Friday, 20 January 2012

Some interesting news about Eliza Balment (1846-?)

I thought that I would share the interesting information that arrived in today's mail. I received the birth certificate for Eliza Balment, the 4 year old living with Charlotte Balment (my great-great-grandmother) and her parents in 1851. In the 1851 census entry, Eliza is shown as "granddaughter" and I had learned from the High Bray Parish OPC (Online Parish Clerk) that Eliza's baptism showed her mother as "Mary Anne Ballman".

Interestingly, the birth certificate shows that Eliza was born on 7 October 1846, in the Barnstaple Workhouse. Her mother is shown as Mary Ann Balment. The name of the father is blank and only a horizontal line appears in the entry. The informant is noted with an X - "The mark of Mary Ann Balment, mother, Union Workhouse, Barnstaple". The birth was registered on 14 October 1846.

This opens up many more avenues of research - who was Mary Anne and how did she end up in the Barnstaple workhouse? Why, how and when was Eliza brought to her grandparents, William and Elizabeth Balment in High Bray to live? What ever happened to Mary Anne?

I'll post when I have more details.

Cheers, K.

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