View Full Version : An impossible challenge????

Liz C
15-04-08, 18:39
Hi all,

I've been searching for one of my ancestors on the 1901 census now for 2yrs!! I'll try & find him then forget about him for a while then try again. He's the first ancestor I found online when I started my tree & I've all his other details, inlcuding all other census entries.

I've tried searching ancestry in various names, by all the children born in his place of birth around the time he was born & other ways I've probably forgotten.

I was wondering if anyone else had any other ideas or whether another pair of eyes might see something I miss. I posted a thread about a year ago with no luck but thought I might give it another go.

I wondered if anyone who may be subscribed to another site than ancestry might have more luck - his name is unusual & often mistranscribed or if anyone knows if maybe the relevent census records are missing.

Anyway here goes

Zerah Chaplin, born 8.4.1846 in Benhall, Suffolk.
Moved to the West Ham/ East Ham area of Essex between 1871 & 1881
Married to Sarah until her death in 1888.
Had children named Frederick, Sophy, Margaret, Zerah, Mary, Ellen Alice, Alethea & Ada.
Married Catherine after Sarah's death.
Died 17.2.1918 at the Union Workhouse, Leytonstone, Essex.

Hope someone has more luck than me.
Many thanks

Little Nell
15-04-08, 18:45
Zerah is an unusual name. Maybe he was mistranscribed as Sarah? Have you found his children? When did he marry Catherine and where is she in 1901?

What was Zerah's occupation? and his last known address in 1891?

Little Nell
15-04-08, 18:46
I see in 1891 he is married to Catherine, living in East Ham and working as a bricklayer.

Liz C
15-04-08, 19:05

Sorry for the delay, was just getting my Chaplin folder from upstairs.

By 1891 only the three youngest children where living with Zerah. By 1901 Ellen Alice was in service. I've been unable to find the others though like her father Alethea is often mistranscribed. I've also been unable to find Catherine in 1901.

Zerah was a brickayer by trade & on the 1891 census was living at 3 Florence Street, East Ham.

Zerah married Catherine 3rd quarter 1889 at Bethnal Green. She had her children Mary, Nathan, John & Richard living with them on the 1891 census. I've tried looking for them too but can't find them with Zerah.

I've also found on BMD a marriage for a Robert Zerah Chaplin with a Mary Negus on the same page. Thinking this must be linked somehow. Thinking maybe Zerah's son married his stepsister (if that is legal) as his name on LDS is Zerah Henry R Chaplin (wondering if the R is for Robert - which was his grandfather's name).

Thanks for your help

Charney Jo
15-04-08, 21:38
Hi Liz

Probably no help as I'd imagine you'd already seen and discounted this entry but in 1901 there was a Katherine Chaplin, aged 42 ('yours' was 33 in 1891) born in Stratford, Essex. She was married to a Bricklayer (so far, so good) - although his name is clearly William and he is listed as being born in Sudbury in Suffolk. They are living in East Ham though.

Source Citation: Class: RG13; Piece: 1600; Folio: 14; Page: 19.
1901 England Census > Essex > East Ham > District 32
They lived at 52 Salisbury Road.

This couple had a 10 year old son - William! Do you know if your folks had another son? Do you know who registered Zerah's death?

Probably doesn't help. Off to see if I can see Katherine and William 1891 - haven't managed to yet!

Charney Jo
15-04-08, 21:48
Hi Liz

Looking at Ancestry, everything seems to say that he was born in Suffolk not Surrey (as you originally wrote above - typo?)

Back to look for more ...

Liz C
15-04-08, 22:02
Hi Charney Jo,

Thanks for your help & thanks for spotting my mistake (oops). My fingers get ahead of my brain sometimes!! Have edited to Suffolk.

I hadn't picked up on that entry before. The ages of both William & Katherine are near enough correct but have looked on autoroute & sudbury is over 45 miles from benhall. Couldn't find William on other censuses but then found a birth on BMD for a William Arthur Chaplin birth registered Dec 1846 Sudbury. I'm assuming this must be him so therefore not Zerah unfortunately.

Thanks again for looking though.

Charney Jo
15-04-08, 22:15
Hi Liz

If you search on the census returns for William b 1846 in Suffolk you will see a whole string of William's (well, the same one) married to Hannah who appears in the 1881, 1891 and 1901 census's as living in Ecclesall, Yorkshire.

I am proposing that that William, the one who went to Yorkshire, was the William you found on FreeBMD and that Zerah was mistranscribed (took son's name for father and son?) Bit of a long shot but as you are struggling with other things might be worth investigating further. Unless you definately know that they never had another son (and I mean really, for sure - I recently found a long forgotten son of my great grandparents. They had all their children by the age of 33 and then had another at 47! I'm guessing not planned ..... found him by complete chance looking for someone else). Do you have Zerah's or Catherine's death cert? I don't suppose either were registered by their son William ....?

If not, please feel free to ignore me!

Liz C
15-04-08, 22:39
Hi Charney Jo,

Think I'll have to do a bit more investigating. It does concern me that sudbury is so far from benhall & that there is a William Chaplin registered in sudbury at the correct time. Zerah was born 8.4.1846 in Benhall & his birth registered at Plomesgate, Suffolk.

I don't know whether Zerah & Catherine had any more children or not. I certainly wouldn't count it out. He had 8 surviving children with his first wife Sarah plus, I have been told, more that died (the dates would certainly fit that). His death certificate was signed by his daughter Sophy. I haven't got a certificate for Catherine yet. I'm buying direct line ancestors first & I'm descended from Sarah.

Thanks again for your help