Certified Muddle

Came across something interesting today…

Leah Yeomans birth date on the 1939 register is listed as 5 Jan 1896. However, on her official birth certificate, the year of birth is recorded as 1897. Since you would imagine a birth certificate to be more accurate, I’ve always recorded her year of birth as 1897. But as I was going through the records again, I wondered which was more accurate. Human error needs to be considered in both cases here.

Leah Yeomans in the 1939 register – recorded under her married name, Lamb
Certified Copy of Leah Yeomans’ birth entry

It was only minutes later that I came across another example within the same family.

The marriage certificate of Leah Yeomans’ parents lists their year of marriage as 1874.
Today, I found an image of the original marriage entry from the parish records that shows the year may actually be 1875.

Certified copy of James Yeomans & Mary Johnson’s marriage entry
Original image of James Yeomans & Mary Johnson’s marriage entry

In this case, the confusion stems from the year in the title being 1875 and the year within the entry as 1874. The other 3 entries on the image all have the same anomaly (both being recorded as 1875 and 1874). Fortunately I was able to see the previous & following pages and it seems to be an error only on this particular page – the title year should actually read 1874.

My decision is to record Leah Yeomans birth year as 1897 (since the year is repeated 3 times within the entry, it’s less likely to be a mistake) and her parents’ marriage as 1874.

The ALLEN Key

Kent, Faversham, St Mary's of Charity Church

William Henry ALLEN, son of Henry & Susanna ALLEN, was born around 1790 in Faversham, Kent.
I can state this for sure because of Bishop’s Transcripts.  Before this discovery, I only knew that William Henry ALLEN was a carpenter and the father of Mary Ann Allen since he appears on his daughter’s marriage certificate in 1848 (also seen in this post).

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Marriage Certificate of George Wright PALMER & Mary Ann ALLEN

This information backs up the 1851 census record I had for the family (although the names of the visiting grandchildren made me pretty confident anyway):

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1851 census entry for ALLEN family

So I now know that the family lived on Chatham Hill, Chatham between 1848 and 1851 (at least) and that Henry was a carpenter born in Faversham, Kent around 1790.  (I also know the names of a few more children but I’m focusing on William for now).  Next stop, parish records…
Unfortunately, the Medway Ancestors project doesn’t seem to have the parish registers for Faversham online but I recently did a search on Find My Past and it came up with the Bishop’s Transcript record.  Bishop’s Transcripts were a copy of the parish records, often summarised, that each church sent to the Bishop.  Information can vary from the register and the transcript so it’s always worthwhile to check out both if you can.

Canterbury Baptisms - Bishop's Transcripts
Canterbury Baptisms – Bishop’s Transcripts (St Mary’s of Charity, Faversham)

…William Henry Allen, son of Henry & Susanna Allen [May 30, 1790]…

Yay! I now know the name of William Henry’s parents and have unlocked a few more avenues of research for this family.

Next steps:

Future House Call (Using Google Street View)

Read 1st part here.

After his second wife died, George seemed to move around, lodging at various places in London. His marriage to second wife Emily FELLA was so short that it didn’t feature in any of the censuses (they married in 1873 – she died in 1875). Luckily for me, Emily’s death certificate lists George as the informant and his residence as 54 Swinton St, London (Emily also died here).


Death Certifcate of Emily Jane FELLA -1875
A quick search of Rumsey’s site informs me that houses still exist at this site:
I am aware that house numbers changed at some time in the past and need to check that number 54 Swinton St today is the same number 54 Swinton Street of 1875. Even so, it’s another address for me to visit when I’m in London. I like being able to get a feel of how my ancestor’s lives may have lived.
I used Google’s street view for a quick peek at the area. Click and drag the orange man on to the map and use the on screen tools to have a look around.
Did the PALMERs live (and in Emily’s case, die) in these buildings:
Or these?

Read 3rd part here.

Marriage Entries vs Marriage Certificates II

In 1848, George Wright PALMER married Mary Ann ALLEN in the parish church of Gillingham, Kent (St Mary Magdalene). George was a gunner in the Royal Navy and Mary was a carpenter’s daughter. Here is the certified copy of their marriage entry ordered from the GRO (click on the images to see a larger version):
George Wright PALMER and Mary Ann ALLEN marriage certificate – 1848

The next image is of the marriage entry from the Gillingham Parish Church records:

George Wright PALMER and Mary Ann ALLEN marriage entry -1848
I am lucky enough to be able to view the parish records on the Medway Council’s City Ark website. These images have been published as part of the ‘Medway Ancestors’ project, thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. If you have ancestors in the Medway district – it’s well worth a look.
Again, I now have my ancestor’s signatures, as well as that of Mary Ann’s father, William Henry ALLEN. Fortunately in this case, the certificate was an accurate copy of the actual marriage entry. You may however find otherwise. If family historians ever have the opportunity to check parish records, they should. One small transcription error can lead to years of frustration. The information gleaned from these have been known to break down ‘brick walls’ in the past.
And hey, even if the information is the same, at least you’ll have your ancestors’ signatures or marks.