Thursday, June 20, 2019

Family fun

I haven't talked family trees on this blog for a long time - when the 1921 census comes out in January 2022, I'll have to get into the whole extensive research again. The Pridmore branch of the family had been seriously reduced by the war and disease since 1911, but I still have plenty of relatives to dig up.

Meanwhile, here's my favourite historical document - my great-grandparents' marriage certificate!
Great-granddad is being a bit creative when asked his father's name and occupation; he was actually the illegitimate son of Eliza Pridmore, unmarried domestic servant, and an unknown father. He's only a tiny bit creative, though - it's not that much of a stretch of the imagination to invent a father called William Pridmore, labourer. If you're going to invent a father, couldn't you give him a cool name and say he's some kind of secret international spy who couldn't come to the wedding because he's busy doing important government work in South Africa?

I think we can forgive the white lie, though - not only was he a man "of full age" marrying "a minor" (they were 21 and 17, so it's really not quite as bad as that makes it sound), but their first child was born a bit under four months later, so the reason for the hasty wedding was probably well known. Under the circumstances, when the curate asks "Father's name?", not many people would be up to replying "No idea, sorry."

His mother Eliza, who was also illegitimate, didn't have any qualms about leaving those two boxes blank when she got married fifteen years earlier - but then, she was also illiterate, so probably didn't much care what got written down on the paper. This is the kind of thing I love about researching the ancestors, and there are still a lot of them I haven't fully explored!

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