Harriet Bolt (52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #6)

9 February 2015, Chriss Coleman

When I look at the records for Harriet Bolt, my husband’s 4th great-grandmother, I wonder how she felt. Record after record showed she lived most of her adult life on her own, raising her children without her husband at her side. Whilst she was not financially trying to make her way through the world as a single woman, she certainly lived the life of a single mother.

Harriet Bolt was born in Sidmouth, Devon, the daughter of Christopher Bolt and Sarah Perriman, and was baptised at the local Anglican church on April 26th, 1812.1 She grew up in Sidmouth, along with her siblings. This was also where she met her future husband, William Oaten.

Portrait of William and Harriet (Bolt) Oaten
Photo of William Oaten and his wife Harriet (Bolt) Oaten, taken in Bristol, Gloucestershire, by Charles J. White.2

I do wonder how they met. Were they living in the same neighbourhood? Or perhaps (and a likely possibility), were they both working as servants in the same household? We know that William was a servant, however little information is available on Harriet until their marriage on September 4th 1832,3 and the birth of their first child 4 months later.4

From the records we can tell that Harriet did follow her husband as he moved around to the various households he served.5,6,7 In fact, most of the time she lived within the same civil parish as her husband. Many women married to servants would often have lived 10, 20 or 30 miles from their husbands in locations where the cost of living was less expensive. Even though he was close, how often did she really get to see her husband? Running a household essentially on her own must have made her a strong and independent woman, both in terms of the daily needs of her family and her emotional state.

1861 England Census for Harriet (Bolt) Oaten
1861 England Census for Harriet (Bolt) Oaten. Harriet is the head of the house, but listed as “Wife”. Enumerated in Walcot, Bath, Somerset.8

Harriet Oaten, Wife, Married, female, 49, Servant’s Wife, born Sidmouth, Devon.
Elizabeth Oaten, Daughter, Unmarried, female, 19, Dressmaker, born Bath, Somerset.
Clara Oaten, Granddaughter, female, 8, Scholar, born Bath, Somerset.

The four known children of William and Harriet (Bolt) Oaten are:

  1. William Oaten (born Sidmouth, Devon, ca. 1833)9
  2. Harriet Oaten (born Boulogne, France, 1840)10
  3. Elizabeth Oaten (born Bath, Somerset, 1841)11
  4. Martha Oaten (born Bath, Somerset, 1843)12


When her children grew up, Harriet became a lodgings housekeeper — taking in lodgers at her home at 4 Burlington Street in Walcot. She also took in her grown daughter, and even her grandchildren at various points over the course of her life.

1871 England Census for Harriet (Bolt) Oaten
1871 England Census for Harriet (Bolt) Oaten. Harriet is the head of the house, and was enumerated in Walcot, Bath, Somerset.13

Harriet Oaten, Head, Married, female, 59, Lodging House Keeper, born Sidmouth, Devonshire.
Clara Oaten, Daughter, Unmarried, female, 17, Dressmaker, born Bath, Somerset.
Adelina Oaten, [grand]Daughter, Unmarried, female, 15, Dressmaker, born Bath, Somerset.

William and Harriet lived out their golden years together, something that was foreign to most of their married life. After William retired from his life as a butler, he joined his wife at their residence in Walcot where the family continued to take in lodgers.14,15

Harriet predeceased her husband by seven days, passing away at her home at 4 Burlington Street on March 7th, 1894, at the age of 81.16

Death notices for William Oaten and Harriet (Bolt) Oaten
Death notices for William and his wife Harriet (Bolt) Oaten, published in The Bath Chronicle, March 15th, 1894.17

Harriet Bolt is my husband’s 4th great-grandmother. Our ancestral line:

  • 7. Harriet Bolt (c.1812-1894)
  • 6. Harriet Oaten (1840-1914)
  • 5. William Christopher Chappell (1869-1941)
  • 4. Rosemary Cecelia Chappell (1900-1985)
  • 3. James Francis Walsh (1931-2001)
  • 2. My husband’s mother (living)
  • 1. My husband (living)


52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is a blogging prompt started by Amy Johnson Crow at No Story Too Small. My stories will include both sides of our family, including collateral lines.


  1. “Devon Baptisms”, digital image and index, Find My Past ( : accessed 9 Nov 2014), Sidmouth, entry for Harriet Bolt, 26 Apr 1812; citing South West Heritage Trust and Parochial Church Council, “Devon Baptisms”, ref 1885A/PR/¼. 

  2. “William and Harriet (Bolt) Oaten photograph, photograph by C.J. White, Bristol, Gloucestershire, England, undated; original privately held by Joan [surname witheld for privacy], [address for private use], Simcoe county, Ontario, Canada; digital scan held by author, scanned Sep 2014. 

  3. “Devon Marriages”, digital image and index, Find My Past (http://www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed 9 Nov 2014), Sidmouth, p.111, entry for William Oaten and Harriet Bolt, 4 Sep 1832; citing South West Heritage Trust and Parochial Church Council, “Devon Marriages”. 

  4. “Devon Baptisms”, digital image and index, Find My Past (http://www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed 10 Nov 2014), Sidmouth, p. 198, no. 1579, entry for William Otton, 20 Jan 1833; citing South West Heritage Trust and Parochial Church Council, “Devon Baptisms”. 

  5. Boulogne Episcopal Chapel (Boulonge-sur-Mer, Pas-de-Calais, France), Baptisms, 1839-1896, page 4, Harriet Oaten, 26 Jan 1840; index and digital image, The Genealogist (http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk : accessed 14 Feb 2014); citing The National Archives, Kew, “Boulogne Vol. 3: Baptisms”, reference RG33/39. 

  6. “1841 England Census”, Somerset, Bath, population schedule, enumeration district 15a, parish of Walcot, page 4, line 12, William Oaten; index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 Dec 2014); citing The National Archives, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1841”, class HO107, piece 970, book 15, folio 6, GSU roll 474610. 

  7. “1841 England Census”, Somerset, Lansdown, enumeration district (ED) 12a, parish of Walcot, page 9 (stamped), family of Harriet Oates; index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 Jan 2015); citing The National Archives, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1841”, class HO107, piece 970, book 213, folio 33, GSU 474610. 

  8. “1861 England Census”, Somerset, Bath, parish of Walcot, page 8 (stamped), household 45, family of Harriot Oaten; index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 19 May 2014); citing The National Archives, London, class RG9, piece 1695, folio 67, GSU roll 542852. 

  9. “Devon Baptisms”, entry for William Otton, 20 Jan 1833. 

  10. Boulogne Episcopal Chapel, entry for Harriet Oaten, 26 Jan 1840. 

  11. BathBMD (http://www.bathbmd.org.uk : accessed 19 Jan 2015), birth entry for Elizabeth Oaten; citing Register Offices, Bath, Somerset, 1841, reference LNS/3/338. 

  12. BathBMD (http://www.bathbmd.org.uk : accessed 19 Jan 2015), birth entry for Martha Oaten; citing Register Offices, Bath, Somerset, 1842, reference BEA/3/159. 

  13. ”1871 England Census”, Somerset, Bath, parish of Walcot, page 2 (stamped), houshold 12, family of Harriot Oaten; index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 19 May 2014); citing The National Archives, London, class RG10, piece 2495, folio 4, GSU roll 835198. 

  14. “1881 England Census”, Somerset, Bath, enumeration district 15, parish of Walcot, page 24, household 198, family of William Oaten; index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 Dec 2014); citing The National Archives, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1881”, class RG11, piece 2442, folio 53, GSU roll 1341588. 

  15. “1891 England Census”, Somerset, Bath, enumeration district 40, parish of Walcot, page 1, household 7, family of William Oaten; index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 Dec 2014); citing The National Archives, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1891”, class RG12, piece 1938, folio 53, GSU roll 6097048. 

  16. BathBMD (http://www.bathbmd.org.uk : accessed 5 Feb 2015), death entry for Harriet Oaten; citing Register Offices, Bath, Somerset, 1894, reference WL1/41/052. 

  17. “Deaths”, Bath (Somerset) Chronicle and Weekly Gazette, 15 Mar 1894, page 1, column 1; digital image, British Newspaper Archive (http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk : accessed 9 Aug 2014), Historical Newspaper Collection. 

William Oaten (52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #5)

5 February 2015, Chriss Coleman

William Oaten’s family had lived in what is now known as the Taunton Deane district of Somerset for generations, however, this young man moved beyond the confines of his parish, county, and even country, over the course of his life.

Trull Church by Martin Bodman
Trull Church, photo by Martin Bodman1

He was the eldest son of Joseph Oaten and Elizabeth Toller, and was baptised at the All Saints church in Trull on July 16th 1809.2 Whilst his parents stayed in Trull for the remainder of their lives, William went further afield and was working as a servant in Sidmouth, Devon when he met his future wife.

William Oaten and Harriet Bolt were married after banns on September 4th, 1832 at the parish church in Sidmouth, Devon.3 Their first child, William, was baptised four months later at the same church.4

Sidmouth Beach by Touriste
Sidmouth Beach [modern photo], photo by “Touriste”5

Their movements are not clear for a number of years, at least not until his wife gave birth to a daughter, Harriet, in Boulogne, France in 1840.6 Whether or not they had other children between 1833 and 1840 is unknown.

The Oaten family returned to England by 1841, where William was occupied as a servant in Walcot, Bath, Somerset.7

1841 England Census
1841 England Census, entry for William Oaten, Walcot, Bath, Somerset.

William Oaten, 30, male, M.S. [Male Servant], born in Somerset

Meanwhile, his pregnant wife and their two children, William and Harriet, were living in the nearby area of Lansdown.8

There are four known children of William and Harriet (Bolt) Oaten:

  1. William Oaten (born Sidmouth, Devon, ca. 1833)9
  2. Harriet Oaten (born Boulogne, France, 1840)10
  3. Elizabeth Oaten (born Bath, Somerset, 1841)11
  4. Martha Oaten (born Bath, Somerset, 1843)12


William spent most of his working life living apart from his family, as is shown in the various censuses. As a butler, he held a prominent position that required him to be available at the home of his employer the majority of the time. He did, however, work for several families over the course of his life, including William Macadam of Gay St,13 William Hudleston of Harley House,14 William Jervois of Porlland Place, 15 and Joseph Elliot of Marks Hall.16

It wasn’t until the 1881 census that we find William living with his family, and occupied as an inn servant. Whilst his children have moved out, he is now living with his wife and two of their granddaughters — William’s daughter Adeliza Oaten, and Harriet’s daughter Martha Rosa Chappell — at 4 Burlington Place, Lansdown, Walcot, Bath.

1881 England Census
1881 England Census, entry for the family of William Oaten, Walcot, Bath, Somerset.17

William Oaten, Head, Married, 71, male, Lodgings housekeeper Waiter [Inn Serv written over], born Taunton, Somerset
Harriet Oaten, Wife, Married, 68, born Sidmouth, Devon
Adeliza Oaten, Granddaughter, 23, Unmarried, Neeedlewoman, born Bath, Somerset
Rose Chappell, Granddaughter, 14, Domestic Servant General, born Bath, Somerset

By 1891, Wiliam was running a Lodging House on his own account. The family was still living at 4 Burlington Street in Lansdown, this time with their unmarried daughter Martha, and their granddaughter Adeliza.

1891 England Census
1891 England Census, entry for the family of William Oaten, Walcot, Bath, Somerset.18

William Oaten, Head, Married, 82, male, Lodging House Keeper, on own account, born Taunton, Somerset
Harriet Oaten, Wife, Married, 80, female, born Sidmouth, Devon
Martha Oaten, Daughter, Single, 48, female, working on own account, born Bath, Somerset
Adeliza Oaten, Granddaughter, Single, 30, Seamstress, on own account, born Disk [Diss], Norfolk

William died in his home at 4 Burlington Street on the March 14th, 1894, exactly one week after his wife’s passing. Their obituaries were published in tandem in the Bath Weekly Chronicle.19 William was 84 years old.20

Death notices for William Oaten and Harriet (Bolt) Oaten
Death notices for William and his wife Harriet (Bolt) Oaten, published in The Bath Chronicle, March 15th, 1894.21

However, it was what I discovered after doing my research about William Oaten that made me happiest. Whist visiting relatives in the autumn, I was scanning through various family documents, as you do, when I came across not just one, but two photos of William Oaten and his wife Harriet Bolt. One is an obvious photographic copy of the other.

Portrait of William and Harriet (Bolt) Oaten
Photo of William Oaten and his wife Harriet (Bolt) Oaten, taken in Bristol, Gloucestershire, by Charles J. White.22

After comparing other handwriting samples, I am quite certain that the writing on the reverse of the copy it that of William Christopher Chappell.

Information on reverse of portrait of William and Harriet (Bolt) Oaten
Information on the back of the photographic copy of the cabinet card of William and Harriet (Bolt) Oaten.23

The copy reads:

William & Harriet Oaten
Died on March 14 & 7th 1887 [year incorrect]
Ages 84 & 81
Great Grandmother & Grandfather of Rosemary Chappell

The original photograph also had an interesting detail on the reverse:

Obituary of William and Harriet (Bolt) Oaten
Obituary for William Oaten and his wife Harriet (Bolt) Oaten, pasted to the reverse side of the cabinet card depicting William and Harriet.24

This is an original obituary glued to the reverse of the photo, and based on the text it was printed in one of the local Bath papers, however not The Bath Chronicle — a digital copy of which appeared above. The obituary reads:

March 7th, at 4. Burlington-street, HARRIET, wife of WILLIAM OATEN, ages 81; also, March 14, at 4, Burlington-street, WILLIAM OATEN, ages 84, husband of the above.

I love it when family documents found after the fact validate my research efforts. And more than anything, finding a photo I never knew existed.

William Oaten is my husband’s 4th great-grandfather. Our ancestral line:

  • 7. William Oaten (c.1809-1894)
  • 6. Harriet Oaten (1840-1914)
  • 5. William Christopher Chappell (1869-1941)
  • 4. Rosemary Cecelia Chappell (1900-1985)
  • 3. James Francis Walsh (1931-2001)
  • 2. My husband’s mother (living)
  • 1. My husband (living)


52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is a blogging prompt started by Amy Johnson Crow at No Story Too Small. My stories will include both sides of our family, including collateral lines.


  1. Photo credit to Martin Bodman, http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/88717 taken as part of the Geograph project colleciton. Used under Creative Commons CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Original image resized. 

  2. “FreeREG”, indexed database, FreeREG (http://www.freereg.org.uk : accessed 19 May 2014), baptism entry for William Oaten, 16 Jul 1809, All Saints Church, Trull, Somerset, England. 

  3. “Devon Marriages”, digital image and index, Find My Past (http://www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed 9 Nov 2014), Sidmouth, p.111, entry for William Oaten and Harriet Bolt, 4 Sep 1832; citing South West Heritage Trust and Parochial Church Council, “Devon Marriages”. 

  4. “Devon Baptisms”, digital image and index, Find My Past (http://www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed 10 Nov 2014), Sidmouth, p. 198, no. 1579, entry for William Otton, 20 Jan 1833; citing South West Heritage Trust and Parochial Church Council, “Devon Baptisms”. 

  5. Photo credit to “Touriste” (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

  6. Boulogne Episcopal Chapel (Boulonge-sur-Mer, Pas-de-Calais, France), Baptisms, 1839-1896, page 4, Harriet Oaten, 26 Jan 1840; index and digital image, The Genealogist (http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk : accessed 14 Feb 2014); citing The National Archives, Kew, “Boulogne Vol. 3: Baptisms”, reference RG33/39. 

  7. “1841 England Census”, Somerset, Bath, population schedule, enumeration district 15a, parish of Walcot, page 4, line 12, William Oaten; index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 Dec 2014); citing The National Archives, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1841”, class HO107, piece 970, book 15, folio 6, GSU roll 474610. 

  8. “1841 England Census”, Somerset, Lansdown, enumeration district (ED) 12a, parish of Walcot, page 9 (stamped), family of Harriet Oates; index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 Jan 2015); citing The National Archives, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1841”, class HO107, piece 970, book 213, folio 33, GSU 474610. 

  9. “Devon Baptisms”, entry for William Otton, 20 Jan 1833. 

  10. Boulogne Episcopal Chapel, entry for Harriet Oaten, 26 Jan 1840. 

  11. BathBMD (http://www.bathbmd.org.uk : accessed 19 Jan 2015), birth entry for Elizabeth Oaten; citing Register Offices, Bath, Somerset, 1841, reference LNS/3/338. 

  12. BathBMD (http://www.bathbmd.org.uk : accessed 19 Jan 2015), birth entry for Martha Oaten; citing Register Offices, Bath, Somerset, 1842, reference BEA/3/159. 

  13. “1841 England Census”, Somerset, Bath, p. 4, line 12, William Oaten. 

  14. “1851 England Census”, Somerset, Bath, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 12, parish of Walcot-St Swithin, page 9, household 33, entry for William Oaten; index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 Dec 2014); citing The National Archives, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1851”, Class HO107, piece 1943, folio 304, GSU roll 221102. 

  15. “1861 England Census”, Somerset, Bath, enumeration district 14, parish of Walcot-St Swithin, page 14, household 83, William Oatin; index and digital image, Ancestry (); citing The National Archives, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1861”, class RG9, piece 1695, folio 51, GSU roll 542852. 

  16. “1871 England Census”, Essex, Coggeshalls, enumeration district 2, parish of Great Coggeshall and Marks Hall, page 24, household 136, William Oaten; index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 Dec 2014); citing The National Archives, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1871”, class RG10, piece 1696, folio 36, GSU roll 830743. 

  17. “1881 England Census”, Somerset, Bath, enumeration district 15, parish of Walcot, page 24, household 198, family of William Oaten; index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 Dec 2014); citing The National Archives, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1881”, class RG11, piece 2442, folio 53, GSU roll 1341588. 

  18. “1891 England Census”, Somerset, Bath, enumeration district 40, parish of Walcot, page 1, household 7, family of William Oaten; index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 Dec 2014); citing The National Archives, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1891”, class RG12, piece 1938, folio 53, GSU roll 6097048. 

  19. “Deaths”, Bath (Somerset) Chronicle and Weekly Gazette, 15 Mar 1894, page 1, column 1; digital image, British Newspaper Archive (http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk : accessed 9 Aug 2014), Historical Newspaper Collection. 

  20. BathBMD (http://www.bathbmd.org.uk : accessed 5 Feb 2015), death entry for William Oaten; citing Register Offices, Bath, Somerset, 1894, reference WL1/41/070. 

  21. “Deaths”, Bath (Somerset) Chronicle and Weekly Gazette, 15 Mar 1894. 

  22. “William and Harriet (Bolt) Oaten photograph, photograph by C.J. White, Bristol, Gloucestershire, England, undated; original privately held by Joan [surname witheld for privacy], [address for private use], Simcoe county, Ontario, Canada; digital scan held by author, scanned Sep 2014. 

  23. "William and Harriet (Bolt) Oaten photograph, photographic copy, undated; photographic copy privately held by Joan [surname witheld for privacy], [address for private use], Simcoe county, Ontario, Canada; digital scan held by author, scanned Sep 2014. [The reverse is labelled with the names and death dates of the subjects, however the death year is actually incorrect as verified by BathBMD.] 

  24. "William and Harriet (Bolt) Oaten photograph, William Christopher Chappell Collection. [The reverse side of the cabinet card has William and Harriet Oaten’s obituary pasted to it, unknown, undated clipping]. 

Harriet Oaten (52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #4)

25 January 2015, Chriss Coleman

Harriet Oaten was the daughter of a Butler. Her father, William Oaten, served his employers first and his family second — as most servants did. As such, she spent most of her life living with her mother, Harriet (Bolt) Oaten, and siblings whilst her father lived on the estate of his employers. However, William always lived close to his family — census records and the location of Harriet’s birth makes that clear.

Harriet Oaten Chappell 1889
Harriet Oaten (1840-1914). According to the inscription on the back, the photo was taken in 1889 at Bath, Somerset, England.1

She was born in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France, the only child of the family to be born outside of England. Most servants do not bring their families with them abroad, so I wonder if it was her impending birth that prompted William to have his wife with him in Pas-de-Calais. Harriet was born on January 3rd 1840,2 and baptised on the 26th of the month in a British Chapel in Boulogne.3

Clipping of 1851 England Census for Walcot
Baptism entry for Harriet Oaten, British Chapel of the city of Boulogne-sur-Mer, in Pas-de-Calais, France.

The family didn’t reside in France much longer, as they moved to Bath, Somerset, England, by 1841, where they resided in the Walcot area.4,5

Clipping of 1851 England Census for Walcot
1851 England Census for Walcot, Somerset, household of Harriet Oaten.5

The 1851 England Census for Walcot, Somerset shows the household of Harriet Oaten living at 3 St James Place. Two visitors were also present in the household.

  1. Harriot Oaten, head, married, female, 39, Wife of a Butler, born Sidmouth, Devon
  2. Harriot Oten, daughter, female, 11, Scholar, born Bolougne - B.S. [British Subject]
  3. Elizabeth Oten, daughter, female, 9, Scholar, born Bath, Somerset
  4. Matilda Oten, daughter, female, 8, Scholar, born Bath, Somerset

It was in Walcot that Harriet Oaten met her husband Edwin Chappell, a Bath native. The two were wed on February 19th 1860 at Walcot St-Swithin church,6 and continued to reside out their days in Bath.7,8,9,10,11 Together, they had 10 children.12

  1. Edwin Oaten Chappell
  2. William John Chappell
  3. Harriet Chappell
  4. Martha Rosa Chappell
  5. William Christopher Chappell
  6. Elizabeth Ada Chappell
  7. Albert Chappell
  8. Alice Mary Chappell
  9. Arthur Chappell
  10. Minnie Chappell


Edwin and Harriet (Oaten) Chappell
Seated (left to right): Harriet (Oaten) Chappell and Edwin Chappell. Standing (left to right): Minnie Chappell, Annie Chappell, and Elizabeth Ada Chappell. Photo taken circa 1910. Photo courtesy of our cousin Jennifer, posted with permission.13

After she lost her husband on March 10th 1913, things became a bit more difficult. She moved from her home at 5 Caroline Place to a new abode at 7 Pera Place in Hedgemead, just to the north of Walcot. Money was tight, jobs were scarce, food was expensive, and strikes were prevalent. And although they didn’t know it at the time, a war was looming. With all this going on, she was ageing and suffering with heart problems. A letter she sent to William Christopher Chappell, however, shows she was a literate woman, who cared about her family both near and far, and enjoyed the company of her family and friends.14

Harriet passed away on August 27th, 191415, the month after the Great War broke out.

Signature of Harriet Oaten (1840-1914)
Closing signature of a letter to her son William. The entire line reads “I remain your affectionate Mother H. Chappell”16

Harriet (Oaten) Chappell is my husband’s 3rd great-grandmother. Our ancestral line:

  • 6. Harriet Oaten (1840-1914)
  • 5. William Christopher Chappell (1869-1941)
  • 4. Rosemary Cecelia Chappell (1900-1985)
  • 3. James Francis Walsh (1931-2001)
  • 2. My husband’s mother (living)
  • 1. My husband (living)

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is a blogging prompt started by Amy Johnson Crow at No Story Too Small. My stories will include both sides of our family, including collateral lines.


  1. Harriet (Oaten) Chappell Portrait, 1889, photographer unknown; privately held by Joan [surname witheld for privacy], [address for private use], Simcoe county, Ontario. 2014. [Name and date inscribed on back of photo, unidentified handwriting.] 

  2. Births, Marriages, and Deaths, Chappell family record, undated; privately held by Joan [surname witheld for privacy], [address for private use], Simcoe county, Ontario. 2014. [From the style and format of the document, it appears to be a transcription of a family bible. Based on the handwriting and information, the transcription was likely written between 1897 and 1910.] 

  3. Boulogne Episcopal Chapel (Boulonge-sur-Mer, Pas-de-Calais, France), Baptisms, 1839-1896, page 4, Harriet Oaten, 26 Jan 1840; index and digital image, The Genealogist (http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk : accessed 14 Feb 2014); citing The National Archives, Kew, “Boulogne Vol. 3: Baptisms”, reference RG33/39. 

  4. “1841 England Census”, Somerset, Lansdown, enumeration district (ED) 12a, parish of Walcot, page 9 (stamped), family of Harriet Oates; index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 Jan 2015); citing The National Archives, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1841”, class HO107, piece 970, book 213, folio 33, GSU 474610. 

  5. “1851 England Census”, Somerset Bath, parish of Walcot St Swithin, page 23 (stamped), household of Harriot Oaten; index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 May 2014); citing The National Archives, London, class HO107, piece 1943, folio 411, GSU roll 221102. 

  6. “1861 England Census”, Somerset, Bath, enumeration district 10, parish of St Michael, page 22 (stamped), household 109, family of Edwin Chappell; index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 May 2014); citing The National Archives, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1861”, class RG9, piece 1687, folio 120, GSU roll 542851. 

  7. “1871 England Census”, Somerset, Bath, enumeration district (ED) 8, parish of Walcot Trinity, page 22 (stamped), household 160, family of Edwin Chapple; index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 May 2014); citing The National Archives, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1871”, class RG10, piece 2492, folio 85, GSU roll 835198. 

  8. “1881 England Census”, Somerset, Bath, enumeration district (ED) 5, parish of Walcot, page 29 (stamped), household 180, family of Edwin Chappell; digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 May 2014); citing The National Archives, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1881”, class RG11, piece 2440, folio 95, GSU 1341587. 

  9. “1891 England Census”, Somerset, Bath, Walcot, enumeration district (ED) 30, parish of Holy Trinity, page 25 and 26 (stamped), schedule 169, family of Edwin Chappell; digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 Dec 2014); citing The National Archives, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1891”, class RG12, piece 1937, folio 49, GSU 6097047. 

  10. “1901 England Census”, Somerset, Bath, Walcot, enumeration district (ED) 30, parish of Holy Trinity, page 25 (stamped), household 193, family of Edwin Chappel; index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 7 Dec 2014); citing The National Archives, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1901”, class RG13, piece 1937, folio 49, GSU roll 6097047. 

  11. “1911 England Census”, Somerset, Bath, Walcot, enumeration district (ED) 7, household 39, family of Edwin Chappell; index and image, Ancestry (http://ancestry.com : accessed 15 May 2014); citing The National Archives, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1911”, class RG14, piece 14709. 

  12. Births, Marriages, and Deaths, Chappell family record, undated. 

  13. Edwin Chappell family, photo, ca. 1910, photographer unknown; privately held by Jennifer [surname witheld for privacy], 2014, emailed to author 2 Sep 2014. A sepia coloured outdoor family photograph, scanned. 

  14. Harriet Chappell (Bath, Somerset, England) to “Dear Son and Daughter” [William Christopher Chappell and Elizabeth Emma (Farthing) Chappell], letter, undated; privately held by Joan [surname witheld for privacy],[address for private use], Simcoe county, Ontario, 2014. [Letter is addressed to ‘son and daughter’ however the letter identifies both William’s wife Emma and their daughter Rosemary; although the letter is undated, I am confident it was written between her husband’s death in March 1913 and and her death in August 1914 as it both failed to mention her husband and that she is living in a different home from where she living was when her husband died.] 

  15. Births, Marriages, and Deaths, Chappell family record, undated. 

  16. Harriet Chappell to “Dear Son and Daughter”, undated. 

Would Our Sophia Cole Please Step Forward (52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #3)

16 January 2015, Chriss Coleman

After researching the tragic ends that became of Sarah Chappell Cole and her three youngest children, I was interested in what happened to the rest of the family. Under the situation, it is most likely that the family entered one of the Bath workhouses. Unfortunately, many of the parish relief records for Bath have not survived, including the records for the time period in question, so I had to proceed along other avenues.

Timeless Books, Photo by Lin Kristensen Photography via wikipedia creative commons
Photo by Lin Kristensen Photography1

I looked at a lot of records for Sophia Cole, the eldest of the surviving children, and quickly discovered that there were two girls named Sophia Cole born at Bath, Somerset, England within a year of each other, and both were baptised in the same church. It didn’t take me long to sort out which was which. However, I wanted to document my research findings here as part of a log which includes the records that I’ve disproved as belonging to our Sophia. I hope that this might help other family historians in their research — I’d already done the research so I may as well share my findings.

After searching both the BMDs and the parish registers for Bath, Somerset, I was able to find two –and only two- children named Sophia Cole born in the area between 1848 and 1858.

Sophia Cole #1

The first Sophia Cole was the daughter of Nathaniel Cole and Grace. Her birth was registered in the third quarter of 1852,2 and BathBMD lists her registration recorded in Walcot and mother’s maiden name as Ford.3 Based on my research to date, I do not believe this child had a middle name.

Her parents, Nathaniel Cole and Grace Ford were married at Rode [Road], Somerset, in St Lawrence parish on January 1st 1832, both parties residing within the parish.4

St Swithin Church at Walcot, photo by Derek Harper
St Swithin Church at Walcot, Bath, Somerset. Photo by Derek Harper5

Sophia was baptised at Walcot-St Swithin, Bath, Somerset on December 1st 1852. They were residing at Somerset Cottage, and the father was occupied as a labourer.6 Research of Nathaniel and Grace’s other children’s baptismal records show this couple residing in Walcot, Weston, Widcombe, and Bath, and the father occupied as a Labourer, Servant or Porter. These findings are consistent with other records I have found for this family.

This family appears on the 1841 England Census of Bathwick, Somerset, residing at Sams Court.7

Nathaniel Cole, male, 30, Porter, born in Somerset
Grace Cole, female, 30, born in Somerset
Jane Cole, female, 9, born in Somerset
Hugh Cole, male, 8, born in Somerset
Ann Cole, female, 7, born in Somerset
Robert Cole, male, 5, born in Somerset
Edward Cole, male, 4, born in Somerset
Elizabeth Cole, female, 3, born in Somerset
Mary Cole, female, 5 months, born in Somerset

They appears again on the 1851 England Census of Bathwick, Somerset, residing at 13 Sams Court.8

Nathanial Cole, head, married, male, 42, Porter, born Winterborn, Gloucestershire
Grace Cole, wife, married, female, 38, born Road, Wiltshire
Hugh Cole, son, single, male, 17, Lite Porter, born Bath, Somerset
Ann Cole, daughter, single, female, 16, Servant, born Claverton, Somerset
Mary Cole, daughter, single, female, 10, Scholar, born in Bath, Somerset
Lucy Cole, daughter, single, female, 5, Scholar, born in Bath, Somerset
William Cole, son, single, male, 3, Scholar, born in Bath, Somerset
Charles Cole, son, single, male, 1 month, born in Bath, Somerset
There are 3 lodgers (a family) residing at the address.

The 1861 England Census shows the family including Sophia Cole, living in Lyncombe and Widcombe, Bath, Somerset, at 2 The Court.9

Family of Nathaniel Cole, 1861, Bath, Somerset
The family of Nanthaniel Cole, 1861 England Census for Bath, Somerset.

Nathaniel Cole, head, married, male, 50, Shop Porter, born Charfield, Gloucestershire
Grace Cole, wife, married, female, 46, Sempstress, born Road, Wiltshire
William Cole, son, single, male, 13, Errand Boy, born Bath, Somerset
Sophia Cole, daughter, single, female, 9, Scholar, born Bath, Somerset

Her parents, Nathaniel and Grace, continue to reside in Bath, appearing on both the 187110 and 1881 Census.11

By the 1871 census, Sophia had moved away from Bath. She appears in the household of Milles Coventry, in Streatham, Surrey, in the parish of Holy Trinty.12

Sarah Cole, servant, single, female, 18, Housemaid Domestic Servant, born Bath, Somerset

Now, looking at the information given in the above census, it could have belonged to either Sophia Cole born in Bath, Somerset. However, the linchpin that sorted out the identities of these two girls happened a few months after the 1871 Census, when Sophia married William Watson in Surrey, England.

William Watson and Sophia Cole marriage in Surrey, England
Marriage record of William Watson and Sophia Cole, Surrey, England, parish of St Mary Lambeth, 1871.

The record reads:

1871, Marriage Solemnized at the the Parish Church in the Parish of St Mary Lambeth in the County of Surrey
No. 423, page 212, married 7th Nov, 1871.

Groom’s Details
Name: William Edward Watson
Age: Both of Full Age
Condition: Bachelor
Rank or Profession: Coachman
Residence at the time of Marriage: Lower Marsh
Father’s Name and Surname: Thomas Watson (deceased)
Rank or Profession of Father: Coachman

Bride’s Details
Name: Sophia Cole
Age: Both of Full Age
Condition: Condition
Rank or Profession: [blank]
Residence at the time of Marriage: Lower Marsh
Father’s Name and Surname: Nathaniel Cole
Rank or Profession of Father: Porter

Married in the Parish Church according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the Established Church, by [blank] or after Banns by me, W. R. [unable to decipher last name]. Mark of William Edward Watson and Sophia Cole [signed]. In the Presence of us, Charels Henry Border [signed] and Sarah Elizabeth Bridges [signed].

The marriage record states that the Sophia Cole who married William Watson was the daughter of Nathaniel Cole, a porter.13 It is this record that confirms that this Sophia Cole is not part of our family tree.

However, this Sophia Cole and her husband William Watson had a family and appear on the 1881,14 1891,15 1901,16 and 191117 Censuses as living in London. Their children were:

  1. Dinah E Watson (born 1872)
  2. William James Watson (born 1877)
  3. Sophia L Watson (born 1879)18
  4. Bessie Watson (born about 1882)19
  5. John Watson (born about 1888)
  6. Annie M Watson (born about 1892)
  7. Rose M Watson (born about 1894)


Note that this list of children is not complete. According to the 1911 Census, Sophia had 12 children, 6 of whom were still alive in 1911.

Sophia Cole #2

This is the Sophia Cole that connects with our family through her mother Sarah Chappell, who was sister to my husband’s 3rd great-grandfather Edwin Chappell. The facts up until 1863 coincide with those in the newspaper article concerning her mother’s death.

Sophia Cole was baptised as Sophia Eugenia Cole, on June 1st 1853 at Walcot-St Swithin, Bath, Somerset, and was the daughter of James Cole and Sarah. They were residing at Abindon Buildings, and her father was occupied as a gilder.20 Her birth was registered in Lansdown, Bath, in 1853 under the name Sophia Eugenia Cole, and her mother’s maiden name was Chapple.21

The family appeared together on the 1861 England Census for Walcot, Bath, Somerset, living at 42 Dafford Villa.

1861 England Census for James Cole at Bath, Somerset
1861 England Census for James Cole and family, residing at Walcot, Bath, Somerset, England.22

James Cole, head, married, male, 49, Gilder, born Bath, Somerset
Sarah Cole, wife, married, female, 29, Gilder’s wife, born Bath, Somerset
Sophia E Cole, daughter, single, female, 7, Scholar, born Bath, Somerset
Rose Cole, daughter, single, female, 6, Scholar, born Bath, Somerset
Matilda Cole, daughter, single, female, 5, Scholar, born Bath, Somerset
John J A Cole, son, single, 3 months, born Bath, Somerset.

Shortly after her youngest brother’s birth, tragedy happened on July 6th 1863 when her mother Sarah killed the youngest three children then killed herself in the canal near Bathampton.23

In the 1871 England census, she was working as a servant in a private home in Walcot, Bath, Somerset.

1871 England Census for Sophia Cole in Bath, Somerset, England
1871 England Census for Sophia Cole, residing in Bath, Somerset, England.24

She is living in the home of Mary Lamacraft of 17 Charles St, in the parish of Walcot-Trinity, Bath, Somerset. Her line of the census reads:

Sophia Cole, serv, single, female, 17, Servant, born Bath, Somerset

By 1881, things have taken a turn for the worst again, and she is under the care of the District Bath Poor Law Union Workhouse at Lyncombe and Widcombe.

1881 England Census for Sophia Cole, Bath, Somerset
1881 England Census for Sophia Cole, Bath District Union Workhouse at Lyncombe and Widcombe.25

Her line of the census reads:

Sophia Cole, pauper, single, female, 27, Domestic Servant, born at Bath, Somerset

Sophia did have a child, a son named Frank Reginald Cole. Frank’s birth was registered in the parish of Lyncombe and Widcome, Bath, Somerset in 1890. There was no maiden name of the mother provided26 which is usual for children born out of wedlock. However, a record of baptism exists for Frank in the register of the Bath Union Workhouse, where he was baptised on January 4th 1891, son of Sophia Cole, a servant, residing at Bath Union Workhouse. No father is listed. 27

Sophia and Frank were enumerated in the Bath Union Workhouse of Lyncombe and Widcombe again in the 1891 census.

1891 England Census for Sophia and Francis Cole, Bath, Somerset
1891 England Census for Sophia and Francis Cole, Bath District Union Workhouse at Lyncombe and Widcombe.28

Sophia Coles, pauper, single, 33, domestic servant, born Bath, Somerset
Frank Reginald Coles, pauper, 3 months, born Bath, Somerset

Their lives improve slightly by the next census because by 1901 they are no longer living in the workhouse.

1901 England Census for Sophia and Frank Cole, Bath, Somerset
1901 England Census for Sophia and Frank Cole, residing at Walcot, Bath, Somerset.29

Sophia and her son Frank are enumerated as living at 48 Avon Street in Walcot, Bath, Somerset:

Sophia Cole, head, single, female, 48, Charwoman, worker, born Bath, Somerset
Frank Cole, son, single, male, 10, born at Bath, Somerset

They are living at 36 Avon St in Walcot, Bath, Somerset during the 1911 Census. What I find intriguing here is that she listed one living child and two dead children, but wrote only 1 child in as born alive. This has me wondering whether the other 2 children were stillborn or live births. I’m also intrigued by the fact that both their ages are incorrect on this return, yet they filled the return out themselves.

1911 England Census for Sophia and Frank Cole, Bath, Somerset
1911 England Census for Sophia and Frank Cole, residing at Walcot, Bath, Somerset.30

The census return reads:

Sophia Cole, head, female, 53, single, 1 child born alive [crossed out by enumerator and replace by a 3], 1 living, 2 dead, Wood Chopping, on own account, at home, born Walcot, Bath.
Frank Cole, son, male, 18, single, General Labourer, worker, born Bath, Somerset.

Sophia Eugenia Cole continued to live out her days in Bath. She died in 1931, at the age of 78.31 The GRO BMD index simply lists her as Sophia E Cole, however the Bath BMD index lists her full name as Sophia Eugenia Cole, which helped me determine that I did indeed have the correct Sophia Cole on the Bath census returns.

Hers was not a charmed life. The records show that she fought a battle with poverty from an early age, and much of the battle was fought alone. I hope her later years and the fruits of her son’s marriage to his first wife, Emily Gant,32 brought her greater joy. Frank married his second wife, Gladys Ethel Murphy, in 1932,33 the year after Sophia passed away.

Discrepancies

On two of the census returns, Sophia’s age is listed at five years younger than she was, including the one she filled out. However, her son’s age was also wrong on the form that she filled out, so I don’t believe this hinders the argument as to whether or not this is the correct person. Furthermore, she listed herself as Sophia Cole on the form, but signed her name as Sophia Coles at the bottom of the form. She was enumerated as Coles on the 1891 Census as well.

Further, there was an additional Sophia in Bath in 1881. She was enumerated as Sophia Coles, born in Bath, a servant, residing in the Bath Union Workhouse of Lyncombe and Widcombe, and of the exact same age as our Sophia.34 Other than the additional “s” on her last name, their information is identical. I could not find a record of a Sophia Coles that fit this person, certainly not one born in Bath. It is my belief that Sophia may have been enumerated twice.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is a blogging prompt started by Amy Johnson Crow at No Story Too Small. My stories will include both sides of our family, including collateral lines.


  1. Photo credit to Lin Kristensen Photography http://flickr.com/photos/23701579@N00/1189891134, via Wikimedia Commons http://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Timeless_Books.jpg&redirect=no, used under Creative Commons 2.0 (CC BY 2.0) Original image resized. 

  2. “England & Wales, FreeBMD, 1837-1915”, entry for Sophia Cole, Q3 1851, Bath, Somerset, Vol 5c, Page 672; index, Ancestry, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 Dec 2014); citing General Register Office, London, “England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes”. 

  3. “Births”, entry for Sophia Cole, 1852, Walcot, Bath, Somserset, reference WL1/11/294; index, BathBMD, (http://www.bathbmd.org.uk : accessed 6 Dec 2014); citing Register Offices, Bath, Somerset. 

  4. “FreeREG”, indexed database, FreeREG, (http://www.freereg.org.uk : accessed 5 Dec 2014), entry of marriage for Nathaniel Cole and Grace Ford, 1 Jan 1832, Rode, Somerset, register 233. 

  5. Photo credit to Derek Harper, http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2807697 taken as part of the Geograph project collection. Used Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 (CC BY-SA 2.0). Original image cropped and resized. 

  6. “FreeREG”, indexed database, FreeREG, (http://www.freereg.org.uk : accessed 5 Dec 2014), baptism entry for Sophia Cole, 1 Dec 1852, parish of Walcot-St, Bath, Somerset, register 2155. 

  7. “1841 England Census”, Somerserset, Bath, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 3, parish of Bathwick, p. 22 and 23, Household of Nathaniel Cole; digital image and index, Ancestry, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 Dec 2014); citing The National Archives, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1841”, class HO107, piece 931, book 5, folio 15, GSU roll 474593. 

  8. “1851 England Census”, Somerset, Bath, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 4c, parish of Bathwick, household 109, family of Nathanial Cole; digital image and index, Ancestry, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 Dec 2014); citing The National Archives, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1851”, class HO107, piece 1940, folio 401, page 23, GSU 221099. 

  9. “1861 England Census”, Somerset, Bath, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 4, parish of Lyncombe and Widcombe, p.51, household 304, family of Nathaniel Cole; digital image, Ancestry, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 Dec 2014); citing The National Archive, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1861”, class RG9, piece 1688, folio 94, GSU 542851. 

  10. “1871 England Census”, Somerset, Bath, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 1, parish of Bathwick, p.21, household 147, family of Nathaniel Cole; digital image, Ancestry, (www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 Dec 2014); citing The National Archive, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1871”, class RG10, piece 2477, folio 14, GSU 835193. 

  11. “1881 England Census”, Somerset, Bath, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 1, parish of Bathwick, p.22, household 137, family of Nathaniel Cole; digital image, Ancestry, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 Dec 2014); citing The National Archive, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1881”, class RG11, piece 2432, folio 14, GSU 1341585. 

  12. “1871 England Census”, Surrey, Streatham, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 1, parish of Holy Trinity, p.30, household 120, Sarah Cole; digital image, Ancestry, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 Dec 2014); citing The National Archive, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1871”, class RG10, piece 718, folio 18, GSU roll: 823347. 

  13. “London, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921”, Surrey, Lambeth, parish of St Mary, William Edward Watson and Sophia Cole, 7 Nov 1871; digital image, Ancestry, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 4 Dec 2014); citing London Metropolitan Archives, Saint Mary at Lambeth, Register of marriages, P85/MRY1, Item 473. 

  14. “1881 England Census”, London, Kensington, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 35C, parish of St Clements, p.5, household 606, family of William E Watson; digital image, Ancestry, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 Dec 2014); citing The National Archive, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1881”, class RG11, piece 2432, folio 14, GSU 1341585. 

  15. “1891 England Census”, London, Fulham, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 18, parish of St Clements, p.14, household 84, family of William E Watson; digital image, Ancestry, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 Dec 2014); citing The National Archive, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1891”, class RG12, piece 48, folio 43, GSU roll 6095158. 

  16. “1901 England Census”, London, Fulham, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 28, parish of St Mary, p.24, household 160, family of William E Watson; digital image, Ancestry, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 Dec 2014); citing The National Archive, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1901”, class RG13, piece 64, folio 16. 

  17. “1911 England Census”, London, Fulham, population schedule, enumeration district 3, household of William Edward Watson; digital image, Ancestry, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 8 Dec 2014); citing The National Archives, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1911”. 

  18. “London, England, Births and Baptism, 1813-1906”, Kensington and Chelsea, parish of Notting Hill St Clement, baptisms of Dinah Elizabeth, William James, and Sophia Watson, 25 Feb 1883; digital image, Ancestry, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 8 Dec 2014); citing London Metropolitan Archives, “Notting Hill St Clement, Register of Baptism”, P84/CLE, Item 3. 

  19. “London, England, Births and Baptism, 1813-1906”, Kensington and Chelsea, parish of Notting Hill St Clement, baptisms of Bessie Watson, 13 Jan 1882; digital image, Ancestry, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 8 Dec 2014); citing London Metropolitan Archives, “Notting Hill St Clement, Register of Baptism”, P84/CLE, Item 3.  

  20. “FreeREG”, indexed database, FreeREG, (http://www.freereg.org.uk : accessed 5 Dec 2014), baptism entry for Sophia Eugenia Cole, 1 Jun 1853, parish of Walcot-St, Bath, Somerset, register 2293. 

  21. “Births”, entry for Sophia Eugenia Cole, 1853, Lansdown, Bath, Somserset, reference LNS/11/421; index, BathBMD, (http://www.bathbmd.org.uk : accessed 6 Dec 2014); citing Register Offices, Bath, Somerset. 

  22. “1861 England Census”, Somerset, Bath, enumeration district (ED) 15, parish of Walcot St-Saviour, p. 14, household 88, family of James Cole; index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 7 Jul 2014); citing The National Archives, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1861”, Class RG 9, Piece 1692, Folio 51, GSU roll 542852. 

  23. “Shocking Tragedy”, news article, Bath [Somerset] Chronicle and Weekly Gazette, 9 Jul 1863, page 5, column 5; online index and digital image, British Newspaper Archive (http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk : accessed 11 Jul 2014). 

  24. “1871 England Census”, Somerset, Bath, enumeration district (ED) 6, parish of Walcot Trinity, p.22, household 138, Sophia Cole; index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 7 Dec 2014); citing The National Archives, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1871”, class RG10, piece 2492, folio 41, GSU roll 835198. 

  25. “1881 England Census”, Somerset, Bath, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) Bath Poor Law Union Workhouse, parish of Lyncombe and Widcombe, p.15, Sophia Cole; digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 Dec 2014); citing The National Archive, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1881”, class RG11, piece 2435, folio 146, GSU 1341586. 

  26. “Births”, entry for Francis Reginald Cole, 1891, Lyncombe and Widcombe, Bath, Somserset, reference LW1/36/472; index, BathBMD, (http://www.bathbmd.org.uk : accessed 8 Dec 2014); citing Register Offices, Bath, Somerset. 

  27. “FreeREG”, indexed database, FreeREG, (http://www.freereg.org.uk : accessed 8 Dec 2014), baptism entry for Frank Reginald Cole, 4 Dec 1891, Union Workhouse Bath, Somerset, register 752. 

  28. “1891 England Census”, Somerset, Bath, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) Bath Poor Law Union Workhouse, parish of Lyncombe and Widcombe, p.14, lines 24 and 25, Sophia Coles and Frank Reginald Coles; digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 7 Dec 2014); citing The National Archive, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1891”, class RG12, piece 1933, folio 135, GSU 6097043. 

  29. “1901 England Census”, Somerset, Bath, Walcot, enumeration district (ED) 30, parish of St Paul, p. 24, household 153, family of Sophia Cole; index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 7 Dec 2014); citing The National Archives, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1901”, class RG13, piece 2342, folio 50. 

  30. “1911 England Census”, Somerset, Bath, Walcot, enumeration district (ED) 20, household 198, family of Sophia Cole; index and image, Ancestry (http://ancestry.com : accessed 7 Dec 2014); citing The National Archives, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1911”, class RG14, piece 14722. 

  31. “Deaths”, entry for Sophia Eugenia Cole, 1931, Lyncombe and Widcombe, Bath, Somsert, reference LW2/12A/116; index, BathBMD, (http://www.bathbmd.org.uk : accessed 8 Dec 2014); citing Register Offices, Bath, Somerset. 

  32. “Marriages”, entry for Frank Reginald Cole and Emily Gant, 1923, Bath Register Office, Bath, Somserset, reference RO1/80/176; index, BathBMD (http://www.bathbmd.org.uk : accessed 13 Jan 2015); citing Register Offices, Bath, Somerset. 

  33. “Marriages”, entry for Frank Reginald Cole and Gladys Ethel Murphy 1932, Bath Register Office, Bath, Somserset, reference RO1/90/094; index, BathBMD (http://www.bathbmd.org.uk : accessed 13 Jan 2015); citing Register Offices, Bath, Somerset. 

  34. “1881 England Census”, Somerset, Bath, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) Bath Poor Law Union Workhouse, parish of Lyncombe and Widcombe, p.19, Sophia Coles; digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 Dec 2014); citing The National Archive, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1881”, class RG11, piece 2435, folio 148, GSU 1341586. 

Ancestral Name Score 2015

11 January 2015, Chriss Coleman

Randy’s task this week was to determine your Ancestral Name Score — basically, what percentage of ancestors you can positively identify for 10 generations. For 10 generations, starting with yourself, that’s 1023 people.

I did the same exercise for both my side and my husband’s side, since I research both. The percentages in the chart include the numbers for the previous generations.

My husband’s Ancestral Name Score

Ancestor name score for Joey's side 2015
Joey’s Ancestor Name Score — 2015

Score: 7.9%

This particular chart has increased considerably in the past few weeks as I’ve been able research my husband’s biological paternal grandparents (thank you Ontario open access adoption laws). I’ve added 14 names to his ahnentafel list in the last few weeks alone. Had I done this exercise at Christmas, the score would have been 6.5%. You’ll notice a significant drop in known ancestors after the 3rd great-grandparents. I have two words to explain that: Irish Immigrants. Most of his Irish families (and that is the vast majority of his ancestry) were Irish immigrants that came over between the 1820s and 1850s.

One of my goals this year, along with discovering my husband’s paternal family, is to try and take all these Irish immigrants and figure out where in Ireland they came from. That is involving a lot of collateral research, and in many of these cases I’ve already researched the obvious siblings and I’m needing to find undiscovered siblings — lots of research of families of the same name in the same communities. Some are related, some are not, some are still unknown. However, those that are related are proving very useful in this goal — two weeks into the year and I’ve already discovered an additional specific point of Irish origin.

My Ancestral Name Score

My Ancestor name score, 2015
My Ancestor Name Score — 2015

Score: 9.1%

This is the one that surprised me. I’ve done very little research on my side of the family, certainly compared to the amount of time I’ve spent on my husband’s side, so I was a bit surprised that my score is higher. I usually spend a bit of time here and there when I’m tired banging my head on the table over Irish immigrants. There are only so many “John Kelly”s that I can take before madness sets in.

The research I’ve done is very thorough, but there are many lines that can easily be pushed back many more generations. The records are there, I just haven’t put in the research time yet. In fact, I could easily name an additional dozen known ancestors off the top of my head, but I haven’t put in the research time to prove them so I haven’t included them, including my dear Loyalist ancestors. For some reason, it feels a bit different to include an ancestor I haven’t researched and where there are known records than it is to include a “brick wall” ancestor where I’ve run out of paper trail.

My father did quite a bit of genealogy, and whilst I’ve not seen his research and it is not included in my numbers, I have talked to him about it. I hope to be able to include his efforts in the future, assuming we are able to retrieve the data. Much of my research was focused on the lines he wasn’t able to push back. Unless I caught on to something interesting, then it was all fair game. I’m a bit of a magpie in that respect.

My biggest stumbling block is my grandfather’s (informal) adoption. It leaves an awfully large hole in the family charts.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun is a weekly challenge put out by Randy Seaver of the blog Geneamusings.

Shocking Tragedy — The Story of Sarah Chappell (52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #2)

8 January 2015, Chriss Coleman

Researching siblings can further your research about your ancestors, and sometimes researching your ancestors can teach you more about their siblings. Whilst doing a simple search for Edwin Chappell, my husband’s 3rd great-grandfather, I was astonished at what I found.

Bath, Somerset
1860 map of England and Wales, this section depicting the region around Bath, Somerset.1

Sarah Chappell was Edwin’s second eldest sister. She born in Bath, Somerset in 18322 to John Chappell and his wife Sarah. When Sarah married James Cole, a gilder by trade, on October 16th 18513 she likely thought she was marrying well and would be able to lead a relatively comfortable life, especially as James' father, John Cole, left James the majority of his estate when he died in 1855.4

Sarah and James Cole had seven children, four of whom are shown residing with the family in Bath in the 1861 census,5 one born after the 1861 census, and two of whom I have been unable to positively identify, but both likely died very young as I have been unable to source baptism records for them.

  1. Sophia Eugenia Cole — born 18536,7
  2. Rose Lavinia Cole — born 18558,9
  3. Matilda Cole — born 185610,11
  4. John James Augustus Cole — born 186112,13
  5. Alfred Cole — born 1863


The family had fallen on hard times. James Cole was not following his trade or earning a wage, and they had squandered their inheritance. The family had pawned nearly everything they owned in order to put a meagre bit of food on the table, and they were facing eviction. Added to this, most of her family had abandoned her due to her husband’s temper and intolerable disposition. On July 6th 1863, something inside Sarah (Chappell) Cole snapped. Tragedy ensued.

Claiming to be heading out to buy the children a bun or two, she left the house, taking her 3 youngest children with her. Upon reaching the canal near Bathampton, she strangled and/or drowned each of her children in the waters before she herself plunged to her watery death.

The newspaper article in the Bath Chronicle tells in depth the family situation, both from the view of the surviving husband, James Cole, and the view of Sarah’s brother, Edwin Chappell, as it was presented in court, together with the coroner and surgeon’s reports, and the final verdict of temporary insanity as a result of her desperate situation.

An easier to read transcription of this article can be found here.

Shocking Tragedy of Sarah Cole and her children, news article from Bath Chronicle
“Shocking Tragedy”, article of the demise of Sarah (Chappell) Cole and her 3 youngest children, from The Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette, published July 9th 1863.14

Sarah (Chappell) Cole was 31 years of age when she took her own life and the life of her three youngest children. All four were buried on July 10th 1863 at St Nicholas church, Bathampton, Somerset,15,16,17,18 leaving James Cole and his two remaining daughters to mourn their loss whilst facing eviction and destitution.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is a blogging prompt started by Amy Johnson Crow at No Story Too Small. My stories will include both sides of our family, including collateral lines.


  1. Photo credit to http://www.geographicus.com/mm5/cartographers/philip.txt [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Original image cropped, resized, and edited to mark location. 

  2. “FreeREG”, indexed database, FreeREG (http://www.freereg.org.uk : accessed 11 Dec 2014), baptism entry for Sarah Chappell, 22 Jul 1832, St Thomas a Becket, Widcombe, Bath, Somerset, England; citing file number 19073. 

  3. “FreeREG”, indexed database, FreeREG (http://www.freereg.org.uk : accessed 3 Dec 2014), register 72, marriage entry for James Cole and Sarah Chappell, 16 Oct 1851, Walcot-St Swithin, Bath, Somerset England; citing file number 14532. 

  4. “England & Wales, Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills, 1384-1858”, James John Cole, Somerset, Walcot, 20 Apr 1855; digital image, Ancestry, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 Dec 2014); citing The National Archives, London, “Prerogative Court of Canterbury and Related Probate Jurisdictions: Will Registers”, class PROB, Piece 2210. 

  5. “1861 England Census”, Somerset, Bath, enumeration district (ED) 15, parish of Walcot St-Saviour, p. 14, household 88, family of James Cole; index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 7 Jul 2014); citing The National Archives, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1861”, Class RG 9, Piece 1692, Folio 51, GSU roll 542852. 

  6. “Births”, entry for Sophia Eugenia Cole, 1853, Lansdown, Bath, Somsert, reference LNS/11/421; index, BathBMD (http://www.bathbmd.org.uk : accessed 6 Dec 2014); citing Register Offices, Bath, Somerset. 

  7. “FreeREG”, indexed database, FreeREG (http://www.freereg.org.uk : accessed 4 Dec 2014), register 2293, baptism entry for Sophia Eugenia Cole, 1 Jun 1853, Walcot - St Swithin, Bath, Somerset, England; citing file number 147321. 

  8. “Births”, entry for Rose Levena Cole, 1855, Lansdown, Bath, Somsert, reference LNS/12/448; index, BathBMD (http://www.bathbmd.org.uk : accessed 9 Dec 2014); citing Register Offices, Bath, Somerset. 

  9. “FreeREG”, indexed database, FreeREG (http://www.freereg.org.uk : accessed 4 Dec 2014), register 356, baptism entry for Rose Lavinia Cole, 25 Mar 1855, Walcot - St Swithin, Bath, Somerset, England; citing file number 14732. 

  10. “Births”, entry for Matilda Cole, 1856, Walcot, Bath, Somsert, reference WL1/14/033; index, BathBMD (http://www.bathbmd.org.uk : accessed 3 Jan 2015); citing Register Offices, Bath, Somerset. 

  11. “England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975”, index, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 7 Jun 2014), Matilda Cole, 28 Sep 1856, Bath, Somerset; citing FHL film 1526166, Item 2 p129. 

  12. “Births”, entry for John James Augustus Cole, 1861, Walcot, Bath, Somsert, reference WL1/16/282; index, BathBMD, (http://www.bathbmd.org.uk : accessed 3 Jan 2015); citing Register Offices, Bath, Somerset. 

  13. “England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975”, index, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 7 Jun 2014), John James Augustus Cole, 8 Feb 1861, St Saviour, Bath, Somerset; citing FHL film 1526166, Item 2.  

  14. “Shocking Tragedy”, news article, Bath [Somerset] Chronicle and Weekly Gazette, 9 Jul 1863, page 5, column 5; online index and digital image, British Newspaper Archive (http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk : accessed 11 Jul 2014); image copyright the British Library Board.  

  15. “FreeREG”, indexed database, FreeREG (http://www.freereg.org.uk : accessed 4 Dec 2014), burial entry for Sarah Cole, 10 Jul 1863, St Nicholas, Bathampton, Somerset, England; citing file number 14661. 

  16. “FreeREG”, indexed database, FreeREG (http://www.freereg.org.uk : accessed 4 Dec 2014), burial entry for Matilda Cole, 10 Jul 1863, St Nicholas, Bathampton, Somerset, England; citing file number 14661. 

  17. “FreeREG”, indexed database, FreeREG (http://www.freereg.org.uk : accessed 4 Dec 2014), burial entry for John James Cole, 10 Jul 1863, St Nicholas, Bathampton, Somerset, England; citing file number 14661. 

  18. “FreeREG”, indexed database, FreeREG (http://www.freereg.org.uk : accessed 4 Dec 2014), burial entry for Alfred Cole, 10 Jul 1863, St Nicholas, Bathampton, Somerset, England; citing file number 14661. 

Edwin Chappell (52 Ancestors #1)

2 January 2015, Chriss Coleman

Edwin Chappell was a man who lived his entire life near the waters of the Avon River, in the city of Bath, Somerset, England. He was the second youngest of nine children born to John Chappell and Sarah Cridge1 (or possibly Crudge),2 born August 14th 1839.3

Portion of the Chappell Family Record
Edwin Chappell – clipping from the Chappell Family Record3

He was baptised at September 22nd of the same year at St Thomas à Becket church in the nearby town of Widcombe.4 Shortly after his birth, the family moved from their Wood St residence, to their new home at 1 Parsons Yard in Bath where he spent most of his childhood.5,6

St Thomas à Becket church, Widcombe
St Thomas à Becket Church in Widcombe, Bath, Somerset. Photo by Stephen McKay.7

At the age of 19, he married Harriet Oaten8 on February 19th, 18609 at Walcot-St Swithin Church. He had a variety of jobs over the course of his younger years, recording himself as a baker,10 milkman,11 and finally as a wheelchairman,12 the later being the career he held for his remaining years13,14 until retirement.15

Edwin Chappell in 1889
Edwin Chappell — according to the information inscribed on the back, the photo was taken in 1889 in Bath, Somerset, England. Edwin would have been about 50 years old.16

Edwin and Harriet had 10 children, 7 of whom lived until adulthood.17

  1. Edwin Oaten Chappell
  2. William John Chappell
  3. Harriet Chappell
  4. Martha Rosa Chappell
  5. William Christopher Chappell
  6. Elizabeth Ada Chappell
  7. Albert Chappell
  8. Alice Mary Chappell
  9. Arthur Chappell
  10. Minnie Chappell

In the later years they also helped to care for their grand-daughter Annie.18,19,20

In general terms, they worked and lived and raised a family as one would expect. Other than being charged with using abusive language during a quarrel — a case that was later dismissed in court21 — I couldn’t find anything out of the ordinary.

Edwin Chappell obituary 1913
Edwin Chappell’s obituary, Bath Chronicle, 15 March 1913.

CHAPPELL — March 10th, at 5, Caroline Place, Lansdown Road, Bath, Edwin Chappell, aged 73.22

Edwin passed away at his home at 5 Caroline Place, Lansdown, Bath, on March 10th, 1912, at the age of 73.23 Whilst he lived his entire life at Bath, some of his children did move further afield, including Australia, Canada, and the United States. Today his progeny live all over the world.

Edwin Chappell is my husband’s 3xgreat-grandfather. Our ancestral line:

  • 6. Edwin Chappell (1839-1913)
  • 5. William Christopher Chappell (1869-1941)
  • 4. Rosemary Cecelia Chappell (1900-1985)
  • 3. James Francis Walsh (1931-2001)
  • 2. My husband’s mother (living)
  • 1. My husband (living)

FOOTNOTES


  1. “Births”, entry for Edwin Chaple, 1891, Lyncombe and Widcombe, Bath, Somersert, reference LW1/2/124; index, BathBMD, (http://www.bathbmd.org.uk : accessed 31 Dec 2014); citing Register Offices, Bath, Somerset. 

  2. “FreeREG”, indexed database, FreeREG (http://www.freereg.org.uk : accessed 15 May 2014), marriage entry for John Chappell and Sarah Crudge, 26 Jan 1824, Twerton St Michael church, Bath, Somerset, England; citing file number 13892. 

  3. Chappell Family Record, undated handwritten document, original in the collection of Joan [Name withheld for privacy; address for Private Use], Simcoe county, Ontario, digital copy held by author. [From the appearance this document it seems most likely to be a copy of the family bible, copied after 1897.] 

  4. “FreeREG”, indexed database, FreeREG (http://www.freereg.org.uk : accessed 15 May 2014), baptism entry for Edwin Chappell, 22 Sep 1839, register 352, St Thomas a Becket, Widcombe, Bath, Somerset, England; citing file number 18911. 

  5. “1841 England Census”, Somerset, Bath, enumeration district 1, parish of St Michael, page 45, household of John Chappell; index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 May 2014); citing The National Archive, London, “1841 Census Returns of England and Wales, 1841”, class HO107, piece 969, book 7, folio 25, GSU roll 474609. 

  6. “1851 England Census”, Somerset, Bath, enumeration district (ED) 3a, parish of St Michael page 35, household schedule 105, family of John Chappell; index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 May 2014); citing The National Archives, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1851”, class HO107, piece 1941, folio 278,GSU 221100. 

  7. “Thomasabecketchurch” by Stephen McKay - From geograph.org.uk. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Thomasabecketchurch.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Thomasabecketchurch.jpg. Image resized from original. 

  8. “Marriages”, entry for Edwin Chappell and Harriet Oaten, 1860, Walcot St-Switin, Bath, Somserset, reference C17/7/043; index, BathBMD, (http://www.bathbmd.org.uk : accessed 15 Dec 2014); citing Register Offices, Bath, Somerset. 

  9. “FreeREG”, indexed database, FreeREG, (http://www.freereg.org.uk : accessed 15 May 2014), entry of marriage for Edward Chappell and Harriet Oates, 19 Feb 1860, Walcot-St Swithin, Bath, Somerset, register 43. 

  10. “1861 England Census”, Somerset, Bath, enumeration district 10, parish of St Michael, page 22, household schedule 109, family of Edwin Chappell; index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 May 2014); citing The National Archives, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1861”, class RG9, piece 1687, folio 120, GSU roll 542851. 

  11. “1871 England Census”, Somerset, Bath, enumeration district (ED) 8, parish of Walcot Trinity, p.22, household schedule 160, family of Edwin Chapple; index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 May 2014); citing The National Archives, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1871”, class RG10, piece 2492, folio 85, GSU roll 835198. 

  12. “1881 England Census”, Somerset, Bath, enumeration district (ED) 5, parish of Walcot, page 29, household schedule 180, family of Edwin Chappell; digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 Dec 2014); citing The National Archive, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1881”, class RG11, piece 2440, folio 95, GSU 1341587. 

  13. “1891 England Census”, Somerset, Bath, Walcot, enumeration district (ED) 30, parish of Holy Trinity, page 25 and 26, schedule 169, family of Edwin Chappell; digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 Dec 2014); citing The National Archive, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1891”, class RG12, piece 1937, folio 49, GSU 6097047. 

  14. “1901 England Census”, Somerset, Bath, Walcot, enumeration district (ED) 30, parish of Holy Trinity, page 25, household schedule 193, family of Edwin Chappel; index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 May 2014); citing The National Archives, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1901”, class RG13, piece 1937, folio 49, GSU roll 6097047. 

  15. “1911 England Census”, Somerset, Bath, Walcot, enumeration district (ED) 7, household schedule 39, family of Edwin Chappell; index and image, Ancestry (http://ancestry.com : accessed 15 May 2014); citing The National Archives, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1911”, class RG14, piece 14709. 

  16. Photo from the collection of family photos held by Joan [name witheld for privacy, address for private use], Simcoe county, Ontario, Canada. Scanned by author September 2014. 

  17. Chappell Family Record. 

  18. 1891 Census, Somerset, Bath, ED 30, Holy Trinity, p25 & 26, sch. 169. 

  19. 1901 census, Somerset, Bath, ED 30, Holy Trinity, p25, sch. 193. 

  20. 1911 census, Somerset, Bath, ED 7, sch. 39. 

  21. “Chairmen’s Quarrel”, Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette, Somerset, England, 31 Jul 1902, page 4, column 7; digital image, British Newspaper Archive (http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk : accessed 9 Aug 2014). 

  22. “Deaths”, obituary for Edwin Chappell, Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette, Bath, Somerset, England, Saturday 15 March 1913, page 1, column 1; digital image, British Newspaper Archive (http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk : accessed 21 May 2014). 

  23. “Deaths”, entry for Edwin Chappell, 1913, Walcot, Bath, Somsert, reference WL1/61/169; index, BathBMD (http://www.bathbmd.org.uk : accessed 1 Jan 2015); citing Register Offices, Bath, Somerset. 

Plans for 2015

31 December 2014, Chriss Coleman

As 2014 quickly draws to a close, I am looking back on what I’ve accomplished, what remains on the to-do list, and drawing up plans for the coming year.

Newspaper Printing Office Upper Canada
Printing Office at Upper Canada Villiage, Morrisburg, Ontario, Canada. Taken by author, September 2014.

I was, unfortunately, unable to finish my goals for the end of 2014, though I did come close in many respects. I have about 30 gravestones left to pull out of my media files and re-enter as sources, something I was hoping to have finished as the year closed. And I am still, two months on, waiting for my copy of Evidence Explained to arrive. I don’t believe it to be a problem with the seller, but rather that it got bogged down in the Christmas delivery chaos — media mail isn’t exactly the quickest thing to travel across an ocean, though I did expect it to arrive before now. The long and the short of it is that I was not able to clean up my source citations as I had really hoped to do.

But we must go on…

I do have some lofty goals for 2015.

  1. I’m participating in 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks, a blogging prompt created by Amy Johnson Crow of the blog No Story too Small. I am doing this mainly as a challenge to blog on at least a weekly basis, and I’ll be telling stories of people from both my family and my husband’s family. I won’t be strictly posting about ancestors, though. There will be collateral lines in there as well since I enjoy researching families. I found group research to be highly beneficial, and I have a soft spot for end-of-line research – sometimes it is the people who never married who had the most interesting stories and are unfortunately forgotten.

  2. I’d like to focus my research on the Canadian lines of our family as I want to try to take all the lines back to immigration, but more importantly to track down where they emigrated from, especially all of my husband’s pesky Irish folk who apparently couldn’t be bothered to write anything more precise than “Ireland” on any given form or document. Unfortunately, this eliminates a great deal of my family including all of my maternal side, and most of my paternal side. This may mean that I stray from time to time in order to fulfil goal 1… not to mention the fact that I really enjoy English research.

  3. In tandem with goal number 2 and some new information in hand, I’m planning on researching my husband’s biological paternal lines which to this point has been a big blank expanse on our family charts. I’m also hoping they were better at writing down their Irish counties on documents.

  4. There are also a few little tweaks I’d like to add to the blog, most notably ahnentafel pages for both our families, which is the easier option at this point. I’d love to have pedigree charts with interactive pop-ups, but we’ll cross that bridge at some later point in time.

Maybe my copy of Evidence Explained will even arrive before the end of 2015.