Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Questions, Questions

All Saints Church, Dilhorne, Oct 2004

My great, great grandmother Rosanna Chell was born in 1824, in Newhall, Derbyshire to Mary Chell, a servant. Rosanna was illegitimate and so were her brothers Samuel and Daniel. Mary later married a man called William Street and they had a son Thomas. Rosanna married my great, great grandfather Benjamin Gough in 1841 and died, after giving birth to 6 children over the ensuing years, in 1858 at the very young age of 34. Not so uncommon for that time when childbirth was a lottery and could, quite easily end in death for either the mother or the child and often both.

Rosanna's mother Mary is a mystery. She had 3 illegitimate children. Did these children have the same father or different ones? She was a servant - in a large household perhaps? Did something happen here? Who knows? Would she have been judged harshly in the 1820s for having these three children? I'm sure she would have been.

On the 1871 census, by now a widow, Mary gives her place of birth as Dilhorn, Staffordshire. This village is not far from where I live now and there are Chells buried in the churchyard there. Would Mary have moved to Newhall for work perhaps. Did she go alone or did the whole family move away from Staffordshire? Did she move with the father of her children? It would be interesting to see if there are any Settlement Records for the period. Or if there are any Bastardy Bonds pertaining to one or all of her children. Will there be other parish records regarding claims for parish relief, baby clothing or lying-in requirements? If I want to follow this line of enquiry any further then I have to return to the Derbyshire Records Office at Matlock to do some more searching.

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