Saturday, 16 April 2016

A-Z Challenge 2016: N is for Nelly Murch 1856
Nelly was registered as Ellen Murch in the December quarter of 1856 (October-November-December) in the South Molton Registration District, Devon, England.  I was quite prepared to look for a Helen, because Nelly/Nellie is often a pet name for Helen, but at the same time I know that some children were (and are) registered under what we would consider to be a pet name, such as Tom, or Ben.

On the 1871 census, Nelly is still at school, living with her parents in Parsonage Lane, South Molton.  Her father is listed as 'Carrier'- but it does not state what he carried!

From there, it is difficult to find her on the census, mainly because of her name.  On the 1881 census, there is an Ellen of the right age.  On the 1891 census, a Helen.  Or she may have got married and changed her surname (although I cannot find a record of a marriage for her).

So Nelly/Ellen/Helen remains a mystery.  But that's what genealogy is all about.  Mysteries, the thrill of the chase, and finally (and hopefully) the genealogist's 'Happy Dance' when you find the elusive record.

Nelly features in the Murch Surname Study.

© 2016 Ros Haywood. All Rights Reserved


  1. I am having that same problem - missing censuses, not finding marriage and/or death records as I research my A-Z people. Well, I have it other times too, but trying to move it along fast for A-Z makes it even more frustrating.
    Finding Eliza

    1. Still, like I said in the post - that's the excitement, the thrill of the chase! (But I agree, you don't exactly WANT that thrill when you're trying to keep up with your A-Z Challenge LOL)



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