Naming Patterns as Evidence of Kinship

My hunch that the middle name given to my 3x great grand-mother, Sally Parkes Amis, might be a clue to her maternal ancestry seems vindicated by the index entry for her parent’s marriage[1]:

Bride: Fanny Parkes
Groom: Daniel Amis or Amos
Date: 27 February 1799
Location: St Matthew, Walsall, England

A search of FamilySearch’s indexes for baptisms of children born to this couple turns up three daughters, two sharing their mother’s maiden name as a middle name.

Name Date Place
Hannah Roughton Amos[2] 4 Aug 1799 Kingswinford,​ Stafford,​ England
Maria Parkes Amos [3] 11 Jan 1801 Kingswinford,​ Stafford,​ England
Sally Parkes Amos [4] 1 Feb 1807 Kingswinford,​ Stafford,​ England

By 1861 Fanny, aged 86, lived with her daughter Sally’s family at Powale House, Churchill[5].  She appears as a sister to Sally Cartwright a widow and farmer of Himley Park Farm, Himley on the 1851 census.  At that time Fanny was a widow and annuitant (living on investments)[6].  Both Daniel and Fanny lived at Hollies, Kingswinford with daughter Sally’s family in 1841[7].

So why was Fanny and Daniel’s eldest known daughter given the middle name Roughton?  Further tantalising clues appear on the Parkes family tomb at Kingswinford.  According to a published transcript of the top of the chest tomb carries the inscription[8]:

Sacred to the memory of Mrs Ann Parkes wife of Joseph Parkes of Hunts Mill who departed this life 29th May 1780 aged 60 years.  Also Joseph, Sarah, Zachariah, Maria and Joseph Parkes grandchildren of the above Joseph and Ann Parkes.  Also Hannah the wife of John Roughton of Holly Hall near Dudley and daughter of Joseph and Ann Parkes of Hunts Mill who departed this life 11th June 1810 ages 65 years.  Also Daniel Henry son of John Pearson and Sally Wilson who died August 16th 1852 aged 3 years.

Daniel Henry Wilson, grandson to Fanny and Daniel Amis, was the youngest son of Sally Parkes Amis and John Pearson Wilson, so this inscription suggests a clear connection to the Parkes family.  It is not clear exactly what the connections are, and the FamilySearch index does not contain the vital records that would elucidate the relationships between the Parkes family members.

The other slabs on the tomb go on to name yet more family members associated with Holly Hall, Himley Hall, Himley Wood, Coopers Bank and Dudley Port Ironworks.  I need to visit the various archives covering the Black Country to sort this lot out!


[1] FamilySearch.  “England, Marriages, 1538-1973 “, database, (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/N214-ML8 : accessed 11 Feb 2013), Annis, Daniel & Parkes, Fanny; citing Family History Library microfilm  421612; citing Bishop’s Transcript. Saint Matthew ,Walsall,Stafford,England.
[2] FamilySearch, England, Births and Christenings, 1538-1975, database, (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/NYVT-64C : accessed 26 Feb 2013), 1799-08-04. Amos, Hannah Roughton; citing Family History Library microfilm 417203; citing Bishop’s Transcript. Kingswinford, Stafford, England.
[3] FamilySearch, England, Births and Christenings, 1538-1975, database. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/JW43-DXQ : accessed 26 Feb 2013) 1801-01-11, Amos, Maria Parkes; citing Family History Library microfilm 417203; citing Church of England. Bishop’s Transcript. Kingswinford,Stafford,England.
[4] FamilySearch, England, Births and Christenings, 1538-1975, database, (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/JMC8-LJW : accessed 26 Feb 2013), Amos, Sally Parkes , 1807-02-01; citing Family History Library microfilm 417203; citing Church of England. Bishop’s Transcript. Kingswinford,Stafford,England.
[5] Census 1861. England. Worcestershire, Churchill, Wolverley, District 2, image 5, schedule no 18, household of Wilson, John Pearson.  digital image. accessed http://www.ancestry.co.uk 26 February 2013;  citing The National Archives, Kew. RG 9/2076/12/5.
[6]Census 1851. England. Staffordshire, Himley, District 1, image 18, schedule no 59, household of Cartwright, Sally. digital image. accessed http://www.ancestry.co.uk 26 February 2013;  citing The National Archives, Kew.  HO 107/2017/358/17.
[7] Census 1841. England. Staffordshire, Kingswinford, District 11, image 13, household of Wilson, John P. digital image. Accessed http://www.ancestry.co.uk 26 February 2013;  citing The National Archives, Kew.  HO 107/996/6/16/24.
[8] Birmingham & Midland Society for Genealogy and Heraldry. 1987. Monumental inscriptions St. Mary’s Church, Kingswinford, Staffordshire. pp. 99-100,  Section L, no. 11.

© Sue Adams 2013

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Copies of Copies, Citation and Source Evaluation with FamilySearch

In order to determine the reliability of information obtained from a source, you need to know the number of times it has been copied and the mechanism of the copying.  Only then can you track back to the original and establish the provenance of the information.  This week’s entry in the 50 Marriage Mondays series features my 3x great-grandparents.  I obtained the information from a photocopy sent to me by a fellow researcher and family member (Relative B).  The copy quality is not great and I can’t read the witnesses names.  Relative B annotated the page with the location.  It appears to be a copy of parish register with details filled in on a pre-printed form:

Bride: Sally Parkes Amis
Groom: John Pearson Wilson
Date: 10 February 1831
Location: Kingswinford, Staffordshire

Where did Relative B get her copy from?

She lived in America, sent the photocopy in 2001, and marked other documents with reference file numbers, but omitted such a reference from this copy.  The reference numbers have since been identified as the file numbers for Family History Library (FHL) microfilms.  So her most likely source is a FHL microfilm.

Which microfilm?

There are two approaches to determining the microfilm number using the Familysearch website, search the index and consult the catalogue.  This marriage appears once in a search of the index and the entry includes a citation:

“England, Marriages, 1538–1973 ,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/NKZC-N93 : accessed 30 Jan 2013), John Pearson Wilson and Sally Parkes Amis, ; citing Kingswinford,Stafford,England, reference ; FHL microfilm 435778, 435779.

FamilySearch index entry for marriage of Sally Parkes Amis and John Pearson

FamilySearch index entry for marriage of Sally Parkes Amis and John Pearson Wilson

Alternatively, a Place Name search of the FamilySearch catalogue for Kingswinford, gives 11 results of church records.  Of these, 6 appear to include marriages from 1831.  St. Mary’s Church, Chapelry of Brierley Hill, and Holy Trinity Church are represented with a mixture of parish registers, bishop’s transcripts, published transcripts and CD-ROM.  Further examination of the catalogue contents narrows it down to this:

Title & Author Relevant content & Format File number
Parish registers and miscellany for Kingswinford, Staffordshire, 1603-1914; author: Church of England. St. Mary’s Church (Kingswinford, Stafford) Marriages 1828-1853 (4 v.) 1040005
Bishop’s transcripts for Kingswinford, 1666-1857; author: Church of England. Parish Church of Kingswinford (Staffordshire) Baptisms, marriages and burials, 1813-1822. 435778
Parish registers of the Church of St. Mary, Kingswinford, Worcestershire : baptisms, marriages and burials, 1760-1837; author: Peers, E. S. Marriages, 1760-1837; index on last fiche. (9 fiches); Book on Fiche 6202504
St. Mary Kingswinford parish registers; authors: Birmingham and Midland Society for Genealogy and Heraldry Marriages 1603-1837; CD-ROM

The BMSGH CD, published in 2006, and the Peers book, also published by BMSGH on microfiche in 2002, are transcripts published too late to be Relative B’s source.

So, that leaves the marriage register and bishop’s transcript microfilms.  Notice that the index citation gives the film number 435778, the Bishop’s Transcript number.  I can’t be sure of Relative B’s search strategy, but it is more likely that she used the index to access the Bishop’s Transcript than browsed the Marriage Register page by page.

Where are the Original Records?

According to the FamilySearch catalogue, the Bishop’s Transcript was filmed from “original records in the Gloucester City Library, England”, and the film containing the Marriage Register (and a disparate collection of other records) derives from “originals at the Central Library, Dudley, Worcester and at the Staffordshire County Record Office”.  The first location sounds odd as Gloucester is not in the same county and I expect Bishop’s Transcripts to reside in County or Ecclesiastical archives.  The second is not specific to the marriage register, leaving me none the wiser which repository actually holds the register.

As Kingswinford is in the county of Staffordshire, the Staffordshire Record Office is a likely repository.  Their helpful Guides to Sources includes a downloadable list of the locations of Staffordshire Parish Registers and Bishop’s Transcripts.  Original Kingswinford Parish Registers are at Dudley Archives, microfiche parish registers are at Staffordshire Record Office and Bishop’s Transcripts are at Lichfield Record Office, the official repository for the Diocese of Lichfield.

Source Evaluation and Citation

How do I cite my sources for the marriage of Sally and John?  I have two sources, the photocopy from Relative B and the index entry.

The index entry citation provided by FamilySearch gives sufficient information to retrieve it, but is incomplete as it lacks useful indication of its derivation.  You have to go and look up the file number to find out. In August 2012, The Ancestry Insider commented in FamilySearch Citation Report Card, that citations for collections that contain from multiple archives still need considerable work making the file number links automatically to create complete, genealogically sound citations.

To reflect that the index entry is at least three copies from the original I propose the following citation:

“England, Marriages, 1538–1973 ,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/NKZC-N93 : accessed 30 Jan 2013), entry for John Pearson Wilson and Sally Parkes Amis; citing microfilm 435778, Family History Library, Salt Lake City; citing Church of England, Kingswinford Parish (Staffordshire, England), Bishop’s transcripts, 1666-1857.

The photocopy citation is more tricky, because I am not certain if it is a copy of the Bishop’s Transcript or Parish Register.  How would you cite it?

© Sue Adams 2013