Sunday, 13 February 2011

Research Plan: Frances Hunter 1785-1824

Frances Hunter was the mother of my great-great-grandmother  Catherine Kerss. I haven't yet been able to identify Frances' place of birth or the identity of her parents.

Objective:   find the birth/baptism record of Frances Hunter and identify her parents.

Known facts:
1   Frances Cass died in November 1824 and was buried in Monkwearmouth Churchyard. Her age at death was stated to be 39, giving a probably year of birth of 1785.
2   Frances married Robert Kerss on 12 June 1815 in Holy Trinity Church, Sunderland. The record of the wedding is silent as to her marital status (no details of marital status were given in marriage records at this time in this parish). One of the witnesses is James Hunter, but no information is given about him. A birth year of 1785 would make her 30 when she married.
3   Frances and Robert had 3 daughters - Catherine, Elizabeth and Mary born 1817 to 1822. At this time, most children were named after relatives. Catherine was named after Robert's mother; it's reasonable to think that Frances' mother was either Elizabeth or Mary.

The baptisms of the three daughters don't give any further information about Frances. Nor did she live long enough to be included on a census, which would have given a clue about her place of birth.

Working hypothesis:
1.  Frances was a spinster when she married Robert Kerss. She was born in Co Durham or Northumberland around the year 1785 and moved to Sunderland prior to her marriage with Robert. Either her father or a brother was called James and witnessed her marriage.

Identified sources:
1   IGI / Family Search UK baptisms
2   Findmypast baptisms
3   Parish registers / Bishops Transcripts

Research strategy:
1  Search IGI/Family Search / Findmypast for any baptisms of Frances Hunter in the right timeframe.
2  For any baptisms found, look for others of the same family
3  Verify index entries to parish records or Durham Bishop Transcripts
4  Follow any Frances Hunters found to see if they died or married locally.
5  Consider which parishes in Co Durham / Northumberland were not covered by the IGI etc.

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