As you follow an ancestral line back in time, information becomes scarcer, particularly when you get out of reach of the census and are relying solely on parish records.
In some cases there is no further available information at all and that line stops, perhaps permanently.
This section, though, looks at those people where there is some, but not conclusive, evidence to suggest that they are ancestors and should be included in the family tree, even if only tentatively.
The ancestral names examined are -
1. Belcher and Holder
2. Cooper, Ledger and Dealing
3. Flaws and Laughton
5. Treacher and Biggerstaff
Belcher and Holder
The Belcher line is secure up to and including Joseph Belcher and Dorothie Holder.
There are two interesting birth entries on the Family Search site -
Joseph Belcher baptised on 7 Jul 1653 in West Hanney by John Belcher and
Dorrithie Alder baptised on 25 Feb 1635 in Denchworth by Thomas and Elizabeth.
Denchworth and West Hanney are only about two miles apart and they are about five miles south of Kingston Bagpuize.
At the time of Joseph and Dorothy's marriage on 20 May 1678, the West Hanney Joseph would have been about 24 years old.
On 19 May 1651, ie two years before the baptism of the West Hanney Joseph, the Family Search site states that a John Belcher married a Mary Acers in East Lockinge, which is about four miles from West Hanney.
I would say that it is a fair bet that Joseph's parents were John Belcher and Mary Acers.
Dorothy's surname of Alder is slightly different from Holder, but could be confused. At the time of Joseph and Dorothy's marriage on 20 May 1678, the 'West Hanney' Joseph would have been about 24 years old, but the 'Denchworth Dorothie' would have been about 45 years old and, furthermore, she would have been about 57 years of age at the birth of their last child, which seems pretty unlikely. However, there is the possibility that the baptism date is incorrect, and if the last two digits are transposed it gives the same year as for Joseph.
Recently, though, an England, Select Marriages Record has come to light on Ancestry.co.uk for a Dorothie Alder's marriage on 14 October 1677 in West Challow to a Richard Bonner. West Challow is about two miles from Denchworth. The 'Denchworth Dorothie' would have been about 42 years old at that time.
There is an England, Select Births and Christening Record on Ancestry.co.uk for the baptism of a Richard Bonner in Bright-Walton (aka Brightwalton, or Brickleton) on 11 September 1654 by Richard and Jane Bonner. Bright-Walton is about six miles from West Challow. This Richard Bonner would have been about 23 years old at that time of the marriage, ie about 19 year younger than 'Denchworth Dorothie'.
There are five children shown on Family Search baptised by Richard and Dorothy Bonner in Bright-Waltham, from 1679 to 1694. However, the 'Denchworth Dorothie' would have been 59 at the time of the last baptism.
To complicate matters further, in Family Search there is a marriage of a Dorothy Alder to William Holdway on 21 November 1659 in Wantage , which is about 3 miles from Denchworth. 'Denchworth Dorothie' would have been about 24, which is much more likely than the other marriages.
It is impossible to draw any firm conclusions from the information we have, but I would guess that 'Denchworth Dorothie' is not our ancestor.
Cooper, Ledger and Dearling
When Mary Ledger and William Cooper married in Godstone, Surrey on
2 November 1816, the parish marriage record showed that Mary was a widow.
On 29 August 1802, a Mary Dearling married a Richard Ledger at Godstone.
This parish record shows the baptism of a Mary Dearling in Lingfield on 13 February 1780, where she is described as the base born, ie illigitimate, daughter of Hannah Dearling from Godstone. This Mary Ledger would have been about 22 years of age at the time of the marriage in the previous paragraph.
Richard and Mary seem to have baptised two children. Joseph was baptised on 5 December 1802 in Horne, Surrey, which is about five miles south of Godstone. Mary was baptised on 23 March 1804 at Lingfield. Lingfield is about three miles from Horne, but the register shows Richard and Mary to be living at Godstone.
This parish record shows the burial in Horne, Surrey on 24 September 1810 of a Richard Ledger. This would fit well were it not for the fact that the deceased's age is given as 75, which means that he would have been born about 1735 and would have been about 67 at the time of the mariage.
I have been unable to find a burial record for another Richard Ledger at the moment.
This parish record shows Mary Cooper's burial in Tandridge, Surrey on 5 April 1848. The record shows Mary to have been 68 when she died, which fits exactly with Mary Dearling's age, assuming that she was baptised soon after birth.
In the 1841 census, Mary's son, Joseph, by her first husband, is living with her. His rounded age is given as 35, which gives a year of birth between c1801 and c1806. This fits with his baptism date of 5 December 1802.
I think that the presence of Joseph with Mary in 1841, makes it almost certain that Mary Dearling became Mary Ledger and then Mary Cooper.
This parish record shows the baptism of a Mary Dearling in Lingfield on 13 February 1780, where she is described as the base born, ie illigitimate, daughter of Hannah Dearling from Godstone.
This parish record shows the baptism of a Hannah Dearling in Lingfield on 3 July 1763 by John and Elizabeth. This looks just about right as Mary was illigitimate and Hannah would have been only 16 years old.
Hannah may have married a James Cooper in Horne, Surrey in 1807, about 27 years after Mary was born.
Hannah's father, John of Godstone, may have been buried in Lingfield on 15 July 1789. At the moment, there is no other information on John or his wife, Elizabeth.
This record shows a William Cooper baptised in Tandridge on 26 Apr 1789 to Elizabeth Cooper. As no father's name is given, William was probably illigitimate. On the 1851 census, William is said to have been born in Tandridge and his age is given as 65, which would give a year of birth of 1786. On the 1841 census his rounded age is given as 45, which would give a year of birth between 1791 and 1796. I think that there is a fair chance that this is the correct record and that William's mother was Elizabeth Cooper.
This record shows an Elizabeth Cooper baptised in Lingfield on 3 December 1765 by William and Elizabeth Cooper. This Elizabeth would have been about 23 years old at the birth of William. Lingfield is about five miles from Tandridge. I am not sure about this, but it looks a reasonable bet.
Flaws and Laughton
There is no doubt that John Flaws and Isabella Laughton are the parents of Peter Nicholson McLaren Flaws.
In the 1821 census records, where the ages have not been rounded, John's age is given as 50. There is an Old Parish Baptism Record which shows that on 22 July 1770 in Bigton, Dunrossness, Shetland, Laurence Flaws and his wife Jean Mode had a son called John. The census was taken on 28 May, when Laurence and Jean's son would have been 50 years old.
The Surname Profiler site shows that the main concentration of the Flaws surname was in Shetland, with a lower concentration in Orkney and Caithness.
It is quite possible that John may have moved from Shetland to Orkney, perhaps to find work. Bearing this in mind and the fact that the John's age on the census fits with the birth date, I would say that there is a very good chance that Laurence and Jean are our ancestors.
Although John's baptism record shows his mother's name as Mode, other Family Trees on Ancestry.co.uk have her name as Mouat. There is also the spelling Mowat.
In the Scotland, Seleted Births and Baptisms Records, there are no likely baptisms in Shetland for Jean Mode/Mouat/Mowat, but there are eight possibilities in Orkney. They are here in order of baptism date -
1) Jean Mowat, baptised in Evie and Rendall on 21 July 1732 by Hugh Mowat. She would have been about 38 years old at the birth of John. Evie and Rendall is on the Orkney mainland about eleven miles north north west of Kirkwall.
2) Jean Mowat, baptised in Birsay in 26 Sep 1736 by John Mowat. She would have been about 34 years old at the birth of John. Birsay is on the Orkney mainland about fifteen miles north west of Kirkwall.
3) Jean Mowat, baptised in Birsay in Jun 1739 by William Mowat. She would have been about 31 years old at the birth of John. Birsay is on the Orkney mainland about fifteen miles north west of Kirkwall.
4) Jean Mowat, baptised in Rousay and Egilshay on 9 Jun 1745 by John Mowat and Margaret Lesk. She would have been about 25 years old at the birth of John. Rousay and Egilshay are two adjacent islands north of the Orkney mainland.
5) Jean Mowat, baptised in Kirkwall and St Ola on 19 November 1748 by Alexander Mowat and Elizabeth Sutherland. She would have been about 22 years old at the birth of John. St Ola is on the south eastern edge of Kirkwall.
6) Jean Mouat, baptised in Orphir on 5 December 1749 by Hary Mouat and Margaret Buchan. She would have been about 26 years old at the birth of John. Orphir is on the Orkney mainland about nine miles south west of Kirkwall.
7) Jean Mowat, baptised in Holm and Paplay on 17 October 1752 by James Mowat and Barbara Garioch. She would have been about 18 years old at the birth of John. Holm and Paplay is on the Orkney mainland about five miles south of Kirkwall.
8) Jean Mowat, baptised in Evie and Rendall 1n 1753 by Magnus Mowat. She would have been about 17 years old at the birth of John. Evie and Rendall is on the Orkney mainland about eleven miles north north west of Kirkwall.
The first two might be a little too old and the last two too young, but the main problem is how she would have come to be in Shetland with Laurence. It might be possible that Laurence came down to Orkney and then they moved back to Shetland together. It seems unlikely that she would have travelled to Shetland alone.
At the moment there is no trace of a baptism record for Laurence or a marriage record for Laurence and Jean.
Are William Laughton and Elizabeth Lesk the parents of John Flaws' wife, Isabella?
On 28 Sep 1786 the Old Parish Registers show that William Laughton and Elizabeth Lesk baptised a daughter Isabella and that they lived in the house called Quoys in Garth on South Ronaldsay.
On the same page of the Old Parish Registers it shows that on 7 Feb 1790 they baptised a son Heddle and were still living in Quoys.
The Old Parish Birth Register shows that when Isabella and John baptised their son, Peter, one of the witnesses was Heddle.
There is only one Heddle Laughton to be found in the Old Parish Registers and in the censuses.
In the 1821 census John and Isabella were living in Garth in the house called BrandyQuoy with the household number 99. The house called Quoys is numbered as 93.
Heddle was also one of the witnesses at the marriage of William and Elizabeth's daughter, Euphemia.
In the 1841 census, Isabella was still living in Garth.
It seems likely, therefore, that William and Elizabeth are Isabella's parents.
William's parents, Robert Laughton and Christian Dick, and his grandparents, Magnus Laughton and Agnes Menland, are pretty much secure, and his great grandparents, John Laughton and Girsall Groundwater, fairly secure.
There is some doubt about whether Charles William Scarlett is Clara Ann's father.
What is known is that Clara used the name Scarlett up until her marriage and that Charles William was named as her father on the marriage certificate
However, the birth certificate throws some doubt on this, as it shows that her birth was registered under her mother's surname of Catlin and there is no father's name shown.
There is a twenty one month period between the birth of Clara Ann on 17 March 1856 and her mother, Emma's, marriage to Charles on 26 December 1857
The gap between the birth and the marriage and the lack of a father's name does not rule out Charles from being the father, but if Charles wasn't the father, then he may have been more than happy to treat Clara as his own and he and Emma may never have told Clara. Even if she did know, she may have decided to keep using the name.
There is one small hint that Charles may have been the father, in that he had a sister called Clara Anne, although that combination of names was not uncommon.
I have included Charles's ancestors in the Family Tree.
Treacher, Biggerstaff, Banfield
William Treacher (b1801) and Susannah Biggerstaff
There is no doubt about William Treacher's wife being called Susannah Bickerstaff.
Because there are variations in spelling of the surname (Bickerstaff, Biggerstaff, Beggerstaff and Begerstaff), there are two baptisms to be considered for Susannah.
1) Susannah Bickerstaff, born on 23 Mar 1798 and baptised on 22 Apr 1798 at Sarratt by William and Elizabeth , both said to be of Abbots Langley
2) Susannah Begerstaff Baptised on 26 Jun 1799 at Kings Langley Parents by Edward and Mary
There are also two marriages to be considered.
1) Susannah Bigerstaff and William Treacher on 8 Jan 1825 at Rickmansworth
2) Susanna Beggerstaff and Jonathan Ford 4 May 1825 at Rickmansworth
In the 1841 Census William Treacher's age is given as 40 and Susannah Treacher's age is given as 42, and unusually the ages have not been rounded. The census took place on 6 June 1841.nbsp; Susannah no. 1 was born on 23 Mar 1798 and would have been 43 at the census. Susannah No. 2 was born about Jun 1799. If she was born before the census, she would have been 41, and if she was born after the census, she would have been 40. (This is assuming that Susannah No. 2 was not baptised more than about a year after her birth.) This slightly favours Susannah 1 as William's wife.
The 1841 Census also shows Jonathan and Susan Ford in Rickmansworth with five children, although one child, George Griffin, has a different surname. His age is given as 15, so he would probably have been born after Jonathan and Susan's marriage, but he may just have been a visitor. The oldest child, Caroline, with the surname Ford, has an age of 20 which means a year of birth between about 1816 and 1821, ie well before the marriage.
Susannah Treacher died before the 1851 census.
Jonathan Ford died in 1844. There is a marriage index showing a Susan Ford marrying one of the following, William Allen, George Hill, William Potter or Matthew Warren, in 1848, but the certificate shows that the marriage of Susan Ford and George Hill is not relevant. I have not been able to find her in any census.
When Susannah Treacher died on 22 Jul 1850, her age was shown as 52. Susannah No. 1 would have been 52 and Susannah 2 would have been 51. Again this slightly favours Susannah No. 1 as William Treacher's wife.
The surnames for the Susannah who married William and for Susannah No. 1, baptised in Sarrat to William and Elizabeth, both start 'Bi. The surnames for the Susannah who married Jonathan Ford and for Susannah No. 2, baptised in Kings Langley to Edward and Mary, both start 'Be'. Yet again this slightly favours Susannah 1 as William Treacher's wife.
Susannah 1 is perhaps the favourite but it is not conclusive.
William Treacher (Senior) and Susannah Banfield
There is an England and Wales Christening Record for a William Treacher born on 27 Apr 1801 and baptised on 18 April 1802 in Kings Langley, by William and Susannah Treacher. William's age shown on his death certificate was 67, which is the age that this William would have been.
There is an England & Wales marriage record for a William Treacher and Susannah Banfield on 5 November 1797 in Kings Langley. This seems to be the likely marriage record as their eldest son, George, was born the following year.
There is an England & Wales baptism record for a Susannah Banfield on 4 April 1779 in Kings Langley, with parents James and Hannah Banfield. At the time of the marriage
In the 1851 and 1861 censuses William's place of birth is shown as Watford, with the estimated yob as 1802 and 1801 respectively. King's Langley is about four miles north north west of Watford.