There is nothing more frustrating than losing track of a female once they've left their parents household. My English female ancestors mostly worked as Domestic Servants, and many have proved quite elusive to find. Generally they stayed in their local area, but some went to market towns, cities and often different counties. I've often made the mistake of not widening my search for them, and Sarah Toulson is a classic example.
I've been looking for Sarah for many years, and have ordered several marriage certificates, which have not proved to be hers. At some point I stopped looking for her.....
Today, while tracing some cousins of hers, I went down her line again and took another fresh look for her. Victory at last!
Sarah was born in May 1844 in Barkston, Lincolnshire. She is in the 1851 and 1861 census with her parents, but I hadn't been able to find a marriage in Lincolnshire for her, and didn't know where she disappeared to. By using the basic technique of searching a census with her first name only, age, and birth location I found a Sarah Carter and husband Thomas living in Barkston. This looked like a likely possibility -- why hadn't I checked this before? I then searched the Civil Registration Marriage records and found a marriage in 1867 for Thomas and Sarah in Ecclesall Bierlow Registration District, in Sheffield, Yorkshire! Despite the fact they were both from Lincolnshire.
This all adds up, as there was significant migration of many of my Toulson ancestors between Lincolnshire and Sheffield. There was obviously work to be had there, and my supposition is that Sarah was working there as a Domestic Servant. Thomas was a blacksmith. I need to order the marriage certificate to document this, and make sure that she has the right Father and age, but I'm confident it's her.
All the subsequent clues match up -- they live in Barkston in 1871 and 1881, their children are all born in Barkston, and the naming patterns all match up, with their first child, Mary Ann, named for her Grandmother Mary Ann Castledine Toulson.
Sometime between 1882 and 1891 the family moved to Doncaster, and Sarah dies there in 1911. Her husband lives on to 1932, and on the 1911 census entry he states that he was married 45 years, and there were 10 children born, with 7 still living.
Now, on to find descendants of these 7 new ancestors of mine!!! Unfortunately they all have fairly common names and live in Doncaster, a large area to search!