Geoffs Genealogy Update 6 May 2014

Tuesday May 6th, 2014 | Geoff

This has been a fairly quiet month, so far as new research is concerned. I have been continuing my work of recent months, trying to deal with my backlog of finds that I have put to one side in the past and never previously returned to. I’m afraid that this is a bit of a trait with me. I’m always so keen to find our more about my forebears that I sometimes neglect the important job of cataloguing my finds. I therefore need to have a purge on this from time to time.

In the course of this process I have come across a matter that may interest you,  regarding the burial of Samuel Jacobson of Maidstone, Kent, in January 1807.

Or was it?

Samuel and James Jacobson were mentioned in the will of my ancestor, James Jacobson (c1692-1759), as they were his nephews. They both lived near Maidstone, Kent, and their brief details were as follows:

Samuel Jacobson
Born abt 1719, the son of Esco Jacobson (abt 1690-1744). Apprenticed as a schoolmaster in London in 1735, his early years were apparently spent in East London, but at some stage he moved to Maidstone, Kent, where he voted in the election of 1790. He died later that year, and his body was taken to his place of origin to be buried at St George in the East, London on 22 December 1790. The relevant entry in the parish register reads:

Dec 22    Samuel Jacobson from Maidstone Kent              71

Samuel’s will was made out in 1790, and proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury by James Jacobson in March 1791. It is apparent from this document that his wife was still alive in 1790.

James Jacobson
Born abt 1723, the brother of Samuel. Like his brother, his early years were spent in London, but at some stage he moved to Bearsted, near Maidstone, Kent,and like his brother he also voted in the election of 1790.

For many years James was a JP, and there exist numerous contemporary newspaper entries attesting to his activities as a member of the bench.

According to the IGI these two brothers were  married to two sisters at a joint ceremony at St Nicholas, Rochester, in 1776.  Samuel married Margaret Bond and James married Ann Bond.

We have not traced any children born to Samuel & Margaret, but James & Ann had two known children, both of whom were born in Kent, so it seems likely that he had moved to Kent by the date of their birth:

  • James Jacobson (1777-1857)
  • Ann Jacobson (1778-1861)

James Jacobson died some  seventeen years after his brother, on 20 January 1807. His death was marked by a notice in The Kentish Gazette newspaper on 23rd January 1807, and his will was proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury in February 1807.   When we come to look for his burial we enjcounter a somewhat unusual circumstance. The burial register of St George in the East, London contains the following entry:


1807 January
Jacobson 31    Samuel Jacobson from Maidstone Kent  84

We already know that samuel Jacobson had predeceased his brother by seventeen years, so this entry cannot relate to him. Given that we know that James Jacobson died  on 20 January 1807, this entry must, surely relate to him. It seems that James’s body was buried in his parish of origin, just as his brother’s body had been, but an error was made in the register. This is certainly my working assumption, and I have recorded this event accordingly. Maybe the error was caused by James and Samuel being buried in the same grave.

How to prove this error?

I think that we need to look at an alternative source, to see whether it is possible to prove that an error has been made. Maybe a look at the Burial Books would provide the verification that we need, but the problem is that I do not know whether such a record exists. At present the Ancestry website holds the burial register, but no other burial records for this parish, and I do not know whether London Metropolitan Archives holds any other burial records.

Another item for the outstanding research list!

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