Monday, June 30, 2014

Henry Parks, Builder, and four prior generations of Parkses

St Mary Lenham
Today, five generations of Parkses back to the seventeenth century. And I think on much firmer ground than, say, for the Garritts. The eighteenth century records are consistent for name, place and timing of births, and show a family rooted in Headcorn, Kent before moving to Egerton, then Lenham and then Strood. But of course, the story here is told backwards...

The previous post, John Stroud, High Street Pork Butcher of Strood, traced John back to the 1841 England Census, which I repeat here, because this is the starting point for finding his family of origin.

Parks family, Strood High Street, 1841

In following the Parkeses further back, the question arises of the origins of Henry Parks, John's father the builder. The clues available consist of his year and place of birth from a couple of censuses (1851 and 1861), and that he has sons John and George in the 1841 England Census.

For the 1841 England Census, age was intended to be given rounded down to the nearest 5 years. So, someone who was 44 years old, would have been recorded as 40, while someone 46 years old, would be recorded as 45. This was not always adhered to, and in many cases census ages (1841 and otherwise) are wildly inaccurate through vanity or misreporting. In the 1841 census Henry's age is given as 46. Thereafter, the same computed year of birth of 1795 follows the decennial censuses. In 1851, he is given as 56, and in 1861 as 66. Other ages on the same census returns are corroborated by vital birth data where it's available. So, it seems reasonable to take the 1795 year of birth seriously.

And while in 1841, no place of birth, beyond the county of Kent is given, the next two census both have Lenham, Kent. Taking the repeated year and place of birth, searches in and revealed little of use for his origins. However, I did find in England, Kent Parish Registers 1538-1911, the following burial record:
       Henry Parks, year of birth 1795, burial 2 December 1863 in Strood, Kent

This corresponds to BMD Death Index:
       Henry Parks Dec1863 N Aylesford 2a 206

This is consistent with his presence in Strood in the 1861 Census, where he is Assistant Pork Butcher (to his son John), and his absence in the 1871 Census.

A search through for Henry Parks, baptized in Lenham 1795 found a single entry. Without paying, I have: year, 1795; place, Lenham; and parents, John and Catharine Parks. Removing "Lenham" from the search shows an additional candidate: year, 1796; place, Headcorn; and parents, Thomas and Elizabeth.

Mid-Kent Marriages also found two marriages associated with the name Henry Parks:
       Henry Parks and Sarah Peckham 17 June 1815 in Lenham
       Henry Parks and Elizabeth Bridgland 21 July 1821 in Headcorn

Headcorn is about 10km from Lenham, and it's not inconceivable for someone stating Lenham as their place of birth on a census return to have been baptized in Headcorn. Thus, I looked both for children born to Henry and Elizabeth Parks, and children born to Henry and Sarah Parks.

For parents Henry and Elizabeth Parks, England, Births and Christenings 1538-1975 have the baptism of Ann in Headcorn 30 Dec 1821, and then 6 more children in Maidstone, Kent between 1823 and 1837. I take these to be the family of the second of these couples. none of them is a good match for John and George, who were 20 and 14 years old respectively in 1841.

For parents Henry and Sarah Parks, England, Births and Christenings 1538-1975 have the following baptisms:
       William Parks 26 June 1825
       George Parks 15 October 1826 (consistent with the 14-year-old George of the 1841 Census)

There is also the baptism in Lenham 18 October 1812 of Henry Parks, the son of Sarah Peckham - presumably a son of Henry Parks nearly three years before they were married. At the time of this baptism, Henry (the father) would have been 17 years old. I suspect they had to wait for the necessary permission to marry. By 1815, he would have been twenty.

On the day Henry Parks and Sarah Peckham were married, an army in Belgium, commanded by the Duke of Wellington, and composed of German, Netherlands and British soldiers, was making a withdrawal to the Plateau of Mont St Jean, south of Brussels. The next day, Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated at the battle of Waterloo by this army and Bluecher's Prussians. The Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars were effectively at an end. There is no obvious connection beyond timing between the marriage and the battle, but the battle does provide a historical context for the lives of this generation of Parkses.

Apart from the above-mentioned 1812 Lenham baptism of Henry Parks (from the pre-1813 register), and do not appear to have index coverage for Lenham in the years after. However can fill in the gaps:
       Marianne Parks 1815 (this could be a variant of Mary Ann)
       Ketazah Parks   1818 (most certainly a transciption error for Keturah)
       John Parks       1820 (consistent with John Parks of the 1841 Census,
                                                                                     the future Pork Butcher)
       Elizabeth Parks 1823

I take this to be evidence that the Henry Parks, Builder employing 5 Men of the 1851 Census in Strood, married Sarah Peckham in Lenham in 1815. They relocated to Strood between 1823 and 1825. Further, I infer that his is the 1795 Lenham baptism (while Henry Parks, baptized in Headcorn in 1796, married Elizabeth Bridgland in Headcorn in 1821 and eventually settled in Maidstone).

Henry's wife, Sarah (Peckham) Parks is last seen alive in about 1826, when she gave birth to her son George. She is not present with the household for the 1841 England Census, leading me to suspect that she had died in that interval. A search found the following burial record in England, Kent Parish Registers 1538-1911:
       Sarah Parks; burial 5 August 1838 Strood; born about 1795

And the corresponding civil death registration:
       BMD Death Index Sarah Parks Sep1838 North Aylesford 5 244

Mid-Kent Marriages has the following marriage:
       John Parks and Catherine Clark 9 March 1779 Egerton Kent

This is the only the only such John Parks and Catherine marriage. for children of parent John and Catherine Parks England, Births and Christenings 1538-1975 has the following baptisms in Egerton:
       John Parks 23 May 1779
       Catherine Parks 22 Oct 1780
       Bennet Parks 3 Feb 1782 (a different index entry has 1781
                                                    which is unlikely given the previous baptism)
       Chatherine Parks 1 Oct 1786 (presumably for Catherine)
       Sander Parks 5 Aug 1788
       Alice Parks 28 Oct 1792

And then in Lenham:
       Robert Parks 12 Feb 1797

Curiously, although the forebears site has the baptism of Robert Parks, the site does not have the Henry Parks 1795 baptism. These would be the children of my 6xgreat grandparents, who appear to have started their family in Egerton, Kent before moving the short distance to Lenham.

At which point, I found in notes from last year, that some of these names and dates had already been sent to me by Dawn Scotting, a Parks genealogist from New Zealand! Still, it's reassuring to find that I am able to find the same data and draw the same conclusions. Also through Dawn, from information researched by Jill French in England, the following is a transcription of a headstone in Lenham churchyard. So, thank you to Dawn and Jill for this information:

       Sacred to the memory of John Parks who died April 3rd 1826
       aged 69 years
       Also Catherine wife of the above died April 23rd 1829
       aged 73 years

From the headstone, the years of birth come out to about 1757 for John Parks, and about 1756 for Catherine Clark. Continuing along the Parks line, a search ( for a John Parks baptized around this time(1755-1765) in Kent, found the baptisms of  several by that name. One of them caught my eye because the parents' names are Sander and Bennit Parks, which are names given by John and Catherine to two of their children. Continuing in, I found the marriage in England, Marriages 1538-1973 of:
       Sander Parks and Bennet Coppins in Charing, Kent 30 January 1754

Bennet Coppins must be the origin of the subsequent Bennet Parkses, named for their common ancestor, my 7xgreat grandmother. Expanding the search years to look for their children, England, Births and Christenings 1538-1975 indexes the baptisms of the following children of Sander and Bennet (or Bennit) Park(e)s in Egerton, Kent:
       Elizth Parks        16 Apr 1756
       John Parks         30 April 1758
       Bennet Parks        6 April 1760
       Sarah Parkes      18 November 1764
       Sander Parks       2 April 1766            (burial 9 April 1766)
       Saunder Parkes  19 April 1767
       Henry Parks       29 March 1769         (burial 2 April 1769)
       Thomas Parks     3 June 1770
       Peter Parkes      13 October 1771
       Henry Parks        8 November 1772
       Ann Parks           5 June 1774
       Frances Parks   22 October 1775
       James                 6 July 1778

On the international stage, these baptisms span the Seven Years War (known as the French and Indian War in America), and into the American Revolutionary War.

England, Births and Christenings 1538-1975 indexes a Bennett Coppin, baptized in Egerton, Kent 1733/4, with parents John and Elizabeth Coppin. She would fit with other siblings whose last name is indexed as Coppins, and John and Elizabeth must be my 8xgreat grandparents on this line with children baptized at Egerton Church:
       Mary Coppins       10 June 1726
       Richard Coppins   27 April 1729
       Thomas Coppins    3 October 1731
       Bennet Coppin     27 January 1733/4

The baptism 1732 in Headcorn, Kent of "Sarnder" Parks, son of  Henry and Elizabeth, fits among the following sequence of siblings:
       Paul Parkes        4 February 1727/8
       Jemima Parks     1 March 1729/30
       Sarnder Parks   9 January 1731/2
       Sarah Parks        6 January 1733/4
       John Parks          1 February 1735/6
       Edward Parks   19 February 1737/8
       Jane Parks         30 December 1739
       Elizabeth Parks   1 March 1742/3

Prior to that, there is a marriage of Henry Parks and Elizabeth Apps in Staplehurst, Kent on 7 November 1727, which is about 5km west of Headcorn. If this is the marriage of my 8xgreat grandparents, then that would be a place to look for Elizabeth's family. Prior to that is another series of baptisms of children of Henry and Mary Parkes:
       Mary Parkes     25 June 1721
       Henry Parkes     3 February 1722/3
       Anna Parkes    15 November 1724

Followed by the burial of Mary wife of Henry Parkes on 8 December 1725 in Headcorn. These are likely to be the children of the same Henry Park(e)s from a first marriage.

Back another generation of Parkses, England, Births and Christenings 1538-1975 has the following series of baptisms of children of Alexander and Anne Parks in Headcorn. Sander, then, is a shortened form of Alexander:
       Mary Parkes          11 September 1681
       Alexander Parkes  21 March 1682/3
       John Parkes           26 September 1684
       Anne Parkes          24 March 1686/7
       Judeth Parkes          4 March 1687/8
       Elizabeth Parkes     3 March 1689/90
       Anne Parkes         24 July 1692
       Hannah Parkes       6 September 1694
       Henery Parkes      9 February 1696/7
       Stephen Parkes       3 February 1698/9
       Elizabeth Parkes     8 April 1701

These baptisms preceded by the marriage on 21 October 1680 in Headcorn, Kent of Alexander Parkes and Anne Herden.

In a wider historical context, these baptisms span the reigns in England of Charles II and James II, followed by the Glorious Revolution and the reign of William III and Mary. The children grew up hearing about the victories of the Duke of Marlborough.

And there I stop for now with five generations of Parkses:
       Henry Parks and Sarah Peckham (5xgreat grandparents)
       John Parks and Catherine Clark (6xgreat grandparents)
       Sander Parks and Bennet Coppins (7xgreat grandparents)
       Henry Parks and Elizabeth Apps (8xgreat grandparents)
       Alexander Parks and Anne Herden (9xgreat grandparents)

Friday, June 27, 2014

John Parks, High Street Pork Butcher of Strood

A little earlier than the 1850s
It's been a while since I even saw a butcher's shop, let alone shopped in one. In England I enjoyed walking from store to store, the butcher, the baker and the greengrocer, each with its distinctive aroma. The town center was fairly small - I'm thinking of Clifton in Bristol in the 1980s - I was shopping for one without a car, and there were no children in tow. Since settling in the USA, I have tended to use the meat counter at the grocery store, and the bread aisle and the produce section, etc. While much more time-efficient this way, I miss the traditional high street, which doen't seem to have any real stores at all!

The previous post followed George William Parks to the family in which he was born. Census data show his father, Henry John Parks, a Customs Officer. He died in 1896 at the young age of 49. The family of his mother, Phoebe Higgins, we will turn to in a future post. Today we continue back along the Parks line.

We had already seen the marriage of Henry John Parks and Phoebe Higgins in 1869, and the subsequent censuses. Prior to that I have the census data for households including Henry John from 1851 and 1861. I also have censuses including his father John from 1841 (before Henry John was born) and 1871 (after he left home). They are all on Strood High Street in Kent, and I wonder if they are at the same address. Generally, I search for them in reverse order; I present them here chronologically for a change.

First 1841:
        Henry Parks   46   Builder               Y
        John     Do     20   Bricklayer App  Y
        George  Do     14           Do             Y

Then 1851:
        John Parks         Head       M  30 Builder & Butcher            Kent Lenham
        Mary Parks         Wife               28                                         Kent Gillingham
[new page]
        Katurah Parks     Daur               7                                           Kent Strood
        Henry Do           Son                 5                                                Do
        John McNeil       Nephew          9                                           Scotland Whitbourn
        Henry Parks        Father  Widr 56 Builder employing 5 Men   Kent Lenham
        Susan Fawcett     Servant M    30                                           Kent Strood
        Priscilla Fawcett Visitor U       19                                               Do
        Elizabeth Bryant     Do             71                                          Kent Gillingham

And 1861:
       John Parks     Head     Mar      40   Pork Butcher    Kent Lenham
       Mary Parks      Wife      Mar      38                            Kent Brompton
       Keturah Parks  Daur      Un       17                            Kent Strood
       Henry Parks   Son        Un       15   Scholar                Do    Do
       Frances Parks   Daur                   6   Scholar                 Do    Do
       Elizabeth Parks Daur                   4      Scholar               Do    Do
       William Parks  Son                      1                                 Do    Do
       Henry Parks    Father  Widower 66 Pork Butcher's Assistant  Kent Lenham
       Jane Powers    Servant   Un       16  House Servant Domestic  Kent Chatham

And 1871:
       John       Parks   Head   Marr  50  Pork Butcher    [Kent] Lenham
       Mary         Do      Wife     Do    48                                Do  Gillingham
       Frances S   Do    Daur  Unm  16  Assistant                Do  Strood
       Elizabeth A Do    Do     Do    13  Scholar                  Do     Do
       William     Do    Son               11    do                        Do    Do

So three generations of Parkses. The plain bold type indicates the future customs officer, Henry John Parks. His father, John, is the head of household in 1851 and 1861 is in italic bold type, and his grandfather Henry is in italic type. Henry Parks is my 3xgreat, John Parks my 4xgreat, and Henry Parks my 5xgreat grandfathers.

John Parks, Pork Butcher of Stroud High Street does not appear in the census of 1881. His must be the death recorded in:
       BMD Death Index John Parks Mar1881 North Aylesford 2a 302 Age:60

By that time, he was probably already a widower, if the following, as seems likely, is the death record for his wife:
       BMD Death Index Mary Parks Dec1877 North Aylesford 2a 254 Age:54

From the standpoint of occupation, it would seem that Henry, the elder, is in business as a builder. His son, John, starts out in the trade as well, but then changes occupation to butcher. And by 1861, it is Henry the elder assisting his son in the butcher's shop. John's wife is Mary Adams. According to England, Select Marriages, 1538-1973, they were married in Gillingham, Kent on 13 April 1842, corresponding to BMD Marriage Index Jun1842 Medway 5 415.

The following children, baptized in Strood with parents John and Mary Parks, are indexed in England, Births and Christenings, 1538-1911:
       Keturah Jane Parks
              BMD Birth Index Jun1844 North Aylesford 5 408
                                        (as Ketturah Jane Parks)
              Baptism 5 May 1844 Strood near Rochester, Kent
              BMD Marriage Index Jun1870 North Aylesford 2a 621
                                         (to John Harris King)
              BMD Death Index Mar1893 Camberwell 1d 607 Age:48
                                         (as Keturah Jane King)

       Henry John Parks
              BMD Birth Index Mar1846 North Aylesford 5 42
              Baptism 22 March 1846 Strood near Rochester, Kent
              BMD Marriage Index Mar1869 Canterbury 2a 812
                                         (to Phoebe Higgins)
              BMD Death Index Mar1896 Stepney 1c 293 Age:46

       John Parks
              BMD Birth Index Mar1848 North Aylesford 5 441
              Baptism 20 Feb 1848 Strood near Rochester, Kent
              He does not appear in the 1851 Census, and I suspect he died before 1851
                      probably this one
                              BMD Death Index Dec1850 North Aylesford 5 282

       Mary Ann Parks
              BMD Birth Index Mar1852 North Aylesford 2a 262
              Baptism 18 Apr 1852 Strood near Rochester, Kent
              She does not appear in the 1861 Census, and I suspect she died before 1861
                     probably this one
                             BMD Death Index Sep1857 North Aylesford 2a 171

       Frances Sarah Parks
              BMD Birth Index Mar1855 North Aylesford 2a 264
              Baptism 4 Mar 1855 Strood near Rochester, Kent
              BMD Marriage Index Mar1888 Medway 2a 643
                                         (to William Edward Harlow)
              BMD Death Index Mar1893 Medway 2a 403 Age:38
                                         (as Frances Sarah Harlow)

       Elizabeth Ann Parks
              BMD Birth Index Jun1857 North Aylesford 2a 267
              Baptism 28 Jun 1857 Strood near Rochester, Kent
              I have found no record beyond 1871

       William Parks
              BMD Birth Index Mar1860 North Aylesford 2a 324
              Baptism 4 Mar 1860 Strood near Rochester, Kent
              I have found no further record I can attribute to him beyond the 1911 census,
              at which time he is living in Gillingham and single.

And before all these:
       John Henry Parks             
              In addition, England, Kent, Parish Registers 1538-1911 has John Henry Parks
              born 1843, and buried 20 April 1843 at Strood.
              Corresponding to this event are:
                     BMD Birth Index is Jun1843 North Aylesford 5 375, and
                     BMD Death Index Jun1843 North Aylesford 5 299.
              It seems likely that this also is a son of John and Mary Parks (all other Civil Birth
              Registrations from North Aylesford from this time until 1860 correspond to
              children of this couple, baptized in Strood), whose baptism is not recorded at
              the church parish register.

Of the eight children listed above, I find three who died before they were ten years old (John Henry, and, most probably, John and Mary Ann), three who died as adults under 50 (Keturah Jane, Henry John and Frances Sarah), one unaccounted for after the age of 13 (Elizabeth Ann), and only one who I know for sure lived beyond 50 (William).

Which rather puts into perspective my nostalgia at the loss of the high street, I think.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Remembering George William Parks

Seventy years ago this month a new weapon fell from the skies on London. By the end of World War Two, about 9,500 V1 launches had caused nearly 23,000 casualties, of which 6,184 died, among them George William Parks, Waterman of London, my 2xgreat grandfather. Previous posts have mentioned his daughter, Edith Violet Parks, known to me as Nan Mum, who married Henry Stroud, veteran officer of the Royal Flying Corps from the Great War (seen here).

The V1 was an unmanned flying bomb. Its crude guidance system shut off the engine after a preset interval, sending the bomb into a dive on its target, primarily in London. At the time it was noted that some areas were hit more than others. I remember from a math class in university that a statistician demonstrated the distribution of hits was consistent with their falling with randomly over London. Although reassuring, maybe, that V1s were not being aimed at particular places, I cannot imagine this was much consolation to those who suffered from their effects.

A 1911 England Census transcript for the Parks family may be found here. Of interest is the name of his wife, Edith Simmonds Parks from Gravesend, Kent. From this information, their marriage is easy to locate.
       BMD Marriage Index Mar1893 Gravesend 2a 600
              (George William Parks and Edith Simmonds Hardman)

The earliest census record for George William Parks comes from 1871, when he, his mother, brother and an aunt are at 39 Augustine Road, Milton, Gravesend, Kent
       Phebe Parks         Wife  Married       22  Customs Officer's Wife  Kent Strood
       John Parks            Son                      2                                            do       do
       George Parks      Son                      9 mos                                    London
       Charlotte Hidgins  Sister Unmarried 23                                        Kent Strood

The brother is John Henry Parks, which England Select Births and Christenings 1538-1975 records as baptized at Strood near Rochester on 16 May 1869, the son of Henry John and Pheobe Parks. England and Wales Christenings 1530-1906 has George William Parks baptized at Milton near Gravesend on 28 August 1870.

According to the BMD Marriage Index, Hidgins should read Higgins, since the marriage record Mar1869 Canterbury 2a 812 is for Henry John Parks and Phoebe Higgins.

In the 1871 England Census, I found Henry John Parks on board the Onega, 673 ton steam ship on the Hamburg trade, but in Bermondsey on census night.
       Henry John Parks  Married  25  Outdoor Officer H.M.C.s   Strood Kent

For the census in 1881, the family are together at 18 Range Road, Milton in Gravesend, Kent
       Henry      Parks     Head    Mar  35  Outdoor Officer HM Customs      [Kent] Strood
       Phoebe       "         Wife      "      29                                                             "         "
       John H        "          Son     Un   11  Scholar                                               "         "
       George W  "            "          "     10      "                                                Middlesex Stepney
       Thomas A   "            "         "      2                                                           Kent Gravesend
       Ernest K     "            "          "      1                                                                "          "
       Lily E          "         Daughter "   2 mths                                                         "          "
       Thomas K Curling Boarder  "  39  Outdoor Customs Officer HM Customs  "   near Romney

By the census of 1891 George William is away from home found on the steam tug Agincourt (20 tons):
       G W Parks  Mate  S  M[ale]  21  Mate  London  Stepney

Meanwhile in 1891, the family of his parents Henry John and Phoebe Parks are in London at 46 Clemence Street, Limehouse:
       Henry J Parks  Head  M    45   Asst Eo H M Customs  Kent Strood
       Phoebe   Do     Wife   M    39                                            "         "
       Thomas A Do   Son    S     12                                           "   Gravesend
       Ernest K   Do      "      S     11                                            "           "
       Lily E     Do      Daur   S    10                                            "           "
       Daisy B  Do         "      S      9                                             "          "
       Henry A  Do      Son   S      4                                             "           "
       Ethel J   Do       Daur  S      2                                         London  Limehouse
       Violet A Do          "      S     9 mos                                      "             "
       Fanny Porter               S    16    Servant Domestic             "         Stepney

I do not find Henry John Parks in the next census, although I do find Violet Parks born in Limehouse with mother Phoebe Jarvis from Strood and her husband William. The reason is Henry John Parks dies in 1893 (BMD Death Index Mar1896 Stepney 1c 293 Age:49). Phoebe remarries (BMD Marriage Index Sep1898 Mile End Old Town 1c 690 to Joseph William Jarvis). The parish register has the marriage on 26 September 1898 at Bow Common:
       Groom: William Joseph Jarvis  54  Widower  Clerk  50 St Pauls Road
                            father: Joseph Jarvis (dec'd)  Shipwright
       Bride:   Phoebe Parks  47  Widow     50 St Pauls Road
                            father: Edward Higgins (dec'd)  Mariner
       Signed: William Joseph Jarvis and Phoebe Parks
       Witnesses:  John William Coley and Selina Coley X her mark

The 1901 census is at 15 Garford Street Poplar
       William Jarvis  Head  M  59  Carpenter   Kent Chatham
       Phoebe    do     Wife   M  50                       "     Strood
       Violet Parks     Daur   U  11                      Middlesex Limehouse
               and several visitors

And in 1911 at 17 Auberon Street Woolwich
        William Joseph Jarvis  Head  69  Married  Carpenter Elec Cable Works  Chatham Kent
        Phoebe Jarvis               Wife  59  Married 12 (None)                                 Strood Kent
              and lodgers

The BMD summary for this family follows:
       Henry John Parks
              BMD Birth Index Mar1846 North Aylesford 5 42
              BMD Marriage Index Mar1869 Canterbury 2a 812
                                         (to Phoebe Higgins)
              BMD Death Index Mar1896 Stepney 1c 293 Age:49
       Phoebe Higgins
              BMD Birth Index Sep1851 North Aylesford 5 469
              BMD Marriage Index Mar1869 Canterbury 2a 812
                                         (to Henry John Parks)
              BMD Marriage Index Sep1898 Mile End Old Town 1c 690
                                         (to Joseph William Jarvis)
              BMD Death Index Mar1916 Woolwich 1d 1393 Age:64
                                         (as Phoebe Jarvis)

And children:
       John Henry Parks
              BMD Birth Index Jun1869 N Aylesford 2a 398
              Baptism 16 May 1869 Strood near Rochester, Kent
              BMD Marriage Index Jun1892 Gravesend 2a 860
                                         (to Amelia May Hardman)
              BMD Death Mar1942 Ilford 4a 605
              Natl Prob Cal England and Wales
                     Death 19 February 1942; Probate 20 August 1946 to Percy John Parks

       George William Parks
              BMD Birth Index Sep1870 Mile End Old Town 1c 493
              Baptism 28 August 1870 Milton next Gravesend
              BMD Marriage Index Mar1893 Gravesend 2a 600
                                         (to Edith Simmonds Hardman)
              BMD Death Index Sep1944 Stepney 1c 295
              Natl Prob Cal England and Wales
                     Death 12 July 1944; Probate 30 August to Edith Simmonds Parks

Note: Amelia May and Edith Simmonds Hardman are sisters, who as seen above marry the two brothers John Henry and George William Parks.

       Phoebe Maria Parks
              BMD Birth Index Sep1872 Gravesend 2a 414
              Baptism 6 October 1872 Milton next Gravesend
              BMD Marriage Index Dec1892 Hoo 2a 1009
                                         (to George Edward Ayers)
              Ontario Death Certificate
                      Date of Death: 7 July 1932; Date of Birth 22 August 1872

       Annie Kirby Parks
               BMD Birth Index Dec1874 Gravesend 2a 414
               Baptism 24 January 1875 Milton next Gravesend
               BMD Death Index Sep1875 Gravesend 2a 226 Age:0

        Thomas Kirby Parks
               BMD Birth Index Jun1876 Gravesend 2a 441
               Baptism 12 May 1876 Milton next Gravesend
               BMD Death Index Jun1876 Gravesend 2a 242 Age:0

        Thomas Alexander Parks
               BMD Birth Index Sep1878 Gravesend 2a 454
               Baptism 19 July 1878 Milton next Gravesend
               BMD Marriage Index Jun1898 Stepney 1c 631
                                          (to Rose Alice Clark)
               Probably died in New Zealand after 1946

       Ernest Kirby Parks
              BMD Birth Index Mar 1880 Gravesend 2a 463
              Baptism 22 February 1880 Milton next Gravesend
              BMD Marriage Index Jun1917 Greenwich 1d 1626
                                         (to Alice M Wills)
              BMD Death Index Mar1952 Stepney 5d 652 Age:72

       Lily Esther Parks
              BMD Birth Index Mar1881 Gravesend 2a 489
              Baptism 13 March 1881 Milton next Gravesend
              BMD Marriage Index Dec1897 Poplar 1c 1061
                                         (to Robert French)
              BMD Death Index Dec1969 Lambeth 5d 23 Age:88
                                         (Date of Birth 29 January 1881)

       Daisy Beatrice Parks
              BMD Birth Index Jun1882 Gravesend 2a 496
              Baptism 2 June 1882 Milton next Gravesend
              BMD Marriage Index Dec1904 Mile End Old Town1c 613
                                         (to Alfred George Moulton)
              No record beyond 1911 discovered so far

       Henry Albert Parks
              BMD Birth Index Dec 1883 Gravesend 2a 503
              Ontario Marriages 29 February 1912 Newmarket, York
                                       (to Annie Elizabeth Bacon)
              No further record discovered so far

       Ethel Jane Parks
              BMD Birth Index Mar1888 Stepney 1c 468
              Baptism 26 Feb 1888 Limehouse St Ann
                       Born 1 February 1888
              No record beyond 1891 discovered so far

       Violet Annie Parks
              BMD Birth Index Sep1890 Stepney 1c 406
              Baptism 13 July 1890 Limehouse St Ann
                       Born 18 June 1890
              BMD Marriage Index Mar1911 Poplar 1c 623
                                         (to Ernest A Hobdell)
              BMD Marriage Index Sep1954 Poplar 5d 708
                                         (to George A Petrie)
              BMD Death Index Sep1956 Woolwich 5d 691 Age:66

I return now to George William Parks. We left him in 1891 as the mate on the steam tug Agincourt. He married Edith Simmonds Hardman in 1893. The 1901 England Census finds him and Edith at 69 St Albans Road, Ilford:
       George W Parks  Head  Mar  30  Waterman Lighterman   Middlesex Stepney
       Edith S       Do     Wife   Mar  25                                          Kent Gravesend
       Edith V      Do      Daur             7                                            Do       Do
       George W  Do     Son              6                                          Middlesex Limehouse
       Sidney J    Do      Son              4                                             Do               Do
       Harold B   Do      Son              2                                              Do               Do
              and a boarder

And in 1911 at 52 Eastwood Road, Goodmayes, Ilford:
       George William Parks  Head     40  Married Waterman & Lighterman Stepney Middlesex
       Edith Simmonds Parks Wife      35  Married                                        Gravesend Kent
       George William Parks  Son       16  Single   Lighterman's Apprentice Limehouse Middlesex
       Edith Violet Parks        Daughter17 Single  Clerk                                Gravesend Kent
       Sidney John Parks        Son       14  Single Clerk                               Limehouse Middlesex
       Harold Bertram Parks   Son       12             School                             Limehouse Middlesex
       Gladys Irene Parks       Daughter 9             School                            Ilford Essex
              and a boarder

George William Parks worked as a Thames waterman and lighterman from at least 1891 until 1944. He was probably apprenticed a few years before 1891. He would have been 16 in 1886, the age of his son, an apprentice lighterman in 1911. By July 1944, George William senior was nearly 74 years old and had worked over 50 years on the river. He was captain of the steam tug Naja. According to the website London Lighterage tugs, Naja was owned by Gaselee and Son Ltd. On 12 July during a shift change as Tower Hill tug, Naja was struck directly by a V-1 and all six crew were killed. The body of George William Parks was found the next day.

George William and Edith Simmonds Parks are buried at Barkingside Cemetery in the London Borough of Redbridge.

from London Lighterage Tugs website

Friday, June 13, 2014

Among the First Quakers

Quakers in London 1723
On this, my fiftieth post in this blog, there is more to say about Quaker ancestors on my maternal grandmother's side of the family. As with many explorations into pre-19th century genealogy, don't expect too many firm conclusions. The records just aren't there. But I do believe that the Garritts are the Quaker connection, and go back to the beginnings of the movement.

The Quakers emerged around 1650 as George Fox and other dissenters began to preach around the country. They called themselves Friends; according to Fox, the term Quaker originated after a magistrate mocked Fox for urging him to "tremble at the word of the Lord". They were fiercely persecuted for their non-conformity, until the Toleration Act of 1689. But even by 1655, when George Fox visited Coggeshall in Essex, he found there were already 2000 co-religionists meeting at the town. Some of those may have been my ancestors. The story unfolds below.

Thomas Blacketer, shoe maker, and son of Zachariah and Winifred, married Elizabeth Garritt in 1786 and died two only years later, aged 31. Thomas and Elizabeth are 5xgreat grandparents of mine. Their children - they had two in their two years of marriage - have their births recorded by the Ratcliff Meeting of the Friends, although neither of the parents were considered members at the time. Elizabeth went on to remarry Christopher Moor, and their marriage, and the births of their children are recorded by the Friends. The Moors appear to have been members of their Friends Meeting since no there is no anotation to the contrary on their records.

Elizabeth's grandsons, through Joseph Blacketer, and all born in her lifetime, also have their births recorded at the Friends Meeting, while Joseph and his wife are not considered members. I have found no Quaker connection in my Blacketer line either before or since these two sets of records. And this made me particularly interested in Elizabeth Garritt's background.

On the marriage record for Elizabeth Blackiter and Christopher Moor, 29 July 1794, from the Quarterly Meeting of London and Middlesex, her parents are described as:
       Joseph Garritt, of Chelmsford in Essex, Draper, and Mary his Wife, deceased

From this I would have drawn the conclusion that Joseph must still be alive at this time, although Mary is not. However, I decided to search for Garritt marriages in which there were parents Joseph Garritt and Mary. Perhaps I could flush out some of Elizabeth's siblings. There were two marriages of interest.

The first, from the Quarterly Meeting of London and Middlesex 17 September 1793, for Joseph Docwra and Ann Garritt, describing his parents as:
       Joseph Docwra of the same place [Essex] Deceased & Patience his Wife him surviving

And her parents as:
       Joseph & Mary Garrett of Chelmsford in said County [Essex] deceased

Which I would read as both of Ann's parents being deceased. Of particular interest on Quaker Marriage Certificates is the large number of witness signatures, many of whom are under the heading: "relations". Among the relations signing as witnesses for this marriage is Elizabeth Blackitter, who must be Ann Garritt's widowed sister.

The second record of interest in my search comes from 6 August 1776, when another sister of Elizabeth Garritt has a marriage recorded at the Monthly Meeting of Devonshire House, London:
       Thomas Pace of the Parish called Saint Mary Whitechapel, Clockmaker,
       Son of John Pace, late of the Parish called Christ Church in Middlesex,
       Shoemaker, and Sarah, his Wife, both deceased; and Sarah Garritt,
       Daughter of Joseph Garritt, late of Chelmsford in Essex, Draper, deceased,
       and Mary, his Wife him surviving (now Mary Gostling)

So, Joseph Garritt, the Draper of Chelmsford, and father of Sarah, Ann and Elizabeth (and she my 5xgreat grandmother), died before 6 August 1776. His widow remarried someone named Gostling, and died before 17 September 1793, the date of the marriage record for Ann Garritt and Joseph Docwra. Of Joseph Garritt's marriage, the births of his children, and his deaths I have no direct record, nor of his widow's remarriage or death. The absence of these records from the Essex Friends Meetings suggests that they were not in membership, although his daughters appear to have remained in contact with the Society.

The Monthly Meeting of Witham have birth records which include Joseph Garritt, born in Chelmsford 1732. This Joseph, I believe, is our Draper of Chelmsford. Here is a list of children born to Thomas Garritt and his wife Ann:
       Thomas 7 June 1725 
              (Thomas Garritt son of Thomas and Ann
                     was buried in Chelmsford 13 November 1729)
       William 6 August 1726
       Joseph 17 December 1727 (this has been read as 1722 and 1732,
                                                       but 1727 would be sequential in the register)
       Ann 11 May 1729
              (Ann Garritt daughter of Thomas and Ann
                     was buried in Chelmsford 13 November 1729
                                      - they buried two children on one day)
       Sarah 23 September 1730
       Ann 31 January 1731/2 
       Elizabeth 9 June 1733 (but see below, the last digit is not visible)
              (A 67-year-old Elizabeth Garritt, Spinster
                     was buried in Colchester 10 August 1800)

Ann Garritt, the mother, was buried at Chelmsford 13 June 1733. June is rendered as 4th Month, although one could read the document as 11th Month, but in that case it should be double dated 1733/4 (and is clearly not double-dated). The double dating occurs because the English style New Year began 25th March, while elsewhere it was already 1st January. Likewise, the date of birth for the last of the children, Elizabeth, can be read as 9 June or January 173? - the last digit is obscured by the center binding. Elizabeth's date of birth could be one of the following:
       9 January 1732/3 or 9 June 1733.

I am thinking it's the second of these and Ann's burial is the 13 June 1733, and that Ann must have died of postpartum complications, what in the period they described as "death in child bed". It is, of course, possible that one of the January dates is the correct birth date for Elizabeth, and that Ann's death is unrelated to Elizabeth's birth.

Thomas Garritt, the father, meanwhile appears to have remarried. The Colchester Monthly Meeting records the burial 8 June 1776 of "Mary Garritt, Widdow of Thos Garritt, Draper late of Chelmsford in the County of Essex, deceased, aged about Seventy nine years". I have not yet found a direct record of such a marriage, nor of his death. For all I know, they may have had children for which I have found no record.

There is a later marriage for Sarah Garritt that is probably related to the 1730 birth of that name. This comes from the Witham Monthly Meeting of a marriage that occurred in Chelmsford 6 March 1764:
       Joseph Row of Duke Street old Artilley Ground Londn Weaver,
       Son of John Row of the same Place and Trade, deceas'd and Elizth
       his Wife him Surviving; and Sarah Garritt Daur of Thos Garritt of
       Chelmsford Essex Shopkeeper and Ann his Wife she being deceased.

At the top of the signatures of relations attesting to the 1776 marriage (described above) of Thomas Pace and Sarah Garritt are those of Joseph and Sarah Row, who, if we are right, are the aunt and uncle of Sarah Garritt of the 1776 marriage.

Sarah Garritt of the Garritt/Row marriage record is connected to Sarah Garritt, born in 1730, by the following points:
       1. Same name: Sarah Garritt
       2. Same parents' names: Thomas and Ann Garritt
       3. Same town: Chelmsford, Essex
       4. They are Quakers

Searching for Thomas Garritt, Sarah's father, I found a possible birth record at the Monthly Meeting of Coggeshall:
       Thomas Ye Son of Thomas Garritt & Elizabeth
              his Wiff was born the 6th of the 2:Mo:1700

Garritt marriages in which there were parents Thomas Garritt and Ann or Mary did not flush out any siblings. But I did find a record for parents Thomas and Elizabeth. A child of Thomas and Elizabeth Garritt is Sarah, who marries Thomas Corbyn 21 January 1752, as recorded by the Colchester Monthly Meeting.
       Thomas Corbyn of Holborn, Citizen and Apothecary of London Son of John
       Corbyn of the City of Worcester Clothier, and of Candia his Wife, and Sarah
       Garritt Daughter of Thomas Garritt late of Colchester Salesman and of
       Elizabeth his Wife both deceased.

Among witness signatures are the following Garritts: John, Ann, Isaac, Sarah, Mary, Rebeker[!]. And Thomas and Sarah Corbyn of this marriage are witnesses (as relations) to the marriage of Joseph Row and Sarah Garritt twelve years later in 1764. Again, if we are correct, they are uncle and aunt to the bride.

Sarah Corbyn died 21 January 1790, aged about 70 years, and is buried at the Friends Burying Ground Bunhill Fields. She would therefore have been born around 1719. I have not yet found a record of her birth, or the birth records for any prior siblings, except for the Thomas Garritt birth in Coggeshall 1700.

In Coggeshall 18 January 1697/8, the Essex Quarterly Meeting records the marriage of the parents of course Thomas born 1700:
       Whereas Thomas Garret [later references are all to Thomas Garritt]
       of Coggeshall Magna In Ye County of Essex Tayler Son of John Garritt
       of ye same Towne and County Afforesd Tayler and Elizabeth Pemberton
       Daughter of Richard Pemberton And Sarah his Wife deceased of ye
       same Towne and County Afforesd Baymaker.

Among the first witness signatures are John Garritt and Ann Garritt, possibly Thomas's parents, and Richard Pemberton, possibly Elizabeth's father or brother. Other Garritts are Isaac and Francis. If the line is correct back from Elizabeth Garritt (who married Thomas Blacketer), then Thomas Garritt and Elizabeth Pemberton are my 8xgreat grandparents. The caveat here is the discontinuity of records between Thomas Garritt born in Coggeshall in 1700, and Thomas Garritt the father of the children born in Chelmsford in the 1720s and 30s.

Births to Thomas and Ann (or Anna) Garritt recorded by the Coggeshall Monthly Meeting are:
       John 20 December 1666
       Thomas 16 December 1669 - presumably the future husband of Elizabeth Pemberton
       Isaac 22 April 1672
       Francis 8 March 1678

Meanwhile Richard Pemberton and Sarah his wife have the following children recorded at the same place:
       Richard 9 January 1662
       John 16 April 1665
       Sarah 31 August 1674
       Elizabeth 29 January 1676

There is even a record for the marriage of these parents:
       Richard Pemberton tooke Sarah the Daughter of William Guyon (deceased)
       the first day of the first month 1662 haveing twice published the same in the
       meeting before to wife.

Which would make William Guyon a 10xgreat grandfather of mine.

There are two Pemberton burial records of interest here, recorded together by the Coggeshall Monthly Meeting:
       23 years (Sarah Pemberton the daughter of Richard Pemberton
                      (deceased, died 21st of ye 8/month [October] 1697
       61 years (Sarah Pemberton Snr the Wife of Richard Pemberton
                      (departed this Life the 24th of ye 10/Mo [December] 1697

A probate record, probably a will, for Richard Pemberton, Clothier of Gt Coggeshall is recorded for 1696, suggesting a year of death. If so, the signature on the marriage document must be Richard Pemberton, Elizabeth's brother. But note, the Richard, father of the bride, on the Garritt/Pemberton marriage document is described as a Baymaker, one who weaves baize, a woollen cloth resembling felt. The clothier could be a different Richard Pemberton.

By the 1660s, John and Ann Garritt, and Richard and Elizabeth Pemberton have the births of their children recorded among the Quakers. These four are all likely to have been born in the 1630s or early 1640s. They would have come of age as Quaker teaching came to Coggeshall, are appear to have been early converts to the movement.

The further back in time I go, the less certain the evidence. The Garritt family is probably quite large, and may have moved beyond Essex. The names are common, so I might expect there to be several Thomas or Sarah Garritts at any one time. On the encouraging side, the records presented in this post are connected by Friends Meetings. Marriages in earlier generations produce witness signatures of relatives in later ones. And occupational data appear to make sense, even from generation to generation. If you pass this information along in your family history, please be sure to add all the caveats.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Zach Black's Missing Watch

The Bench Hogarth

A derivation of the name Blacketer is Blackadder, a Lowland clan whose lands were on Blackadder Water, a tributary of the Tweed in Berwickshire. I am thus related to Edmund Blackadder, made famous by Rowan Atkinson in the series by that name! So far, I have not come across any Blackadders, although I have documented Blackader with one d.

Before proceeding further, I will review my Blacketer line. My great grandfather on this side is Thomas John Blacketer (sometime Mayor of Poplar) and his wife is Mary Ann Peterken. His father is Joseph Blacketer (who died aged before Tom was born) and his mother Hannah Thurley. Joseph Blacketer's father is Thomas Blacketer (sometime shoe maker, also carman) and his mother Martha Greenfield. And Thomas's father in turn is Joseph Blacketer (chemical worker, watch maker, and carman) and mother Elizabeth (probably) Botting. The documentary record of all of this holds together tightly through census returns and vital records. We can be as certain as it is possible to be that this line must be correct back to my 4xgreat grandparents.

In the previous post, Earlier Quaker Connections, I moved a generation before this to the parents of Joseph Blacketer, based on birth records kept by the Quaker Meeting in Ratcliff in east London. Here are the connections between that record and later records that I am sure belong to my 4xgreat grandfather Joseph Blacketer:
       1.  Name on the birth record match those of later records.
       2.  Time of birth on the birth record is consistent with that given in the later records.
       3.  Place of birth on the birth record is the same as that given in the later records.

Whether we believe the two Joseph Blacketers to be the same person hinges on our answer to how many Joseph Blacketers were born around 1787-8 in Ratcliff. I suspect there is only one, and I give special significance to the Quaker connection of Joseph's birth record, and then the later birth records of Joseph Blacketer's children. We also have a plausible narrative by which the widow Elizabeth Blacketer moves from Ratcliff to Barking; that is, she marries Christopher Moor.

All the same, it would be nice to see some kind of direct link between Joseph Blacketer and Elizabeth and/or Christopher Moor (his step-father from the age of 6); perhaps from a will. While I haven't yet found such a document, I do think I am justified in believing that Joseph Blacketer, child of the Ratcliff Meeting birth records (1787) is Joseph Blacketer, father of the Barking Meeting birth records (1817 to 1825).

Now, we work backwards from the 1787 birth record, searching for references to "Winnifread Blacketer". I set up the search in for "someone Blacketer" with spouse "Winifred someone" married around 1760 (broad search setting). And this produced the following record from London and Surrey, England, Marriage Bonds and Allegations 1597-1921. The names Winifred and Blacketer are rare enought that this must be the only couple, at least in that time and place, to possess that combination of names.

                                            15th May 1753
       Appeared personally Zachariah Blacketer
       of the parish of Endfield in the County of Middlesex
       Bachelor aged Twenty three Years and
       alleged that he intends to intermarry with
       Winifred Brown of the same Parish Spinster
       aged Twenty two years

That is the Marriage Allegation. It goes on to specify three places where the marriage might be solemnized: the Parish Church of En[d]field, St Botolph Bishopsgate, or St Andrew Holborn. Enfield is where Zachariah was from; the others may be where Winifred is from, and where they intended to live. Additionally, the Marriage Bond contains the information that Zachariah is a Cheesemonger.

Cheesemonger Zachariah Blacketer is a prosecution witness, and victim of larceny, in Old Bailey Proceedings dated 23 October 1754. Here is a transcript of his testimony:
       Zac. Blacketer: I am a Cheesemonger in East Smithfield. The prisoner
       [William Smith] took a lodging in my house, ready furnished; he went
       for a Cooper. On the 6th of Sept. the first night he lay there, he burnt out
       a whole candle; the next day he came in about 12 o'clock at night and
       lay on bed till 12 the next day, which was Sunday; he got up and went
       out, and came in about half an hour after 6 in the evening, and said he'd
       go lie down for half an hour, and then he'd go and see his mother; he told
       me she was a tallow-chandler near London-stone; he went up about 5 or
       6 minutes, he came down, and at going out, said he had ordered a man
       with his chest of cloaths, and bid me take care of them; I went up stairs in
       about three quarters of an hour and missed my watch which was hanging
       up in my room before and the door was left open; then I suspected, as I
       had lost my watch I had also lost my lodger...

Smith was found guilty of this and other offenses, and sentenced to transportation. Zachariah doesn't appear to have recovered his watch, as the pawn broker denied any knowledge of the stolen property and was distinctly uncooperative with the authorities.

A series of tax records show a change in residence of Zachariah Blacketer. In 1762 and 1765, he is found in Wapping. The address is given as simply "Street", the previous address being Parrot Yard. In 1762 his landlord is Josiah Shank. In 1765, his landlord in John Minnitt at what looks like the same address, described as "empty late Zachh Blacketer". But not late as in dead, rather because he had moved. In 1766 there is a Zach Blacketer, and in 1772 a Zachh Blackader on Bett's Street, St George in the East.

This move is confirmed by baptismal records for their children.
At St John Wapping:
       14 [April 1754] Robert S of Zacariah Blackiter Cheesemonger and
                                                                   Winifred Eastsmithfield 16 [days old]
       14 [March 1756] Sarah Daur of Zacariah Blackiter Cheesemonger
                                                                   Eastsmithfield & Winifred 27 [days old]
       24 [April 1757] Thomas S of Zachariah Blackiter Cheesemonger &
                                                                   Winifred Eastsmithfield [illegible days old]
       18 [February 1759] Hannah d of Zachariah Blackiter Chandler &
                                                                   Winifred Eastsmithfield [illegible days old]
       23 [March 1760] George s of Zacharias Blackiter Chandler &
                                                                   Winifred Eastsmithfd 29 [days old]
       23 [December 1764] Peter S of Zachariah Blackiter Labourer &
                                                                   Winifred Eastsmith [27 days old]
 At St George in the East:
       17 [July 1768] Zechariah S of _______ Blacketer Labr by
                                                                    Winifred Betts St 28 [days old]

There is a burial at St George in the East 18 December 1774 for:
       Zachariah Blacketer  Betts St  44 [years old]

So far, I have no death nor remarriage record for Winifred, although we do know she was still alive in 1788 to witness the birth of her grand daughter Hannah, Hannah's father, of course, being the Thomas Blackiter above, baptized 24 April 1757 at St John Wapping.

To find the family origins of Zachariah, I searched for a birth or baptism about 1730, based on his age at death. I was rewarded with this record from the Enfield Baker Street Presbyterian Meeting. Note this agrees with his marriage allegation that he was from En[d]field. There is not just Zachariah, but a family with five recorded siblings:
       Septr 25 1728 Sarah Blackader Daugtr of Robert Blackader Gardr Enfd
       Decr 13 1730 Zachariah Blackadour Son of Robt & Sarah Blackadore Enfd
       Apr 24 1733 Elizabeth Blackadore Daur of Robt Blackadore at Enfd
       Octbr 21 1735 Sarah Dautr of Robt & Sarah Blackador Baker St
       Apr 27 1740 Thos Son of Robt & Sarah Blackadore Firty [prob. Forty] Hill

A Sarah Blackadore was buried 14 October 1728, presumably the first of these children. A note after her name, "Aff m" means that an affidavit was made affirming her shroud to be made of wool, after an Act of Parliament requiring all burials to be in wool (thus providing the wool trade a steady stream of customers).

The baptism for Sarah (1728) states he was a gardener (Gardr), and for Thomas (1740), he lived on what is probably Forty Hill, and for the second of the Sarahs (1735), he was on Baker Street, which is close by. Was he a market gardener, working on his own account; or did he work as a gardener at the Jacobean mansion at Forty Hall?

Forty Hall, Enfield

London and Surrey, England, Marriage Bonds and Allegations 1597-1921 records 24 February 1724/5 the intention to marry of Robert Blackader Bachelor and Sarah Field Spinster. The Bond states that Robert is a Gardener of Enfield.

The corresponding Allegation for this marriage records:
       Appeared personally Robert Blackader of
       the parish of Enfield in the County of Middx
       aged twenty four Years and a Bachelor
       and alledged that he intends to marry
       with Sarah Field of the same place aged
       twenty three Years and a Spinster...

Squeezed into the last line of a page in the parish register at St Andrew, Enfield:
       Robert Blackader & Sarah Field Both of this Parish were married February 25 1724/5

There are burial records for both Robert Blacketer (20 March 1774) and Sarah (8 March 1770) Blackedter at St Andrew Enfield, which are likely to be theirs. Robert Blackader and Sarah Field are my 7xgreat grandparents.

Following these generations of Blacketers, the documents show several spellings of the name. Zachariah is associated with the spellings: Blacketer, Blackiter, and Blackadour/Blackadore; while Robert has: Blacketer, Blackadore/Blackadour, Blackader and Blackador. His wife Sarah even has Blackedter. Robert himself signs: Robart Blakader. He does so twice, (on his Marriage Bond and Marriage Allegation) the same day 24 February 1725, so I believe he intentionally wrote his autograph this way. It is not at all obvious to me which spelling we should prefer for any individual.