I want to discuss how asking other genealogist for help may assist you in breaking down your brick walls.
I am a member of the Norfolk Family History Society (NFHS) and it was through them that I managed to breakdown a wall. The Society produces a magazine 4 times a year and members can place articles asking for help. So I decided to ask my fellow members for help.
The search all began in Thorpe St Andrew, Norfolk. I knew my 4 times great granddad William Weeds was born in the village in November 1786 to John Weeds and Mary Thurgate. On the 1841 census he was living with his wife Sarah in Thorpe St Andrew. So I started looking for William and Sarah’s marriage. The oldest child of William I had found was born in 1811 so I started looking in 1810 in the village. I couldn’t find anything so I extended my search to the whole of Norfolk as I knew from the census they were both born in the county. Still I found nothing. I could find no marriage around this time.
So I decided to put an article in the NFHS magazine The Norfolk Ancestor. I asked out to my fellow member for help in finding William and Sarah’s marriage. I soon got several replies and the consensus was that William Weeds marriage Sarah Tinker in Norwich in 1815.
At first I was sceptical until one of the replies mentioned William was a widower. This was the aha! moment and tied in with what I already knew. This explained why there was a gap in the children’s birth years as this could be due to the death of a first wife and the gap between remarrying.
So backwards searching again I went and found the marriage of William Weeds and Mary Burton in 1810 in Thorpe St Andrew. Bingo. The marriage date was consistent with the birth of the first of William’s children in 1811. So would this marriage link in with William’s life. I searched for the death of a Mary Weeds between 1810 and 1815 and found the burial of Mary Weeds aged 37 in Thorpe St Andrew in October 1814. This would mean William remarried 7 months after Mary’s death, which wasn’t uncommon then.
So back I went again and looked for the children born to William and Mary and found 3 born between 1811 and 1814. The youngest Frederick was buried just 6 days after his mum aged 6 months.
So everything was now making sense. William was married twice. The birth locations of all the children and the occupation of William on all the baptism records of carpenter all matched up. So I concluded that the marriage to Sarah Tinker was the correct one.
So let me tell you everything I know about William Weeds.
William was born on the 27th November 1786 in Thorpe St Andrew, Norfolk to John Weeds and Mary Thurgate. He was baptised on the 4th December 1786 at St Andrew’s church, Thorpe St Andrew. He married Mary Burton at St Andrew’s church, Thorpe St Andrew on the 26th December 1810 when he was 24 years old. The couple had 3 children, Mary Elizabeth, William Henry and Frederick. Mary died in October 1814 in Thorpe St Andrew. William remarried aged 29 on the 18th May 1815 at St Michael at Plea, Norwich. His bride was 24 year old Sarah Tinker. The couple had 7 children, Frederick, Amelia, Emma, Edward, Louisa Morgan, Julia, Jesse. In 1841 William and Sarah were living on Turnpike Road in Thorpe St Andrew. William died on the 19th February 1848 in Thorpe St Andrew. William was 61 years old and a carpenter. He died from inflammation of the lung. He was buried at St Andrew’s church, Thorpe St Andrew on the 23rd February 1848.
So without the help of my fellow NFHS member I may never have found the marriage of William and Sarah. If I hadn’t found the marriage it would not have stopped my research back through my Weeds line but I may never have found the Tinker line to research.
So don’t be afraid to ask for help from fellow genealogists through magazines and websites. You might find they have the answers your looking for.
Hello and thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings on genealogy and history in general. I hope you find it informative and hopefully funny!