Archive for March 2017

Tuesday's Tip: Always check the original record

Category: What's New at

The marriage between Stephen Bonston and Grace Farmer
The marriage between Stephen Bonston and Grace Farmer

I recently revisited the marriage between Harvey's 4 x great-grandparents, Stephen Bunstow/Bonston and his wife, Grace. Stephen married Grace Farmer on 27th October 1818 in St Saviour's Church, Dartmouth in Devon.

When I first looked at this, I didn't have access to the original record but doing so now puts a different complexion on things. Far from Farmer being Grace's maiden name, the record states that Grace was a widow so I set about looking for a marriage between a Grace and an unknown Mr. Farmer.

Next, I discovered a marriage between Charles Farman and Grace Lang on 16th March 1812 at the same church. I now had Grace's correct maiden name. Charles appears as Farman, Farmer and Firman in different records. There's even mention of the name Palmer too. He died in 1815.

I found a baptism in 1795 for Gracey Tucker Lang. She was the youngest of six known children of Samuel Lang and Jenny Tucker so this takes me back another generation.

So what can we learn from this? To always view the original record whenever possible, be it in an archive, a scanned image, facsimile or photocopy. You can often find more information than is available in a transcribed record.

Finally, there's a tiny bit of extra detail in Stephen and Grace's marriage record. Not only was Stephen a mariner when he married, just like Grace's first husband, but we find out that he was 'late of Dover'. However, this is where the trail goes cold.

[Why Tuesday's Tip? This phrase has been included in the title in order to take part in Daily Blogging Prompts at Geneabloggers]

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