Saturday, 14 August 2010

Is it or isn't it?

My 3x great grandfather Edward Limb was, according to the 1851 Census, born in Shipley, Derbyshire and he died there on 18th June 1857 aged 63. The names of his parents have always been a puzzle and I still haven't really found out for sure who they were.

Earlier this week we took a trip to the Local Studies Office at Matlock to look at the parish registers. Paul had his own research to do in the Hope Valley area and I looked at the parish registers for St Lawrence, Heanor which was the church used for Shipley during the 18th century. I found references to quite a few Limms and Limbs in the area and there were at least three couples producing children at the time of Edward's birth which was some time in the last ten years of the 18th century. However, many of the pages were illegible so I may have missed one or two entries as I struggled to read the micro-film; after a while I began to feel slightly queasy - much like motion sickness whilst travelling - so I had to give up and look at other records.

In the 1841 Census Edward's family name is spelt Limm but by the 1851 census it is spelt Limb. In the earlier register the name seems to be spelt Limm more often than Limb although later into the 19th century Limb becomes the most common spelling. I also found some Lyms, too.

I had always wondered about some details sent to me from New Zealand about Edward Limb's possible parents - a William and Ann Limb of Shipley. On the 1841 census it states that Edward was born in the county of Derbyshire and I found what could be his baptism in September 1793. This Edward was the son of William and Ann Limm of Shipley Wood. I found several other children born to the same couple namely twins Mary and Martha baptised 18th June 1779, Ann baptised May 25th 1783, Richard baptised 19th May 1788, William baptised 24th July 1790, another William - the first must have died in infancy - baptised 22nd May 1792 and Edward September 29th 1793.

Given that Edward Limb's age on his death certificate was 63 and also given that William and Ann seemed to have their children baptised soon after they were born - I mention this as there were instances of whole families of three. four and even more children being baptised at the same time - that this Edward could have been born in say July or August 1793 and that he could have been nearly 64 when he died thus he could have been born in 1793 and therefore could be the Edward I am looking for - my 3x great grandfather.

What a quandary! Have I found the right Edward at last or did I miss any other possibles due to the illegibility of the records? It feels right - but I'm still not sure.

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