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A conundrum. All theories would be welcome

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Gerry Report 10 Apr 2014 21:08

On 17/12/1860 John ESSEX (1835) married Ann Parfitt (1833) in Aldershot.

They had 3 children Ansty (26/8/1867), Mary 1870 and Ann 1873. All of them were born in Reigate and had the surname EVANS! IN the census the whole family is shown as Evans.

However, when Ann married again in 1875 to John Frampton it was under the surname ESSEX.

In subsequent generation Essex is sometimes used as a middle name (eg Ansty Essex Evans b1892)

Soooooooooooooooo. The question is, was John Evans real name John Essex or vice versa or is there another explanation?

Btw,I cant find a death for John Essex/Evans



Kucinta Report 10 Apr 2014 21:22

Surrey, England, Baptisms, 1813-1912

Name: Auster Evans
[Ansty Evans]
[Austy Evans]
Baptism Date: 6 Oct 1867
Archive Provided Parish: Reigate, St Mark
Parish as it Appears: Reigate, St Mark
Father: John Evans
Mother: Ann Evans
Reference Number:

Father a labourer

Name: Mary Evans
Baptism Date: 27 Feb 1870
Archive Provided Parish: Reigate, St Mary
Parish as it Appears: Reigate
Father: John Evans
Mother: Ann Evans
Reference Number: P49/1/11

Father a labourer

Name: Ann Evans
Baptism Date: 9 Feb 1873
Archive Provided Parish: Reigate, St Mark
Parish as it Appears: Reigate, St Mark
Father: John Evans
Mother: Ann Evans
Reference Number: 7566/1/2

Father a labourer


Kucinta Report 10 Apr 2014 21:29

Just for info:

Name: John Essey - coachfitter
Age: Full Age
Marriage Date: 17 Dec 1860
Archive Provided Parish: Aldershot, St Michael the Archangel
Parish as it Appears: Aldershot
Ann Parfitt
Spouse Age: Full Age
Father: John Essey -sawyer
Spouse Father: John Parfitt - labourer
Reference Number: ALDM/2/4


Kucinta Report 10 Apr 2014 21:31

They are using Evans by 1861:

Name: John Evans
Age: 30
Estimated birth year: 1831
Relation: Son-in-law
Gender: Male
Where born: Kingswood, Surrey, England
Civil Parish: Kingswood
County/Island: Surrey
Country: England
Street address:


Condition as to marriage:

View image
Registration district: Reigate
Sub-registration district: Reigate
ED, institution, or vessel: 16
Neighbors: View others on page
Household schedule number: 1
Piece: 443
Folio: 155
Page Number: 32

Household Members:
Name Age
John Parfeet 52
Amy Parfeet 55
John Evans 30
Ann Evans 28

This census gives John's birthplace as Surrey (dittoed from his parents in law above him on the census page) , but 1871 census gives it as Warwick, Warwickshire.


Kucinta Report 10 Apr 2014 21:37

Just wondering whether John Evans/Essex was maybe born before the marriage of his parents, and fluctuates between their two surnames, but familysearch is having 'technical difficulties' so I can't look for an Essex-Evans marriage

Or maybe he is illegitimate and one name is his mother's surname, and the other that of his father, or even a step-father.

Sorry, not being much help! :-(

Paul Barton, Special Agent

Paul Barton, Special Agent Report 10 Apr 2014 22:23

I did come across a similar situation in my own family research and it turned out the chap was alternating between two identities because he was a bigamist!


Gerry Report 11 Apr 2014 23:09

yes i have had a bigamist before but John Evans/Essex seems to be using both surnames with the same faamily


Potty Report 12 Apr 2014 13:25

Gerry, if you have access to Ancestry, take a look at the image of this record:

Name: John Essex
Spouse: Ann Careless
Father: John Essex
Birth: abt 1833
Marriage: 30 Sep 1855 - Aston, St Peter and St Paul, Warwickshire

Father's occupation is the same as the on the marriage to Ann Parfitt (Sawyer) and the groom's signature is very similar on both.


Potty Report 12 Apr 2014 14:22

Ann Essex goes on to marry Samuel Holland:

Birmingham, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1937
Samuel Holland

Birth Year:abt 1822
Marriage Date:30 Sep 1861
Marriage Age:39
Marriage Place:Birmingham, Bishop Ryder, Warwickshire, England
Spouse:Ann Essex - widow
Spouse Gender:Female
Spouse Marriage Age:28
Father:William Holland
Spouse's Father:William Careless - Street Toy Maker

This seems to be Ann in 1861 - address Staniforth St is the same as on the marriage but in the census she is down as married and father is Ezekiel, Gun Finisher:

1861 England Census
Ann Essex
[Ann Curless]

Estimated birth year:1832
Father's Name:Ezekiel Curless
Mother's name:Sarah Curless
Where born:Birmingham, Warwickshire, England
Civil Parish:Birmingham
Ecclesiastical parish:Bishop Ryder
Ezekiel Curless 66
Sarah Curless 56
Fredrick Curless 21
Pheobe Curless 27
Ann Essex 29
John Essex 4
George Essex

Only death for a John Essex in 1861:

Deaths Dec 1861 (>99%)
Essex John Coventry 6d 236

Did they both commit bigamy?


Gerry Report 13 Apr 2014 19:20

thank you Potty

Its a puzzle. The signatures are tantalising similar!!!

Gerry :-S

Paul Barton, Special Agent

Paul Barton, Special Agent Report 13 Apr 2014 19:45

This is a juicy one isn't it? However, one thing is worth pointing out. Back in those days divorce was almost impossible for anybody but the wealthy. It was not uncommon for a mutual agreement between the two parties to separate and for one to move right out of the area. They would then declare themselves to be widowed in order to remarry. The chances of the ruse being detected were small because there was not the same flow of information across the country as there now is. There would be no animosity between the two parties and it would be in both their interests to support each other's stated position. So don't go thinking a bigamist was always cheating on their spouse... it could have been what they both wanted.


BatMansDaughter Report 14 Apr 2014 14:57

If John Essex/Evans was born prior to a marriage or his birth father had died when he was young his mother may have married a Mr Essex, often a young child would 'adopt' his step fathers surname.

When reverting to Evans, this could be because that was his birth name and keeping Essex in the family name may have been down to the respect of the man that raised him.

I have come across this quite often.