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Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Maria Titheridge of Cheriton and the Missing Baptism Record


Cheriton Village



Genealogy is a fascinating hobby but sometimes it can be very frustrating.  It is a bit like a giant jigsaw and sometimes you get a piece that just doesn’t fit in.  Maria Titheridge of Cheriton is our problem person, the “jigsaw piece” that doesn’t fit.

The Titheridge family of Cheriton is descended from John Titheridge and Ann Quallat and is the main starting point for most of our Titheridge family trees. The Cheriton baptism records stretch from 1665 to 1855 and fit nicely together so that you can construct the family tree fairly easily. However there are always exceptions!
 

On 26 December 1823 John Titheridge is baptised, born 23 November 1823, son to Maria Titheridge a servant. 

Five years later on the 8 December 1828 the baptism of Emma Titheridge is recorded, daughter of Maria a single woman. 

The problem is “Who is Maria?”  There are no records of a Maria Titheridge being born. We cannot find the baptism records for a Maria and have no idea who her parents were, but from census record we are sure she was born in Cheriton.

After the birth of her children the next record we find of Maria is her marriage on 17 November 1832 in Brown Candover and Chilton Candover, Hampshire. She married Joseph Hall, a gamekeeper.

As Maria Hall she can be found in the following censuses, all reporting her born in Cheriton.

  • The 1841 census shows Joseph Hall aged 30 and Maria Hall aged 35 living in Mitcheldever with 3 children aged 8 5 2 (note the adult ages are rounded down to nearest multiple of 5)
  • The 1851 census shows Joseph Hall aged 40 and Maria aged 52 living in Northington with 3 children aged 15,11,7
  • The 1861 census shows Joseph Hall aged 50 and Maria Hall aged 59 living in Northington
  • The 1871 Census shows Joseph Hall aged 60 and Maria Hall aged 58 living in Northington

It would appear that Maria was not always honest about her age - but I think censuses suggest that Maria was probably born between 1799 – 1802.

Maria’s daughter Emma Titheridge died aged 2 and was buried on 10 March 1830.  Her son John Titheridge married Mary Ashton in Winchester in 1845 and they moved to South Stoneham, Hampshire where John worked on the Railway.  John and Mary had 11 children born between 1845 and 1866.

George born 1845
Mary Anne born 1847
John  born 1848
William born 1850
Emma born 1852
James born 1856
Jane born 1857
Henry born about 1859
Elizabeth born 1861
Charles Frederick born 1854
Edward born 1866

After many years of puzzling about Maria we had an email from a fellow genealogist which suggested why we had not found Maria’s baptism.  In the back of the Cheriton Parish Record book is a list of Catholics in Cheriton in 1829.  There on the list is Maria Titheridge. It therefore seems likely that Maria was baptised in a Catholic Church. Even knowing this fact I have so far failed to find her baptism.  I have looked in the Catholic Church records in Winchester – but have to admit I could barely read the writing so could have missed it.  The area around Cheriton has Catholic connections and at the village of Tichborne 2 miles away, in Tichborne House, lived the well-known Tichborne family, who were devout Catholics. It is interesting to wonder why if Maria was a Catholic did she baptise her two children in the Church of England Parish church and why did she marry in a Church of England Church?

So if anyone has researched this family and has found the baptism for Maria Titheridge baptised between 1799 and 1802 somewhere near Cheriton, Hampshire please get in touch and help me fit the piece into the jigsaw. 

 

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