I see that Findmypast.co.uk has discovered a number of interesting finds within their newly available local records for Cheshire. The Workhouse records, parish registers, bishop’s transcripts and electoral registers from this English county were published by them recently in what findmypast.co.uk has called ‘The Cheshire Collection.’ It is a series of over ten million historic records that have been provided for them by the Cheshire Archives and Local Studies and which covers more than 350 years of Cheshire history.
One or two of the most interesting are:
– Lewis Carroll’s baptism took place in Daresbury on the 11th of July 1832
– An earthquake hit Cheshire on 18 March 1612
– Ancestors of the James Bond actor, Daniel Craig, sold coal and were iron moulders
A really unusual record that can be found in this collection is that of the ‘peculiar marriage’ between Daniel Broadbent and Martha Cheetham in Mottram-in-Longdendale on 9 March 1780. So what was strange about it? The fact that Daniel was just 23 and Martha was 83 years old! As you would expect death was soon to part them, but if we look at the Mottram registers for just the following year we will find that it was Daniel Broadbent ofÂ Hattersley who was buried on 30 May 1781.
In another record we can find that, on 6 May 1776, 105 year-old George Harding wed Jane Darlington, 75, at St Oswald, Chester.
These unusual marriage records just go to show that, in the 18th century, people found love at any age. However, the records also reveal a darker side of Cheshire’s past, telling several tales of death from the plague.
In 1625 the country fell under an outbreak of the plague that went on to kill 35,000 people. One area that was affected was Malpas in Cheshire. From the online records harrowing accounts of those who were killed by the disease can be found. For example, there was one Richard Dawson of Bradley, whose tale in The Cheshire Collection, is as follows:
“â€¦being sick of the plague and perceiving that he must die at that time arose out of his bed and made his grave and caused his nephew to cast straw into the graveâ€¦ and went and lay him down in the said grave, and caused clothes to be laid upon and so departed out of this worldâ€¦ he died about 28th august, this much I was credibly told.”
Family history records from the ancestors of Daniel Craig and the discovery of the Cheshire earthquake surprised Debra Chatfield, marketing manager at findmypast.co.uk. She commented: “These records make it possible for family historians and local history researchers to delve as far back as 1538, unearthing all sorts of unusual finds quickly and easily at their fingertips. Who would have known that Cheshire was hit by an earthquake in 1612 or that James Bond’s ancestors sold lumps of coal?”
Jonathan Pepler, County Archivist for Cheshire Archives and Local Studies,Â said: “This is a very exciting development for everyone interested in Cheshire and its rich history.”
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