While working on one of my Richardson family in Lincolnshire, England, I came across an Ancestry Tree that had a newspaper clipping that was associated with one of the wives of my relative. It didn’t make sense to me. I decided to do a bit more digging and it resulted in multiple “surprises” and wrong assumptions. It’s turned out to be a great lesson in always double checking all of your information, no matter how cut and dried it seemed. More importantly, I learned not to quickly make assumptions.
The questions raised by the newspaper article, revolved around the second wife of Robert Richardson of Waltham, Lincolnshire. Robert had 9 children with his first wife, Jane Surfleet. Jane died in 1843 and Robert married his second wife, Mary Dawson Parker.
In 1851, Robert, Mary, along with five of Robert’s children from his first marriage and two of Mary’s children from her first marriage, lived in Waltham, Lincolnshire.
In 1861, Robert was living on his own in Waltham and listed as a “widower”. His daughter, Rebecca, age 21, and two younger children, Moses, age 2, and Fanny F, age 2 weeks, were living with him. Moses and Fanny were listed as being the son and daughter of Robert. The information in this census led me to believe that Mary was the mother of Moses and Fanny, and that she probably died giving birth to Fanny.
I had done some preliminary research on my the family of my Great Great Grandmother, Dora Keen Wardell, a while ago. I found her and her mother and sisters in the 1841 Census in England. That info enabled me to figure out that they were from Broughton Gifford, Wiltshire.
Keen is a very common name in that area of Wiltshire, and to compound the difficulties of research in the 18th century, the families weren’t very unique when it came to first names.
I am very confident that my Great Great Grandmother’s grandfather was a William Keen of Broughton Gifford. I am fairly confident that I know who is parents are, however, at this point I can’t be 100% sure. There were a few William Keens born about the same time in Broughton Gifford. Two of those are possibilities. A third William Keen who was the son of Daniel Keen and his first wife, Jane Shepherd, is the one that I am pretty sure is my ancestor.
I had been working on compiling as much data as I could for all of the Keen families in Broughton Gifford and attempting to connect them either to my family or others, when I found that I had a DNA match with a descendant of a Samuel Keen from Broughton Gifford.
I’ve always been aware of the Maria Phillips Rundle who was born in 1812 and was the daughter of Jeremiah Brice Rundle and Elizabeth White.
There is a marriage record for this Maria and Samuel Short in 1854 in Fowey, Cornwall, England. There is a marriage announcement at Fowey in June 1854 for Mr. Samuel Short of Fowey to “Miss Elizabeth Rundle” daughter of the late J. Rundle of Lankelly. Marriage Index lists Maria’s name. I don’t know why the newspaper had Elizabeth instead of Maria. The importance of this notice is that it proves the parentage of Mrs. Samuel Short.