03 September 2010

First Friday Folder: Joseph ETHELL & Rachel GRICE

I selected the folder of this set of great-great-great-grandparents because a film of Bishop's transcripts for Weaverthorpe in East Yorkshire, England has arrived for me at my local Family History Center and I need to get ready for starting this research project next week! 
The Couple
Joseph ETHELL was probably born 7 April 1816 in Huttons Ambo, North Yorkshire, and probably died 18 Jan 1889 in North Yorkshire.  Rachel GRICE was probably born 2 June 1816 in West Lutten, Weaverthorpe, North Yorkshire, and died about March 1895 in Castleford, West Yorkshire.  They were perhaps married 16 July 1835 in Weaverthorpe and at least 2 of their 10 children were probably born there, too.  These dates/places are from two, usually very thorough, family researchers who were kind enough to share with me. Unfortunately, I have no record of the exact sources they used, nor do they agree exactly with their details.

I have Joseph and Rachel together in the following censuses, all in Yorkshire:
1841  -  South Elmsall, South Kirkby
1851  -  Glass Houghton
1861  -  HIghtown, Castleford
1871  -  Gow Close, Glover's Row, Whitwood
1881  -  Discomb Row, Welbeck Street, Castleford
Obviously, there should be a good deal of information about this family in the Bishop's transcripts of Weaverthorpe.  On the other hand, the family could have really been in one of the little, adjacent parishes and not have used the Weaverthorpe church itself.  Another caution is that I know they were members of a Primitive Methodist Chapel by 1849.  Their marriage should still be recorded in the parish church, but the early baptisms might not.  At any rate, I need to see this film and I am hoping it will give me some "real" sources!  And, if they are not there, at least I'll know to start looking in neighboring parishes.

The Folder
The organization of the folder is in pretty good shape.  It includes a family group sheet, census summary and images, and a few other copies of records.  (I am missing a few censuses for some of the children, but I think four of them may have died young.  Perhaps I can find death info in the film next week.)

There was just one 3-page printout from GENUKI in 2006 on "The Ancient Parish of Weaverthorpe" that my current system files under the location rather than in a couple's folder.  Reviewing the three pages before moving it to my Yorkshire notebook, I saw that the website included a link to the 1834 Electoral Roll for Weaverthorpe and I don't remember having tried it before.  Unfortunately, a quick visit there showed no Ethell, Grice, or anything close in the surnames.  But, I did see that they have more maps and have added 8 church photos.  Clicking on the link to the Methodist Chapel leads to a nice photo and a database search for other nearby churches that very quickly showed me that there are 6 churches within three miles of the chapel.  GENUKI is a wonderful thing!!

The Biggest Problem: Geography
Is it just me or does anyone else have trouble keeping Yorkshire place names straight?  It may be 'English' but it usually feels like some language I have never, ever seen....

There is a Huttons Ambo (High Hutton & Low Hutton) only about 16 miles from Luttons Ambo (East Lutton, West Lutton, Lutton).  There is also a Sutton in North Yorkshire.  With different scripts in that time period, I think these locations could be mixed-up.  Also, sometimes they seem to be giving a local neighborhood name but the larger city sometimes.  For instance, I have one notation that Rachel was born in West Lutten and one that she was baptized about two miles away in Weaverthorpe.  And, I also have that daughter Jane may have been born in Elmsall or in South Kirkby, which are only about a mile apart from each other (and only about 60 miles from Weaverthorpe).  Where these seem to be different places, it could just be someone referring to a larger or smaller neighborhood name for one location.  I need to keep a map handy and to keep an open mind!

  • GENUKI is a wonderful resource for anyone researching in England.  The aids to finding nearby parishes are outstanding.  The site is continually adding info: I need to check back more often!
  • I must pay continual attention to place names and geography, especially in Yorkshire.  Keeping civil and ecclesiastical parishes sorted is hard enough, but when the names themselves are so similar, it is even worse.
  •  I still need real sources for the basic events in this couple's life.  I hope that my having reviewed this folder before starting to work on the microfilm will help me focus my search and keep the locations straight.
Line of Descent
Joseph Ethell = Rachel Grice
Jane Ethell = William Carr
John Henry Carr = Ann Matilda Causier
Bertha Carr

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