Monday, February 6, 2012

Researching my family tree - the Genners

This blog article is drawn from an original article on my now defunct history blog. It has been updated thanks to information from other family history researchers who were also researching the Genners. My thanks to them for helping me put together a more detailed account of some of my earliest ancestors.

A couple of years ago I started to research my family history. On my Mum's side of the family I had a bit of a head start as my Nan's sister's son-in-law, back in the 1970s, hired a researcher to look into this already so i got a bit of a head start with some old census results and my great-great-great-great aunt Sarah Ann's (think got the right number of "greats" in there!) baptism certificate dating from 1854 which was rather interesting to say the least. She was baptised in Jackatalla in India which nowadays looks like this and later census records say she was born in Madras (modern day Chennai).

My great-great-great-great grandfather Richard Genner was, according to these documents, a private in the 84th Infantry regiment serving in India and married to Mary. I'm assuming this is the 84th Foot (York & Lancaster) Regiment which was in India at the time. A few years later my great-great-great-great grandmother Mary was, according to the 1861 census, living in Kings Stanley/Stroud, Gloucestershire and married to a retired sergeant called Thomas Butler.

Richard Genner died in June 1854 with his age at death given as 36 (meaning he would be born around  1818). Why he died is unknown though he was buried in Madras on the 28th June. This immediately struck me as Sarah Ann's baptism was just 10 days earlier. Richard was in the 84th Foot when he died though he had been transferred recently from the 74th Highlands.

As for Mary it appears she married Richard in 1852 and her maiden name was either Macglen or Maclean with a father called William or John (there is conflicting information but this can be due to transcription errors at the time). She was born around 1826 in Madras. Because of this new information about Richard i am now wondering if he was Scottish. Regiments did tend to recruit locally (even today this is often the case) thus if his regiment was originally the Highlanders and Mary appears to have a Scottish name (of course the name doesn't necessarily mean anything but put two and two together). Mary later married Thomas Butler in 1857 and moved to England and the rest, as they say, is history...

1 comment:

  1. Sorry didn't check your old blog for a while after I posted my last comment. I had a chance to go the National Archives and check the muster rolls for the 84th Regiment and the 74th Highlanders. The Muster Rolls contained individual soldier pay records every quarter or so and where the regiment was posted in particular years. Unfortunately I couldn't look up everthing I wanted to see as I had to order up each muster roll for 1 particular year at a time and I could only 5 items at a time. However, what I did discover from looking at the 1854 muster was that Richard Genner was in the 84th Regiment. I can't see any mention of him in the 74th and there is no mention of a transfer. So I have to assume the record I looked at for Sarah Ann Genner's birth was wrong-the 74th regiment was in the same area at the same time and its likely that Richard was dying at the time (records for Jackatallah talk about typus epidemic in 1853, or it could have been a disease like cholera or malaria) so perhaps they just mixed the regiments up as everything else about the record seems to be right.
    Richard Genner joined the regiment in 1839 at Gosport whilst the regiment was docked there. The Regiment then went to Burma in 1842 and India in 1845. His regimental number was 1392 and before he died he was being paid good conduct pay of 1 d. His death is recorded in the muster with the same deatils of his death record so I'm quite sure this is the right person.
    Richard was in trouble of some sort because the dates 28th December 1839 and 8th February 1841 are recorded under forfeiture to additional pay or conviction of felony, and he seems to have been under a limited forfeiture until 14th May 1846. Perhaps he was disobedient or committed a felony of some kind whilst in England? (or on the ship travelling to Burma) I was unable to look at what he did as I ran out of time for ordering more documents.
    I saw Richard's marriage to Mary on IGI (Richard Jinner to Mary Macglon) and his father is called Richard, and Mary's father is recorded as William Macglon (so she's either a Maclean or Macglon, and on the census she believes she was born in Madras). Richard would have been in India from 1845 so I believe William, John and Sarah are all his according to the dates.
    Looking at Richard I found a baptism for a Richard Genner on 13th May 1816 at West Dean (near Chichester), Sussex, with parents called Richard and Ann. (A possibility as Chichester is close to Gosport/Portsmouth, and the father's name is correct).
    When it comes to Mary its been hard to research, however, I did find a William Mclean marrying an Elizabeth Baxter at Vizagapatam, Madras on 12th May 1826 (the estimated birth year of Mary, which could be a nickname/middle name, and it is in Madras). They had a daughter just before they married on 8th February 1826, baptised on 10th April at Vizagapatam, called Rebecka Mclean, so it could be a possibility for Mary.
    On a different note I have looked at other branches of this tree, such as Stephen Morris' side and particularly John Genner's wife Jane Olivia Wiggall's family which I have quite a bit of information on.