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Genealogy "Clincher" evidence.


Loyal Member
Staff member

I have had lot of instances where I have had just theories and assumptions in genealogy.But then a new piece of evidence comes along to confirm my suspicions and theories. I have quite a logical mind when it comes to genealogy.

Its like my success story where I found the father of an illegitimate child, namely my great, great gran who was born in Dec 1863 under her unmarried mothers maiden name in Sussex. Her mum Mary Ann Walder suddenly moved to London and wed Kent born Thomas Roberts in July 1864. Thomas was a servant and widower according to the marriage cert. 4 months after the mother married the baby was baptised as "Mary Ann Kate, Daughter of Thomas & Mary Ann Roberts" on the 6th November 1864 at the London church they wed at. I thought, well if he baptised her as his daughter, then that increased the probability that she was his daughter if he said she was in her baptism.

He was a widower and when I found Thomas lving in Brighton in Sussex, the same county as Mary Ann Walder was in the 1861 census, but was still married to an Esther, another piece of the puzzle came together. I then found that Esther died in the Dec Quarter of 1863, and Thomas's next wifes baby was born on the 31st Dec 1863 in Warninglid, a few miles north of Brighton. Thomas's job would have involved him travel, or she may have worked where he worked.

Some people wouldnt worry to spend £7 on Thomas first wifes death cert and just have a hunch. I spent that £7 and the cert said that Esther died on the 14th Nov 1863, wife of Thomas Roberts a servant and footman, and she died of "Phthisis, years, certified". That was the clincher cert. Mary Walder was 7 months pregnant when Esther died, explaining illegitimate birth and the delay in the parents wedding because the fathers wife had just died 6 weeks preious to the birth.

The length of Thomas previous wifes illness stated on the cert made the idea of an affair totally plausible and everything else fell into place. The baptism after the marriage and the move away to London before the wedding and Thomas would have been under pressure and depressed if his wife was dying of phthisis so he needed comfort.

Sorry to keep going on but this is one of my most favourite FH success stories. The clincher evidence can be found you know.


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