The same distant relative I mentioned in my last post, had sent me digital copy of a cemetery record print out (to tie up some loose ends). At the bottom, I noticed the source was a website and a previously locked door was opened!
The Dunedin City Council website has an online search facility of the city’s cemeteries. The results are more detailed than I’d expect – death date, burial date but also last address of the deceased and sometimes occupations. It also links to others buried in the same plot. This in particular has enabled me to discover people and links to other people, I wouldn’t otherwise have connected.
I don’t know how long this has been available for but I am so pleased I have finally discovered it. I know have some more pieces to help fit this puzzle together.
For a long time, I’d been searching for one of my WREFORD ancestors on the 1861 census without luck.
On the night of the 1861 census, in the Devonshire village of Witheridge, 14 year old Drusilla was recorded as head of the household and her occupation as ‘Innkeeper ?’ (note the question mark). Also in the household were 4 siblings aged 7 and under (including my direct ancestor, Augusta Harriet), and a 17 year old servant, Emily Cheriton. Their parents, George and Harriet, were nowhere to be seen.
I knew they weren’t dead, as George Wreford and his family emigrated to New Zealand in 1864. So where were they? For years this question has been unanswered until only a few days ago, when I happened to do a random search on The London Gazette website.
London Gazette, April 9, 1861
COURT FOR RELIEF OF INSOLVENT DEBTORS. …
Before the Judge of the County Court of Devonshire, holden at Exeter, on
Tuesday the 23rd day of April, 1861. George Wreford, late of Witheridge, in the county of Devon, Inkeeper, Butcher, and Farmer, also farming an estate at Tiverton, in the same county, previously of Withley Goodman Farm, in Tiverton aforesaid, Farmer and Butcher, formerly of Chulmleigh, Devon, Journey-man Butcher.
A deeper look at the search results yielded:
COURT FOR RELIEF OF INSOLVENT DEBTORS.
ORDERS have been made, vesting in the Provisional
Assignee the Estates and Effects of the following Persons: On their own Petitions.
… George Wreford, late of Witheridge, Devonshire, Innkeeper, Butcher, and Farmer.—In the Gaol
(London Gazette, March 26, 1861)
So there he was – bankrupt and in jail.
The census was taken for the night of April 6th, 1861. This now explains where George was that night. I presume his wife, Harriet had travelled to Exeter with him for moral support.
I now know where to look for them. This is brilliant, except my searches of the census are still not bearing fruit. My next step is to find ‘Exeter Gaol’ on the census and browse from there.
My first post of this blog mentioned that there were gypsies in the family. The gypsies are part of my husband’s maternal side and there’s been a bit of a breakthrough.
Carnation LOVELL was the daughter of Maria ANSLOW and Matthew LOVELL. She can be found on the 1891 census as a baby in a gypsy tent under Porkus Bridge (probably Porkets or Portius Bridge), Darlaston. They appeared to be travelling with 3 other families, all with the surname, Smith.
By 1901, Maria had taken up with a new man, Eli FLETCHER (whom she eventually wed legally in 1908). It has been very difficult to find other records of Carnation’s father, Matthew.
Matthew died in Bloxwich, 1896 and the earliest record I have with him, is his son’s birth certificate in 1883. I have not been able to locate him on any other censuses. Part of the problem appears to be the interchangeability of gypsy names. However, a wall may about to be broken down. I received an email from a fellow researcher (my mother-in-law’s cousin) saying that an author has contacted her about a book he has written concerning Matthew’s great grandparents. I can’t wait!