Showing posts with label Lethbridge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lethbridge. Show all posts

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Fearless Females: The Brickwall Belles

A brickwall in genealogy usually means that you have looked everywhere, but still can't get any further on in your research into a certain individual.  My Brickwall Belles are females in my family tree that have made me stop short in my research - because I don't know where to look in the first place.

It''s not that I have 'looked everywhere' and got stuck.  I haven't looked, because I don't know where to go.  Each lady seems to have her own distinct difficulties, but the main one is that she has the sort of name which was immensely popular (and therefore which one is she?) such as my great-great-great-grandmother, Mary WEBBER.  I have her marriage certificate to James LETHBRIDGE (14 July 1839 in East Stonehouse), and on it is her father's name - John (really unusual).  Oh, and she is 'of full age'...

Mary's daughter, Mary Ann, married John BLAGDON, whose mother was another Brickwall Belle. Another great-great-great-grandmother: Elizabeth Thomas HALL, born in 1800 in Plymouth (Devon), married John BLAGDON on 9 July 1817 in Stoke Damerel, and died in 1876, also in Plymouth.  But I have no idea of her parents or siblings.  At the moment, she is still just a name.

And, unfortunately, there are quite a few more.  One thing that this month's blog posts have taught me: I know little or nothing about many of my female ancestors.  Time to remedy that, methinks...

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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