In part 1, I wrote about the difficulty finding my 3x great grandmother, Esther Elizabeth Turner. During my search for her I’ve collected the following clues, but I still can’t find her birth record or anything about her before her marriage to John Mason.
Clue 1: the 1881 census gives her year of birth as 1833 and the place as Hintlesham, Suffolk. Hintlesham isn’t a very big place even now, so I think it’s unlikely that anyone would give this as their birthplace unless they did come from there, or very close by.
Clue 2: In 1881, an Esther Mason, aged 17, born in London, is living in the household of John Deeks, aged 65, a miller, who was born in Hintlesham. His wife Sarah (aged 60) and his brother William, aged 47, make up the rest of the household. Esther Mason is stated to be a “niece” of the head of household, John. I believe that she is possibly the sister of my 2xgreat grandfather, John Thomas Mason. I need to send for her birth certificate to check this out, but if I’m correct, then what is the connection which makes her a niece of John Deeks and his wife Sarah?
Clue 3: John Deeks married Sarah Clarke at the parish church in Hintlesham on July 23rd, 1841. Sarah’s father is named as Thomas Clarke, labourer. In 1851 John and Sarah were in Hintlesham, living with John’s mother Mary Ann Deeks. The birthplace of Sarah (nee Clarke) is given as Chattisham, which is very close to Hintlesham.
Clue 4: In 1841 the Clarke family of Hintlesham are listed as follows:
Thomas Clarke (55)
Mary Clarke (53)
Harrott (sic) (15)
Georg (sic) (13)
Hester (11) – could this possibly be “my” Esther Turner?
There are a number of Clarkes in the Hintlesham / Ipswich area with the middle name Turner, including Mary Ann Turner Clarke who was baptised in Chattisham on 6th November 1814. Her parents were Thomas and Mary Clarke.
In summary, I wonder whether my 3x great grandmother Esther Turner was the sister of Sarah Clarke who married John Deeks. There are other hints that she might have been a Clarke not a Turner, but this is all very speculative and I’m no nearer to discovering the truth. I’ll keep looking. If you can help prove or disprove any of this then please get in touch!