Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Fact or Fiction?

One of the best ways of adding information to the Family Tree is to have proof that what you add is actually fact. The information added could be of a new person, a birth, a marriage or a death. It could be someone's occupation or where they lived, how old they are, the list goes on.
But, are you sure that it is FACT, or FICTION?
Are you sure that it is true or are you only assuming that it is right?

FACT One Liner: Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people
appear bright until you hear them speak.

Todays Blog will look at my Great Great Grandfather,
Henry Nickisson (c1809-1846) and the facts, or fiction?

Birth and baptisms, marriage and death records/certificates give you a lot of information including name, age, parents and residence.
UK Census records from 1841 to 1911 give you so much information about where people lived, where they were born, age and occupation. The 1911 Census included so much more than previous census, even asking how many children had been born and whether they were still alive or had died. This Census has caused me a few problems as we have a Nickisson who I believed had four children, the census states that there are six children.
The investigation into finding out these facts is
what I really enjoy about Family Treeing..............

It's not as easy as you think though. There are so many ways of getting information, from the many Internet sites, these can be available free of charge or by subscriptions. There are libraries and archive centre's you can visit. Publications to read such as Commercial Directories, local newspaper archives and even the telephone book.

FACT One Liner: Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is
not putting it in a fruit salad.

So lets look at our Henry Nickisson.

You will have noticed from above that his birth was c1809 (circa), that means I have an idea when he was born but cannot prove it.

FACT: Henry was married to Ann Tipper (c1814-1845) in 1832. This is proven by following back from my own birth certificate to my Fathers birth certificate, and so on to my Great Grandfathers birth certificate. Each certificate states their fathers name and their mothers including her maiden name. On my Great Grandfathers birth certificate it states that Henry Nickisson and Ann Nickisson (formerly Tipper) are his parents.
So why not go back further and look at Henry's birth certificate? There was no birth certificate.
In 1837, Civil Registration was introduced for all births, marriages and deaths, so from this date more information was recorded. Anything before 1837 was dependant on parents having their children baptised and this being recorded in the local Parish Register.
So when was Henry born?

FACT or FICTION: I have a copy of a recorded birth in the Parish Register (Stone, Staffordshire) for a Henry Nickisson.  He was born 27th August 1809, baptism 29th August 1809, the parents being a Charles and Elizabeth Nickisson.

Why can I not accept this as FACT?
  • There were three more Henry Nickisson's born in Stone, around the same period. Although I have investigated them and really discounted that they are my Great Great Grandfather, can I be sure?
  • Looking at Henry's possible brothers and sisters, nothing shows in any documents that could connect Henry to the potential parents. Even the documents associated with Henry and Ann's four children show no connection to the possible Grandparents.
  • December 1831: The wedding banns for Henry and Ann showed Henry age 21 yrs. He was also 21 yrs. when he married in January 1832. Was he born 1810 or 1811? Incidentally, the marriage was recorded in the Parish Register and showed no parents names (perhaps when your aged 21 yrs. you did not need to have your parents consent).
  • 1841 Census shows Henry (and family) aged 31. Was he born 1810?
  • February 1846: Henry died (a year after Ann, his wife), his age shown on the Death Certificate as 36 yrs. Was he born 1810?
In that period of time, the age of a person included in many documents was rounded to the nearest full year. If so, then Henry Nickisson could have been born to Charles and Elizabeth in 1809. FACT or FICTION or do you ASSUME that they are his parents?

FACT One Liner: Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to
speak and remove all doubt.

Some other FACTS about Henry Nickisson:
Married: Source: Copy of Marriage Licence & Parish Record of Marriage.
  • 13 December 1831: Marriage License; St Peters Church, Stoke, Stoke on Trent
  • 02 January 1832: Marriage; St Peters Church, Stoke, Stoke on Trent
Death: Source: Death Certificate.
  • 07 February 1846: Cause of Death: Phthisis.
  • 12 February 1846: Burial in Longton, Stoke on Trent;
Occupation:
  • 1834-1835: Innkeeper, Castle Inn; Source: Copy of History, Gazetteer & Directory of Staffordshire, 1834 - Pigot & Co's Directory of Staffordshire etc. 1835
  • 1838-1846: Carpenter / Joiner; Source: Copy of 1841 Census + Death Certificate + Birth Certificates for three of his children.
Residents:
  • 1834: Lane End (now named Longton), Stoke on Trent; Source: Copy of Baptism Record for George Latimore (1834-1859)(first son).
  • 1834-1835: Castle Inn, High Street, Lane End (Longton), Stoke on Trent; Source: See above (Occupation).
  • 1838: High Street, Lane End (Longton), Stoke on Trent; Source: Copy of Birth Certificate & Baptism Record for Thomas (1838-1859)(second son).
  • 1840-1846: Wood Street, Lane End, (Longton), Stoke on Trent; Source: Copy of Birth Certificate & Baptism Record  for Elizabeth (1840-?)(daughter) + 1841 Census + Birth Certificate for William (1842-1901)(Third son)(my Great Grandfather) + Death Certificate for Ann Nickisson (Tipper)(Wife) + Death Certificate for Henry.
FACT One Liner: A bargain is something you don't need at
a price you can't resist.

FACT or FICTION?

What about the allotment?
This time of the year is about planning, what are we going to grow, where is
the best place to grow it and when is the best time to plant it?
FACT: This is what the allotment looks like now.
The greenhouse just as empty
FACT or FICTION?

Will the allotment and the greenhouse look like this later in the year?

We hope so, cannot wait.
FACT One Liner: A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a
train stops. On my desk, I have a work station..
FACT One Liner: Why does someone believe you when you say there are
four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?
And finally, the last FACT One Liner:
 If you keep your feet firmly on the ground, you'll have trouble putting on your pants.

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