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Our ex­pert ge­neal­o­gists un­ravel your rid­dles


an­ces­tor Frances Tick­ell mar­ried John Stone at St An­drew’s, Ply­mouth, on 14 July 1816 – both were listed as be­ing of the par­ish. In 1841, Frances is listed as Mary Stone, “wife of Stone, tay­lor” (John was a jour­ney­man tai­lor, and was away from home at cen­sus time). She was liv­ing with some of her chil­dren, and I’ve found bap­tisms for some of these.

Frances/Mary was born in Devon, and her age in 1841 was given as 50. This would make her birth year around 1791, but she must have been younger, as her youngest child Cordelia El­iz­a­beth was born in 1842 – I think she was born no ear­lier than 1796. How­ever, I can­not find Frances/Mary’s bap­tism.

Jane Rus­sell

A Frances’ sur­name is one that is eas­ily mis­spelled, and all vari­ants should be con­sid­ered – Tickel, Tickle, Teakell, Trickle and Tick­nell all oc­cur in the 1851 cen­sus. Bap­tism in­dexes do con­tain tran­scrip­tion er­rors, and so search­ing an orig­i­nal regis­ter may re­veal a ‘miss­ing’ bap­tism.

At least one of Frances’ chil­dren was bap­tised in a Methodist church, and she may have come from a non­con­formist fam­ily. Fol­low­ing the in­tro­duc­tion of civil registration, non­con­formist reg­is­ters were called in, but not al­ways sur­ren­dered. Since Ply­mouth had a num­ber of non­con­formist chapels, you should check whether Ply­mouth and West Devon Record Of­fice ( plym­hearts.org/ar­chives/col­lec­tions) has any reg­is­ters that were not sur­ren­dered in 1837.

Al­though 50 does seem old for Frances to have a child, the mar­riage regis­ter does not state that she was un­der 21 when she mar­ried, which sug­gests that she was born by mid-1795. John Stone was a wid­ower in 1851, and I found the death of Frances Stone, aged 55, reg­is­tered at Ply­mouth in 1846. If this is John’s wife, then it in­di­cates that Frances was born in 1791 (al­though age at death was some­times over­es­ti­mated).

At Emma Place In­de­pen­dent Chapel, Stone­house, I found a bap­tism that may be the one you need: Frances Reed Tick­ler, daugh­ter of Roger and Mary, born 30 Jan­uary 1796 and bap­tised 25 Fe­bru­ary 1796. The sur­name has been in­cor­rectly in­dexed as Sick­ler. An­other child, Richard Tickel, was bap­tised at St An­drew’s, Ply­mouth, in 1810, and Sarah Tick­ell at East Stone­house in 1815. Kather­ine Cobb

‘Search­ing an orig­i­nal regis­ter may re­veal a “miss­ing” bap­tism’

Frances Tick­ell mar­ried in St An­drew’s Church, Ply­mouth In­set: Amelia Jack­son, one of Frances’ grand­daugh­ters

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