Stradbroke Village Website


Can anyone help me please? I'm researching the Saunders family from Stradbroke as part of my family tree and am having some difficulties. I have a Margaret Saunders born in 1841. Sometimes, she's referred to as Margaretta or Margarette. She married Abraham Ward. From the marriage certificate, her father's name was Samuel Saunders but the problem is this: the 1841 census shows her at 2 months old, living with her unmarried mother Marianne Saunders. It seems, that as Marianne has Saunders as a maiden name, that Samuel may have been a relative! What's also very strange, is that the GRO have been unable to provide a birth certificate for Margaret and she isn't listed on Free BMD either! By the 1851 census, there are 2 more children, Emma and John Saunders, but still no male Head of Household. 

It seems that Marianne's mother may have been a Phillis Saunders born in 1795 and daughter of Jonathan and Elizabeth Saunders. 

Is anyone able to help me make sense of all this please. Who was Samuel Saunders? 


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Comment by A View from the Gallery on April 15, 2017 at 21:37

Hi Jo,

It sounds as though the birth of Margaret was not recorded. There is some dispute about when it became compulsory to register a birth. In the third quarter of 1837 the registers began and my understanding is that at that time those present at the birth were ‘obliged’ to report the event but not until 1875 was there a financial consequence if this wasn’t done.

Looking through the 1851 census return there are a lot of ‘Saunders’ living in Stradbroke which is surprising because there are none listed buried in the village churchyard. The Churchyard list is not complete and to my knowledge does not include any one who died in the Hoxne Union Workhouse.  I note that when Margaret married Abraham Ward they are then found on the 1861 census return living in Horham.

I also see that up until 1851 there was only one birth registered in the Hoxne register for the name Margaretta and that was a Margaretta Crickmore registered in the second quarter of 1841. The census was taken on 6th June in which Margaretta Saunders was said to be one month old which would take her birth also in the second quarter. Maybe there is a connection? I cannot find either a death or the M Crickmore name on the 1851 census return. However, I did only skim search.


Comment by Jo Rolph on April 15, 2017 at 22:39


Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. It's interesting that there are lots of Saunders in Stradbroke but none in the churchyard!! I don't know about Margaretta Crickmore as that's not a name that crops up in the family but it's worth a look at!  I've had a genealogist look at this now. I believe that part of the problem has been that sometimes her name is Margaretta or Margaret or Margarat or Margarette!!!

1851 census for any detail [checked original census on fiche]

HO107 /1796 sch 66,

The Street, Stradbroke.

Marianna Saunders, head, unm., age 30, washerwoman bn Stradbroke

Thomas Saunders bro, unm., age 25, blacksmith, bn Stradbroke

Margaretta Saunders, head, unm., age 10, bn Stradbroke

[over page]

Emma Saunders dau, unm, age 6, bn Stradbroke

John Saunders, son, unm 2, bn Stradbroke

I have the birth certificate for John and the name of the father is omitted. Now I don't even know if the 3 children had the same father!! Although, as I said above, I know Margaretta's father was Samuel Saunders. The GRO have said that prior to 1875, it was up to the local registrar to register births and sometimes they got missed! The genealogist is going to have a look at Samuel Saunders but I may have to accept that I may never know all the answers! 

Thanks for your help.


Comment by A View from the Gallery on April 16, 2017 at 22:50

Hi Jo,

Given that not many folk could write during this period and the spelling of names was in the hands of the invigilator/vicar/registrar, the names Marianne and Margarette were interpreted in many ways. Ie, Mary Anne, Margaret . . .

How does this sound: I have looked at the census returns for 1841,51,61,71 and the BMD. I think that Marianne born 1819 had 4 children before she married, Margarette, Emma, John and Thomas. Each of these children rightly have the surname Saunders. Marianne marries Samuel Bush in 1858 and they are found on the 1861 census return as Marianne Bush as Head with Emma, John and Thomas Saunders as her sons and daughter. By 1871 Samuel is with Marianne and their son Samuel Bush aged 14(which doesn’t make sense) unless this is Thomas.  Samuel dies in 1874 aged 73 and Marianne in 1897 aged 78.

I’m not saying this is right but it is the only way I can fit it all together.

Comment by Jo Rolph on April 16, 2017 at 23:16

Hi again,

Thanks for your reply. I think I've seen the Bush connection somewhere else and that does all seem to fit together. What remains a mystery is Samuel Saunders, Margaretta's father. 

What I queried with the genealogist was that Marianne was unmarried but had the same surname as Margaretta's father (Samuel Saunders from marriage certificate). He suggested that Samuel was perhaps a close relative (maybe cousin, Uncle or even brother ) and that's why the surname was shared. With the father's identity missing from John's birth certificate, (I don't have Emma's or Thomas's birth certificate yet} it's impossible to know if he is also the child of Samuel Saunders or not. 

Thanks again


Comment by A View from the Gallery on April 16, 2017 at 23:43

Just to add if I am right then Marianne is with her daughter Emma Forsdike at 87 Gloucester Rd, Camberwell in 1891(census) return which shows Emma's husband to be a wine Cooper for his trade.

I hope some of this rings a bell.

Comment by A View from the Gallery on April 18, 2017 at 17:01

Hi Jo, just a last reply. . . I have just noted that you are in Ipswich so if you hold a library card you should have access to all the census returns, 19th Century newspapers, the Times archive and much more. Some of this you can get on line at home but some you can get access to at the library. All free of charge. Regards

Comment by Jo Rolph on April 18, 2017 at 17:17

Hi, yes I'm in Ipswich. Hadn't thought of going to the library so that's a useful suggestion. Going back to your previous post, I hadn't got as far as 1891 so it's interesting to see that Marianne eventually goes to Camberwell. 

Thanks for your help. 


Comment by A View from the Gallery on April 25, 2017 at 16:37

Me Again, Jo,

Just came across this:

The last signature is one Jonathon Saunders.

This document is in the Suffolk Records Office - I transcribed it.

Comment by Jo Rolph on April 25, 2017 at 16:58


Wow, that's really interesting. Thanks. Not only a Jonathan Saunders but also a John Hurren. I have a John Hurren and a Samuel Hurren in my tree. Several of my lines come from Stradbroke including the rather prolific Boast family!  My genealogist will have an in depth knowledge of those parish records before long! 

I've just checked the progress of my latest order for the birth certificate of Margaretta Saunders and it says 'awaiting refund' so clearly that has been unsuccessful again! I may have to accept defeat on that one. If only we could go back and ask these people! 

Thanks again.


Comment by A View from the Gallery on April 25, 2017 at 20:45

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