Running with dogs
My paper ancestry continues to expand, thanks mainly to searchable indexes online. I now have no less than thirty of my thirty two G.G.G grandparents named. The only two that are still missing on the fan chart are unlikely to ever surface, as in both cases, the ancestors were illegitimate. I think that I've done well since recovering my old .gedcom file from the Internet. How many people can name thirty of their great great great grandparents? Five generations back no less.
One challenge was breaking through an old block with my great great grandmother Ann Smith of Attleborough, Norfolk. Years ago, I hit a block. I knew her 1835 birth date from her headstone in Attleborough. I knew that her maiden name was Peach - not a local name. I knew on 19th Century censuses that she stated her place of birth to be Eaton, Lincolnshire. That was a bit odd for my Norfolk ancestors. I had found her on one census, living in the same household as a Sarah Peach that appeared old enough to be her mother, or maybe an aunt. Only that Sarah Peach was a washer woman that had been born in Hockwold, Norfolk.
A recent search online, bit by bit, placed all of the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together. Sarah was the mother of Ann. Sarah Peach was one of my G.G.G grandparents. But Peach was her married name. Despite being described on censuses as unmarried, she had briefly been married in the East Midlands. Something happened to that marriage. She was born in Hockwold, Norfolk in 1812, and christened as Sarah Riches. Her parents were Benjamin Riches, a labourer who himself had been born c.1779 at Old Buckenham, Norfolk, and Elizabeth Riches (nee Snelling) who had been born at Banham, Norfolk. Something later took Sarah Riches out of Norfolk, all the way to the Lincolnshire area. In 1835 at Holywell in the East Midlands, she married a David Peach. Five months later, their daughter Ann Peach was born not at Eaton in Lincolnshire, but at Etton in what is now Cambridgeshire. I never see David Peach again. Instead, Sarah and her daughter Ann turned up six years later in Attleborough, Norfolk, living there with her parents who had moved there from nearby Hockham.
Ann went on to marry my great great grandfather in 1857. They settled in Attleborough, where they went on to run a builders business, a beerhouse, and a builders supply yard - all from the Grapes in the town.
Her mother Sarah didn't disappear. She never married again, but she did give birth to two more children. She worked throughout as a char woman or laundress in Attleborough.
Another mystery solved, and another pair of G.G.G grandparents into the bag.
Now when I eventually get my DNA results from 23andMe (33 days so far), I'll have a good idea of where that autosomal DNA came from.