Gardner - My highest and biggest brick wall!

Discussion in 'Middlesex' started by thalauafu, Feb 22, 2014.

  1. thalauafu

    thalauafu R.I.P.

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    I would give the biggest hug imaginable to anyone who can break down this brick wall for me!

    My gg grandfather, William Gardner was, according to all the census entries from 1861 to 1901 (excepting 1881 in which I have never been able to find him) born somewhere in London in about 1832. One (1871) states SE London.

    His marriage certificate in 1857 states that his father was Samuel Tims Gardner, a Cutler.

    I have never been able to find a baptism for William in spite of searching every parish register in the whole of London.

    There is a marriage of a Samuel Tims Gardner to a Mary Ann Ditcher at St. Anne's, Soho in 1804 and there are three children possibly born to this couple, one of which actually says the father is Samuel Tims Gardner, the other two, only Samuel Gardner, all baptised at St. Clement Dane over the next few years. There are lots of Gardner's baptised and married at St. Clement Dane in preceeding years.

    My only other likely find is that of an Eliza Gardner, born in 1831 at Frying Pan Alley, Spittalfields, with father Samuel a Cutler and mother Mary.

    If this is indeed the sister of my William, and if this Samuel is actually Samuel Tims Gardner, I cannot believe that Mary is the same Mary as Mary Ann Ditcher as she would have to be at least in her mid 40's by then, and I don't think too many women were still having children at that age (although I am open to be corrected on this assumption). What do other forum members think about the possibility of this being the same Samuel Tims Gardner, or does anyone think that there is more than likely another generation between him and my William?

    Any suggestions would be more than welcome as this has been a problem for at least 20 years and I despair of ever finding the answer.
     
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  2. Daft Bat

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

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    I need to have a rummage round to see if I can help at all with what you have found, but just wanted to throw this in:
    My great grandmother was 46 when she had my grandmother. There are more 'late babies' around than you would think - just when the parents thought that all was safe etc... I also have an example of another 'great' giving birth at the age of 43. It happened - and still does! ;)
     
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  3. Flook

    Flook A True Gentleman. Rest in Peace.

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    Just checking through my tree, my GGGGGrandmother (I think that's enough G's!) had her last son when she was at least 43. This was in St Andrew Holborn in 1823 and so only down the road from St Clement Danes (where they all moved to a few years later).
     
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  4. thalauafu

    thalauafu R.I.P.

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    Thank you for that. You could very easily be quite right. My problem is that I can find births (baptisms) for 3 children between 1804 and 1812 (Frances Maria Gardner b. 1805; Samuel James Gardner b. 1807; Jemima Parkhurst Gardiner (note alternative spelling) b. 1809....all baptised at St. Clement Dane) and then the one in 1831 (Eliza), but nothing in between! I know that women can go on having babies until quite late in life especially if they have them one after another, year in year out, but because of this gap, I am questioning it! After all, Mary is probably the most common female name of all, so he could quite easily have had more than one wife named Mary!

    I forgot to mention that I did find a census entry in 1841 with Samuel Gardner born about 1786, with daughters Mary Ann 30 years and Sarah 25 (probably both rounded down). He was listed as a Mangler. Would a Cutler become a Mangler I wonder? And if this is 'my' man, where were Eliza and William who would have been 10 and 9 years old respectively? Surely they would have been with their father and sisters?
     
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  5. thalauafu

    thalauafu R.I.P.

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    Maybe there was something in the water?? :eek:)
     
  6. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    One of the ladies in hubby's tree, a great grandmother of countless generations, was born in 1782. Her last child was born in 1833o_O
    But this could also be a case of adopting a child's illegitimate baby.
    Other than that, then it was pretty potent water:oops:
     
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  7. Chimp

    Chimp Moderator & Cheeky Human IMP Staff Member

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    My paternal Grandmother was born in June 1894. She had her last child, my aunty, in July 1938, which would make my paternal granmother 44 when she had her last child.

    This was beaten by my maternal grandmother.

    My maternal grandmother was born in May 1902, she had her last child in November 1947, which would make my maternal grandmother 45 when she had her last child.
     
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  8. thalauafu

    thalauafu R.I.P.

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    As Samuel Tims Gardner and Mary Ann Ditcher married in January 1804, I am estimating that they would have been around the age of 21 for Samuel, and maybe only 18 for Mary Ann. If so that would give Mary Ann a birth year of about 1786, therefore making her about 45 in 1831 when Eliza was born and 46 in 1832 (if the right year) when William was born. If though, Mary Ann was any older than 18 when she married, then the likelihood of Samuel's wife still being the same Mary lessens considerably. I do thank all of you for your valuable input though, as I now feel much more comfortable that this couple really were the parents of 'my' William! :)
     
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  9. Huncamunca

    Huncamunca The Knowledgeable One

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    Hello thalauafu and welcome to Top Dog!

    I haven't been able to find anything definite on this elusive family, but below give a few thoughts on possible avenues of research, in case you haven't already tried them.

    In the baptism register I'm looking at there's only a baptism date (16 September 1831) for Eliza Gardner, and no birth date. There are no guarantees that Eliza was an infant at the time of the baptism, or that both her parents were still alive. It might be a late baptism, even an adult baptism. Do you have any idea what happened to Eliza? If you could find a further reference to her, such as a marriage, that might help.

    Turning to William now, one possibility to consider might be that he was the illegitimate son of one of the daughters of Samuel & Mary, and - not having his own father's name to put down in the marriage register - gave his grandfather's name instead. So it might be worth looking for baptisms of William Gardners where no father's name is given.

    Have you found William on the 1841 and 1851 censuses? Have you been able to find any further references to the three children baptised in the early 1800s?

    Finding out what happened to Samuel & Mary could also help. I see that a Samuel Gardner, of the workhouse, was buried on 19 May 1831 at St Clement Danes, aged 49. Might he be your Samuel? There are some St Clement Danes poor law records on the excellent London Lives website, but I think it is too early for you. It might be worth investigating if later poor law records for that parish have survived.
     
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  10. thalauafu

    thalauafu R.I.P.

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    Hi Huncamunca! What a wonderful name!! :)

    Thank you so much for your suggestions. It is really refreshing to have another point of view because I think we get bogged down with our own preconceived ideas after searching for so many years!

    I like your theory that William might have been illegitimate and gave his grandfather's name at the time of his marriage. Certainly not something I had given thought to! I will do some searching for William Gardner baptisms with no father's name given and see what I come up with.

    There are various William Gardners of approximately the correct age in the 1841 and 1851 census' but I cannot positively link any with 'my' William.

    It is quite possible that Samuel might have been the one who died in the Workhouse at St. Clement Dane. The age would fit with his marriage in 1804, which would have made him 22 at the time.

    Regarding the baptism of Eliza, I have the image of the actual baptism register (on Ancestry), and there is no date of birth, but, by the same token, no note that it was an adult baptism either, and it did seem to be usual to note that fact. The aforementioned burial at St. Clement Dane in 1831 might account for Samuel and Eliza not being found in the 1841 or 1851 census, as he might have died during the months prior to the birth of William in 1832 (which could easily account for a distraught mother forgetting to have him baptised), and maybe she had farmed the two children out to others to look after, or maybe she herself had also died.

    I believe I did find a marriage of a Frances Maria Gardner (must look at that again and see if there are any clues I might have missed) which was the name of the only child baptised with parents Samuel Tims Gardner and Mary Ann.

    I know someone who is not going to be able to sleep tonight because of all the thoughts racing around my brain! :confused: Cheers!
     
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  11. Thomas Jackson

    Thomas Jackson New Member

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    Hello,

    How's your research coming along? Another thought - is it possible Samuel's Mary/Mary Ann had died and he re-married to another Mary/Mary Ann?

    Another suggestion re finding William (and anyone else) in the Census indexes - a lot of the transcriptions in Ancestry and FindMyPast [FMP] are full of spelling or other errors, and if the record was illegible, or faint, his entry may not be found as expected.

    As FMP has "loaned" an incomplete version of its Census database to FamilySearch, any errors in that are repeated in FamilySearch. (I don't yet know if corrections made in FMP are updated in FamilySearch - anyone in the know on this ?).

    If you check the "Problems with the 18[x]1 Census" pages in FindMyPast, they will provide details of sections that are missing in the various years. The problems are chiefly with the 1841 Census, but they persist through to the 1871 Census and there are other missing or damaged records past then. Some of my family were probably in the missing pieces/pages, as I know they were alive later on but they cannot be found in a specific year.

    Some people refused to be enumerated, or were missing from the household on the night and were either not enumerated or were recorded in completely unexpected places. Check all the entries for the year across the entire database you are using. Also, consult other databases - someone may have transcribed the entry you want in the way you expect it.

    Try searching for any male called William or Wm or W, with or without a surname but with other criteria.

    Allow for some variations in spelling, such as Gardner, Gardiner or Gardner, and try surnames such as *ard*r. That way, if the G has been misinterpreted as a Y or an S or an L or an O or a C, he may still be found.

    Also, play around with an approximate birth year +/- 10 over a wide range of year variations. I have a death reference where a girl of 11 was indexed as being 71 years because the handwriting on the certificate was a bit wobbly on the first digit. Her burial record and birth certificate confirm she was only 11. Her unusual names and the location of her death and burial mean there is no mistake in matching the death index entry with the certificate &c.

    Ages are often hard to read in Census forms. 3 5 and 8 are often muddled, as well as 1 4 and 7, 2 and 5, and 6 and 0. Often it is better to forget about an age if they are not coming up as expected; just search by other criteria.

    If you are searching by place of birth, with or without other data, allow for a search by just a County (don't forget London and inner Middlesex, Kent, Essex and Surrey were separate until 1890), by no place at all, or part of a birth place. His birth place may have been illegible, mis-transcribed, mis-typed or just plain incorrect or missing from the original.

    If you do find him, and the transcript is wrong in the database, have it corrected! If you don't have a subscription that will allow you to submit a correction, provide the correct details, with full reference, on this site so others can find it later.

    A search by his occupation is less likely to produce a result, unless he remained in it for a long time, but you can always enter *lab* if nothing else comes up with the desired result.

    None of the current on-line databases, that I know of, allow for a null/blank entry search, which is a major flaw in my view. Blanks should be recorded with a "-" so they can be searched for as well. Some databases will allow you to enter NK or UK and variations of Not Known or Unknown, but you will need to know exactly how that was recorded and transcribed, and there are roughly a dozen versions you could try, with and without spaces or other punctuation.

    Have you queried FreeBMD's database and downloaded all of the Gard*ner results in a likely but wide date range? If you save the data in a spreadsheet, you can create a column for an Approx Birth Year, then subtract the age at death from the year concerned. That will help you to rule out those too young or way too old to have been your William (or whoever else) when he died. The remaining results can then be followed up by comparing Census entries, burials, baptisms, marriages, Wills/Admons and other useful records that will eliminate most of the remainder. Having worked your way through that little lot, the rest are strong contendors for being your William. You can then try ordering some BDM certificates to confirm your findings.

    The London Gazette may also provide useful information. Google that and search. Notices of Probate, bankruptcy, businesses and all sorts of other information can be found that may not appear elsewhere. It's a treasure trove, and it's free!

    Hoping this helps,

    Cheers

    Thomas Jackson's 3xGt Granddaughter,
    Victoria, Australia
     
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  12. thalauafu

    thalauafu R.I.P.

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    Hi Thomas Jackson's 3 x gr. granddaughter! :) I see you are a new member so welcome to a great forum where we not only delve into our dead rellies, but have a lot of fun too!

    Thankyou so much for going to such lengths to try to help me with my Gardner brick wall! I have, in fact, been researching for many years, and believe I have done every thing you have suggested many times over, but sadly, still without success!

    I truly believe that William was never baptised, most likely because of the theory I have worked out, which is that his father (in the workhouse) died just about the time William was born, and it was simply overlooked! There was an Eliza Gardner, father Samuel Gardner, cutler, born in Frying Pan Alley, Spittlefield in 1831, and 'my' William was supposedly born around 1832. There is a death in the St. Clement Dane Workhouse for a Samuel Gardner in 1831, which makes me think he might have died just before William's birth and I think that would be a very good reason for the mother to have overlooked his baptism, especially if she already had another child just one year older than William! They might have all ended up in the Workhouse!

    I have found a William Gardner of the right age in the 1841 census, living with a William and Margaret Turpin. Margaret was Margaret Gardner before her marriage to William Turpin, so I am pretty sure that this is 'my' William, and that he has by then lost his mother (and probably sister too, as I can find no further mention of either) and has been taken in by a Gardner relation....maybe a sister of his father Samuel, therefore his Aunt.

    I have also found a 'lodger' in the 1851 census that I believe to be 'my' William, age 20, unmarried and a labourer. By 1861 he was married and from then on easy to find.

    Samuel, claimed to be a cutler, I tend to think was simply an itinerate knife and scissor grinder and moved around the London suburbs.

    I fear that I am never likely to find a baptism for William as I truly don't think that one exists. As I say, I have (at my local LDS) gone through the registers of every London Church right out as far as West Ham, and all the parishes south of the river too. I have also checked the non-conformist registers, without success.

    Again, many thanks for taking the time to send me all your thoughts and ideas. Even though I consider myself to be very experienced, sometimes it is very easy to get 'locked inside the box' as they say, and something glaring will be there all the time, but you just don't see it!:rolleyes:

    I would have given you details of the findings I have listed above, but Ancestry seems to be 'down' today and I cannot get into my tree to get them.

    Kindest regards, Diana
     
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  13. Mrs Huma

    Mrs Huma Canadian Cousin!

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    Welcome to the group thalauafu!! As an add'em, my mom was 42 when she had me. Everyone said I was a twinkle in my daddy's eye!! LOL

    Sorry I can't be of more help.

    Wendy :eek:
     
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