Monday, July 5, 2010

London Lives - Barnard Goldfinch

I've extended one branch a generation further back this week.  I was inputting some surnames into London Lives, a new website recently mentioned by the Genealogy Insider.

I discovered the abstract of a will for a Barnard Goldfinch.

Parish, CountyPortsea , Hampshire
Parish NamePortsea
County, or CountryHampshire
Date Proven27 June 1789

My fourth great grandfather, William Denyer, married a Jane Goldfinch in 1791.  I knew from the marriage record I had found online that Jane was from Portsea, and William was from Farlington.

Denyer, William, of Farlington, lime-burner, 21, b., & Jane Goldfinch, of Portsea, 21, sp., at P., 22 Oct., 1791.  (from Hampshire allegations for marriage licences granted by the Bishop of Winchester: 1689 to 1837 - Vol 35, p. 217.) [The b. and sp. mean bachelor and spinster, and the 'at P.' most likely means 'at Portsea'.] 

I figured this Barnard Goldfinch was a likely candidate for a relative.  Not necessarily an ancestor, but possibly that too.  So before heading to the UK Archives to obtain a copy of the will, I did a google search on "Barnard Goldfinch."

There were a total of 8 results, including an index to baptisms in Farlington Parish from 1766-1812.  Apparently, a Barnard Goldfinch Denyer was born to a William (and Ann) Denyer on August 17, 1800.  Ann?  That's close to Jane.  Clerical or transcription error perhaps?

The parish index listed a total of 8 Denyers born to a William from 1793-1807, and the other seven had a mother named Jane.  My third great grandfather appears to be among them.  So it seems a likely clerical error.  Sure, there could be a child with a different mother -- but to name him after the other woman's father would be slightly unorthodox.  And at this point, I was suspecting that's what he was.  Still, I was less interested in the parentage of Barnard, than in the parentage of Jane.  I was certain I wanted to obtain that will.

The UK National Archives charges a fee per record.  (3.50 pounds)  However, you can immediately download the record.  Instant gratification.

Sort of.  I'd like to go back in time and invent the typewriter a few centuries early please!

[Image of will removed due to copyright/permission issues with the UK National Archives.]

It's going to take some work to transcribe (decipher) this, but my initial perusal finds no mentions of a wife, and mention of only one child, a spinster daughter named Jane.  Since my fourth great grandmother wasn't married yet to William Denyer, this is a very likely fifth great grandfather.

Whether or not he is descended from the Barnard Goldfinch who was born in 1643 in Winchester at the Goldfinch Cottage - is an unknown.
Correction: I have received some help in transcribing this, and there appears to have also been a son named Joseph, which could be helpful.


Claudia said...

That is an interesting document. I would need a magnifying glass to try to read it. Good thing it is in English.

John said...

I agree, it is a good thing it's in English. At least it isn't old enough to be in Latin.

The download from the archives is in a PDF format, which allows me to zoom in. It does help - but more with words and phrases I expect to find in a will.

I know it begins: This is the last will and testament of Mr. Bernard Goldfinch of Portsea in the County of [?] Sailmaker made whilst in sound mind, pefect [?] and disposing understanding whereby I [?] my soul to God and give heirs and bequest and dispose of my worldy estates and efforts in manner following...

I should be able to piece this together slowly.

[Portsea is in the county of Hampshire, and I know that isn't what it says.]

John said...

Well...I was off on a few of those words..I just received an email from a *very* kindly geneablogger giving me a full transcription.

There appears to be a son, Joseph, who I may be able to research.