01 October 2010

First Friday Folder: Richard ETHELL & Mary BEETHAM

I'm taking it easy this month: I know this is a very thin folder!  I selected this couple because they are (probably? hopefully?) the parents of Joseph ETHELL, the subject of last month's FirstFridayFolder and my recent Weaverthorpe post.  I'm still working on the Weaverthorpe/Helperthorpe microfilm and I just don't want to change gears right now.

The Couple
I am very hesitant to post this information at all: I have no primary sources and there are clearly problems with what I do have. Please do not add this data to your database, but for this discussion, here is what I have right this minute:
Richard ETHELL was born 17 March 1784 in Rillington cum Scampton, Yorkshire and died 18 December 1845 in Low Hutton, Yorkshire. Mary was born 10 September 1774 in New Malton, Yorkshire and died 26 June 1856 in Huttons Ambo, Yorkshire. They were married 23 November 1801 in High Hutton, Yorkshire.
The Problems
Oh, dear, where do I begin?!
  • Richard seems a bit young to be getting married and what is the likelihood that a 17-year-old would marry a woman 10 years older than he?
  • I have to be very careful about the town names, given the possibility of confusing the script for 'Hutton' versus 'Lutton' or 'Sutton.'
  • The first child I have for them, Thomas Beedison ETHELL, was born (or is it a baptism?) before the marriage date and before Richard would have turned 16 years of age.
  • I have a number of variant surnames for Mary: Beedam, Beedison, Beetham, Betham.  If the Thomas I just named goes with this couple at all, perhaps Mary was a widow and has another surname all together.
  • The biggest problem is my complete lack of anything I can honestly call 'evidence.'  Some of my info is from two family researchers who are generally very thorough, but their conclusions are conflicting and not all their pieces are sourced.  That's why I'm working on their son's generation and reading the Weaverthorpe/Helperthorpe records for my self right now.
The Folder
It's hard to have organizational problems in a folder that only contains a few items, but there were still a couple of things to do.  I had not printed a new family group sheet for 4 years, which isn't so bad I guess since I have not been working on them in that time.  There were two copies of the 1841 census image and no annotation to explain why I had two!  And, neither of them had been entered in my database.

The Good News
The best thing I have going for me here is Richard ETHELL himself. Noted English genealogist, Pauline Litton, is an Ethell/Ithel descendant and has used the family research as examples in her publications and speeches. It is her reputation that gives me confidence that the other two family researchers and I do indeed have the right people and that we just need to tidy up around the edges!  I've seen two of Litton's articles and would like to find more.  Also, she has registered the ETHELL surname at the Guild of One-Name Studies.  What I really need to do is to write to her! And, I'd like to buy her book,too! 

There are certainly problems with my Ethell/Beetham couple, but I can't really do anything here before I thoroughly deal with my Ethell/Grice couple!

It's nice to be able to use the research of others as a help in my genealogy, but my ETHELL line is a good example to show that there can still be conflicts and problems.  Clearly, I still need to find and study the sources and build my own solid evidence trail.

I'm proud of myself for staying focused on Weaverthorpe.  I'll be even more proud if I can stay focused until I've finished the film, analyzed it, and made a thorough plan for what to do next....  

I have no connection to nor do I receive any special consideration from The Guild of One Name Studies or Litton's Swansong Publications.

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