Who Do You Think You Are?
CRACKING A CRYPTIC JOB TITLE
I always look forward to my copy of Who Do
You Think You Are? Magazine arriving – and even more so during this long pandemic – but the December edition had two items of particular interest.
Caroline Roope’s feature on Christmas crackers reminded me that my maternal grandmother, born 1894, called crackers “bonbons” all her life, so I was aware that they had not always been known by the name we now use. However, I wish I had been able to read your article before the release of the 1901 census – newcomers to family history will not know the mixture of excitement and frustration that accompanied its release. Once we were finally able to get access to it, I was pulled up short to find my 14-year-old great great uncle described as a “cosaque maker”. It was some time before I was able to discover that he made Christmas crackers.
The other item of particular interest was the letter from Sue Whitfield about pregnant brides. I have an example in my family tree that I think trumps any other. My great great grandmother Edith Livett married William Lee in Roxton, Bedfordshire, on 18 July 1851, the same day that her first child was born. Probably not that unusual, except that Edith was just 15 years old at the time! Her age was given correctly in the parish register and legal documentation, but I do wonder if marriage at such a young age was already considered unacceptable because in the copy sent to the General Register
Office (GRO), Edith’s age was listed as 17. Of course, I can never know if Edith was a pregnant bride. Was her child born before or after the ceremony?
Sue Paul, by email
EDITOR REPLIES: Thank you for sending in your stories – it’s nice to hear that our magazine has triggered these links with your own family history!