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GallowayLass
08-05-14, 15:54
Is anyone able to visit Lancashire Archives in Preston please? I have a suspicion that there has been an error on a marriage certificate in relation to the forename of the groom's father. Hopefully, the Methodist church registers will be a lot more informative than the bare certificate. Please bear with me till you get to the end.

The groom is David Porter who married Mary Hannah Banham 10 March 1906 in the Heald Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Bacup. His father's occupation is given as farmer which could be correct as the Porter family were weavers and farmers on a smallholding in County Armagh. My man's father was Robert Porter not David and I'm hoping that the registrar has repeated the groom's forename in error. Robert Porter's own father and the groom's grandfather was also called David.

My David Porter was born in Knockmenagh townland 13 May 1875, son of Robert Porter and Ann(ie) Dickson/Dixon. Having checked for other David Porters born in the same registration district (Lurgan) for five years either side of him, there are none. On the 1911 census for England, David Porter and his wife Mary Hannah are living at 32 Rochdale Road, Bacup. He gives his birthplace as Knockmenagh, County Antrim. On his marriage and death certificates and the census, his given age works out to a birth year of 1877/78, maybe he liked to shave some off?

There are no matching David Porters dying in the correct registration district in Ireland between 1875 and 1911 and he's not on either the 1901 or 1911 Irish censuses. He also does not appear in 1901 or 1911 censues for Scotland nor does he marry or die there. I've checked this out because his sister Ruth and one of his brothers, Thomas, married and died in Scotland and there was another brother James, who appeared on the 1891 Scotland census with the said Thomas. Thereafter he too goes AWOL on me.

Another reason that I'm keen to follow this up is the lack of a death registration for the groom's mother Ann(ie) Porter nee Dickson/Dixon. She is alive in Portadown, Co. Armagh on 1 May 1885 when she registers the death of her eldest child Sarah but by the time that her son Thomas marries in Scotland 31 December 1891, she is given as deceased. She is not on the 1891 census for Scotland and does not die there. There's no matching Ann(ie) Porter death 1885 - 1891 in Ireland. The four likely candidates by age at death all turned out to be spinsters. So I can only assume she came to England and if I find that there has been a mistake in the 1906 marriage, then I'll start searching for suitable deaths in and around Bacup for her.

Sorry for the piles of detail but something might just be the magic clue :)

The reference for the marriage register is below. The index indicates it's the original register.

BACUP, Heald Wesleyan Methodist M 1887-1911, 1922-1982 Orig reg MRO 32 MMR 2/15-18