Espley One Name Study – Duplicate Birth Registrations

Don’t let anyone ever tell you that genealogy is always straightforward! In my experience it is always interesting and certainly sometimes challenging.

Take my Espley One Name Study for example. In official records the name is often spelt and or transcribed incorrectly – Epsley or Aspley are regular variations.

However my most recent discovery is causing me a headache – both in terms of unravelling what has happened and also how I need to record the information.

It started when I began going through the recently launched transcript of the 1939 Register looking for Hannah Espley. I already had details of her birth registration in Q4 1885 in Stockport, Cheshire. I found her in the 1939 Register with a stated birth date of 13 November 1884 – one year difference but I wasn’t concerned about that.

I already knew that Hannah married Sampson Ardern in Q4 of 1940 in Stockport. So I wasn’t surprised to find them living together at 14 Planets Court, Stockport in the 1939 Register.

I already had four children to Sampson and Hannah in my family tree – all born before their marriage. Two of these children are on the 1939 Register at the same address as Sampson and Hannah. However alarm bells started to ring when I saw that the children had different surnames – one was Edith Espley and one was James Ardern.

So some detective work was going to be necessary. I started to check my Espley database looking for births in Stockport and found several showing mother’s name as Espley – possibly children born to an unmarried mother. I also checked the GRO registers looking for Ardern births with a mother listed as Espley.

Here is what I found:-

Name Mother Quarter & Year Place
Database Harry Ardern Espley Espley Q2 1909 Stockport
Database Alfred Espley Espley Q1 1913 Stockport
GRO Alfred Ardern Espley Q1 1913 Stockport
Database Edith A Espley Espley Q2 1916 Stockport
Database Edith A Espley Espley Q3 1920 Stockport
GRO Edith A Ardern Espley Q3 1920 Stockport
Database Sampson Espley Espley Q2 1922 Stockport
GRO Sampson Ardern Espley Q2 1922 Stockport
Database Annie Espley Espley Q1 1924 Stockport
GRO Annie Ardern Espley Q1 1924 Stockport
Database James Espley Espley Q2 1925 Stockport
GRO James Ardern Espley Q2 1925 Stockport

So apart from Harry Ardern Espley and Edith A Espley (born in 1916 and who died in Q1 1920) all the other children appear to have been registered twice. Of course, just to confirm the Espley database information is also taken from the GRO indexes.

It seems that Sampson Ardern was married on 12 November 1893 to Ann Jane Hale in Heaton Norris, Cheshire. I found him in the 1901 census with Ann and two sons – William and Thomas. Then in 1911 with Ann and two children – Willie and Mary. The 1911 census shows that Sampson and Ann had ten children but eight of them had died.

To add to the confusion the birth record for Sampson in Q3 1873 is in the name Arthern.

I am assuming that at some point after 1911 Sampson started living with Hannah Espley. I found a death record for Ann J Ardern in Q3 1940. Then in Q4 a marriage for Sampson Ardern and Hannah Espley.

So my dilemma now is really how to accurately record the information! Any and all suggestions welcome.

Certainly life events after birth registration hasn’t been consistent – as already mentioned two of the children are recorded differently in the 1939 Register. And the following illustrates the problem.

Edith married as an Espley in 1945
Sampson married as an Ardern in 1948
James married as an Ardern in 1948
Annie’s death in 1925 is registered as Ardern

If Family Tree Maker allows it I suppose I can use “Also Known As” – AKA.

So all in all quite an interesting story.

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6 comments

  1. Hannah Espley and Sampson Arden were my grandparents, both passed away before I was born!
    Harry, Sampson and James are my uncles,
    Edith is my mother! Sadly all have passed away.

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  2. Jeff – I should have said that Hannah Espley is my wife’s 2nd cousin 2x removed, Edith is her 3rd cousin 1x removed so that makes you and my wife 4th cousins!!

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    1. Wow! That’s amazing, my mum married William ( Bill ) white 15/12/1945, had four children derek 1950, William ( Billy ) 1955, Shirley 1958 and me 1962, say hi to my 4th cousin for me, thanks for getting back so quickly.
      Do you know where Hannah and Sampson are buried?,since mum passed away it’s been my job to visit their grave now and again.

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  3. Jeff – no I don’t know where Hannah and Sampson – assume it’s in Stockport somewhere. I would be interested to know so I can add that info to my records. Thanks.

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    1. Sampson and Hannah are in Stockport cemetery in the same plot as Harry and his wife Vera, my parents Edith and William are also in Stockport cemetery, uncle Sampson ( Sam) is in Denton cemetery, uncle Jim was cremated at southern cemetery in Manchester

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