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Death Certificate puzzle

Discussion in 'General Genealogical Queries' started by pennywise, Aug 18, 2019.

  1. pennywise

    pennywise LostCousins Star

    I discovered that my third great grandmother was Esther Jupp who married Thomas Luxford 24 April 1833 in Itchingfield Sussex. In 1851 she is living in Wisborough Green, Sussex with her children. The youngest is George William Luxford born 1846. A copy of his birth certificate gives his mother’s maiden name as Jupp. Esther says she is a widow in 1851. However I was unable to find a death for her husband.

    When the GRO Indexes were published on-line I searched for any children she might have had after George William and found she had had another son, Lorenger Luxford, born 9 August 1851 at 3 Wickham Place Chelsea. He was the son of Thomas and Esther nee Jupp.

    I was unable to find Thomas Luxford in the 1851 but 1861 census shows Thomas living at Cumberland Street Chelsea with his son George William and an 11 year old step daughter Martha Andrews. Thomas says he is married but his wife is not present. On 19 June 1859 Thomas, a widower, married Susanna Andrews a widow, daughter of William Barnes. Thomas died in Chelsea in 1881.

    However, I was unable to find any further census entries for Esther or her youngest son Lorenger, nor could I find any reference to their deaths. I did find that in 1854 a Lorenger Puttick aged 3 died at Keppel Street Chelsea. He was the son of Thomas Puttick I also found that an Esther Puttick died in 1853 at Wickham Place Chelsea. She was 46 the wife of Thomas Puttick.

    Lorenger is quite an unusual Christian name and as I have been unable to find a death for Lorenger Luxford or for Esher Luxford, his mother, it might be that their deaths were both registered as Puttick instead of Luxford. (I did buy copies of both death certs). Has anyone encountered anything similar on death certs or offer any explanations I have been searching to put poor old Esther and her son Lorenger to bed for many years now and would be so grateful for any enlightenment.
  2. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    I don't think you need any help - you've already solved the mystery. Everything fits together perfectly in an era when there was no divorce.

    Well done!
  3. Helen7

    Helen7 LostCousins Superstar

    It's not just the death certificates. There are corresponding burial records, both at St Luke's, Chelsea: Esther Puttick buried 1 Mar 1853 and Laurenger Puttick buried 21 Aug 1854. Both of the ages and addresses you mention. I agree it would be a very strange coincidence if there was a different 3-year-old named Lorenger/Laurenger in Chelsea in 1854. There is a big clue in that Esther was separated from her husband and calling herself a widow in 1851. The obvious conclusion is that Esther acquired a new partner named Puttick and changed her surname and that of her youngest child.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
  4. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    Yes, frequently, and not just on death certificates. Some people went to great lengths to cover up not being married or having an illegitimate child. Even in the days before divorce was affordable for ordinary people, many would still move on to a new relationship after a marriage breakdown. Some married bigamously while others simply lived together, using the same surname so as to appear married.
  5. canadianbeth

    canadianbeth LostCousins Member

    I was surprised to discover that a first cousin 3x removed had been divorced in 1906. She had then re-married. She had two children with her first husband but listed them in the 1911 census with her second husband's name. I do not know if she legally changed their names or not, but when they married they gave their children that name.
  6. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    In England all changes of name are legal (unless there is intent to deceive).
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 2
  7. Heather

    Heather LostCousins Member

    What some people will do to confuse their descendants !! :rolleyes:
    • Agree Agree x 2
  8. jorghes

    jorghes LostCousins Member

    I think that was wonderfully sorted out! What a story there must have been behind why one child went with the father and the other with their mother!
  9. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Presumably the child by the father went with him - the mother would had no right to custody in those days - and the child who went with the mother was somebody else's child.
  10. jorghes

    jorghes LostCousins Member

    Admittedly, that was my first thought!
  11. pennywise

    pennywise LostCousins Star

    Thank you all so much for your advise and thoughts. I will now add the deaths of Esther and her son to my Tree. I have been dithering around for at least two years, trying to make up my mind! You have helped me decide.

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