Thursday, March 13, 2014

If your ancestor couldn't write, records may be wrong

Help Desk
When Margaret's ancestor Thomas Bradshaw (born c 1811) went to Australia in 1855 his parents were described as James and Sarah. Unfortunately online records failed to produce a suitable couple in the Braughing area of Hertfordshire. However Thomas Bradshaw couldn't read and write, so when he was asked for his parent's name he naturally gave the name of the woman he called mother - although she was actually his step mother! The matter in complicated because when one investigates the marriage between James Bradshaw and his first wife, Susanna, there is a ten year gap in child baptisms - including Thomas - probably because they were non-conformists and the relevant registers have not survived.

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