Oops – dates dont add up


This is the marble memorial to my 2x great grandparents William & Ann Rudgard in the church of St John the Evangelist, Washingborough in Lincolnshire.   William Rudgard was the mayor of Lincoln in 1839, and his portrait hangs in the Guildhall in Lincoln, which I managed to visit in 2020.

He died in 1875, at the age of 75, however his wife, Ann died young at the age of 40 in 1844.   As this was just after the 1841 UK census, this was my starting point to tracing this part of my family history.

I did manage to find them relatively easily, with William aged 40 and a merchant and Ann aged 35 living in the parish of St Martin in Lincoln, along with 7 children ranging from Ann (my great grandmother, aged 15) to their youngest Richard aged 8 months.

CENSUS - 1841 William RUDGARD
1841 Census : St Martin’s Parish, Lincoln

William RUDGARD, Mayor of Lincoln 1839
William RUDGARD, Mayor of Lincoln 1839

Based on the 1841 census, I was able to infer the approximate birth years of their children:

  • Ann – 1824 (15)
  • Elizabeth – 1827 (?)
  • William – 1829 (12)
  • Francis – 1833 (9)
  • Mary – 1835 (6)
  • Eliza – 1836 (5)
  • John – 1839 (2)
  • Richard – 1840 (8 mnths)

Ann’s birth name

My next goal was to find Ann’s maiden or birth name, thus I searched for the marriage certificate, which I managed to find in a database of Lincolnshire Marriages.   William Rudgard, a bachelor married Ann Kirk (spinster) in the parish of St Martin on 18 May 1834.   In comparing this to the 1841 census, I was immediately struck by the date of the marriage – 1834.   This was after the birth of the birth of the first 4 children listed on the 1841 census.

Marriage Certificate 1834
Marriage Certificate, St Martin’s, Lincoln 1834

I then searched for baptism certificates for the children listed in the census, but was only able to find certificates for the last 4, born after 1834.  Something wasn’t adding up….

So I then re-checked all the certificates and to my surprise, the name of the vicar who had married the couple in 1834, and baptised all of the children was none other than George Davies Kent … vicar of St Martins in Lincolnshire, my 2x great grandfather ….     That was interesting – my 2x great grandfather was the vicar who conducted the marriage of my other 2x great grandparents!

This really emphasised the genealogical principle to always refer to the actual certificates if possible, and not just rely on the transcripts.

So, I was now wondering whether this was in fact a second marriage for William, but the certificate indicated he was a bachelor at the time, so that was unlikely.

As I now had Ann’s maiden name, I searched for baptism records for the 4 older children under her surname, Kirk and was able to find all 4.   On the baptism certificated, the father was missing, with the occupation of mother listed as ‘single woman’. …. No surprises who baptised them all (or the last 3 anyway) – My 2x great grandfather, George Davies Kent!

BAPTISM Anne Rudgard KIRK 1824
BAPTISM Anne Rudgard KIRK 1824
BAPTISM Elizabeth Rudgard KIRK 1827
BAPTISM – Elizabeth Rudgard KIRK 1827
BAPTISM - William KIRK 1829
BAPTISM – William KIRK 1829
BAPTISM - Francis KIRK 1833
BAPTISM – Francis KIRK 1833

The eldest two had been given a second name ‘Rudgard’, which I took as confirmation that William Rudgard was actually the father, even though he was not listed on the baptism certificate.   Their eldest daughter, my great grandmother, Anne Rudgard born in 1824 was actually baptised as Anne Rudgard Kirk – however all records after their marriage in 1834 record the children with the surname ‘Rudgard’.

Their eldest daughter Anne would later go on to marry the son of George Davies Kent (also called George Davies Kent, my great grandfather) 

MARRIAGE - George Davies KENT - Ann RUDGARD 1849
The Marriage certificate of George Davies KENT & Ann RUDGARD, who had now taken on the surname of her father in 1849. The father of the groom, also George Davies KENT, was the vicar who had married her parents (William RUDGARD & Ann KIRK) in 1834.
KENT-George Davies
George Davies Kent (1802-1877), son of George Davies Kent (1773-1849)
Anne Rudgard 1824-1919
Anne Rudgard (1824-1919), daughter of Ann Kirk & William Rudgard

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