25 July 2009

Putting the pieces together

Sorry for the gap between entries - I've been continuing with my stray Staden file. And, my word, it is so like a jigsaw puzzle . . . without the picture on the lid. I think I've joined all my Southampton Stadens together (with each other, that is, not with the main file - I should be so lucky) and now I've started on the Derbyshire branch.

With hindsight, I should have written their details on small cards and shuffled them around on the floor; it would probably have been so much easier! My task is not helped by the fact that I don't really know which village belongs in Derbyshire or Cheshire or Staffordshire or Warwickshire, or any of the other surrounding counties. So in that respect I'm sort of working in the dark. I know I could consult my friend Phillimore - his Parish Atlas was a birthday gift a couple of years ago and it's wonderful - but sometimes you get so caught up in what's going on that it's difficult to break a train of thought.

Whatever, as the yoof of today say, I'm doing quite well with the strays and, despite my grumblings, I have made significant progress this week.

So, today's anniversary is the marriage of Isaac Murfitt and Louisa Bates, who tied the knot 141 years ago at Holy Trinity in Ely. Isaac was my 1st cousin three times removed, the son of Isaac and Alice (nee Langford, who was my great-great-aunt), and one of eleven children! Born and brought up in Stretham, I can only assume that he met Louisa (a native of Loddington in Northants) in Ely; certainly she was living in Back Hill at the time of their marriage. He was a tailor who, by 1891, had moved to Fore Hill in Ely, presumably with his own shop - Fore Hill being part of the "commercial centre" of Ely. By 1901 he was also the curator of the Conservative Club.

Isaac & Louisa had three children: Rose, born 1869, who married Fred Reeder in 1894 and moved with him to the Doncaster area; Gertrude, born 1873, who married in the Doncaster area in 1896 . . . . to either James Bailey or John Lister, but I can't decide which! And, finally, Reginald, born 1878, who sadly only lived for three years.

Final sight, as it were, of any of them to date is Louisa, who died in 1915 and is buried in the main City Cemetery in Ely. This cemetery, I discovered, is on Prickwillow Road and lies on a hill (well, it is, for the Fens area!) and, in the pouring rain, it can get awfully wet in there - a few years ago I went a-wandering around there in the aforementioned weather condition and got soaked right up to the knees.

The perils of genealogy that they don't tell you about . . . . !

More soon.

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