Monday, May 20, 2013

Knotted Cousin Marriages & Errors in FindMyPast census returns

Sometime ago I had message from a distant cousin, Joy, our common ancestors being William Burchmore (1765-1841) of Flamstead, and his wife, Hannah Dolling (1770-1826). Filling in details of the links will take some time as it actually means adding yet more cousin marriages to the already very complex Who is Related to Who? family tree. The new key link is William Bates (1798-1865) of St Pauls Walden & Wheathampstead. William Bates' first wife was Mary Cox (1797-1830), daughter of my ancestor William Cox (1760-1802) of Hatfield,  and whose second wife Jane Burchmore (1802-1882) was the daughter of my ancestor William Burchmore (1765-1841).

A Burchmore hair memorial broach
William Bates' daughter Mary Ann Bates (1825/6-) married her cousin Jonathan Cox (1821-1881) of Sandridge, who was a grandson of William Cox (1760-1802) of Hatfield. His son Edmund (1839-????) married Mary Kidman (1842-????) brother of Alfred James Kidman (1831-1875) of Kimpton who married Emma How (1834/5-1916) who was a granddaughter of William Burchmore (1765-1841). His son George Bates (1842-1928) married  first Jane Lines, daughter of Thomas Lines of St Pauls Walden, and later Laura Ann Dear (not part of the cousin network so far). William's daughter Jane Bates (Joy's ancestor) married Henry Alexander Taylor whose first wife was almost certainly the Elizabeth Smith of Sandridge, daughter of Elizabeth Burchmore (1784-1851), daughter of Thomas Burchmore (1760-1816) of Flamstead - who in turn was brother of William Burchmore (1765-1841) and son of my ancestor Thomas Burchmore (1729/30-1806).

Virtually all of the above was gleaned from original unindexed census returns and parish registers in the 1980s - twenty years before any significant computer indexes were available. I am currently checking against modern indexes, including online census returns, to fill in the gaps before drawing up a detailed report - which will undoubtedly reveal more cousin links.

I have only just started - and errors in FindMyPast census returns are coming in thick and fast. Many of the errors suggest no attempts were made to check accurasy but at least they do correct errors if you report them. In the last few days I have corrected a "Petty" to a "Patty", a "Hill" to a "Cox" (an incorrectly applied ditto), and pointed out that the words "Liggars Farmer" are not part of an address, and appear nowhere on the original document!

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