Saturday, 14 August 2010

Surname Saturday: Lethbridge

Mary Ann LETHBRIDGE's birth certificate was one of the first I bought (if not *the* first!): 2 November 1845 was the date she was born, in an unfamiliar place near Plymouth, Devon (I couldn't read it, and neither could the GRO clerk who had painstakingly written it out).  She was my great great grandmother, and her certificate gave me information on her parents, James LETHBRIDGE and Mary WEBBER.  I found their marriage certificate for 14 July 1839 (they married in East Stonehouse, Devon) - and that's where I encountered my first brick wall. 

A 'brick wall', as every genealogist knows (and cringes at the mention of) is where you have searched and searched and searched, and found big fat nothing.  Your ancestors just seem to have come out of nowhere, never been enumerated on a census, never registered anybody or anything, and vanished back into the thin air from whence they came.

James and Mary are like that.  I have their marriage certificate - and that's it.  James and Mary are fairly common names, so trying to track them down among all the other James and Marys... are they the couple who baptised in Jersey? or Teignmouth?  James LETHBRIDGE's father is Richard.  Mary's is John.  Sigh.  They don't exist, either.  I was thinking of putting the certificates on this blog, in case anyone could recognise their names - but now I can't even find the certificates.  Oh, well, Scanfest isn't for another couple of weeks. Those certifications are certainly at the head of the queue! (if I ever manage to find them).

Mary Ann went on to marry John BLAGDON on 15 February 1863, and from then on I can document her nicely.  But prior to 1863, she doesn't exist.  Born in 1845, she should appear on the 1851 and 1861 censuses.  Except she doesn't.

My head hurts. ;o)

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