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Thread: Plain English please! What's a ward in chancery?

  1. #1

    Plain English please! What's a ward in chancery?

    and is there somewhere I can find out more about a person who was one?

  2. #2
    Member Mary from Italy's Avatar
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    I think it's just what we'd call a "ward of court" nowadays. No idea where you'd find out more - what period is it?

  3. #3
    Administrator Elaine ..Spain's Avatar
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    Merry - there's a question about it on a rootsweb listing - might be of help
    RootsWeb: GLAMORGAN-L Re: Ward of CHANCERY

  4. #4
    Thanks you two!

    Well, I have a tree of 2,000 people completed by my 1st cousin (a few times removed) between 1890 and 1963! A friend of ours is related to a lady in the tree who "married in", so my relative only has the bare bones about her.

    Maria Harvey b abt 1780/1 married William Hunt 15th Oct 1799 (no place given, but I should think it was a Quaker marriage in Bristol). Maria was buried in 1852 at Kingsweston aged 72.

    The age at burial is probably where he got her approx year of birth from, though she is noticeably younger in 1841 and 1851 (living at Henbury Gloucestershire)! The only other note he has about her is "ward in chancery" which I would guess he found with the marriage entry when she was probably a minor. The 1851 census says she was born in Croydon, Surrey.

  5. #5
    Would it just mean her parents were dead and she was made a ward of court? We need to find out who her parents were!!

  6. #6
    Member Mary from Italy's Avatar
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    She was probably made a ward of court because her parents died when she was a minor, and she had some property which needed to be protected until she came of age. If she married before reaching her majority, the court would have to give consent.

  7. #7
    Further to Mary's post above, I always find it useful to remember that "Chancery" was generally to do with money, lol, and anyone who was a ward of chancery was a beneficiary of an entailed will,(or no will at all) probably underage but not necessarily so - women were considered soppy things who could easily fall prey to a fortune hunter even at the age of 60 or more, and needed male protection, or the protection of the court.

    OC

  8. #8
    Thanks Mary and OC!


    Apparently she believed she was related to this man:

    Eliab Harvey - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    and this man:

    William Harvey - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    So, there's a challenge! lol

  9. #9
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    I seem to remember a ward of chancery was mentioned once on WDYTYA (or was it another series?), and they said it was very difficult to find any of the records because they were illegitimate children of the high-up, titled people etc., and so it was all kept secret. Or am I thinking of something else?
    KiteRunner

    Every five years or so I look back on my life and I have a good... laugh"
    (Indigo Girls, "Watershed")

  10. #10
    Oooh, there's a thought! lol

    My Quaker lot would be spinning in their graves to think they might have someone ILLEGITIMATE in their ranks! And what if she was the natural dau of someone titled??! They wouldn't approve of that either! Pity it's a common name in a difficult-to-research (online) area.

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