Thursday, November 23, 2006

A mystery suitable for Dalziel & Pascoe

So What is the Mystery?

In the 1891 census, Joseph and Charlotte Garbutt were living on Ford's Row, Whitwood with Mary Pascoe and her daughter Mary Jane Pascoe. It was not clear whether Charlotte or Joseph were the child of Mary Pascoe.

I therefore attempted to search the 1881 census for Mary and Mary Jane Pascoe. I found them still living in Ford's Row with husband/father William Pascoe. William and Mary Pascoe had also two elder daughters - Charlotte and Sarah. All the children and Mary Snr were born in Knottingley, West Riding. However, William Pascoe was a potter who was born in Bovey Tracey, Devon.

I then found William Pascoe in 1871, working as a potter, living at Hill Top Knottingley. His birthplace and age match the 1881 census, as do that of his wife - however, she is called Sarah and not Mary. However, if you look at the 1891 census, it appears as if the enumerator has probably got the maiden names of mother and daughter the wrong way around here. William also has a step-daughter, Charlotte Nichols of the right age and born in Knottingley.

Therefore Charlotte appears to have several names -

1861 census: Cannot find her?
1871 census: Charlotte Nichols - stepdaughter of William and Sarah (or Mary) Pascoe
1881 census: Charlotte Pascoe - daughter of Mary Pascoe
1881 marriage index: Charlotte Ann Schofield - marries Joseph Garbutt???
1891 census: Charlotte Garbutt - daughter of Mary Pascoe
1891 census: Charlotte Garbutt - wife of Joseph Garbutt

It is a mystery if each of these Charlotte's is the same person. Following the census information backwards it would appears so, but it is difficult to explain why her surname changes so much. It appears that she may have had several surnames because of the death and re-marriage of one or both of her parents.

How can we resolve this mystery?
Tracing the life of Charlotte Garbutt may be a case of assuming too many census facts at face value. We need to take the steps backwards more slowly to try and find the evidence that confirms relationships. How can this be done:

1)The marriage certificate of Joseph Garbutt and Charlotte Ann Schofield may help. This appears to be the only Joseph Garbutt marrying at the right time in the Pontefract area, but another Joseph may have been missed in the index and this could be completely misleading.

2) The parish records of Knottingley and Whitwood may throw light on Joseph and Charlotte Garbutt and Charlotte's earlier life.

3) The birth certificates of Joseph and Charlotte Garbutt's children - Mary Ann, Joseph, Ernest, Gertrude & Jane - should give Charlotte's maiden name (or names).

4) Perhaps a marriage between William Pascoe and Mary in around 1865-1870.

In the IGI I found a marriage between a William Pascoe (father John Pascoe) and a Mary Schofield on 11 Feb 1866 in Pontefract. This same IGI entry claims that Mary Schofield's father was a William Harker! The marriage certificate for this is Mar 1866 Vol9c, p98, Pontefract.

So why might Charlotte be called Charlotte Nichols in 1871?, and where is she in 1861? The mystery deepens....

See here for a picture of Charlotte and here for an update to this story.


g58 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
g58 said...

If eboracensis means "of York" I plan to use eboracensis nova when I retrace my steps back to New York next month.

All the best James -- hope to see you again soon.

James said...

Hi Mark,

It does mean "of York" ! I grew up in York. However, if you want to say "of New York", then you need to write:


The latin name for York was 'eboracum'