Photograph Identity Question – The Answer

A little over a week ago I posed the question of whether these two young women were the same person. Thank you to all who voted or commented.

Face Pair 1

Face Pair 1

51 votes have been lodged, of which 39 (76%) voted no, and 12 (24%) voted yes. I held off publishing comments for a few days, but people could have seen comments on twitter, facebook, and google+ where I promoted the post.

I also posted the same poll on the Genealogy group on Facebook, resulting in 9 (45%) voted no, 6 (30%) voted yes and 5 (25%) voted maybe. Although the question originally only had yes/no options, someone added maybe early in the vote. Voters could see comments by others.

These results do not agree with an offline study I did a while ago with 35 people who had no opportunity to compare notes and a limited time to answer. 11 (31%) voted no, and 24 (69%) voted yes.

Comments suggest people spent some time looking closely at ears, noses, eyes, hair and lips. Several people commented that it is tricky and suggested the pair may be sisters or twins.

Presenting the poll via social media brought in more respondents, but it is hard to know how much they influenced one another. The combined number of respondents is 106, which may not be enough to yield a statistically valid result.

So, are the two young women the same person?

No. They appear in the same photograph.

Silvy portrait of B and A Lambert

Silvy, Camille (photographer). 13 July 1862. Portrait of B & A Lambert taken at 38 Porchester Terrace, Bayswater W. Personal collection of Sue Adams. Identified by Mark Haworth-Booth as no 10568 in Silvy’s Daybook Volume 8, National Portrait Gallery.

Are they related? The photographer’s record names them as B & A Lambert, so I would say yes. More research is needed to establish the exact nature of the relationship.

 

© Sue Adams 2014

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Thoughts on Mastering Genealogical Proof: Chapter 7-Writing or Making Genealogical Soup

The written conclusion, the answer to a particular single genealogical question, is like a delicious soup. Soup, when skilfully prepared from carefully selected ingredients, develops just the right flavour for the diner. Not everyone likes the same flavours, and some need a simple and digestible meal. Chefs tell us that fresh, quality ingredients make the best soup.

Rosehip soup

Rosehip soup CC Josefine Stenudd

A proof statement is like a simple soup, suitable as a starter (needs context), made from just a few raw ingredients (original records, primary information) that have harmonious flavours (no conflicting evidence). Preparation (analysis and correlation) is straight forward.

Shark fin soup

Shark fin soup CC chee.hong

A proof summary is like a more substantial soup, suitable as a light meal (can stand alone), typically made from a range of ingredients. It still contains raw ingredients, but might contain some preserved ingredients (derivative records, secondary information) when fresh are unavailable. Flavours may compete, so a balance is needed (conflict resolution). Preparation takes longer than a simple soup and may involve two or more stages (documented facts).

Minestrone

Minestrone CC Julie Anne Workman

A proof argument is like a filling soup that is a meal by itself. It contains many ingredients, including some that need extensive preparation or long cooking (questions of identity and substantially conflicting evidence). Eventually the flavours blend into a rich complex that gives an initial impression, develops on the tongue and leaves a distinct aftertaste. Preparation may include test tasting (hypothesis), adding new flavours (building blocks), and contrasting flavours (if-then syllogisms).

How did the first soup you made taste? Writing a genealogical conclusion gets easier with practice, just like making soup.

 

Reference:
Thomas W. Jones, Mastering Genealogical Proof  (Arlington, Virginia: National Genealogical Society, 2013)

© Sue Adams 2014


Claverley Property Document Analysis, Part 4: People and Identity

In the three previous posts in this series I transcribed a court record of a land transaction that occurred on 25 April 1844; proposed semantic mark-up that identified people’s names, places, dates, and legal language; and validated the locations of places.  Now I will examine the people named in the transaction and try to find records of them to validate my transcription.

Twelve people were named, but I omit two, Grosvenor and Onions who were as previous owners at an unspecified time, so likely will not appear in contemporary records.

Name Role
Thomas Whitmore (previously mis-read as Whitman) Lord of the manor
John Crowther host
Francis Harrison deputy steward
Christopher Gabert homage
Edward Crowther homage
Samuel Nicholls trustee
John Wilson trustee
John Felton surrender
Sarah Ward Nicholls admittee
William Ferrington occupier

Thomas Whitmore, lord of the manor

The 1835 edition of Burke’s Genealogical and Heraldic History of The Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland identifies Thomas Whitmore of Apley, near Bridgnorth, born in 1782, as owing estates in Claverley, and also names his son and heir Thomas Charlton Whitmore, born in 1807.  The younger Thomas was resident at Apley Hall, Stockton in 1851, but I could not find Thomas senior on that census, suggesting he may have died since being recorded in London on the 1841 census.  So, was the father or son lord of the manor in 1844?

Pigot’s 1844 Directory of Shropshire lists Thomas Whitmore at Apley Hall and Thomas Charlton Whitmore at Cotsbrook House.  As Thomas senior was a member of parliament, he was sufficiently notable to have a Wikipedia entry that indicates he died in 1846, a date confirmed by the FreeBMD death index entry in the district of Shifnal, so he was the lord on whose behalf the steward acted.

Francis Harrison, deputy steward

Stewards and their deputies were qualified legal practitioners, so would expect to find Francis Harrison in a contemporary directory of the legal profession like The Law List 1843 (available on Ancestry).  Not only did I not find him there, but Francis Harrison has also proved elusive in the 1841 and 1851 censuses, and trade directories.  In articles of clerkship dated 1829, a Francis Harrison was contracted to receive legal training from Thomas Wheldon of Barnard Castle, Co. Durham.

As he was a deputy, it is possible that he was a junior or temporary member of the legal practice that dealt with Claverley manor on behalf of Thomas Whitmore.  The Steward, George Pritchard, presided over the sessions before and after the session of 25 April 1844.  George Pritchard was present at this session as a trustee in another case, so Francis Harrison’s deputation avoided any conflicts of interest.

Christopher Gabert and Edward Crowther, homage

Members of the homage or jury of a court baron were drawn from the copyholders of the manor.  Copyhold was a type of land ownership, so I expect contemporary records to reflect the land owning status of the homage.

The 1851 census records the 82 year old Christopher Gabert as a ‘Proprietor of Houses and Land’, resident at Claverley Cottage, Claverley. The summary of the 1839 tithe apportionment lists him as a landowner of 29 acres, 1 rod and 39 perches.  Not to be confused with the parish vicar, Rev. George Hilder Betterton Gabert.

Edward Crowther is listed on the tithe apportionment (plot 106) as a minor landowner and occupier of 1 rod and 19 perches, described as a house and garden.  Neither the 1841 or 1851 census yielded an Edward Crowther resident in Claverley, nor could I clearly identify him elsewhere.

The tithe apportionments (Shropshire Archives ref 5586/5/19/1-3) are a good indication of land ownership within the parish, but not necessarily the manor.  As I pointed out in the post about places, I know the boundaries of the parish of Claverley, but do not know the boundaries of the manor of Claverley.  It is reasonable to assume there is overlap, but whether the particular properties of Christopher Gabert and Edward Crowther lie within the manor is not certain.

John Crowther, host

John Crowther, resident of the house named Kings Arms, provided the venue for the court to be held.  It would be easy to jump to the conclusion that the Kings Arms was a pub and John was a publican.  You would expect to find him there on the census, wouldn’t you?  This is where it gets confusing.  There were 3 John Crowthers resident in Claverley in 1841.

Record type Year Name Age Occupation Residence Details ID
tithe

1839

John Crowther jun Owner of 1 acre, 1 rod and 36 perches including Crown P H, occupied by Job Harley and Benjamin Everson

1

tithe

1839

John Crowther Owner of 74 acres, 2rods, 33 perches, comprising 23 plots

2

tithe

1839

John Crowther Heathton Owner of 8 acres, 3 rods, 31 perches in Broughton; 54 acres, 1 rod, 14 perches in Heathton

2

tithe

1839

John Crowther sen Owner of 2 rods, 11 perches comprising 2 houses & gardens, occupied by John Lewis and Thomas Scrinew

3

tithe

1839

John Crowther sen Kings Arms Inn, Buildings & Yards Owned by William Smith

3

census

1841

John Crowther

35

butcher Claverley Jane 30, Mary 5

1

census

1841

John Crowther

65

farmer Heathton Elizabeth 60, 4 servants

2

census

1841

John Crowther

65

victualler Claverley Mary 65, Joseph 25, Eliza 15

3

court baron

1844

John Crowther Kings Arms host
civil registration

1845

John Crowther death

2

census

1851

John Crowther

49

farmer Jane 43, Mary Ann 14, William 21, 3 servants

1

census

1851

John Crowther

78

butcher Mary 73, Daniel 33, Eliza 29, 1 servant

3

census

1851

William Weaver

50

victualler & registrar Kings Arms Mary 40, Edward 6, William 2, John 1, 2 servants

Of the 3 men named John Crowther, I think the host of the court session was no 3 in the table.  The tithe apportionments identify John Crowther, the farmer of Heathton, as a significant land owner with rights to the tithes collected.  Two other John Crowthers, distinguished as senior and junior, were minor land owners.

The tithe apportionment confirms that John Crowther senior occupied the Kings Arms Inn in 1839, but contains no information on his occupation.  He best matches the victualler in 1841 and we can rule out the Heathton farmer of the same age and the younger butcher.  The farmer died in 1845.  By 1851, John Crowther junior had changed occupation from butcher to farmer, possibly a result of inheriting from the Heathton farmer.  John Crowther senior, identified by household members, wife Mary and daughter Eliza, had become a butcher and the Kings Arms passed to William Weaver.

All 3 Johns could be related, and that may explain the occupational shuffling.  Confirmation of the relationships is likely to be in the parish registers, which I have not yet accessed.

Samuel Nicholls, trustee and Sarah Ward Nicholls, admittee

The tithe apportionments identify two Samuel Nicholls’, senior and junior, and tells us that Samuel Nicholls junior was Felton’s trustee.  Both Samuel Nicholls’ are in the Bridgnorth section as attorneys in Pigot’s 1844 Directory of Shropshire, senior at Cat’s tree and junior at Mill Street, Low Town. Both are in the 1843 Law List at Bridgnorth.

Remember both Samuel Nicholls and Sarah Ward Nicholls at some time resided at Catstree?  The 1841 and 1851 censuses record 2 Samuels and 2 Sarahs.

Record type Year Name Age Residence Details ID
Articles of Clerkship

1794

Samuel Nicholls Broseley bound to John Pritchard, supported by Ann Nock

1

Census

1841

Samuel Nicholls

60

Catstree

1

Census

1841

Samuel Nicholls

30

Mill Street head, Caroline 35, Samuel 1

2

Census

1841

Sarah Nicholls

65

Catstree

3

Census

1841

Sarah Nicholls

25

Catstree

4

Death registration

1843

Samuel Nicholls Bridgnorth district

1

Court baron

1844

Samuel Nicholls formerly Catstree, now Bridgnorth

2

Court baron

1844

Sarah Ward Nicholls Catstree spinster

4

Census

1851

Samuel Nicholls

40

Mill Street head, wife: Caroline 48, children: Samuel 11, Caroline 8, Alfred 8

2

Census

1851

Sarah Nicholls

80

Catstree head, widow

3

Census

1851

Sarah D Nicholls

52

Mill Street unmarried sister-in-law to Samuel Nicholls

4

It is clear that the younger Samuel Nicholls designated as ID 2 in the table is the trustee named in the court baron record.  The older Samuel Nicholls shared a household with the 2 Sarahs in 1841, but died in 1843, leaving the older Sarah as his widow.

Sarah Ward Nicholls, the spinster admittee in the court baron record, best matches the younger Sarah in 1841 and the sister-in-law in 1851 (ID 4).  The discrepancies in age and middle name need resolution, and her relationships to the Nicholls family need clarification, before I can make any more than a tentative identification.

John Wilson, trustee

Even though 4 John Wilsons resided in Claverley in 1851, the farmer and trustee to John Felton’s will is readily identified in census records by his residence at Aston.  He farmed 760 acres and lived with wife Dorothea.  The tithe apportionments confirm his status as a significant land owner and farmer.

The other 3 John Wilsons can be excluded on age, residence and occupation.  His son, also named John, was aged about 16 in 1844, so too young.  The two other John Wilsons, each the son of two different Thomas Wilsons, were a resident of Farmcott (a hamlet in Claverley parish) and a saddler respectively.

John Felton, deceased, whose property was surrendered

It is clear from the 1844 court baron that John Felton was deceased, but the timing of his death is not apparent from this session.  His death and the admission of his trustees as copyholders of the manor should be recorded in the court records, but I have only accessed the records of a few sessions.

The tithe apportionments push John Felton’s death back before 1839.  Civil registration commenced mid 1837, only 18 months before, so I expect some deaths were not registered.  The only death registration for a John Felton, in 1838 in Manchester, is not a good match.   Ownership of land in Claverley does not necessarily mean John Felton lived there or used the church.   As I have no other information about where John Felton lived, Claverley is the place to start searching for his burial.  Unfortunately, Claverley burials are not included in the Familysearch index.

William Ferrington, occupier

William Ferrington is recorded on the tithe apportionment and 1841 census at Heathton, the hamlet in which the property transferred in the court record lies.  His household includes Mary (45), John (15), Mary (12), Ann (8) and William (6), a structure suggestive of a wife and children.  I have not found this family on the 1851 census, but the FamilySearch index and a transcript of Claverley’s marriage register confirms relationships.

William Ferrington of Codsall, Staffordshire married Mary Felton of Claverley on 3 July 1823 at Claverley.  Baptisms of children born to these parents in Codsall and Claverley confirm the 1841 family structure.

Name Date Location
Elizabeth Ferrington 1824 Codsall, Stafford
John Felton Ferrington 27 November 1825
Mary Ferrington 11 October 1829
Harriet Farrington 28 February 1831 Claverley, Shropshire
Ann Furrington 12 July 1833
William Farrington 3 July 1835

Conclusions

Of the 10 people whose identity I have attempted to verify, I am reasonably sure of 6.  Multiple people with the same names featured. Census and tithe apportionments roughly contemporary with the court baron session proved useful in most cases.  A directory, and the Law List provided supplementary information for some.

I have not yet fully exploited two important sources: other sessions of the court baron, and parish registers.  I have consulted a restricted the range of sources as my aim was to validate the transcription rather than research the lives of all the people.

© Sue Adams 2014