Geoffs Genealogy Update 3 September 2012
Monday September 3rd, 2012 | Geoff
In my last blog entry I mentioned my recent research into Mary Rand / Smith / Adams (abt 1699 – 1743), and her two spouses. I continued this research by looking for information about her immediate descendants, and have enjoyed some success.
I know that her daughter – Catherine Adams (bef 1743-abt 1783) married a certain Thomas Atkinson (bef 1744-abt 1783), a Cheesemonger of London, and that they had a daughter named Sally Atkinson. This information is in the Bankes Pedigree Book. I also knew, from a Court of Chancery Master’s Report dated December 1776, that Sally & Thomas had three children, and I wanted to find out about them if I could.
A search of the City of London Freedoms records failed to find Thomas Atkinson so I turned to researching the London Parish Registers, which are available online. Here I found a likely looking marriage, between a certain Thomas Atkinson & Catherine Adams at St Mary, Lambeth in 1764. The marriage took place by Licence, and in the index of Vicar General Marriage licences I found the relevant transcription. However, this transcription does not give the full details of the document, so I need to look at the actual document in the Society of Genealogists library, when I make one of my rare trips to central London. Hopefully this will enable me to prove / disprove this marriage as being “ours”, but for now have adopted it as “ours”.
Leading on from this find, I traced a number of baptisms of children born to Thomas & Catherine Atkinson. Although there were several possible entries, it looks as though the people I sought were living in Wapping. How did I know this? Well, in several baptism entries from St John, Wapping, the father was described as a Cheesemonger.
The relevant baptisms are:
- 23 October 1768 – Sally Atkinson, aged 30 days
- 16 December 1770 – John Atknson, aged 26 days.
- 21 March 1772 – Thomas Atkinson, aged 21 days
The Master’s Report that I mentioned above said that by 1776 one of the children had died. I know that it wasn’t Sally, because she went on to marry twice and have children of her own, so it was obviously one of the sons. Unfortunately, I haven’t managed to trace a burial for the unfortunate child who died young.
The report quotes an affidavit that had been sworn by the Atkinsons in 1773, which described their circumstances:
“….. the said Thomas Atkinson had till lately carried on the business of a Cheesemonger but by means of many bad debts losses and misfortunes in trade had for twelve months or thereabouts been compelled to decline the same so that he his wife and their three young children were then reduced to great necessity he the said Thomas Atkinson being obliged in order to obtain the common necessaries of life for himself and family to become Journeyman to a Warehouseman and with his utmost industry and diligence was scarcely able to procure a livelihood.”
The records of the Bankes Trust state that from 1783 the annuity that had been due to Thomas & Catherine Atkinson was paid to a certain Mr Stephen Barber, as guardian to their daughter, Sally. This suggests that both of Sally’s parents had died by that date.
Thomas Atkinson had been named as an executor in the will of Sarah (Rand) Holloway, which was dated 1781, so we can assume that he died sometime between 1781 and 1783. The fact that an award in Chancery dated January 1783 gave him £107. 15s 0d “in right of his wife” suggests to me that that Catherine (Adams) Atkinson died before January 1783, but also that her spouse died between that date and the date when the Bankes Trust annuities were paid out that year – most likely June – July.
I have found a number of records, over a number of years, that name Sally Atkinson. However, I have never yet found a record, apart from those mentioned above, that relates to either of Thomas & Catherine Atkinson’s son. As stated above, we know that one of the boys died young, and I strongly suspect that the same was true of the other one.
As you can see, piecing together the lives of the Bankes Descendants often involves the linkage of a number of independent sources, and a certain amount of educated guesswork. It can be quite taxing, mentally, but it is endlessly absorbing. I think we are all very lucky to have the online records that we enjoy these days, but nevertheless, there are lots of records I need to look at in The National Archives and the other repositories in London.
I can’t close this entry without mentioning, again, the Reunion of Bankes Descendants that we are planning to hold at Coulsdon, Surrey, on 8th June 2013. The first reunion was a great success, and we are hoping that this one will be even better. If you are a Bankes descendant I hope that you and other members of your family will join us if you possibly can.