A pinch of Sal­ters

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I have been re­search­ing my fam­ily his­tory for ap­prox­i­mately 20 years and have com­pleted the Fam­ily His­tory Skills and Strate­gies (In­ter­me­di­ate) Cer­tifi­cate with Pharos, so I felt that I was fairly well versed in mak­ing sure all my in­for­ma­tion is cor­rect and all sources tie up. How wrong could I be!

My ma­ter­nal great grand­mother Jane El­iz­a­beth Sal­ter was born in the 1860s in Beth­nal Green and, ac­cord­ing to her mar­riage cer­tifi­cate in 1881, her fa­ther was Wil­liam Sal­ter, a pack­ing­box maker. I duly found a birth in 1864 for Jane El­iz­a­beth daugh­ter of Charles Wil­liam Sal­ter, a pack­ing-box maker. I thought that Charles Wil­liam could eas­ily have been known as Wil­liam – and this was my big mis­take.

When I re­cently checked my Ances­try hints, they in­cluded a link to a bap­tism for Jane El­iz­a­beth, daugh­ter of Charles Wil­liam Sal­ter, in 1870. When I looked at the ac­tual record think­ing Jane El­iz­a­beth would have been about six, it showed she was only a few days old. The Gen­eral Reg­is­ter Of­fice in­dexes re­vealed that who I thought was my Jane El­iz­a­beth had died in 1869 aged five, and Charles Wil­liam and his wife had an­other Jane El­iz­a­beth in 1870 who died at a few months old.

Search­ing the cen­sus for 1881, which was taken a few months be­fore she mar­ried, I found Jane liv­ing with Wil­liam and El­iz­a­beth Ware née Sal­ter, and she is shown as step­daugh­ter to the head of the house­hold. Search­ing fur­ther, I found El­iz­a­beth Sal­ter had mar­ried Wil­liam Ware in 1870.

I have to­day re­ceived the cor­rect birth cer­tifi­cate for Jane El­iz­a­beth, show­ing she was the il­le­git­i­mate daugh­ter of El­iz­a­beth Sal­ter born in 1861. I have also since found her on the 1939 Reg­is­ter show­ing the cor­rect date of birth, which matches the cer­tifi­cate. The “Wil­liam Sal­ter” on her mar­riage

cer­tifi­cate does not ex­ist, and ap­pears to be a com­bi­na­tion of the fore­name of her step­fa­ther and the oc­cu­pa­tion of her grand­fa­ther and un­cles!

For­tu­nately El­iz­a­beth is the younger sis­ter of Charles Wil­liam Sal­ter, so my re­search of the Sal­ter fam­ily go­ing back is cor­rect. But the beau­ti­fully printed fam­ily tree on my wall is wrong. So please, ev­ery­body check, dou­ble-check and if nec­es­sary triple-check every­thing you think you know is cor­rect. Jan Kib­bin, by email

Ed­i­tor replies: That just goes to show that Ances­try hints can be use­ful. Well done for un­tan­gling all those Jane El­iz­a­beth Sal­ters!

Kay rec­om­mends the Ir­ish me­mo­ri­als of deeds that you can browse for free on fam­i­lysearch.org

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