1870 adoptions?

Discussion in 'Ask The Experts' started by eric kingsley, Nov 20, 2019.

  1. eric kingsley

    eric kingsley Active Member

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    Great stuff from everyone, as ever. Thank you. That settles it then. Edward & Agnes did travel widely and it's safe to assume, probably, that Louise was born in Breslau, Prussia and Harriett was born in Paris, France. Ancestry was prompting me to look at Russian births but I don't subscribe at the "Worldwide" level so that was that, also being a dabbler, I'd allowed my subscription to FMP to lapse. It seemed a bit lavish to have both.

    My barber's bloodline goes through his oldest daughter Louise. She went on to marry Walter Westbrook in Islington S Quarter 1877. This seems to have been a purely civil ceremony as I cannot find a certificate. It appears that her second forename was Carpenter. Louise Carpenter Crichton. This seems odd. MMN is Wardrop. I am toying with the idea that it was from Edward's father, John Edward Barnes Crichton. He was a carpenter. I don't know how I missed the marriage certificate on Ancestry. Ah well.

    Edward gives his profession as "Artist" on the marriage certificate which is fairly vague. I am going to take it at face value and conclude that he was a painter. If he'd been a photographer then why not say "Photographer"? The technique was in it's infancy and I don't think even the word "photography" would have been known in 1852 when he married. Wikipedia says the collodion process didn't really kick off until 1851 - "In the March 1851 issue of The Chemist, Frederick Scott Archer published his wet plate collodion process. It became the most widely used photographic medium until the gelatin dry plate, introduced in the 1870s, eventually replaced it."

    It's a shame there seems to be no record of Louise's birth, I'm sure the Prussians would have registered it. The history of the state was tumultuous and according to Wikipedia it was finally abolished by the Allies in 1947. Maybe a lot of records went up in smoke. Louise would have been born in 1854, which is in the middle of the Crimean war.

    What were they living on in the 1860/70s? Pubwiki has him running the Prince George from 1874 citing the Post Office Directory. Maybe he was a minor portrait painter who was impressed by the new high-tec collodion process and dabbled in photographic portraits. If so, there are no records of his work in either field that I can find, apart from the "Harlequin", if that isn't simply a typo and "Edward" should have been "Thomas".
     
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  2. eric kingsley

    eric kingsley Active Member

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    Interesting. Maybe there was a tradition of retiring to Bournemouth even then.
     
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  3. MollyMay

    MollyMay Knows where to find the answers!

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    Anc has electoral registers for Edward Barnes Crichron which suggest he had other properties other than Scrubland Grove, so he was financially sound.
     
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  4. eric kingsley

    eric kingsley Active Member

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    I also wondered about a connection with performers but the only suggestion of this is the photo of the Harlequin and I am not convinced that that is his work, or that he was a photographer. I will go and visit the Prince George (I don't drink any more, so it'll have to be a lemonade) and irritate them by asking about the pub's history. It looks pretty trendy I'd be amazed if anything has survived from 1874 but you never know!
     
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  5. eric kingsley

    eric kingsley Active Member

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    Yes, I read the Wikipedia entry on William Crichton but I decided it was insubstantial apart from the names "Crichton" and "Edward" appearing. Crichton seems to be quite a common name in Scotland. There is a Crichton Street in Dundee named after the family of the famous surgeon John Crichton (apparently). Certainly Edward Barnes Crichton gives his father's name as John Edward Barnes Crichton (Carpenter) on his marriage certificate and I can't see a connection with William Crichton's family. Maybe I'm missing something. They may be more distantly related, through the grand-uncle you mention perhaps?

    I noticed that on his 1871 census his wife Agnes gives her place of birth as "Scotland, Glasgow", so there's another connection.
     
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  6. eric kingsley

    eric kingsley Active Member

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    Very impressive. I was trying to read it as an Anglicised version of a Russian name, rather than Betty Jones!!!
     
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  7. MollyMay

    MollyMay Knows where to find the answers!

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    Impressive was what money he left. On Anc. Probate Calendar he is described as a 'Gentleman' and left £7,189 6/7

    Just ran that sum through an inflation calculator and it comes up with a figure over £868,000 (2017)
     
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  8. eric kingsley

    eric kingsley Active Member

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    Hmmm... inherited wealth? spy? diplomat? crook? I don't imagine you'd make that running a pub.
     
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  9. eric kingsley

    eric kingsley Active Member

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    That's quite a gap, 28 years. He was baptised aged 28. Was that usual? Any idea why someone might do that?
     
  10. Sis

    Sis Rootles out resources!

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    Not sure how unusual it is other than I only have one family in my whole tree that did similar. My 4 x Great Grandparents children were born 1803,1809, 1813 and 1817, they were baptised all at once in 1824. The eldest got married later that year, so maybe the church he got married at insisted he be baptised before he could be married and the others decided to as well. Maybe the parents weren't that church minded.
     
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  11. Daft Bat

    Daft Bat Administrator. Chief cook & bottle washer! Staff Member

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    Two years ago, I was asked to be the sponsor at the baptism of someone who was aged 70. She did not know if she had been baptised and wanted to be.
     
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  12. eric kingsley

    eric kingsley Active Member

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    Yes, I wondered about that but he had already been married for 3 years. So I think that rules out institutional pressure or his wife's wish that their union be sanctified. He seems like a very practical, organised and successful individual, not someone who would often act on a whim. I think it was "insurance" because he was planning a long and risky journey to St Petersburg that would involve a long voyage. They might end up dead. If him and Agnes took the route that goes to Lübeck in north Germany they could get a boat through the Baltic and the Gulf of Finland to St Petersburg. This is an old Hanseatic League trade route.

    The baptismal certificate is interesting because it names his dad John Barnes Crichton (deceased) and also his dad's trade "Eating House Keeper". Was booze sold in an eating house? I'm guessing it was. This is significant in my version.

    There's a very feint 1841 census for "John Creighton" an "Eating House Keeper" of Brick Lane (which is in Shoreditch) which also lists his son Edward, 14, the right age. Edward's mum Sarah is there too. I think this is Edward helping his Dad with the family business. Registration district: St Luke, Sub-registration district: Old Street, Neighbors: (etc), Piece: 668, Book: 5, Folio: 37, Page Number: 27

    On his 1852 marriage certificate he describes himself as an "Artist" and his dad as a "Carpenter". I have no real explanation for this. Maybe as a young man he had the ambition to be a painter but I don't believe it came to anything. There is no trace of any of his work as any kind of "Artist". Dad as "Carpenter" ? I have no idea. Puzzling.

    There's no birth certificate for Louise, their first born, but in the 1871 census he gives her age as 17 suggesting she was born in Breslau in 1854, before he was baptised. Breslau is 80 miles inland and there's no simple way of getting there by sea from London. So, I think they made a journey in 1854 that (after crossing the Channel) was by land to Breslau and who knows where else. The narrative I'm considering is that this was a financial success for Edward and he planned a longer trip to make business links in St Petersburg, Russia (which was the capital).

    So, what was the point of all this travel? Booze. I think he was an importer/exporter of booze and he did very well. As MollyMay noted on his death he was worth at least (in modern terms) £650,000 to £850,000 depending on which calculator you use and this money didn't come out of thin air. If he'd been able to accrue this much through work as an "Artist" or photographer (as the Harlequin photo wrongly suggests) then I think there would be some traces of his professional activities and there is absolutely nothing, that I can find.

    The link to the Free Mason's membership that Sis kindly provided gives the key, I think, to what his life's work was all about. Ancestry has him transcribed as John Barner Crichton in a Masons' record, who was initiated on 4th Feb 1875 and described his profession as "Wine Merchant". So I think that's how he maintained a pleasant life style, some nice houses and a large family. Flogging booze.

    I think the Richard Avedon photo is a red herring and a result of my barber's cousin relying too heavily on Google. I still think the curators meant Thomas B Crichton when they wrote Edward B Crichton. If my barber wants to establish Edward's identity more clearly I think he'd need to talk to a Russian genealogist as it's possible there might be some records (in Russian) of an English wine merchant being active in the capital in the years around 1857-60. His name would look something like Эдуард Крайтон or Эдвард Крайтон.

    I think that's as far as I can go with it, but I could be completely wrong. Thanks a million for the suggestions, always highly illuminating. I'm sure I'll dig myself into another hole soon and need to ask your advice!
     
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  13. mugwortismy cat

    mugwortismy cat Tenacious to the End!

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    Just a thought, sometimes people got baptised in a particular church as a way of introducing themselves into a new community. I have forebears who baptised their young children each time they moved it seems, so most of the children are baptised twice.
     
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  14. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    Is it possible that both the subject, Harlequin and the photographer are not English at all but American?
     
  15. eric kingsley

    eric kingsley Active Member

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    Good point. In Prussia he is likely to have come across people who took religion seriously, Lutherans, Catholics and Orthodox Christians (even more seriously). If he was hoping to do business with these people you'd have to "fit in". If you are baptised do you get a copy of the certificate, I simply don't know? His first born Louise gives her age on a couple of documents that suggest she was born in 1854 ie. before he was baptised and before he went to Russia. It could be that part of his planning for the trip was to improve his standing in the eyes of potential Russian business partners who might ask "What church does your family belong to?" Also, of course, he could have had religious reasons. It looks like has father had died which is bound to make you consider the hereafter and his family were probably going to take the sea route to St Petersburg and all voyages are risky. If they didn't use this established route they have to hack through what is now Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
     
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  16. eric kingsley

    eric kingsley Active Member

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    It's certainly possible. But I couldn't find any record of an American photographer called Edward B Crichton either. Maybe he was minor? I don't know.
     
  17. WelchRegLost

    WelchRegLost Well-Known Member

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    Don't know about the others but Catholics do get a certificate
     
  18. Daft Bat

    Daft Bat Administrator. Chief cook & bottle washer! Staff Member

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    I have my Mum's baptism certificate from 1930 - Church of England. :)
     
  19. MollyMay

    MollyMay Knows where to find the answers!

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    I have FIL's from 1925 (C of E)
     
  20. eric kingsley

    eric kingsley Active Member

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    Right, what I'm thinking is that "proof" of faith might be needed in some circumstances in eastern Europe in the 1850/60s. As Sis kindly pointed out two of his children were baptised in the British Chaplancy in St Petersburg. Maybe they required proof of parental baptism, I don't know.
     
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