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Oooh, a mystery!


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Bethella
4 hours ago, Lainey said:

I have a 4x Great-grandmother named...Mary Brown. She lived in England. I know who she married, at which point she became fairly easy to trace, but until then...there are like 100 of them in that area. Any suggestions? I'd like to know when she was born and who her parents were. All I know is, she was born around the Haydock, Lancashire area, and it was between 1793 and 1800.

Look for her marriage and death certificates to see if her parents are listed. You can also look for the family in the UK censuses- they start in 1841, which could help you narrow down when she was born and starting in 1851 should list where she was born. There's also a slight chance that members of her birth family would be living with her (i.e. her mother could move in after her father dies). If she ever immigrated it could also be in her immigration records. Once you have the names of her parents you can look for birth and baptism records.

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@Lainey when you use that time machine - if you could rescue the US 1890 Census, all sorts of genealogists would love you.  

I had two completely different sets of names for my Italian great-great-grandparents (my grandpa's father's parents). I had no idea which set was correct. But I ordered my great-grandfather's death re

My family's been at this for a long time.  (Grew up Mormon.)  I worked as a record checker for the Genealogical library when I was in college.  We checked newly submitted family member against records

Karma

I hear you re common names. Do you have any idea of how many men named Frederick Jones emigrated to Australia from England between the 1841 and 1851 UK censuses?   Good luck in your search for Mary Brown :)

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clueliss

I also use ancestry.com but on some occasions have found, for instance in looking up some records for German ancestors, that familysearch.org (the mormon site) allowed me to see who was on the records and where they were from without the international membership needed over at ancestry.  (granted it was just names etc and not the document, but it was helpful)

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gilamomster
1 hour ago, gustava said:

I use Ancestry.com.  Many libraries have a subscription.

i had zero idea that libraries may have a subscription. off to check

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clueliss

I've actually made a field trip over to St Louis to their library when my internet research led me to a book on one branch of my family that the STL Library had in their genealogy room.  

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12 hours ago, Bethella said:

Look for her marriage and death certificates to see if her parents are listed. You can also look for the family in the UK censuses- they start in 1841, which could help you narrow down when she was born and starting in 1851 should list where she was born. There's also a slight chance that members of her birth family would be living with her (i.e. her mother could move in after her father dies). If she ever immigrated it could also be in her immigration records. Once you have the names of her parents you can look for birth and baptism records.

They are not listed. :(  She was married in 1814 to Joseph Twiss or Twist, but no parents are mentioned in the records. The banns say she was from Windle. The marriage records say she was of the parish of Prescot.

The 1841 census says she was either 44 or 46 years old (it's hard to read). It only lists that they were born in England.

The 1851 census says she was 55 and that she was born in Haydock.

The 1861 census says she was 67 and that she was born in Ashton (I'm assuming this means Ashton-in-Makerfield).

She died from a cholera outbreak in August 1866. Her burial record says she was still 67. Magic! Her actual death certificate (which just arrived in the mail yesterday, actually) says she was 67 at the time of her death. It does not mention her parents.

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gustava
2 hours ago, clueliss said:

I also use ancestry.com but on some occasions have found, for instance in looking up some records for German ancestors, that familysearch.org (the mormon site) allowed me to see who was on the records and where they were from without the international membership needed over at ancestry.  (granted it was just names etc and not the document, but it was helpful)

I've also used the LDS site, and urge extreme caution and definitely verify anything you find there.  It's been useful for me, but I verify what I find.

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Bethella
4 hours ago, Lainey said:

They are not listed. :(  She was married in 1814 to Joseph Twiss or Twist, but no parents are mentioned in the records. The banns say she was from Windle. The marriage records say she was of the parish of Prescot.

The 1841 census says she was either 44 or 46 years old (it's hard to read). It only lists that they were born in England.

The 1851 census says she was 55 and that she was born in Haydock.

The 1861 census says she was 67 and that she was born in Ashton (I'm assuming this means Ashton-in-Makerfield).

She died from a cholera outbreak in August 1866. Her burial record says she was still 67. Magic! Her actual death certificate (which just arrived in the mail yesterday, actually) says she was 67 at the time of her death. It does not mention her parents.

It might be worth contacting the local history museum, genealogy center, or even the church were the marriage took place in Lancashire to see if they have any regional specific records that might be useful. Here in the US I'd recommend using city directories but I'm not sure what's available over there.

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Argh, I suspect now that the most likely candidate for her was an illegitimate child born to yet ANOTHER Mary Brown. No father mentioned. 

I need a time machine. That's the only solution.

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Bethella
4 hours ago, Lainey said:

I need a time machine. That's the only solution.

Wouldn't that be wonderful! I have a couple of ancestors I'd really like to go back and ask WTF?

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zebra #13

My family's been at this for a long time.  (Grew up Mormon.)  I worked as a record checker for the Genealogical library when I was in college.  We checked newly submitted family member against records, to avoid doing temple work over and over and over. 

First two weeks of the job consisted mostly of learning variants of common first names.  Just a few for Mary are Maria, María, Marija, Marya, Mariya, Mariah, Marie, Maryam, Maryām, Mariam, Marold, Marian, Miriam, Myriam, Miryam, Myria, Miria, Mirja, Marion, Muire, Marye, Marya, Mayra, Mayre, Moira, Moyre, Mae, Marnie, Mollie, Molly, Minnie, Polly.

The church library has (or had) microfiche of Parish registers for hundred and thousands of churches all over the the world.   That was fifty odd years ago, so I can't imagine the range of records hasn't expanded enormously.

I know a woman, a fellow Quaker, who moved to Salt Lake because she was a professional genealogist, and the church didn't charge for their records.

And keep looking--we grew up with "rumors" of an Indian Princess/grandmother.  She wasn't found/documented until two years ago.  Fifth great grandmother!  The only survivor of the Yellow Creek Massacre.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_Creek_massacre

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clueliss

@Lainey when you use that time machine - if you could rescue the US 1890 Census, all sorts of genealogists would love you.  

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14 hours ago, Bethella said:

Wouldn't that be wonderful! I have a couple of ancestors I'd really like to go back and ask WTF?

Right!? I have an ancestor named Eliza--the daughter of my Mary Brown/Twiss, actually--who was rumoured to have been raped by the son of a noble in whose home she worked as a servant. The result was my 2xGGma Ruth. The thing I can't believe is that NOBODY knows his name, even as a slight rumour. Also, I've always heard she was slow, and she was listed as an "imbecile" on the 1871 census, so I'd really like to know more about her and what her issues were. 

Speaking of Mary, she and her husband Joseph died of a cholera outbreak--they lived with Eliza and Ruth at the time, so how did they not get cholera? Surely they drank water from the same source? 

Another branch of the family tree had a Ukrainian immigrant (my great-granduncle) who died supposedly by suicide in Detroit, but there is some talk he may have been murdered. I want to know. 

5 hours ago, clueliss said:

@Lainey when you use that time machine - if you could rescue the US 1890 Census, all sorts of genealogists would love you.  

Fire? Ugh, that's terrible. I'd also like to go visit 1800s Newfoundland and get my family tree straightened out there. The records are...not that good and there are so many rumours. So many mysteries. 

Yep, definitely need a time machine.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I had two completely different sets of names for my Italian great-great-grandparents (my grandpa's father's parents). I had no idea which set was correct. But I ordered my great-grandfather's death record, the one that tells what he died of and everything, and to my surprise, it listed his parents! I didn't think it was fully filled out and therefore I didn't think the names would be there. So that was exciting!

I also ordered my great-grandmother's death record, and found her mother's name (which I didn't know) and it also said that she died of pancreatic cancer, which I also didn't know. 

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