Filling in my large family tree chart has revealed the branches of my tree that I haven’t yet researched in any depth, so I’ve decided to concentrate on one of these branches for a while to see what I can discover.
I have begun this with my great grandfather William Frederick Freeman (1878-1951). From his marriage certificate I know he married Elizabeth Ann Wood (c1882-1935) in 1902 in Linton, Derbyshire. According to the certificate Elizabeth’s father is Mark Wood, deceased at the time of the wedding.
I have noted a possible baptism for Elizabeth found in the Leicestershire record office some time ago but hadn’t followed this any further back so I’m starting with the census returns prior to her marriage.
The 1901 census return shows her as living in Linton with her parents Mark and Mary Jane Wood and five siblings: Ada, John, Mark, Elsie and Elvina. It also reveals that Elizabeth was born in Basingstoke, Hampshire which is a completely new piece of information for me and possibly discredits the baptism I’d found in Linton. The return reveals that her mother Mary Jane was born in Basingstoke but that her father Mark was born in Linton. Her younger siblings were born in Linton, but Ada was born in Amington, Warwickshire, indicating that the family relocated more than once.
Looking at the 1891 census, Elizabeth is in Linton again, but her father is missing from the census return. This entry gives the birthplace for Elizabeth and Mary Jane as Worthing, Hampshire. There is also mention of three other sisters, Mabel, born in Worthing and Phoebe & Rebecca born in Amington.
A search for BMD civil registration records for this family reveals that my Great-grandfather William Frederick Freeman remarried in 1940 following the death of Elizabeth in 1935. So I’ve ordered the certificate for this marriage along with death certificates for William, Mark and Elizabeth. The GRO are currently trialling PDF documents again so I’ve been able to order PDF copies of the death certificates for £6 via email instead of the usual £9.25 for paper copies.
My next steps will be to follow Mark Wood and his wife Mary Jane in previous census returns and also to try and find Mark in the 1891 census, was he working away or had he left the family home?
*Pic credit; Photo by Jonathan Simcoe on Unsplash