One of my first family history tasks this year has been to update my “Surname Interests” on this blog. Having decided to identify the earliest record for each of the main surnames I’m researching, I quickly realised that I needed to go back to basics with some of the families as I had taken a great deal on trust when I started researching almost 20 years ago. At that time there was very little on line, apart from the Family Search website and a very new and developing FreeBMD. I also went to the Family Records Centre in London in Myddleton Street, Clerkenwell where I got motion sickness trying to operate the microfilm machines. The arrival of the age of online records was a huge relief!
I received help from other researchers, many of whom had spent years searching through parish registers and other documents at local archives. They sent me copies of their research, not always fully sourced, and I happily accepted that their findings were correct.
Now, with the access to so many records provided by the big genealogy companies, I thought I really ought to check out some of those “looser links” which I’d accepted at the start of my family history journey.
Where to begin?
Church of St John-at-Hackney. Late 18th century church built to the designs of architect James Spiller. A Grade II* listed building.© Copyright Julian Osley and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
I decided to start the checking process with my great great grandmother, Fanny BATCHELOR who was born in Coventry Street, Bethnal Green in 1838. Her birth certificate quite clearly records that her father was David Batchelor and her mother was Jane, formerly BOYLE. I had searched for a marriage between a David Batchelor and a Jane Boyle and found the following in the records of St John’s Hackney:
Batchelor / Boyle marriage 1830
So I was happy that my 3x great grandparents were David Joseph Batchelor and Jane Fountain Boyle. I moved on to other research and did nothing more on this line until this month when I decided to click on the “hints” on Ancestry.co.uk. Almost all the hints from other trees had Fanny’s mother listed as Jane FURBER – had I got things completely wrong?
When Fanny Batchelor married Ambrose FERRY in 1878 she gave her father’s details: David Bachelor, occupation a fishmonger.
The next step to check this out was to look at the 1841 and 1851 census records.
In Coventry Street in 1841 I found David BATCHELOR, a fishmonger aged 25, with his wife Jane and children Jane (7) George (4) Fanny (3) and David (1). In a separate household at the same address are Joseph Batchelor, a greengrocer aged 65 and Fanny (65). This family must be “my” Batchelors.
In 1851 the family appears at White Horse Court with 8 children, including Fanny (12), John (8), Mary (6) William (5) David (4) and Elizabeth and Richard (twins aged 14 months). All of these children except Mary appear in the GRO index with mother’s maiden name BOYLE.
I located the family in 1861 at No.1 Upper York Place, Mile End Old Town. David and Jane still had four children living at home: Mary (17) William (15) David (13) and James (8).
In total I’ve found 13 children who could be the offspring of David Joseph Batchelor and Jane.
Seeing all the other trees on Ancestry which have my 2x great grandmother, Fanny, and her siblings linked to Jane nee FURBER caused me a minor panic as I rushed to revisit the details in my tree. I’m now satisfied that I have the correct family and that my 3x great grandmother was indeed Jane Fountain Boyle.
The next challenges are (a) to confirm that Joseph and Fanny Batchelor (who were sharing a household with the family in 1841 are the parents of David Batchelor and (b) to confirm the names of Jane Fountain Boyle’s parents.
If you are connected to this family and can add any information it will be good to hear from you!
And just for the record:
The other Batchelors
David and Jane (nee Furber) married in 1833 at St Sepulchre, Holborn. I have found what seems to be this family in 1851:
David Thomas Batchelor, a tallow chandler, and his wife Jane were living in George Yard St Luke, with 7 children. I’ve found three of these children in the GRO indexes – all with mother’s maiden name FURBER: William James (born 1838, surname BATCHELER) David Thomas (born 1841, Surname BATCHELEAR) Sarah Ann (born 1843, surname BATCHELOR).