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23 Dec 2013

Method in their nonconformity

Ancestry have started acquiring datasets that were formerly only on other sites.  The migration index 1890-1960 was for years only on findmypast with its ugly faceless index.  And the non-conformist baptisms were only at an unusual site called The Genealogist, complete with a top hat.  While searching for relatives of mine named Lancelot, this dataset  popped up.  I realised that all the non-conformist baptisms on the old IGI (and now on familysearch) would be available – as images.  I admit several were very dull and/or I’d seen them before.  I hadn’t appreciated that two of my Cornish forebears (but on different sides) appear together at the Copper House Chapel, Hayle, 1827, well six months apart.  One was fantastic giving my Mary Pearce born 1790’s parents.  The other did not name Margaret Trewhella 1784’s parents, even though the husband definitely knew the names and one was allegedly still living.

It was good to iron out Lancelot Gibson’s peregrinations along the Tyne.  The independent chapels gave both date and place of birth, which explains why son Charlton often gave Winlaton, it being near the real place ‘High Spen’, I believe.

Mixed blessings came in the form of the Martin family.  Thomas Martin was a Methodist minister and it was a delight to find pages of his writing – him being the officiating authority.  The puzzling child at Portsea was resolved – one of ours, Thomas Edward.  Another Thomas Edward came along six years later.  In both cases Martin had the boys also baptised in the church at Tywardreath – heaven knows why.  This honour was not given to the girls.  Clearly only the younger survived.  The vicar at the time was a Pearce, Thomas – one of our TM’s wife’s family?  I found a lot of data about this Pearce on the Herald’s Visitation of England volume 5, and in the notes.  They were bankers in Holsworthy and later in Camelford.  They were fairly well connected and there was even a marriage in St Austell.  But were they related to our Pearces (of St Austell) despite the similar names?  I’m not sure.

Not obviously related was William Martin born Tintagel 1781.  He appears to have taken over from my Thomas Martin as minister of Morrice Street Wesleyan Chapel, Devonport in the 1820s and died there, or nearby.

A tragic queen of Denmark was Caroline Matilda of Wales.  (Could this German princess actually point to Wales on the map?)  Yet in 1822 Martin baptised two children Caroline Matilda.  One was his own daughter, at Worcester in March.  The other was his brother Solomon’s daughter, at Devonport in October.  It was nice for me to see that ‘my’ Caroline came in first.  This was not the only time Solomon copied his brother.  He was rubbish at choosing names and possibly yielded to his brother’s suggestions.  Maria Thanetta the first (mine) was born and baptised on the Isle of Thanet.  Her cousin, similarly named, had no connections with Kent.  She also had no descendants despite a fine marriage at Holy Trinity Highbury.  The first Caroline trumped them all with a marriage at Hawksmoor’s Christ Church Spitalfields and a move to posh Hackney.  There is a cousin living at 89 who was named after Caroline – the first, naturally.

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