Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Charlotte Balment - 1851 England Census

The 1851 census reveals that Charlotte was still living with her parents, William and Elizabeth, in Bray Town, High Bray. Charlotte is age 20, and her birthplace still shows as High Bray. William, age 63, (birth year given as 1788), has the occupation "Mason" listed and his birth place is shown as Marwood, Devon. Elizabeth is age 57 with a birth year of 1794. Her place of birth is shown as High Bray.

A surprising addition to the household is Eliza Balment, age 4, birth year 1847, with a birthplace of Barnstaple. She is shown as "Granddaughter". My first inclination was to think that she could have been Charlotte's daughter, given the fit with their ages. However, having contacted the Online Parish Clerk (OPC) for High Bray, I have learned that High Bray Parish register shows a baptism on 15 Dec 1846 for "Eliza, base child of Mary Anne Ballman, East Buckland, servant." Base means illegitimate. This points to the possible existence of a sister to Charlotte. The name Ballman is close to Balment, so it's likely a match. I've ordered the birth certificate for Eliza to confirm her parentage (although given the parish baptism entry, I am not holding up much hope that Eliza's father will be listed on the certificate).

More on the Online Parish Clerk system in my next post...

Cheers, K.

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