In my last post, I mentioned that I wanted to find out more about the mystery grandson, William CASSANS, found staying with the ALLEN family in the 1851 census. I’ve actually wanted to do this for years – ever since I first found this census record. If I could find who his mother was, I could add another child to that family and perhaps open up more doors. Even though I guessed it was a spelling issue, I was never able to locate this child anywhere else. To be fair, I wasn’t that bothered since he wasn’t a direct line from me, but seeing his name again bugged me and I set about to solve this mystery.
William CASSANS was only 3 years old (so born c.1848 in Gillingham) and staying with his grandparents William Henry & Sarah ALLEN in the 1851 census.
I had previously searched the subsequent censuses under various spellings since Cassans gave me nothing. (Some of the variants I found included; Cussans, Cussons, Cossons, Cousins and even Custance)
A search within two years of 1848 on findmypast, brought up the birth of a William James CUSSANS, registered in the Medway area, and a death in London that looked ‘promising’.
A search for census records under this name found someone of the right name, age and birthplace married to a Jeanette in London 1881.
A quick search for marriage record with a ‘Jeanette’ as spouse brought up:
1873 fits with the age of the first child (6 years in 1881, therefore born a year or two later in 1874/75) but notice there is also another possible bride listed.
Ordinarily, a certificate would need to be ordered to actually prove which of these women was the one he married, however since this marriage took place in London, I was able to find the parish register entry in the London, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921 records on the ancestry website. As well as proving the marriage, this record gave his father’s name as James CUSSANS, an upholsterer.
Tracking William back to the 1861 census finds him in London with his parents, James (yay!) and Emma, who was born in Faversham, Kent (double yay!).
But was his mother an ALLEN?
Well, my many hours hunting the Kent parish registers showed that William Henry and Sarah did indeed have a daughter named Emma so the last thing I had to do was look for a marriage between a James Cassans and an Emma and…
BAM! I love it when a plan comes together…