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Bits of a Puzzle

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


JannieAnnie Report 31 Jul 2013 19:24

OK so it seems then that I am looking for Mary3 .......................(who has not yet been identified in this little scenario) .........................and who is really Mary still Unknown, ancestor and mother of Joseph.

Then the others - Mary1 and Mary2 need to get out of my tree file! (Will give them some time though because they didn't know). That also means that lots of other trees have a spurious Mary! Unless they have managed to get a birth cert for someone.......

However - as there does not (so far) seem to be another obvious marriage I am just hoping that GRO can turn up a birth certificate for Joseph (1838) even though that is very early. If not I may need to get back to Jane!

So waiting (impatiently) to see.....


ChristinaS Report 31 Jul 2013 21:17

Good luck. Without the birth certificates (which may not exist) it's going to be very difficult to pinpoint the true Mary Ann.


JannieAnnie Report 1 Aug 2013 00:50

I think I am probably waiting in vain!! I was about to sleep but had John Frenches dancing around with Mary Anns in my head. Then I realised - I requested a birth cert for Joseph with father John French mother Mary (Ann) French but mmn CLIFTON - but it seems that she is probably the one who married the other John French.

Which means:

1) I won't get the cert because Joseph John was NOT registered (too early), but if registered then
2) I won't get the cert because parents shown are NOT John French and Mary Ann Clifton, or
3) I won't get the cert because father is John French but Mary Ann is NOT Clifton


4) I will get the cert because (a) Joseph was registered, (b) John French and Mary Ann Clifton are his parents!

Also was there some rule that men named John French had to marry women called Mary Ann (it is very annoying)?

Chris - thank you for those additional baptisms - they seemed to get them done quite quickly after they were born.

J-A (Still on the trail of the true Mary Ann)


JannieAnnie Report 21 Aug 2013 00:05


I have been informed by the GRO that they are sending me a refund for the Joseph French Birth certificate I requested.

It seems either his birth was not registered OR his mother was not Mary Ann Clifton. They did a wide search (1837-1840) - I only expected a year either side of 1838 but they included 1840 too.

For the time being, I am stuck!

Thanks again everyone for your help.



JannieAnnie Report 23 Aug 2013 15:20

I was just following a different theory and to see if there was a natural line drawn between the baptised / unbaptised children / years of birth (ie early births had baptisms, later did not but Mary 1830 throws that out) - and found this one but can't remember if this was posted (John French - the Chingford born Coppersmith perhaps)

John French, "England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975"
Name: John French
Gender: Male
Christening Date: 23 Jun 1805
Christening Place: Chingford, Essex, England
Birth Date: 01 Jun 1805
Death Date:
Name Note:
Father's Name: Richard French
Father's Birthplace:
Father's Age:
Mother's Name: Sareh
Mother's Birthplace:
Mother's Age:
Indexing Project (Batch) Number: C16394-4
System Origin: England-ODM
GS Film number: 1482468 IT 1-2
Reference ID:

So just keeping my stuff together. I am also trying to see if any members with Jane (1846) have any evidence of her mother's maiden name before I consider whether to get her birth certificate.............waiting for replies to my messages.



ChristinaS Report 23 Aug 2013 21:12

After oringinally thinking that Jane could be Joseph's sister, I remember that I saw another Jane French (same age) with another family, on the censuses.

I don't have time to look through them now as I need to go out. But if you, or no-one else has found her by tomorrow, I'll take a look.


JannieAnnie Report 23 Aug 2013 23:12

I was looking earlier today on Mundia, particularly at Jane, hoping to find a descendant who was also researching family French - I came to the conclusion that the details I could see for Jane don't seem to have much more than her own children.

I was hoping that a direct descendant might have obtained her birth cert, I also had a quick look on here at family Precious (as she married William), but it turns up the same contacts. Most of the research seems to be through offspring of Joseph and Louisa.

I'd appreciate a fresh pair of eyes if you have the time



ChristinaS Report 24 Aug 2013 11:11

Oh dear, I'm SURE I saw something about another Jane French born around the same time, living in the same area, but now I can't find a thing. Have looked at deaths, baptisms and censuses, but nothing.

I wish I made proper notes when I'm doing this.

So I don't know. Maybe she is your Jane after all. This is an expensive hobby.


JannieAnnie Report 24 Aug 2013 20:43

I think you are right - I did have a couple of other 'Janes' come up - I think one died young. These ancestors (whoever they belong to) are elusive. Thank you for looking again. Now I just have to wait to see if I get any responses from the messages - and who knows what may turn up.

I will post anything interesting.



JannieAnnie Report 30 Aug 2013 13:48

I know I said I would post anything interesting - sorry, it isn't really, but I have had another idea.

First I asked myself the question - Why is Joseph John French's mother shown as Mary Ann Clifton in the majority of trees I have been able to view? Surely someone must have some evidence! But I answered No, not necessarily. I have tried some members - and the responses are either the wrong French line or information came from the databases.

So my next thought was - perhaps it was her because the marriage of John French to Mary Ann Clifton occurred in 1825 (presumably before any births) and she appears in so many trees BUT what if the marriage didn't occur before births.

So I have now found another (yes yet another) John French to Mary Ann Corker.

This one occurred in October 1826 (so after the birth of Eliza French - see baptism posted by Chris Ho on 29 July at 16.33) but still a John French to a Mary Ann and in the Parish of St Georges. This could of course be another dead end but while I am waiting to see if I get a response from any who seem to be descended from Jane (the youngest and potentially most likely to have been registered) thought I would see if anyone can see anything else about Mary Ann Corker please?

I am considering trying the GRO again, with a search request, last time I used mother as Mary Ann Clifton, but might try again with Mary Ann Corker - obviously all depends if Joseph John French was registered or not.

Thank you