Where can I find my 4x great grandfather’s marriage record?
Shared Christian names and variant surname spellings are complicating Julie Manville’s search for her relatives’ marriage
QI can’t find a marriage record for my 4x great grandfather, George Manvill.
George was from London, and married a lady called Katherine. However, in their children’s baptism records, her name is spelt with both a ‘K’ and a ‘C’. The couple’s first child, Henrietta- Eliza, was born in 1797 and baptised at Stoke D’Abernon, Surrey. Can you help? Julie Manville
AThe problem of name variants immediately comes to light when you begin to search for the birth/baptism of children of George and ‘Catherine’.
Henrietta-Eliza is recorded in the registers of Stoke d’Abernon, Surrey, as the daughter of George and Catherine Manvell, born on 10 September 1796 and baptised on 24 October 1796 – rather than 1797 as you believed. Her brother, George, was also recorded in the same parish with the same parents’ names, born and baptised in 1797.
Two further children are recorded in Send and Ripley, Surrey: Kathrine, daughter of George and Kathrine, born and baptised in 1799 (but both mother and daughter are ‘Catherine’ in the bishops’ transcript entry); and John, son of George and Katharine, born in 1801 and baptised in 1802. A George Manwell is recorded in the Send and Ripley Land Tax records (available on ancestry.co.uk see image below) as an occupier in 1801 and 1803.
A further possible son of George and Catherine Manvell, Charles, was baptised at Twickenham St Mary the Virgin, Surrey, in 1806.
Taking into account all the variant possibilities, you are correct that there is no marriage recorded for a George ‘Manvell’ and ‘Catherine’ on any of the major online datasets, including those on Ancestry, findmypast. co.uk, familysearch.org and thegenealogist.co.uk. There is always the possibility that they were not married.
Looking for further possible information on the family is when the details become confusing and uncertain. A Henrietta Eliza Manvell was buried on 25 November 1808 at St Giles-inthe-Fields, her address being given as King Street, Seven Dials (see above). A Catharine Manvell and (presumably) her daughter Catherine were both buried on 17 May 1806 at St Marylebone.
I believe your 4x great grandfather George was baptised in 1773, one of several children of George and Henrietta Manvell.
George senior, your 5x great grandfather, was living in Newman Street, St Marylebone, from at least 1780-1784 (as recorded in Land Tax returns). This was also the address given in his 1784 will, proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury in 1791, when he was described as a carpenter. His son, mentioned in this will, was living in Newman Street in 1797-1799 (sometimes recorded as Manwell) – but this is roughly when Henrietta-Eliza and George were being baptised in Stoke d’Abernon.
Another uncertainty is John, the fourth known child of George and Catherine, born on 16 July 1801 and baptised at Send and Ripley on 11 March 1802. There are around half-adozen member trees on Ancestry that state this John was born in West Grinstead, Sussex, married Mary Stone on 10 December 1826 in Horsham, Sussex, and from whom is descended a sizeable family.
The only justification for this would appear to come from the 1841-1871 census returns where John is shown as having been born in West Grinstead in about 1801. After growing up he worked as a carpenter, as did his suggested grandfather, George. However, there is no firm evidence that this John was the son of George and Catherine, baptised at Send and Ripley – although he may be.
There are several Manvell and variant entries in the baptism and burial registers of West Grinstead St George from the 1760s, including a John Manvell, son of George (and Mary) baptised on 6 March 1792. Identifying the death/burial of George (husband of Catherine) – and any will he may have left – may help resolve the many uncertainties. Paul Blake