Saturday, 16 February 2013

Scales of Gray

One mystery solved and another mystery raised, this time involving Kisby ancestors of mine. My Great-times-four Uncle William KISBY died in 1897 leaving a last will and testament, in which he named two of his daughters Susan and Eliza GRAY. This was strange because I couldn't find any record of a GRAY/KISBY marriage, let alone two. I put the mystery to one side and only came back to tackle it recently.

As luck would have it, Susan and Eliza GRAY were living next door to one another in Peterborough in the 1881 and 1891 Censuses, with their husbands George GRAY and David GRAY. Fortunately both couples were around in 1911, when the census asks for detail about how long husbands and wives have been married.

It transpires that Eliza KISBY married in 1870 age 17 to David Gray CODD, in the area of his family's home village of Long Sutton, Lincolnshire. Susan KISBY had also married age 17 in 1866 to a George CODD, though this was in London (shortly before her sister Martha married in nearby Stepney).

Why the CODD brothers became GRAY is the new mystery to be solved. Their mother was born Ann Milson GRAY, so it was a family name but not the birth name (or marriage name) of George and David. George and Susan returned to live in her home village of Coates, Cambridgeshire, where their first child was born Martha Ellen CODD, but their subsequent children were GRAY's. Something ...erm ...fishy happened in the late 1860's in the Fenland area that I've yet to discover...

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