Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Did William abandon his wife and child and head for America?

John's ancestor William married in America but may have left a wife and daughter behind in Tring. Rodwell is a locally common name in the Vale of Aylesbury area, and there are many gaps in the local records because so many people attended baptist chapels whose records have not survived, so one needs to be careful that one has the right body. The UK evidence shows that there was a suitable William who was a baker in Wilstone (a hamlet associated with Tring), perhaps working for his uncle? Alfred Rodwell.

Bucks Herald of 29 September 1860
William married in 1863 and then disappeared from the local records. It is interesting to note that he and his wife to be, Martha Hill, arranged to be married, then called it off, only to be finally married a few months later, perhaps hinting at relationship problems to come. Because of the number of local people who had gone to America a generation earlier, William may have chosen to go there because of friends and relatives who were already there.

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