The strangest connections….

19 November 2013

During my decade in the teaching profession, I have had the pleasure of working with dozens of talented educators who give their heart, soul, dedication, passion and so much more to youngsters on a daily basis, often in very challenging settings. From these dozens, a few handfuls of colleagues continue as valued friends throughout the ensuing years.

From this time in education, I take many memories which will remain with me forever, with stories involving contemporaries and students alike. Some years ago now, I had the pleasure of working with an extremely talented teacher of mathematics in a secondary school in Berkshire. We have both left the mainstream classroom – although I continue to be involved in education – and have remained great friends throughout the years, supporting each other in our career changes and new ventures in life.

A short while ago, I did some work on her family tree as a gift and, during the recent ‘two days at Kew’, located further documentation to enhance the information we had already gathered, including J77 divorce papers for two relations…. One who divorced due to ‘the incapacity of the said respondent to consummate the said marriage’ and the other due to adultery. Neither reason is particularly uncommon judging by the other divorce proceedings stored in the same box of files.

It was actually the marriage certificate of one of the couples which interested me enormously – in 1910 at Christ Church Woburn Square, St Giles Registration District. Firstly, because the registers from 1872 to 1972 have existed, but the London Metropolitan Archives have not received them and the Church of St George Bloomsbury does not currently know where they are, according to GENUKI. But the second reason for my interest, is the first witness to the marriage – Arthur Gosling. Some would suggest that this is unremarkable….

…. Well, not when it would seem that this Arthur Gosling is my great-great-grandfather! With the marriage taking place at Woburn Square and ‘my’ Arthur residing just three streets away at 6 Herbrand Street in 1911 (the following year), it would seem too much of a coincidence – especially as Arthur was noted as a curate on the census! – that there are two Arthur Goslings in the same vicinity.

Six degrees of separation? I’ll say!

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