Was my wife’s fam­ily in busi­ness?

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - QUESTIONS & ANSWERS -

QMy wife’s 4x great grand­par­ents (Henry Smith and Lucy Ken­drick) were mar­ried at St Mary’s Church in Lam­beth, Lon­don, on 15 Septem­ber 1792. I can­not de­ter­mine the first name of one of the Smiths at the bot­tom of their mar­riage record and won­der if you can tell me what it may be. I un­der­stand that both of th­ese Smiths may have worked at the Bank of Eng­land and am try­ing to find out if there is any link be­tween Henry and that well-known Smith bank­ing fam­ily that also pro­duced a num­ber of politi­cians.

Mike Sewell, by email

AThe sig­na­ture of the Smith wit­ness on the mar­riage of Henry Smith is of Enos Smith. Enos was an ar­ti­cled clerk to John Whitwell Ban­yard, an at­tor­ney of the Kings Bench.

There is an ar­ti­cle deed dated 13 March 1784, which con­tains his sig­na­ture (see il­lus­tra­tion) and com­par­ing the sig­na­tures of both records they ap­pear to be iden­ti­cal, par­tic­u­larly the style of the E of Enos. The deed was wit­nessed by a Wil­liam Smith, who may well be re­lated.

Re­gard­ing the pos­si­ble re­la­tion­ship be­tween Enos and Henry, it is im­por­tant to use nor­mal ge­nealog­i­cal tech­niques to es­tab­lish such. A search of the on­line re­sources for Lon­don bap­tism reg­is­ters did not pro­vide ev­i­dence of them be­ing sib­lings and nei­ther were iden­ti­fied with a father Wil­liam so it is pos­si­ble that they are ex­tended fam­ily.

One or ei­ther may not have orig­i­nated in Lon­don and with a com­mon sur­name of Smith un­rav­el­ling fam­ily groups is go­ing to in­volve care­ful re­search and elim­i­na­tion prac­tices.

Some clues may ex­ist by pur­su­ing two pos­si­ble Henry Smiths of the time iden­ti­fied in Law Lists c1790-1800. One was the Clerk to the Drap­ers’ Com­pany (records held at Coven­try His­tory Cen­tre – the­herbert.org), the other a so­lic­i­tor with the East In­dia Com­pany (records held at the Bri­tish Li­brary – bl.uk). Both av­enues need fur­ther re­search in the two com­pany ar­chives.

Re­sult­ing from pre­lim­i­nary

searches, I can­not link Henry or Enos di­rectly with the Smith bank­ing fam­ily. Abel Smith, the owner who died in 1788, was suc­ceeded by three of his sons – Ge­orge, Sa­muel and John. None of his five sons had the name of Henry or Enos.

The ar­chive records for Smith and Payne (the orig­i­nal Lon­don Bank) and as­so­ci­ated fam­ily banks in Lin­coln, Hull and Derby can be found at the RBS Her­itage Hub in Ed­in­burgh and this may be the place to con­firm if there is likely to be a con­nec­tion through di­rec­tor­ships or share­hold­ings. Its web­site can be found at her­itagearchives.rbs.com.

Ian Waller

Enos Smith’s sig­na­ture on an ar­tic ar­ti­cle deed and mar­riage record

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