I recently received an email from a distant cousin. We’d been in touch briefly a few years ago and he has been continuing his research into the Freeman family. We’ve never been able to prove our Freeman branches are on the same tree, but it piqued my interest enough to revisit my own research.
I’d only got back as far as my 3x great-grandfather William Freeman, who, according to the census records had been born around 1816 in Burton-on-Trent. The census also revealed that his wife was called Sarah and he worked as a blacksmith in Overseal on the Leicestershire/Derbyshire border. I’ve found four children for them so far; Sarah Jane born 1844, Anne born 1847, William Carey born 1848 and my direct ancestor George Frederick born 1853.
My distant cousin had previously found the marriage of William and Sarah so I ordered the certificate and learnt that Sarah was the daughter of John Coulton, a labourer from Netherseal. William was the son of another William, a shoemaker living in Overseal. They had married in the Baptist chapel in Ashby-de-la-Zouch in October 1841 so I knew I would need to search the non-conformist records.
Searching on Find My Past I eventually found William’s baptism which was held at the High Street Independent chapel in Burton-on-Trent in February 1816. Unfortunately there is no mention of his mother’s name or his father’s first name but it does give his father’s occupation as shoemaker which fits in nicely with the marriage certificate. and also suggests that William Snr wasn’t a permanent Burton resident.
Unfortunately there appears to be some information missing from the left of the document, possibly William’s actual date of birth. The copy I requested from the Lichfield Archives also didn’t have this information so the next step would be The National Archives in London where the original registers are kept.
But I think I’m happy with what I’ve found so far – I can now check the census records for both parents of William Freeman and Sarah Coulton and try to follow them forwards as well as backwards.
Picture Credit: https://unsplash.com/search/blacksmith?photo=66-xshuH0N0