Great Grandad’s birth

1857 does sound a long time ago. It was the year one of our great grandfathers was born on the 24th October of that year. This birth certificate was actually issued in 1912. We do not know why a birth certificate was required then.

Great Grandad's birth certificate. Click this picture for an enlarged and readable version

Great Grandad’s birth certificate. Click this picture for an enlarged and readable version

The great thing about a birth certificate is the information given surrounding the new arrival. We get the names of the parents – William Paul and Mary Ann, formerly Miss Beard as well as that of the new-born – Walter Henry Paul. We get the location of 13 Sargent Street in Bedminster on the Somerset side of Bristol. We haven’t visited this place, but this end of terrace house is 13 Sargent Street on street view. It possibly was not the end of terrace once.

Great Grandad's birth place

Great Grandad’s birth place

We can see that William, a great great grandfather was a carpenter and joiner of journeyman status. That meant he was qualified and had served an apprenticeship but had not, at that time, trained an apprentice himself.

Unfortunately we have been unable to trace much of the Beard ancestors. We think Mary Ann’s father was Thomas who married a Sarah Reed, but that is as far as we go.

Of course, both William and Mary were born before the registration of births, marriages and deaths commenced in 1837 but we know from censuses that William was born in Cirencester and Mary in Bristol.

For unknown reasons Walter’s parents left Bristol before 1881 and went to live in Clacton in Essex. At about the same time Walter and his young wife left Bristol and went to Redruth in Cornwall. Were they trying to get some miles between them? They certainly succeeded.

It is fun trying to fathom out why things happened in those long ago years. But answers can never be definite. One of Walter’s sons left Redruth and went to live in Inverness. Family legend had it that there had been a rift but we discovered that the wife of Percy, up in Inverness had actually come from North East Scotland. So maybe they just went home for her.

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