Bill's Genealogy Blog

Bill Buchanan is a long-time genealogy enthusiast, living in Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada. This blog will describe my experiences as I research my family history and help others.

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Location: Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada

I am a retired online school teacher. I love family history. Since 2007, I have spent much of my time providing part-time support for the world's largest free family history site This is very rewarding. I have helped others with the Family Tree and related FamilySearch products.
Since April 2010, I have served in the Edmonton Riverbend Family History Centre. I have a FHC blog at Bill's Family History Center Blog For information the Latter-day Saints and family history click

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Research Success - Grants

I long believed that the maiden name of my 2GGM Mary Ann Wright was Grant. In, the only Mary Ann married to a Charles Wright in the right time period and general geographical area (Depwade Registration District of Norfolk, England) was this one:
Surname  First name(s)    District  Vol  Page
Marriages Dec 1839
GRANT  Mary Anne     Depwade  13 81
WRIGHT  Charles     Depwade  13 81

She repeatedly says in the censuses that she was born in Bunwell parish in 1821, but I could not find out who her parents were. Then I found this record:

England, Norfolk Bishop's Transcripts, 1685-1941, Norfolk, Archdeaconry of Norfolk, 1819
A-C,  Image 215 of 326 
It is 2 years earlier than she states in the census, but that is not uncommon.
1819 Sept 13, Mary Ann dau Stephen and Sarah Grant (late Hillings), Bunwell, Labourer

It even gave the mother's maiden name, not always present in British records. I began researching the family of Stephen Grant and Sarah Hillings. Things were going great until I looked at the 1851 census, and things fell apart! Their daughter "Mary Ann Hasle" was with them on census day. My Mary Ann was "Mary Ann Wright" by this time and was shown with her husband Charles Wright and their children. So obviously they were different Mary Ann Grants. At this point I decided to buy a copy of the marriage certificate of Charles Wright, in the hope it would clear things up. The wait for the certificate was agonizing. 

In the meantime, I decided to follow up on another line of investigation. In the 1901 census Mary Ann Wright is living as a widow with the family of a William Grant, about the right age to be a nephew. William might provide the clues I needed. I found a record in Pedigree Resource file that seemed to tie things together. Elcy Grant and Mary Ann Self had a son Elcy who had a son William. Elcy senior was shown with various siblings, including Stephen married to a Sarah, and among their children was a Mary Ann. This was definitely "Mary Ann Hasle". The somewhat sporadic PRF record showed that Elcy senior and Mary Ann also had a daughter shown as born 1824 and no husband listed. Could this be my Mary Ann? It seemed to all fit in place.

Yesterday we picked up the mail during our drive into Spruce Grove. Judy asked asked if I wanted her to open the envelope from the General Register Office, as I was driving the car. She knew that I was really hoping that the certificate would be for my Charles and that he was married to Mary Ann. I agreed. Before she said anything aloud I said. "Is Charles' father named Benjamin Wright?" She said "Yes, he is!" "And is Mary Ann Grant's father named Elcy Grant?" "Right again!" What a relief! I had spent hours putting the pieces together, and I was thrilled that I had come to the correct conclusions. 

I felt like doing some form of Genealogy Happy Dance, but this is not advisable when you are behind the steering wheel! 


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