The purpose of this piece of research is to determine:

  • The parentage of Liza Alder born 1829
  • The birth dates of William and Elizabeth Alder as this may have a bearing on the above
  • The parentage of Percival Alder/Barrett born 1859
  • The relationship, if any, between Liza Alder and Albert John Barrett.

I have the advantage of having CD collection of the parishes of Berkshire. Hopefully, these should be able to answer the questions without having to spend hours trolling through on-line sites.

Eliza Alder born 1829

On the 1841 census she is described as the daughter of William and Elizabeth Alder. However, on the 1851 census she is living with John Barrett and his wife Harriet (formerly Alder) at the White Hart, Fyfield. John described her as ‘daughter in law’.

Because of other misleading census information, this has raised the question of her true parentage. It means it is possible that she is the illegitimate daughter of Harriet Alder, born before her marriage to John Barrett

First searched the baptism records for Fyfield and Tubney.

Tubney parish records date from 1847 and earlier records were kept at Fyfield, St. Nicholas.

There was no record of her baptism at either place but I could confirm the birth dates and marriage of William and Elizabeth Alder and this information we have.

So, where to look next? I thought a quick search on Ancestry and Find My Past might be quicker than looking through a hundred or so parish records as I didn’t know where she was born.

Ancestry was useless but FMP came up trumps and I nearly fell off my chair.

There it was:

Eliza Alder baptised at Appleton on 20 February 1829 daughter of Harriett.

The next thing to do was to check the Cd’s for the baptism records for Appleton.

Again, there it was! Stated in the record:

Baptised privately because of sickness, Eliza Weaving Alder 20 February 1829 illegitimate daughter of Harriet Alder of Tubney!!!

Now, the additional name of Weaving alerted me instantly because we have Weavings in our family tree!!!!! This was Harriet’s way of indicating the father.

Harriet’s and John’s sons married Weaving sisters!

James August Barrett married Rose Weaving in 1861 and Albert John Barrett married Martha Weaving in 1865. Both marriage certificates state that the girls’ father is Thomas Weaving a Bailiff and Relieving Officer!

Back to Fyfield records and a Thomas Weaving was baptised at Fyfield in 1807, son of James and Ann Weaving. This makes Thomas 2 years older than Harriet and very likely the father of Liza.

Thomas’ marriage record cannot be found at present either on line or in Parish records but according to the 1841 and 1851census’ his wife’s first name was Ann born about the same time as Thomas.  Again, the years of birth are very much out.

Percival Henry Alder born 1858

He was baptised on 19 December 1858 at Tubney. His mother is Eliza Alder a spinster. There is no indication of the father’s name. On 1861 census he and Liza are living with John and Harriet. John has described Percy as his grandson – technically he was Harriet’s grandson. He still records Liza as daughter in law but wonder if this is for appearances sake for the census. Having accepted everything else here, I cannot quite make the leap of either James or Albert ‘getting it on’ with their half-sister because that is what Eliza is.

It is interesting to note that on the next page of the census, there is Thomas Weaving and family.

On 1871 census, Eliza and Percival are lodging with a Charlotte Wicks who is a tailor and Eliza a dressmaker. I am not aware of the surname Wicks in the family so don’t think there’s a connection.

Percival’s birth reference is;

1858 4th quarter v 2c page 232 Abingdon

His death reference is;

Percival H Alder-Barrett

1881 1st quarter v 3a page 426 Headington Oxfordshire

Could order these to see if there is any more information as to parentage or cause of death.

Sheila Wheatley

See also this post

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Paul Barrett

    So you’ve confirmed the dates of Harriet’s parents. Good. Check

    We are now certain that Eliza is Harriet’s illegitimate child. Check

    But we can’t be certain that John Barrett is her biological father. Check

    So I think I will

    1. Adjust the family tree to show Harriet as having two family units (because that’s how the software works) The chronological first family will be Eliza with a single parent, Harriet. The second will be the existing one with John.
    2. I will delete Eliza as Elizabeth Winter’s daughter.
    3. I will make notes against the Census returns pointing out the discerpancies in that record.That should do it? Agree?

  2. SheilaWheatley

    I feel it very unlikely that John Barrett is Eliza’s biological father.
    Shall i order certificates in case there’s more info.
    Yes make the adjustments, that’s fine.

    Have I asked you this before, can I add research notes to different individuals in tree?

  3. Paul Barrett

    Sorry it’s taken so long to answer. Yes, you can leave research notes anywhere in the tree. The way to do it is covered in the Help System here:

    Look for the item called “Indicating that a record needs more research”

  4. Paul Barrett

    OK so now that we have the death certificate of Percival, and looking through your notes it seems we can draw a hard descendant line and a soft partnership line thus:

    Harriet Alder ———– Thomas Weaving
    Eliza Weaving Alder
    Percival Henry Alder-Barrett

    The Barrett addition to Percival’s name has to be him acknowledging the way his mother’s step-father treated her as his own don’t you think?

    I can’t make out the name of the person present at Percival’s death. My best guess is Jane Ostler? Landlady perhaps? Nurse?

    One final thought. You noted that the baptismal record said “Baptised privately because of sickness..” It may have been true but she must have recovered if she went on to have a son. Another possibility is that the baptism was held privately to enable the “Eliza as the daughter of Harriet’s mother” deception to take place.

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