For many years, Leonard Fielder was at the top of one branch of my tree – Leonard married Maria Keen (sometimes Kean, otherwise Keane!) in 1836 at Holborn St Andrew, but the 1841 census stated that he was ‘not born in the county’. Leonard’s age varied enormously between censuses and all I could really fathom initially was that he was born in Bramshaw in the early 1800s, sometimes between 1801 and 1809. Even Bramshaw appeared to change counties from one census year to the next, sometimes referred to as in Wiltshire and otherwise Hampshire.
Many years ago, I planned to attend a local Family History Fair, in particular to meet someone who had brochures, pamphlets and so forth relating to many counties across the country. Although the event was a way away from Devon, he said he would bring the box of goodies for me to peruse but sadly, he forgot. The Hampshire Family History Society stand was opposite and I set them the challenge of finding my long lost ancestor, Leonard Fielder. I had already searched through the Bramshaw baptism registers at Hampshire Record Office and transcribed all the Fielder references, so I did not have high hopes for success.
However, with some clever searching of their databases, up popped Leonard GAYLOR of Martha GAYLOR, base born 25 August 1805. The only Leonard baptised in the parish in the right time frame. And guess what? Martha GAYLER married James Fielder the following year …. who’d have thought it! Naughty Martha….
And soon, more information was available including a baptism of William Dennis or GAYLOR on 3 June 1798 of Martha GAYLOR with Charles Dennis, the reputed father. Having cracked the Leonard puzzle, a few siblings born of James and Martha Fielder were also connected.
But as one question was answered, another question appeared: Who was Martha Gaylor? Where did she come from? Initial research suggested she might have been alive still in 1851 and born in an unrecognisable parish according to the census. After three years of searching, this was discounted though as, after James Fielder died, Martha Fielder married John Yeates in 1822 and it would appear that she died aged 45 – as Martha Yeates – buried on 19 February 1826 in Bramshaw. So, Martha was born around 1780-1781.
There did not appear to be any GAYLOR (or variant spelling) baptisms in the 1770s or 1780s in Bramshaw but there were several between 1756 and 1765 to Phil(l)ip and Ann(e) GAYLER/GAYLOR/GAILER. Using FindmyPast, some children – of Philip and Ann GALLER or GAWLER – were baptised at Wimborne Minister in Dorset from 1770 until 1776, including Martha GALLER on 11 February 1776. Could this be my Martha? Possibly…..
I just need to find some documentary evidence to link the two sets of baptisms together and confirm that it is the same Philip and Ann, moving from Bramshaw to Wimborne, and then back to Bramshaw again. I look forward to any of your thoughts and thanks to Chris and Geoff Pavey for their help with my quest to date!