It is possible, thought perhaps not likely Charles Isitt is not my GGGG Grandfather. I knowledgeable gentleman in England is suspect. However, I am sure we must have record of the same Charles Isitt. My GGG Grandfather was John Isitt born in 1801 in Knossington.
The following are notes from this elderly gentleman, Graham Wontner-Smith. There is a possiblity he is related to you.
I hope there is a link between you and I but as of now, it appears there isn't any.
I live in Kirkland (suburb of Seattle). If you are in the area, please look be up. 425-827-5024.
My notes follow:
Date of birth is uncertain; 1801 or 1804/5. Not at home in 1851 census. Wife
said he was an innkeeper in Kibworrth Harcourt. By 1861 he was a drover and
had become a widower, living in Main Street, Kibworth Beauchamp; his daughters
Catherine (Kate) (19), a dressmaker, Sophia (15), and Sarah Ann (12) and son
John Henry (11). By 1871 he had moved to 6 Victoria Street, Kibworth
Beauchamp; here, at age 66, he was described as a farmer of 8 acres. Death
certificate said he was a cattle salesman; died from inflammation of the
lungs. His son-in-law, Edward Mason, was with him til the end. John Isitt
did not leave a will.
The disappointing news I'm afraid is that your John Isitt who married
Catherine Eldred is definitely not connected to the Jonathan Isitt baptized in
Knossington on 3rd November 1805. I yesterday got the certificate relating to
a marriage on 7th April 1856 in Manchester between a Jonathan Isitt, a
bachelor aged 50, and Ann Bill, a widow aged 49 ... the age fits exactly and
the clincher is the name of his father
was Charles Isitt, the son of my 3 x great grandfather and brother of my great
great grandfather John Isitt of Bedford.
That unfortunately leaves us looking at a blank wall because we have no idea
where your John came from. Although he says in the census returns that he was
born in Knossington there is no record of his having been baptized there. I
just don't know how we are going to find him - and even if we do discover a
John Isitt baptized somewhere else about that time how we are going to be
certain he is the right one. Barring some unforeseen slice of luck I think
you may have to accept this is as far back as you are going to get. However
its taken me 7 years to find out what happened to Jonathan so I suppose
there's always hope!
Next week I've fixed to go back to Leicester to look through the Parish
Records around 1800-1806 for as many villages around Knossington as I can.
I'm not optimistic, but life is full of surprises! However my guess is that
your John probably was baptized at Knossington but for some reason was not
entered in the register. Many priests were known to keep their day-to-day
records either in their heads or in rough notes only writing up their
registers at irregular intervals - a practice prone to mistakes.
I spent three days last week in the Leicestershire Record Office but in spite
of searching the registers of numerous parishes around Knossington I found no
sign of a John Isitt being baptized between 1800 and 1810. This reinforces my
feeling that he was probably omitted from the Knossington register in error
and I'm afraid this means we are stuck. I don't think there is any point in
searching further and we will
just have to hope that in the course of time we stumble across a clue which
puts us back on track. Funnily enough this does quite often happen and
obviously I will keep a sharp look out. After all its taken me 7 years to
find out where my Jonathan went to!
Following is interesting background leading up to the aforementioned
I am gradually beginning to remember why I was interested in tracing some of
your family a few years ago. It was partly because I met a man called Eldred
who claimed to be related to me, but also I think because a trail led from the
brother of one my early ancestors to a Jonathan Isitt who seemed to disappear
around Knossington in the early 19th century. At the same time I could find
nothing of the origins of
the John Isitt who married Catherine Eldred in 1825. The temptation of course
was to assume that Jonathan changed his name to John but there was no evidence
to support it. However I seem to recall it was complicated by a number of
illegitimate births and a suspicion of bigamy!! I must dig into some more
old files and see if I can piece it all together again but it will take a
I still think we have a blockage with the gap between a Jonathan who
disappeared without trace around 1803 and a John who married in 1825 of whose
origins I can so far find no trace. I have also been re-familiarising myself
with what I discovered some years ago regarding the (so far) unbridged gap
between Jonathan and John which at the moment prevents us getting any further
back in time. I corresponded with another lady who had done a lot or work on
the same problem and in the end we both had to agree that on the information
available it was insoluble.
John's census returns for 1861 and 1871 point to his having been born in
Knossington around 1804. I searched the Knossington Parish Registers but
found no John Isitt ... I did however find the baptism entry for Jonathan, son
of Charles and Elizabeth Isitt on 3 Nov 1805. On the face of it this would
perhaps seem to strengthen the possibility that Jonathan changed his name to
John but it must be remembered that the registers record baptisms, not
births. So it is still possible that John was born in Knossington but
baptized somewhere else.
The problem is there are dozens of villages within comparatively close range
and each one has its own registers. These are mostly preserved on fiche but
some are missing, some are incomplete, and most vary between being difficult
and impossible to decipher, particularly as one gets further back in time.
Its like searching for a needle in a haystack unless one has some rough guide
on where to start looking.
I remembered amongst my notes at home I had seen a Jonathan W. Issitt who died
at Leicester in 1866 aged 61. I hadn't taken much notice of him because of
his extra initial but as this would put his birth around 1805 I thought having
got this far I had better check him out, if only to eliminate him from our
inquiries as our police say! ... so I applied for his death certificate. That
brought quite a surprise because his
middle name turned out to be "Wigginton", and although this is one "g" short,
my Jonathan's brother George married a Mary Wiggington ... so there was
certainly a close connection between the two families. This seems too great a
coincidence to ignore.
If we could find this Jonathan's census return for either 1851 or 1861 it
should tell us where he was born - if the answer is Knossington the evidence
would seem to be virtually conclusive that he, and not your John, is the same
Jonathan who was baptized at Knossington on 3 Nov 1805. But unfortunately,
despite looking in all the most likely places, I have so far failed to find
either - it seems I'm back to that haystack again! There are one or two other
possibilities and I hope to go up to London again next week. I have found
mention of another Jonathan Isitt - the only other Jonathan Isitt on record -
who married in Manchester in 1856. This is so far away from Knossington that
it hardly seems likely, but you never know. I will apply for the certificate
and see if it gives us any further clues.
Of course if we do finally satisfy ourselves that Jonathan and John are two
separate people we are then back to the question of where did John come from?
And I really don't know how we set about answering that!
So I'm afraid this is disappointing news. But if we can't get any further
back at least I do have some more information when I can piece it together
which may bring you more up-to-date and possibly lead in time to us
identifying some living relatives you can contact. Maybe they will be better
informed about your earlier ancestors than I am.
End of notes.....
|Home | Help | About Us | Site Index | Jobs | PRIVACY | Affiliate|
|© 2007 The Generations Network|