Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Whittle Marriage Record in England

Continuing the Alexander Whittle/Rachel Morley saga, I'm going back into English Civil Registration records today. Earlier posts in this series include:

* I Found Rachel in the 1852 California Census where I found Rachel "Wadle" and three children in San Francisco in the 1852 California State Census on

* Jane's Birth Record, and more... - I found out that Jane's parents were Alexander and Rachel Whittle, not Joseph and Rachel.

* Finding the Whittles in Australia highlighted some of the newspaper articles about the family in The Sydney Morning Herald in the 1840 to 1850 time frame from the Historic Australian Newspapers , 1803-1954, Trove website.

* The Whittles Migrating to Australia - a Forrest Gump Genealogy Moment in which the immigration record was found and analyzed.

* Lesson Learned - Check the Image too! in which I learned that not all information on the immigration record was in the FamilySearch index.

My favorite reader Rod Van Cooten commented on the second post that:

"And if you search for the marriage of Alexander Whittle you'll find one in Sept Q 1840 in Bolton, with Rachel Morley appearing on the same register page, so this is probably them."

I had already looked for a marriage record for Joseph Whittle and Rachel Moore in the FreeBMD website for England's civil Registry with no results. Duh - I had the wrong names!

Using Rod's link above, clicking on "Search," choosing "Marriages," inputting "alexander" and "whittle" in the name fields, and restricting the search between September 1837 (the first quarter of the Civil Registry) and December 1845 in the Date Range fields, I received:

It says that Alexander Whittle is in the September 1840 quarter for Bolton district (Volume 21, Page 59). This fits the time frame pretty well. If you click on the Page number, you receive a list of the persons that are on the page:

There are four males and four females on this page 59 in Bolton district in the September 1840 quarter. One of them is Rachel Morley. This is not certain proof that they married, but it provides the opportunity to obtain a certificate that will probably show the marriage between Alexander Whittle and Rachel Morley.

I clicked on the "eyeglasses" icon to the right of Alexander Whittle, and then on "View Image" to see the entry in the Civil Registry:

Are there any other records available for this marriage? Has someone searched the Bolton district marriage records and found the actual date? I knew that the International Genealogical Index was on the LDS site, and that there were marriage records on the FamilySearch Beta site. So I went to the England Marriages, 1538-1973 collection at FamilySearch Beta, input Alexander Whittle, and found this:

This record includes this information:

* Groom's Name = Alexander Whittle
* Groom's Birth Date
* Groom's Birthplace
* Groom's Age
* Bride's Name = Rachel Morley
* Bride's Birth Date
* Bride's Birthplace
* Bride's Age
* Marriage Date = 17 Aug 1840
* Marriage Place = St. Peter, Bolton-Le-Moors, Lancashire, England
* Groom's Father's Name = Alexander Whittle
* Groom's Mother's Name
* Bride's Father's Name
* Bride's Mother's Name
* Groom's Race
* Groom's Marital Status
* Groom's Previous Wife's Name
* Bride's Race
* Bride's Marital Status
* Bride's Previous Husband's Name
* Indexing Project (Batch) Number = M00957-0
* System Origin = England-EASy
* Source Film Number = 1538364
* Reference Number = it 4 p 88/1

There is some helpful information: The marriage date (17 August 1840) and place, and the groom's father's name, which matches the Immigration record name.

Where did this record come from? There are some clues in the list above - especially the Source Film Number and the Batch Number. I went to the Family History Library Catalog on FamilySearch Beta site and input the Film Number 1538364 into the search field and learned:

"Parish register transcripts
authors: Church of England. St. Peter's Church (Bolton-le-Moors, Lancashire), (Main Author)
format: Manuscript/On Film
language: English
publications: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah : Salt Lake City, Utah, 1990
physical: on 3 microfilm reels, 35 mm.
Notes: Microreproduction of records housed at the Central Library, Civic Centre, Bolton. "


"Marriages, 1838-1850 Baptisms, 1838-1845, FHL BRITISH Film 1538364 Items 4-10"

It is not clearly stated, but this record is from a typed transcript of the actual St. Peter's Church Parish Records from Bolton-le-Moors in Lancashire. So it is not an original source, but a derivative source that was extracted by LDS volunteers several years ago and included in the England Marriages, 1538-1973 collection now on the FamilySearch Beta site.

Not every marriage from 1538-1973 is included in this collection, but many are. I was fortunate to find this particular one. The dataset description says:

"Index to selected England marriages. Only a few localities are included and the time period varies by locality. This collection contains 18,173,712 records."

It would be interesting to know how many localities are included - after all, 18 million records is not really "a few."

I figured that the record would also be on the International Genealogical Index - a searcher can find the names, date and place there, but not this specific microfilm number or record for some reason; all of the entries in the IGI are from records submitted by LDS church members.

Was their daughter, Elizabeth, born in England? We'll look for her birth record in the next post. And also for the family of Alexander Whittle. And much more down the road.

Once again, I want to thank reader Rod Van Cooten for leading me to a very useful record that helps define the ancestry of my wife's great-grandmother, Jane Whittle, daughter of Alexander and Rachel (Morley) Whittle.


Geolover said...

There's a website that has a wealth of data about locations and churches.
search for churches near Bolton-le-moors

There is just one Church (Church of England) called just St. Peter's, a very old one at Churchgate, Bolton.

There is a photo of the church on the site. Unfortunately, no detail for this church as to where records may be held except transcripts of very old ones.

Explore the site, including links at top of the page. It is rich and deep.

Geolover said...

Hmmmmm . . . Hugh Wallis' ever-helpful, though outdated, listings of IGI batch numbers

suggests that St. Peter's at Bolton-le-Moors was a different church than St. Peter's, Churchgate, Bolton.

The former was a hotbed of Whittles, judging by the number marrying in the 1750-1837 period, but no Morleys before 1816. Maybe nearby.

The IGI entries that are extracts, rather than those from user-submitted data, do display the microfilm numbers. At least they do on the site -- has the beta site been stripping away this data?

Cindy said...
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