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30-07-2015, 09:17   #1
montgo
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When was Ellen born?

Ellen's 1876 death record stated that she was 56 yrs old giving her year of birth as 1820. The informant was not a member of her family. However she married in 1833 so it very unlikely that she was only 13 yrs old when she married. There appears to be no baptism record for her in the Parish register. Ellen's parents were probably married before 1810 as their 1st recorded child was in 1811 but their last was 1833. However, there were no children for this couple baptised between 1811 & 1816 so perhaps her baptism was not recorded.

So what's the best guess on her year of birth?
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30-07-2015, 09:54   #2
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The dates are very early - are the records for the parish in question available and clear for the dates in question ?

If there are no baptisms located for the couple between 1811 and 1833 maybe they attended a different parish at the time, maybe where the records dont go back as far...

I'd treat reported age on death certs or headstone as the least reliable clue to age especially when the informant is non-family, I'd say your estimate based on her marriage would be better.
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30-07-2015, 09:56   #3
 
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What was their first recorded child's name, I wonder if they followed the standard naming conversion that many families did, there was a naming pattern of first son after fathers father, second son after mothers father, third son after father, 4th son after fathers oldest brother. First Daughter after mothers mother, second daughter after fathers mother, third daughter after mother, fourth after mothers oldest sister?
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30-07-2015, 10:07   #4
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Originally Posted by shanew View Post
I'd treat reported age on death certs or headstone as the least reliable clue to age...
Would you favour civil death recorded age or parish death recorded age or give both equal weight?
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30-07-2015, 10:28   #5
montgo
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The dates are very early - are the records for the parish in question available and clear for the dates in question ?

If there are no baptisms located for the couple between 1811 and 1833 maybe they attended a different parish at the time, maybe where the records dont go back as far...

I'd treat reported age on death certs or headstone as the least reliable clue to age especially when the informant is non-family, I'd say your estimate based on her marriage would be better.
Thanks Shane, the records are available from 1810, however according to NLI website, there are no records showing for 1814/15 but officially, they are no missing records. On a quick look now, the year is missing at the tops of the pages here and the 1816 records appear to either repeated or should be in 1815. I will have to look at that later, I've just a small screen at the moment, so difficult to see clearly.

The first baptism was 1811 as mentioned, the next 1816 and a further 8 children up till 1833, apologies for not being clear about that.
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30-07-2015, 10:35   #6
montgo
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What was their first recorded child's name, I wonder if they followed the standard naming conversion that many families did, there was a naming pattern of first son after fathers father, second son after mothers father, third son after father, 4th son after fathers oldest brother. First Daughter after mothers mother, second daughter after fathers mother, third daughter after mother, fourth after mothers oldest sister?
Most families in my tree did follow traditional naming patterns for the 1st sons at least. The first child was Catherine in 1811 but there could have been children born earlier and the first son recorded was 1821.
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30-07-2015, 11:10   #7
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Would you favour civil death recorded age or parish death recorded age or give both equal weight?
difficult to say without knowing who the informants were for the death registration or ordering the headstone or the inscription. Even if a family member was involved then it's quite probable they would have been younger than the deceased and would not know exact year or birth/age either
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30-07-2015, 11:20   #8
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Gaps in records, missing / damaged pages etc, do occur so there may have been a record at one stage just now missing, or unreadable - some registers have page numbers or index reference which can help track, although these seem to be more recent registers for the larger parishes.

Dates do skip around, I've seen several registers where a page, or parts of, are recorded out of sequence, and other registers where dates can be difficult to follow - e.g. the year and month noted just once where they change, and records sometimes without a day portion of the date. The edges of the pages often seem to fade or suffer wear first, which can be where the crucial date information is shown.

It's also possible this particular baptism took place in the parish but was not noted in the register

p.s. misread your timeline there re the gap...

Last edited by shanew; 30-07-2015 at 11:34.
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30-07-2015, 11:37   #9
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.....Ellen's parents were probably married before 1810 as their 1st recorded child was in 1811 but their last was 1833. However, there were no children for this couple baptised between 1811 & 1816 ...
knew there was something bugging me... how did you establish that this couple were her parents ?
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30-07-2015, 11:47   #10
montgo
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Originally Posted by shanew View Post
Gaps in records, missing / damaged pages etc, do occur so there may have been a record at one stage just now missing, or unreadable - some registers have page numbers or index reference which can help track, although these seem to be more recent registers for the larger parishes.

Dates do skip around, I've seen several registers where a page, or parts of, are recorded out of sequence, and other registers where dates can be difficult to follow - e.g. the year and month noted just once where they change, and records sometimes without a day portion of the date. The edges of the pages often seem to fade or suffer wear first, which can be where the crucial date information is shown.

It's also possible this particular baptism took place in the parish but was not noted in the register
When I get a chance with a bigger screen, I will go through the 1813-1816 period again more carefully to check if the records are out of sequence, etc. Many thanks for comprehensive reply.

Regarding headstones, I've been told that many of the inscriptions were done long after the person had died (due to delay of stonemason/lack of money, etc) and invariably mistakes were made . On our family headstones, there are at least 4 mistakes, 2 dates of death are just out by 1 year (according to death records) and another 2 deaths are way, way off. My ancestor who died 1891, his details were perfect as his was the first name on the headstone. His headstone & inscription were probably ordered shortly after his death.
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30-07-2015, 12:05   #11
montgo
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knew there was something bugging me... how did you establish that this couple were her parents ?

That is a good question

Firstly, I found no other baptism record for any Ellen in that time frame, secondly, the witness for her wedding was probably my ancestor and my ancestor and his siblings would appear to have been godparents for many of her children and thirdly, speaking to a descendant of Ellen recently, he said that he knew that we were related.

So no proof!
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31-07-2015, 18:39   #12
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Don't exclude the possibility that this woman lied about her age to her family. The amount of inconsistencies in dates of individual DOBs between the 1901 census and the 1911 census is amazing. There were a lot of porkies being told about age (plus ca change)

Secondly, some people may not even have known their own age. Strange but true. Birthdays weren't big occasions, or even marked at all, in many households. People would just lose track of their age, they genuinely wouldn't know. That was reasonably common up until recent years, I believe. In the 1980s, my Dad had a relative whose age could not be established, nor did she know herself. She knew she was somewhere within a three or four year range, that's all.
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04-08-2015, 23:50   #13
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Ages at death are the least reliable, because the informant to the registrar or the cemetery, is usually younger than the deceased. Apart from this, they often are distressed and unable to concentrate. Gaps in early RC registers, of long or short duration, are the rule, not the exception.
However, I would not rule out the possibility of a marriage at thirteen, although very rare, they did happen in the pre famine era. Circumstantial evidence leads me to believe that one of my great great grandmothers married at age thirteen.
Therefore, I would provisionally concentrate on the 1812 - 1815 period as the most likely, but be open to other possibilities.
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