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Norfolk beckons?

After trying so desperately to locate the family of my dad’s uncle Walter BALDOCK, I may have hit on something …

I had been searching Kent records (particularly Thanet, where they had lived) for marriage records, with no luck. I knew his wife was known as Jessie, but this could have come from anywhere. Nevertheless, I finally gained the patience to search systematically through Ancestry and FindMyPast.

And there I found it! Uncle Wally and Aunt Jessie were married in Norfolk  – Erpingham district, to be precise! Walter A BALDOCK married Jessie I ABRAM !

Now armed with a maiden name, I also found six daughters; we already knew the names of some, but this confirmed things, along with birth quarter-dates, a marriage and two grandsons. Of course, all this has yet to be verified.

I now hope to get the marriage certificate, and plan to further investigate the children to seek out possible marriages, further grandchildren, and maybe locate a family member living somewhere.

The Norfolk marriage is spooky, given my belief that the BALDOCK family may have some ancestry there. Maybe Jessie was from Norfolk? Or perhaps she was a Cromer seaside holiday romance?  The certificate will help …

Published in: Genealogy | on December 3rd, 2009 | No Comments »

Maidstone and Miscellany …

Last week I managed to get to the Centre for Kentish Studies archive at Maidstone. I located a couple of (very old) wills, which I duplicated and brought away for deciphering (anyone up for transcribing them for me?). I also continued with some Pluckley, Charing and Lenham Parish Record research.

The CKS has books and resources which are not available at Canterbury Cathedral Archives, namely previously undertaken and bound books of parish record transcriptions. This was invaluable to me, having found an early book of transcriptions of records dating back to the 1500s which may not otherwise have been determinable. Well worth the visit!  Whether I can now better determine relationships of these early ancestors, only time will tell!

In addition I ordered (and very quickly received; just before the postal strike here in the UK!) some certificates, including a marriage certificate for one of my mother’s aunts (to a BALDOCK, no less!) and her birth certificate, which should allow more progress in other areas.

Information Overload !!

Published in: Genealogy | on October 21st, 2009 | No Comments »

Marriage of minors

No, I’m not talking about burly Welsh coal-face workers! Nor, for that matter, adolescents (necessarily). But I am talking “under-age”.

Many of you have probably already discovered via a marriage certificate the phrase “full age”. Whilst searching parish records you will almost certainly at some point come across the phrase “minor”.

Our ancestors considered “full age”, and thus anyone marrying at the age of 20, 19, 18, … could be considered a “minor”. Full age means they reached the age of majority i.e. they have become an adult. This used to be 21 but is now 18. That’s not to say, of course, that they weren’t adolescent:

“Before Hardwicke’s Marriage Act of 1753 there was no lower legal age of marriage, except during the 1650’s when it was 16 for men and 14 for women. In 1753 it was fixed at 14 for men and 12 for women and remained at that until the Age of Marriage Act 1929 when it was raised to 16 for both.”

Minors tend to be recorded alongside the consenting guardian/father(s).
Also, never forget that some people claimed to be of full age when in fact they were not!
Of course, this also differs from “age of consent” for matrimonial contracts and for sexual intercourse.
Check out the thread at for example. Much more information can be found from other sources too.

Published in: Genealogy | on April 29th, 2009 | No Comments »