Saturday, November 30, 2013

Children's Names can be important clues. Goodman of Rickmansworth

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Gilliam had a problem - which is in many ways a common one. Her research had got back to the later 18th century and only available evidence, the 1851 census, suggested that Thomas was born in Wiltshire. A thorough search of Wiltshire registers proved negative and Gillian wondered if perhaps he might actually have been born in Hertfordshire. I drafted a detailed reply based on this idea, and gave suggestions and leads which anyone with a similar problem might find useful. 

However one of the many children baptised in Rickmansworth was named in a different way to the others and I wondered why. This took me back to the tiny village of Rushall, in Wilts. But this was where the census said (after adjusting spelling) Thomas had been born.  Two leads from Hertfordshire back to the same tiny Wiltshire village, coupled with an unusual local Wiltshire surname, cannot be a coincidence ... and in the village there was, at the time Thomas was born, an active General Baptist Meeting House. While I may not have identified Thomas's parents by name it seems very likely that they were Baptists - and probably no direct record of his birth/baptism survives.

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