Tuesday, September 21, 2010

More on Rachel Morley's Parentage

I posted the christening record of Rachel Morley yesterday in Rachel Morley's Birth and Parents. She was christened in St. Peter's Church in Bolton-le-Moors in Lancashire on 25 December 1821 with a Leah Morley, both children of Jane Morley. No father's name was provided, which may indicate that the father was deceased, the children were born out of wedlock, or the father was not known.

Reader "Sharon in Oz" emailed me, asking if I knew about the Lancashire Online Parish Clerks website which provides listings of 19th century parishes and records transcribed and indexed from the church parish registers. The Parishes in Lancashire page looks like this:

One small red rose next to a parish name means that the church has a web page, and two roses means that some records have been transcribed. I was lucky to find that St. Peter's Church had some parish registers transcribed and indexed by volunteers. Here is the St. Peter's page for Marriages:

Further down the page is this screen:

I had searched for "Morley" on the page and the entry above says:

"Marriage: 17 Aug 1840 St Peter, Bolton, Lancashire, England
Alexander Whittle - Full Sawyer Bachelor of King Street
Rachel Morley - (X), Minor Spinster of Lum Street
Groom's Father: Alexander Whittle, Sawyer
Witness: James Gorse?; James Liptrot
Married by Banns by: "P.R. Robin, Curate"
Notes: ['Illegitimate' is written in the bride's father's name column]
Register: Marriages 1839 - 1841, Page 155, Entry 309
Source: Microfilm of the register at Manchester Library"

This may be as close as I get to knowing who Rachel Morley's father was. It looks like he's Mr. Illegitimate, eh? And it says that she is a minor (at that time, I think that means under the age 21, but I'm not sure).

If the Rachel Morley christened on 25 December 1821 in St. Peter's Church, the daughter of Jane Morley, is the same as this Rachel Morley who married Alexander Whittle on 17 August 1840 (and I have no conflicting evidence that she is not), then she was at least 18 years and 8 months old at the time of her marriage.

So I will attach Rachel only to her mother, Jane (Haslam) (Bury) Morley in my database.

Interestingly, the next entry on the marriage list above is for Amelia Haslam, a minor spinster who was also illegitimate. I wonder if she was related to Rachel Morley?

Why am I so concerned about Rachel Morley, the illegitimate daughter of a twice widowed mother? Rachel, and Jane, are in my wife's mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) line - their mtDNA should be the same as my wife's, my daughter's, and my granddaughter's mtDNA.

Some lessons learned:

* I really need to consult the original source records, if at all possible. The record above is a transcription from a parish church register entry. I need to obtain the microfilm of this record, and others, in order to capture every piece of information possible.
* There are websites in many localities that have useful information created by volunteers and professionals.
* There are expert genealogists and family historians who have a wealth of knowledge about specific localities and the records available in those localities.
* There may be other records, like Churchwarden accounts and poorhouse records, that may have more information.

Thank you, Sharon in Oz, for the lead to the Lancashire Online Parish Clerks website that shed more light on the parentage of Rachel (Morley) Whittle - my wife's great-great-grandmother.


Olive Tree Genealogy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Olive Tree Genealogy said...

Randy I almost forgot - if Rachel and her sister were bpt the same day, they may have been twins. Why not look for her sister's marriage to see if she named her father?

Fingers crossed!

Olive Tree Genealogy said...

Randy, you might want to check Bastardy Orders and Examinations. Since Rachel was illegitimate there's a very good chance the Parish took her mother and father to task and ordered money given to the parish on a regular basis to support the child. The father would be named in the examination of the mother and in the orders.
See Bastardy Orders for more help

Olive Tree Genealogy said...

Oh oh oh!! Look what I found! I was just going to write and suggest you check Removal Orders...

Little Bolton to Blackburn. Order of removal of Jane Morley, widow, and Leah and Rachael her children QSP/2941/37 1830 29 Nov

The docs are at the Lancashire Record Office so you can order them online http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/archon/searches/locresult_details.asp?LR=55

Kathleen Moore said...

Thanks so much for this post! I'm currently trying to track down some of my Menzies ancestors in Lancashire.