Monday, 29 March 2010

Marrying in Manchester

Another example which may have raised a few eyebrows, considering there was a law against marrying the sister of your wife...

The impressively named Henry Gilbert Cheek Dunn married Dinah Kisby in Manchester in 1872. I believe Dinah died prematurely in 1882, well for her sake I hope so because, in early 1883, a certain man named Henry Gilbert Cheek Dunn married Dinah's younger sister, Sophia.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Getting on in Gedney Hill

Another very overt case of Kisby inter-marrying occurred in the southern border area of Lincolnshire. Joseph Kisby died in September 1848 aged 51, in Gedney Hill. A little over 2 years later his widow, Sarah, married Joseph's brother, James Kisby. This revelation has taken me by surprise because, until now, I have presumed the three children that appear in the 1851 census were James's. No doubt things were a bit confusing for them too!!

King Henry VIII also married the widow of his brother, so James Kisby was in good company in this respect!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Mixing it in Mepal

The rural people of East Anglia are sometimes cruelly accused of being in-bred. Interesting to note that the Cambridgeshire Fenland Kisby's were not averse to a bit of inter-marrying. In the small village of Mepal, brother and sister Edward and Rebecca Kisby wed Jemima Parsons (1862) and John Parsons (1863), who were also siblings. To confuse matters all the more (and maybe save on wedding invitations), Edward and Rebecca's widowed mother Maria Kisby later married John Parsons the widowed father of Jemima and John.

Thursday, 11 March 2010


Paid a short visit today to the London Metropolitan Archives during my lunch hour. One of my discoveries was the marriage of Susan Kisby in 1853. Susan came from Norfolk and had been widowed in 1845, she consequently came to London, as did her son Emanuel (and probably some of the other children too). Several of Susan's children emigrated to the USA, including Emanuel.

Susan married a labourer called Edward Musgate. Maybe Susan and Edward emigrated to the USA as well. But would you believe it, Edward seems to be the only Musgate that has ever existed. So the trail immediately runs dry! Now, let me tell you, I thought Kisby was an unusual name but, for a surname as plausible as Musgate, I would have at least expected to find more than one!! Maybe Edward was an immigrant and had Anglicised his name, surely there must be a logical explanation. Neither Edward nor Susan could write, so maybe the local priest misheard the name? Edward's father was Sampson Musgate, which is an even more unusual combination!

Any suggestions anyone?

Friday, 5 March 2010

Thought he'd killed someone...

Fascinating correspendence recently with a fellow Kisby that lives not far from my old haunts in South Wales. It concerns a man who called himself Ernest KISBY, who turned up in the Rhondda in the early years of the 1900's. It turns out Ernest's real birth surname was something different and, shock, horror, he was trying to evade the police. Fortunately everything was not as bad as Ernest thought. The man he thought he had killed was very much alive.

The family story passed down was that Ernest COULTON (known as Frank) came from Norfolk and had run away and taken his mother's maiden name, KISBY, as his new identity. In fact, it turns out his surname was COUTEN and Ernest was born near Spalding in Lincolnshire in 1882. However, his mother Sarah Ann (nee KISBY) was brought up in Norfolk.

More interesting still is the fact that Sarah Ann was born in Coates near Whittlesey in 1847. My own Kisby's were born a brought up in the same village. Therefore it could even be possible that I am a very distant relly!!