Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Rabbit Holes With Randy - Who Were the Parents of Elizabeth/Betty Noad (ca 1768-1814)? - Part 2

I wrote the first part of Rabbit Holes With Randy - Who Were the Parents of Elizabeth/Betty Noad (ca 1768-1814)? last week, and want to finish it this week in this post.

The goal is to try to find the parents of Elizabeth (or Betty) Noad in or around Trowbridge, Wiltshire.  She is probably my 4th great-grandmother, the mother of John Rich (1790-1868) of Trowbridge and Hilperton, who married Rebecca Hill (1790-1863) in 1815 in Hilperton, Wiltshire.  

1)  In the earlier post, I reviewed and listed the parish records for Noad families in and around Trowbridge. There were two families having children in Trowbridge between 1750 and 1770, and five other families in other nearby towns.  It is very likely that not all children of a family were baptized and in the parish registers.  My plan was to concentrate on the two Trowbridge families first, and then widen the search to other Wiltshire and eastern Somerset towns if necessary.

2)  I also mentioned reviewing other records on Ancestry, MyHeritage, FamilySearch and Findmypast, plus family trees, as "low hanging fruit."

Looking for the "low hanging fruit" and possible clues, I searched the family trees on Ancestry, MyHeritage and FamilySearch for all Noads of Somerset and Wiltshire.  I found nothing that leads me to parents of an Elizabeth or Betty Noad with a baptism record between, say, 1750 and 1770 (since she married in 1788).  There are Noad families in a number of places within about 20 miles of Trowbridge, including in eastern Somerset, but not any other Elizabeth/Betty Noads.  I could catalog all of the family members in every tree, but that is no longer "low hanging fruit."  

3)  I searched,, and for Elizabeth or Betty Noad.  The only records for her are the burial record for Betty Rich in 1814 and her 1788 marriage entries in Trowbridge in the parish records and the indexed baptism, marriage and burial records for Wiltshire.  

4)  Next on my to-do list was Probate Records.  Ancestry has these records up to 1858 in the Wiltshire, England, Wills and Probate, 1530-1858 collection.  There are only 15 entries for all of Wiltshire, but only six between 1760 and 1830, and two from Trowbridge. I scanned all six of them for clues and found none that had helpful information.  There are no Somerset probate records for this period.

5)  The next item on my list is to find parish records for marriages that have a John Noad with the same signature as the John Noad who was a witness to Betty's marriage in 1788 in Trowbridge.  The signature was fairly distinctive.  He may have been a father, an uncle, a cousin, a brother, or some other relation to Betty.  Here is the marriage record with the John Noad signature:

There were two other John Noad entries in the Trowbridge records - one was the marriage of John Noad, a bachelor, in 1786 to Mary Powell.  The signature of groom John Noad did not match the 1788 John Noad signature on Betty's marriage record.

However, the signature of groom John Noad, a widower who married Jemima Franklin on 14 April 1833 in Hilperton (near Trowbridge) looks very similar:

Considering that there are 45 years between signatures, the capital N and the form of the lower case d are fairly distinctive and similar.

Other signatures of grooms and witnesses of Noad marriages between 1780 and 1833 are not similar to the John Noad on the 1788 marriage.  

6)  If the same John Noad signed both of the above records, then he would have to be at least 21 in 1788 and therefore born in 1767 or before, and a man born in 1767 would be 66 years old in 1833 when, as a widower, he would marry again.  But if this John Noad is Betty's father, and he could be, he would have to be born before about 1746 (and therefore over age 87 in 1833).  He could be an uncle or a brother whose birth or baptism was not recorded.

7)  Frankly, I cannot claim a conclusion here because there are too many loose ends and not enough records to support any hypothesis as to Betty's parents.  

So, it's back to the family trees and trying to identify a John Noad who is related somehow to Betty, marries a first wife, who dies before 1833, and married Jemima Franklin in 1833, and dies at some time after 1833.  

I'm not sure that I can find my way out of this rabbit hole.  

8)  FamilySearch digital microfilm may have some clues, and I may need to go to the FamilySearch Center to access restricted records. 

Any suggestions or ideas or clues for this problem are welcome!  


Copyright (c) 2021, Randall J. Seaver

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