Posted by: Christine | June 15, 2012

Buried with Nell Gwynne

I have been spending the afternoon downloading some Madder Baptisms, Marriages and Burials from findmypast. I was trying to sort out some families in London and discovered that I had made a list of entries from the Westminster Registers, but not downloaded all of them. It was probably one of those times when I started searching last thing at night, gave up to go to bed and forgot I hadn’t finished. Does that happen to other people, or is it just me?

There is a lot of useful information in some of the registers, especially the early 19th century burials, where you can find ages, causes of death, addresses and even how much the funeral cost. Perhaps I’ll blog about that another time.

Eventually I got down to someone indexed as Jane Madder, who was buried in 1687 – perhaps she would be a relative of my “pirate”. When the image appeared the first thing I noticed was a modern note attached to the page about the burial of Nell Gwynne.

Page from the Parish Register of St Martin in the Fields showing the burial of Nell Gwynne.

There was the entry for Elinor Gwin, buried on the 17th November 1687, and a few entries above it and two days earlier was my Jane Madder.

Or was it?

Is that definitely an “r” on the end of the word? And is the letter before that an “e” or an “o”. Comparing the letters with other examples on the page, I had to conclude that Jane was not a Madder after all, but a Maddox – a completely different name and not connected to my one-name study at all.

I do wish some of these companies would get decent indexers. But I suppose it is an understandable mistake and at least it brightened up a dull Friday afternoon with an historic entry about Nell Gwynne.

 

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