Wednesday, March 28, 2012

London and Surrey Marriage Bonds and Allegations 1597-1921

The addition of the London and Surrey Marriage Bonds and Allegations 1597 - 1921 to Ancestry may prove to be helpful to me. It was in this database at the Family History Library back in 2008 when we visited Salt Lake City, that I discovered the marriage of Henry Beard and Jane Blakeley 8 Feb 1785 at St Mary Magdalen, Bermondsey, Surrey. I had Henry's will of 1795 where he referred to his wife as Jane which was somewhat confusing considering that his first wife's name was Elizabeth. That in turn let me find the will of Jane Beard which added more details on Christy Buller (husband of Mary Beard who was Henry's daughter by his first marriage). Christy Buller (father of Henry Christopher Buller) is an interesting individual; he ran a slop business which I understand is production of sailor's uniforms. Through the years, he was called upon to be executor of many of the family wills and to manage the estates of these families. But I have not yet been able to solve the mystery of Christy Buller. He is buried at St Olave Bermondsey just before the graves are re-interred at Bunhill. Thus far the St Olave records are not on line prior to 1813. I await that event most enthusiastically. I hope to learn more about the Buller family from those records. Christy buries his two infant children there and his first wife as well. Since they attended St Mary Magdalen as a family I rather think St Olave must have had a family significance (the Beard family was buried at St Mary Magdalen). His slop shop was just across the street and slightly down the street from the location of St Olave Church.

Searching the London and Surrey records may prove interesting and I shall spend some time doing that. My brief look at them in Salt Lake City was just an after thought on the last afternoon. There are quite a list of Buller records there at the various churches which I found this family at in London. Are they related to these other Buller families? I have a number of wills for the Buller families in London but thus far none has revealed any relationship to the Buller family at St Mary Magdalen and St Olave.

Next time we are at Kew I want to spend a little time on the Buller family. It is a well documented family in England with some fairly famous members but I have no family stories that attach me to any of these particular lines. My grandmother's father died when she was 14 (her mother having died when she was 11) and they were taken to live at Marston Green Cottages Children's Home (she and her four younger siblings). At 15, if your education was complete you could leave the home and take a job and in her case she lived with her mother's sister Kate Taylor and worked in Birmingham visiting her siblings where whilst visiting in the winter of 1908 she learned that her two youngest sisters were to be sent to Canada (the two older children had already been sent in 1905 and 1906). My grandmother decided to emigrate on the same boat they were taking and had managed to find a job in London, Ontario where the youngest was to be sent.

There is a mystery in all of this because of the stories which were passed down to us. Firstly Ellen (mother of my grandmother) was said to have been divorced (this would help to explain the eldest half sister who lived in London, Ontario but was actually the illegitimate daughter of Ellen). The story was further compounded by changing the name of their mother to Rosina Decalma and the half sister had listed her parents as Edwin Taylor and Ellen Taylor. To help protect her I suspect, my grandmother than used this other name as did her siblings for their mother. Their father having been Edwin Denner Buller. But more interesting family lore has Edwin being disowned by his family for marrying a divorcee. This would explain why the children are placed in the home; likely his family was unaware of his death until later and by then they had all gone to Canada. Sifting through the actual documents and relating them to the family lore has been an interesting adventure. Fortunately, I had gone to visit my grandmother's youngest sister about 36 years ago now and learned the details of the children's home but she was only 1 when her mother died and 4 when her father died and was unable to correct any of the stories that had been created. It wasn't until I located the census records that I realized that the Rosina Decalma was erroneous! and that was in 2003 (my visit to my great aunt being in 1976).

I have still not met any descendants of this family line on line. They are all likely still in England. The Welch family did move away from Birmingham to the Handsworth area prior to the birth of my grandmother and likely all contact was lost with this family by the Buller family after the death of Sarah Welch (my 3x great grandmother) in 1872. For the Taylor family, I do not think that there are any direct descendants of the likely parents of Ellen - Ellen Roberts and Thomas Taylor. None of the children appear to have married with several being school teachers and again this family had moved to Ashton under Lyne by the late 1870s. Ellen Taylor must have returned to Birmingham to have her first child (illegimate) as she is found at the Aston Workhouse on the 1881 census. How she met Edwin Denner Buller and when and where they married is all a mystery although all the birth registrations of their seven children do bear the notation Ellen Buller formerly Taylor and the informant is sometimes Ellen and sometimes Edwin. One day I may solve the mystery of this family but at the moment what I know most is that my maternal mtDNA with its unusual mutations is found in Ayrshire/Argyllshire Scotland and Antrim, Ireland with the closest full genetic scan matches being found in Ossettia. Somewhere in there is an amazing story just waiting to be written!

Of course there is always the possibility that Ellen Taylor was herself the migrant coming from Ireland or Scotland to Birmingham although records indicate she was born in Birmingham but Edwin Denner Buller was the informant on her death registration and he may not have known!

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