Geoffs Genealogy Update 2 November 2012

Friday November 2nd, 2012 | Geoff

Over the past month as well as putting to bed my last issue of the Shropshire Family History Journal,  I have been steadily working through the information we have relating to Jan’s Haves line. This has been seriously neglected over the years, largely because it has proved very hard to find any information about these people. However, my current mission is to get all the Haves information entered into my Family Tree Maker file, and then to have another crack at developing this line of research a bit further.

When Jan started working on her family history (more years ago than we care to mention!) we naively thought that it should be a fairly easy line to research, as there were so few people of that name in the records. We all know that a common name like Smith of Jones is likely to be hard to research because there are so many people of that name (including my maternal forebears!) so logically, a rare surname could be expected to present few difficulties.

We now know better!

There are a few fairly rare names that crop up in the Bankes Pedigree, and although not directly on my line I have tried to research them at various times over the years, but with very limited success. Take Benrose for example.

The Bankes Pedigree Book at Haberdashers’ Hall records that John Bankes’s niece Anne Deane (c1711-aft1782) married a certain John Benrose, and they had two daughters – Mary Benrose and Elizabeth Benrose. At first it did not strike me that Benrose may be a fairly uncommon name, but so it has proved.I managed to glean some approximate dates for these people from the lengthy Court of Chancery litigation in relation to the Bankes Trust, but hard facts are hard to find. I believe that John Benrose was born about 1708, but I don’t know where. In 1764 he was referred to as a Labourer, and in 1776 he was said to be a Mason’s Labourer, so it seems fair to believe that he was a Labourer. Thus, no Freedoms records are likely to exist, and probably no will (I haven’t found a probate record to date).

I expect you are thinking “why doesn’t he try the parish registers?”

Well, of course I have done this, using the online London Metropolitan archive on the Ancestry website, and also the Family Search website. The IGI contains reference to the baptism of a certain John Benrose, son of Robert & Elizabeth,  at St Mary, Whitechapel on 17 December 1721. I would not rule out the possibility of this being our man. The location certainly fits the bill, bearing in mind the connection of Bankes and some of his relatives to this parish, but if this person was baptisedas an infant the date is about 12 years later than the Chancery records had led me to expect.

The Family Search website has shown me that the IGI contains lots of Benrose or variant entries in Lincolnshire, so quite possibly this is where our John Benrose’s family came from. Maybe he was born there! We shall probably never know.

Through the Family Search website I have traced a marriage in the Fleet Prison, London in 1744. The annotation said that a certain John Bemrole of St James Westminster married Mary Ann Dean of the same parish on 17 Jan 1744. This could very well be “our” couple, but there are elements of this entry that make it difficult to be sure. From the actual register entry it is quite difficult to clearly decipher the groom’s name. It could be as transcribed, but I think that actually it is Benrose, with an ambiguous “s” in it. Then again, the bride’s forename was recorded as Mary Ann, whereas we have previously only seen her recorded as Mary. Another problem is that the bride was said to be a widow. If this is correct it is unlikely that this was our lady, as if she was a widow her maiden name would not have been Deane. Unless, of course, the lady’s first marriage had been to a Mr Dean, or she reverted to her maiden name on the death of her spouse. Lots of women do that these days, but was that the case in the mid 18th century? I don’t know.

Then again, how many Benrose / Deane marriages do you suppose there were in London in the relevant time frame? In spite of the above caveats, I suspect this was the record for “our” people, but I cannot prove it.

So all in all, after much searching, I have not been able to positively identify any of our Benrose events.

Frustrating, isn’t it!

There are a number of other lines in the Bankes pedigree, and in my immediate family, that I have not managed to develop. This is a bit disappointing, but it is the continual need to try to solve these conundrums that makes our hobby so interesting.

I cannot close this entry without mentioning again the John Bankes’ Descendants Reunion at Coulsdon, Surrey on Saturday 8 June 2013. Jan, Helen, Dot and I all hope that as many Bankes descendants as possible will come to this event. The last reunion was great fun, and we are hoping that this one will be even better! You can see all about this event on the Geoffs Genealogy website.

Now back to those Haves people, and the quest to discover the forebears of Joseph Haves, born about 1797 in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. If anybody can help please do contact me!

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