"Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you," said the wisest of wise men. "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon."

('The Alchemist' Paulo Coelho)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

And today's task is...

Actually, I wouldn't like to say how many hours I have already spent puzzling over this. The marriage certificate for Charles Ernest Perkins and his wife, Frances arrived. However, Sod's Law decreed that the one most important word on the whole document, ie Frances's maiden name, is pretty well undecipherable.
Frances, as you will see from the certificate, was a widow, although, as she was born in 1818, she was only 22 when she married Charles, so Tapscott was her previous married name and her maiden name is shown in the column for father's name. Unfortunately, it looks as though ink was in short supply that day, hence the poor quality of the print out. Either that or that's where I get my bad handwriting from. 
I can see the man was a 'yeoman' and that his first name was John and that his surname ended in 'eland' and I think the first letter is a 'G' as it corresponds pretty closely to the 'G' in 'Gardener' which is down as John's occupation at that time. 
I have trawled through endless lists of Devon names in an attempt to find something close to what is on this certificate, to no avail and I have not found any trace of Frances's first marriage, although, as it presumably took place before the coverage of the free BMD, it would be harder to trace anyway.
So, there we are, a brick wall. Not important in the grand scheme of things but a mystery I really wanted to solve in the hope that it would shed some light on the next step, which will perhaps be a subject for a future post...


Murphyfish said...

Hi Jennyta,
Is this your family tree that you're researching? Something that I have always thought about but never got round to - not having a clue how to start not helping!

Yorkshire Pudding said...

As someone who spent his entire working life poring over other people's handwriting, I'm going to stick my neck out and say that the surname you are looking for is Gateland. The National Trust used to do historical surname distribution maps and though most of England was white for Gateland, there certainly was a significant concentration of Gatelands in Devon.

Jennyta said...

Thanks for that, YP. That was one of the names I tried but couldn't get anything for Frances Gateland, but I will keep going.
John, yes, it is my father's maternal line that I am focusing on at the moment and it's proving to be very addictive. Housework is going to the wall! Try looking at Ancestry,co.uk, where you can get 2 weeks free trial and there is quite a lot of help there about searching records.

Shooting Parrots said...

Going from the rest of the certificate, it looks to me like Gareland which could be a misspelling of Garland.

Did you order it from the local registry office? Might be worth contacting them to check the original which might be more legible.

Jennyta said...

I got it from the GRO, SP as I wasn't too sure which local office would have it. I did try Garland but no luck as yet.

Shooting Parrots said...

It's quite possible that her first marriage was pre-1837 and registration.

However, if you look on FreeBMD for the marriages to John, she might have been Frances Gilpin.

Jennyta said...

No, I sent for the marriage certificate with only Frances's first name and it came back as Tapscott. I imagine her first marriage was pre 1837 and there is no sign of it in parish records so far either.

Shooting Parrots said...

Sorry, what I meant was maybe she appeared twice on FreeBMD, once in her previous married name and again in her maiden name.

Thinking about it though, this doesn't usually happen with FreeBMD as it does with local BMD projects.

I don't think she will appear on the IGI if she was CofE. Both the filmed Tiverton baptisms and marriages only go up to 1812 I think.

Jennyta said...

Yes, I had the feeling that might be the case, SP. The next step may be to hold a seance with a view to asking her in person! ;)


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