3 September 2009

Across the sea?

A puzzle for one of today's entries: how do you get into America without attracting the notice of the record keepers? Stay tuned for the story . . . .

John James Bullard, my 3rd cousin three times removed, married Louisa Beldain Curtis today in 1875 in Edinburgh. Not sure why Edinburgh, even though it is a beautiful place, because John was born in St Ives and Louisa in Swavesey (Cambs). They then moved quite quickly southwards again, to Manchester where their first son John Curtis was born in 1877; then back to the home town (St Ives) for the birth of their other children.

You wouldn't know but I slowed down considerably when typing that last sentence. Because they had five further children after John Curtis and my records say "St Ives" for all of them. Which would be quite a trick . . . .

You see John, his brother Charles, and John's sons (Harry) Ernest, Jack (John C) and Percy all emigrated on the vessel Scythia to the US of A, arriving at Ellis Island on 5 March 1885. The information I found states that their ultimate destination was Canada.

Well, they didn't quite get there for the 1900 US Census has them in Lewiston, Montana, where John snr is a dealer in musical instruments, Percy is a compositor and Ernest is a harness marker.

And so are his wife Louisa and the three youngest children Arthur, Gilbert and Nellie! How did they get there? I've checked the Ellis Island site and also the outgoing passenger lists on Find My Past. Nothing.

Plus, if these three were born in St Ives, where are the birth registrations, eh? Hiding from me, I reckon. Wonder if the family ever got to Canada??

Moving on (ho ho) to today's birthday girl Agnes Mary Sparkes . . . my 3rd cousin 4 times removed was born in the small village of Tuddenham St Mary in 1851 and christened there four weeks later. Between July & September 1870 she married William Mace in the village and they begat a further three children.

Ah, now, were you paying attention? Of course you were - I said "a further three"; I omitted to mention their first child. He's already had a mention on his birthday (21st February 1870) and was christened Arthur John Mace Sparkes. The clue to his father lies, methinks, in his final christian name! Of course their marriage legitimised his birth and he was known in the 1871 census and thereafter as John Sparkes Mace.

Back to his mother - she sadly died in the village in 1883 at the age of 32, soon after the death of their youngest child Emma Elizabeth at the age of just 2.

William remained in the village, at least until 1901; daughter Laura married George Rumbelow in 1897 and produced at least three children - the oldest of whom died in the Great War.

More soon.

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