Thursday, September 13, 2012

Not a true record?

There are procedures for correcting errors, but it's rare to come across a certificate which incorporates such changes - this is from a newsletter from LOST COUSINS

Was the bride unaware of her true origins? This seems unlikely, as on the 1911 Census there's an Emily Croucher aged 17 living with her parents William and Emily, but working as a domestic servant. Could she have been employed by a family called Novelle, I wonder?

Note: in the 1891 Census her father is recorded as John W Croucher. His occupation is General Labourer in both years.

Why did she choose to marry under a different name? Was she trying to conceal the marriage from her parents? In 1911 2 Apple Market, the address she gave, was a confectionery shop, occupied by the proprietor and an assistant - so it seems likely she had left home and was making a new start.

However there are many unanswered questions. What prompted the decision to set matters right in 1928? And who was Edmund James Kirke, the co-signatory of the Statutory Declaration?

Where did the Novelle surname come from? It is quite a rare surname, mostly found as Novell, although I noticed that many of the occurrences on the 1901 Census are in Surrey or Sussex. If the surname had been invented by the bride herself, what was she trying to hide? And is it a coincidence that it was in 1914 that the composer Ivor Novello became famous with the publication of Keep the Home Fires Burning? (By the way - it wasn't his real name, either.)

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