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John Saffin

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Susan Report 22 Mar 2013 09:57

I am having trouble with a John Saffin from Wiveliscombe. I have a very bad copy of his marriage certificate, he married a Maria Lydman or Sydman on 22 June 1817 at Wiveliscombe, Somerset. His children were John bpt 12/4/1818; Mary bpt 8/10/1823; James bpt 15/12/1825; Anne bpt 21/11/1825; William bpt 15/4/1838 (details from an uncle doing research as I have trouble seeing parish records is Australia). He was questioned by magistrates in 1824 re legal abode and removed from Wiveliscombe to Overseers of the Poor in Taunton. Returned to Wivey by 1825 as Anne was bpt there in 1825. I can find him in the 1841 census; but cannot find him in 1851; in 1861 he is a prisoner in Dartmoor having been given 4 year in 1859 at Somerset Sessions! I cannot find him after that my uncle says he died in Maundown aged 84 but age shown as 87. His father was also a John but name spelt as Savin rather than Saffin his mother was Mary Radnidge. Is anyone able to help? Susan


Reggie Report 22 Mar 2013 10:30

Have you looked for the death on freebmd?

The marriage info you have will only be a copy of the parish certs until July 1837

What are you hoping to learn?

Do you know about the IGI?


Jonesey Report 22 Mar 2013 10:33


Civil registration in England did not begin until 1837 so unfortunately whatever it is you have a bad copy of regarding a marriage that took place on 22/6/1817 it is not a marriage certificate. I suspect that it may be a copy of an entry in the parish register.

There is not and never has been a standardised spelling of names. Consequently names are frequently spelled differently for various reasons. Some reasons might have been due to regional spelling variations, misinterpretation of what was being said or perhaps error in transcription. Many people were illiterate so would have been unable to question what was being written down about them. Consequently it is quite normal to expect to find variations in the way our ancestors names were spelled.

Similarly ages recorded at death might not be what we expect them to be. The registrar can only record what they are told and since the information is being relayed to them not by the individual but by someone who presumably knew the deceased. How well they knew the deceased would likely decide the accuracy of the information they were giving. Also people often did not know exactly how old they were themselves due once again to illiteracy or even possibly longevity. The calendar did not have the same affect on peoples lives back then as it does on ours today.


Reggie Report 22 Mar 2013 10:34

1871 census

Person: SAFFIN, John Address: Golden Hill Gas Lane, Wiveliscombe

SAFFIN, John Head M 80 1791 Somerset VIEW
SAFFIN, Maria Wife F 87 1784 Somerset VIEW Piece: 2358 Folio: 14 Page: 19 Registration District: Wellington Civil Parish: Wiveliscombe Municipal Borough:


Reggie Report 22 Mar 2013 10:35

1851 census

Person: SAFFIN, John Address: Langley, Wiveliscombe

SAFFIN, John Head Married M 61 1790 Higgler
Wiveliscombe, Somerset VIEW
SAFFIN, Maria Wife Married F 64 1787
Wiveliscombe, Somerset VIEW


Reggie Report 22 Mar 2013 10:37

Some early burials for the name in the area

SAFFIN John 1813 1762 Wiveliscombe Somerset VIEW
SAFFIN John 1822 1740 Wiveliscombe Somerset VIEW
SAFFIN John 1832 1832 Wiveliscombe Somerset VIEW


Reggie Report 22 Mar 2013 10:41

Name: John Saffin

Spouse's Name: Maria Sydman

Event Date: 22 Jun 1817
Event Place: Wiveliscombe, Somerset, England

Indexing Project (Batch) Number: I03440-4
System Origin: England-EASy
GS Film number: 1526121
Reference ID: item 18 p 29


Jonesey Report 22 Mar 2013 10:55

His conviction in 1859 does not appear to be his first conviction for the crime of larceny. This looks likely to be him also:

Name: John Savin
Age: 50
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1793
Date of Trial: 16 Oct 1843
Trial Year: 1843
Location of Trial: Somerset, England
Sentence: 6 months Imprisonment


Susan Report 23 Mar 2013 06:20

Reggie and Jonesey

Thanks for that don't why I could find him.

I did tell the search engine to look for variations but half the time I get American records as well. Can't think why when I don't have a world subscription.

Jonesey, by the way the wife Maria also spent time in Illchester Prison for stealing butter and the son James was transported for life after several run-ins with the law!



patchem Report 23 Mar 2013 07:20

If you are using ancestry to look for records, you can usually specify only for records from the UK and Ireland, to cut down on ones of no interest.


Susan Report 24 Mar 2013 05:03


I do I do but my software seems determined to find ancestors for my in Ohio and so on. I unchecked boxes so that only official records was ticked, chose 'English', marked the map to UK and I still has passenger lists for New York! This is - I have a world sub for that as I discovered it has passenger records Genes Reunited do not have. In findmypast I only had a sub for the UK and I still get American records travel records! Most frustrating unless you want to do the USA on the cheap! :-D