Diggin' up Dead People

A Genealogy Blog

Week 31: Easy: Alfred Wombwell

This week’s challenge from Amy Johnson Crow at 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2015:

Week 31 (July 30-August 5) – Easy: We ended July with “Challenging,” so it seems fitting to begin August with “Easy.” Which ancestor has been pretty easy to research? (Come on, there has to be one!)

I did not have an easy time with the “Easy” theme!  Sure there are easy “insta-ancestors” out there, all I need to do is find and import a tree from one of the genealogy sites!  But, many of these trees are riddled with errors, so easy is often inaccurate as well.  And honestly, its the hunt that makes genealogy fun.

Some of the people I research I could swear were dropped down from the mother ship for the sole purpose of procreating and then beamed back up- forever lost to me thereafter.  By contrast, my 2nd great grandfather, Alfred Wombwell, lead a documented life.  In that respect, researching him was easy.

Alfred was born on the 1st of October 1844 to James Wombwell and his first wife Sophia Trigg.

1844 Wombwell, Alfred birth

1844 Wombwell, Alfred birth

In 1847, he and his sister, Mary Ann (born 1845) were baptized on Oct 10th at the Parish of St. Mary’s Islington. This record is a bump in the road- it lists Alfred’s birthdate as 2 Oct 1847.  Less concerned about the exact date, but more importantly, it is the year that is questionable.  Certainly, the person performing the baptism would have noticed the difference between an infant and a 3 year old.  Was this simply an error in the transcription of the original records into the register?  Or could there have been a death of the first Alfred and another Alfred born to the family?  With no other birth, baptism or death records having been found to support the theory of a second son Alfred, I am inclined to believe the year entered in the register was simply in error.  Certainly, I am open to further evidence revising this conclusion.

London, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906 for Alfred Wömbwell, Ancestry.com

London, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906 for Alfred Wömbwell, Ancestry.com

In 1851, the first census he would appear in, young Alfred, age 6 years (leading further support to the late 1844 birth date), is enumerated with his parents and siblings in the parish of St. Mary’s Islington.

Snip of 1851 census showing James Wombwell household, Ancestry.com

Snip of 1851 census showing James Wombwell household, Ancestry.com

In October of 1867, Alfred married Jane Taylor.

Snip of Marriage return certified by the GRO

Snip of Marriage return certified by the GRO

Their eldest son, Alfred, was born in about 1868 in England.  The family had emigrated from England to the United States by December of 1870, when daughter, Sophia, was born. The family was not found in the 1870 United States census, suggesting that that immigration to the United States was possibly after 1 June 1870. Alfred and Jane had a third child, George, born in 1877.  The children were all admitted to the Church of the Epiphany in Rochester, New York.

Alfred is found in city directories in Rochester, New York from 1871 through his death in 1884.  In the 1871 directory he is listed at 11 Chapin Street, his father James is at 8 Chapin.  In his first few years in Rochester, Alfred is listed at a few different addresses, but from 1875 until his death in 1884, he is consistently listed on Tremont Place.  Alfred’s employment, both in the United States and England was laborer.  He and his family are found on the 1880 United States Census in Rochester.

1880 US Census- Alfred Wombwell, Ancestry.com

1880 US Census- Alfred Wombwell, Ancestry.com

In January 1884, Alfred died due to parisis.  (Interestingly, his age is listed as 36 on the death certificate.  This is clearly in error, as he was 35 years old 4 years earlier in the 1880 US census!)  He is buried at the Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester.

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