Lucy

Address same as Lucy Seward in 1891 census

A brick wall in the family history. One of the very distant cousins had added a 1892 death for Lucy. I’d suggested it couldn’t be the same person as she seemed to have died in 1862, but there wasn’t any proof.

Lucy Stone was born in Folkestone in 1842. She shared her name with the founder of the Lucy Stone League, a campaign for women to keep their own family name after marriage. Family history research would be much easier, although some people include variations in their children’s names.

There was no sign of Lucy Stone on any census after 1851. I had a copy of her marriage certificate from 1861. She gave birth to my grandfather in 1862 before disappearing

My great grandfather was described as widowed in a transcript of the 1871 census. He was a lodger in the house of Amelia Bliss and her daughter Eliza. Some time later, another transcript showed him as married, boarding with landlady Ann Elliss.

In theory, Isaac Daines was still married in 1891, even though he didn’t appear to have married anyone else since 1861. I searched for Lucy, born in 1842, living in the area mentioned in the 1892 death record. The results showed a lady born in Featherstone in Kent. Another strange transcription! I ordered a pdf of her death certificate.

True, but not the truth

Lucy’s death had been registered by her sister Emily, who had also witnessed the 1861 marriage. I had expected the death certificate to show a birth name for identity purposes. There was no mention of the man Lucy had been living with for the previous 20-odd years. Keeping up appearances? This must be confusing for any Seward descendants.

I don’t know anything about Lucy beyond the official facts. People with criminal ancestors have access to photographs and physical descriptions of their elders. Crime might pay, in that respect. Successful criminals weren’t arrested, not that hiding in plain sight is against any laws. She didn’t intend to make the family tree difficult, she lived in the same region for decades. What have I inherited from her?