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"Son of ..." at Burial is Not Necessarily a Child

November 23rd, 2016 (04:29 pm)

I have on various occasions attempted to work through a selected list of events in Wimborne in order to come to a definitive solution as to who was where, doing what and when. I call it my "Mega Wimborne Who Did That?" project.

One of the problems I continually tripped over was that I would find an action or event for someone who simply didn't exist on my list of candidates. Now there certainly are gaps in the Wimborne registers, even after they finally get going in the late 1630s, but I suspect part of the problem is this: whenever I see that a person buried was "son of x" or "daughter of y", I've been "killing off" young or newly-christened children. But now I have proof that naming a deceased person as "child of" does not necessarily mean they were a child.

So it seems entirely possible that I have "killed off" infants who in fact survived to perform those later unallocated actions, while the burial was in fact an adult - perhaps even an adult I didn't previously know existed. I will therefore be revisiting the entire project from the earliest possible date (currently 1630), just as soon as I've finished tearing my hair out over who did what when and where in Bere Regis:

"Not an Infant" - the Life and Death of Benjamin Harvey

26th January 1668/69 - "Benjamin Harvye son of William" baptised Wimborne, Dorset. (Indexed by Ancestry as Benjamin Harrys)

29 December 1695 - "Benjamin Harty* of Wimborne, Dorset" married Sarah Coock at Westbury in Wiltshire. (I have not yet seen the image for myself to confirm this really is Benjamin Harvey). Westbury lies 32 miles NNW of Wimborne, on what is now the main A350 Poole-Blandford-Shaftesbury-Warminster-Chippenham road.

29th September 1698 - "William Harvy, Gresham Harvy his daughter, and Benjamin Harvy his son" listed as the three lives in a lease for "Messuage and Land in Wimborne Minster, for 99 years" between William Harvey, Tanner, and Sir John Hanham Bt.

Year Easter 1701 to Easter 1702 - Wimborne Churchwardens's Accounts for the year: "Sold Sarah Harvey wife of Benjamin a place in the seat with Mrs Goodridge in the Scholars Alley and she paid to the church 5s".

01 December 1701 - Benjamin Harvey, a Tanner, spoke his last will and testament "in his owne dwelling house where he lived and dyed situate in Wimborne Minster ... and shortly after dyed". In his will Benjamin mentioned, but did not name, his wife. Witnesses were "William Fabian, Alice Fabian, Frances Mearing and diverse other credible witnesses".

03 December 1701 - "Benjamin son of William Harvey" was buried in Wimborne, Dorset.

04 December 1701 - Benjamin Harvey's will was written up by Richard Russell, Notary Public. It was signed by William Fabian, and Alice Fabian and Frances Mearing made their marks.

09 December 1701 - Probate of Benjamin's will granted to "Sara vid" ie Sarah the widow.

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