Hi - I'm tearing my hair out trying to discover if I actually did discover an ancestor
and the more I look at my paperwork the more flummoxed I get! I'm coming to the
conclusion my ancestor was either murdering bigamist, or was in two places at once! Or
there is the third possibility that I've finally cracked! Would any of you bright
sparks please help by casting a fresh eye over it and letting me know what you think
What I know for sure is
1) my gt-gt grandmother, Elizabeth Mary Crompton was born in Goytrey, Mon in 1870. Her
father was Daniel Crompton and her mother Mary (nee Davies).
2) According to the 1901, 1891, 1881 and 1871 census, Daniel was born in 1817 at Atworth,
Wiltshire. The 1871 census gives his name as COMPTON but on the subsequent census's
the name has acquired an extra "r" and reads CROMPTON.
3) Daniel and Mary married in 1864 in the local parish church (Goytrey, Mon). However,
Daniel states he is a widower. The marriage certificate says Daniel's father was
So, I searched to see if I could find a birth record for him and thought I had. The only
hit that showed seemed to be a perfect match. It said a child, Daniel, had been born to
Samuel COMPTON and Righteous WEST, in 1817 in Atworth, Wiltshire. So far so good.
Then I began to see if I could find Daniel on earlier census, to see who he had married
first. And I found again what I thought were perfect matches:
1851 Census (he's single)
Daniel was living at Monkton Farleigh, Bradford-on-Avon, Wilts in servant's quarters.
He gives his age as 32 (b1819) and his place of birth as Atworth, Wilts.
1861 Census (by which time he's married to wife no 1)
Daniel is residing at Newport St Woollos, Monmouthshire working as a servant - as is Mary
Compton his wife (oddly, his wife's maiden name is WEST, like that of his mother).
His wife Mary is said to be born 1814 in Somerset. He's aged 47 and listed with his
wife together with a daughter, also Mary Compton, aged 12 (servant's daughter).
So, I next send for the marriage certificate for Daniel and his first wife Mary but when
that arrives, it tells me that Daniel's father is WILLIAM COMPTON (not Samuel, as is
on his second marriage cert). William is said to be a Bailiff, while on the marriage
certificate no 2 the father, Samuel, is said to be a carpenter.
As wife number 1 is alive and kicking in 1861 - and he was remarrying in 1864 I tried
looking for a death/burial record for Mary Compton/Crompton between those years - but
found nothing whatsoever. The child he had with his first wife (also Mary) is missing
too but as she would be of age by this time, its likely she would have left home by then.
I am sure this must be the same man....(or am I?).... All the way through the data his
place/year of birth remains constant and St Woollos, where he was living in 1861 is only a
few miles from Goytrey. Last night I took out all the certificates on the
COMPTON/CROMPTON'S that I have and something else stuck out. On both marriage
certificates, Daniel signs his name (but I can't compare those - for some reason one
certificate (the 1841 marriage) looks like a photocopy of an original certificate and I
can see both Daniel and Mary's different handwriting - but the 1864 wedding
certificate looks like it was hand copied by the registrar). But then I came across the
birth certificate for his (and wife no 2's) daughter (my ancestor) Mary Elizabeth
CROMPTON and in the box that's entitled "informant" there is the
"mark" of the informant (Daniel Crompton) - X. So why wouldn't he have
signed his name if he could indeed write!
Did he bump off his first family to wed a much younger woman? Wife no 1 was born 1814
while wife no 2, 1841 - a big difference. But why is there no burial record for her? He
went on to have 5 children with his second wife but in order for me to go back another
generation I need to ascertain the name of his father - was it Samuel or was it William?
I can't think of any reason to fib about the name of your father, can you?
Many thanks for taking the time to read this, its appreciated.
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F: +44 (0) 114 290 1851<tel:+441142901851>
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