15 May 2010

All at sea again

Quite a coincidence - I'm sat here listening to the Navy Lark on the radio and today's anniversary boy was a sailor, albeit of the Merchant variety. Spooky!

So, meet Arthur Freeman, my second cousin five times removed, who was christened today in 1853 in the village of Tuddenham St Mary, Suffolk, the eleventh of thirteen children of William & Eliza (nee Sparrow).

Young Arthur has been a little elusive but I've done a bit more searching; in 1861, his parents appear to be running the Half Moon pub in Mildenhall and he's an eight year old schoolboy. Move on twenty years and he's the Master (ie the Captain) of the Vessel "Rechale", off Caistor, in Lincolnshire and he's a married man. All useful stuff, except it doesn't, of course, give us any useful information about his wife . . . .

So, a bit of searching backwards, which is a skill that all genealogists acquire: there was a marriage in 1878 in the Caistor district between Arthur Freeman and either Emma Robinson or Ada Smith.

Then there's an Ada Freeman, age 25, fisherman's wife, living on her own in Grimsby in the 1881 census. Possible . . . .

But Arthur went and died in 1890 before the next census, drat him, so where to go from here? On the assumption that Ada is our girl, the search was for Ada Freeman in the 1891 census. Zilch.

Did she get married again? That quickly? Possibly . . . .

A marriage, in the March quarter of 1891 in the Caistor district again between Ada Freeman and Arthur Illingworth or Richard Chapman. No sign of an Ada Illingworth in the 1891 census but there is an Ada Chapman, married to Richard. Definite possible, that one.

Not just Ada and Richard but also two sons, Fred (7) & Charles (4). Now, Ada and Richard have only just got married so one of them's been married before. Fortunately, the 1901 census finally confirms the guesswork: Richard & Ada, still married, and Fred is living with them - this time, handily given the surname of Freeman!

Now to prove it: there's a Fred William Freeman & a Charles Freeman, both born at the right times, and in the right district. Result!

Left hand down a bit!

More soon.

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