Some Genealogy Mysteries

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Introduction

This little page is used to spell out certain problems I am experiencing with my family history. Any suggestions or relevant information will be very much appreciated. I shall almost certainly be adding other problems to this page in future; it would be nice to be able to remove some as a result of solving them.

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Link between London and Wanborough, Wiltshire

I would very much like to know if there is any connection between various links I have found between the village of Wanborough, Wiltshire, and the London area, especially the Newington/Walworth area (near the docks) of what was part of Surrey before the formation of London County Council in 1888.

I have found the following links between London and Wanborough within my own ancestry and suspected relatives:

May 1850, Richard FOX of Wanborough married Harriett Attwood of St. Mary Newington;
June 1872 John BARNES of Clerkenwell married Maria FISHER of Wanborough;
April 1871 (census) Joseph BARNES (born Wanborough) was living in Walworth with his wife (born Bexleyheath, Kent);
June 1906 Joseph FISHER, born Wanborough and living in nearby Coate married Martha Jane BARNES of Walworth.

In the last case quoted the connection is obvious - they were cousins.

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The Barnes Mystery

One particular problem is to confirm that I have correctly identified the birth of my great grandfather, John BARNES, and to determine if his father came from Wanborough. The information I have comes entirely from certificates of birth and marriage, and census records.

The relevant records are:
Birth certificate for Martha Jane BARNES (my grandmother), which gives her father as John BARNES, a carpenter; her date of birth as 14th May 1880, and the place of birth as 61 Kinglake Street, Walworth.

Marriage certificate of John BARNES and Maria FISHER at the Parish Church, St. Mark, Clerkenwell, Middlesex (now in London) on 10th June 1872. John BARNES is stated to be a joiner of Warner Street, and his father is stated to be Edward Thomas BARNES, also a joiner.

The only census record on which I have been able to find him is that for 1881, where the address is stated to be 61 Kingslake Street, Walworth, in the civil parish of St. Mary Newington. According to this record he was born in Wanborough, Wilts and his wife in Newington, but this was certainly an error of transposition. His age is given as 31. Others at the house on census day were his wife Maria, daughters Emma (age 7, born in Islington) and Martha J. (age 10 months, born in Newington) and son John (age 4, born in Islington). Also present was a visitor, Martha FISHER, a 60 year-old widow, born in Wanborough (this was his wife's mother).

Birth certificate for John BARNES, giving date of birth as 19th July 1848, place of birth as 3 Frederic Place, Newington, father as Edward BARNES, a carpenter and mother as Ann Susannah BUGLE (or BUGLES - the writing is not clear). Is this the right person? How can I find out anything about his parents? How did the link with Wanborough arise? Is he related to the BARNES family of Wanborough?

Is it just coincidence that in a street adjacent to Kinglake Street (Carter Street), the 1871 census shows a Joseph BARNES, age 32, who was born in Wanborough, Wilts? The Wanborough parish register shows that his father was an Edward BARNES, described as a bailiff, and that his mother was Mary Ann (née DABNEY). It could be (the dates are reasonable) that it is the same Edward BARNES, having married again and moved from Wanborough to London, but this is guesswork.

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The Fisher Search

My great great great great grandfather George FISHER married Betty BRIDGES in South Marston, Wiltshire in 1785. The parish register record of the marriage describes him as "of Broad Blunsdon", which is a neighbouring parish. The Broad Blunsdon register, however, makes no mention of his baptism anywhere near the relevant period. It does record the marriage of Richard FISHER to Elizabeth CARTER in 1762, describing him as a widower, and as being a cooper. This leaves open the possibility that George was a child of this marriage, or of Richard's previous marriage.

In the former case, it could be that no baptism is recorded because they didn't bother or because they were nonconformists. I do not know yet what nonconformist churches there may have been in Broad Blunsdon at that time, if any, nor what records from such may have survived. However, I think this is the less likely explanation, because Richard and Elizabeth did have a son (another Richard) baptised in 1763.

In the latter case, it seems the most likely explanation for the lack of the baptismal record is that he was born somewhere else, probably the same parish as his parents' marriage (also not recorded in Broad Blunsdon). Searching the registers of all the neighbouring parishes could be a very long job, and the IGI offers no help.

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From Where to Wanborough?

A number of my ancestors appeared in the Wanborough parish register during a relatively short period, having apparently originated elsewhere. Was there a mass immigration into Wanborough around the relevant time, or is there some other explanation? If they did come to Wanborough from somewhere else, where did they come from? The names, and the dates of their first appearances in the register are:

Edward BARNES, bailiff, 3rd marriage banns (to Mary Ann DABNEY), 14th October 1832
Joan EDES, marriage, 21st October 1719
Robert FOX, marriage, 21st October 1719
John FOX, baptism of daughter Elizabeth, 30th? June 1716
John JEFFERIES, baptism of son John, 14th May 1789
Thomas WARREN, baptism of son Thomas, 28th April 1744

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