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Admitting defeat with several candidates.


Loyal Member
Staff member
Sometimes with genealogy we may have to admit defeat if an ancestor died before the census era and you have a rough idea when they were born, but there are about 5 or 6 baptisms, and any one of them are candidates. We may be able to eliminate one or 2 of them but if their parents never seemed to leave a will, it can be impossible to determine which, if any of them, is your ancestor. If you find the witnesses to marriages were just friends or regular witnesses (rector, churchwarden, parish constable etc), it can leave you stumped.

I have a Hannah Moss born c1740 in Essex, who wed in 1765, and there are about 9 of them born 1730-1750 in Essex. Witnesses to her marriage have not thrown up any leads and no age at burial was given.

Also, lots of Suffolk people moved into Essex in the 1700s, so they may have come from Suffolk, or elsewhere.