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.