So far in the 50 Marriage Mondays series, I have presented marriage certificates that were issued on the day of the event, or by the General Register Office. This marriage certificate was issued on 30 October 2000 by the superintendent registrar for the district in which it occurred, Abingdon.
Bride: Eliza Ellen Kembry or Kembrey
Groom: William Dunsdon
Date: 29 April 1871
Location: parish church, Fyfield, Berkshire
A quick recap on the registration system: Two registers kept by the church where filled in as the marriages occurred. Every quarter, copies of the marriages were made and sent to the General Register Office (GRO), which prepared a national index of all marriages. This is the index that is widely available online (e.g. FreeBMD) and on microfiche, and is the one I consulted to order the certificate. Once the registers were full, one was sent to the district registrar, who created their own index of registers in their keeping, which is different from the GRO index. Some of these indexes have been published and are searchable at UK BMD, but Fyfield parish is not yet included. The second register may remain at the church, but most have been deposited at County Record Offices or Archives.
The April-June 1871 GRO index entries for this marriage provide this information:
The certificate is a handwritten transcript of the register. The superintendent registrar, who is obliged to ensure that certificates are accurate copies of the register, included a note pointing out that the bride’s name was spelt differently, Elisa Ellen Kembry.
How might the discrepancy have arisen?
The GRO index has at least two copying events in its provenance (copy of original register submitted, details copied on creation of the index), the certificate just one. Does that mean the certificate is more reliable? We do not know if the two original registers are identical, so there is a possibility that the bride did not consistently spell her name. How was her name recorded on other records?
|Oct-Dec 1851 GRO birth index||Eliza Ellen Kembrey|
|1861 census||Ellen Kembrey|
|1871 census||Ellen Kimbrey|
|1873 daughter Emily’s birth certificate||Eliza Ellen Dunsdon formerly Kembrey|
|1881 census||Elizabeth Dunsdon|
|1891 census||Eliza Ellen Dunsdon|
|1901 census||Eliza Dunsdon|
Is there a correct spelling?
Usually it is fairly easy to find alternative forms of a surname through one of the websites that gives statistics on surname frequencies and origins such as British Surnames and Surname Profiles or PublicProfiler gbnames. However, Kembrey and Kembry are not listed. Similarly a search on Ancestry’s ‘Learn about the history of your surname page’ indicates a mere 757 census and voters roll records spread across time, so it seems the name is rare indeed.
The Kembrey name could be a corruption of something that sounds similar, which is something I should bear in mind when I try tracing earlier generations. Soundex provides a means of comparing phonetically similar names. The soundex code for Kembrey/Kembry is K516 or C516 if you replace the K with a C. RootsWeb’s Soundex Converter suggests other surnames sharing these soundex codes:
Kemper, Kempers, Kimber, Kimberlin, Kimberly, Kimbrell, Kimbro, Kimbrough, Knepper, Knippers, Camber, Cambridge, Chamberlain, Chamberlin, Chambers, Comfort, Comper, Confer, Conibear, Conover, Conpropst, Converse, Convery, Coomber, Cumberland
© Sue Adams 2013
On Saturday my cousin Sarah married Steve. With her permission, I will tell you about some of the records created as a consequence.
Bride: Sarah Elizabeth Barron
Groom: Stephen Kenneth Lees
Date: 16 March 2013
Location: Old Rectory Hotel, Ipsley, Redditch, Worcestershire
Facebook as a Genealogical Source
Sarah and Steve’s engagement was announced on facebook through a relationship status change. From a genealogical perspective, this gave me a citation headache. Although individual timeline posts have individual URLs, status changes do not. Only one relationship status is recorded, so the previous status is lost when it is updated. Since the wedding, Sarah has updated her name and created a facebook page for the relationship, which has an individual URL, so now I can cite it. According to the page:
|2 February 2010||Sarah Lees and Stephen Lees became friends.|
|16 August 2010||Sarah Lees and Stephen Lees started a Relationship|
|19 August 2012||Sarah Lees and Stephen Lees got Engaged|
How would a future genealogist interpret this, especially if they did not understand how facebook works?
For me, it was a treat to talk to the registrars who allowed me to examine the register (for Sarah and Steve’s entry only) and the ‘Certificate for Marriage’ that certifies that the required legal notice had been given, the civil equivalent to the reading of banns. As these certificates are not kept permanently, and do not find their way to an archive, I have not seen one before.
So I can add a date to the above potted history of the relationship. Sarah and Steve both gave notice on the 22 November 2012.
Customised charts and data manipulation in FTM, Legacy and RootsMagic
As a wedding gift, I presented Sarah and Steve with a pair of pedigree charts. As Sarah has dabbled in the dark genealogical arts, I wanted a chart she could add to. I also wanted to customise the charts with colour coding that indicates the quality of sources used.
Maxbal Genealogy sticker charts proved a good solution. The chart stickers come on an A4 sheet and are a standard size, so it should be possible to use a mail merge once the relevant data has been extracted in appropriate format such as csv Extracting the information I wanted, name, birth date, death date, marriage date and place for each person, was not straightforward. The data is stored in Family Tree Maker 2010 for historical reasons.. However, FTM 2010 does not have a custom report that allows selection of data fields. Next I exported the data via a GEDCOM file for transfer to another program. I tried out both Legacy 7 and RootsMagic 5. Legacy has two reports for address labels and name labels, but these do not allow other data fields to be included. RootsMagic has a custom report that allows selections of data fields to create a table that can be exported in several formats. I used this report to gather the information for the direct ancestors of Sarah and Steve. As I had recorded multiple records for some events, further selection was needed.
The colour coding is a rough guide to the quality of the source from which conclusions were drawn. Each person’s data was ranked according to whether each of the name, birth date, death date and marriage details are based on the best available primary information from an original source. The darker the colour, the higher the ranking. Lower ranked, coloured in lighter reds indicate that there is still work to be done.
© Sue Adams 2013