Fergus Lefever & Sarah Bailey

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Fergus O’Connor Lefever was born about 1842 in Bishopsgate, London the 5th of the 7 children of Frederick Lefever and Jane Chipman. He married Sarah Ann Bailey born about 1840 in Spitalfields, London. According to a tree on Ancestry I am distantly related to Fergus, but that is research for another day.

Fergus and Sarah married on 26th August 1860 at St Matthias Church in Bethnal Green.

Between 1861 and 1888 when Sarah was 48 years old they had a total of 17 children. Unfortunately, as was fairly common at this time, 8 of the children died before the age of 3 and all except one dies before their second birthdays. I have found that six of their children survived until adulthood and married. The remaining 3 children I have yet to find any additional records for other than birth or baptism records and so I suspect that they also may have died in childhood.

Sarah died in 1909 in Shoreditch and so I have been unable to confirm the number of her children who actually died as she did not feature in the 1911 census and Fergus did not complete the appropriate columns in his census entry.

Fergus died in 1914 in Bethnal Green and even though he is variously described in the records as a Shoe Maker or a Slipper Maker he was unable to write as all the records for him, up until 1911, just have his mark.

It currently looks like this family had the tragedy of 11 of their children dying in childhood. I will update this post later should I find any further details on the 3 children who had an uncertain life.

Charles Abraham Lefever and his wives.

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Charles Lefever and families
Charles Lefever and his families

After some more research I have found out Charlotte Rigby and Charlotte Haydon are related. I created the families in a new project in Family Historian and using census records I built the John Rigby and Sarah Morter families. Sarah Rigby, born in 1838, was the third of 12 children born to John and Sarah between 1835 and 1862. I have not shown all of the 12 children in the above image to keep the tree simple. A larger version of the tree can be seen by clicking on the image, it will open in a new window.

In May of 1860 Sarah married James Haydon and I have traced three of their children the youngest of which was Charlotte born in 1876. In 1894 Charlotte married James Price (1861-1895) and they had two children. In 1910 Charlotte then married Charles Lefever. I cannot find a church record for this marriage but have found it on FreeBMD in Q2 1910 Bethnal Green Volume 1c Page 304. However, Charlotte and Charles had their first child in 1902 and had two more before their marriage in 1910.

As a result Charlotte Haydon is the niece of Charlotte Rigby. This marriage was of a type not permitted in 1910 and as a result it would not have been a valid marriage. The marriage to a deceased spouse’s niece was not legalised until 1931 in England. (Marriage Law for Genealogists by Rebecca Probert page 66). At least it wasn’t a bigamous marriage as I have now traced the death of Charlotte Rigby to 1899.

Charles Abraham Lefever (1855-1916)

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Charles ancestor tree
Charles Lefever and spouses ancestor tree

In my research today I came across an interesting family as shown above. Charles Abraham Lefever is, unusually for this study, a distant ancestor of mine as we share his grandfather Charles Lefever as a common ancestor so that makes us 1st cousins 3 times removed.

On 25th December 1874 Charles married Charlotte Rigby in Hackney, they both lied when getting married as they are shown as over 21 years of age on marriage but Charles was 19 years old and Charlotte was 17 years old. They then went on to have 5 or 6 children, there is a 6th child in one record but I suspect this is just a common usage name rather than her registered name. I have, as yet, been unable to confirm a date of death for Charlotte as there are several who died between 1884 and 1910.

In 1910 (quarter 2) Charles married Charlotte Haydon, he was then 55 years old and she was a 33 year old widow. Charlotte Haydon had 2 children by her first marriage and she had a further 5 children between 1902 and 1916 with Charles. In the 1911 census, completed by Charlotte, she states that she has been married to Charles for 7 years instead of the 1 year that was the case.

Now I come to the interesting bit about this family the parents of Charlotte Rigby are John Rigby and Sarah Morter. The parents of Charlotte Haydon were James Haydon and Sarah Rigby. I presume that here must be some relationship between John Rigby and Sarah Rigby my reasoning is that Rigby is a relatively rare surname in the East End of London in the 1800’s the majority are in and around Manchester at this time. There are only a total of 60 birth, death or marriages with the Rigby surname in Bethnal Green between 1837 and 1880. As a result it looks like I will be doing a partial surname study on the Rigby’s of London to find this relationship, this is of course, if there is one.

Large update to GB recordset

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I have just added in excess of 250 new records to the GB recordset. These new records are mainly from the 19th century. As a result of these new records being available I have been able to link a lot of single individuals into families and also to de-duplicate a number of records. Should you find any errors please let me know.

Emmaretta Lefevre

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In my research today I came across an Emmaretta Lefevre born in Rotherhithe, London in 1864. She is the eldest of four children of John Henry Lefevre and Emma Wilsdon. It is an unusual first name that I have not come across before but doing a search on FreeBMD turned up 71 girls of that first name between 1837 and 1905 but none post 1905.

Another thing of interest about Emmaretta is that on 27th December 1906 she married Frank Lefevre Coard. Frank was born in Hackney in 1863 the son of John Coard and Ellen Lefevre. Frank must have taken his middle name from his mothers’ surname. I now need to see if I can find any relationship between John Henry Lefevre and Ellen Lefevre.

Same sex marriage in England in 1902?

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On FindMyPast I found a new transcriptions recordset ‘Results for Essex Marriages And Banns 1537-1935’ and in this set of transcriptions I found an entry for Isaac Lefever.

I searched on FreeBMD, Ancestry and FreeReg looking for other copies of this marriage without success. Homosexuality, let alone a homosexual marriage in a church in 1902, was a criminal offence so I knew that there was something wrong with this transcription. More searching after discussion with a friend resulted in me finding this parish register entry on Ancestry Parish register

As can be seen the transcription on FindMyPast could be considered a work of fiction.

  • Isaac is Isabel
  • Lefever is Lefevre
  • Haronton is Hawnton
  • Date of the marriage is 30th March 1902 not 30th April 1902
  • The church is St Mary of Eton in Hackney Wick not St Gabriel in Canning Town

Unfortunately, there is no image to go with the transcription on FindMyPast. There is an image behind the paywall of Essex Register Office but I am not prepared to pay for this just to check out the reason for the inaccurate transcription, I am more than happy with the correct Parish register Entry from Ancestry.

In light of this problem there may be others in this recordset so my advice is to use these transcriptions with appropriate double checking.

Record updates

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I have just updated the Channel Islands record set with 5 new entries from the early 1900’s. I have also updated the Great Britain record set with an additional 30 records mainly from Liverpool in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

UK records update

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I have done a data update for the Lefever UK records dataset. I have added in excess of 120 new records. A large number of these are from the Dutch Reform Church in Austin Friars, London from the 1700’s. There are now over 4200 individuals in the dataset, there are still some duplicates that I need to sort out. There are another around 120 individuals that I have data on but I believe that they may still be living and as a result their data is not shown.

Double marriage?

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Whilst doing the research on the Kent marriage records I came across this unusual parish register entry. I presume this was a double marriage and the couples acted as witnesses for the others marriage and women then signed with their new married surnames.

Lefever GB update

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I know that this site has been a bit quiet of late I have been very involved in things other than my surname study. However, I am now back to my research and have updated the GB dataset to include more records mainly from Kent in the 18th and 19th century.