If I were to pick out one find which I found really interesting and have still not managed to follow up completely it would be the one I found after trying to find out whether any record existed regarding the parentage of my gt gt grandfather whose parents were not married according to his baptism.
I emailed the archive in Southampton, Hampshire, England to ask if any bastardy records existed for his baptism year of 1827.
They sent me a very helpful reply stating that whilst they had no records relating to bastardy for that period they did have in their card index a reference to a settlement examination for a Louisa Richards (this was his mother's name) in that same parish in that year.
My next visit to Southampton I determined to follow this up as I thought it might hold some clue to where she was from and then possibly her parentage.
The document was ordered and I looked up the page given on the card. All this told me was that she did not know where she was born. Was my luck running out?
I then noticed at the bottom of the page there was a reference to another page. I turned to this page and read the examination for her mother regarding Louisa's place of birth.
Now we get to the really interesting bit.
The Examination of Mary Eley
of the said Parish of Saint Michael
Wife of Edward Eley ˆin the said Town and County, Labourer
taken on Oath, this 10th Day of July
1827 before us two of his Majesty’s Justices of
the Peace in and for the said Town and County,
touching the place of the legal Settlement of her
Daughter Louisa Richards of the said Parish of Saint Michael, Singlewoman
The said Examinant saith, That she was born at the Parish of Millbrook
Then resided but whose place of Settlement was the Parish of Titchfield in
That her father died in the Poor House at the said Parish of Titchfield and
That her mother is now living at and receiving two shillings weekly from the
Said Parish of Titchfield That this examinant was never apprenticed nor ever
Served as a yearly servant for one whole year That upwards of nineteen years ago she
Marriage when the Regiment was removed to
From thence to Black Heath camp that her said daughter Louisa was born at
Does not know and this Examinant further saith, that the said Thomas
Richards to whom she was so married as aforesaid was a married man at the
Time he married this Examinant and that while the Regiment lay at Black
Heath camp his wife and three children came there to him which when this
Examinant knew as she saw them there and was informed by a man in the
Same Regiment that it was his the said Thomas Richard’s wife and that he
Knew her to be such the said Examinant left the said Thomas
Richards and came with her said daughter to her parents who then resided in
Hamble in the said
Worked at various places and about 13 years ago she was married to her
Present husband at Titchfield church that some time after her second
Marriage the said Thomas Richards came to see this Examinant but she
Refused to see him and since that time she has never seen or heard of
I have found what I believe to be the marriage of Mary to Edward Eley, she appears to have given her maiden name when she married by licence.
I then found a baptism in Milbrook, Southampton for about the right date for this to be her, and also found baptisms for her siblings, and her parents marriage.
I believe her father came from Titchfield and there are family of this name in the area.
But what must be the biggest coincidence, and one which I must follow through, is that her mother's maiden name was WAITE and my sister married a man whose family were from this same area with the surname WAIGHT.
I still need to confirm the marriage in Jersey.
But I never thought that I would find so much out from 1 piece of paper.