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Wield churchyard

As with all data that gets indexed or transcribed there is always the possibility that information can be misread due to bad handwriting or general aging. Whilst preparing information for the forthcoming village booklet on Wield I have found a prime example of this.  I had been looking for information on the EARWAKER farming family and amongst other sources have been using details from the Memorial Inscriptions Index for Wield.


John EARWAKER was baptized in Privett on 21 February 1802 but before the 1841 census was taken he had moved to and was farming in Wield.  He married Ann EWEN there on 4 September 1834.  Their eldest son John Maberley was baptized in Wield on 26 June 1836 and subsequently farmed in Exton with his wife Louisa.


John Maberley returned to Wield and possibly took over his father’s farm after he died.  He was recorded as farming there in 1891 and continued until he died on 17 March 1917.  Looking in the 1911 census he was still in Wield but with a much younger wife named Eleanor.  This prompted a GRO search to find that he married Eleanor J.C.F. ATTWATER in the first quarter of 1905 in Wandsworth district.  However, this raised a problem because I had already seen a memorial for Louisa stating that she died on 7 April 1905, after his second marriage.  Another check on the GRO revealed that Louisa’s death was registered in the second quarter of 1902.  This must be a situation where weathering on the stone resulted in a 2 being read as a 5.


With tens of thousands of MI records having been indexed there are likely to be other similar errors. In particular with some older stones where the inscriptions have become weathered making it difficult to correctly read a name or date.  If you do experience any similar situations where it can be proved in any of our indexes that the details our volunteers have collected are incorrect please let us know so that corrections can be made.  It may prevent somebody else from making serious mistakes in their research.




Roy Montgomery


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