Tracking Down a DNA Link

“This work is based on data provided through and uses historical material which is copyright of the Great Britain Historical GIS Project and the University of Portsmouth”

I’m still trying to get further back with my Bates family in Lincolnshire. I mentioned in a previous post that I have a DNA link with a friend and we’ve been trying to work out where that link stems from. We have no real overlap with our trees so far but our two families, hers are Brister and Nix, lived close to each other in the same small hamlet, Bulby, for some years. Our best theory so far is that there was some ‘hanky panky’ and either a Bates child was passed off as a Brister, or a Brister child was passed off as a Bates. This could never be proved with documental evidence though.

My 3x Great Grandfather Peter Bates, according to later Census returns, was born c1813 in Bulby, Lincolnshire. I’ve not as yet managed to find a baptism for him, or for any possible siblings. In the 1841 census Peter is living with his wife, Mary and their one year old daughter Eleanor. Also in the household are Mary aged 50 and Thomas aged 10. In 1851 Thomas, now aged 20, is noted as Peter’s brother (note the big age gap) and in the 1861 census Mary is described as Peter’s widowed mother.

I know Peter’s father was John Bates, from Peter’s marriage certificate when he married Mary Phillips, so it looks like I’ve found his parents; John and Mary. So I searched for a marriage between John Bates and Mary in Lincolnshire.

This search turned up a marriage for John and Mary Whitfield in Irnham in 1821. But this is later than Peter’s birth in c1813 and John is described as a widower.

A bit more digging turned up a marriage for John Bates and Eleanor Brister in Irnham in 1804 – but I’ve been unable find any baptisms for any possible children from this marriage. It might be worth noting that Thos Daughty is a witness to both John’s marriages.

My theory is that my ancestor Peter is John & Eleanor’s son and that John remarried following Eleanor’s death to Mary & their son is Thomas. It would explain the large age gap between the two ‘brothers’ and link our Bates and Brister DNA.

Unfortunately I’ve been unable to find a burial for either John or Eleanor or any baptisms for any of possible children so it’s all just assumption which is never good! John was deceased by the time of Peter & Mary’s (Phillips) wedding in 1839 – his ‘putative step-mother Mary was still alive in 1861 (there’s two possible deaths for her in 1864 & 1865) suggesting an age gap between her & John which would support it being a second marriage for him.

Also Peter & Mary call their first child, a daughter, Eleanor. Could she have been named after her paternal grandmother? In following Census returns she’s noted as Ellen though, so is this correct? So many questions!

I think it might be worthwhile – although time consuming – to try & piece together some of the families that were living in the local villages to see if I can link them up.


© Caroline Cox and Caroline’s Chronicles. 2011 – current year

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