Thursday, May 31, 2012

A mystery involving the Darton Family of Temple Dinsley, Preston, near Hitchin

This advert appeared in the Bedford Times in August 1854, and is typical of the kind of sales when someone gives up farming. He is selling the crops in the field, the livestock including horses, cattle, sheep and pig, and the agricultural equipment  you would expect to see around a working farm. He is also selling off surplus household furniture, suggesting a move to a smaller house. Perhaps, you think, Thomas Harwood Darton, of Temple Dinsley, Preston, was retiring, and if you check the records he died 4 years later, but at the early age of 46.

On its own nothing too out of the way until you realize that his grandfather Jospeph Darton probably died in his 40s; his father Joseph Darton died aged 40, and his sons died at the age of 33 and 37.

So was it a co-incidence or was there a genetic weakness on the male line? To be honest I don't know - but when you are researching your family tree it is always worth looking for the out of the ordinary - and you never know what you will find.

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