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Ancestors leading us on a merry dance.


Staff member
Sometimes it seems they like us to follow the wrong lines. :D

My ancestor was Elizabeth Harbord who wed Dennis Helsdon in October 1752 in St Peter Parmentergate, Norwich. She died at a ripe old age in 1828 aged 97 (so born c1731). Half a kilometre north, in 1733 an Eliz Harbord was baptised at St Simon & St Jude, Norwich to Robert and Rebecca Harbord. Eliz and Dennis Helsdon had children called Robert and Rebecca. You think case solved.

But Dennis Helsdon had relatives on his side called Robert and Rebecca Helsdon. And then in 1756 an Eliz Harbord, spinster, marries at St Simon & St Jude, Norwich to William Davey. Witnesses names don't ring a bell though. Robert and Rebecca Harbord had other children and it seems they connect to a Joseph Harbord born c1728. A Joseph Harbord died in 1758 in Norwich aged 57 (so born c1701). A Joseph Harbord wed Eliz Brereton in Wymondham, Norfolk in 1725. They had a son William baptised in 1726 in Wymondham. A daughter Rachel was born in Norwich in 1728 to Joseph and Elizabeth.

No other marriage of a Joseph Harbord to an Elizabeth has been found so very likely the same couple. Their next child Benjamin Harbord seems to be baptised in 1739. So there seems to be a 10 year gap where they probably had more children, but not baptised them or did so at a non conformist chapel. A Benjamin Harbord died in 1738 aged 4, son of Jos and Eliz in Norwich. So born c1734. No baptism has been found. So it seems

In 1766 a Sarah Harbord married a Thomas Dewing at St Peter Parmentergate, Norwich. One of the witnesses was Dennis Helsdon, who wed Eliz Harbord. Sarah died in 1817 aged 88. So born c1729. Sarah must be a relative of Elizabeth.

I am now wondering if the Eliz Harbord who wed Dennis Helsdon is the daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth rather than Robert and Rebecca. Joseph and Robert may have been brothers.

In 1775 a Joseph Harbord died and left an administration bond. Another thing to look up.