This blog is designed to record the findings of our family history, mainly for the benefit of the family, and to document the dead ends, the breakthroughs and the journey.
I’ll post the family stories as I’ve written them to now, and I’ll be grateful to anyone who can add further information or pictures, or point out errors.
Particular thanks to my sister Julia and my cousin Mandy who between them have done much more of the work than I have.

Friday, 29 June 2012

A marriage mystery partly solved

We have always known that James Morris (the jeweller) was married to Ann Perry and that their eldest child (our grandmother Annie) was born in 1890. But we had never been able to find a record of their marriage. All of Ann’s siblings were married at St Mary’s Oldswinford, and we could not believe that two such respectable families hadn’t married properly.

The mystery has now been solved by Gill Hibberd. She has found the marriage certificate, but it throws up more questions than it answers.

James and Ann were married on March 2nd 1889, at the parish church in Harborne. The witnesses were her father William Perry and her sister Matilda Perry. But Ann Elizabeth Perry is listed as Lizzie Ann Perry (Geoffrey Morris always refers to her as Lizzie, so we must assume that is how she was known). And they were married in Harborne , then part of Kings Norton and in Staffordshire. Now of course it is a suburb of Birmingham. Both give their address as High Street Harborne, though no numbers are given, and we need not assume they were at the same address. So what were they doing there?

They were presumably not there very long. The census of 1891 shows them married and living at Brettel Lane Kingswinford, while in the previous 1881 census they were both teenagers living at home with their parents, James at Engine Lane the Lye and Lizzie at Hagley Road Upper Swinford.

And so in an effort to find why they were in Harborne,  I scrolled through all the addresses in High Street Harborne in the 1891 census (the nearest to when they were there). There are 275 households so it was quite a trawl.

Lizzie first. There are two possibilities as to why she was there.

 At number 39 lived Mishack Perry, a horsenail maker who was born on Oldswinford. I checked his parentage on IGI and he not a brother of our William Henry.
At no 255 was Charles Perry, a nailer, also born in Oldswinford. He was born in 1835 and I haven’t been able to find his parentage in the IGI which has suddenly become even less useful than before.

I didn’t find anyone who was likely to be related to James but I wondered whether he was there for work, perhaps still serving out his training as a watchmaker

There are a number of possibilities

No 45 Augustus Adams, jeweller
No 104 William Gardener, a watch and clock maker
No 109 Alfred Arundel, a watchmaker
no 128 William Clarke, a jeweller
no 150 James Jones, Goldsmith
no 229 David Cairns, watchmaker

And onethat could possibly be a relative. At no 137 to 139 lived Joseph Newey whose wife Sarah was born in the Lye and whose maiden name was Wooldridge  We have no way of knowing what the Morrises relationship with the Wooldridges was at this stage or even if it’s the right Wooldridge but I document it here in case of future evidence.

We’ll never know the truth of course but the possibilities are interesting.

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