 45 years and 51 weeks before the 1911 census. William’s calculations may have been misjudged but I could not turn up a marriage in England and Wales in 1863 or 1864.

A woman called Ann Raine did, however, marry in Driffield in the last quarter of 1864. This town is not many miles from Lebberston, where the Aldens lived for most of their married life. This Ann’s husband was either Thomas BOYES or William HOLLAND. Before you write both fellows off, say Alden and Holland a few times, aloud. It is a stretch, I know, but perhaps the clerk was hard of hearing.

William and Ann’s children are no trouble to the Scarborough Registrar, though the mother’s maiden surname is not always right as RAIN. So the missing marriage registration is odd. A cursory search for Holland children between 1864 and 1870 found none in the East Riding of Yorkshire. In the same period, Driffield saw an influx of BOYES (both sexes), some of them the offspring of the aforementioned Thomas and his wife Martha STOCKELL.

Marriages Dec 1864
Boyes  Thomas    Driffield  9d 571
Holland  William    Driffield  9d 571
Raine  Ann    Driffield  9d 571
Stockell  Martha    Driffield  9d 571

Source: Free BMD

Find Ann on FamilySearch Tree.