David EDWARDS & Mary KERREY of Ryton-by-Shifnal

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M_O'Neill
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Hello all, I've just joined the forum, very pleased to have found this community. smiley

I'm looking for any information about a David EDWARDS (b c1771) and a Mary KERREY his wife (b c1766), my 5Xgreat-grandparents. They were married on the 2nd of May 1797 in Ryton-by-Shifnal and had at least 5 children including my 4Xgreat-grandfather Thomas EDWARDS.

They are found in both the 1841 and 1851 censuses living with Thomas and his family in Ryton. Mary EDWARDS (neé KERREY) is listed in 1851 as having been born in Shropshire, but David EDWARDS is listed as having been born in Essex(!)

I'd be very interested on any information anyone can find on either of these two people. I know it's very difficult to find a lot of records pre-1800s and I'm very fortunate to have got this far!

I'd be especially interested to hear ideas on how David EDWARDS could have ended up so far from his birthplace in an era before mass travel. He was working as an agricultural labourer well into his old age so I wonder how he would have been able to afford the trip.

Any and all help greatly appreciated. smiley

Regards,

Mike O'Neill

Michael J Hulme
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Hello Mike

One long shot - is it possible that David EDWARDS worked for an employer (large estate?) that had land in Essex and Shropshire?

Mike

M_O'Neill
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Hello Michael,

Thanks for the suggestion, I hadn't actually thought of that! Looks like I'll need to go researching prominent landowners next.

My only other thought was that he had perhaps previously worked in a profession that entailed a lot of travel (sailor, soldier, etc), but seeing as he was only in his mid-twenties when he married, so I don't know if that's realistic or not.

However he got there, David EDWARDS seemed pretty settled once he reached Ryton. He seems to have lived out the rest of his days in the same village.

PhilPoole
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Mike,

I see their marriage record is on the findmypast website (wrongly indexed as being in 1795, and Mary's surname wrongly indexed as Kenney). On a more positive note do the witnes names of William and Mary Nutt have any significance to the family?

The register states that David was of the parish of Shifnal, and Mary of this parish, presumably Ryton.

One other thought. Have you looked for marriages of any siblings of David and Mary?  I've used this in my own research as one brother married another sister, and also to help with witnesses.

 

Regards

Phil

M_O'Neill
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So I had a brief look into the ownership of land in Ryton, and it's pretty tough to find out who owned what. The manor was owned by one John Craven, 1st Baron Craven of Ryton, but he died childless and the estate became extinct on his death in 1648.

In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Ryton thus:

RYTON, a parish in Shiffnal district, Salop; near the river Worf, 3 miles S by E of Shiffnal r. station. It gave the title of Baron to the Cravens. Post-town, Shiffnal. Acres, 1, 442. Real property, £2, 536. Pop., 213. Houses, 39. The property is divided among five. The manor belongs to R. H. Cheney, Esq. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Lichfield. Value, £545.* Patron, G. Roberts, Esq. The church was recently restored. There is a national school.

 I believe the R.H. CHENEY listed here is one Robert Henry CHENEY (b1799) who also inherited the estate of Badger, Shropshire in 1839. R.H. CHENEY was the nephew of Issac Hawkins BROWNE. R.H CHENEY was apparently quite a reknowned watercolourist and pioneer photographer. He painted a number of scenes in Essex and I discovered that his sister Frederica CHENEY had married a Mr CAPEL CURE of Blake Hall, Ongar Essex in 1822. So surprisingly, there does seem to be some connection between that part of Shropshire and Essex, though it's all a little bit after David EDWARDS' time.

What I haven't discovered yet is whether R.H. CHENEY inherited the manor at Ryton or whether he had bought it outright. That might give me some further idea as to whether or not there is a more solid connection between the CHENEY family and my ancestors.

Once again, all help gratefully recieved. smiley

M_O'Neill
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Hey Phil, thanks for the information!

So the birthplace of David EDWARDS seems to be a real curiosity. He's listed in both his marriage record and the census of 1841 as being born in Shropshire, but he's listed in the 1851 census as being born in Essex. It's most definitely the same person and it's definitely not a mis-transcription.

I guess it's possible he'd have reason to lie about being out of county? Either that or someone made a big mistake when the 1851 census was being filled in.

PhilPoole
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Hi Mike,

Minor point, but the 1851 Census I looked at gives Mary as being born in Staffordshire.

It looks as though the Cheney family moved around a bit. According to 1851 Census (living at Badger Hall)  Robert and his sister Harriet (c.1808)  were born in Newcastle upon Tyne/Northumberland , whilst his brothers Edward and Ralph were born in Winkfield, Berks in 1804 & 1811. The three brothers were all described as being Landed Proprieitor. One of their servants Mary Cole was born in Alveley, Essex c.1825. Robert was High Sherriff of Shropshire and JP.

Regards

Phil

M_O'Neill
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Whoops! Thanks, Phil, I'd completely mis-typed that! So it seems like she also has a different birthplace to the wedding record. I suppose it's possible that the records show different couples but I would be surprised if it did. I can't find any other references to a David and Mary Edwards in relation to Ryton. Also the date of marriage matches up with the first children of the marriage.

I shall have to do some digging into the background of Mary Cole and see if anything interesting comes up. 

Yes, it definitely seems the Cheneys moved around a lot - They apparently spent a lot of time travelling on the continent and had a town-house in Mayfair, London. Also, Robert Henry Cheney's father was a Robert Cheney, who died as a Lieutenant-General of the Grenadier Guards. If my ancestor David Edwards did have any working link to that family it would have been during the father's generation, as opposed to Robert Henry.
I'd just like to say thank you to everyone who has responded so far, it's been a very big help. smiley

Michael J Hulme
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Hello Mike

A couple of points of detail. Above you say, "David EDWARDS seems to be a real curiosity. He's listed in both his marriage record and the census of 1841 as being born in Shropshire."

The 1841 census has a column which asks whether the person was born in the county (of enumeration) which is usually answered with a 'Y' or 'N'. I have found that this can sometimes be very unreliable.

A marriage record has never provided the place of birth. Between 1754 and 1837 the marriage register usually tells us the residence of the bride and groom at the time of the marriage in the form "of this parish" (often abbreviated to 'otp') or "of the parish of ......." but neither of these can be relied on to give a place of birth. From 1837 onwards the residence may, or may not, appear in slightly more detail but again does not provide a birth place.

Mike

M_O'Neill
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Ah, that makes a lot of sense - thanks for that, Mike! smiley

So I guess the birthplaces of Staffordshire for Mary and Essex for David should probably be given the most credence then. 

In that case, it looks like David Edwards was residing somewhere in the parish of Shifnal when he married Mary Kerrey. I've found one record of a David Evans being born in 1772 in Barking, Essex to John Edwards and an Eleanor - but without any corroborating evidence that looks like quite the long shot.

Does anyone else have any experience tracking and confirming relatives over such long distances? I guess being all the way back in the 18th century doesn't help matters!

M_O'Neill
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So I've now had the opportunity to take a look at the marriage document of David Edwards and Mary Kerrey. One thing that strikes me about the document is that, while David and Mary are illiterate, as expected, William and Mary sign their own names - in handwriting more fancy than that of the minister!

Makes me wonder who the Nutt family were - perhaps even employers?

M_O'Neill
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I hope everyone doesn't mind me bumping this very old thread - but I've finally made some breakthroughs on this long standing mystery and I wanted to share it here!

I've recently located a settlement examination of my 5x great-grandfather David Edwards, made in 1798 in Ryton. It's an amazingly useful document for a genealogist, and in among other useful information, David states that:

  • He claims he doesn't know where he was born.
  • That at around 10 years of age he remembers living with his father John at Park Lane, Shifnal.
  • He then moved around, working for various farmers until he got a year's employment with a William Broughall of Evelith as a servant, thereby gaining legal settlement.

From this, I was able to find the burial record of said father John - he was laid to rest in Shifnal in 1783, listed as a 'gardner' and aged 61 which makes sense why David moved around a lot after that point.

I then thought back to my 'long shot' baptism in Barking posted above, where the father was a John and the mother was an Eleanor. Lo and behold a search reveals a burial record for an 'Eleanor Edwards of Park Lane' buried in 1802, aged 71.

As there was another son born to the Barking couple, a John in 1771, I decided to look for him. Sure enough, I found a 'John Edwards of Park Lane', died 1851. By sheer good fortune he'd lived long enough to see the 1851 census, still living in Park Lane Shifnal. His where born listed him as 'Essex'. With all this information, I am now as certain as I can be that this is the right family and that John and Eleanor are my 6x great grandparents.

Now this still leaves the mystery of why and how they went from Essex to Shropshire, but I at least have more information to go on. Judging by John and Eleanor's ages, the two boys in Essex would have been fairly late births (assuming of course they weren't late baptisms). A search for removal orders either from essex to shropshire or vice versa has as yet come up empty, as have any records for a possible military reason for John to be moving round so much.

There is a marriage by license between a John Edwards and an Eleanor Harding in Little Packington, Warwickshire in 1765 where the groom is listed as being 'of the parish of Barnes, Surrey'. In the birth record of a girl born to the couple the next year, John is listed in the parish register as 'John Edwards of Essex'. Of course, this is probably an unrelated couple and a total long shot - but if I've learnt anything this week it's that every once in a while, a longshot turns out to be correct! laugh

So, that's my update on this. Anyone have any ideas of where to go from here, or theories on why this couple moved so far?