Over the weekend, I was offered a $1 subscription for the month of July for Find My Past, which has a ton of English parish registers as part of their database. The usual price for this membership is about $19.95, which is not something I’ll be able to add to my budget at the moment. Based on the site thus far, it is definitely one I’m keeping bookmarked for future financial splurges.
One of the most useful pieces of research I did in my early genealogical research was a surname census search of the Smicks in South Jersey. I was able to trace hundreds of descendants of the original ancestor, Johann Philippe Schmick from his arrival in 1748 to about 1920-1930.
I decided to attempt a similar project with the Games of Suffolk.
At first, using the database Suffolk Baptism Index, 1538-1911, I did a general search of all Games in Suffolk, which returned more than 600 records. I attempted to begin to collect those, but it just became an insane project so I discarded it this morning and decided on a more focused look.
Joseph Game is my great-great-great-great grandfather, and I know from his census records that he was born in Troston, Suffolk around 1822. So I decided to limit my search to Troston, adding in the database England Birth & Baptisms, 1538-1975.
I discovered his baptismal date of 26 Mar 1822. A source on Ancestry, the England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 added in his birth date: 27 Feb 1822 and his parents names: John Game and Jane. There were several other children for John and Jane, (and the Suffolk Baptism index listed Jane’s maiden name!) leaving me with a small family tree, which I supplemented with a marriage record I located on both Ancestry and Find my Past
John GAME & Jane WRIGHT
m. 14 Oct 1805, Troston, Suffolk
- James, born 27 Jan 1806 & bap. 15 Oct 1806
- John, born 5 Jul 1809 & bap. 30 Jul 1809
- William, born 2 Oct 1811 & bap. 29 Oct 1811
- Henry, born 1814 & bap. 1814
- Joseph, born 22 Feb 1822 & bap. 26 Mar 1822
All children born and baptised at St. Mary’s Church in Troston.
With this information in hand, I added John and Jane’s information to my Ancestry tree to find census records. Though their marriage was quite early, I was hoping one of them had lived long enough for their birth places to be listed.
I found John and Jane living in Troston in 1841 with Henry and Joseph, each who belong to them and two additional boys: John (born 1831) and Henry (born 1840). These two younger boys are a bit of a mystery as I do no believe they are John and Jane’s sons (who are both listed as aged 60), but it’s possible they belong to Henry or one of the other boys.
That being said, all the 1841 census told me was that John and Jane had been born in Suffolk, which did not prove to be enough information, so I looked for 1851.
In 1851, John and Jane are living only with Henry, their son born in 1814. Joseph’s birth place is listed as Stowlangtoft. Jane is from Brettenham, to the south of Stowlangtoft. At the moment, I put Jane’s birth information to the side for another day.
With John’s birth place in hand, I returned to my Find My Past searches and found all the baptisms for Stowlangtoft, and was fortunate enough to quickly find him.
John was baptised on 6 Oct 1782 as the son of Henery (spelled both Hennery, Henry, and Henery in the records) and Sarah. Furthermore, he was one of nine children born to a man named Henry and two women, Sarah and Elizabeth. I copied all the names down, considered the birth dates, and after a quick marriage and death record search at FMP and deduced Sarah had passed away, and Henry had remarried. The Suffolk Baptism index also often listed the maiden names, which helped to link people together.
So my family tree for John’s family now includes:
Henry GAME & Sarah ELDER (marriage 1)
m. 21 Jan 1782, Suffolk
- John, bap. 6 Oct 1782
- Henry, bap. 18 Jul 1784
- Sarah & William, both bap. 18 Jun 1876
Burial records indicate the baby Sarah passed away on 13 Jul 1786, and her mother on 17 Feb 1789.
Henry GAME & Elizabeth KING (marriage 2)
m. 27 Sep 1791, Stowlangtoft, Suffolk
- Charlotte, bap. 29 Jan 1792
- Thomas, bap. 8 Jun 1794
- Mark, bap. 17 Jul 1896
- Harriett, bap. 27 Jan 1799
- George, bap. bap. 9 Jun 1801 (alt. date 24 May 1801, possibly birth)
- Joseph, bap. 25 Mar 1803
- Robert, born, 25 Apr 1807 & bap. 27 Apr 1807.
All children born in Stowlangtoft, and baptised at St. George.
Henry Game died on 2 Feb 1823 in Stowlangtoft, with an age given as 60, placing his birth ca. 1763. Elizabeth King Game died in 22 May 1856, in Stowlangtoft.
Based on further Stowlangtoft baptismal records, I think I’ve continued the line for Henry and Elizabeth’s sons. Thomas married Ann Holmes in 1819; George married Elizabeth Man in 1825; and Robert married Frances Allen in 1831. I have also tentatively found the son of John and Jane–James–married to Bridie Simonds (or Bridget) in 1829, but I’m still nailing down their information.
So, today was a good day. I moved my Suffolk ancestors from 1822 back another forty, almost sixty years. Outside of the Smick family, whose line begins in 1718, this is the furthest I’ve been able to trace.
Melissa Susan McHugh
d. Kathleen Patricia Hammell & James Edward McHugh, Jr.
gd. Beatrice Marie Trainer & Charles Woodful Hammell
g-gd. Harold Trainer & Beatrice Marie Crompton
gg-gd. Alice Winstanley & Daniel Trainer
ggg-gd. Eliza Ann Game & William Winstanley
gggg-gd. Joseph Game & Patience Mulley
ggggg-gd. John Game & Jane Wright
gggggg-gd. Henry Game & Sarah Elder