Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Clementina Cross d. 1874 b. 1875 - How does that work?

From time to time I come across family records that can be confusing.   My great grandmother Clementina Maud (Cross) Page was born in Walberswick, Suffolk, England on 16 Dec 1875.  She was the daughter of Benjamin Cross and Rachel (Howard) Cross.

When I first started researching this line, I had plenty of records to indicate my g-grandmothers birth year. Imagine my surprise when she started showing up in the 1861 and 1871 England census. [1]

Or was it really her?

I assumed that there was in fact another Clementina Cross.  An obviously older sister.  I assumed that she had died at a young age, but had been unable to find a record to prove that point.

Tonight, I finally came up with a reference to her death.  In the England & Wales BMD death index, her death was recorded the 3rd quarter of 1874.[2]  I will now have to order that death certificate and see if it better explains her fate.

My g-grandmother was born year and a half later.[3]

Wouldn't it be strange to be named after a dead sibling?  Living in a household called by the same name as a sister that had been around for 15 years previous to you.

Interestingly, I believe I have found evidence of this practice on my Mexican side as well.

While I am sure that this was done to honor the dead, it's an interesting tradition that seems to have fallen away in our current culture.

Thankfully in my opinion.

[1] England 1861, Class: RG 9; Piece: 1179; Folio: 83; Page: 10; GSU roll: 542769.
{2} England & Wales, Free BMD Death Index, 1837-1915, 1874, 3rd quarter, Blything, Suffolk, 4a, 394
[3] England & Wales, Free BMD Death Index, 1837-1915, 1875, 4th quarter, Blything, Suffolk, 4a, 75

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