22 November 2015

#52Ancestors - Week 46 - Change

Week 46 (November 12-18) – Changes. Highlight an ancestor that went through many changes or that you had to change your research strategies to find.

Hmm - this week's topic was tough. 

I did think about writing how I had to change my approach to finding modern relatives on my Martin side - but it would really be a blog about how the Martins are notoriously bad about keeping in touch by mail. No matter how often they promise to write you a note about their kids and grandkids births and marriages etc, you know that letter is never going to come. 

So instead of doing that (as you've got the full gist of the topic in one paragraph), I thought I would write about my great grandfather's brother Joseph Martin who for some reason changed his name to Joel.

We start off well with Joseph - he was born February 3, 1855 in Beith, Ayshire, Scotland, The first child of James Martin and Jane Fields

By the 1861 census, the family had moved to Barton-upon-Irwell in Lancashire England and our young Joseph is listed as Joel:

But then, in the 1871 census, the family is back in Scotland (in Paisley, Renfrewshire) and our young lad - now working as a Blacksmith's Labourer - is back to being Joseph:

Next we come to the day Joseph got married to Elizabeth Speirs - as Joel

As an aside, Elizabeth Speirs was actually born Elizabeth Frew and took the name of her Step-father Alexander Speirs when her mother married

Next came the birth of their children with their father listed as Joel:
James Martin on Dec 27, 1876
William Martin on Oct 10, 1878
Jane Martin on Oct 11, 1880

So you think it would all be settled? From now on we're only going to see our man listed as Joel, right?

In the 1881 census, he is back to being listed as Joseph

Then we're back to more births - and it seems like we finally settled on the name Joel in 1881 as all children have their father listed as Joel:
Elizabeth Martin on September 22, 1882
Isabella Speirs Martin on March 10, 1884
Mary Kirkland Martin on February 2, 1886
John Martin on December 25, 1888
James Miller Martin on June 20, 1890

We remain Joel in the 1891 census:

Yet more births - remember that this was one of my families with 15 children!
Joel Martin on January 2, 1892
John Allison Martin on July 22, 1893
Robert Kirkland Martin on April 2, 1895
Marion Cowan Martin on December 20, 1896
Philomena Martin on June 27, 1899

The 1901 census:

And the last birth I've found:
Rachel Thomson Martin on June 20, 1901

Now how do I know this family had 15 children? because of the 1911 census:

When I was in Edinburgh at the end of October this year, I tried looking for an unknown Martin born sometime between 1875 and 1911 - but with so many Martin's born and not knowing which area to restrict my search to, it turned out to be an impossible task - but next time I'm in Edinburgh I'm going to give it another try.

Joseph/Joel died on April 20, 1927

But this is my change - from Joseph to Joel to Joseph to Joel

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