I spent a day at the Derbyshire Record Office last week with the intention of searching for the Freeman side of my family tree in the non-conformist registers. From my memories of my Grandparents I knew they were Methodist and had their genealogical roots in Overseal, South Derbyshire.
The relevant registers have not been filmed or digitised so I was able to browse through the original documents – always a treat. However, despite searching from 1894 through to 1992 I only managed to find one Freeman – Harold, baptised in 1904, the son of Charles and Elizabeth of Swadlincote and not my relation at all!
Fast forward a couple of days and I receive a marriage certificate I’d ordered from the GRO for my 2x Great Grandparents George Freeman and Elizabeth Redfern. They were married in the Baptist Chapel in Ashby-De-La-Zouch, Leicestershire!! So, does this mean I’ve been looking in the wrong place? Most probably.
I did, however find a few Clamps and Finches in the records, they also crop up frequently in my family tree, so I’ve made a note of those to see if there’s any connection with mine, so it may not be a totally wasted day!
The marriage certificate I have has given me Elizabeth’s father’s name – Charles Redfern, so that’s another generation back in this line.
I also ordered birth and death certificates for George & Elizabeth as I was missing those, both are available as PDF so they are usually quite quick to arrive.
Mary Elizabeth’s birth certificate revealed her parents’ names including her mother’s maiden name, so I can now look for them in the census returns and go back another generation.