Sunday, June 21, 2009

Newspaper account of Coroner's Inquest

I was checking the Online British Library catalogue for death entries of my most recent additions to my family tree. One might assume that an ordinary person would not be found in a county newspaper. Newspapers report coroner’s inquests. Years ago I found a short entry in the Carlisle Journal in 1845 for my ancestor, John Ridley.
“On the 9th instant, at Brampton, on the body of John Ridley of that place, nailor. He was carrying upon his back a bag of coals, and he turned to rest himself against the wall, when he fell to the ground and instantly expired; Verdict, Natural Death”
One might ask why would there be an inquest for an old man that died carrying a bag of coals. One of the grounds for an inquest was a sudden death. Accidents were the most common reason. Previous to now it was not practical to read the fine print in newspapers to locate such instances. With an every name index it becomes an easy task. I found an account of Robert the son of Clement Rogers and Sarah Scoging in the Ipswich Journal published on August 21 1875 . This account has all the details one would want to know plus more.
ASHFIELD: Sudden Death. - An inquest was held before C.C. Brooke, Esq., coroner, on Tuesday last, on the body of Robert Rogers, shoemaker, Ashfield, aged 57, who was found dead in a barley field, at Monk Soham, and was carried to his father's house at Ashfield. - Maria Pepper, wife of Thomas Pepper, of Monk Soham, said; last Friday afternoon, the 13th inst., about four o'clock, He ate a very hearty tea, and left about half past seven in the evening to walk home. The deceased has for some time been wandering in his mind, but was sufficiently well to take care of himself. He complained that his breathing was short. - James Parker, labourer employed by Mr. Edwards, of Monk Soham, said; Last Friday evening shortly after eight, I saw the deceased lying on his face across the footpath in a barley field. I raised him on one side. James Hammond was with me, and we found he was dead. Assistance was obtained, and deceased was ultimately brought here.- Mr. George Fletcher, surgeon, of Earl Soham, said he saw the deceased last Friday night, between nine and ten o'clock. He had since made an examination of the body, and found the heart slightly diseased, and one portion of the brain much diseased. - The Jury returned a verdict of "Death from natural causes"

The Ipswich Journal covers East Suffolk. The British Library’s online collection does not cover every area. For instance it does not have the Carlisle Journal where I found John Ridley in 1845. If they have a newspaper in your area of research then you are in luck. The next step in the process is to seek out the actual coroner records which may be found in Record Offices.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Wesleyan Methodist Church Records

I have made progress in locating Sarah Scoging (1795-1842). She married Clement Rogers in 1817 in Earl Soham. Earl Soham is about five miles from Badingham where Sarah was born. The connection to her parents William and Ann Scoggin could appear to be in question since she died before the census of 1851 when birthplaces were recorded. I have searched through many online trees where she is recorded. There is one that connects her to Clement Rogers. Some of the trees consider her to be Rebecca Scoggins who was born in this time period. Rebecca is not in the parish registers of the area. She married a James Nichols in Bruisyard in 1823. They are definitely two distinct woman. A search of the IGI shows 34 entries for the 10 children Clement and Sarah are known to have had. A few of the entries note that the baptisms came from a Wesleyan Methodist church in Framlingham. I identified the registers in the library catalogue. I went through the baptismal register very carefully and to my surprise I found that the registers were quite detailed. In the 1820’s and 1830’s there is a preprinted form that allows for the entry of the parents of the mother of a child. Her parents were recorded as William and Ann Scoggins. This leaves little doubt that she is indeed the daughter of Willliam and Ann Scoggins of Badingham. There is a monumental inscription in the Earl Soham Church Yard that has been transcribed as follows; Sarah wife of Clem Rogers 21 Feb 1842, age 42. The burial register notes her age as 47. Clement Rogers was a cordwainer, shoemaker, and farmer of 42 acres. When he died in 1877 he left an estate valued at £300. The baptism records of the Wesleyan Methodist Church yielded much more than I would expect to find in a Church of England record and even civil registration after 1837. It may not be apparent in the IGI that you are looking at a Church record other than the Church of England.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

1911 England Census

I have been searching the 1911 census for over a month now. I have the luxury of having access to it at the Family History Library in Salt Lake. The stark difference between this census and other censuses is that each page only contains one household whether it is one person or ten or more. Prior censuses made it quite easy to see the neighbors since there are 25 people to a page. I have seen a number of errors in the indexing of the census. It is obvious why this is the case. With 25 people on a page it is possible to learn the handwriting of the writer. With one family on a page there is very little to compare the writing with. It does have some details that prior census did not record, such as, how long married, how many children and how many still alive. It also goes into some more detail on occupations. Searching the index is free. It may be necessary to get creative in entering search parameters. If I don’t find what I am looking for I enter a first name with the birthplace and age; leaving out the surname. It also costs about $4.50 to view the image and another $1.50 to view a transcription. That is a steep price to pay when comparing it to other online databases. I sure hope the price becomes more in line with other databases.

Thomas Scogings a Woolwich shoemaker

I have been going through the census records of Thomas Lay and Mary Scoging. I now have gone through the census records of their children. I have made a connection to another brother of Mary Scoging. I found Ambrose Lay living with Thomas and Hannah Scogings in the 1841 census of Woolwich. Ambrose would be his nephew. His age in the census puts his birth about 1776. Thomas Scoging and Elizabeth Loyd (Lord) had a child before their marriage in 1776. The Otley parish transcript mentions a child being baptized after their marriage. This it appears is the same child born to Elizabeth Loyd before the marriage named Thomas. I think I need to buy the Otley parish registers from the Suffolk Record Office as the research is taking me in that direction.

Thomas and Hannah Scogings had a child recorded in the 1841 census named Abigail. I did not find Thomas and Hannah in the 1851 census, but I found Abigail with her husband, George Smith, living at the same address. Abigail was born about 1821 in Woolwich. The civil registration indexes do not record the death of Thomas and Hannah. It may have not been recorded. I have determine that Thomas was a shoemaker and established resident of Woolwich. The last record I have him in is an 1845 directory of Woolwich I need to search Probate records to see if I can find him prior to 1851. I have found a marriage in Bedfordshire in 1805 between Thomas Scogings and Hannah Evans in 1805. There are more questions than answers. Now I have a location to search and more records to uncover.