A pinch of Salters
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