Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Mary Hughes of Wordsley Maiden Name Mystery


     In what has become a personal issue (or perhaps obsession), I have gone through the Wordsley 1841 UK census looking for any Hughes, Green or Bourne surnames in attempt to see if any fall into a family pattern.  A familiar saying of my brother when we drive through a small town or area that is somewhat rural, why did you come here--what made you stay, always goes through my mind when a family or family member moves out of the "hometown".  Similar to my attempt to see why my paternal 3x great grandfather, Samuel Hughes and family, picked up and moved from Wordsley, his hometown in the mid to late 1860's.   My paternal 4x great grandmother Mary's maiden name, in particular, is beginning to drive me slightly crazy--who is her family?

     There are some leads to follow using the several decades of United Kingdom census reports and the few documents I have been able to locate on the web; however with no positive results.  As I have mentioned, with so much exasperation in other Wordsley Hughes blogs, there is a significant lack of any records for Wordsley--available on the web, even for a fee.

     Many UK Hughes researchers use one available marriage record for the maiden name of Mary--Mary Green.  This document is available on the FamilySearch website.  The date of 1827 would fit into the birth of their first known child, son, John Hughes, born circa 1829.

     Driving between Wordsley and Wolverhampton today would take about thirty minutes.  Back in the early 1800's the vast canal system around Birmingham did link Wordsley by canal with Wolverhampton.  Did both William and Mary live in Wolverhampton?  Did William meet Mary while moving his boat from town to town on the canal?  Is this even the correct William ad Mary?  Trust me, there are numerous married William and Mary Hughes families in this part of England--and all over the country.

Green surname on the Wordsley 1841 United Kingdom Census.  Of course if the above marriage document is not my family, then why would I even look for the Green surname in Wordsley, since the information above is from another town?  Well, perhaps William and Mary Hughes removed to Wordsley with other family members by 1841.  Actually, I was just noting the number of Green's living in Wordsley in 1841 as I was trying to find Bournes.  The Green's I did locate all seem to be hired by the various glass factories. Years back, when I assumed that the maiden name of Mary was Green, I noted that there was a William Green and family enumerated almost directly below my William and Mary Hughes family on the 1841 Wordsley United Kingdom census report.  In fact, as you will note by the scan of that document below, I even printed that the Green family could be Mary's brother.

Bourne Identity--maybe I'm related to Jason Bourne  LOL  Countless hours have been spent poking around the Wordsley 1841 census and UK documents looking for a connection.  The three Bourne men in the Wordsley area I have tracked down are William, Jeremiah and Samuel.  The various trees on ancestry.com list Jeremiah Bourne and Jane Grinton as Jeremiah and Samuel's parents.  Jeremiah and Jane married in Kingswinford Parish on May 18, 1807.  Known children are Sarah born 1814, Jeremiah born 1821,  Elizabeth born 1827 and Samuel born 1829.  There is certainly room for my 4x great grandmother to fit into this family in 1811.  Also the William Bourne enumerated with the Hughes family on the 1841 United Kingdom census and born circa 1826 would fit in chronologically.  Jeremiah died at age forty two in 1829 in Kingswinford Parish.  Listed on his son, Jeremiah's marriage certificate, his father Jeremiah's occupation is a canal carrier aka boatman.  Possible that two boatman families--Hughes and Bourne--operating out of the same town--Wordsley--would know each other.

1841 United Kingdom census

     The first census report I ever had access to was the 1841 Wordsley report.  At that time I was under the impression that Mary's maiden name was Green, hence the red starred Green family enumerated below William and Mary Hughes.  Upon further inspection, and now that her maiden name could be Bourne, I found a teen age boy, William Bourne, age fifteen, born circa 1829 working as a boatman and living with the Hughes family.  If William Bourne is Jeremiah's son, it would be only logical that he would also be a boatman, living in his older sister's house and assisting his uncle in the business.

1851 United Kingdom census
     Another obvious record is the 1851 United Kingdom census which lists Samuel Bourne as a brother in law.  Who was the census taker taking the information from that day in Wordsley?  If it was from William Hughes, then Bourne would be Mary's maiden name.  If Mary was in the house that day and giving the information, then Samuel Bourne could be a man who was married to one of William's sisters.  Samuel was listed as twenty two years old which would estimate his birth circa 1829.  Both William and Mary were born circa 1811, so Samuel could fall into either category--younger brother of Mary or married to one of William's younger sisters.  The scenario of married to a younger sister of William could not be true as Samuel is listed as unmarried.  Here's a thought--perhaps Mary's father was a Green and died and Mary's widowed mother married a Bourne and Samuel was a product of this marriage thus making him a step brother of Mary's.  I have decided that Samuel is Mary Hughes's brother thus making her maiden name Bourne

Some day I am hoping to locate a couple of Bourne family marriage documents to verify this.  By the way, Samuel Bourne does marry Jane Challingsworth, has several children and dies at age thirty four in Wordsley.  Perhaps the descendants of that marriage have some concrete information on their ancestors that will assist me with this brick wall.

I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU. All comments are welcome; however, if they are inappropriate, they will not be published.    PLEASE post your e-mail in the comment section if you would like to network about a particular surname or topic. I awill capture it for my use only and not include it when I publish your comment.
© 2018, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

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