Saturday, 21 May 2011

Which Ellen Danson married Ralph Dewhurst? Mystery Monday

Three Ellen Danson's in the 1790's in Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire  - but which one married Ralph Dewhurst?

My four times great grandfather John Danson  had a daughter Ellen Danson, baptised at St. Chad's Church in 1763 (Poulton Parish Register)   In searching for a marriage I came across an Ellen Danson marrying a Ralph Dewhurst  - and made the basic fatal family history mistake.  I assumed this must be my Ellen.  
Some years later  I had  contact from a fellow Danson researcher who thought that that my John and his Richard were brothers, both sons of Peter Danson.    Richard had six daughters including an Ellen. born 1768 who it was  believed married Ralph Dewhurst. 

In my favour is that Ellen and Ralph  appeared to name their eldest daughter Margaret,(the name of "my" Ellen's mother)  and second son John after her father - so following the traditional naming pattern in the north of England and Scotland.  On the other hand these are Christian names in popular  use, and  "my" Ellen would have been 33 years of age on marriage, which seems quite old for the time. I was also  slightly sceptical on the John and Richard link, as Richard is not a Christian name that featured  in any of my family Danson lines.  

This is very much a sideline to my main research, so I did nor pursue it any further at this stage.


I was surprised  last week to find in the listing of members' interests  in the  Lancashire Family History and Herladic Society magazine  a reference to Danson and Dewhurst. I made contact and recevied an  e-mail from a fellow member  who had in her family an Ellen Danson (daughter of Raplh Danson)  and guess what  - this Ellen married Ralph Dewhurst. 

According to the website http://www.lan-opc.org.uk/ the population of Poulton in 1801 was 2938, and a search today on Family Search for the names Danson and Dewhurst brought up plenty of entries, so identifying who is who  is not easy.   Entries on the Public Trees on http://www.ancestry.co.uk/ are equally a minefield - many cite Ellen Danson, daughter of "my" John Danson and Margaret Fayle, but most (geneabloggers will not be surprised to hear) are short on source citations.   Much more unravelling is called for here!

What is certain is  that an Ellen Danson was born to my ancestors John Danson and Margaret Fayle,   and that an Ellen Danson married a Ralph Dewhurst at the same church  in 1796, but which Ellen was she?


Unfortunately the records available do not throw any light on this mystery and the message to me  is a strong one - DO NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS!  
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Mystery Monday  is a daily prompt from http://www.geneabloggers.com/, used by many bloggers to help them tell stories of their ancestors.

Copyright © 2011 · Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved

1 comment:

  1. Hi Susan
    I too am nuts about family history. The story you tell above is one i have come across too. I guess it keeps us on our toes, it would be too easy otherwise eh.
    Good blog, i have added you to my links page.

    all the best
    Gill

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