Finding James (part 5)

Was Lydia Saunders my 2 x great grandmother?

By searching local parish records, I have confirmed that:

Lydia Beales married John Saunders on 2 October 1827 at St. Luke’s, Chelsea. They had six children:
– John (bpt. 9 August 1829)
– Lydia (bpt. 13 May 1832)
– Frederick (bpt. 21 July 1833)
– Mary (bpt. 16 August 1835)
– Sarah Ann (bpt. 12 February 1839)
– William Francis (bpt. 14 April 1839)
The children were all baptised in Paddington St. James. At the time the parish covered Kensington. John died on 21 February 1840.

In June 1841, Lydia was living with 5 children in Wellington Cottages. Her father-in-law, John Saunders, was living in the same road.

1841 census: St. Luke’s Chelsea HO107; Piece: 687; Folio: 64; Page: 1

In 1851, Lydia had 2 more children: James and Elizabeth.

1851 census: Kensal New Town  HO107; Piece: 1474; Folio: 511; Page: 2

It’s at this point that my previous research attempts collapsed. I’ve had no luck searching for various combinations of James Saunders and Elizabeth Saunders. It turns out, I was making the rookie mistake of searching for specific names. This time, I just used first names: father James & mother Lydia and I hit the jackpot!

Baptism Register entry: Paddington St. James
Baptism Register entry: St. Mary, Paddington Green

I’m sure this Elizabeth & James are the children of Lydia Saunders:
– The birth dates of both children tie up with the 1851 & 1861 census returns,
– Lydia had a daughter called Elizabeth in 1851 & one called Harriett in 1861 with the same birth date. I wasn’t sure if they were 2 different people or not,
– Kensal New Town is the same area as Lydia’s 1851 census record,
– Lydia’s older children were all baptised in Paddington, St. James.

But is this my James? In my next post, the last in this series, I’m going to show how this James is probably my great grandfather.


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