Friday, October 24, 2014

Which John is which - and the original records can cause problems

Help Desk
James had hit a brick wall because it was not immediately apparent which John Beale was Henry Beale's father - and it looked like a typical case of Right Name, Wrong Body.  Sorting out which of three Johns was the most likely one revealed a number of other actual errors or areas where there could easily be some confusion.. Our ancestors did not make it easy for us to track them down!
  • A James Beale was recorded as Thomas Beale in the 1851 census possibly due to a transcription error between the household form and the enumerator summary sheet.. (Think an unreadable fancy capital letter and compare "Xames" with "Xomas")
  • While there may be many reasons why Henry Beale's baptism could not be found it is clear that the vicar failed to keep the register properly, but had a note book and made errors copying it into the register at the end of the year. 
  • George Beale's birth was registered and he was christened with his father's surname before his parents married, although the banns were called for the first time 2 days before the baptism.
  • The Bridegroom was described as James Beale in the marriage register but signed himself John Beale which turns out to be his real name. The computer index only showed James Beale
  • The Bride is described as Elizabeth Graves - but modern Ancestry family trees give her name as Elizabeth Cocksett with parents (?step parents?) James and Mary Graves. [Still needs checking out]

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